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2.9 year old gets out of bed and walk around for hours

(20 Posts)
CrispsCrispsCrisps Mon 11-Mar-19 16:36:17

DS is 3 in June and used to go to bed absolutely fine. He would have his bedtime story and fall asleep in his own bed with the light off. For the last 4 weeks he has been getting out of bed and going in and out for the room. We’ve tried days of putting him back and he screams and keeps doing it. We’ve tried persuading, reasoning, sticker charts and nothing works. We are now at the point where we leave him to it and he just wanders around upstairs (stair gate is on and video monitor is on) opening and closing the bedroom doors. I think he is looking for us because he does ask where we are before bed now and I explain we are downstairs having dinner then will also go to bed. He promises to stay in bed but never does. He gets in and out of bed multiple times for at least 2 hours before falling asleep then he’s shattered in the morning. Have tried night lights. At the end of our tether because it’s keeping older DS awake. So fed up! Any suggestions welcome

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JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 11-Mar-19 20:04:36

Gosh that does sound exhausting.

Is he getting plenty of exercise and have you tried no screens for at least 2 hours before bed?

Rainatnight Mon 11-Mar-19 20:53:17

Our 2.9 year old is still in a cotbed because this is exactly what would happen. Any chance he could go back in a cot?

CrispsCrispsCrisps Mon 11-Mar-19 22:28:38

He’s absolutely shattered because he’s been doing all sorts all day - nursery and on the go. He’s napping in the day and can’t manage without that either. It’s almost like he needs reassurance we are around but boy does it go on for hours! It’s so stressful

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CrispsCrispsCrisps Mon 11-Mar-19 22:30:47

He would probably climb out of a cot now! He was sleeping fine so really not sure why he’s doing this now. Earlier he got out of bed twice and back in himself. When my older DS went up to bed he stuck his head out of the door again. I tucked him back in and said please stay in bed and he said more stickers (on his chart) and I said yes if you stay in bed like a good boy etc. Two mins later he’s up and out again

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Rainatnight Tue 12-Mar-19 04:16:14

That does sound exhausting. Mine's not much of a climber, so it's easier from that point of view.

If you think the root of it is that he needs reassurance, could you leave something of yours with him as a comfort thing? Like a necklace or a tshirt that smells of you or something?

We're just coming out of a phase with DD where she was calling us back into the room over and over again, and loads of excuses to keep us upstairs (need a wee, etc). She has a new baby brother so it was all about needing reassurance (with a bit of attention seeking on the side grin)

In slight desperation one night, I got an old key, tied it to a big pink curly ribbon from a present wrapping, and told her I was leaving her with something very special - the key to my heart. So she had to look after it, and it meant there'd be a piece of me with her even when I wasn't there. That helped a lot and she sometimes takes it to childminder's if she's feeling wobbly.

(It also led to a hilarious discussion about where your heart is. I pointed to show her and she said that was my boob, and did she not have a heart because she didn't have boobs grin)

TigerQuoll Tue 12-Mar-19 08:29:04

Could you try telling him if he stays in bed you'll come and check on him every few minutes - just poke your head in. Maybe the reassurance will be enough, he'll stay on bed just waiting to see your face, and eventually fall asleep from lack of activity. If he gets up you won't come up (same as what you do now).

TigerQuoll Tue 12-Mar-19 08:29:40

And do noisy chores upstairs so he can hear you in between

CrispsCrispsCrisps Tue 12-Mar-19 14:35:41

Rainatnight that’s a good idea, I hadn’t thought of that! I’ll try anything tbh

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CrispsCrispsCrisps Tue 12-Mar-19 14:36:18

TigerQuoll I could do that and stay upstairs for longer. Will try that tonight I think

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Rainatnight Tue 12-Mar-19 15:57:47

Good luck! Let us know how you get on.

Rainatnight Wed 13-Mar-19 08:11:43

How did it go last night, Crisps?

CrispsCrispsCrisps Wed 13-Mar-19 13:58:56

Well, we tried staying upstairs and doing some chores and DS stuck his head out the door twice and got back into bed. I also put a new nightlight in his room which projects on the ceiling and once we went downstairs he got out of bed once more. So 3 times is a huge improvement! He was asleep a lot sooner too

Thank you so much!!

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CrispsCrispsCrisps Thu 14-Mar-19 07:45:07

Now he’s doing it in the mornings and has been wandering around since 5.15am 😩

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Shelley54 Fri 15-Mar-19 07:16:14

Stair gate on his bedroom door? You might findbhe calls for you but at least he’s be contained and hopefully a bit safer!

CrispsCrispsCrisps Fri 15-Mar-19 23:00:06

We’ve just done that, we moved the stair gate two nights ago so it’s on his door. He’s getting up but a lot less

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septembersunshine Wed 20-Mar-19 14:11:19

Just read the whole thread op. He is nearly three now and I wonder if he is ready to drop the day time nap or just have a much shorter one (40 mins). My 2.6 year old has just compleatly dropped his and we have much improved nights and mornings. Bed at 7pm and awake 6.30ish (not 5am). It could be while you think he needs it maybe he is just not tired enough?

septembersunshine Wed 20-Mar-19 14:21:31

Ummm just seen that you said he needs the nap. How about some quiet time in his room and say to him his bed is there if he wants a nap. Then you can see if he really needs it

CrispsCrispsCrisps Mon 25-Mar-19 22:22:50

Yes, we are also thinking his nap is too long. One day he napped for 30 mins and bedtime was really good, he stayed in bed!

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MumUnderTheMoon Thu 28-Mar-19 00:05:16

Put a stair gate on his bedroom door. Make sure there is nothing in his room that can hurt him and leave him to it. My dd screeched at her stair gate for two nights and then got over it and stayed in bed.

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