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My 23 month old son has never been an easy baby to put to bed, but for the past month things have suddenly gotten much worse. He has always cried himself to sleep and often wakes up crying in the morning. He just has never been happy in his bed. About a month ago, he began waking up in the night, every night, crying. At first, we thought he was teething and began giving him advil before bedtime to try to get him to sleep through the night, but this did not help at all.

We have tried rocking him back to sleep, which works until we put him back into his bed and them he wakes up and starts screaming all over again. Then we tried bringing him into our bed, which results in him getting excited, jumping on the bed, then dropping to the floor and running around our bedroom. We have let him have a few books, cars and stuffed animals in his bed to help make it more fun. We have tried bringing him downstairs for 30 mins to have a cup of warm milk, diaper change and watch his favorite tv show. We have tried just rubbing his back in his crib, but this just upsets him more as we are not picking him up. For the past week, we have even tried ignoring him, not going into his room at all and letting him cry it out, which takes 45-60 mins of my husband and I lying in bed wide awake. Everything we have tried ends up with the same result, him back in his bed screaming until he cries himself back to sleep.

We don't believe he's having nightmares or sleep terrors as his cry is not a terrified/scared ear piercing cry, it is simply an "I'm unhappy and want you" sort of cry (if that makes sense).

I'm just looking for any advice from anyone who has had similar issues in getting a toddler to go to sleep and stay asleep without crying. Any ideas or helpful hints would be appreciated!

asked 13 Jan '11, 16:52

Shannon%20B's gravatar image

Shannon B
2.6k21427
accept rate: 9%


Well we've had a breakthrough the past two nights. First, we bought a night light for his bedroom so he could see the toys & books in his bed. Second, after his bedtime story, we have begun turning off the lights, turning on his music and gently rocking him for just a few minutes to calm him before bed. Before I put him into his bed, I've been telling him its night time and time to rest, then tucked him in with his favorite stuffed animal, toy car and water cup and left the room. For the first time ever, he is not crying at all when I've left the room and is once again sleeping soundly through the night. Hopefully, the problem is solved.

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answered 18 Jan '11, 04:11

Shannon%20B's gravatar image

Shannon B
2.6k21427
accept rate: 9%

Sorry no-one was able to help you, but it sounds like you've found a great solution to yourself. Bedtime routines are so important aren't they? It's good you've found one that soothes him to sleep gently without the crying.

(21 Jan '11, 19:53) Meg Stephenson
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Asked: 13 Jan '11, 16:52

Seen: 1,520 times

Last updated: 18 Jan '11, 04:11