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  1. #1

    Bedtime struggle

    My 2-year old daughter is having a bedtime struggle. When she's sleepy, she will cry and scream really loud before she fall asleep. She is like this almost every night. It ticked me off but I have to keep my cool.
    What caused this and how can I stop her in this behavior? Please help.

  2. #2
    Hi Leslie,

    It sounds like your 2 year old may be getting overtired before you put her to bed.

    One of our forum members, LJ, has great ideas on helping toddlers and preschoolers to relax and go to bed more easily.

    One of the things she recommends is to prepare your child for bed time an hour and a half before bed. She suggests limiting (eliminating?) television and computer during this time, as these can be too stimulating, and also making sure the child has enough exercise during the day. Actually she's got a lot more tips for reducing bedtime struggles and you can read them on another thread called Bedtime War with my Preschooler.

    Please post back with your thoughts and if you found any of these tips to be helpful.

    Warm Regards,


  3. #3
    Thank you. She will start crying and the struggle begins when I tell her "Baby, time to go to bed". But I would definitely try the suggestions in the other thread. Thanks Kate.

  4. #4
    You might try creating a bedtime routine that starts with something like a fun bath and brushing teeth. Then have a cuddly story time in her bed with her. This way you can say "It's bath time, and after your bath, we will read a story together." This way bed time seems like more of a happy time. Be sure you are starting bath time before she is over tired. You may need to work with her if the problem is that she doesn't want to separate from you.

    We can give some suggestion on how to transition her to going to bed without you, if needed. Is she used to sleeping with you? Does she sleep in your bed or in your bedroom or has she in the past?

    Warm Regards,


  5. #5
    That's a wonderful suggestion and will try that today. Actually, she still sleep with me in our bedroom.


  6. #6
    How does she do when you put her down for a nap during the day?

  7. #7
    She usually won't take a nap during the day. She will cry when I force her to take a nap. But sometimes, while we're watching TV, she suddenly go to sleep. But I have to be beside her.

  8. #8
    Hi Leslie,

    It's important for 2 year olds to get enough rest, and most 2 year olds need a nap time (or quiet time on their bed) each day in order to not get over tired. It sounds like your daughter gets over tired before you put her to bed, and that could be a reason why she cries and screams (loses control) at bed time.

    I would encourage you to start putting her down for a nap during the day. I understand that she still sleeps with you at night, and that she likes you to be beside her when she goes to sleep. You could start with laying down next to her, on the bed, and rubbing her back until she falls asleep (if she is not breastfeeding before naps). The goal here will be to teach her to lay still and quietly while you rub her back, which will allow her to fall sleep faster. If she moves around or wants to talk, tell her you will leave the room, if she doesn't lay still. You may have to actually leave or start to leave so she knows you are serious. Next time, she will realize you mean what you say, and if she wants you to stay, she needs to lay still.

    After you have gotten her to lay down quietly while you rub her back, then transition to just laying next to her during nap time, but not rubbing her back. If she starts to fidget tell her that you will leave if she does not lay still. She will know from previous training, that you mean what you say, and will recognize that if she does not lay still, you will leave.

    Once you have her falling asleep with you laying next to her, transition to you sitting in the room, away from the bed. You can start by reading a story, but tell her she must lay still on the bed if she wants you to stay with her.

    After she is laying on the bed by herself and falling asleep (with you in the chair), you can start in the chair, and then tell her you are going to go and do something (go to the lu, get a drink of water, check something in the oven, etc.) and you will come back and check on her in a few minutes. If she gets up and comes out of her room, you will need to lay her back down and let her know that if she wants you to check on her in a few minutes, she must lay quietly on the bed.

    Eventually, she will fall asleep on the bed, by herself, before you come back to check on her.

    This is one sample of how to gently transition your daughter to go to sleep without you needing to be there with her (if that is your goal).

    If you want to transition her out of your bed, and into another bed, you can have another bed on the floor in your room, and lay down next to her there, doing the above steps, until she is going to sleep in her own bed on her own.

    At 2 years of age, breastfeeding toddlers will often fall asleep in their mother's arms while they nurse, or mothers will lay down on the bed with their toddler and then the toddler will fall asleep at the breast, and mum can then get up and continue with their day (or take a 20 minute power nap with the child and get up before the child does).

    Hope this gives you some ideas on how to make nap time and bed time something that works well for both you and your child. Just make sure you don't wait to put your child down until they are overtired. That can be an unpleasant struggle.

    How has she been doing with bed time since you originally posted your question?

    Warm Regards,


  9. #9
    Thank you. She done well. What I did is, bring her to bed and let her drink her milk inside our bedroom. Told her to finish her milk so I can tell her stories. And everything goes well.

    But she still won't take a nap during the day. When she feels that I'm putting her to sleep, she would say she's hungry and wants to eat (which I can't refuse).

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