Jump to content

Toddler sleep advice - desperate for help


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 *mylittleprince*

Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:26 AM

Just realised I posted this in the baby section so reposting it here.

Hi

I have a two and a half year old DS.

Background
DS has slept through the night from 9 months old. He has always slept well and had the routine of dinner/bed/bath and then we turned off the light and he went to sleep. Around November we took the side of his cot off to create a toddler bed and around January we moved him to a new room in a single bed (proper wooden frame and mattress). He slept well in the toddler bed and well in the single bed. Initally he climbed out of the single bed but after a few nights of being consistent and putting him back, he fell asleep and didn't get out.

Problem
About 2 months ago DS started waking up through the night saying he is scared. We gave him a touch nightlight and if necessary comforted him back to sleep. He started coming into our room and sleeping on kids couch with a pull out mattress. It looked uncomfortable so we put his cot mattress on the floor. If he came in, lay down and slept, wouldn't mind but he is waking up around 5 - 6 times a night talking, asking for water, saying random things like "it's dark in here", crying, etc. DH who is usually super gentle, calm and kind is at his wits end and exhausted. I am pregnant with twins and up a lot due to toilet visits and a runny nose and beyond exhausted. I am really battling to cope during the day.


Other info
  1. I'm a SAHM and we go out a lot in the day (playdates/park/library/playcentre) and do craft/puzzles, etc at home BUT DS has been watching a lot of TV (around 2 hours a day). Do you think this could be affecting his sleep?
  2. DS has a muslin blanky that he 'chews' to sleep but also asks for in the day. Would it be good to use it only for sleep time?
  3. DS dropped his day sleep around two months ago. He will fall asleep on the way home if we're out at lunch time but otherwise won't sleep. The problem is at 4pm or so he will then fall asleep (on the floor/couch, etc) if I leave him for 5 minutes or in the car if we go out. I have been driving him to sleep as I think he still needs a day sleep. Do you think I should not drive him to sleep? I.e if he falls asleep while out, transfer him to his bed but don't go for a drive if we're home?


What would you do in this situation. I've phoned today to see the local childhood nurse but they can only see us in two and a half weeks. Thanks so much.


At this stage I'm leaning towards removing the mattress from our room, going in when he calls, settling him and walking out (even if it takes ages) or putting his cot in his room and telling him if he calls out/gets out of bed, etc he goes in the cot (don't like threatening, etc but feeling desperate). Not sure what to do if he calls out? Do you ignore and wait for him to go back to sleep or go in and settle every time.


#2 Natttmumm

Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:40 PM

Sounds like he doesnt have any consistency around sleeping habits. Here is what I would do:

1. Explain to him that he is a big boy and needs to sleep in his own big bed all night. Set up some new teddies or special toy that he picks as his bedtime toy. Put a small light in his room that stays on all night and leave his door open all night just a bit. For the first few nights set up a reward that he will get if he stays in his room all night.
He might be too young to understand the reward but worth a try. Our DD2 is 2.5 and doesnt understand that yet.

2. On the first night very time he gets out or cries comfort him without making too much of it and keep putting him back but stay calm. After a few nights he should be ok.
Its not easy but if you stick to it it does work.

3. for the day sleep I did drive DD around at about 1pm but if she was still awake at 2pm i gave up. If he is really tired at 4pm try giving him early dinner and bath and bed at 6pm. Its a tough transition and for us it took ages for DD to be ok without a sleep. If I was at home I pulled out her little lounge and she wached a DVD for an hr rest time. Half the time she fell asleep but often she didnt.

#3 VintageEyes

Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:54 PM

It seems like the issues for you started around the time he dropped his day sleep.
Being over tired can cause nightmares & night terrors.
I would try to reintroduce a day sleep. Start by getting him to sit quietly in his bed for 1/2 hour. Sit by his bed. If he gets out of bed, give him one warning the next time leave the room for 2mins, shutting the door.
It took a couple of days for DS to stay in his bed. The first day he didn't go to sleep at all, the next day it took an hour, now only 10mins.

Every couple of days move further away from his bed until you are out the door all together.
Good luck!

#4 Phoenix Blue

Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:59 PM

Only my opinion, but I would...

Remove mattress from your room. He sleeps in his bed. Put a night light in his room that is on all night. Do a combination of the returning to bed if he gets out in the night, and ignoring call outs. He is old enough.

I would continue with day sleeps. I know I maybe biased or uninformed in this, but my 4 and 5 yo still have day sleeps some (or most for the 4yo) days. Don't tie yourself in knots trying to 'make' them sleep. Have a consistent routine. 1pm is sleep time. They go into bed, and they are not allowed out until at least 2pm. If they sleep, they sleep, if they don't, then they lay there 'resting'. Mostly they will sleep. Wake them by 3pm. Some suggest letting them 'read' books in rest time, or listening to music. Personally, I don't allow that. I believe that it is routine that allows my 2 to continue having day sleeps, I've never given the option of dropping it for good. But I also understand that it may not work for everyone. I definitely think a 2 and 1/2 yo needs a day sleep still. If you can get a routine in place before your twins arrive too, it will make it easier on you to have that 1-2 block in the middle of each day.

