HELP. Toddler issues. Sleep-related. (Like I'm the first person who ever typed that...)

TIRED Vivienne around 6:15 a.m. today.

This is Vivienne.
Vivenne is 2.5 years old.
She's always been an early-riser in our family of morning-haters.
She gets up, on average, around 6:00 a.m. everyday, no matter the holiday or timezone.

Since we've been home (a week), Vivienne has been getting out of her toddler bed 2-4 times per night, opening her door, walking down the hallway, then entering our room to declare one of the following:

1.) "I need a drink." (Water. But at 3 a.m. everyday, I'd give her a shot of Jack Daniels...)
2.) "My blanket is no working." (She sleeps with her blanket on her head and has a hard time getting it just.right.)
3.) "I need a hug." (NO ONE needs a hug at 4 a.m.)

Whichever one of us isn't fake-sleeping takes her back to her room, tells her to STAY IN HER BED {for the love of all things holy!} until the moo-cow dances. (She has a clock whereby the cow-in-bed light is on until 6:30 a.m. at which point the cow-starting-her-day-dancing light turns on. See my review on it from 2011 here.)

• She is not waking up to go to the bathroom. (She's fully potty-trained.)
• She is not sick.
• She has been sleeping in a toddler bed since she was potty trained at 22 months. (By herself. We didn't do that. See here.)
• She is not teething.
• She is not too hot or too cold.
• She is annoying.

She's also in a phase at night (bedtime is between 7:00 - 7:30 for both ladies... because we're those parents... the ones who like QUIET TIME) whereby she laments that she doesn't want to go to bed! "No!!! I need a drink. Rub my back. Another song. Fix my blanket." Then she either screams my name for 10 minutes or falls asleep in 14 seconds.

(She's fun.)

She has a push-button, Christmas-tree light cord in her room that turns on the bedside lamp so that she can play quietly in a room with light when she wakes up. This is what she USED to do before we went to Ohio for a month.

But for the last week, EVERY NIGHT, up out of her bed 2-4 times.

• Each time we walk her back to her bed. (Co-sleeping isn't an option.)
• Each time we tell her to STAY IN HER ROOM.
• Each time she's up an hour or so later.

We have put a cup of water in her room to combat complaint #1 above. It's the same type of thermos she ALWAYS uses and last night she came out to tell me she couldn't open it. (EXCUSES, EXCUSES!)


This morning Lila told me this:

"Mommy, I will teach Wee-vee-un how to stay in her bed, ok? First, I will help her to go to sleep and read her a book and then I will lock her door."

I think she's on to something.

No really, I think she's on to something.




  1. we locked the door for YEARS until finally he could reach high enough to undo it himself. we've had a rash of similar out-of-bed visits recently and I just say "This is sleeping time." and put him back in bed without saying anything else. I'm hoping the lack of attention gratification puts an end to it quickly. BE STRONG.

    1. Did he ever shake the door like a prisoner? Or was there no drama with the lock?

      THANK YOU. (Her lock is already facing out because she's had some locking-herself-in-her-bedroom-on-accident moments.)

  2. I have the opposite issue - my son refuses to leave his bed once he goes down (which is really nice except when it comes to potty training, which I hate with a passion).

    If I did have the issue of a wandering child, I would totally consider locking the door.

    (And I LOVE that Vivienne is a morning person!) :)


    1. Oh friend. And I know that YOU of all people would appreciate Vivienne's morning love.


      May the force be with you regarding potty training.

  3. Put a baby gate on her door. If she can climb over it, stack two of them on top of each other in the doorway. We did that for Henry to stay in his room (it worked). Now we have to lock his door by putting the lock on backwards. (on the outside)

    She is probably just doing this b/c the trip threw her off. She will get back to her old sleeping patterns soon...

    and there is always Jack Daniels! haha

    1. We HAVE to keep her door closed because we have mini-split air conditioning here in Cabo. (That's air conditioners that hang on the top of the walls in each room. So, if we leave her door open, we're cooling the whole house.)

