I know I JUST wrote about this, but I figured I would try again and pimp the heck out of this post in hopes that I could get some advice here.
Here’s the scoop. Mason is 27 months old. He’s always been an awesome sleeper, sleeping in his own room and falling asleep easily since he was very young. Heck, sometimes he would even ASK to go to bed. He’s always demanded certain stuffed animals to sleep with and as long as we’ve made sure they were present, he’s been a happy camper. Recently, bedtime has become a total nightmare and I hope you guys can help because I feel like making things worse instead of better.
Suddenly, he doesn’t want to go to bed and will cry and scream until he is hoarse and having trouble catching his breath. He will cry literally for HOURS if we let him. He’ll demand milk and water and certain toys. Sometimes he will quiet down and go to sleep if we bring him water or the toy he’s asking for, but sometimes not. It’s a total crapshoot.
Two weeks ago, he started waking up in the night saying he was “scared” and would be crying and shaking. Now, he says he’s scared the second we leave his room. He demands his light be left on and sobs for the light if we don’t. Nothing in his room has changed, nothing seems shadowy, and he can’t point out anything in specific that is scary. We tried adding an additional nightlight before we started leaving the light on.
But now, with the light on, he stays up PLAYING with the stuff in his crib. Take tonight for example – been over an hour, and he’s still sitting in bed playing with his tractor. I know the logical answer is “Don’t give him his tractor” but he will literally cry and scream “Tractor! Tractor!” for two plus HOURS straight if I don’t. He will scream til he’s sweating and choking and eventually throws up. I’ve tried waiting him out many times, but between the chance of choking and gagging, the fact that 2 hours of screaming is really irritating, AND knowing that sometimes, he just wants to lay next to his tractor and will fall asleep within minutes, I give in.
When we’ve tried “doing things his way” to see if something is missing from the routine, he wants to watch TV and fall asleep on Daddy. So not going to happen. He doesn’t have tantrums like this during the day – he never gets anywhere near as upset about anything as he does about bedtime. Nothing is new in his daytime routine – same schedule, caregivers, etc. I’ve tried explaining things to him, negotiating with him, getting mad, giving hugs, everything I can possible think of.
He has to be up at 7 am for school. He’s super hard to wake up in the morning and very crabby. He absolutely cannot stay up past 10 pm playing OR sobbing and screaming. It’s not good for him and it’s not good for my sanity either – this is my only “me” time of the day and dreading his bedtime and having it be a 2-3 hour ordeal is soooo stressful. We’re going on 6 weeks of this behavior and it’s getting worse and worse every night…. I feel like I’m one step away from being featured on “Super Nanny: The Bedtime Special” but am at a loss for what to do. I really miss my well-rested little boy….
Help, internet friends! How do I fix this?!
This time last year – 15 Months
Two years ago – Love this Outfit
ETA – The days where he gets NO nap (twice in the past week) or an hour or less (on occassion at school), bedtime does not go any better….