Advanced search

Help! 3yo DD has become a horror at sleeping!

(18 Posts)
lisbapalea Tue 05-Mar-13 09:00:06

3yo DD has always been a great sleeper (until now), give or take the odd blip when she may have come in with us (usually if poorly or having some kind of developmental 'spurt'!). These spurts have always been short and pretty much over and done with after about a week.

But for the past 3 weeks we have been dealing with really bad sleeping. It all starts as we say goodnight after bath/storytime (a routine we've had since birth), when she will find a reason for us to come back in to her room - usually a non-specific ailment to a random bodypart (one night it's knees, the next it's eyes, the next it's fingers - it's all nonsense and it's just a way for her to get us back in to see her). We've managed to reduced the time spent on this nonsense so she usually settles quite quickly now.

But then it all kicks off with the same thing several times in the middle of the night - not always ailments, could also be that she wants us to pick a teddy off the floor (she's in a bed and perfectly capable of getting out to do that herself), or that she wants us to take a teddy out of her room, or that she needs a poo (that she never does even if we take her to the loo). She's in pull-ups but definitely heading towards dry at night as she usually has a dry pull-up in the morning - we did try taking them away but had accidents every night so thought we'd wait a while.

Also worth mentioning that during the past 3 weeks we have taken away her bunny comforter that she's had since a baby which she used to suck. We did this at her request (we sent it to Father Christmas ?!) and she has never asked for it or mentioned it since.

She has occasional daytime sleeps of up to 45mins but often goes without, which has been the pattern for the last 6mths or so.

Is this a developmental thing? How do we deal with it? We've tried ignoring it but she just screams and screams which is hideous for her and us. We've tried getting really cross and threatening to confiscate toys, we've tried the softly softly rationalising approach.

Nothing works and we're all knackered. Last night it started at 11.30 and between then and 6.30 I think I got three separate lots of 1.5hrs sleep which is making me feel totally rubbish.

DH and I would like to start TTC #2 but there's no chance based on a) how knackered we are and b) we would be constantly interrupted by DD.

Can anyone reassure me that she won't be like this forever? Any tips on how we deal with it? We're off on holiday for a week with my parents on Saturday so I am desperate to crack it before then so we can have a chance of relaxing on hols!

EldonAve Tue 05-Mar-13 09:02:47

Have you thought about giving the comforter back?

almostanotherday Tue 05-Mar-13 09:33:15

Give the blanket back, tell her Father Christmas has decided she can have or back as it missed her.....or something like that anyway smile

lisbapalea Tue 05-Mar-13 09:36:29

We have considered that but am just not convinced it'll work as the bedtime nonsense was happening before it went to Father Christmas?!

But you're right in that it is the most obvious solution I suppose.

Girlsville Tue 05-Mar-13 13:36:37

No advice, but lots of sympathy. Dd1 just turned 3 and like yours has always been a fantastic sleeper. Last week I had some minor surgery so did not see the dds for 3 days. Since then, dd1 has been up every night feeling insecure, screaming, crying, getting out of bed ( which she had never done previously). Last night she was up 5 times, worse than a newborn, in a terrible state. I am shattered and still not 100% so I know how difficult it is. I keep telling myself it is just a phase...

lisbapalea Tue 05-Mar-13 13:42:27

Hi Girlsville - you poor thing; horrible for you to be dealing with this when you're not well anyway.

I think you have hit the nail on the head though; I think this all started after I was away for one night 3 weeks ago - she was fine that night for DH, but the silliness all started the next night when I came back.

I guess it is just a developmental stage and maybe a realisation for them that they are on their own. I would be sympathetic to her if I wasn't so flipping tired!

I also keep repeating "it's just a phase" to myself!

