Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.
Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.
Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.

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Reader Interactions


  1. MB says

    Dad of a 20 month old girl. She had a great routine going on till she was about 18 months old. It involved going to bed in her crib, with me or my SO reading a book to her, a quick hug/kiss, turn out the light and within a few minutes she’d pass out and sleep thru till about 5 AM – she was always an early riser so not an issue. Things started going downhill around 18 months of age or so. Lots of crying etc for bed time. We had to have her pass out with us and then move her to the crib – that would take about an hour or so and she’d end up going to bed at 930 PM and still wake up at 4 AM. Consequently, me and my SO stayed up late to catch up on chores and such. Too exhausted, we would just bring her into our bed at that time. Eventually, we managed to shorten that time by trying to get a semblance of a routine. Some milk, followed by books, brush teeth. And then in the crib with a stuffed animal. She does cry after the lights go out, but usually me or my SO just reassure her with the “I’m here, it’s ok, go to sleep” and within 15-20 minutes or so she’s out. The problem is that she has been waking up earlier and earlier (1 AM, 2 AM, 330 AM). And if we don’t get her out of the crib she will cry “mama, papa…” and that sounds quite heartbreaking. At this point, we both are super exhausted and willing to move into the basement while she sleeps in her room so we cannot hear her cry ! Are we doing something wrong? Is she hungry? Is this because of her teething? We have tried giving her a low sugar snack at night, banana and milk smoothie (no sugar), as well as move the bed time later, leave a red nightlight in her room. Also – when we first went to the crib again while awake, she cried for an hour and calmed down – but she ended up sleeping standing up. Eventually, I put her down and she passed out because she was just tired of crying. This whole sleep training is really stressing us out ! Apologies for the rant and being all over the place !

  2. Min says

    Please help! My 29 month old was always a sleep champ. But after a two week vacation where we slept in the same room(not same bed), he now refuses to sleep without me. We finally got him to fall asleep in his crib by leaving a night light on and me sitting on a glider near by. I leave once he’s asleep since he will hysterically cry if he sees me leaving.
    He’s also been waking up at least once and unless I pick him up he hysterically cries nonstop. And since he gets his way in the end, I’m afraid this cycle will not break. But cries so intensely for so long, I can’t leave him that way! He even refuses his dad and only wants mommy! I read your article on how to move from cosleeping and it didn’t really apply to us since we tried all those methods. It’s the hysterical, almost to a point of vomiting that’s the issue! Any suggestions? Thank you!

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi @Min – Thanks for writing to us! Sorry to hear that you toddler picked up some bad sleep habits during your vacation! Holidays can cause even the best sleepers to have some issues, so you’re not alone! You can get through this and we can help! It sounds like you have made progress, and that he’ll fall asleep if you’re next to him in the glider, which is good! Keep it up, and don’t give up! Move very slowly and gently if you want to try and keep him more calm, and continue to make baby steps to your end goal – no matter how small the steps you’re still getting there! If you’d like help with this, we’d love to work with you one on one! We can create a Plan just for you, and support you along the way! Please contact us if you’d like more info! Hang in there Min!

  3. Marrisa Rose says

    Hi my name is marrisa and im at a total loss…. my son is 20 months old and refuses to go to bed now. he naps just fine as long as hes with me. we are expecting and im wondering if his new found clinginess is from that. He has had attachment issues before but i thought we had gotten past that….. i really dont know what to do… some advice would be nice…..

  4. Ashley says

    HELP! So our 20 month old used to be our champ of bedtime. He would hold our hands and go straight to his little bed and go to sleep. No issues. He goes to bed at 8 with his other siblings. He naps mid morning usually, unless something happens with our morning schedule. Since this past weekend he has refused sleep altogether and my husband and I are walking zombies. He works full time and I have to get up and take kids to school, chase the toddlers all day and then pick kids up and so forth. We don’t know what to do. He finally got his last set of molars in and we thought we were in the clear after they broke. Normally he is a much happy camper, but this time he’s a plain nightmare for bed time. Any suggestions or tips would be great. On another note as well he and our 3 year old share a room as well.

