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Louise Sivak, M.D.
Louise Sivak, M.D., Doctor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3499
Experience:  Pediatrician, Board-certified in Ped Hematology/Oncology
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my 2 yr old daughter has always gone to sleep in her cot wide

Customer Question

my 2 yr old daughter has always gone to sleep in her cot wide awake, sweet as a nut by 7pm every night, but we had to leave her with my sister for about 6 hrs on the weekend which she enjoyed at the time but ever since she goes to bed screaming for us and even though we eventually persist in keeping her in her cot and get her off to sleep she then wakes in the night crying and we,re awake usually for hours. We are determined not to give in and bring her down stairs or in to our bed but we really don,t know how to get her back into a happy place at bed time. We have been blessed with such a happy little girl that now it,s breaking our hearts to hear her scream for us at night. I feel that leaving her has caused her to behave this way, as it,s very rare that we leave her. please can you advise us on what to do.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Yogindra Vasavada replied 7 years ago.

Hello j c,

Anxiety of separation at sleep time creates your little girl's tantrums.

One indirect way would be to feed her some heavy, rich, high fat dishes late in evening and also give sweetened milk last thing at bedtime. A full stomach is likely to make her more sleepy and forgo the pranks.

More active, vigorous outdoor sports should be encouraged in evening hours.

Reward system during the day time also should be evolved, and frequently reinforced, by appreciating good behavior previous night.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I wouldn't call my daughters behavour as having tantrums, she still sleeps in a cot so she doesn't do pranks. We would like to be advised wether we should in your opinion make a habit of trying to leave her with other people to try and get her used to being left or do you think that would make her more fearfull of going to sleep without one of us there. She does have a very active life and she still has a bottle of milk at bet time. She has a very sweet and loving nature and this behavour at night is very out of characture. Do you think that going in to see her to reasure her that everything is ok and then leave and let her cry, and keep doing this untill she gives in and goes to sleep is the right thing to do.
Expert:  Dr. Yogindra Vasavada replied 7 years ago.

Hello j c,

Very difficult to predict - 2 years is a transitional age where there is more awareness but less maturity to listen to and understand to reason.

You should continue what you must - like leaving her with others when it is imperative, and hope that she learns to cope with this reality fast.

Meanwhile your talking to her once or twice nightly when she starts crying, and then leaving her to herself, would be fine.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
The answer that was given I feel was not in depth enough and was a little short, also it has taken over 2 days to be told what I was doing was just ok and to carry on basically. If it is imperative that I leave her it would be ok but you don't say whether it would be better for her in the long run.
Expert:  Louise Sivak, M.D. replied 7 years ago.


I strongly recommend you do just let her cry and soothe herself back to sleep, for her long-term adjustment. Not giving her a bed-time bottle would also be a very good idea.