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Need help with a non sleeping toddler

(27 Posts)
Wontsleepcantsleep Fri 22-Sep-17 08:17:57

We really need help with Dd's sleep and are about at breaking point. She's been awake since 3am this morning. Until the clocks went forward this year she was great. We would put her down awake in her cot with her mobile on, leave the room and she would go to sleep. She would wake a couple of times because she had lost her dummy but would go straight back off.

It was like a switch flicked and she cried when we left for the first time ever. We were a bit surprised because it had never happened before so ended up sitting by the side of her cot until she went to sleep. This was a mistake because now she won't go to sleep unless someone is sat on the floor. She wakes up multiple times in the night and needs someone sat there each time.

We get to the stage between 3 and 4 where we bring her in with us in the hope of getting some sleep. She won't go back to sleep but will lie quietly watching tv so we can doze. This morning though she wasn't letting us sleep, she was wide awake and bouncing on the bed.

What do we do. We've tried leaving her to cry but she just screams and screams and we don't want to disturb the whole street. Poor Dp has just lost his Dad and could do with a full nights sleep.

Wontsleepcantsleep Fri 22-Sep-17 08:18:18

Forgot to add she's just turned 2.

Wontsleepcantsleep Fri 22-Sep-17 09:17:53

Shameless bump. The little darling has just fallen asleep on the sofa. I'm tempted to join her but I've got so much to do.

Wontsleepcantsleep Fri 22-Sep-17 12:49:11

Another shameless bump.

peawe Fri 22-Sep-17 12:52:44

Sounds really tough-might be worth reposting in Sleep. Good luck

LookImAHooman Fri 22-Sep-17 13:06:55

Gradual retreat? It's worked for us when DS was used to someone sat there (so far, touch wood).

holdmybeer Fri 22-Sep-17 13:28:34

Ds is almost 2 and very similar. We have tried lots of things, things that seem to be working for us are; standing outside his bedroom door rather than next to the bed when he's going to sleep, we talk to him but don't go back unless there's a problem. Bizarrely, moving him from a cot to a big bed has improved matters, he's waking less and seems much happier to be there.
Removing the dummy during the day so he is less reliant on it at night.
Lush sleepy body lotion, maybe it's coincidence but every time we have used this he has slept through and it smells lovely!

Now that the number of wake ups have reduced he knows he has to stay in his room until it's time to get up. If he dies wake in the night, we stay and settle him back down which can take anywhere from 1 minute to 1 hour, but it's worth it to set good sleep habits now.

Good luck, you do have to be so strong, especially when you're all running on empty!

Wontsleepcantsleep Fri 22-Sep-17 14:10:55

Thanks. She is in a bed which doesn't help matters I don't think. I will try gradual retreat. She doesn't care where you're sat as long as someone is in the room. I'll try sitting on the floor outside her room tonight and see how she goes. I don't know what to do about the night wakes when she decides its morning she won't go back to sleep. I wouldn't even mind her sleeping with us if she slept but she doesn't. Come 3 or 4am she's wide awake.

holdmybeer Fri 22-Sep-17 14:43:04

I'd work on why she is waking, is she hungry? Did she eat toop soon before bed? Is she thirsty? lost her dummy? If you can keep her asleep you reduce the work you have to do to get her back to sleep. Do you think she would respond to a gro clock?

Wontsleepcantsleep Fri 22-Sep-17 16:20:40

She eats tea usually between 5 and 6. She doesn't have supper and started refusing her a cup of milk before bed a few months ago. She goes to bed at 7 so I thought if she has supper as well its a lot of food to fit in a short space of time. She might be thirsty I can leave a cup of water in her room and see. She doesn't ask for anything just to get up and go downstairs. I'm not sure if she has enough understanding for a groclock but we could try. She does wake up for her dummy and won't sleep unless she has 2.

cjt110 Fri 22-Sep-17 16:30:37

We went through frustrating periods where DS would wake, for no apparent reason in the night and wake up at some ungodly hour.

There is honestly no magic wand, You just have to persevere. I hate to be that parent with the cliche but she will do it when she's ready.

We tried all sorts. Milk in cot. Water in cot. Dummies. Teddies. Supper.

