Jump to content

HELP how do we make him go to sleep
2 1/2 years later and he still isn't sleeping


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 lisajane666

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:30 PM

Hi

Our lil man has not been a good sleeper since he was about 6 weeks old and he is now 2 1/2 years old.  We have tried everything but its gotten to the point where it is taking us over an hour for lil man to go to sleep at night and its driving me nuts.  He gets up around 5am every morning, still has a day nap and we put him to bed around 6.30 but it can take up to 8.30 at night for him to give in.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Lisa

#2 overthehill

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:36 PM

Can you shorten his day sleep and/or put him to bed later in the evening?  This may take a good few nights to see a difference but would be worth a try.


Can you shorten his day sleep and/or put him to bed later in the evening?  This may take a good few nights to see a difference but would be worth a try.


#3 Frau Farbissina

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:46 PM

I also suggest a later bed time. Hopefully it helps.



#4 José

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:55 PM

Not sure where you are but what about trying a sleep consultant either visit your home or talk on the phone.  May not be cheap but how much is a good nights sleep worth to you?  I know very little on this topic but it seems that people often describe little  ones as bad sleepers and leave it at that as is nothing can be done. I wonder if that's really true?

#5 immismum

Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:38 AM

I suggest you look at the total amount of sleep he has in 24 hours.

You don't say how long his daytime nap is, but if he is having a 2 hour nap, then he might only need 9 - 10 hours at night.  Trying to put him down earlier than he needs to go is just going to lead to frustration for both you and him.

Transitioning out the daytime nap is hard on all concerned, as kids get very very ratty at the end of the day, usually right before dinner when you are trying to do things!

It does get easier though, and it means they go to bed really well at the end of the day leaving you with lots of lovely adult time!

#6 Pinky101

Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:31 AM

What time and how long is his day nap?

We've been finding with DD (26 months) that if she naps later in the day, she'll not go to sleep until 9.30pm. Definitely not what we want!

#7 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:56 AM

I respectfully disagree with most posters. After a 5 am start, moving his bedtime to 8:30 will probably result in him going to sleep at 9:30/10 and then being overtired. I absolutely wouldn't shorten or drop his day nap (as long as it is not longer than 2 hours; if he's sleeping 3.5 hours in the day, there's your problem). 6:30 is a perfectly acceptable bedtime for a child who wakes at 5 (although if you made his bedtime 7:30, you might get a bit if extra morning sleep out of him). I wouldn't make bedtime any later than 7:30 in this age group (right through to about 4, and then I'd sit on an 8 pm bedtime until about 8 years, and then 8:30 until pre-teens, and then all bets are off!)
2.5 is a hard age. He is probably starting to have nightmares he can remember, so bedtime becomes 'scary'. He's probably just realized that mum and dad (his favourite people in the whole universe) are just in another room doing amazing, cool, awesome things. His language is probably now good enough that his headis full of thoughts and he doesn't know how to turn it off. There's a big wide world out there and you're asking a wee mite to lie down, stay still, fall asleep, and not see his favourite people for a whole night.There's a lot going on, and it's a big ask. But not impossible.
In order to fall asleep, one needs to go to bed, lie still, close their eyes, and wait for sleep to overcome them. How good is your average 2.5 year old at sitting still? There's your problem! The reason he falls asleep at 8:30 is because he is finally so exhausted that sleep comes fast enough to beat his lapse in concentration. But that method results in hours of frustration and a chronically sleep deprived child.
So rather than convince your child to 'go to sleep' you actually just have to convince them to stay in bed. Go through all the things they use to delay sleep all at once. One last cuddle, drink, kiss, toilet trip - whatever. Do it all once ans never again. The hardest thing to change is them coming to find you. I find the best solution to this is you going to them. Put them to bed, tell them you'll check on them every ten minutes all night so they are never alone. Then leave. Of course a 2.5 doesn't know what ten minutes is. Go in every 1-2 min to prove you are still there to start off with. If you can just keep them in bed, and keep them happy, they will fall asleep. Increase the time slowly. You'll eventually find yourself in a position where you're doing your ten minute check at ten minutes and they are asleep. (At which point an iPhone photo of you next to sleeping them 'proves' you continue to check on them).
At all points, take them what they need, but try and avoid getting them out of bed.
2.5 is, I think, the hardest sleep age. Younger babies don't have fears and just go with the flow (even though they may protest loudly). Older kids can be reasoned with. At 2.5, it's a big world and they are little people with real, present, developing fears, anxieties, loneliness etc - adult emotions they don't know how to manage and which cannot yet be reasoned away.
You'll need to be gentle at this age, and it will take longer to see improvement. With kids under 2, thy can generally get new sleep habits and sleep well within three nights. By 3ish plus, again you can change behaviour quickly. At 2-3, it may take weeks.
Just be consistent and gentle. But the aim is to KEEP HIM IN HIS BED.