I'd also have blanky as only allowed at bedtime and naptime. Often it can be an incentive for nap time. Don't take out, don't give on the couch while watching TV etc.

Anyway, just my advice, take it or leave it. Hope you find something that works for you soon.

Kate

#5 Lucygoosey1

Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:00 PM

I'd be making him have a lie down in bed at around 1pm.  I think this will be pretty hard, but doing the 'quiet time' by himself with the door shut or gate on his room?  Give a few books or quiet toys.  I think if you worked on him either sleeping or occupying himself quietly for 1hr- he may just fall asleep & it'll give you a break once your babies are here.  The driving is a short term solution, but really you want to fix things.  At night I think the problem is the mattress on the floor.  Put him straight back to bed and leave.  The hard thing is once he realizes you bring him in and give him attention when he is 'scared' that will be the excuse all the time!  My DD doesn't say scared but she does bring out other excuses -mostly wee & poo as we've toilet trained during the day.  My DD does these sorts of things at bedtime rather than during the night.  But we are shutting the door if she carrys on.  I go in once she stops crying, and put her back to bed.  She gets the door open if she stays in bed nicely.  I try not to give any attention/talk etc.  It is definitely improving.  If she comes in to our room during the night she just gets put back.  It's hard but worth being tough now.  My DD1 is 2yrs2mths,  but I also have my DD2 who is 8mths, so I know how important it is that you be a little hard now for when your twins arrive.

#6 libbylu

Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:06 PM

Don't rule out a medical issue.  Is a good meat eater?  Low iron levels will often cause toddlers to be wakeful in the middle of the night.

#7 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:06 PM

Hi OP,
Just thought I'd share what we did when we needed to take DD1's bottles off her at about 2.5.  We promised her a very special gift if she could give up her bottles for a whole week.  Maybe try some variation of this?  e.g.: if you stay in bed all night tonight, tomorrow you can have x.  If you do it for a whole week, you can have y. She cried a few times the first few days, but I would go in and remind her about the special toy she could have.  By the third night, there were no issues and a week later, she got her bicycle helmet very excitedly.
About the same age, DD1 also began to have nightmares and worry about a monster.  We keep her door wide open and leave the hallway light on all night.  We've also had to explain to her a million times that monsters aren't real and that mummy and daddy don't let monsters even come near our house, and our dog also makes sure there are no monsters anywhere near.
We leave a water bottle full of water on her nightstand and she drinks that throughout the night when she is thirsty.
Similar to a PP'er, if my DD1 doesn't go down for a nap by about 2:30pm, I don't try.  If she sleeps past about 3pm she is very hard to get into bed at night.  I second making your DS have "quiet time" in the afternoon to lie in his bed with some books and a soft toy.  My DD1 often does this and I hear her chatting to herself and making up stories, but it is a good wind down.
My DD1 also has a muslin blanky which she takes to her bed.  I don't let her take it anywhere else or use it except in bed.  She has such a strong sleep association with it that the minute she touches it her eyes get heavy.  So maybe try this with DS too?

Don't know if this helps at all - but the current situation can't continue particularly when you've got new babies coming soon and you and your DH are so exhausted, poor things!


#8 *mylittleprince*

Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:14 PM

Thank you SO much for the advice, it is really helpful and has given me great ideas to implement.

Will definately take the matress away and resettle him in his bed instead.

Will look at rest time/quiet time so he has an afternoon break. Someone told me today to just climb into bed with him to get him to sleep so I did and he fell asleep in about 20 minutes and slept for 1 hour and woke up super happy so going to try this. The only problem is he wakes up at different times (between 6:00 and 7:00am) so is tired at different times. Will try 12:30 rest time as we'll definately be home so maybe light lunch, book and then rest.

Thanks for the iron suggestion. DS doesn't eat much meat at all (will eat steak and fish) which he used to have every night (one or the other) but now we're serving the family meals plus veg. Only on day 3 and he hasn't eaten any of the meat part (cottage pie, etc). Will see if I can find a supplement or introduce iron in other forms.


#9 miss*k

Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:45 PM

We had the SAME prob with DD only a month or so ago.

DD started to get scared of the dark and "monsters".

What has worked for us, we use a lavener spray with glitter in it in a trigger bottle. We spray for monsters and shoo them out the door every night before bed.  I also have a nightlight on for her all night so she can see.

I also bought DD one of those starlight turle things that project stars all over the room. It's an AWESOME distraction before sleep time.  DD has been sleeping great with no wakeups since the monster spray and shooing them out the door. I also have made she she is not watching anything she shouldn't (ie my tv shows that I thought were harmless...she thought one of the men was a monster).



