My son is 2 1/2 and I have avoided a bedtime routine until recently. I’ve heard of how people do bath time at night to get their toddler ready for bed, along with nightly stories and I’ve just dreaded it. It just took too long in my opinion.
You see, up until the age of 2, David was the PERFECT sleeper. From early on (6 weeks old!) David has gone to bed so easily for both naps and bedtime. For 2 years all I had to do was lay him in his crib, say good night and walk out closing the door behind me and my baby would fall asleep instantly! I know! We got lucky, but don’t hate me yet, because the last 8 months have been awful!
Like clockwork, 8 months ago when David turned 2, he decided he was afraid of sleeping without mom/dad. It all began when he started climbing out of his crib and we had to switch him to a toddler bed. At this point he not only realized that there was nothing keeping him IN bed, but he also realized that there was nothing keeping anything else OUT. What do I mean by that? He no longer felt safe. He was afraid of sharks and ‘gators and, more recently, monsters coming to get him.
We tried everything to get rid of this irrational fear, but 2 year olds are stubborn. I literally have had to sleep on the floor next to his bed until he fell asleep for the last 8 months. During which, any reasonable bedtime has disappeared. He stopped falling asleep right at 7pm and started falling asleep closer to 10 or 11. There have been night’s where I’ve laid in there with him for several hours until he finally fell asleep.