Why Does My Toddler Think He's a Newborn?

6 years ago
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Dear Mouthy Housewives,

Let me start by saying I adore my kid in insurmountable ways, but I'm going to go ahead and admit our now-more-frequent time together in the evening (all evening into morning) are dates I can do without. Little dude is 2.5 and was an awesome sleeper until about 3 weeks ago, where he apparently decided to take my Weissbluth book and start a bonfire with her lessons on going to bed early.

What tricks do you have up your sleeve for a pre-schooler that's suddenly taking an hour and a half to 3 hours to put to bed, then sleeping for about 2 hours, only to then wake every 45 minutes all. night. long?

Help Me Rhonda


Joachim crying

Dear Help Me Rhonda,

OOF. I'm starting to get the sweats here, so let me just go open a window before we get started. And maybe turn on the fan. And did someone say wine? Heck, it's 5 o'clock somewhere, RIGHT?!

I apologize. You see, I'm having PTSD flashbacks of when my first born was around 2 and a half or three years old. I had JUST gotten my second born to start sleeping through the night when my eldest started to do exactly what you're describing. There were several weeks--MONTHS, even -- where I was certain that I would be locked to this fate of NO SLEEP EVER until I eventually succumbed to exhaustion, just like those Hollywood celebrities you hear about.

And, like you, I thought I'd tried everything:

1. Cut out his afternoon nap.
2. Consulted Google.
3. Consulted my mother.
4. Decided to go back to consulting Google.
5. Ran him ragged during the day.
6. Settled him with a nice bath and bedtime story.
7. Spent some time with him before I turned off the light to ease his worried mind.


And, as motherhood is wont to work for the sake of basic human survival, I don't remember much beyond that due to selective memory. I know that he eventually grew out out of the phase. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that this is around the age that children become aware of their dreams, and while I have no idea if that's actually true, it made sense at the time.

Wait, did I forget the advice part? I think you're doing the right thing, which is trying to get him back into his routine. Ultimately, however, it's not totally in your realm of control. Sometimes this is a personality thing, sometimes it's a growth spurt thing, and sometimes it's just the Universe having a good laugh at us and our baggy eyes.Keep up the good fight, but also be easy on yourself.

This, too, shall pass.

Kristine TMH