Help A Reader Out: Toddler Sleep Problems

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I know I said I was going to do this once a week or so, but I was answering questions today and found this. She has been dealing with the issue for so long, I couldn’t see any good reason to wait for Saturday to post it!

Bradysmom and Janelle have similar problems. Here is the background:


bradysmom said…
I need help! Has anyone else experienced sleep problems at 16-18 months? Brady was ALWAYS an awesome sleeper at night. The only time he’s had issues is when he was teething, he would wake an hour early in the morning. But for the past month or so, he’s been waking somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30 everyday and not going back to sleep. And the last month I’ve also heard him throughout the night. At night he’ll go right back to sleep, but I hear him wake up with a cry throughout the night.

I have tried changing bed times and that didn’t seem to make a difference. His room is pitch black. I know that his diaper had been pretty wet in the morning, but he’s already in a size bigger-overnight diaper.

We have had some changes – about a month ago we went to 1 nap a day. 3 months ago we got a new nanny. And 5 months ago I went back to work full time. Although that shouldn’t really matter because before I was only off every other Friday.

I really don’t know what to do and I am extremely exhausted. One of my friends told me that her pediatrician said to put them on Benedryl for 2 weeks at night and that would solve it. But I don’t really agree with that.

So- does anyone have any advice as to what to do? Should we go back to 2 naps a day? Is he not getting enough food during the day? Should I drop his last bottle (he gets at 7:30 before bed). He is 18 months, and goes to bed between 7:30 and 7:50 everyday. He used to wake no earlier than 7:00, but usually at 7:30 sometimes 8:00. Oh, and he’s not teething. He’s got all his teeth in now – except the 2 yr molars but wouldn’t expect him to get those, especially since he was a very late teether.

Please help! … Thanks for the help!

August 21, 2009 4:40 AM

[Yes, that is the correct date]


Plowmanators said…

My guess is that he might need two naps again. It can take some time for the sleep deficit to catch up to him.

If you don’t do two naps, I would move bedtime up 1-1.5 hours.

September 5, 2009 9:59 AM


Janelle said…

I am in the same boat you are. At around 18 months, my son started taking a while to fall asleep. Then at 19 months he started waking early in the morning. Like your son, mine used to wake up around 7:30 am but now he wakes up at 6:30 crying. I think it might be too late to go back to two naps for us (he’s been on only one nap for 3 months) but I’m trying an earlier bed time this week. I guess this really isn’t any new advice, I just thought I’d let you know that we are going through similar situations. Good luck with your little one and your full time job!

November 30, 2009 1:11 PM


bradysmom said…

Janelle – has anything worked for you? We have been dealing with this for so long now I have no idea what to do. Brady is now almost 22 months. It’s 6am and I have been awake since 4:20am with him. The thing with Brady is that he goes to be just fine – no matter what time I put him down. I’ve tried changing bed times. Currently his bed time is 6:45, which my husband thinks is too early. I’ve tried to go back to 2 naps, but if we put him down in the morning, he rarely ever sleeps in the afternoon. Which then leaves me with a toddler that has been awake from 11am – bed time. I am really just completely stressed and sleep deprived. I’m not enjoying this much because all I do is try to figure this out and stress over it. I really don’t know what else to do. We did move about a month ago – so I’m sure that adds to it. Today is Wed, since Monday his nose has been stuffy. But I think he’s starting to teeth with his 2 year molars – he takes FOREVER to teeth. and when he’s teething his nose gets really, really runny. I just don’t know any more. I feel like I’ve tried everything. I’m sure that all of the lack of sleep is causing this cycle now – and he’s not sleeping because he’s so over tired.

So this is his “normal” schedule – up at 7, which until he was 10 months old was always 7:30. Eats, independent play time, free play time, structured learning time, coloring time, music time, lunch at 11:30, nap after that at 12:15. I would like to put him down later for his nap, but he can’t go that long. So he usually wakes up from his nap between 2:30 and 3:15. Then we get ready for bed around 6:20 and he’s asleep no later than 7.

