My 2-year-old has been crying at bedtime: Advice?

Hi! I need some mama advice. My two year old has recently started crying at bedtime when we lay him down to go to sleep and getting out of his bed and turning the light on and start playing OR get out of bed and scream until my husband or I go to his room. Also, he will wake up around 12:30, 1:00 every night, and cry until we go up there, and he either is wide awake until about 4:00 or won’t go back to sleep unless one of us lays in bed with him. He normally had always gone straight to sleep at 7:30 when we lay him down every night and slept through the night, even when we switched him to a big boy bed about 5 months ago and our nighttime routine is still the same (bathtime, book, say our prayers) but this has been happening every night for the past two weeks, and we aren’t sure what to do. I have read some tips about just going in there and placing him back in bed and walking out and continuously do that until he quits and it worked for a little while, but then he’s up again a couple of hours later and we have tried having my husband go lay down with him in his bed until he falls asleep and that works but we want him to start sleeping through the night again by himself, and we have no clue what to do. Is this normal, and does anyone have any advice that might help??


Has anything changed in the home?

Maybe try a night light and a snuggle stuff animal my 3 year is scared of the dark so a light and stuffy helps him


My 2 yr old just started this also, he was great at going to bed then all of sudden he cries. I just think maybe for us its separation anxiety.

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Has anything changed in the past 2 weeks? Fight at home? Maybe hes scared of the dark? Maybe someone told him a scary story?? Has he met anyone new in the past 2 weeks?

Kids change. For months they sleep through the night. Then it all changes. Just like life. Sleep was more important to me. So I just slept with my daughter

You need to go in, lay him down. Say its bed time sweetheart.

If he gets up again, after you laid him down. Than put him back to bed and dont say a thing. Repeat this over and over. (You may need to do this for a week or so) but eventually, he will realize mom and dad mean business. Regardless, of the time he gets up. Put him back into his bed.

My 19 month old is going through the same thing. She was sick the last 2 weeks and now she won’t sleep. She used to go down at 7 and only cry for 5 minutes tops, but now it takes her over an hour. She will sleep for 2-3 hours and then she is up all night. We spoke with our pediatrician and they said to start sleep training all over again. It’s so hard though because no one is sleeping anymore.

Put him down later ,using same bed time routine . No late naps ,maybe add an evening walk before starting bed routine. My Son has to have his3 run around a bit after dinner before bed routine. They go to the park and let her tire out by running and jumping on playground equipment. Has anything changed in his day routine ?Is he upset about something? Good luck little Momma .

Nightmares! If he is waking up around the same time every night and crying you have to break the cycle by waking him up first. Wake him at like midnight so he’s partially awake and then soothe him back to sleep. It will suck and be hard but in 3 days time the cycle will be broken and you’ll be back to normal. My first two both did this between 18m-2y and my pediatrician is actually the one who suggested it. Good luck!

Try putting a fan in his room? Or getting a white noise machine. Sounds dumb but the fan worked for my daughter at that age.

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Has anything changed in his life

My daughter was 2 when she started imagining monsters and ghosts waking her up. It took a little while, but eventually she was just back to normal. I would just remind her that there was no such thing and that there was always an explanation for noises that she heard. We lived in a downstairs apartment at the time so there where always noises coming from upstairs. LOL

A good nite lite & noise machine or soft music…and a favorite toy or stuffed teddy bear…and re assurance b4 you leave…a lil crying won’t hurt him…he will get tired & finally fall asleep…and finally alot of patience from BOTH…also skip or shorten the day naps once in a while


Does he take a daytime nap? And if yes what time of day? My 3 yr old grandson doesn’t take daytime naps anymore and will be very sleepy come bedtime yet he fights it come bedtime. It may be one of those phases while they are going through a transition in growth. I also think he fights sleep cos he wants to play. Even I do that at night … except I don’t want to play lol. Try after his warm bath massage him with an essential oil for calming/sleep. Use a sound machine . It’s worth trying it.

We had this same problem with our now 3 year old, and all it took was cutting out long naps and then all naps. Her great grandmother thinks naps should still happen so she gave her a 2 hour nap yesterday and she was up till 10:30 and then woke up at 5 am today. She is a monster right now but I know if she does nap she wont sleep tonight

This is normal behavior. I have 5 and went through this with all 5 kids. He will eventually outgrow this. I learned to take my son, who is now 3, outside to play between dinner and bath time. He wears himself out, he gets a bath, and most of the time lays down without a fight until 5 or 6 am. Oh, and since there is a long time between dinner time and breakfast, I give my son a bed time snack. Sometimes he fights going to bed because he is hungry.


Very normal. A lot of kids around the same age do it. All 3 of mine did. I just skipped or shortened a couple of their afternoon naps back to back till they got back on schedule. Worked for all three of my kids. I also put them to bed a little later. Too much going on at my house at 7:30 for anything to sleep. Especially a toddler. Good luck! :blush:

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Some need naps, my first did, but with my second I did no naps and strict bedtime rituals…bath, read to her in bed, then out period at 8 from birth because I had that problem with her at first…bed early early rise…

My kids did this… continue to put him back to bed. Even when he wakes up. It sucks… dont give in. He’s testing you and seeing what he can get away with.

A good nite light a favorite toy maybe pretend to look for things that might scare him or maybe soothing music that plays to quickly put him to sleep

April Lynn Eggert did you write this?? Lol