DD still a rubbish sleeper at 27 months!

(24 Posts)
broodylicious Mon 07-Jul-14 12:35:13

So dd is just over two now and she's still an awful sleeper. She's slept through just a handful of times, normally she wakes about four to six times a night. I'm really tired of it now (although not willing to go down the CIO/CC route ever) and especially of people implying there's something wrong with her if she's this age and not sleeping through.

Does anyone have any pearls of wisdom they'd like to share? Even a sympathetic smile will be welcomed wink

MillionPramMiles Mon 07-Jul-14 13:03:20

What does dd want/do when she wakes (drink/cuddle/come into bed with you etc)? Is something waking her that you can address (noise, siblings etc)? Is she still napping during the day and is that making her not tired enough at night?

At 27 mths I would be thinking reward/bribery rather than CC. Can you leave dd a little present outside her door from the sleep fairy each time she doesn't leave her bed or wake anyone up during the night?

Dd was an awful sleeper as a baby but improved massively as a toddler (we did do cc though at 10 mths). I think a key factor is making bed an attractive place so they actually like being there. Dd is only allowed her dummy and her favourite teddy in her cot. They're strong sleep/comfort associations for her and she isn't allowed to have them anywhere else. I'm sure she wakes up during the night (I don't hear her but I know she's a light sleeper) but her dummy/teddy help her get back to sleep without our intervention. Does your dd have anything similar?

I remember how awful it was when dd was waking during the night, it's exhausting, I don't think I could have coped at work if it had carried on.

DS2 was similar till 30 months when he got all his teeth. Heaps better now.

pigwitch Mon 07-Jul-14 13:21:42

I she in her own room?

Needaninsight Mon 07-Jul-14 13:22:16

Bit too late for CC I would have thought!!!

Cranial osteopathy?! Worth a go. Worked on my 10 week old, he's sleeping brilliantly since his first session. I've booked in quite a few more! grin

LongDivision Mon 07-Jul-14 14:16:18

I have a great sleeper, and I never did anything in particular. It's surely just down to luck and temperament. Sounds like you got the short end of the stick. <Hands a brew to OP>

loveisagirlnameddaisy Mon 07-Jul-14 14:47:35

Poor sleep at this age is largely down to habit. She's got used to you responding to her wakeups in the night so she'll carry on until a) it no longer interests her to have you there or b) you help her learn how to go back to sleep by herself.

She's far too old for CC even if you were willing to do it do I'd suggest something along the lines of gradual withdrawal. Have you heard of it?

lovepigeon Mon 07-Jul-14 16:59:37

You are not alone - DD1 is 29 months and has slept through only 3 times.
I am quite lax about it as I let her come into our bed when she wakes after I've gone to bed. She is getting more and more fond of her bed so I'm hoping problem will resolve itself in time. She is also extremely clingy when awake atm.

PickledLily Tue 08-Jul-14 06:40:08

We have the same problem here. DD is 28 months and has only slept through a few times, when she was getting a bug. I now end up bringing her in with us by 3am otherwise we would be up for the day. She is also very clingy during the day.

She has just started getting scared of the dark, which doesn't help. I just hoping this too will pass.

SandyChick Tue 08-Jul-14 22:02:35

I don't have any answers but I know what you mean.

My 27 month old is exactly the same. My older ds1 (7) was/is the complete opposite. He has slept through the night since being 12 weeks old.

Ds2 really suffered with teething and was getting 2&4 teeth at a time. he has had all his teeth for a good 6 months now so it's not that anymore. We have a few good weeks where I might only need to get up once then nights like last night were he won't go to sleep at bedtime, doesn't settle well so shouts of me throughout the night then up at 5.40am and grumpy because he is so tired!!

It is partly down to bad habits. He's got used to shouting and me going in to see to him. It's usually because he wants to be tucked in. He shouts and shouts and won't give up. He only does it for me too. Dh is away (forces) so he knows it has to be me that goes to him.