So – do I need to change his schedule around? I just don’t know what to do. The pediatrician isn’t any help.

By the way – if anyone out there lives in Maryland and has suggestions for a pediatrician let me know.

I’m completely at a loss, and this has been going on for so long that I’m so frustrated and upset that I can’t figure it out and get it under control. This coming from a baby that we never had night time issues with!

December 2, 2009 4:10 AM


Janelle said…

Unfortunately we haven’t found anything that really works yet. My son is also teething and this might be causing the problems. We did let him CIO one morning when he work before 6:00am He cried for about 20 mins. then stopped crying but never went back to sleep. He just laid there. (We have a video monitor so I could see that he was awake) Your schedule looks a lot like mine. Logan is in his crib for his nap by 12:30 and is almost always awake by 2:30. Then bedtime is at 7:00. Letting him CIO that one morning did help a little because he is now sleeping until around 6:30am. It’s just frustrating because no matter what time I put him to bed at night, he always lays awake in his crib for about an hour. So even if he is in bed by 7:00pm he doesn’t go to sleep until 8:00pm. But he’s not talking to himself or playing with anything. He is just tossing and turning so going in to him would be a bad idea. I wish I had more suggestions for you, but I don’t. Just know that you are not alone!

Maybe Val will have some more ideas for us!

December 2, 2009 1:14 PM


Plowmanators said…

Bradysmom and Janelle,

I am posting your questions for the next “help a reader out” segment.

Some things to consider are the basic…hot or cold? Do you need to dress them differently at night? Is there some noise waking them? White noise might help.

Teething can do it as can moving–and those 2 year molars take forever (Kaitlyn has literally been getting them in constantly since the end of August).

Hopefully some readers will have some experience/advice for you!

December 14, 2009 9:12 PM

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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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  1. The Skaggs
    December 15, 2009 / 4:43 AM

    I would try going back to two naps. My son is 16 months now but I tried to move him to one nap about 15 months. He is also a wonderful sleeper but I noticed he was waking earlier in the morning as well. So I went back to 2 naps a day, morning is usually 10/10:30-12:00 and afternoon is usually 3:00-5:30/6. Bedtime is 8 and wakeup is 8. It seemed to work for us. Might want to try that…or is he getting enough to eat/drink during the day…could be hungry. Anyways, hope you get it worked out!!!

  2. Justin and Julie
    December 15, 2009 / 11:29 AM

    I have some advice. You said his diapers were pretty wet in the morning. My daughter is 16 months and we've been having problems with our always great sleeper waking in the night too. We've gone in and it's the diaper-it's soaked and it's freezing her whole body. She's usually shivering and probably really uncomfortable. We've changed it and warmed her up a few minutes and then put her back to bed if she's in a disposable. The problem is you can't make disposable night time diapers more absorbent. I would suggest maybe buying a few cloth diapers for nighttime-maybe 3. We've switched to BumGenius 3.0 Pocket Diapers for nights. They have a pocket, where you put these absorbent inserts inside. For night time we stuff them with 2 microfiber inserts and a hemp insert, since our daughter is a heavy wetter. This keeps her dry until they morning because there is a layer between the wet inserts and her skin. If we needed more absorbency we could always stuff it with another insert. For us this was problem solved.

  3. Justin and Julie
    December 15, 2009 / 11:36 AM

    Also, we stopped giving drinks to her in the last 1-2 hours before bed time.

  4. Jenny
    December 15, 2009 / 12:09 PM

    I have been in this situation for a while now. There are nights my LO wakes up and I have to let her CIO. I just started letting her cry last week. I used to go in and check on her and hold her for five minutes. Then she decided she would not get back in the crib and I would end up on the couch with her. This was not helping my sanity, so I had to let her CIO. She cried for an hour and a half that night. Very stressful. The next 3 nights she was fine and then the fourth night she cried for 30 minutes. My LO has always been a perfect sleeper. When she turned one we started having trouble because she was sick and then teething started. She took a really long time to teethe and now at 16 months i am starting to feel the molars come in. I read that 26% of toddlers between 13-18 months wake during the night and not to go in to them. But I have to go in and make sure she is okay and I don't pick her up. I just walk out. She then throws her favorite blanket out of the bed and that is what makes her so mad. I do not go back in to get it for her. If you are done with this phase, please let me know what finally worked for you. She has one nap and in bed between 7:30-7:45 and up around 8:00.

