Toddlers and sleep

We have been blessed with a healthy, smart, beautiful little girl. With that said, we have been cursed with a child who fights sleep with every fiber of her being. We have a video monitor so we have see her trying to stay awake. Even talking to herself to stay up.  It's been this way from the get go, as you can read in this Ay Mama! entry from 2008 Sleep, for the love of God, sleep! We were at our wits end when she was five months old, imagine how we are doing now that she is three years old. 

I've started to think it's a game for her, a torture technique to keep her parents on their toes. She sleeps fine for a few days, even a couple of weeks and then she wakes up in the middle of the night,  2 nights in one week. Usually we could just rock her for 20 minutes or even go in her room and tell her to go back to sleep and she would. Lately, her new thing is to stay up for 2 even three hours or until threatened with a "time out" right around the time I have to go to work.
Take last week for example:
Sunday to Monday, Amelia woke up at 1:30AM. I tried to put her down twice and so did my husband. Around 3:30AM we brought her into our bed which is a big no-no at our house. Like the mean torturer that she is, she would keep quiet for a half hour and right when she can tell that our breathing has normalized and we are asleep:
Nothing was wrong, the girl just wanted to chat. By 5AM when she is poking my face and kissing me to wake me up, we take her back to her room. 
Yes, I know "why don't you let her cry it out?". Well we've done that at various points during these 3 years of interrupted sleep and Amelia can scream for up to 48 minutes (but whose counting). We don't think it's fair for our neighbors to let her scream for "help" at the top of her longs.  So my husband threatened her with time out and she finally gave up and fell asleep.  
A similar scenario happened from Thursday to Friday, this time the wake up call was 3:45AM. After that there was no turning back, she was up for the day. You would think she would be falling asleep during school but she's not. She is bright eyed and bushy tailed with a sunny disposition. Oh, on Sunday she woke up at 5:30AM.
If this is revenge, God has the wrong kid. My brother was the one who was a terrible sleeper. He would wake my mother up before the sun was out constantly, not me. I was a great sleeper and so was my husband. 
Before you send your theories my way, we have heard them all and tried every technique. Nothing hurts, she's not hungry or thirsty. She is not afraid of monsters. She doesn't even want to sleep with us.  She has a pretty steady bed time and nap time routine. We've started to think, it is what it is! But this too shall pass, right? If she takes after her Tio Mario, she'll stop this by age 6. Ay Mama!


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  • I know this comment is a little late, but I wanted to share....I feel your pain. My daughter is 2 1/2 and she doesn't like to sleep. I have tried all sorts of techniques too. I am hoping she will grow out of it soon. Otherwise, I will become a bald "mama".

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