#8 *lightning

Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:11 PM

I would make bedtime 7.30pm or 8pm. Try for a week or two and see if there's a difference.

I wouldn't drop the daytime nap and with my kids I allow them to sleep as long as they need but I have flexible sleeping times for my kids and they aren't bad sleepers

#9 RachealJane

Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:20 PM

My 2.5 yo DD doesn't have her day nap anymore but still can be wide awake at 9pm.

Most nights I take her into bed between 7.30 and 8pm and it takes about an hour to get her to sleep too. But she'll sleep in til about 8am since her room is now pitch black.

I lay with her to go to sleep as she only just night weaned so still needs my contact to feel comfortable.

#10 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

QUOTE (RachealJane @ 05/01/2013, 01:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My 2.5 yo DD doesn't have her day nap anymore but still can be wide awake at 9pm.

Most nights I take her into bed between 7.30 and 8pm and it takes about an hour to get her to sleep too. But she'll sleep in til about 8am since her room is now pitch black.

I lay with her to go to sleep as she only just night weaned so still needs my contact to feel comfortable.


Can I gently suggest that you may in fact find its easier and quicker for your child to fall asleep if she still has a day nap? Sleep deprivation in this age group actually makes them stay awake longer, and fight sleep harder. 12-13 hours of wakefulness in a row at 2.5 is actually too long and may impact on her mood, and her ability to play and learn. It is the rare child who does not benefit from a day sleep before around age 3-3.5, and most kids benefit from the occasional nap well beyond this.
You may find that a 1.5 hour nap and a 7-7:30 bedtime make for an easier bedtime and a happier child (acknowledging that you have made no suggestion that your child is not happy).
Even if you are perfectly happy with this scenario, I'd like to suggest to the OP that this is not an ideal situation for the average 2.5 year old.



#11 Pinky101

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

QUOTE (AntiBourgeoisie @ 05/01/2013, 02:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can I gently suggest that you may in fact find its easier and quicker for your child to fall asleep if she still has a day nap? Sleep deprivation in this age group actually makes them stay awake longer, and fight sleep harder. 12-13 hours of wakefulness in a row at 2.5 is actually too long and may impact on her mood, and her ability to play and learn. It is the rare child who does not benefit from a day sleep before around age 3-3.5, and most kids benefit from the occasional nap well beyond this.
You may find that a 1.5 hour nap and a 7-7:30 bedtime make for an easier bedtime and a happier child (acknowledging that you have made no suggestion that your child is not happy).
Even if you are perfectly happy with this scenario, I'd like to suggest to the OP that this is not an ideal situation for the average 2.5 year old.


AntiBourgeoisie, can you please provide some suggestions on how to get a 26 month old to still have a day nap? DD refuses to get in her bed for nap time and will not stay still long enough to even have a chance of falling asleep. She will fall asleep in the afternoon in the car, but that causes her to go to bed late at night. We're still persisting with trying to have her nap with no success. Nothing in her routine has changed. She just went from sleeping at least 1.5 hours one day, to not sleeping at all.

