Q&A: 2 Year Old Has Sleeping Problems

CME WebsitesBed Time, Child Development, Child Routines, Sleep Routines, Toddlers 12 - 36 Months

blockquote_bgMy 2 year old is very intelligent and gets bored easily and I have trouble getting her to sleep at night. She is not hyperactive I read her stories but it does not put her to sleep.

You can read our article on sleep patterns at this link.

Having a set and consistent bedtime routine for a 2 year old is the most important thing to do. About 15 minutes before bedtime give your child advance warning that it will be bedtime soon. You can even set a timer, and have her learn that when the bell rings it’s time to go to her bedroom (or bath, which can be relaxing before bed). Dim the lights, read a story, and then give them a back rub/massage. You can try using a CD player in her room to play calming music. Sit next to her on her bed or stand by the crib, but do not get in bed with her or let her sleep in your bed.

Ignore talking, try to soothe crying with patting, and do not make it a playtime or fun time. Keep repeating the same quiet statements like “close your eyes” or “go to sleep” or “shhhh”. Move away from the bed once your child learns to fall asleep with you sitting/standing next to it. For the next week or so, sit halfway between the child’s bed and the door. The week after that, sit in the doorway while she falls asleep. Your child may adjust quickly and it may not take a full week to complete each step, but give yourself that much time to ensure a smooth transition.