My toddler won't sleep: What can I do?

My 2 yr old will not sleep. Up until a couple of months ago, he slept great. I took a nap during the day and slept all night. Now he won’t take a nap and is up on and off all night. I put him to bed at nine o clock he sleeps til one and comes into my bed. I would keep putting him back in his bed, but he would just come back about 1/2 hour later, I did this for about two weeks he just won’t stay in his bed, so I let him sleep with me, but he is so restless, constantly moving/ kicking that nobody gets any sleep. He wakes up at seven, and he is non stop all day. I can tell he is tired, but he just won’t sleep.


My 2 yr old is doing the exact same thing and I have yet to find a solution

Same here! Maybe it’s a 2 year old thing?

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2yr old daughter and she is doing the same thing !

Is there a way to have a quiet time during nap? I’ve taught my 2 year old that he doesn’t have to sleep, but he’s expected to be in his room for a minimum of an hour. Some days he falls asleep, some days he doesn’t. He has toys in his room (nothing electronic) and generally just plays alone. His room has blackout curtains and a music machine that plays lulabys. We also baby proofing on the door so he can’t wander out.

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Mine was also doing ther same thing, we kept putting him back in bed again and again. Which is extremely tiring but he finally goes back to bed now. With a newborn in my bed I can’t have a two year old too. It’s hard but consistency is key. When they realize they’re going to be poor back in bed regardless everytime they’ll start to go back almost by themselves.

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Sounds like my 3 year old.
He slept through the night from 4 months old! He recently had a little sleep regression phase due to a spider crawling on him in his bed one night. It started giving him nightmares, thus began the 12am screaming wake up followed by crawling into my bed. It lasted about 2 weeks. Halloween decorating is actually what helped believe it or not😂 I got a bunch of spider decorations that he was scared of and now plays with in a silly way. I realized a few times that I would see an actual spider and I’d yell because I’m a weenie and it was totally rubbing off on him😂I had to buck up after that and every time I saw a spider I’d have to be like “oh wow how cool!! Don’t touch but let’s help him outside!” He started helping sweep the bugs and spiders we’d find😂that helped a lot too.
The last two nights are the first time he’s stayed in bed, or at least just gone right back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night.
Hang in there mama!
It may just be sleep regression or he may be starting to have bad dreams! I had to get an extra bright nightlight, that helped a lot as well.
Do your best to calm him down and keep trying to put him back in bed.
I never forced it on my son, I don’t like hearing my son clearly uncomfortable and screaming for me. If he reacted that bad I’d let him into bed, if it was just a little whining… I’d be stern.


Put him to bed earlier
He won’t sleep because he is overtired and his body can’t relax. Try working your way down to a 7/730 bedtime and you should see big results.

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Maybe try not letting him come into your bed… Our son did this as well and we just payed him back in his bed and sat with him until he went back to sleep, it took us about three/four days before he was back to his routine. I think though the above comments are right and it’s just a two year old phase… Seems like they just get crazy energy then just crash.

Not sure if itll help, but I have my sons bed right next to mine so hes still sleeping in his own bed but hes also right there like hes sleeping with us.


I found that putting them into bed with you at that age keeps them up too. Mine went through this and we had to push him to sleep on his own in his own room. The first week was hard as he got up every few hours but we just tucked him back in to bed each time. Now he sleeps all by himself all night. It’s just being consistent.

If they are on a tablet, game system, phone, etc., that could be part of the issue. The blue light from these devices ‘wakes’ the brain and makes it hard to sleep/stay asleep. If that’s not the case, it may just be a phase. My son did this, long before tablets were a thing for children. I had a bed I’d make on the floor, next to mine, for him to sleep so he wasn’t kicking me in the face all night long. lol. Just a couple of blankets and a pillow and he’d wander in, crawl in his blankets on the floor and fall back asleep.


Your keeping it to quiet. Trn on the TV and do the dishes, vacuum whatever. His inner senses are saying he’s alone, been abandoned so he wakes up. Same at night. Your feeding the fear. Do not let them sleep with you at night except if sick, etc.

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Try a dream catcher my daughter was like that now she sleeps all night

It could be a growth spurt or teething getting his 2 year mollars.

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Only give him fruits or sweets in the Day/morning.:scream_cat:
Established a hour of playtime Everyday… to burn off energy.
After dinner watch a movie and then BEDTIME.:rofl:
BATH, PJs and a book.
Shut down the home at 9pm. :blush:

I feel your pain. 1st born was restless during pregnancy. Came 1 month early. By the time he was 1, he owed 2000 hrs of sleep according to the baby book. He was all over the crib in the hospital. By 2 he was done with naps. Or if you cld get him to take one he was up till midnight. Perhaps you will have to take a nap and keep him in the closed door room so he is safe. Or tough it out till night time. Or get a baby sitter so you can get arest. That baby is now 60 but at least he can babysit himself. #2 was the exact opposite. Good times.

