I know that it is a "phase" that most toddlers endure, but my 17-month old has just begun fighting bedtime and nap time and taking half an hour to an hour to fall asleep and I feel dumbfounded because he used to fall asleep within seconds of hitting the mattress.

I've read that they are having so much fun being awake that they all of a sudden want to "assert their independence" and complain at sleep time, as they would rather be playing.

But PLEASE, can someone give me insight into how long this "phase" may last?
Is there anything I should be doing differently to curb this behaviour?

What are your experiences?

asked 08 Jan '11, 18:11

DazedandConfused's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%


+1 for a great question!! we are going through exactly the same thing with our 19 month old! Because we parent her to sleep, it's really impacting on us. looking forward to reading some answers and experiences of success!

(09 Jan '11, 00:34) Lin

I would love an answer to this too. My 26 month old is still fighting sleep (somedays worse then others).

(09 Jan '11, 03:14) nikjoyce

I am not sure if this answer will be of any help but I thought I'd share it anyway. Tammys answer reminded me of how our daughter used to be as a toddler in that she also avoided and delayed falling asleep, and settling her down did sometimes seem impossible, and guess what you may be surprised to hear this but sometimes she still does that and our daughter is 6 and a half.

After a recent chat with my husband, we have come to a conclusion with our own daughter and that is that when she is 'over excited, over stimulated and over tired' we seem to struggle more with the bedtime routine. We have also noticed that this 'putting of and delaying' style occurs when friends have come over to our house or we go to collect her from their house, they simple do not accept that the event is over.

So I have started allowing a 'cool down period' to help her wind down if she has been very energetic or excited or overstimulated. During that time we try and talk with her calmly and sometimes exchange cuddles comforting each other. We can spend from 15 to 30 minutes on cool down time, but it does help with our one. Maybe you could do a kind of varying version of this??

Good luck Dazed and Confused...( sometimes when I am just exhausted as well, cool down time after she has brushed her teeth, ends up with me falling asleep with her too. )


answered 10 Jan '11, 11:06

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 10 Jan '11, 11:21


+1 Cool down time is really essential!

(11 Jan '11, 00:09) Tammy ♦♦

Our daughter is a pretty good sleeper but she started this around the same time we switched her to a toddler bed (24 months). She would ask for an extra drink, extra books, etc... and it would go on for an hour sometimes with her continually getting out of bed to ask for something and us continually bringing her back to bed.

The first thing we did was cut back her afternoon nap to only 1 hour (most days she was sleep about two hours in the afternoon), but it really didn't make that much of a difference. Since our second daughter was born mid December and over the holidays we noticed that she stopped fighting bedtime. The only difference, apart from having an extra little sibling, is that while she's been home with us instead of in daycare she no longer has an afternoon nap.


answered 09 Jan '11, 19:32

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦
accept rate: 18%

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Asked: 08 Jan '11, 18:11

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Last updated: 10 Jan '11, 11:21