How We Salvaged Bedtime When Our Two Year Old Refuses to Sleep


From a parent of a two year old who refuses to sleep, I’m here to say, it can get better!

Before kids, I loved my sleep. For a while I worked a 12-8pm schedule, and my co-workers would laugh when I told them I would set my alarm for 10am. The truth is, I need my sleep. When dealing with multiple autoimmune diseases, I find that sleep has the ability to reset my system.

READ: The Daily Struggle of Living with Extreme Fatigue

Fast forward a few years, now we have a 2-year-old and a 4-month-old that co-sleep with us. My husband and I squeeze in our sleep when we can get it. 

We love the extra snuggles we get with our littles by having them in our bed, and it’s more convenient for this nursing momma to have our new baby close during the night.

I had heard stories about the two-year-old sleep regression that can happen, but for us, we always had sleep problems with our firstborn.

She never wanted to go to bed! She is the type that is afraid to miss anything. We would be in bed fights to stay awake, so we wouldn’t fall asleep before our toddler!

Plus, our night would become full of arguments about screen time. It was stressful for all of us.

So, I decided somethings had to change when our two year old refused to sleep! Not all nights are perfect, but they have become enjoyable again.

Now, our bedtime routine looks a little different.

5 Ways We’re Fighting Back When Our Two Year Old Refuses to Sleep:

1. Playtime After Dinner

On most nights, we’re lucky to eat dinner before 7:30. It’s just how our schedule works, so the girls get some time with daddy. As soon as dinner was cleaned up, we used to start our bedtime routine. Now we get a little extra playtime in.

2. Fill up the Diffuser


I use a 10-hour diffuser at night, so we can start it as soon as we get into our master bedroom. Lately, I’ve been using the combo of Vetiver, Serenity, and Marjoram. Sometime around 2 years, a little one develops quite the imagination which can lead to nightmares. Juniper Berry essential oil makes a nice addition if your tot has nightmares or night terrors.

READ: What to Look for in A Diffuser for Essential Oil

3. Relaxing Shower

Since our bedtime routine starts later than we would like, we save time with a shower before bed. I like to put a few drops of a relaxing essential oil on a washcloth on the bottom of the shower like lavender or a respiratory blend called Breathe.

4. Wholetones 2 Sleep Music


We have tried playing relaxing sounds, rain music, and white noise in our to promote relaxation. Nothing seemed to work. An online friend recommended I try the Wholetones 2 Sleep device.


I was a little skeptical at first because I like quiet when I fall asleep, and other sounds never worked in the past, but I am willing to try anything when our two year refuses to sleep!

So I bought one of these, and I have to say it was the best purchase I’ve made! I put it on in the background as we crawl into bed, and the music is tuned to a healing frequency that promotes restfulness. Now, we are all sleeping after a few times through our favorite nighttime book.

5. Storytime

Reading is very relaxing for my little ones. It doesn’t surprise me. I love reading, and after I was sent to bed as a child, I would hide under my covers with a flashlight to finish the latest novel! Right now, our favorites are Goodnight Moon, Night Night Farm, and The Cat in the Hat. We rotate the ones we read at night, and sometimes have to re-read them once before she is ready to put the books away and close her eyes.


Hey I'm Jenna.

...a former small-town girl that moved to NYC. After almost 10 years in the concrete jungle, I'm back in a small town taking care of our homestead with my family - and a swarm of BEES. Yes, BEES. Here I share my life as a Health Coach living with an auto-immune disease, delicious gluten-free foods, and growing my own food.

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