Mine stopped taking naps before he was 2 unless I get him up before the sun and we are taking a trip. Some nights I have to give him something to help him sleep or he’s up till nearly midnight and yes there are nights he climbs on bed with us and buries himself in my back to sleep, he is 3 1/2 now and sleep is getting better but still no naps. Melatonin for babies is the only thing that saved me some nights but I don’t use it too often and limit TV time so they are playing and using those little brains and that helps make them sleep better cause they are so tired.

My daughter was like this. It ended up being an allergy that was bothering her stomach (she never showed/said anything about being uncomfortable) once we figured out what it was and stopped giving it to her, she went back to sleeping great. I hope you find what works !!

Add magnesium to his diet.

Do you have a lil nightlight or even one of your shirts or something he can sleep with so he has your scent? That really does work…

My almost 3 year started tgat too once his molars came in. Now we’re back to square one in sleeping alone. :frowning:

Feed him a snack before you put him to bed provide a night light to help him feel safe. Then when he attempts to get in your bed make sure there is nothing wrong and put him back in his bed. Tell him that for every night he sleeps in his without getting up he gets a :star2: for the night. If he makes it three nights he gets a surprise. I hope you find what works.

Melatonin maybe? Is that safe for toddlers.

We have this issue & decided to put a little camping inflatable mattress at the foot of our bed. The kids are always put into their own beds at night & we often sit next to them until they fall asleep. They know if they wake up in the middle of the night & are scared, had a bad dream, etc. they can come “camping” in Mommy & Daddy’s room & sleep in that bed. They feel more secure because they are closer to us but aren’t in bed with us so all get much-needed sleep.

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My daughter is doing the same but im finding out the more i let her play at the park or somewhere beforw bed to use energy she now is sleeping through the night again

Maybe if u lay down with him.

Maybe try a weighted blanket. I had a lot of trouble with my 2 year old being restless throughout the night until I got him a weighted blanket, and it helped tremendously!

Sleeping bag and pillow on floor next to you for when he does come in? That could be rolled up during the day. Laura suggested inflatable mattress which is also an idea but more permanent. A weighted blanket is comforting too.

Try moving his bed time up. My 2 year old goes to bed at 7pm and she sleeps all night. It took us ages to sleep train her and get out of the too tired to sleep routine but once we did it was like magic.

Get a doctor check might be something that needs attention. I have insomnia so i get concerned for others.

Chamomile tea works great you can mix it with warm milk

Literally have the same exact issue with my son. I took him to the dr i finally couldnt take it anymore. We had tried melatonin but the dr said that wasnt enough to help stay asleep, just helps to fall asleep. So then we tried benadryl which does work a little better. But still not perfect. I feel your pain, im exhausted.

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It may be a pain but keep putting him in his bed and not yours. Is there something he’s scared of like a shadow cast by light from window? A plug in night light may help or a spray bottle with water for him to spray what scares him. Many go through bad dreams at this age just give hugs and go back to bed his own.

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Try a diet change. Reduce carbs and natural sugars at dinner. More protein and veggies. That way the body has less stimulants to process during sleep.

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Sounds like he won the bed battle .

Be careful of the foods he is eating…all day. Take away the sugar, artificial colors and flavors…they cause restlessness and Hyperness. And, just keep putting him in his bed…he won…he got into yours. Maybe make a special blanket for him…only to be used in his room…don’t let it come out of the bedroom. Put a little night light…something he can watch if he wakes up. A little music…a fan to give white noise. Hang in there.


Have him checked for sleep apnea. My son did this same thing and had terrible sleep apnea. We had his tonsils removed. He sleeps like a baby now.
He could be going through a growth spurt? Try feeding him a snack before bed.

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how about try asking the question in a parenting group & not MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY!!!

Try to put him to bed at 8pm , but give a bath befor you lay him down. And let him play in the water so he gets tird. If he’s over one year old, GIVE him coffee with milk and some sweetener. Sounds like he might be a little Harper ative. Coffee won’t hurt! I did this to my sun. He just wouldn’t sleep. It works like a charm.

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Your toddler won. It will take even longer now to get him to stay out of your bed.


Open his window a bit. Tho has worked for some.

Try warm bath with lavender.


There is an all natural vitamin melatonin that helps with sleep

take away his caffeine before bed

Try warm bath with lavender

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