my 2 year olds get 9 hours sleep a day. how do i persuade them to sleep more?

(19 Posts)

My dts woke at 4.15 and 5 today. They are just 2, and have about 1 hour nap in the day. they have now finally gone to sleep, at 8.30. They will both wake through the night and will probably be up properly by 4.30. How on earth do I persuade them to sleep more? They are night weaned, have a bedtime routine, go to sleep in their own beds, have a clock which lights up at 5.15, before this they understand I would like them to go back to sleep. What else can I try?

Iggly Thu 29-Nov-12 20:59:04

What time do they go to bed? (not what time do they sleep)

loveisagirlnameddaisy Thu 29-Nov-12 21:04:11

If they are happy when they wake and not irritable during the day, I would suggest cutting down their nap with a view to eliminating it altogether. If that doesn't help, you could just have two very lively children who need very little sleep!

My DD cut out her nap at 2 and was on 30 mins from about 19 months - this was the only way she would reliably sleep for 12 hours a night. If her nap was longer, or too late in the day, she would always either play up about going to bed or wake very early in the morning.

The total flip side is that they are overtired - the night waking might indicate this. However, if they were OT, I would expect bad behaviour and irritability as well during the day.

Hope that helps!

No, they aren't that happy. Happy interspersed with random grumpiness. I do think they're overtired, but I don't know how to persuade them back to sleep after 4am. I have tried insisting they stay in bed, but they just cry, which wakes the other one and their brother who has to go to school. Earlier in the night they will cry but go back to sleep within a few minutes, but after 4am that doesn't work.

Normally, we do upstairs at 7, teeth etc, stories, and bed around 7.30. They'll go to sleep something after 8pm, after a mix of mucking about, crying to get out of bed, asking me to tickle their feet. Tonight everything was running a bit late though.

Oh, we were restricting their nap a few weeks ago, but they didn't sleep any more at night, just got increasingly grumpy and clingy during the day. They didn't seem to compensate for the lack of daytime sleep with more nighttime.

They will, however, fall asleep when in the buggy for 10 minutes at almost any time of day.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Fri 30-Nov-12 12:33:00

I think bedtime is too late. Try having them in bed by 6.30 for a few nights to see if that will help. My DD has never woken earlier the next day following an early bedtime if she was really tired.

Peetle Fri 30-Nov-12 14:00:21

Split them up ? We had a similar problem where one of the DTs would wake the other if she woke early, so there was no chance of either going back to sleep once one was up.

We split them up when they were about 2 and it definitely helped but by the time they were nearly 4 they wanted to share again, which they still do at 5.6.

omama Fri 30-Nov-12 15:35:48

agree with love - if they are up that early, do a much earlier bedtime. Sound overtired to me. Always works in our house too.

What time do they usually nap? Might be that needs a tweak too.

Peetle's suggestion may also be a good idea though can't really comment as don't have twins. Must be hard if one disturbs the other & so on.xx

Can't split them up without putting one in with the four year old, and that would be rather unfair on him.

Can't do bed much earlier in the week as they get home from nursery at 6, but we can try it at the weekend. I'm a bit skeptical though - won't it just mean much more mucking about and crying before they go to sleep at the usual (late) time?

Nap is usually 12-1, but they also often kip in the mornings on the way to nursery for 20 minutes at around 8am.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Fri 30-Nov-12 19:38:59

It might mean more mucking about but it might also mean they fall asleep really easily because they're not overtired and distracted. Children find it harder to fall asleep when they're really tired, unlike adults who go straight to sleep. It's worth a try, surely?

Oh, definitely, will try this weekend. Just wondering whether to get my hopes up!

loveisagirlnameddaisy Sat 01-Dec-12 10:02:28

Never get your hopes up! Also, don't expect anything to change after a couple of nights. It took me a month to move my DD's early mornings on to a later wake up time. Body clocks can take a little while to reset.

narmada Sun 02-Dec-12 21:51:50

Hmmm, tricky one.