  5. Kelly
    December 15, 2009 / 1:13 PM

    I was surprised and thankful to find this post. I've been having similar issues with my 15.5 month daughter. She went down to 1 nap about a month ago and things were fine for the first 2 weeks. Then she got her 4th incisor and since then her nap has only been 1.5 hours. Sometimes I can hardly get her to stay away until noon. I tried returning to 2 naps but even when she only sleeps 45 min in the am she isn't tired until 4 pm which gets too close to bedtime. I thought transitioning to one nap would only take a couple weeks. Does anyone know how many total hours of sleep 15-18 mo BW children average? I've checked for sleep averages online but I know the 12-13 hours they post isn't for BW babies. Sorry this isn't much help.

  6. Val
    December 15, 2009 / 1:59 PM

    instead of looking at sleep time, try to look at wake time. How much physical exercise and mental exercise is he getting?I know that when I've been busy around the house or there is lots of work to do, my kids (18 month old b/g twins) sleep is always "off". Days that I take charge and just run the heck out of them and have lots of activities the sleep always returns to normal. I like the baby whisperer's advice that you should stop looking at your child's behavior and look at your own first. How much time are you spending outdoors playing hard. How much stimulation is he getting. Is he sitting in front of the TV all day? Is he getting protein filled foods or carb snacks.If they don't burn the energy, they don't need to recoup it either.

  7. Val
    December 15, 2009 / 2:01 PM

    sorry I just re-read my post. It can be taken as accusatory. That is absolutely not what I mean it to be, it's merely a list of questions…just wanted to throw that in there 🙂

  8. Kyle, Amanda, and Tobias
    December 15, 2009 / 3:01 PM

    I agree that it might be a lack of physical activity or mental stimulation during the day. Tobias' sleep suffers if he doesn't get exercise for a few days, which happens too often because we're in a small apartment in Minnesota. If it were me I'd work hard to take him outside for 30 minutes every day in the afternoon and get him good and tired. Then just leave bedtime and naptime where they are–they're good. If he wakes in the middle of the night or too early in the morning simply do straight up CIO. We had similar issues at 12-13 months old and CIO is the only thing that helped after I tried all the Baby Whisperer's suggestions.

  9. Equipoise
    December 15, 2009 / 3:06 PM

    From what I've heard from lots of parents, 16-18 months is just an age where sleep gets disrupted…for one reason or another. Like you, my daughter went down to 1 nap and her sleep became a nightmare. She would wake up screaming multiple times at night, wake up early in the morning, not want to go to sleep at night and she would only sleep 45 minutes to an hour on 1 nap! I tried everything, making sure she hadn't BM'd in the night, making sure she wasn't too hot or too cold, trying two naps again (which meant she'd sleep in the morning and be up for too long of a stretch because she wouldn't sleep in the afternoon). Eventually what worked for us was consistency and a few changes. First, I decided what her schedule needed to be. Then, I would stick to it no matter what. If I put her down for a nap and she only slept 45 minutes, she would stay in her crib until at least two hours. That way, she figured out that she should sleep because I wasn't going to go in there and she wasn't going to get out until nap time was over- we also do this with waketime in the mornings. Also, we do not go into her room at night. (Unless we feel that she's really crying for a reason.) When we go into her room, she just wakes and cries more often because then she expects us to come when she cries. Even if we only go in once and then don't go in for the next two days, she'll try to test us to see if she can get us to come in again. She is also getting more molars now. I believe that getting her first set of molars was what started this whole problem. She does wake up occasionally at night, but usually falls back asleep rather quickly. The last thing we did was give her the milk with her dinner. We don't give her anything to drink 1-1.5 hours before bedtime and that has helped her to be less soaked in the morning. Overall, I think all my scrambling to try to "FIX" the nap/ sleep problem was just making it worse. She never knew what to expect because we kept changing things trying to fix it. It took a couple weeks, but after being consistent in nap time, bed time, and wake time, she eventually got used to when she was supposed to sleep. We still have a bad day here and there, but it's been much better. I also agree with Val. I try to take her for a walk, or run her around the house, or do SOMETHING active with her every day. That helps tucker her out. Good luck!