I've decided from tomorrow the day time nap is gone. He might need the odd cat nap in the car but no more 1.5 naps in his bed.

broodylicious Tue 08-Jul-14 22:37:17

It's good to know I'm not the only one! I'll try to remember people's questions and answer them (I'm on my phone so can't see names, sorry, that is a bit rude of me blush)

When she wakes, she really cries. We don't believe in ignoring her cries so we wouldn't ever leave her and we will respond, no matter how tired we are. Yes, it is very probably habit that she won't just grumble and drop back off again but we don't want to start ignoring her.
We co sleep towards the end of the night - or earlier if it's a particularly bad night.
We have the landing light on and her door is left open. However, she did say to me the other night she was scared of sleeping, which took me back a bit. I've got a star projector thing that I've bought off groupon or wowcher recently so I may consider putting that in her room as something for her to focus on? Or a lava lamp maybe?
Tonight, I tried the first step of gradual retreat. Usually, I hold her hand until she's asleep but tonight I put my hand on the bed beside her for a little while then removed it before she was asleep. She reached out for me, stroked my hand but didn't cling on as she's done before. I'm planning on doing that again for the next few nights then will try moving away a little more.

Parietal Tue 08-Jul-14 22:43:48

both mine were bad sleepers. things that worked

- delay responding to cries. you aren't ignoring, but just wait 2 mins before going to her.
- no chatter in the night - respond slowly & gently & quietly
- bedtime rules chart on the wall - dd suggested rules (e.g. teddy be quiet) and I suggested rules (stay in bed) and we decorated the chart together. helps remind her that night is for sleep, not playing

- gradual retreat works too - keep it up.

We were in a similar position with dd2. I read the no cry toddler sleep solution and that had some good ideas. I used to sleep on a mattress on her floor at various stages of baby/toddlerhood and she responded well to that. We took her into our bed if that meant more sleep. As she got older, we used star charts and rewards. They helped a bit.

She eventually did start sleeping thorough more often at about 2.5 and by about 3 was sleeping through most nights. We got it down to her tiptoeing into our room, having a cuddle, then tiptoeing back into her bed. I think she just needed lots and lots of reassurance and even though it was really hard at times, I am really glad we took the softly softly approach. She has pretty much always shared a room with one of her sisters and she says that she just really likes having someone in the room.

I would say to try the projector, and have a look at the book, see if there are any ideas in there that might work for all of you.

Sympathy from me as it is a)physically and mentally punishing and b)not nice at all feeling judged when you have a poor sleeper for whatever reason. LongDivision, wish more parents were as kind as you about it!

Good luck OP, hope things improve soon.

Dd is 4 and hardly ever sleeps through-less than 10 times in total.

I now just let her make her way in to my bed in the night and have a cuddle-easiest all round and much less stressful

broodylicious Wed 09-Jul-14 07:19:13

Typically, she slept through (745-515) last night!! Must know I'm on to her wink

ipswichwitch Wed 09-Jul-14 07:46:37

Same here with 2.9yo DS1. He had sleep apnoea caused by enlarged tonsils, and was waking 20+ times a night when his breathing stopped. Either me or DH would be sleeping with him as he'd scream hysterically and need hand holding to get to sleep again.
He had his tonsils out a month and a half ago, and everyone believed he'd sleep through straight away. Typically he's proven them all wrong confused, still waking but not screaming at least. We think it's now habit and hr doesn't like being alone. Going to try gradual retreat once those last molars finish coming through. Last night was the best ever - he slept 8-12 then 12.30-6. Here's hoping it's the first of many good nights!

