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Softie parents of wilful toddler(18 Posts)
I'm ready for the harsh posts, I really am, but would rather just hand-holding and to be told that its just a phase, normal, evolutionary, etc.
Ds is 23 mo and at least once a week wakes up in the middle of the night, like now, and cannot stand to stay in the bedroom, where we bedshare; we have to come down and read books, draw, or like now, watch Caillou. I am exhausted, dh cannot be up instead of me as ds simply doesn't let us.
I don't know if there is anything we can do. Today he walked with dh for 2.5 km, then went to the park with me, didn't want a nap and went to bed at 8pm. If he has a nap then bedtime is 10pm the earliest. We've tried to shift his sleep to earlier but he is just like me, I'd love to sleep all day and be up all night.
Except that I can't, I've got to go to work! I want to sleep.
I'll try not to be too harsh
It could be a passing phase, how long has it been happening?
tbh if i was in your situation i wouldn't entertain getting up & going in the living room in the middle of the night or he will start to think its acceptable. Comfort him, cuddle him whatever, but remind him gently its night time/sleepy time & he has to stay in bed. He may well cry & it may be a painful few nights til he realises you are not budging but then hopefully that will be the end of it.
Something else occurs to me though - with you saying he's not napping - what time does he wake in the morning? I find with ds that on no nap days he sleeps better & longer at night if he goes to bed really early, so i keep his day to 10-10.5hrs max
So if he gets up at 8am bedtime is 6.30pm. Hth.x
You weren't harsh at all omama!!!
He wakes up usually at 8:30, if he then has a nap he'll go to sleep at 10, if he doesn't then bedtime is 8pm.
We tried the 'its nighttime, no leaving the bedroom' thing (only once, I admit), and he cried for 36 minutes, at the door, with us inside with him trying to open it. He now knows how to open it and it doesn't have a lock. It didn't work, we gave up before him
He's always been through phases in which he seems to wake up scared of being in the bedroom, even when very little when we'd have to rock him back to sleep downstairs..
I think might be overtired and we need to make sure he has a nap, even if that means going to bed later.
I also thought today about talking to him about it, telling him that there will be no going downstairs if he wakes up...
I feel that perhaps people are much more tolerant of crying than we are, coupled with ds being and incredibly strong-willed child.
What's getting me too is that we used to be able to share the time with dh, whilst now ds won't let me stay in bed!
How about - if no nap by 3 or 4pm, then it's no nap at all. He'll be mega moody later, but he might sleep better.
No taking downstairs. New rule - night time is for sleep, quietness and darkness only. So yes, def tell him all about it. Instead of a story go on about this instead.
Both my ds stopped their day naps at 1pm. If they were really tired out they would but if they napped late in afternoonI would be mega cruel and gently wake them. Then, an early night is an option.
It will get better.
Not 1 pm... I mean they stopped by AGE 1.
Think I need a nap!
Thanks woowoo, I try to get him through the day as you say if by 3 he hasn't had a nap, but then it's on those days when the risk of waking is greater strangely enough. I wonder if he is too physically tired but not mentally, I know that happens to me, or too excited about having walked 5 miles...
I'll make up some stories about night time for sleeping, and we'll do some drawings about it too. I've been telling myself and dh that his sleep will get better 'after the 4/8/12/18/24 sleep regression' for so long I don't hope to ever have a full night sleep again...
Def def try an earlier bedtime on no nap days, I'd say 7pm would be good. Esp with you saying his nights are worse if he doesnt nap - its likely he is overtired. I'd think this wldbe preferable to a long nap/late bedtime.
Agree with woowoo re telling him the new 'rule'. I know its awful hearing them cry, but you are not hurting him, its not that his needs aren't being met, its just that you are establishing boundaries that he doesn't like so he's gonna protest, kwim? Think you've just gotta stick it out & show him you can be just as wilful & stubborn as him!
Ok, today he's had no nap and did lots of walking with dh= recipe for disaster. We are having dinner early and a long warm bath afterwards... Fingers crossed a 7 pm bedtime doesn't mean him up at 9pm after a 'nap'! (It's been known to happen).
What times does he nap?
Stop with the huge amount of walking - you might be making him massively overtired and making it worse. Toddlers do better with short sharp burst of running around, not long sustained walking. So take him to the park and let him run around that way.
If he does get up, you know what to do:
Night time is for sleeping, let's go back to bed. Lie with him for a bit if you need to.
Tell him you are going to bed too and talk through all the people and animals that are now asleep.
Put on a CD - a story or music that he can listen to. I;ve done this with mine and now they are addicted.. Not sure if a good or bad thing.But at least it shuts them up and sends them off to sleep.
Really believe it or not? Why is that? I mean, biological reasons etc? Had no idea, dh was hugely proud of being able to leave the stroller behind!
Well, he should nap at 1ish, trouble is when I'm at work, he doesn't go to sleep easily with others.
I can't try the music idea tonight as we'd need to put a CD player in the bedroom, but will consider it tomorrow.
Night night! (Fingers crossed)
Quick update: slept till 7am quite restless through the night but without fully waking up. He normally bfs in the morning but today he was itching to get out of bed, not a bad thing in itself but then bfd downstairs uncomfortably in a kitchen chair.
Today we went to the park, played football, etc and had nap 1.30 to 3 pm. Lets see what happens tonight. We also have a cold now
k2togm (I think we know each other from the feb 11 thread )
Ds is just 2 and was a terrible sleeper for months, the best advice I had was to move nap times so that his nap time is always before 1pm (after lunch) and only for an hour. I gently wake him with cuddles after an hour and we do story time then as he wants some quiet time. I don't read him a story before bed anymore as it was making him too excited, we have bath and cuddles with milk then sleep time at 7pm.
Ds is similar to your ds in the walking thing, he loves it and we rarely take the pushchair anymore which is great but he can get over-tired quite easily so I have to watch out for the signs
and get it wrong a lot.
Hope this is helpful and that you're okay.
Oh and don't worry about the wilfulness, it's completely normal and healthy for him to be trying to exert more control now, it's just that it's our jobs to know where to draw the line. Ds tries to hold a dictatorship here...
What I mean is, he needs high intensity exercise as well as walking. So walk to the park, run about like a loon, walk home. As opposed to walk walk walk. I realised I made it sound like he shouldn't walk at all
Hi itsok, nice to hear from you, I try and try to get him to nap earlier, but we kind of gave up after stressing about it months , I think you are right though about having only 1 hr, tricky though as its our only time 'without' him iyswim. So is your ds sleeping better now?
believeitornot thanks for clarifying.
We are both now down with a cold so not having fun in any department...
One other thought - is he getting molars through? They were a killer for DS's sleep. Only thing that helped was nurofen.
Do they get two sets of molars or just one? He's got the first already, and yes they were horrid here too!
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