How do you deal with a toddler who won't sleep?

After nearly two weeks of very early mornings with her toddler, Jennifer needs sleep — and your tips.

Photo by KatLevPhoto via Flickr.

“I think my son is running a cruel sleep deprivation experiment on me,” one of my pals texted me this week.

Having just spent the day with her adorable toddler, I joked that perhaps Gillian taught him all her tricks. I said this because for the last two weeks she has been waking up between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m. — she even welcomed Sunday extra early at 4:15 a.m. I am downright exhausted — bone-crushingly-throw-uppity-cry-at-the-drop-of-hat exhausted.

While she’s never been a great sleeper, this is a new kind of sleep disturbance for her. I’m trying to pinpoint the cause and the only one I can rule out is teething, because all of her chompers are in.

I’ve tried bigger bedtime snacks, extra blankets, fewer blankets, lights on, lights off, white noise and complete silence. The early waking continues, even with a sensible bedtime of 7:30 p.m. and no daytime nap (which she grew out of long ago).

And while I’d love to pen a longer and more poetic post about toddler sleep habits, I’m going to bed even though it’s only 8:00 p.m. I have a bad feeling I’m going to need all the rest I can get because my daughter will be waking up bright-eyed and eager to start her day before I know it.
Please! What are your tips for getting through this development stage?
Photo by KatLevPhoto via Flickr.

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