ipswichwitch Wed 09-Jul-14 07:50:26

Same here with 2.9yo DS1. He had sleep apnoea caused by enlarged tonsils, and was waking 20+ times a night when his breathing stopped. Either me or DH would be sleeping with him as he'd scream hysterically and need hand holding to get to sleep again.
He had his tonsils out a month and a half ago, and everyone believed he'd sleep through straight away. Typically he's proven them all wrong confused, still waking but not screaming at least. We think it's now habit and hr doesn't like being alone. Going to try gradual retreat once those last molars finish coming through. Last night was the best ever - he slept 8-12 then 12.30-6. Here's hoping it's the first of many good nights!

ipswichwitch Wed 09-Jul-14 07:53:05

Oops! Was meant to post a second bit about judge people commenting that we made him a crappy sleeper - yes BIL it's not actually possible to for a child sleep apnoea by cuddling him too much ffs.
I tell them that they are free to take him for the night and sort his sleep out since they are such experts on the subject. Funnily enough nobody has ever taken me up on that...

upyourninja Wed 09-Jul-14 08:02:04

DD (now 30 months) was horrendous at sleeping until 23 months. She started sleeping through consistently the night she went into a single bed - it was like flipping a switch!

She has blackout curtains, a Gro clock which turns yellow in the morning which she knows is when she is allowed to come out of her room. She also has a star projector for going to sleep and another nightlight so it's not too dark.

How good is your DD's language/understanding? Can you tell her that she's a big girl now and she doesn't need to worry about crying if she wakes up - she can just close her eyes, turn over and give her teddy/doll/lovey a cuddle, and that she doesn't have to be asleep, just resting peacefully.

The Gro clock really great for us as it turns yellow at a set time in the morning, which is a very clear sign that it's ok to get up.

Good luck!

PickledLily Wed 09-Jul-14 13:27:22

I'm in awe that some of these tactics work so easily. We've tried a few of them and no luck. When DD wakes, it's like she loses all ability to think (eg to find her teddy/dummy/not to cry) and just cries. DD is also still falling out of the bed most nights (3 weeks in) which occasionally freaks her out.

Sorry to hijack, but any tips for progressing to not touching/holding your toddler to sleep if they WILL. NOT. LET. GO. (or I will cry and scream for hours mummy) confused

ipswichwitch Wed 09-Jul-14 15:39:38

Yy PickledLily
DS1 is the same in that he understands what we tell him t bedtime about not needing to cry and he can cuddle his minion (!!) and close his eyes and sleep again. However, he loses the ability to think rationally when he wakes in the night and wants us. I do t know if it's in part due to the sleep apnoea which used to really freak him out, or if he is scared of the dark/being alone.

He also needs hand holding to get to sleep and screams if I try just sitting there without touching so I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to make gradual retreat methods work tbh

Lovelydiscusfish Wed 09-Jul-14 22:09:34

OP, it sounds like her room is quite light? I found my dd (2.3) sleeps much better in total darkness - blackout curtains, no night lights etc. This was extremely counter-intuitive to me as I myself am afraid of the dark and can't sleep in darkness. However, it seems dd is different. She is a child who will talk sometimes about being scared of things (bears, dinosaurs etc), but not the dark, it seems. Worth a try? Good luck!

ROARmeow Thu 10-Jul-14 19:40:54

sooo lovely to meet people in similar situation to us.

My DC2 is woeful sleeper. She's 23 months old and through necessity to save my sanity she's co-slept the latter half of every night since day one.

She gave up her nap at 15 months.

Goes to bed easily and isn't afraid of it, but come midnight she gets up and wanders into our room. Will not even think about going back to her own bed, cries until she vomits.

My theory is that she wakes up when she pees. she's never left soaking, and usually gets changed when she come into our room. But I've noticed that she cries a bit in her sleep and if I put my hand to her nappy I can feel her peeing.

GP has ruled out UTI and her per doesn't stink.

Any ideas?? (sorry for odd hijack)

broodylicious Mon 14-Jul-14 07:59:53

discus, we've just turned off the landing light at night in the last week. Made a huge (positive) difference!!! Thank you smile

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