  10. Anonymous
    December 15, 2009 / 4:34 PM

    I had the same issues when my son turned 16 months! My son is now 22 months old and his sleep is much better, most of the time. I think looking back, a lot of it had to do with us being more lax with his schedule because he was older (and there was a new baby in the house). One thing that helped was to be VERY strict with his schedule and try not to overstimulate with outings and events for a few weeks and that seemed to get him back on track. Also, the diaper suggestion is a really good one. Right around the time his sleep problems started occurring, we noticed he was waking up soaked. Switching to the Huggies overnights seemed to help, but cloth are definitely still more absorbent. It's worth a shot, anyway!I don't know what your day looks like as far as TV goes, but I noticed if I switched off the cartoons and put on a boring adult show (Wheel of Fortune) before bedtime, it helped settle him down. We did do CIO for a few weeks though when he decided he didn't want to go to bed anymore. One last thing I've noticed is if my son doesn't get his daddy time in, he seems to be a lot more stressed and it affects his sleep at night. Sometimes it's really hard because my husband has late meetings and can't make it home before bedtime, but we do all we can including lunch dates to make sure he gets some daddy time in each day. Not sure if that is an issue, but I thought I'd mention.Good luck, and know that you are definitely not alone. You are doing a wonderful job and your son is blessed to have such a caring mommy.

  11. bradysmom
    December 15, 2009 / 4:51 PM

    Thank you so much for all of the advice!!! We did try to go back to 2 naps but it wasn't working. He will not sleep in the afternoon if he has a morning nap. Then it was too long for him to go until bed time. So we stayed with 1 nap. But, Brady's now 22 months and I took away his bed time bottle – he was getting 8 ounces. So far – he's been right back to normal. Now he wakes between 7 and 7:30, with bed time at 7:30. So – it really appears that it was the diapers for Brady. So he doesn't get liquids after 6 and no night time bottle. That seems to have done it for us! Thankfully.But isn't it so amazing how somethign so small affects them so much! And try telling all of this to Grandparents – it seems most of the time they dont' believe you :-)Thanks again – and Janelle and otehrs out there – I would try what we did. I guarantee you that we tried everything else under the sun and when I finally took that away he was good. I hope that others get some good advice from here and it helps!!

  12. Jenny
    December 15, 2009 / 5:36 PM

    Thanks for all the advice and comments. I am really glad I am not the only mother experiencing this. I have realized after reading these comments that we need to get outside more…not running errands but outside play. Even if it is raining we can go to the mall play center or play with the riding toys in the garage. Thanks to all.

  13. Janelle
    December 15, 2009 / 7:15 PM

    Thanks to everyone for your help. Since I lasted posted to bradysmom, our early morning wake ups have been solved. He now wakes up at around 7:30am. We are still having a problem with getting him to fall asleep at night. He just tosses and turns in his crib for over an hour. I can watch him on the video monitor and I think he's just not getting the transition into deep sleep. He will lay very still for 5-10 mins. and I will think that he's asleep. Then I'll check again and he's tossing and turning. I really like the suggestions of wearing him out more. It's pretty cold here and we haven't been going outside much. We spend most of our day coloring, listening to music, reading books, etc. It is a very rare treat that he gets to watch any tv at all. He might watch an Elmo video (40 mins.) twice a week. But I think that he's not getting out as much energy during the day as he used to, so even though he might be mentally tired, he still has too much physical energy. At least I think this might be our problem. Any suggestions for wearing out a toddler when it's too cold to spend a lot of time outside? Again, thanks so much for all your advice so far. Val, your post didn't sound accusatory at all. In fact, I think you might be exactly right as far as not expending enough energy goes. And bradysmom, I'm so glad things are better for you. Hopefully we're on the way to solving things for us too!

