July 02, 2015

Q: Recently, after a tough bout with teething, our 20-month-old began a habit of refusing bedtime with tantrums. A few months ago, we'd let him cry and it would correct itself...but now it seems he tries to climb out of his crib, and we're afraid he'll actually hurt himself. His bedtime is almost 11pm, when he falls asleep being held by one of us. There is NO routine anymore and it is driving us CRAZY. Please help!!

A: It sounds like there are a number of things that you can do to get everyone back to getting a good night’s sleep.  First, be sure that your son is going to bed early enough, as going to bed too late results in an overtired child who can’t settle down to sleep.  Second, establish a bedtime routine, which should include 3 to 4 steps that lead to lights out.  Finally, a crib tent can make a huge difference to help keep little climbers safe and snug.  This way you won’t be worried about your little guy climbing out and getting hurt.

Answered by Dr. Jodi Mindell