#10 miss*k

Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:47 PM

P.S we have dropped our day sleeps. We find DD doesn't sleep as well at night when she has had a daysleep. If she naps on the way home in the car we wake her up as soon as we get home.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

I'll admit it: I have last child parenting fatigue

If you're a new mum and feeling ignored by the older mum/the old hand/the has-been, please know, it's not you, it's me. Blame the last child parenting fatigue.

Exhaustion is not the same as tiredness

Having a new baby isn't tiring - it can be downright exhausting.

Five posterior babies, four home births

I was on a high. I'd done it all by myself with no help from anyone.

Mum's list of birthday gift demands goes viral

We're big fans of kids' birthday parties - but this is one bash we're glad we didn't get an invite to.

Kate Middleton to receive 'loyalty discount' for second birth

Everybody loves a bargain - including the Duchess of Cambridge.

Fish & chip shop owner's sad note goes viral

A lengthy note put on the window of a fish & chip shop has gone viral due to the writer's serious doubts about the romance of travel.

Pregnant women need good nutrition advice, not judgment

Pregnant women are under pressure to do all the "right things" to have a healthy child. It results in women feeling judged about their decisions.

When your child wants you to have another baby

Giving your child a sibling when you don't want to have another baby can be a complex issue.

William Tyrrell's mum speaks out: 'We hope he is still alive'

The mother of missing toddler William Tyrrell says she has a vision that somebody "picked him up and moved him on ... that's the only way ... to explain for him not to be there".

Family comes first for 23-year-old Tommy Connolly

Most 23-year-old blokes spend their hard earned cash on fun times with mates or romantic dinners with their girlfriend, but not Tommy Connolly.

Newborn all-girl quintuplets 'doing great'

The first all-female quintuplets born in the United States were delivered last week, at 28 weeks and two days.

Model mum's big baby silences critics

He may be less than a week old, but baby James Hunter has already helped his model mum silence her critics.

Jammy, Hula Hoop, Rage: Reddit reveals most unusual baby names

A recent Reddit thread has revealed some of the more creative names in the world.

Woman awakens from coma, learns she gave birth

A US woman awakened this week from a four-month-long coma that doctors had feared would be permanent and learned that she had given birth to a baby boy, according to her family.

'Give us a break': mum sent shocking letter over Facebook baby pics

Posting a lot of baby photos doesn't make you a bad person. It may make your Facebook feed a little irritating, but it doesn't make you a bad person.

In defense of the dads who do so much

It's time to shift the focus off what dads aren’t doing and shine it on what they are.

The modern cloth nappies too cute to cover up

If you're only just joining the modern cloth nappy movement, or would like to spruce up your collection, we have to introduce you to Designer Bums.

How breastfeeding can affect your libido

When you’ve just had a baby, having sex isn’t usually top priority. In fact, for a lot of women it rates about as appealing as changing another dirty nappy.

Should pregnant women be allowed to use 'parent and child' car parking spots?

Is it acceptable to use these car parking spots when pregnant? How many of us would admit to doing it?

Healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man died

Fertility doctors have described their "most extraordinary case" - creating a healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man had died.

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

Childcare is a big problem, but there's more to it

Let’s keep talking about these issues and not allow them to be put into a neat little box that’s labelled ‘Fix childcare and everything is solved’.

Pink's awesome response to body-shaming trolls

When trolls felt the need to comment on 35-year-old singer-songwriter Pink's weight, her answer was an awesome ode to body love.

Fertility clinic offers egg donors $5000

A national chain of fertility clinics is offering egg donors a $5000 payment to cover their expenses, a first for Australia which is raising concerns the money could act as an inducement.

Baby boy abandoned in India amid fresh surrogacy concerns

Australian officials could do nothing to stop an Australian couple from abandoning their baby son, born through surrogacy in India, after they decided they did not want to bring him to Australia.

Herd immunity and community responsibility: how free-riders can make kids suffer

Individual choice works for haircuts and handbags, but not for preventing infectious diseases that kill kids.

Photographer captures 'unexpected beauty' of birth

If there is one thing Leilani Rogers knows about childbirth, it is that no two deliveries are ever the same.

Expectations vs the reality of making a toddler's clothes

Note to self: less sewing, more life. Not the party dress, but the party. The toddler, as usual, has it all figured out.

Mum meets 'dead' daughter 49 years after birth

In 1965, Zella Jackson-Price was told her premature baby girl had died shortly after birth.

How pregnancy probiotics can help you and your baby

New research suggests that taking specific pregnancy probiotics could be the answer to a range of common pregnancy side effects.

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.

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.

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.

 

ENTER NOW!

Win a year's worth of toys

Receive a daily email from Essential Baby for just the month of April with great play tips and ideas, then submit your baby at play photos to our Playwall, Instagram or Twitter for your chance to win.

 
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.