  14. The Cleary Family
    December 16, 2009 / 3:40 AM

    Maybe try to find a play group or Gymboree class near you? Swimming lessons indoors?? All these thngs wear out my 17 month old when it is cold outside!!

  15. Kim Barnett
    December 19, 2009 / 7:42 AM

    We experienced something similar but found our resolution in other areas. Our house isn't very well insulated and we use a heater in our son's room that kicks on when the temp drops below 68 degrees. It turned out that the light on the heater was scaring him. We covered up the light with tape and he started sleeping well again. Later, he was waking and crying when he saw his Elmo doll on the shelf. He used to be a big fan but became nervous around animated objects like puppets (and this doll). Once I removed it from the room, sleep returned to normal. Our son is almost 22 months now but this was happening 3 or so months ago. Hopefully this is something that can also be considered and helpful!

  16. Janelle
    December 21, 2009 / 4:53 AM

    Thanks so much Kim. That's a great idea. We also put a humidifier in our son's room a few months ago. I will try covering up the light and see if that works!

  17. Cristine
    January 20, 2010 / 7:46 AM

    I started following this blog when I started having trouble with my toddler when she turned 17 months (she'll be 18 months in Feb). I have to thank all of you for your suggestions as she is the most impossible sleeper I've ever come across. I never knew this with my first child, the more noise she had around her the better, it was great. My oldest never woke up at night once down thats where she stayed. But my toddler hates noise and from the start we tried to get her used to noise.I tried white noise last night just by switching on the radio in her room and I think that helped quite a bit but she still woke up at 3:25am this morning, she cried and I gave her a bottle, which she never gets in the night. Then she refused to go back to sleep. Eventually I just put her back in her crib and she fell asleep.We also live on a very busy main road, which happens to be really busy when Im trying to get her down at night, so Im not sure if she's refusing to go down at night or if it's too noisy for her to get into her sleep zone.Another thing that is a problem with our home is that we live in Cape Town, South Africa and the sun only goes down just after 8pm and her bed time is around 6:30/7p, I think there's too much light in the bedroom even though our windows are covered with blinds and curtains!She sleeps once a day for about 1.5 hours from about 11am and she refuses an afternoon sleep, which if she does then she will never go down at night!I think the other thing I'd like to try is changing her diapers to the toweling one's for the night. She's normally very wet in the morning but never really cold when she wakes up, but you never know.She also takes forever to teethe and I think she has issues with that in her sleep often as she sometimes wakes up screaming.It's really a tough situation to try and figure out what's wrong in the middle of the night when you're sleep deprived and just want to go back to bed!So this is a great big thank you to everyone who has posted info on this blog and I ask that you continue to make suggestions. Its pretty difficult for me as my mom passed away a few years ago and she assisted me with my first baby's routine, but sadly this time round I don't have her to guide me. So feel free to make suggestions please!

  18. Ajenkstrio
    February 2, 2010 / 9:23 PM

    I would echo the plea for suggestions to play with a toddler (20 months) when it is too cold – and without costing money! We like going to the library for story times, and I don't feel badly about her "running" to let me "chase" her a little bit, especially in the big library that has a separate kids' room. I also try to let her walk part of the time when we run errands instead of riding in the cart all morning. It seems the only suggestions for playing are classes or places that charge, and the only McDonalds' in our area that has a play area was too big for her to do on her own. We are in Milwaukee. Thanks, and it was so great to read about so many other people dealing with the same things around the same age – we will make it!

  19. Plowmanators
    February 3, 2010 / 6:35 PM

    Cristine, One thing I suggest is you address the many possibilities you listed. Try to make the room darker. Use white noise consistently. You probably need an earlier bedtime based on her naps in the day. Get bigger diapers. Try to help ease the pain of teething…then see where things are at. Good luck!