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi @Ashley – Thanks for writing, and so sorry to hear that you past sleeping champ toddler is now struggling so much with sleep! Toddler sleep regressions can be SO tough, so hang in there! Hopefully this has past already, or will pass soon – just keep up with your usual schedule and expectations and keep trying for those naps and night sleep! If things do not improve within 2-3 weeks of this beginning, and things seems a bit more permanent, please consider getting one on one help so that we can take an in-depth look at everything sleep related and come up with a Plan for you! Hang in there Ashley!

  5. Sara says

    Hey! My 20 month old has always been an early riser— we put him to be between 8-8:30 and he usually wakes up between 6:30-7am. But this past week, he’s been waking at 4:30 and hysterically crying until one of us goes to get him out of his crib. He doesn’t totally fall back asleep but wants us to cuddle him until about 6am and then is ready to wake. Help us sleep again!!

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi @Sara – Thanks for writing and so sorry to hear that your toddler is waking at 4:30am! That is SO tough and you’re not alone! Early wakings can be tough to figure out, so hang in there! I’d recommend speaking to one of our consultants and getting one on one help to sort this out! You can read about all of our sleep consultation packages and purchase directly online here:
      Please let us know if you have any questions Sara!

  6. Sierra says

    My two year old has been an amazing sleeper since we started sleep training at 5months old. He was sleeping from 7:30-7 and napping from 11-2 since he was 18 months old. For the past two weeks he has started to wake up at 6 and has been taking shorter, 1-1.5 hour, naps. The past two days he hasn’t napped at all (just played in his crib from 11-2). Is this just a classic regression? Do I need to move his nap later? I also have a six month old who is sleep trained and on a 9AM & 12:30PM nap schedule so it might be nice to have them napping at the same time

  7. Sarah says

    Hi! My daughter is 25 months and has never had a problem with bedtime. She has been sleeping her own crib since 4 months and always self soothed if she woke at night. My husband sleep-trained with cry it out and she has been excellent since. However, we just went on a week long vacation where she was sleeping in a pack and play in the same room at us and now bedtime is torture. She is hysterical and refuses to have the lights turned off. She will sometimes climb out of her crib and bang on the door for screaming hysterically and crying until she is red and panting.
    This has now gone on for approximately 2 weeks. We have brought her into our bed to fall asleep which I know is bad but we are all emotionally drained and tired. Any advice is welcome.

    • Danielle says

      Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for using The Baby Sleep Site as a resource! I’m sorry to hear you’re having so much trouble getting your toddler back in her room after your trip. Right around this age, we do often see a spike in separation anxiety, and that could be contributing to her difficulty separating from you. We have an article that I think might help you- it focuses on getting your baby back into the crib, but it applies for a toddler in a situation like this as well. You can read it here:

      I hope this helps, but please let us know if you have any other questions! Good luck!

  8. Jared Bailey says

    My 22 month old daughter struggles to stay asleep almost every night. She is on a strict nap and bed schedule that works fantastically for her twin sister but my one daughter wakes up every hour and cries. Sometimes she wakes every fifteen minutes. We watch her sleep and she twitches and squirms all night, waking up constantly. We believe she might not be totally awake when she stands up in her crib and cries. When we lay her back down she falls to sleep the instant her head hits the mattress but she wakes up 15 min later. It’s very strange and frustrating. We are big believers in letting her cry it out but she screams so loud we can’t sleep and she sometimes wakes up her twin. Note she is not crying, there is nothing wrong with her. She just yells until we go in and she immediately stops yelling when we enter the room. Any tips you can give us? Is this common with the 2 year old sleep regression?

