What can I do to end bedtime struggles?
Q: I have a 3 year old who refuses to take naps and to sleep in her room by herself. My husband and I have to sit or lie down on her floor until she falls asleep, which can take hours. She used to be a great sleeper before we moved in December. We did try to be lenient with her due to the stress of moving, but it is becoming very hard to remain patient doing this every night.
A: Your daughter can actually fall asleep on her own, as she did before the move. Take small and consistent steps to get back on track in just a few short weeks. First, make a chart that shows all the steps of her bedtime routine so everyone knows what to expect. Second, sit on the floor next to her bed for three nights, without laying down. Then for 3 more nights move halfway across the room and sit there. For the next 3 nights, sit in her doorway. Then, take the final step and leave her room after lights out. Be consistent and make sure that you and your husband are sitting in the exact same place each night. You will find that your daughter actually falls asleep much faster when she no longer worries about when you are going to leave.
Answered by Dr. Jodi Mindell