  20. Jenny Borders
    July 9, 2010 / 7:31 PM

    I want to say thanks, and keep the suggestions coming! I have 18 month b/g twins and am having trouble with naps for my son and night for my daughter. We've been traveling a lot recently and bedtime has been pushed back because it is the summer. We've been on one nap for about 3 months now. It was working fine until we went on vacation and traveled for about a month.My son is waking on the dot after 90 minutes of napping. He is waking up crying. Should I let him CIO? I have decided our schedule has been too lax since they have gotten older, so I guess I need to just pick a time and stick to it for bed time and naps, etc. My daughter, who used to never do this, is waking in the night. Should I let her CIO also? I know when I go in there, I just make it harder to leave.I have decided to go back and set a rigid 7 pm bedtime. Wake at 7 and nap at 12:30. I also like the suggestion of running off more energy. I need to make more effort to do that, but it's just tough sometimes when it's just me and the twins. I'm outnumbered! They also have been exceptionally whiny/needy/clingy/temper tantrums since we have been home from traveling. Can that be due to lack of routine and sleep? I have been doing BW since the beginning, but I guess have taken my well-adjusted children for granted!How long did it take things for your kiddos to get back on track?Thanks!

  21. Janelle
    July 9, 2010 / 10:25 PM

    Hi Jenny,It sounds like you pretty much have things figured out and now comes the tough part of implementing them. As far as cranky, clingy, etc. go, a lack of sleep can certainly do that, as can a drastic change like coming back from a long trip. My dh and I recently took a long weekend away (only Fri. thru Sun) and my ds (2 years old) stayed at my mom's house. When we got back to our routine on Monday he was supper whiny and didn't want to do anything I asked. During the following week, he even skipped a nap on two different days. He just stayed in his crib fussing for 2 hours each day. After a few more days things finally got back to normal. It took ds almost a week to recover from a long weekend! So I guess I'm saying that sometimes it takes a while for the kiddos to get back into their old routines. Just keep working at it and eventually they will adjust.

  22. Jessica
    July 15, 2011 / 9:04 PM

    Hi! My daughter is 28 months old. We have baby number 2 coming in Oct. We took away the pacifier and now she is refusing to nap. Naptime is filled with singing, talking, and playing with her animals. If I take the animals out, she cries and cries, but doesn't nap. Bedtime continues to be the same (takes about 30-60min to fall asleep..something that has been going on for months now). She doesn't ask for the pacifier and has slept great through the night without it. She can't go without a nap and especially with a new baby coming, I want her to still nap. Here's her schedule:7-7:30 awake1 nap7:30 bedtimeAny suggestions????-A tired pregnant mommy

  23. Jessica
    July 15, 2011 / 9:05 PM

    Hi! My daughter is 28 months old. We have baby number 2 coming in Oct. We took away the pacifier and now she is refusing to nap. Naptime is filled with singing, talking, and playing with her animals. If I take the animals out, she cries and cries, but doesn't nap. Bedtime continues to be the same (takes about 30-60min to fall asleep..something that has been going on for months now). She doesn't ask for the pacifier and has slept great through the night without it.She can't go without a nap and especially with a new baby coming, I want her to still nap.Here's her schedule:7-7:30 awake1 nap7:30 bedtimeAny suggestions????-A tired pregnant mommy

  24. Cristine
    July 18, 2011 / 7:08 AM

    Hi JessicaI have a little girl who despises going downm but I find that stretching her awake time until she is really tired helps. so I let her go to sleep at about 1ish after lunch and then at 8pm read to her in a very calm voice while she drinks a bottle. I find that by about 8:30 she's ready for a sleep. She then also sleeps through the night better. I hope that helps. All the best with this, it's quite worrying but dont because it all comes right.

  25. Plowmanators
    August 3, 2011 / 4:13 AM

    Jessica, she is young enough I would actually let her have her pacifier for naps.

