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

 

Wet wipes linked to rise in allergic reactions

The government has issued a health warning after a rise in allergic skin reactions has been linked to a preservative found in some wet wipes.

Gay couple in their 80s first to wed in Dallas after Supreme Court ruling

Love may have won, but it came with quite the wait.

William Tyrrell's family marks birthday with cake and renewed appeal

The family of missing boy William Tyrrell will mark his fourth birthday on Friday making a cake to share with friends and family as NSW police renewed their public appeal for information on his disappearance.

What all parents should know about safe babywearing

A picture of Ryan Reynolds always gets the girls talking, and a recently shared photo has done exactly that - but this time, it's for all the wrong reasons.

Baby's head shape reveals potentially fatal condition

Thinking her baby just had an unusually shaped head, a mother was shocked to discover it was instead linked to a dangerous condition.

'Help - my toddler hits me!'

My toddler has started hitting when he gets frustrated, is feeling ignored, or just thinks it might be fun.

Why IVF success rates may not be what you think

Transparency, accountability and responsibilityare essential measures to protect IVF vulnerable patients.

On the 10th anniversary of my son's death

This day marks a significant day. Today marks 10 years since I lost my son Kai.

Owning a pair of nail scissors does not make me a hairdresser

It's been a whole year since sleeping in until 10am. A whole year since having a peaceful shower.

WIN A $500 VISA DEBIT CARD

Are you a parent, or are you planning to be? Tell us what you think and you'll go in the draw to win a $500 gift card!

Sexy time

Why you should get excited about scheduling sex

Unfortunately, the belief that sex should always be spontaneous is a myth. It just isn't.

Orphaned baby daughter Ayla wakes from coma

Former All Black Jerry Collins' critically injured orphaned daughter has awoken from her coma and is able to bottle-feed.

Dad takes miraculous catch while feeding baby

One American father has taken multitasking to a new level at a Cubs-Dodgers baseball game at Wrigley Field.

'Samuel is our firstborn, and he will never be forgotten'

Having lost their firstborn at one day old, the Carrolls were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Isobel into the world a year later.

The top 6 misleading parenting terms

From 'morning sickness' to 'the terrible twos', there are many parenting terms that are misleading.

When 'good' nannies go bad

While most nannies take pride in their work, there can be some who have a hidden side.

Woman hospitalised for skinny jeans injury

Beware: skinny jeans might be bad for your health.

Gauze seeding: the bacteria-breeding birth trend

A number of women having caesarean deliveries are now taking steps to give their baby a better 'microbiome' start in life.

Jimmy Fallon writes new children's book for dads

Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC's The Tonight Show, recently wrote a children's book about every father's secret wish for their baby's first word to be "dada" - not "mama".

28 names for babies born in winter

Looking for some baby name inspiration for a bub born during the colder months? Here are 28 options from around the world to consider.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

27 funny ultrasound pictures

Ultrasounds give you a look at your growing baby ... and sometimes what appears to their womb-buddy, or your bub in an amusing position.

The horrible act that sparked a brawl at child's birthday party

The uncle of the seven-year-old girl at the centre of the brawl at child's birthday party in Sydney's west has described the events leading up to the alarming show of violence.

Babies 'benefit from iPads at a young age': study

More often than not, you'll read that screen time for children should be kept to a minimum - but some scientists are now challenging this way of thinking.

Do mums really just obsessively talk about their children?

Natalie Reilly describes three main types of conversations mothers have. And, surprise, they're not all about kids.

Why some dogs might attack babies or young kids

A baby's smell, the noises it makes and even its gaze can contribute to the potential for a dog attack.

Mum demands refund for 'beargina' christening cake

It was meant to be a tasteful cake to help celebrate a three-year-old's christening.

5 things no one warns you about after giving birth

How many times have you been warned about all the sleepless nights you have to 'look forward to' when you become a parent?

Police officer sang nursery rhyme as heartbreaking photo was taken

A police officer arrived at a devastating scene on Thursday: a car crash resulting in all passengers being thrown from the vehicle.

Don't worry, working mums: Just leave Dad in charge at home

Want to open the boardroom doors for women? Encourage - heck, praise - dads who stay home with their children.

Hilaria Baldwin shares post-baby selfie

Just two days after giving birth, actor Alec Balwin's wife posted a post-baby picture on social media.

'Help - my child won't ever do what I ask!'

Compliance is part of the parent-child relationship, but so is resistance. It's all natural.

Postnatal depression support gets $23 million boost in NSW

The Baird government will include $22.8 million in Tuesday's NSW budget to expand a program designed to help parents at risk of postnatal depression (PND).

'I'm just as tired, scared and stressed as you': stay-at-home dad's plea

I'm really lucky to have two great kids, but I found it really tough with so much being aimed at the mothers and not the fathers.

6 tips for transitioning back to work after baby

Mums returning to work - and yes, dads too - aren't the same as when they left. But that doesn't mean they're not as good as they once were.

Couple reveals pregnancy with epic Britney Spears parody

How do you create an original pregnancy announcement and gender reveal? You turn to Britney Spears.

The truth about birthing a big baby

When told that they are having a 'big baby', many women have a lot of fears. But those fears are often unfounded.

Eight months pregnant and addicted to eating soap

This bizarre snack takes the cake (of soap) when it comes to weird pregnancy cravings.

Can you spot the drowning child?

Can you spot him in the video? The child who loses his rubber ring, panics, and then almost drowns? It isn't easy.

Noodles, peanuts, wee wees and lady bits

Yes, I know it's silly. I know all the advice from experts is to use the right terminology from the moment your child can talk. But I just can't.

Mum's brave battle for unborn triplets amid cancer diagnosis

Bree O'Malley has a cancer diagnosis, a rare blood condition, kidney and liver failure and other complications. And she is pregnant with triplets.

 

Win $500

WIN A $500 VISA DEBIT CARD

Are you are parent or planning to be? We want to know what you think - let us know and you'll be in the draw to win a $500 gift card.

 
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.