DD almost 2 going berserk at night

(5 Posts)
Ber2291 Mon 25-Jul-16 17:19:17

None of my DC have been good sleepers but DD is being just extraordinary. She recently has been waking up in the night and being awake for 3 or more hours. Finally getting back to sleep then waking for the day at 5.30 bright eyed and bushy tailed but then obviously devastatingly exhausted an hour later.

She is likely overtired. She is refusing to have a day nap. I've tried lots of different things. Earlier bedtime. Leaving her when she cries. Going and lying in the room with her. Nothing seems to work. (disclaimer as I know is always the answer on mumsnet 'it sounds like you are all over the place, try one thing and be consistent'. I have tried everything but honestly honestly I have given good effort to all methods and been insanely consistent).

Would SO LOVE some advice. Nearly burst into tears seeing a friend this weekend who has been having a hellish time with sleep with her 3 month old but has finally gotten her to sleep 7-7 consistently sad sad sad

FATEdestiny Tue 26-Jul-16 14:16:43

At 2 years old you need to stop looking at this as a 'sleep issue' and instead treat it as a 'behaviour issue'.

How would you deal with any other form of unacceptable behaviour? Hair pulling, biting, hitting, screaming - and any of the other millions of behaviour issues you get with a 2 year old. You set very clear expectations and simple to understand and immovable boundaries. And you don't give in. Ever.

So, bedtime is for lying in bed, silently, all night long. My way of dealing with this would be exactly that. Submission by boredom. The child will (regardless of what the child wants - parent is The Boss here) be lying down in their bed and silent from 7pm to 7am. Without any exception. Ever.

Personally it wouldn't bother me if the child chooses to assert their authority by refusing to sleep. My rule would be lying down and silent. As long as the child is doing that, then that is fine. Child would soon get bored with nothing to do/say and go to sleep.

I would establish the same No Excuses, No Exception, Ever rules with regards to lying quietly on the bed for an hour at lunchtime. This would sort an afternoon nap. If not, at least it establishes a quiet rest hour.

Bottom line is - you are the boss in the house. So be the boss and establish some authority.

Trinpy Tue 26-Jul-16 14:32:03

I agree that boredom is the best way to get them to sleep. I find staying in the room with them is too exciting, even if I'm just pretending to be asleep. If you keep returning just to lay them back down in bed, no talking, they do learn eventually but it can take a while and she'll probably think it's a funny game to start with.

FATE can I ask - how do you get them to lay down for an hour in the afternoon? My 2 year just won't. You would have to literally pin him down kicking and screaming for the entire hour. Not being snarky, I would genuinely like to know.

FATEdestiny Tue 26-Jul-16 19:50:09

Tri - if the child generally does sleep when tired (ie at bedtime) then if the child wont sleep at lunchtime, I'd go for the fact that child just isn't tired.

On the other hand if you have a child who's difficult with regards to sleep, fights bedtime, then I would assume they aren't ready to self regulate their own need for sleep. I have no direct experience of the latter. I could offer some suggestions but nothing from direct experience. The first step would be teaching the child to be at-ease when in the cot and awake (first thing in the morning would be good practice for this).

When my four were ready for dropping their lunchtime nap, it was a gradual affair. It started off with them going into the cot at lunchtime, but sometimes just chattering away and playing, not sleeping.

When this became regular I stopped cot naps. In place of cot naps I established an hour quiet time on the sofa. We'd sit together and cuddle on the sofa. Or bring a pillow down and lie on the sofa watching TV. Often DC would drop to sleeping the sofa, sometimes they didn't. But when they didn't sleep they were having a good rest.

Over time the occasions when naps happened became more infrequent until the 'rest hour' was no longer needed.

From first not having a lunchtime nap through to never needing a lunchtime nap took about 6 months of gradual changes.

But none if this would work if your child is not able to regulate his/her own sleep - ie will go to sleep whenever tired.

Trinpy Wed 27-Jul-16 19:57:30

Thanks FATE.

Bedtimes are fine, it's just naps. I think we're at the awkward in between stage of dropping it. Your advice has been really helpful, thank you.

Sorry for hijacking your thread OP blush.

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