Subject: 21 month old not sleeping in her crib
Question: My husband and I just recently took a week vacation with our 21 month old, and she had to sleep with us (we forgot the play pen at home.) Now that we are back home, she does not want to sleep in her crib, she not only refuses to sleep there at night by she cries bloody murder when I put her there for a nap. She cries and cries and yells "mine" pointing to our bed. I don't know what to do. We have tried everything from talking to her, begging, threatening... Nothing seems to work. Please help!
Answer: Dear Marina:
Now is a really good time (because her routine was broken) to establish a new bedtime routine. Now realize it maynot be all that easy. She has had her prior routine broken and it will take sometime.
However, this is a great opportunity to establish a new one. One which will make going to bed easier than ever.
Feel free to read over previously answered questions about bedtime routines. Routines are not the same thing as a schedule. A routine prompts a child's behavior so they come to know what is next in the sequence of the routine.
Start about 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime. Turn down the lights and the noise in the house. Make the environment conducive to relaxing and yes that means the televisions go off along with the computer. Next it is story time, then bathtime (or the other way around, makes no difference except to stick with the sequence one you decide which is what, even on vacations), then the big one a full toe to head baby massage. Who doesn't sleep deeper and better have a full body massage. Make sure to have some soft soothing music on (my daughter prefers to the nature sounds with the natural heartbeat for my granddaughter and I have to say it puts me out as well).
If you will practice this routine nightly without fail or without interruption she will be sleeping soundly again. And there really is no excuse for not sticking with the plan as you can do this routine anywhere!
M Kay Keller
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Comment: Thank you very much for a great response!