Toddler sleep - this too will pass.. Really?

(32 Posts)
Suchanamateur Sun 03-Nov-13 13:16:51

Just looking for a bit of comfort and support.

DD - coming up 21 months - has never been a great sleeper, but the last 8 weeks or so have been awful. 2 - 3 hr night wakings every night, short naps and bedtime resistance. She's a tired, clingy wreck and so, frankly, am I. I hate seeing her so damn tired.

I feel like I'm failing her. I have no idea what I'm doing and she's my second! I thought by now she might be sleeping ok-ish. DS wasn't great, but was nothing this awful.

We've tried pretty much everything and nothing much has changed. I don't think its pain as meds haven't helped and she doesn't seem in pain. So I am now trying to resign myself to this period and hoping This Too Shall Pass. But will it? Will she and I eventually, at some point, sleep a half decent night again?

teacher123 Sun 03-Nov-13 19:50:28

Hello again! Sorry to hear it's still crap, DS is still hit and miss with settling (last night instant, tonight randomly nearly an hour...) but cutting him to one nap has improved things generally. Have you read the Ferber book?He's the controlled crying bloke, and whether you agree with that or not, he does chapters on solving different problems, including long periods awake in the the middle of the night. I quite like his scientific approach, but obviously it's not everyone's cup of tea.

Sending you virtual cake and tea and sleeeeeeep!

It will!

My DS is 23 months and we've had 3 months of exactly as you describe (the pain of 3 hour wakings for all of us...!) on top of what has, frankly, been crap sleep since he was born.

Until last Thursday when, for no apparent reason, he slept through the night. And has done for 10 days.

Hope you come out of the other side soon.

yummymumtobe Sun 03-Nov-13 19:59:47

It will pass. Our dd slept through from 8 months but then just before she turned 2 suddenly she was a nightmare to settle. Took about 2 hrs from going to bed to her actually going to sleep. It only lasted a few weeks. I understand it's quite common so just grit your teeth I'm afraid! Try calpol as the last teeth come through at this time too

Suchanamateur Mon 04-Nov-13 13:17:59

Thank you all.

PotteringAlong - your post gives me hope. The NWs are horrendous, and every night I pray that she'll suddenly change as theres little we can do. Did you do anything different/ change anything? I just keep wondering what I can tweak here and there in case it makes a difference. Wishing you many more nights of sleep throughs!

teacher123 - hello! Wish we met under better circumstances.. I know exactly what you mean about inconsistent settling - an hour the night before last, and 10 minutes last night. But then everything about her sleep is inconsistent. Drives me crazy. We've tried controlled crying for her NWs, as it has worked (ish) for us with her in the past, but no dice unfortunately. But I'll dig out his book to see what he says about long NWs.

yummymum - we're already a few weeks into this unfortunately. And months into the ages to settle at bedtime. I've tried calpol/ nurofen etc but it doesn't seem to make much difference so I don't think its teeth, but who knows!!

teacher123 Mon 04-Nov-13 19:04:19

DS's new trick is to be completely silent for 1/2 hour when I put him to bed and then start babbling like a loon. He leaves it just long enough so that I think he's fast asleep and then the party begins. I am trying really hard to not let it stress me out...

He's now bouncing in his cot, sounds like he's about to come through the ceiling... Maybe it's time to ditch the baby monitor...!

3 weeks ago we moved him from a cot to a bed in the 'cannot get any worse, might make it better' frame of thinking and, apart from doing story time in his bed now, kept everything else the same.

We were up for 2 hours last night though so I can't really comment! grin

Suchanamateur Tue 05-Nov-13 13:02:09

Oh sorry Pottering - the mumsnet curse!

teacher that sounds so familiar. WTF is their problem? Quite often DD ends up going to bed later than if if kept her up and given her a late bedtime. Perhaps I should as it might be less stressful but I'm paranoid about OT (although she already clearly is) and I'm desperate to put both kids to bed by then!

She 'slept through' last night. Till 4.30. And then didn't go back to sleep. And she'd not gone to sleep till 7.40 the night before. And DS is sick so was up several times. Today has been fun. TTSP, TTSP...

4.30am wake ups are a killer. Fingers crossed for a good night tonight!

Suchanamateur Tue 05-Nov-13 20:34:30

Oh yes. Although despite an early bed it took her 1.5 hrs to settle. Just lying there. Awake. I'd kill to have some put me to bed after a nice tea, hot bath and some warm milk at 6.30. But no.