Are you certain nursery are only allowing them to sleep for 1 hour? grin. It has been known for them not to adhere to parents' guidelines on this because it suits them better....

How about putting one DT in with you at night, one in own room, and then your older one can have own room too.

Failing this, wake to sleep? This is where you wake them a bit earlier (Say, 1 hour) earlier than they would usually wake up in the morning, and then resettle them. The idea is that this resets their body clock and they go into another sleep cycle. I never had the guts to do it though ;)

Well, we have had a minor miracle with the early bedtimes. Started Saturday, dd was asleep by 7.15, ds2 by 7.45, although there was a lot of crying involved and they woke four times through the night, awake at 5.15. Sunday, both asleep by 7.30, ds2 woke once, dd not at all, and awake at 5.15. Tonight was harder - we don't get home from nursery till 6pm, but still made it upstairs for teeth by 6.30, sleep at 7.40, lots of crying again though.

So, this early to sleep may work, if we can work out how to fit it in. That short evening meant they and I didn't get much time with ds2, and we skipped a family tea, so it can't be sustained in the long run, but I'm hoping a week or two might reset their sleeping hours, and we can start moving bedtime a little later and either keep the same sleep time, or even, dare I dream it, move waking towards 6am?

narmada thanks for the idea. I have never had the courage to try wake to sleep either. I do know if one wakes the other after 4am they can both be up for the day though, so I'm not convinced it would work for my pair.

omama Mon 03-Dec-12 22:45:19

IIWY I would cut the sleeping at 8am. Loud music, talking, singing, anything you can do to stop them sleeping on that nursery run. Early waking is linked to allowing LO's to nap too early in the day & your LO's are sneaking in a sleep at 8am! It means they have no incentive to sleep in any later in the mornings because they are able to catch up with a quick nap. Its also likely the reason they are only napping for 1hr at lunchtime.

If you can eliminate that nap & do some much earlier bedtimes i.e. 6-6.30pm, just in the short term, I think you'll find that they will overcome any OT & sleep in later in the mornings. Once their nights lengthen, their nap should also lengthen, and you can gradually work on pushing it a bit later (15 mins/week) so you eventually end up with something like

Up: 6.30-7
Nap: 1-3
Bed: 8

HTH.x

narmada Mon 03-Dec-12 23:00:35

I reckon omama might have a point about that early nap but SO pleased tge earlier bedtimes are working. Hurray.

I know if my DS - also just two - had two daytime sleeps I would be in for a horrendous night smile

Would love to cut that nap, but no idea how, they are in a trailer behind my bicycle. Probably can't hear me chatting above the traffic. They don't nap every day.

They don't do it every day, but they expect to be able to, so at weekends they can wake early and then be super grumpy when they don't get an early nap.

Still, the good news from last night is that ds woke at 12, and again at 4.45 but is back asleep (albeit with my arm around him) whilst dd has again slept through!

lady24 Tue 04-Dec-12 05:48:00

what time did your kids go in last night?

my bedtime schedule for 3 yr old has been the same since age 15 months. 5 is supper time, 5.30 bath time, brush our teeth, read a bedtime story and into bed at 6. we are VERY RIGID, this schedule never changes, not on holidays or weekends...NEVER. its always the same. kids love structure. dd wakes between 6 and 6.30 every day. its quite early since we only leave at 8.15 but it works for me. try keeping to the same schedule...STRICTLY for two weeks and see how it works.

a 2 yr old should not be getting up in middle of the night anymore, unless they are sick, even if they are hungry. do NOT acknowledge midnight crying unless it is really intense and you think something is wrong. often the child will just fall back asleep on their own without parental interference.

good luck. let us know how it goes.

lady24 Tue 04-Dec-12 05:52:47

hope i don't sound too rigid there op.

point is choose a routine that works for you. (in your case 6 is too early) and stick to it by hook or by crook for at least two weeks. should do the trick. kids will see that this is how things work and will want to keep to this schedule on their own. before you know it they'll be getting to bed on their own (just becomes a matter of fact after a while) without any crying and complaining.

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