Getting your Demon Toddler to Sleep in 4 Easy Steps!

How does one not lose their damn mind when all your child wants to do into the wee hours of the night is scream his now demon (otherwise adorable) head off? Haven’t quite figured out the answer to that question yet. I feel that investing in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones may be deemed negligent… doesn’t mean I’ve crossed the option off the list.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I’m very-well at the end of my rope. We’re talking two nights, no sleep, horrid screaming, alternating between rigid and shaking, snot running down his face crying – and that’s just my husband, you can imagine what the toddler looks like! (I thought that was funny, my husband doesn’t seem to agree).

It got so bad last night that my super daddy hubby had to take the little one to the playground behind our house… at midnight. At least they had the joint all to themselves. Here are a few of the coping mechanisms we’ve implemented thus far – these can be tried in any order you like:

Coddle and Cuddle

Cuddle and Coddle

This one is what I like to call the “Coddle and Cuddle” – speak gently, softly, and reassuringly to your little one. Tell him there is nothing to be afraid of. It’s a lot of hand holding and kissing at this point. FYI – this did not work, he simply screamed over the coddle, and flat out refused the cuddle. Needless to say I was bitch slapped by my 2 year old when I tried to kiss him.

Ignore It

Ignore It

Simply pretend there is no screaming child one wall away from your bedroom in the hopes that he’ll magically pass out and sleep all through the night! We were about 20 minutes in when we decided we probably needed those noise canceling headphones before we really gave this one a shot.


Update on our personal status – at this point we’ve given up on keeping him in his room and he’s in our bed – something I SWORE I would never do.


Distract your child with all manner of objects: Ooooo look at those pretty street lights! Would you like some milky? How about a pacifier? Look at Mr. Bear (who my child has affectionately name Tikam the Big Grumpy Bear – you’ll have to ask him why, I have no clue), see how he dances! Want to watch TV? I’ll turn on the idiot box for you just please stop yelling in my face…

Guilt Trip

Guilt Trip

The greatest weapon in any self-respecting Jewish Mamas arsenal – the guilt trip. I flat out sat with my 2 year-old, tears streaming down my face, telling my toddler that he has to stop crying because his crying is making mommy sad, and can’t he see when he cries mama cries?! Yeah I’m not proud of this one, I think I probably shouldn’t limit my child’s expression of his emotions, however horrendous they are, by guilting him with my lack of ability to control my own. To be fair I had a full blow panic attack crawling up my throat at this point – I mean there is no way that a 2 year old can scream for 3 hours straight is there? That’s definitely a rattle I hear in his throat. OH MY GOD DID HE BLOW HIS VOICE BOX?! IS THAT A THING? WHERE’S MY PHONE I NEED TO GOOGLE IMMEDIATELY.

Pass Out

Pass Out

Just flat out pass out from exhaustion. We’re talking television on, husband snoring, toddler horizontal – one parent receiving the punching end, the other one receiving the kicking end – unconsciousness. Proceed to wake up multiple times throughout the night, and pray real hard that there are no lasting bruises on your face from the toddler acrobatics because you have a really important work meeting in 3 hours. 

As you can see – we’ve got this parenting thing down. No worries over here! Excuse me while I go in search of some much-needed chocolate to wake my ass up (times like these I wish I didn’t absolutely despise the taste of coffee).

What are your terrible two stories? Any advice on how to keep your sanity while you ride this wave? (Unfortunately, alcohol isn’t an option, I don’t drink that either but am highly considering taking up the practice)

Janna Kilimnik

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