#12 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:02 PM

Pinky, it's a really common problem at that age (just as bedtime become problematic too).
It's the sitting still that's the real issue, I think!
Most kids I know who have passed that phase (mine included) all went through a nap refusing stage. Or two. Or three. They seem to be trying to assert their little wills.
I think (and this is no more than my personal opinion) that it comes down to just being the parent and continuing to be consistent in the face of obstinacy. Be gentle and supportive and kind, but don't back down. Insist they have a 'little rest', and lie down with them if you must. Model having a rest by stating its bedtime and go lie down in their room (on the floor if they are still in a cot). The fact that she falls asleep in the car suggests she needs the sleep. The later bedtime is a furphy - just because she fights bedtime a bit harder when she's better rested doesn't mean her body doesn't need the sleep. Keep the nap. It just means she's a normal 2 year old fighting bedtime. Keep the normal bedtime.
Usually, each phase of nap refusal seems to go for about a fortnight, and then kids seem to revert back to napping easily. But it can be a hard couple weeks of sitting their and patting, shushing, lying with them, and really insisting on the nap... And then insisting on the normal bedtime. It does pass, I promise you won't be doing it for 12 months!
I know it sounds counterintuitive to be 'suffering' twice a day with a kid who won't sleep, when you could just let her stay awake and then fall in an exhausted heap at bedtime. Many many people do this. I just think it's a bit unfair on your child. They shouldn't have to struggle through the second part of the day tired because a parent can't be bothered working hard to try and get them the sleep their bodies and brains need, but are not developmentally ready to obtain by themselves.
Somewhere between 3 and 3.5 (sometimes 4 for some kids) you will notice an ACTUAL need to drop the day sleep. They will be wide eyed and happy through the day, they will stop falling asleep in the car and will just sit and chatter away or look out the window, and will be in a good mood through the day. They may nap a couple days a week but not others. It's quite a gradual process. If your 3 year old is happy, bright, and cognitively intact at 8 pm (can play complex games with you, is not tantrumming any more than usual, still has a smile on their face, is behaving exactly as they would at 10 am etc) then it's probably time to start shortening or dropping their naps. Until then, do all you can to enforce a day sleep and an appropriate bedtime.

#13 Jenferal

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:31 PM

I do quiet time with my 2yr old.
I do nappy change, books, get her to turn her Gro Time clock on(good for telling them nap time is over) then she hops into bed and lies down. Sometimes I do need to get her to lie still as she;s a bit wired, but normally she's asleep in 5 mins or so.
I do a basic type of relaxation with her, talking quietly, telling her to stop moving around, breath in and out slowly etc.


#14 MAGS24

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:01 PM

MY DS1 was also very difficult to get to sleep at that age.

He would get up at 5am every morning and his bedtime was 7.30pm. I always made sure that we had the same routine every night and that helped him to realise that it was going to be bedtime soon. He had dinner, bath or shower, three books and cuddles then it would time for bed. I put a child lock on the inside of his door so that he couldn't get out of his room on his own after he went to bed, and after about five minutes of crying in his room, he would usually go back to bed to sleep without much intervention. If he cried for more than five minutes I would go in and tell him it was bedtime and put him back to bed, sometimes I would lay down with him for a little while but I was always strict with not letting him get out of his room after official bedtime.

It took a while but with consistency he started to sleep a lot better. He also had problems with his tonsils being very large and had sleep apnea which would cause wake up screaming most nights so I could understand that he didn't really want to go to bed. He had that problem until he had his tonsils out when he was four years old and now he sleeps better than he ever has before and has grown so much now that he isn't tired all the time and spending all of his energy fighting tonsillitis.

Bedtime was always a struggle and a stressful time for us with DS1 but they do seem to grow out of that eventually. Keep trying some different things.

#15 elegie

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:44 PM

It sounds like he just doesn't need as much sleep as you think he does. DS wakes at 7-7.30, and goes to sleep at 9.30, with a 1-2 hour nap during the day. Trying to make him sleep even at 8.30 or 9 usually results in me getting frustrated and eventually falling asleep just as he does.

We start his bedtime routine an hour or more before that, and read books in bed from about 9. I'd suggest putting him to bed at 7 for a week or so and see if that makes a difference.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Finding baby name inspiration in unusual places

Sometimes the greatest baby name ideas come from the most unexpected places, as these EB members show.

The case for inducing at 37 weeks

While we often think of pregnancy as a 40 week affair, experts agree that 37 weeks is actually “full term". So is there an argument for inducing all births at 37 weeks?

Does controlled crying really work?

Controlled-crying techniques may help some babies sleep through the night, but for many exhausted new parents, it's just a recipe for more tears all round.

How I taught my infant to use a toilet

As people become more aware of these benefits, I hope more parents will practice this method, so we can cut down on nappies and improve baby bonding.

'I thought it was impossible': Emily Symons pregnant at 45

Aussie actress Emily Symons has announced she is pregnant with her first baby.

Shallow water blackout kills fit, healthy dad

A little girl will grow up without her father after the fit and healthy 34-year-old passed away while doing something he had practised his whole life.

Afternoon naps may be bad for toddlers' sleep

You could be doing yourself a disservice by encouraging your toddler to have an afternoon nap, according to new research.

Best gifts for newborns, new mums and christenings

We've compiled a guide to some of the most popular presents for newborns and new mums, and for christenings and naming days.

Jaime King to be a mum again

Actress Jaime King is pregnant with her second child, giving 16-month-old James a sibling.