  26. sealight7
    January 14, 2012 / 4:52 PM

    I'm now in the same boat… a frustrating and tiring boat! My 28month old boy has just started waking at 3am and 6am crying. He has his 2yr molars already. I even took him to the dr just to rule out ear infections and that was clear. His naps are 1-4pm. Ive tried everything and now im at a loss. Nite lite didnt help. Hes always slept in a dark room so I though that was it. Any suggestions would be very helpful. Should I let him CIO? Has it become a habit? Can growing pains start waking him? I just hate hearing him cry. -Tired out Mama

  27. Cristine
    January 14, 2012 / 6:25 PM

    Oh Sealight! Your baby may (hopefully) just having nightmares. Mine not eh other hand is 3.5 years old and still sleeps really badly. If your baby is used to the dark keep it dark, don't changes things its unsettling. I think you should try the CIO thing, as hard as it is, but you never know if they are just trying their luck. I find that if my little one wakes up and I go in and talk then she wakes up so go in, check if everything is ok… in the dark, and leave, But if it persists then maybe something is wrong like nightmares or something else. But I would definitely say don't change anything, keep things consistent otherwise they start new habits too. All the best, I still struggle!!

  28. Plowmanators
    January 27, 2012 / 11:31 PM

    Sealight7,For me, I can tell if a two year old is "fake" crying or not. Either way, my feeling is a 2 year old would not suddenly decide to fake it in the middle of the night. I would say something at least was waking him initially. Could be pain, could be nightmares, could be coldness…see my "nighttime sleep issues" for some ideas.I would go to him, make sure everything is okay, and then do a short version of your sleep routine. So sing your lullaby, tuck him in, tell him it is time to sleep and that you love him, and then leave. Good luck!

  29. Brittany Walker
    February 1, 2012 / 10:58 PM

    This whole blog post has been EXTREMELY helpful for me with my 17 month old daughter with sudden sleep issues. I at least feel like we're not alone and that there are things to try. Thanks!

  30. Easter Tong
    June 11, 2014 / 12:32 PM

    Dear moms,Please help!Emmanuel, our 3rd boy, youngest child, has been getting up at night and coming to our bed for the last 3 weeks between 3- 5:30 am!!He has been sleeping well previously in the crib.Wake up time was 8 am when he was in his crib.Schedule Wake at night 2:30-5:30 am7-7:30 wake7:45breakfast 8:15-9:00 play w mommy 9:15-9:30 read 9:30-10:45 out for walk10:00 snack11-11:30 play independent 12:00 lunch12:30-2:00 nap2:00 wake and play 3:00 snack 3:30-4:30 out for walk4:45-5:00 bath5:15-5:45 tv time6:00-6:30 dinner 6:45 play w siblings7:30 family reading and prayer7:45 bedtime routine 8:15 bed E takes 2 hours to sleep 10:15 pm asleepWake again around 2:30-5:30 to our roomAlso he will not stay in his bed while we put himTo sleepHe keeps running to the bedroom door. What can we do for him to sleep thru the night again?Please help,!!!

  31. Valerie Plowman
    June 16, 2014 / 4:20 PM

    How old is he?First thiugt-is there a sickness going on? I always check that first with sudden sleep issues. It could have started as sickness and has led to habit. Second, if he is young enough, I would put him back in the crib. If he can't stay in a big bed, he can't sleep in it. It also might be time to do some CIO and just explain he needs to stay in his bed and he can't leave. Good luck!

  32. Kmoore1
    November 28, 2014 / 8:32 PM

    Hi! I've been reading your blog for the last couple of years and I love it!! Your words of encouragement have been so helpful. My husband and I have been following babywise since day #1 and our daughter is 20months old. She has always been an excellent sleeper and the many sleep transitions have been relatively easy. However, the last several months she has been waking early! She usually wakes up around 7(that is when we get her up) but, she will now sometimes wake up as early as 3 or 4 and just chat to herself for a while and then fall back asleep. Sometimes though, she wakes up at 5:30 and doesn't go back to sleep. We still don't get her until 7, but, that is a long time to be awake before "awake time" really starts!I feel like I've tried everything! Her schedule is:7 wake7:30 breakfast11:30: lunch12: nap (usually 2-3+hours) *lately closer to 3hours3(or wake up) small snack5/5/30: dinner7: bedShe is a happy and easy going kid. She is a great listener. I know how important sleep consolidation is and I can't seem to break this habit she is in!I've tried: earlier bed, later bed, more food, less food, earlier nap, later nap… Nothing seems to be working. She goes down easy for bed and nap, no issues. And even when she is awake, she is just chatting to herself!!What can I do? Any thoughts? I would appreciate any feedback 🙂

