Posted by on Oct 16, 2012 in toddler doesn't want to sleep, toddler tantrums, toddlers and sleep |

Ryan has become obsessed with the idea that he must never go to sleep.

The actual sleep part isn’t the problem. The vast majority of the time, once he falls asleep, he stays asleep all night.

But ohhhhhhh, how he dreads it. From the moment I pick him up from daycare in the evening, he’s a broken record of “No-no night-nights. Ok? No-no night-nights? No-no night-nights.”

First, I agree with him. “Right! No night-nights. We’re going to go home and have dinner! I bet Daddy is making you something delicious right now.

It only distracts him for a moment. “Milk, crackers. Daddy, home. No-no night-nights, ok?”

After I’ve reached my limit with the reassurance tactic, I try to reason with him by detailing the order of things. “First we’ll go home, then we’ll have dinner, then we’ll have a bath, then you can play for a little bit and then you’ll go night-nights. But you don’t have to go night-nights right now.”

Naturally, he’s two, so he only hears the bolded part of that statement and becomes panicked. “NO-NO NIGHT-NIGHTS! MOMMY, NOOOOOOOO NIGHT-NIGHTS!

Every step along the way through the nighttime routine, he begs to avoid the inevitable. When do we finally put him in his crib, he sobs as through we’ve just ripped the head off his favorite stuffed bear. Or like we’ve told him he can never, ever drink milk again. Or something else equally tragic and traumatizing.

And I know what he’s thinking. I can see it in his eye. He’s thinking how he only asked for “no-no night-nights” 82 times today and that clearly his message didn’t get through. So he resolves to increase that request the next day in both frequency and decibel.