Toddler Night Wake-ups

I moved my 21 month old to a toddler bed and she was great for a week. Then she started waking up several times in the middle of the night screaming and will not go back to sleep unless I am in the room. The cry it out method resulted in projectile puking. Any creative tips would be so welcome for this momma who hasn’t slept in 1.5 weeks! Teething is likely also a factor.

My son is close to your daughter in age, but is still in his crib. There have been nights where he won’t relax, so I build me a blanket pallet next to his crib. Then I put my hand between the slats, rub his back arm or leg and talk softly until he calms down and goes to sleep or back to sleep. I’ve never been a fan of CIO. If my little guy is crying there’s likely a reason and i just work hard to figure it out to help him. Changing beds could be causing anxiety to an extent and it’s causing her to not be able to self soothe when she wakes. If you don’t do these things already, maybe try her favorite stuffed animal, a nightlight (I use a Hatch) and some soft classical music (tons of great lullaby Playlist on Amazon or Kids Zen on You Tube Kids). I think lack of sleep for me in the toddler stage has been way worse than newborn stage. Their little minds are growing and milestones are occurring left and right. I sympathize with you and hope you find the best solution for you both.

When we switched our 2 year old to a toddler bed, she did the same thing. She slept good for the first week and then would be up multiple times a night or for 2+ hours. We finally took the bed frame out and put the mattress on the floor, after a month of struggling. It still took a bit to get her used to it, but she has been sleeping a lot better for the last month. Now we’re considering trying the bed frame again.

We use the “keep the child in a crib until you can’t” method. My oldest was in his crib until 4. He never did try to climb out so safety wasn’t an issue. He then transitioned to a normal bed with rails (to make him feel safe) and was great. Sometimes they just aren’t ready but if safety is a concern with climbing out of crib I would do the floor method. Put the crib mattress in the floor and surround with play yard. Hope this helps! You’re doing great momma!

@Lyn.alexander , just wanted to check in with you to see how things have been going? Has it gotten any better? Hoping that some of the suggestions of the other parents have offered you some help. Hang in there. Patti

I hope things have gotten better! I kept my son in the crib until he was almost 2.5 and was going to keep him in as long as possible, but he started climbing out. So I put him in a toddler bed and put doorknob covers on his doors. The first night, he cried multiple times throughout the night, which he hadn’t done since…probably before he turned 1. Ultimately, I would have to get him ready for bed and then just leave. My daughter was a newborn at the time, and I was solo parenting them because my husband was deployed. I felt so helpless to do anything to make it easier for him. He ended up falling asleep on the floor in front of the door for a few nights, then slept in the recliner in his room, and then slept in the corner of his room, on the floor, under a giant stuffed monkey toy for several months before finally deciding to use his bed. That’s probably not helpful advice. But I can relate. I’m just glad that phase of my life is over, and again, I hope you’re doing better too!