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What could I do to make bedtime less stressful?

My daughter is 18-months-old with a very scheduled routine and no matter what time I put her to bed she screams bloody murder for 15-30 mins every night. I took her to the doctor and nothing is wrong. I feel like I have tried everything. What can I do? Any suggestions?

Submitted by kelbrown181

First of all, some children do cry every night at bedtime, no matter what.  It’s almost as if it’s their last gasp before conking out for the night.  However, 15 to 30 minutes of crying seems like a long time for it to be just a final protest.  First of all, she may be going to bed too late.  If your little one is overtired, she is going to have a hard time settling down.  So be sure that she is going to bed early, possibly even as early as 7:00.  Second, be sure that you are totally consistent in how you respond to her crying every night.  If sometimes you go in and calm her down, it can prolong the protesting.  So it’s best to give a hug and kiss good night, and let her know that you’ll see her in the morning.

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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Alexander Joseph (A.J) is 6 weeks old and last week we started a bedtime routine. At about 8:30 pm he get fed (breast milk about 2 ounces), then we play/read to him. When he loses interest, he gets his bath. After his jammies are on he gets the rest of his milk (formula about 4 ounces). By the time he is done, he is asleep. If he is still awake, we give him his pacifier and rock him for a few minutes before putting him down at about 10:00 pm. It seems to be going well for now. He sleeps about 6 hours at night, gets up to eat around 4 am and then goes right back to sleep for another 3 hours.
Submitted by kristie714
Alexander Joseph (A.J) is 6 weeks old and last week we started a bedtime routine. At about 8:30 pm he get fed (breast milk about 2 ounces), then we play/read to him. When he loses interest, he gets his bath. After his jammies are on he gets the rest of his milk (formula about 4 ounces). By the time he is done, he is asleep. If he is still awake, we give him his pacifier and rock him for a few minutes before putting him down at about 10:00 pm. It seems to be going well for now. He sleeps about 6 hours at night, gets up to eat around 4 am and then goes right back to sleep for another 3 hours.
Submitted by kristie714
I read at least 6 books on "baby/toddler" sleep. Best book in my opinion is Kim West's book: "The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy" After borrowing from the library 3x's, I finally bought it. It spans ages 0-5 years, so worth the purchase. Good luck!
Submitted by anne.galarneau
My Daughter Is that age now and she does the same thing sometimes I dont understand but I put on her Mickey Mouse, put her in the crib n she cries for about 5 mins then shes asleep!!
Submitted by jessienkadence23
My older daughter did the same thing around that age. I finally figured out that she was mad because she was the only one who had to go to bed at that time. So, I changed my nightly routine to mimic hers. We both bathed around the same time, got into our pajamas, had a snack, etc. I'd put her to bed and then I'd go in my room and do something quite like reading until I knew she was asleep. It did not work the first night, but after a little while, she caught on and there were less tears.
Submitted by gothicart
My four children are grown. We found that a consistent bedtime routine worked best for us. First, I set a timer that ended other activities, signaling bathtime. I always told the children, "It is almost bathtime--you have ten more minutes before time to pick up toys. The timer will let you know; then it is bathtime." All of us like to know what is coming next. At bathtime, we started talking about bedtime. After bath, we cuddled and read to the children, had our prayers and tucked them in.
Submitted by phy2chem