2 year old sleep help pls

(6 Posts)
Madallie Sat 04-Jan-14 21:57:02

I have a post going about dds sleep and some lovely people have replied which I am grateful for. The main crux of the matter is that dd whi is just 2 has over past few months had so many changes and variations in her sleep pattern and I just feel all over the place. Went from going to bed at 6.45/7 and mostly sleeping through Til between 6 and7 to waking at 5/5.30am. She was consistently starting to take a while to fall asleep at night, usually about 40 mins and would only sleep between 10 and 10.5 hrs at night. She was having a 1.25-1.5hr nap around about 12.30pm. I changed bedtime gradually to 7.15 then 7.30 so eventually she was falling asleep by about 8 ish or a bit before and sleeping Til at least 6 am which is more manageable. However now she is taking between 1 and 1.5 hrs to got to sleep so isn't asleep til 8.30/9pm. She then wakes up between 6.45 and 7.20am.

I just feel this is too late for a just 2 year old and I don't understand why she takes so long to fall asleep. I have tried cutting her nap to 1 hr a couple of times but this isn't much less than her normal nap length anyway plus it hasn't made a difference to how long it takes her to go off really.

I've come to realise that this routine is not suiting our life and I want it to change but not sure exactly what to do. I don't want my 2 year old awake up Til 8.30/9pm as I want time at the end of the day to switch off/unwind plus Dh works late a lot so it's just me at home in the evenings. Also dc2 is due in 4.5 wks and I think I will need time in the evenings to deal with him/her.

I know I can't physically make her sleep longer but with 10.5 hrs night sleep I feel there must be a better routine we can get into. I don't know whether I should drop nap, shorten nap to say 45mins, put her to bed earlier (could she be OT?), put her to bed later (maybe she wouldn't take so long to go off). I know she'll never sleep 7-7 but I want a routine that suits us more.

Sorry for mammoth post. Does anyone gave an advise or suggestions they could share?

Madallie Sun 05-Jan-14 14:31:39

Just bumping in case anyone can help. Thanks.

BettyWitchFace Fri 17-Jan-14 03:14:13

Hi Madallie
I just saw your post and thought I'd reply as I'm a paediatric sleep specialist and might be able to help a little.
Firstly I'd say that actually 10.5 hours sleep a night with a 1.5 hour nap is pretty much bang on average for a child of her age. I'd also say that as a general rule of thumb a later bedtime will not make a child sleep later in the morning - more's the pity! A child who is put to bed later, having missed their natural sleep window, will take a lot longer to get to sleep and will have more disturbed sleep.
Similarly, napping - I often hear people advising mums to reduce daytime naps to try and get the little one to sleep better at night, but very often this will have the opposite effect. This again is because you are then dealing with an overtired child who is full of cortisol (a stress hormone which we secrete when we ignore our body's tiredness cues). I'd also mention that a nap of 45mins or shorter is referred to as a 'disaster nap' in sleep coaching circles - that is too short a period for a full sleep cycle to complete, and again can produce the opposite of the desired effect.
I'd advise bringing bedtime back to an earlier point, having a really predictable bedtime routine and aiming to get her to sleep for 7:30. I would put her down for a nap around 12:30 and let her sleep around 90 mins, a little more if you've had a bad night. The thing to remember is that sleep begets sleep, mad as that seems sometimes! And of course consistency is absolutely key.
Not sure if that's any help or not, but I hope things improve for you soon :-)

milkysmum Mon 20-Jan-14 21:30:25

madellie you are not alone! ds (25 months) has only been down about half an hour. I tried to get him to go at 8pm and he was havibg non of it! I ended up having to bring him downstairs because his dd (nearly 5 years) was upset she couldnt sleep with all the noise he was making! (plus he kept running in her room and diving on her bed). I also can guarantee that by 3am he will be up, crying and end up in our bed to get him back to sleep!. I'll be watching this thread for advice also.

teacher123 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:05:14

DS is 21mo and has phases of taking FOREVER to fall asleep and I have no idea why! He always drops straight off at grandma's house and sleeps much later in the mornings, drives me potty. Night before last he took 1 3/4 hours to go to sleep (didn't settle till 8.30pm) and then woke at 5.55am! However last night he went to sleep at 7pm and I had to wake him at 7.30am as I was worried that I'd not heard a peep from him... I have turned the radiator down in his bedroom as the only thing I could think of was that their house is cooler than ours, as they have the same routine/bedtime etc at their house. I am also trying to cut his nap to 45 mins/an hour as otherwise he goes into a really really deep sleep and is then heartbroken when he wakes. Good luck, you're not alone! smile

cakegoblin Thu 23-Jan-14 21:30:09

Bettywitchface I have just copied and pasted your answer into a permanent note on my desktop to look at again when not so tired, thank you! OP's post and yours all totally relate to issues with my 2yo dd at the moment esp. disaster naps!

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