Terrible Two Sleep Digression…is this a Real Thing?

G was quickly approaching her one year birthday when I really started talking about all the ins and outs of motherhood and our ups and downs. It was at that same time that we started a modified sleep training. Before the sleep training, G would not fall asleep on her own. She would have to be nursed or rocked to sleep and then gently placed into her crib. As she approached her first birthday, sleep training was necessary for the sanity of our home. Thirty minutes of rocking or nursing was just not cutting it for our family, especially at nearly one year old.

The modified sleep training we did was similar to the Ferber method. We put her in the crib and then would check on her after so many minutes. It took us a week, but we all fell into a nice routine, and she has been able to fall asleep on her own. She typically naps nicely in the car and takes nice naps in her crib. We have a pretty strict schedule for her everyday, but she thrives on the routine. I think we all do.

All this leads me up to this past week. I know that G is cutting some molars. Actually she has quite a few teeth that still need to come in. G is a late bloomer when it comes to getting teeth. She didn’t get her first tooth until after her first birthday.

Okay, got sidetracked a bit on the teeth there.

Bedtime and nap time have become terrible. We put G into the crib and she starts crying out. “Da-ddy, Mom-ee, Da-Da, Maaaaa-Ma.” You get the point. At first we were going in there to comfort her, rub her back and help calm her down. But, as soon as we would leave the room, she was upright and jumping up and down in the crib.

Then we tried a different approach. Ignore. That didn’t work either. Not sure if it would have worked because T.J. “Da-Da” went in there after 45 minutes and talked her down to sleep.

Then a last approach. Once G starts her screaming and yelling we wait 10 minutes and then T.J. walks into her room and says, “Lie down and go to sleep” in a firm tone…all business and walks out. This seems to work.

Is this a toddler sleep digression? Are we sleep training again?


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About Candice

Candice is a mom of three under 5. Originally from the smallest state of Rhode Island, now living in Connecticut. From working gal to stay-at-home mom, she is walking the path of the Modern Mom.


  1. Oh I can sooooo relate with sleep issues. My 32mo son was a horrible self soother, he would so much rather have mommy rock and hug him to sleep. We switched him to a toddler bed at 18mo and that was the worst transition EVER. He refused to lay down in his bed and we would find him on the floor with his pillows and blankie every morning. Finally, after switching to a big boy bed at 26mo he will go down on his own after 10 drinks of water and 15 hugs. I just gave up on being too strict because they are only young once. Good luck!

  2. I remember the night I let me eldest cry for 2 hours, he was not quite 2 – I was pregnant with my second. It was May 20. After that he feel asleep on his own. IT was amazing, watched a segment on 60 minutes about it. He always needed a bottle or rocking to go to sleep and then awoke a lot during the night. Just one night of hearing the crying. I think I went in once to check but stayed away and it DID the trick. It was not easy.
    It’s great that you have her on a schedule. I think that helps a lot. Especially as a toddler and going to nursery school, kindergarten, etc.
    You’ll go through more periods of sleep training too if she gets scared of something before bedtime, etc.
    Good luck!

  3. That is so funny that a firm tone works for you too! My daughter does not want to go to bed, ever! Eventually I just tell her in a firm voice “that’s enough, it’s bed time and I’m going to leave your room now.” She quiets down and goes to sleep. Babies are smart!

  4. We went through this. I am afraid that it is all spurts but it stinks when it happens. I have the problem now with Hayley at almost 4. This is cute that she is afraid of TJ:)

  5. Ellie has never been a good sleeper…EVER…so I have no idea if it has to do with her age (being two…well almost three)…I think it’s just her, and it will always be her. But we have many nights where she wakes up and cries or calls for us incessantly. There was a time when we ignored her and she would settle down…and then one night we caved in…and now for some reason, we just can’t get ourselves to not go in there. I think it’s because she is so much more aware now, and she will actually say “I cried for you last night and you didn’t come”…that breaks my heart to hear her say that. But I also know that she is totally manipulating us because now she knows we will always come! We get breaks here and there for a week or two, but her crappy sleep ALWAYS comes back!!! Ugh!
    ♥ Kyna

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