      I think we're leaning toward the lock... or the Jack...

  4. We put a gate at V's door for this reason. But, he's in a diaper (he also wakes around 5:45 screaming my name til i get him or he wakes the girls and they come get me. Ugh. So I feel you.) With her being potty trained, she needs to get out. I'd be firm and have consequences. She needs to know you are serious. Does she have a lovey? Tell her if she doesn't stay in bed, she'll lose her lovey. She'll still do it, then you take it away. She'll lose it and as long as you stay strong and let her miss it for some time, when she gets it back, she'll listen better as not to lose it again. That's the ONLY thing that works for my girls with going to and staying in bed.

    Good luck!!!!

    1. You have my wheels turning. Vivi's "loveys" change daily. (But her blanket is pretty consistent... I think that might be a possible takeaway...)

      THANK YOU!

  5. (And by 'she'll lose it' I mean she'll cry. A lot. That is if she's at all dramatic like my girls. ;)

  6. No advice. Athena is doing this at 6 years old. Zofia wants to punch her. Dern kids.

  7. Oh you have no idea how reading this has further convinced me we'll be dealing with the same issues with Kendyl. She's now 11 months and STILL gets up 3-4 times per night....for nothing other than to be picked up and rocked back to sleep (which takes 2 minutes)....she's not hungry, not wet, not teething....nothing. She just wants to be held. We've tried letting her "cry it out" to self sooth and all that does is make her cry so hard she's gagging and making herself sick, therefore making it harder to calm her down so she'll go back to sleep : (. I don't know about you, but this mommy is longing for JUST ONE full night sleep....and that does not look likely for the forseeable future. I keep trying to remind myself, these times are fleeting....and at some point (when they're teenagers) we'll be wishing these baby/toddler years back! Hang in there girl!!! ; )
    K Zilke

    1. You're right, I will no doubt be crying in a decade or so about how they won't EVER hug me...


      (Thanks for the comment!)

  8. Ugh. I am sorry. But I did laugh through parts of this post "she is annoying"...heehee!

    First question, could it just be the traveling and time difference? For about 1-2 weeks after our vacation Henry's sleeping was a MESS. He would cry when we put him down, didn't want me to leave, wake in the middle of the night (but did put himself back to sleep eventually) up until 10:30 crying. it was like sleep training all over.

    A combination of letting him cry it out and some Benedryl (yep, we did) helped. We thought his allergies were flaring up from being in the wilderness/different climate for a week and just readjusting back to his bed were the issues. He seems better now.

    I wish I had advice on the big boy bed. Henry was in his big boy bed for all of about 5 minutes! Ok, not literally but I feel like it took us longer to child proof his room and change his crib to a bed and then back to a crib again, then what he actually slept in his big boy bed. Henry just wasn't ready. We will try again after he turns two-ish. He is just stubborn and curious and into everything and keeping him contained works for ALL three of us!! He already does the drink thing, pick out a toy, make sure his room is "in order" thing before bed so i know he would be worse with freedom!

    I will say, for the 30 seconds he did sleep in his bed we put a child proof lock on the inside of the door. He would get mad, but the rule is you stay in your room. Terry doesn't necessary like the idea, but giving him that freedom wasn't going to work for any of us. We talked about (had we stayed with the bed) that we would eventually take it off. When we transition back to his bed we will put the lock on the inside of the door again until he is at a point he can be trusted roaming like, 13?! ;-)

    I like Lila's advice!

    Good luck, wish I had better advice. i really hope it is just a brief re-adjustment thang.

    "I need a hug." (NO ONE needs a hug at 4 a.m.) hahaha! true that.

    1. You know, I think you're on to something. I bet you're right that it is a travel thing... but Jenn, it's SO ANNOYING. :)

      I like reading about Henry's experience and that you didn't force the bed. Good for you.


  9. I did LOL more than once when I read this post. But I think that in adoption training, they mentioned a rule about not locking children in rooms. ;)



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