Saturday, March 17, 2012

I have a daughter who is about to turn 2 years old and she has been changing as far as her sleeping habits go. She will let you put her to bed but as soon as you do she starts to scream and cry. We have tried to let her cry it out but she doesn't seem to tire out. She will go all night until around 4 or 5 in the morning. We have tried cutting her day time naps down to an hour, keeping her up later at night, getting up with her around midnight or so and letting her retire herself out, etc. Nothing we seem to do is working. We even put a nite light in her room. Last night my husband slept on an air mattress next to her crib and she did seem to do okay. She woke up about 3 times but as soon as he let her know he was there she would go back to sleep. As you can see I desparately need some advice so any you can give would be greatly appreciated! Thank-you for your time. Catrina

Dear Catrina:

You don't mention what your nightly routine is for your 2 year old. Routines are very important to children under the age of 8 because they cannot tell time or do not have a sense of time. They gauge their whole world on their routines. The cues that you give them tell them what is coming next in their day.

I strongly urge parents to develop a quiet and soothing bedtime routine. Implement activities like quiet play time, bath time, bed time massages etc. Make sure the living environment has quieted down prior to bedtime. Turn off the TV, the radio, the computer etc....

Bathing children in the evening is helpful because when their body temp comes down a little bit their whole system starts to slow down. Think of all the things that make you relax and sleepy and it will be true for her as well.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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