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi @Jared – Thanks for writing to us, and I’m sorry to hear that one of your twins is waking so often! Waking every hour in brutal, not to mention every 15 minutes! We know how tough this can be, so hang in there! Toddler sleep regressions can certainly make even the best sleepers regress, and yes, many families find that the 2 year old sleep regression brings more night wakings and tougher sleep. This amount of waking is excessive, and it sounds like she needs your help each time, to lay her back down so that she can fall back to sleep. With toddlers, it’s all about setting limits and being consistent, as I’m sure you know, as a parent of twins! It sounds likely that it’s time to her to fall to sleep and/or back to sleep on her own.
      For help with this, I would recommend that you consider our e-Book, The 5 Step System to Better Toddler Sleep. It is written specifically to help parents of toddlers with sleep issues. The book includes a number of detailed sample schedules, as well as an explanation of the various sleep coaching methods you can try at home, and includes several sleep planning worksheets and sleep logs.
      You can find out more about this ebook, and order the book directly online here:
      Good luck Jared! And please contact us if you need any further assistance!

  9. Kristen says

    My 21m old has no issues being put down to bed or sleeping the night. Now she’s fighting bedtime and is waking up in the middle of the night for two hours! We try to let her cry it out like we used to but she throws her pillow blanket and doll out the crib and won’t go back down! We noticed her waking up in the 5am hour once we took her pacifier away but we were ok with that since she went to bed at 7:30

    • Neosha says

      @Kristen – Thank you for reading and for sharing with us! This close to 2 years old really makes a difference with your daughter’s ability to exert her independence and will – we feel your pain! If you haven’t already, be sure to review her daily sleep schedule to be sure you’re asking her to sleep at times that work for her as her ability to stay awake longer has increased. Hang in there, Kristen!

    • Grace says

      Hi Kristen, your situation sounds very similar to what I am going through with my 21 month old. Just wondering how long it took for sleep to get back to normal?!

  10. Courtney says

    My son is 20 months old. He had a very strict sleep schedule that he willingly followed. Bedtime was 8:30-9 and he would sleep until about 8am. It was amazingggg. This past week he refused naps entirely. He is so exhausted but will fight them. And he REFUSES to sleep until about 12-1am… he sleeps until 2 pm the majority of the time which is so difficult. I’m 9 months pregnant and I know I could probably fix this by just having one crappy tired day with him and wake him up at 9 am and let him be tired throughout the day and then he will be tired enough to fall asleep at his normal bedtime but I’ve tried to wake him up early once already and it was so bad with the tantrums I just had to let him go back to sleep. Oh AND he refuses to sleep in his toddler bed. I switched him out of a crib about 2 months ago and he loved it up until two weeks ago. I’ll put him down in his toddler bed and I’ll go in to check on him and he’s either asleep in his laundry basket or on the bare floor by his door. I’ve changed sheets, used different pillows and blankets. I don’t know what it is!!! Everything is so off track it’s driving me crazy and being 9 months pregnant this is already hard as it is. Any suggestions for getting back into routine or getting him to sleep in his bed again?

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi @Courtney – Thanks for writing and I am sorry that your son’s sleep schedule has gotten so out of whack! You’re definitely not alone! I know that fixing his schedule all at once can sound very overwhelming – especially since you’ve tried it and it did not go well! But, you can definitely change his scheduel more slowly, so that it is easier on you and on him! You might want to consider our eBook: Shift Your Child’s Schedule. This ebook is specifically to help parents with babies or toddlers who are already sleeping well/sleeping enough hours, but at the wrong “time.” This ebook outlines just how to shift your child’s schedule to achieve the later wake up time, or in your case, for an earlier bedtime.
      This ebook is available exclusively through our Members Area, which gives you access to all of our ebooks as well, and our tele-seminar recordings, case studies, and do-it-yourself tutorials, including a workbook designed to help you create your own sleep plan! My favorite feature is the access to “members only” expert chat sessions, where one of our sleep consultants will answer your specific questions live via chatroom! The Members Area subscription will be really useful for your upcoming arrival too, as there are tons of newborn sleep resources included as well!
      You can read more about our Shift Your Child’s Schedule ebook here:
      And learn more about our Members Area directly here:
      Congrats on your upcoming arrival, and I hope that you will all be sleeping well very soon!!