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Why won't my 2.5yo go to bed anymore?

My 2.5yo son has been a great sleeper since he was one month old (full 12hrs 6:30pm to 6:30am) with no issues in putting to bed but in the last few weeks has become very difficult to deal with. It will take us two hours or more every night to get him to sleep and he wakes up at 5am meaning he is always grumpy & tired. There have been no disruptions in his life and we have tried everything to try keep him in bed- punishment, cuddling, reinforcement, continually walking him back to bed, talking, asking what is wrong, night lights but nothing seems to work. He isn't distressed at all and will not say what is wrong. We have had the same bedtime routine for the last 2.5years. Is this just a stage of development?

Jane ...
Answer: Hi, It could be, if there's no external changes in his life and he's otherwise happy and developing normally then it's probably reasonable to put this down to his age and stage. Reassurance and having a regular night time routine will help. And being 100% consistent in your responses to him will also help. It may be due to him being very much in the toddler age group and learning about control and wanting to be more independent. This is all very normal. If he's getting out of his bed and room then consider placing gates across his doorway. Closing doors isn't recommended and just creates fear. Be firm but loving, clear but reassuring with him that it's time for bed, he needs to lie on his bed with his head on his pillow and go to sleep. Praise him when he's behaving as he needs to and just be very matter of fact. Check the Huggies site for more specific information re. sleep and toddlers, specifically "toddler in a bed" strategies. The other suggestion would be to have him assessed by your GP, just to make sure there's not a physical cause for the changes in his sleep and settling behaviour. Best Jane
Answered: 14 Mar 2016