Sleep Issues - FamilyEducation
Sleep Issues
04/18/2007 at 10:22 AM

How can I get my 2 year old to sleep? Nothing is working!!!!!

Is your 2 year old still in a crib? If so you might just want to let him/her cry. It sounds mean but it works.

Do you have a bedtime routine? You could try doing a bath, reading a story, then turning down the lights to let your child know that bedtime is near. Good luck!

Hey Maya, Does your 2 year old take naps, if so, you might want to shorten the naps or wake the child up earlier in the afternoon. Also, I agree that ritual is important, about an hour before bed no rough housing, just calm time, I would even suggest no television, nothing to stimulate the child. A bath, reading and taking some time to just get the child to relax and be ready for bed. Marti

I think it helps to have soothing music or white noise as a background in the bedroom when a child is going to sleep. It will help mask any household noises that might hinder falling asleep. I also gave my kids books to read in bed. Even little kids like to have something to do before falling asleep.


A consistent ritual leading up to bedtime is crucial - it takes time for a busy toddler to wind down. Storytime, bath, soft music, and cuddles or nursing with mom are a good sequence of events that signal our little ones to relax. My son always found physical contact very relaxing, he loves a back scratch and back rub just before he falls asleep.


My 3 year old used to go to bed very easily.  But lately he keeps sneaking out of bed.  I continually am having to put him back in bed.  He will keep getting up until after 10pm.  It makes it impossible for me to have any time for myself.  Any suggestions?

Lisa Pierce
Work At Home United
Personal Mentor & Proud mom of 3 Boys!


does your son use a pacifier? my daughter depends heavily on the bottle so i give her one with water in it so its good for her and the sucking motion puts her to sleep

I am a young grandmother of a 21 month old who has been living with us for the last several months (without his mother).  He is a happy well rounded child dispite that just last week he has started climbing out of his crib, playpen, whatever you try to put him in (nap time and night time).  Up until then he was a dream baby when it came to bed time.  We would lay him down at the same time everynight and he would talk himself to sleep.

  Now he throws a fit when you try to lay him down and will not stay down even if we lay with him.  He screams and trys to get off the bed.  This will go on for hours!!  I have ruled out fear, and am absolutley positive this is pure stuborness.  I have raised four babies of my own and ran day care for several years, yet I am now at a total loss for what to do with him.  This behavior remains the same regarless how tired he is.  HELP


I completely agree with everyone and a routine.  Make sure its quiet, first of all.  We had the same problem until we had a routine.  Now, its a piece of cake.  Good Luck


what has worked for me at home, when my children were young, as well as in the classrooms of the school that I now administrate, where children nap in the afternoon, along with all of the wonderful advice you have already been given, is the suggestion of a bit of soft white noise in the background (ie, the hum of a fan, fish tank pump or air conditioner, or even the static on tv, if it is low enough,)  with a little soft classical music playing along with it.  I insist my teachers use Mozart, but the choice is would be amazed at how effective it is in enabling children to relax and fall off to sleep.


If  none of that works, as a last resort, for that three year old, tell him that you will lie down with him for a hundred and twenty seconds, every night, but if he doesn't stay in bed, you won't lie down with him tomorrow night.  (a hundred and twenty seconds is a lot longer than 2 min.)  After three weeks, tell him "I need to sleep in my own bed all night, so I can get good rest."


We've got an 8month old and 2.5 yr old in the same room and bed time has become a real challenge. Our 2 yr old would fall right to sleep after his bedtime routine, but recently started to sneak out of bed/room, open and close the door and eventually wakes up the baby!  We're going to make sure the 2yr old naps earlier in the day and for less than an hour, limit TV time, but any other suggestions in getting two little ones to sleep without chaos?