    • Valerie Plowman
      December 1, 2014 / 6:20 PM

      I would wonder about maybe needing more physical and/or mental stimulation? It is kind of different to have that going on for several months. Do you think she is cold? Does she need warmer pjs?

  33. Kmoore1
    December 1, 2014 / 8:44 PM

    Valerie,I know! It is weird, right? I have made sure she has her warm pjs and a blanket, so I don't think it is that. We go to the park or to our church's playground pretty much everyday. She loves to read and we are working on new skills often. I'm at a bit of a loss.However, we were out of town this weekend and her nighttime sleep was a little crazy as we were traveling over seven hours each way. Since we have been home, she hasn't woken up early once!! I'm hoping a change in our routine helped her get out of the early waking!! I struggle with always trying to fix stuff and feeling like I'm doing something wrong when she has weird sleep issues (which aren't often, thankfully). So, I'm continuously trying to pray about that :)I appreciate your feedback! I'm hoping we can get back on track soon.Kelsey

    • Valerie Plowman
      December 2, 2014 / 1:00 AM

      I hope it works out! Sometimes a crazy day or weekend resets things and gets it back on track.

  34. Kmoore1
    December 6, 2014 / 4:45 PM

    Valerie,Well, after a few days, we are back to early morning waking :/ I'm going to try the cold angle and see if I can find a way to better bundle her up. Also, do you think it could be she only needs 10hours? The issue I have with that, is there is no way I want to start my morning around 5:30 or even 6 and she is always ready to go down around 7, so, I don't think I could push her later. Even when we did push bedtime later, she seemed to wake even earlier.

    • Valerie Plowman
      December 9, 2014 / 12:40 AM

      There are babies who need only 10 hours. But you have some big hurdles if that is it since she is ready for bed early. I would say that isn't it since she needs an early bed time. Good luck with the cold-factor.

    • Kelsey
      February 6, 2016 / 1:03 PM

      We are having somewhat similar issues with my recently two-year-old son. He's been waking early each morning (sometimes 20minutes, sometimes up to an hour) for nearly two months now. He's been sleeping 7-7 since six months of age, and has been taking one afternoon nap (usually 1.5-2hrs) since about 16 months. I'm hesitant to push back bedtime, because he usually still seems tired (cranky, bags under his eyes) and if we happen to keep him out late he still gets up early. Baby #2 is due any day, so I'm especially worried about that translation combined with this current struggle. He did pop two molars, but I haven't seen any indicators that they/more are coming in at least the past month. Any advice?

  35. KeithLynne
    June 7, 2016 / 12:51 PM

    I have a 17 month old son who is taking awhile to go to sleep at bedtime. Around 15 months for a month it was taking him 45/50 min to fall asleep at night. Then for a week and a half he went back to normal taking about 25 minutes to fall asleep. Now for the past 3 weeks (and counting) it is taking 50 minutes to an hour to fall asleep! He isn't crying. He will sometimes babble for a few minutes, but usually quiet, moving a little, and I can hear yawning sometimes too. He is in the process of getting his first year molars. I can feel a corner or so on both sides on the bottom. But would that disrupt him getting to sleep like this and for so long? His schedule has been for awhile: He generally wakes between 630-645 but with this going to sleep late (around 8p)sometimes he is up by 6. I get him at 7. Down for nap at 1230 (or earlier depending on when he woke and his mood) He is asleep in 5 minutes. He will sleep till 315/sometimes 330. In bed by 7. Advice?

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