My toddler figured out that I fake sleep at bedtime and now I’m screwed

I have a new toddler dilemma on my hands.

Everyone knows the secret to putting a kid to sleep is to pretend to be sleeping too. My child is almost two and a half years old, and I have been pretty much using this method ever since she could open her eyes. She likes to snuggle to fall asleep, so for naps and at bedtime, we lay down in my bed, she rests her head on my shoulder, and she falls asleep.

I think lots of kids go to sleep like this – kids seem to have this really strong FOMO over what they would miss if they went to bed early, so convincing them that the household is going down to sleep at the same time makes for an easier bedtime transition. The fake sleeping technique had been working, up until recently when she realized I am completely full of it.

Unfortunately for me she is both a smart kid and a total goof-ball. So, instead of just calling me out on being awake and staying up herself, she silently and sneakily messes with me until I crack. She is such a dork I just can’t hold in the laughter, and she now has a few strategies perfected to dodge bedtime.

I think most kids would tell you they need a glass of milk, or that they want to read another bedtime story… not mine! Though she does make those pleas while the lights are on, the ridiculousness ensues once we are snuggled up to fall asleep.

Her first new move is kissing and nibbling on the rings on my fingers. While we are laying in bed quietly (and I am fake sleeping of course), she will grab my hand and slowly bring it to her face. She snuggles up with it, then will start to nibble on my wedding ring. Yes nibble, like a little bunny eating lettuce. Where did this idea come from? Who knows, but she thinks it is funny, and if I crack my eyes open I can see her smiling. She keeps going until I let out a little snicker under my breath, then busts up laughing and the cat is out of the bag that we both are awake.

The other new move is quietly trying to put things up my nose. She has this little beanie baby puppy dog named “Polka” that has a tiny little pink tail, that she has somehow decided would be better off up my nostril while sleeping. It starts the same way, where we are snuggling and I am fake sleeping, trying to put off that tired vibe to get her to go down too. She sneaks the dog up towards my face, which I cannot tell is happening, until this little fabric tail is silently jammed up my nose. Seriously kid? Yes seriously, she is weird. But again, I can’t contain myself anymore and crack letting out a laugh and telling her that dog tails don’t go up mommy’s nose, and here we are awake again.

So far I have learned that when you have tough parenting questions, Google or the mom groups you are a part of on Facebook can typically lend some advice. I however think this may be the first instance where I might be on my own… though I am tempted to type in a search bar: “what to do when your kid won’t fall asleep because they want to put things up your nose” and see what comes up.

I will ask the other blog moms out there what strange things you have run into that keeps your kid from going to bed at night… is there anyone else out there who feels my struggle? What is the weird $hit your kid does to dodge nap time and bed time?

Stay sane toddler moms! The struggle IS REAL.

X.O. – Abbey Co.

The crazy child herself getting ready for the great bedtime struggle
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25 Replies to “My toddler figured out that I fake sleep at bedtime and now I’m screwed”

  1. What a frustrating yet hilarious problem to have. Mine are out of the toddler stage, so I’m of no help. I’m convinced the species carries on because we forget how hard it is when their young.

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  2. This is hilarious! I do this in the mornings so I can sleep in. My kids are 4 & 7 so I tell them it is not a smart idea to wake mommy up in the mornings. I am 99% awake before them. But, I “fake sleep” in bed so that I can have a few more minutes alone! I will hear them coming so I start “snoring” and they tiptoe back out saying, “mommy’s sleeping. Lets play Legos.” Magical!

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  3. lol that’s awesome. However not to so awesome when you are on the receiving end of it. When my daughter was a baby, she would force me to wake up by grabbing my eyelashes in a pincer grip and then poking her finger into my cornea. It was pretty effective at waking me up. Now when she doesn’t want to sleep she’ll stick her finger in my ears, causing me squirm. Damn these hooligans!

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  4. Look at that smile! She is such a cutie πŸ˜€
    Haha, I work with 8 toddlers on a daily basis, and quite a few of them have tactics for avoiding nap time. From tantrums, to just running around, to singing, to saying every single name of everyone they know (that one is my favourite). Thanks to this though, I have the patience of a saint, and I can wait them out till they finally fall asleep πŸ˜€

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  5. My guy never took to one lovey so I get the binky or hot wheel/train in the nose, mouth, ear, and eye πŸ™„ The struggle is so crazy real! Now half the time I ACTUALLY fall asleep before my little guy. Gotta love their mischievous but precious little personalities!

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    1. Okay OUCH! I fall asleep before she does so often these days that I usually often wake up to the sound of her sneaking out of bed to go see what is going on in the living room too. I think they can physically pull our energy out into their little bodies and that is why they are so hyper all the time!

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  6. Oh my! I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. As mom to two munchkins who are now 23 and 21, all I can say is just hang on for the ride. I had the “read me another story ” or “I’m thirsty” kids, and that too can be frustrating. Yours sounds a lot more fun, and she won’t stay little for long. I know it’s tiring, but if she sees there’s nothing exciting going on anywhere else in the house she’ll probably settle in. And I agree with the others: who could resist that smile. A final thought: if she naps during the day perhaps cutting that out will help with bedtime because she’ll be more tired. Good luck, and enjoy the toddler years.

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    1. Thank you so much! She is so darn cute and I love her being little so much that it really doesn’t bother me, but boy am I tired haha! We have tried cutting down on nap times (a little) but I agree it is time to slice a little more time off them until we get into a better pattern with this.

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