Good luck for your night pottering

SteamWisher Tue 05-Nov-13 20:38:55

I feel your pain! Was she a windy unsettled baby? It's worth ruling out dietary factors - my two are sensitive to some foods especially dairy which made them windy etc. does she get physical exercise - eg walking around the park with fresh air for a few hours a day?would a light show help? I could trick ds into sleeping for naps at a similar age by turning lights off (blackout blinds) then sticking the sea noise light show on. He'd stare at that and the white noise would relax him and he'd drift off.

sillymillyb Tue 05-Nov-13 21:02:51

I have no advice to offer, I just want to join the pity party because my 20mo has stopped sleeping too and I'm tired (said in whingey voice!)

He has never slept through, but I could cope with going in a few times to put dummy back in, but now.... well now its up for hours chatting to himself in the middle of the night and getting up at 4/5am for no good reason. He was so joyously shouting out his numbers at 4am this morning that I wasn't sure whether to applaud or smother him.

It passes right?? You all say it passes??!

<goes off to drug ds with nytol>

Suchanamateur Tue 05-Nov-13 21:30:05

Ah drugs <she says wistfully>. If only we were allowed. On many levels.

Steaming we are considering dietary factors now as it's been so long. And yes v unsettled refluxy baby. I eliminated dairy of all kinds from my diet then but made no difference. How did you work out the dairy and what do you give instead? DD lives on yoghurt and milk!

Suchanamateur Tue 05-Nov-13 21:32:42

Oh and yes lots of running around outside after her bug brother. No light show but white noise. Sigh. The weird thing is she passes out no trouble for naps. And sorry for getting your name wrong Steam, I blame silly's drugs and not having slept in 4 years .

Fivemoreminutesmummy Wed 06-Nov-13 06:15:57

Can I join? DS2 is 21 months and we have most of the problems in the book. He gets up early- 5am every day and has done for the last year. Recently he also wakes 2+ times a night and can take up to an hour to settle. I feel broken I'm so tired.
He resists his nap in the day again crying for up to an hour. We go in frequently to reassure but this doesn't change the crying. What are we doing wrong???
Sorry to hear others are struggling too.

Suchanamateur Wed 06-Nov-13 19:48:04

Fivemoreminutes sorry you are struggling too. Whats your 'routine' in so far as you have one?

Todays joy was a 1 hr 10 nap, a 7 oclock bedtime and crying for the last 50 minutes. Bloody miserable.

teacher123 Wed 06-Nov-13 20:52:52

Oh such you sound so downhearted :-(

Maybe it is dietary related, a friend had the most horrendous sleeper, was finally diagnosed with allergies aged 2 and she had to cut out some things from his diet. The DAY she did it her little boy slept 12 hours straight and has done ever since.

Has she gone off to sleep yet?

Suchanamateur Wed 06-Nov-13 21:28:30

Eventually at just before 8, pretty much an hour after I put her down. I just don't get it - I do all the right things an she still doesn't sleep. And although she's pretty resilient, she's grumpy and clingy at the moment and I feel awful that I seem to be failing her totally on this.

We're def going to look at the dietary stuff (although instinct says its not given that although she's never been great, she's not been this awful throughout), and I'm taking her to the doc next week just in case there is anything they can think of.

Nursery tomorrow so a whole 30 minute nap. Think am going to go for 4 days of v early bedtime in the hope that at least if she takes ages, it's still a shot at a normal ish time.

Wish me luck for tonight..

teacher123 Wed 06-Nov-13 21:37:54

Ear infection maybe? Or something glamorous like worms? I read on here that can cock up their sleep (which is gross, and I don't even want to think about how!)

I am determined that your DD's sleep will improve, I'll stick around till it gets sorted ;-) we've spent too long on these threads to give up now!!!

Get to bed and hope she has a miraculous night x

SteamWisher Thu 07-Nov-13 08:28:57

Hello sorry am back. We gave dd and ds calcium enriched oat milk (even age 4, ds cannot tolerate milk - goes right through him). They could have small amounts of yoghurt and cheese by 22 months. I don't think you need a huge amount to meet the daily calcium requirements so try cutting out milk (switch to calcium enriched oat milk?) but as you say it might not be that.
Also mine were dreadful when they were teething - I think they got unsettled tummies (apparently, not sure of the facts, but teething increases saliva production which they swallow and then can upset the tummy). I would give a teaspoon of peppermint tea before bed to settle their tummies. I think it helped - it works wonders for my heartburn.
Another option - I find telling dd quite firmly but nicely that it's time to sleep and I'm going to cook dinner means that she will settle. Sometimes!
It's all a trial - it will pass. My 4 year old loves his bed, after being a shocking sleeper until toddlerhood. Some mornings when dd wakes him at 5am (they share) he tells her off "because he wants to go back to sleep"!!!!!!

