I don't even know where to start, I'm at my wits end. My 2 yr. 4 month old has stopped being a good sleeper. She has always put herself to sleep (we did CIO at 6 months) and slept fairly well at night though at times an early riser (6:15 or 6:30 but waking happy and refreshed). Bedtime has been 7:30 for the past 6 months or so (before that it was 7 pm) and she naps at 1pm anywhere from 1.5 hrs. to 3 hrs (rare, usually more like 1.5 or 2 hrs). But for the past two months her naps have gone anywhere from no nap to one 30 to 45 min. nap and bedtime is a nightmare. She fights it, cries for us to come back in, takes longer to settle into sleep and then wakes ungodly early. 5:30 or earlier. I know she's not well rested because she wakes screaming bloody murder until we come in. I've tried moving bedtime earlier, to 6:30 to see if that helps correct things and it has not so we've gone back to 7:30 (I haven't really tried moving her nap early as well because she is in preschool until 12 so I can't make it much earlier than 1 by the time she has her lunch). I should also mention that we have black out shades in her room and white noise going so that is not the issue either. Please help, I don't know how to get her back on track. I've tried to just let her scream at 5:30 but frankly don't really see the point. What good is it going to do to CIO at 5:30 when everyone is up by 6:30 anyway and getting ready for the day, its not like she's going to go back to bed at 5:30. Am I expecting her to sleep too much? Should I try pushing the bedtime super late, like 8:30 or 9 to see if she sleeps later? Or should I try to adjust the whole schedule even earlier, like 11:30 or 12 for nap and bedtime at 6pm until she seems to have caught up? What do I do with her at 5:30, just let her scream even though we'll all be up soon anyway?
ahhhhhhh, so many questions. Thanks to anyone that has any thoughts!
My son just turned 3 and here is the sleep schedule he's been on for about 6 months- Bedtime 9:30, Wake up 7:30, Nap 1:30-3ish (before summer he was going to bed about 8:30 and getting up by 7am, we chose to push it a little later for atleast the summer) At that age, she does need a good amount of sleep, but that amount varies by child. Based on my son's schedule, if I put him to bed at 7, he'd be up the next morning by 5am! If you want her up at 6:30-7am, she might not need to go to bed until 8 or later. Between two and three, a lot of kids go through a struggle with a nap- one, none, early, late. I'd focus on the bedtimes and that routine while letting naptime fill in as needed and then work on getting that consistant, too. If she's still up early but ready for the day, maybe she can get a book or quiet toy to bring into her bed until everyone else is up. Remember, too, that if something throws off her schedule, it might take several days to get her body clock back to normal. Good luck. I hope this helps.
First of all, you need to calm down and take it easy. My advice to you is to let your child sleep a little later so that she can wake up around 6:30 A.M. or later in the day. I would also recommend you visiting this website called Nogginpower2. One thing I learned from Nogginpower2 is that they provide a great deal of reading on Getting a Good Night Sleep. This reading on Nogginpower2 is written in a straightforward, yet informative fashion. It provides you all of the guidelines on how to help your toddler sleep better. I hope this helps. Thank you and good luck.
I don't think I'd go for a later bedtime. It sucks that she's having such a hard time, but if you're doing everything right, that's really all you can do. (My "everything right" is defined by "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth .) As far as the horribly early morning waking, teach her what she CAN do. If she wakes up, but it's not time to get up, she can read the books that are by her pillow or play with the stuffed animals and the foot of her bed or WHATEVER you deem appropriate. She's not to get up. She's not to scream. She can be awake, but she can only be doing what she's allowed to do. You may have to get her started, so she gets the concept. For whatever reason, my daughter has also turned from a "beautiful dreamer" into a "recurring nightmare". She used to go down so easily, and now it's a fight to the death (not quite literally ). We haven't solved the problem yet, but we're just matter-of-factly tucking her back in as many times as it takes. No talking. No holding. Just tucking. I feel your pain, and I wish you luck!