Advice on 2yo (and 4yo) sleep problems please!

(2 Posts)
naomilpeb Tue 15-Jan-13 11:04:41

We've got into a bit of a mess with DCs sleeping, and I'm wondering what we can do to sort it out. I'll try and be brief - any advice very welcome!

About a year ago DD (then 3, now 4) had a run of bad nightmares and asked for us to sit with her while she went to sleep. She and DS (then 1.3, now 2.3) share a room, so now they have both got used to one of us sitting in the chair while they go to sleep. Generally, this isn't too much of an issue for us because they fall asleep quickly and don't mess about. We tried a few times to break the habit but DD got really upset and we thought, maybe she needs this extra reassurance right now and we should go along with it for a bit longer. I don't know how 'a bit longer' turned into over a year! We tried a reward chart but while before bedtime she liked the idea, when it came to it she said she didn't want the sticker/promise of an Octonaut toy/ anything other than us sitting there!

DS has always slept badly - not sleeping through till 18 months, and even when he did he was up at 430 / 530 for the day. And now it's getting worse. Over the last few months he has started wanting to fall asleep on our laps instead of in his bed, he's waking up at least once every night (on Saturday it was five times!) and needing us in their room while he settles back to sleep, and where his morning had started edging towards 6 it's back to 5 again. It is killing us! He somehow seems to cope fine during the day.

I met up with a friend with a newborn at the weekend and we were talking about sleep issues and it made me think, god this situation isn't normal! And then DS had his 2-year check today and the HV was pretty shocked to hear about his sleep.

But we don't really know what to do. Part of me thinks that we need to break the staying-with-them pattern, as then when DS rouses in the night we're not there anymore and he gets upset, so he wakes up properly and the whole cycle starts again. But then part of me thinks that maybe they just need this reassurance and we'd be mean to take it away, they're still so little. And what if DS's nighttime wakings aren't linked to staying with them? And how ON EARTH do we get him to go back to sleep when he wakes up at 5 - is it even reasonable to expect him to, if he's just an early riser? I'm all confused, no doubt not helped by the sleep deprivation... He'll never sleep in our bed, he thinks it's a trampoline.

DP thinks similarly to me, perhaps more on the sort-it-out side of things.

So - are we crazy to still be staying with them? Should we really be trying to sort it out? And how can we do that? And will it help stop the nighttime wakings? They're both in beds, but there's a stair-gate on their door as the stairs are right there and very steep.

Thanks for any advice, and for reading all of this!

bakingbunnymummy Wed 13-Feb-13 18:21:02

Hi, i can see that no one has replied to this but i really feel for you as we are in the same situation. My DS (4) has never been a great sleeper but has recently become worse and worse. We moved house in november so we put it down to that but we have been here for nearly 4 months now and have been told that it usually unsettles them for a few weeks. He is now currently sleeping in our bed and my DH is on the sofa downstairs. We have never let him get into out bed before 6am before but it got the the point of desperation and we were both so overtired and fed up with it all that we just gave in. I know i've not been able to help you, but i've decided that i'm going to speak to my HV and push to see someone at a sleep clinic, maybe you could try this if you have not already? Oh he just keeps saying he's scared but won't say what of.

Please let me know if anything you try has worked and good luck.

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