Sunday, May 16, 2010

2 1/2 year old in a battle with parents

From: Bonnie

Subject: 2 1/2 yr old without pacifier

Question: I have a 2 1/2 yr old who only had his pacifier at nap and bedtime. He threw away the binkis one day himself in exchange for a treat. He is totally fine during the day, but at night he is terrible. We don't have a battle going to bed anymore since I started giving him stickers on a chart when he went to bed well.

However, he wants me to sit in the doorway for him to fall asleep and wakes up at least 2 times every night crying and it lasts anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours. He is in a twin size bed now and gets out pounding on the door when we shut it. We have tried just escorting him back to bed over and over, but he gets so worked up that he won't go back to sleep. He won't cry himself back to sleep, he has to be totally calmed down to fall asleep. It has been a week since we got rid of the pacifier and it hasn't gotten any better.

We have family visiting for Thanksgiving in 2 weeks and I would really like to have this figured out before then. What is the best way to proceed now? We are at a loss and felt like we have tried everything. We are all sleep deprived from the last week. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!

Answer: Dear Bonnie,

My favorite question to parents is "How is this working for you?"

Try a nuturing bedtime routine. This doesn't sound nurturing at all. Sounds more like the adults are in a power struggle with a 2 1/2 year old. Children will always win power struggles, even when you win, you still lose....in the relationship.

Try a nurturing bedtime routine, stories, play time, and massage. Please review the other previous listings for more ideas as this is a common question.

Turn down the noise in the house and subdue the ligting at least an hour before bedtime. Remember children are not prone to schedules as these are based on time and not routines.

Best Wishes!

Kay