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Does anyone have any advice re toddler 'insomnia'?

(11 Posts)
MustTidyUpMustTidyUp Thu 11-Apr-13 16:21:42

DD is just 2 and not really had any sleeping issues with her - she's our third DC so we've had some practise! She goes to bed at night without a problem but has been increasingly frequently, waking at 2-3 ish for a couple of hours or more. I have tried bringing her in with me and she just lies awake and shuffles but doesn't go back to sleep for hours. She's not distressed though. I've tried leaving her but she screams and cries - eventually drops off but then wakes again after 5-10 minutes and gets upset again. Repeatedly. Last night I slept on the floor in her room and held her hand and after about 90 minutes she went back to sleep.
I've experienced the 'I'm awake so everyone else in the house should be let's get up and play' and it is not like that. She does not seem able to get back to sleep. She naps in the day for an hour or so with no issue. Bedtime is 7-730. The only other factor is that she is a bugger for food - eats very little and will not be persuaded otherwise. She is small but not underweight.
Am going to try offering cereal/porridge before bedtime milk and have a longer wind down period before bed but I wonder if anyone else has any advice? It's been once a week or so for a few weeks but twice in the last 4 nights.

clangermum Thu 11-Apr-13 18:16:53

Same thing happening here - similar timings too. She has been coming in with us but it's not great as a solution. I read something about giving foods with tryptophan (?) in before bed, like banana, to help sleep, but likewise getting off to sleep isn't actually the issue. Might help with sleeping through though? Hopefully someone else will have a better idea. I feel your you have anything like a lullaby cd or any gentle music for night that she can associate with sleep? Sometimes this works getting her back off to sleep. I think waking up between sleep cycles isn't unusual, it's being happy with going into the next cycle that's the thing, so maybe it's about conditioning. We have music we can put on in the hall that is by her door, so don't need to go into her room. If she comes in with us we use the same music - maybe she is starting to associate it more with us, probably where we're going wrong. It usually comes down to how tired I am....

MustTidyUpMustTidyUp Thu 11-Apr-13 20:53:30

Yes clanger it's easy to be full of good

MustTidyUpMustTidyUp Thu 11-Apr-13 20:56:48

Yes clanger it's easy to be full of good plans to do the right thing but different when its the middle of the night you've been awake for ages and don't want them to wake the whole household :-(
When I bring her in our bed she just can't sleep. She'll cuddle up and lie quietly buy cant sleep. Managed to get half a banana down her before bed tonight so hopefully she'll be full and so exhausted from last night I might get a night's sleep :-)

Iwaswatchingthat Thu 11-Apr-13 20:57:40

It might be worth trying cutting out or cutting down the nap and moving bedtime to 7pm so she might be in a deeper phase of sleep during those times. We experienced this and cutting out daytime sleep help although it was tough at first. Good luck.

MustTidyUpMustTidyUp Thu 11-Apr-13 22:37:47

I did think of that but she's a beast by late aft without a nap. Might get desperate enough to try it though.

Iwaswatchingthat Thu 11-Apr-13 23:11:47

Maybe just reduce it at first - she might be using it as a 'catch up' from not sleeping in the middle of the night.

We went through a few months of avoiding car journeys mid aft as when we saw dd2 snoozing in her car seat we knew it was game over for sleep that night!!!!

MustTidyUpMustTidyUp Sat 13-Apr-13 11:01:27

She's gone 2 full nights without waking. I made a real effort to get more food down her at tea time so maybe that has helped. Thanks for your posts.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 13-Apr-13 11:39:00

We've experienced this and the fussy eating. Going without a nap isn't something I tried at that age because I think they still need one.

The thing that worked for our dd was lots of small regular things to eat in the day, she's a grazer.

MustTidyUpMustTidyUp Sat 13-Apr-13 11:47:41

Yes JJJ mine is a grazer too - just wants a bit to satisfy her hunger then she's off. My DS1 was the same and is a great eater now (5). So I know she'll come through it. Mr DH obsesses about how little she eats - especially compared to my DNephew of a similar age who eats like a horse grin but I tend to be more laid back about it - she'll eat if she's hungry and I hate persuading them to eat (could be my own lifetime weight issues though). But I think I do need to be a bit more proactive with her feeding - especially later in the day.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 13-Apr-13 12:28:35

At that age I used to give dd oatibix while she was in the bath. I found I could shovel it in feed her while she was distracted.

One word of warning though, she never really started eating her evening meal properly until we stopped this and she wasn't too pleased when we did stop it.

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