Our son turned 3 in August and has pretty much only just started to sleep 7-6. We occasionally get a wake up now or early morning. This morning he came up at 5.30 (his bedroom is downstairs) and got himself into our bed falling asleep til 6.40.

Ride it out. Its shit. It really is.

cjt110 Fri 22-Sep-17 16:31:55

Oh and my son got the gro clock idea once we had figured out a reasonable midway point. He was waking at 5 for a while and he now doesnt shout "It's morning til 6" when the sunshine turns on. We only got him it in the last few months.

FurryScoob Fri 22-Sep-17 16:32:33

During bad patches of sleep one of us sleeps on a quilt in her room, after a couple of nights it usually breaks her habit of waking up looking for us & she eventually stops waking in the night. She's only allowed in our bed after 6am to watch cartoons, she wiggles about too much to get in during the night.

Wontsleepcantsleep Fri 22-Sep-17 17:31:08

Poor Dp has spent months on a quilt on her floor. It doesn't help when she's wide awake.

holdmybeer Fri 22-Sep-17 19:26:10

My eldest slept through from a few weeks ds was a hell of a shock to the system. When you are so tired you could cry you then have to dig down and find the strength to make some tough changes and see them through, things could get worse before they get better.
A good start would be removing yourselves from her room. She probably won't like it, she might cry, but she will get used to it. The stronger you are the quicker she will get it.

Wontsleepcantsleep Fri 22-Sep-17 21:11:36

I've gave her some weetabix and milk tonight before bed. We've agreed she's not to come in our bed tonight. We're going to try and settle her the same as normal. I wouldn't even mind her coming in with us if she actually slept.

Nowifi Fri 22-Sep-17 21:16:08

Good luck for tonight. I have a similar situation with DD. Glad to hear it may end eventually

Wontsleepcantsleep Fri 22-Sep-17 21:34:58


I meant to say I gave her not I've gave her. This lack of sleep is frying my brain.

Ttbb Fri 22-Sep-17 21:42:42

Could you try a teddy or a night light? Maybe a bottle of water (it really helped us). Another thing that worked was telling a story loudly outside his room with the door closed so he knew we were still around even tough not physically in the room.

Ttbb Fri 22-Sep-17 21:43:21

Oh, also try moving to a bed. Both of ours got to a point where they just loathed their cord for no apparent reason, beds heloed.

overduemamma Fri 22-Sep-17 21:46:01

How's it going? X

Wontsleepcantsleep Fri 22-Sep-17 22:01:03

Umm. I'm currently sat on the floor after she woke up. She's a bit restless so I'm scared to move anytime soon.

She's already in a bed, she has loads of teddies but no particular favourite that she's attached to and she has a night light. I'll get Dp to bring up a cup of water for her.

Wontsleepcantsleep Sat 23-Sep-17 06:34:16

Woo hoo we have progress of sorts. She woke up 3 times but stayed in her bed and went back to sleep. She woke up for good at 6. This is great. I'm thinking of getting her a groclock but I'm not sure she would understand.

upsidedown2017 Sat 23-Sep-17 06:51:10

You could try a white noise machine that plays whilst she goes to sleep but also continuously through the night. We got ours from Amazon for about £30.

What about one of those comforters you tie the dummy too?

Dairy is linked to wakefulness in kids, especially being wide awake for long periods in the middle of the night - this is the culprit for my neighbours child. You could try a few days without to see.

Also, is the night light red or blue glow? Blue light affects sleep (melatonin levels) Swap it for a red glow light, again we got ours from Amazon. You could even try without a night light at all - it's really good for us to sleep in pitch black (but totally understand this can be scary for some children).

Does she sleep in the day? Some kids do drop their daytime sleep as early as 2. Sleeping in the day can mean they're raring to go at 4am.

Just some ideas to reduce the waking in the first place and of course...

Gradual retreat does work but it requires dedication and consistency!

Good luck. Must be absolutely horrendous for you confused

Wontsleepcantsleep Sat 23-Sep-17 08:21:13

The night light is a white light. We tried it without and she was worse. She does nap it the day for about 2hrs, we've noticed if she sleeps past 2pm she's awful that night.

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