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Our girl is 1 yo, and used to go to sleep without much problem at night. However, for the last week, it's become quite difficult.

Here is how it goes : when bedtime comes, we put her as usual in her crib, where she starts to act as if she was tired and ready to go to sleep (lying on the mattress, and holding her favorite stuffed toys).

We leave the room, door usually still open. We also use a night light. A few minutes later, she gets up, and starts to cry, and only stops when my wife picks her up (it doesn't work if I pick her up). Just being close to her and reassuring her doesn't work either. Then, as she calms down, if we try to leave the room again, the crying resumes. So we stay to calm her, and she begins to play with her toys and with us.

In the end, she really goes to sleep when she is really tired, far behind schedule (usually well past midnight). It only occurs at night, she has no problem for naps.

How can we change this behaviour, preferably without letting her cry (we have neighbours, and the walls aren't that thick) ?

UPDATE : The problem was that she was sleeping too much during the day, and wasn't sleepy enough at night. We shortened the 2 daytime naps to one hour each, which worked.

  • I will dig up some sleep-training resources that I've found recently. We thought we were going through a similar situation only to find he was waking up hungry. – Brian Robbins Feb 19 '15 at 15:25
  • As so often in child-raising, the question is why? Why can't she sleep? Maybe she doesn't want to be alone? (How good do you sleep when your wife is away over night?) Is she simply not tired? Hungry? Watch her behavior closely. When is it better, when is it worse? When did it start? What's changed? Try out changing things which you think could have been the trigger... – sbi Feb 19 '15 at 22:48
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I sympathize. It sounds like a hard situation and one with which I am familiar with both my children. First of all, know that it will end eventually. It might seem like it's going to go on forever, but some day (hopefully soon), this will be a distant memory. Try eliminating the daytime nap so she is really sleepy in the evening. And for a few nights at least, once she's back in bed and calm, try sitting with her in the same room till she's fallen asleep or nearly there. Over time, get seated closer and closer to the door while you wait for her to fall asleep. Sounds like she is longing for comfort and security. Once you assure her that you are there for her during the transition of falling asleep, hopefully she will let you go. Good luck.

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