LyraBelaqua Thu 07-Nov-13 08:59:33

Am so glad to hear that this seems normal for lots of people. My DS has become an absolute nightmare recently and DH and I just don't know what to do. He used to be very good at going off to sleep, we'd put him down and he'd just cuddle his teddy and snooze off. Now however, we have to sit with him if we want him to go to sleep because if we leave him to cry he goes on for hours, empties his room over the stairgate on his door, climbs out etc. he goes on for hours!

He also wakes during the night so invariably we sleep in his bed or him in ours just in order to get sleep and now we are in a vicious circle. what do others do to get their LO's off to sleep? Sorry to hijack your post I'm just feeling so desperate its just reassuring to see so many others have this problem.

Suchanamateur Thu 07-Nov-13 12:22:05

teacher - thank you. Gave me a little tear to have someone be so nice to me. DH is so fed up of hearing about sleep that it invariably causes an argument. So... we have tried worming (ugh) as DS was complaining of things that made us suspect it (ugh) but although it helped DS' complaints, it made no difference to DD. Will check out ears next week.

After our horrible bedtime last night, she slept better - in that we had two crying wake ups but she managed to get herself back off in 15 minutes both times and woke for the day at 6.30. And bonus - DS didn't wake till then either. But she is still grumpy and tired this morning as it wasn't a long night.

Hope you don't mind if I keep posting - just does me good to vent! And have a friendly virtual ear.

Steam - we are going to give the cutting out milk a go next week (we're trying eggs this week). Will see. Will also give her some peppermint tea after tea to see if that helps. Sometimes being firm works - she often says 'yes' when I tell her to go to sleep in the evening (although she then doesn't) and she's usually happy and reaching for her cot - but often it doesn't. Your story of your DS gives me hope too. My DS (3.5) wasn't great and still wakes at night but was nothing like this. He too now actively asks to go to bed when he's tired, but they are sooo different in temperament that I find it hard to get my head round.

Lyra sorry you are in a bad situation too. To be honest, last nights screamathon was unusual for us. She often takes a looong time to go to sleep but generally is quiet/ chatting/ wingey with the odd cry so we just leave her to it. Being with her just seem to keep her awake longer. DH is adamantly against having the kids in our bed (although frankly I'd be happy to do it if it meant more sleep). How old is your DS?

LyraBelaqua Thu 07-Nov-13 12:57:38

He was 2 yesterday! He is a very noisy boy whenever he is awake in his room he puts up a very good fight. I've been reading the 3 day nanny to try and get reassurance and left him to cry a few times but he can go on for 4/5 hours by which time I always give in and just sit with him. He's progressed now to sitting up as soon as I try to leave the room. And now I'm reading Toddlercalm which is a totally different viewpoint and makes me feel I've been harming my child. Have you read it anyone? I'm going to give up the research. I've been to the GP today and she said to be tough so guess I may just have to tough it out. With me I just need people to tell me I doing the right thing I think. I feel like a kid myself most of the time even now at 34!

I think to myself - one day I wont be able to get him out of bed - and good god I'm looking forward to that!!!!!

It will pass it will it will. Just great to see everyones experiences, makes me feel normal smile

Suchanamateur Thu 07-Nov-13 13:07:07

I haven't read either of those, but you might like this:
www.huffingtonpost.com/ava-neyer/i-read-all-the-baby-sleep-advice-books_b_3143253.html

I hate books (and have about 10), and frankly we've tried most things and little has worked. So I think its a case of find what works for you best/ you can cope with, and then hope to good god that it passes before you do.

Have you tried gradual retreat? I don't have the patience for it and don't think it addresses our issue, but might do for you guys if he needs your presence to go to sleep at night?

Whatever you are doing, its the right thing - you know your child and you are not going to damage them by whatever you do or don't do to address their sleep. Despite what the books tell you! Although I need reminding of that on a daily basis when my confidence fails me. Come back for reminding at any time.

MinesAPintOfTea Thu 07-Nov-13 13:50:58

It will pass. We went back to sleeping bags this week and ds promptly slept through after Weeks of bad sleep. The poor more must have been cold in the night. Oh and we've regressed tip the hours of hand-holding to settle as well.

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