Nannies should receive government funding

The Abbott government should extend funding to nannies, and direct childcare payments to low and middle income families, a landmark study on childcare has found. 

Common skin irritations in newborns (and how to treat them)

As many as one in two newborn babies suffer from skin irritations in their first few weeks. So what are the most common rashes and irritations to look out for?

10 wall decals for the nursery or playroom

Wall decals are the answer to creating a beautiful nursery or children's space without lifting a paint brush, a spirit level or even a hammer.

Preschooler walks 2.4km home alone

Three-year-old Cain Trainor headed off home after his first day at a new preschool without telling anyone.

Video: Why mums get nothing done

In spite of being in an almost constant state of motion while looking after the kids and trying to keep things together at home, it can seem as though parents have managed to get nothing on the to-do list done by the end of the day.

The middle name game

The middle name is no longer an afterthought, and parents' inspiration comes from many places.

Have a baby or your money back - but there's a catch

A new IVF scheme offers couples the chance to fall pregnant and give birth - or get their money back. But there's more to it than you might think.

A rare glimpse inside the womb

A baby born still inside the amniotic sac gave US doctors a rare glimpse at life inside the womb.

Battered mum forced to write to her attacker ex in jail

Three years ago Jason Hughes viciously attacked his ex-partner. Now she has to write to him three times a year.

Woman pleads not guilty to ultrasound scam

A West Australian woman will fight allegations that she scammed expectant mums by selling them fake ultrasound pictures of babies.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Brain damaged mum receives compensation

A Sydney mother who suffered brain damage when she was hit by a car while pushing her newborn baby in a pram has reached a confidential out-of-court settlement with the driver's insurance company.

Indigenous midwives break down the barriers

A culturally sensitive midwifery service has gained the trust and respect of Aboriginal women.

The Katering Show's next big delivery

Most mums-to-be plan to take things easy and perhaps have a little break from work as the birth of their baby draws near. Not Kate McCartney.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

Why I have mixed feelings about Cindy Crawford's leaked photo

Last week an un-retouched photo of model Cindy Crawford surfaced, showing the 48-year-old mother-of -two posing in underwear.

How to create a Peppa Pig pancake

Thought your toddler could not love pancakes any more than they already do? How about if the breakfast treat came in the shape of every two-year-old's favourite cartoon character?

'It's a little life, not a little loss': pregnancy after miscarriage

I thought I was never going to be able to have a successful pregnancy. I decided that I wasn't going to form an emotional attachment with this baby.

Bonds Baby Search 2015: what you need to know

February 18 marks the start of one of the most prolific annual baby competitions in Australia: the Bonds Baby Search. And this year is going to be more special than ever.

Who will manage your Facebook account when you're gone?

This is not something that people like to talk about, but Facebook has announced that it will grant users more control over what happens to their pages after they die.

Struggling mum of four wins $188 million

Mother of four Marie Holmes was financially struggling after quitting her jobs at Walmart and McDonald's in order to care for her children.

Pregnant obese women a 'relatively new problem', coroner hears

A first-time mother whose daughter died hours after her frightening birth insists she was never told of the risks of being obese and pregnant.

'I'm angry as hell': the story behind mum's passionate vaccination plea

She has labelled parents who do not vaccinate their children "misinformed imbeciles" - and for that, she makes no apologies.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

8 different kinds of tantrums

I never thought I’d say this, but for a brief moment last week, Kim Kardashian and I had something in common: both our kids had public tantrums.

Polycystic ovary syndrome: symptoms, treatment and your fertility

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female hormonal condition, affecting roughly one in 12 Australian women.

What's the best position for giving birth?

If doing it on your back is out, what's the best position for labour and birth?

Wife forgives snake catcher husband for car surprise

With Valentine's Day coming up, Nat Gilbert could be forgiven for thinking her husband might be planning a surprise for her.

Kids who meet milestones at their own pace

We usually only hear the success stories: tales of the two-year-old who’s talking, running and completely toilet trained. But other stories need to be told too.

Ruby shines as Bonds Baby

Sarah Kiss has a word of advice for proud mums and dads who are keen to enter their babies in this year's Bonds Baby Search Competition - just have fun.

Why dads should go to sleep school

If your family needs to go to sleep school, go with them. You are part of that family and you are part of the solution.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Win a KitchenAid Mixer

Let's celebrate 300,000 fans on Facebook

To celebrate, and to thank our amazing fans, we?re giving away a KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.