Toddlers are renowned for tantrums and limit testing, and bedtime is no exception!
Children who have been self settling easily and sleeping through the night for ages can suddenly turn into complete nightmares at bedtime. It's not at all uncommon for a brilliant sleeper to start taking 2 hours to settle, screaming and protesting for the whole time. This is obviously a very rude shock to parents after more than a year of easy bedtimes with a baby who just needed a story, cuddle and went quietly off to sleep.
The changes with settling at bedtime often tie in with developmental changes in the daytime, such as increasing language and the usual limit testing that goes on with toddlers. And they don't always wait until they are 2 before they start being ‘terrible’!!!
Toddlers often suffer from separation anxiety, which leads to loud and vigorous protesting for mum to stay with them at bedtime. This is especially common with toddlers who are in day-care or have very busy mums, who don't have time to sit spending hours reading stories and having lots of quality one on one time during the day. Don't feel at all bad if you are one of those busy mums - most of us are!!!
Here's what we have found can help remove the battle from bedtime: