What do you DO with them when they don't sleep at night?

(7 Posts)
soundsystem Thu 14-Jan-16 11:41:17

My DD is 14 months. Generally sleeps very well so I don't have too many complaints. However, on those occasions she wakes in the night, she's properly awake, and nothing gets her back to sleep. Some nights she can be up for 3 or 4 hours, just wide awake! I think it's linked to periods of development, as whenever she does this she tends to do something new the next day, so I'm not worried about it particularly: I guess this too will pass. I just don't know what to DO with her when she's awake, and it's clearly the middle of the night.

Does anyone have any tips? I don't really want to let her get up and play as that doesn't send a great message, but at the same time, if she's not tired, she's not tired - I can't make her sleep!

She's in a toddler bed, so she can get out and wander about. I have tried taking her back to bed and telling her it's night time, but I think really she's a bit young to properly understand that, and anyway she just gets up again. She's never distressed and there isn't anything she particularly wants (i.e. she's not hungry/thirsty/in need of a nappy change/cuddle) and she's quite happy to entertain herself. But she's a bit young for me just to shut the door and go back to bed!

In the grand scheme of things it's not a massie issue I don't suppose, but I am really quite tired!

FATEdestiny Thu 14-Jan-16 17:09:29

Toddler bed at 14 months? Wow shock

You are right, she is too young just to shut the door on and will be for quite some time yet. It's also no good for her to be allowed/able to play or entertain herself in the middle of the night.

If she was in a cot then at least you know she couldn't get up so she could just be left to it safely in there in the night. But its not the same if you are using a bed.

If it's just the odd night I would bring baby/child into my bed, in preference to me having to spend several hours uncomfortable and awake in the child's bedroom. I'd rather be as comfortable as possible while trying to sleep and for me, that's in my bed.

If this became a regular issue I might consider either a cheap second cot in my bedroom for her to sleep in when needed, or a cheap spare bed in DD's bedroom for me to sleep on when needed.

blushingmare Thu 14-Jan-16 20:59:12

DS (20mo) does this, but I definitely don't get up and play with him. I used to bring him into my bed and ignore him as much as possible and eventually he'd drop off again. Now he won't settled down at all in my bed, so I have a single bed next to his cot in his room and I lie down in that, holding his hand and eventually he drops off (although normally I do first and then wake up with a dead arm half an hour later!).

He used to be quite chatty and fidgety when awake in the night, but I think he knows now I'm not going to play and is quite happy just lying quietly with me there.

fluffikins Thu 14-Jan-16 21:24:03

Could you try audiobooks on very low?

blushingmare Thu 14-Jan-16 22:24:27

^ that's a thought. Thats what I do with my 3yo when she wakes in the night. Don't know how it would go with a young child, but worth a try if he doesn't freak out when you leave.

soundsystem Fri 15-Jan-16 08:16:16

audiobooks is a good shout, I'll give that a shot! Thanks fluffikins

If that doesn't work, then I think just bringing her in with me (which is what I do) seems to be the consensus.

To clarify, I was joking when I said about just shutting the door, obviously I'm not just going to shut her in and leave her!

FATE yeah she's ridiculously tall and sleeps like a starfish, so kept getting limbs stuck in between the cot bars! The bed is low to the floor - maybe toddler bed isn't the right term, I don't know, floor bed? - so she can't fall out! I also don't think it's too young to have some autonomy in terms of moving about if she wants to: I wouldn't want to be penned in all night either! Most of the time, she'll wake up, get out of bed and get a different cuddly toy, back in and straight back to sleep. It's just the odd occasion when she wakes up and is wide awake I'm not sure what to do about. It's only once a month or so, so I probably just need to suck it up!

Thanks for all your advice smile

soundsystem Tue 26-Jan-16 21:37:47

fluffikins thank you, thank you, thank you for suggesting audio books. I wasn't sure it would work so young but.. she just goes to sleep! By herself! It's like witchcraft! grin

some of them are really good and I give them another listen when I'm ready for bed

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now