Girlsville Tue 05-Mar-13 13:50:05

Ha! I know the feeling.... I was so sympathetic the first night as I knew how much she had missed me but 6 nights on am too tired! I am trying to get her back to bed as quickly as possible so that she doesn't get a taste for the midnight attention but it is tricky, and she is exhausted in the day which doesn't help.
It all seems to have gone over dd2 s head, and she is almost 2. I do think at 3 they are mud,much more aware. Good luck!

lisbapalea Wed 06-Mar-13 09:03:16

So bunny was miraculously returned by Father Christmas yesterday afternoon and DD went to bed with no fuss and slept with no fuss.....until 4.30am. We then had probably 4 or 5 demands for me or DH to go into her room across the next hour.

Reasons this time were for a toy to be picked up from the floor, a trip to the loo (fair enough, although I think she thought of that reason on the spot, rather than lying there busting for a wee), and then repeated demands for us to tuck her in - think she practically wanted to be swaddled!

I really do think she is reverting to being a newborn!

But I suppose this was an improvement from the night before as she did end up going back to sleep, and the silliness started at 4.30am rather than 11.30pm.

I, on the other hand, was awake from 2.30am waiting for her to wake up, and I finally nodded off again some time after 5.30, so have another day ahead feeling and acting like a total space cadet...

Girlsville Fri 08-Mar-13 13:20:02

Lisa - hope you had another better night. Myvdd1 going from bad to worse and I am on my knees!

Delilah1976 Fri 08-Mar-13 19:47:20

I could have written this last year - fantastic sleeper who had 12 hours + a 2 hour nap to not going down at night for hours at a time. Started after I had a 2 week spell in hospital, she was fine when I was away but once I was home the tantrums started.

I would love to say all is fine now but we still have nights of waking and demanding to get in beside us BUT these nights are getting further and further apart and we had so much hapening within the family (illness and bereavement) that it probably extended the period of being unsettled. We can see light at the end of the tunnel now smile

georgedawes Fri 08-Mar-13 19:49:54

Would she respond to bribery and a gro clock?

Say a sticker chart or special treat if she stays in bed?

lisbapalea Fri 08-Mar-13 22:37:33

Feeling slightly guilty about my ranting now as she came down with a bug yesterday so I wonder if it has been particularly worse because she was brewing something?

She traded beds with dh last night at 1am so slept in with me. So far so good tonight but we have to get up at 4am to go on hols so god knows how we'll all feel tomorrow!

Delilah - I am sticking my fingers in my ears when you say things aren't better a year later! But I hope things do settle down for you; sounds like you've been through a tough time.

George - bribery and sticker charts mean naff all to dd; have tried both but she doesn't care! Do like the gro-clock idea though so I'll investigate that when we're back from holiday.

Am hoping the disruption to routine of being on hol might actually have a positive effect. Am living in a fools paradise, I know...!

steben Sat 09-Mar-13 21:46:02

I could have written this post! V similar situation with dd1 who has been messing about and waking us whining for frivolous reasons in middle of night. No advice but just wanted to say its good not to be alone!

georgedawes Sat 09-Mar-13 21:50:10

Bribery is the only thing that works with my dd. Wrong I know!

Hope she's ok and not too ill.

debbie1412 Sat 09-Mar-13 22:31:30

The comforter issue wouldn't worry me it's not a dummy, my son has a blanket he could keep it until he's 27 if he likes. TTC 2 don't put it off because of this little blip, you never know how long it may take to ttc. Plus 1.5 hours is plenty of time to get the deed done :-)

imustbepatient Sat 09-Mar-13 22:40:04

DD1 is going through a hauntingly familiar stage at the moment. I wouldn't say we have cracked it (she has an almost funny habit of waking and opening her door, calling to us to tell us she is 'sleeping all the way through mummy'. The irony does not quite amuse at 2am though) but the Gro clock has definitely improved things and even helped to keep her sleep relatively stable whilst we were on holiday.

I'm repeating 'this is just a phase' an awful lot too! grin

Girlsville Sat 09-Mar-13 23:00:10

So reassuring that there are others out there in the same boat!

Delilah1976 Sun 10-Mar-13 19:20:41

It was a pretty shit year but things getting better now smile it hasn't been a constant year of not sleeping ( I think I'd be insane) and definitely try the groclock- that has been our best investment smile

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