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Help, our 2 yr old has started waking at night.

(25 Posts)
rookiemater Wed 09-Jul-08 09:23:13

Our DS aged 2.3 has, after the initial new born stage been a very good sleeper, so perhaps this is divine retribution. For the last 3-4 weeks he has been waking up at least 3 times a night crying.

Generally he just can't find either his cuddly toy or his beaker of water and when you give those to him he goes back to sleep, or not as the case may be.

I don't think it is night terrors as he seems to be aware of where he is and when DH or I go into settle him he knows who we are.

There haven't been any changes in routine lately. A few months ago we took his cot sides down and put a bed side up instead, but no problems with this initially.

I can only think of a few reasons for this:
a) its a phase and he will grow out of it

b) My mum suggested that a night light could help so he can find his things. He has always slept in a very dark bedroom, so we are willing to give this a try

c) Maybe he needs less sleep. During the week he goes to bed between 7-7.30pm at the weekend about 8pm, and gets up in the morning between 7.30 - 8.00am with a nap of between 30 - 60mins during the day.

Has anyone else been through this and any suggestions about what we can do. I'm just about to start work so won't be able to respond during the day, but really appreciate any words of wisdom.

MrsTiddles Wed 09-Jul-08 17:40:15

I am having the same thing right now with my DS 22 months. Its been going on for a few weeks and its slowly killing me.

A friend said that its because a) they become more sensitive to noise and b) more imaginative

So, we shut his window to block noises from the street outside and leave his door open wide for ventilation from another room. We try to leave the room looking exactly the same each night as he sometimes points at things that have moved or look wrong in the night light. We do have a gro bag egg light.

Sometimes he points at the floor or the walls and I tell him that its ok nothing is there.

Last night I decided to explain that the noises outside were cars driving home so everyone could go to bed like we were in bed and that he didn't need to worry. This worked really well and he slept til morning.

I think its a case of reassuring whenever you can. WE tell him that we love him and that we're just upstairs and he's often quite comforted with that, too.

don't know what else to suggest or say. I am hoping it passes soon as I'm wretchedly tired.

rookiemater Wed 09-Jul-08 20:02:03

Oh gosh Mrs Tiddles, don't take this the wrong way, but I'm a bit despondant that the only person who has responded is someone else with the same problem !

Fingers crossed we find someone from the evening crowd who can help.

idontbelieveit Wed 09-Jul-08 20:22:02

Have the same prob with my 25 month old. No idea what's going on....Am pregnant as well so absolutely shattered. She was up from 1am-5am on tuesday morning. She slept through last night thank god.

I'm wondering if it all boils down to how active she is in the day, although if she does loads of walking that seems to make it worse.

Someone who has come out the other side of this must be able to help us????

I'm not into controlled crying and she has an absolute melt down if i put her down in her cot awake so she ends up in with me kicking and talking to me all night while dh goes off to the spare room to get some sleep.

HonoriaGlossop Wed 09-Jul-08 20:30:02

I experienced this with ds - I believe it is to do with the developmental stage there at around two, which is what Tanya Byron poshly called 'individuation' - becoming more aware of themselves as individuals and also I think more aware of the world around them - there's alot to process and they become more prone to fears, thus the wake-ups, bad dreams etc.

I'm afraid I didn't have a magic cure but a nightlight worked wonders; he was happy with a blacked out room as a baby but at this age, and still, he likes his room lit by a nightlight.

Also if he woke I stayed with him while he dropped back off so long as he layed down and tried to sleep. It is bloody knackering but it was easier for me than having a sobbing child who's wide awake with terror at being left!

So sorry, no magic answer except to say that from the OP, I agree it is 1) a phase and 2) a nightlight will help.

CantSleepWontSleep Wed 09-Jul-08 20:33:51

Dd (2.5) is waking quite a bit at the moment. I mostly put it down to teething (she still has 4 molars yet to arrive), but today she sounds a bit hoarse, so I suspect she was also sickening for a cold.

If we put her under a duvet instead of in her sleeping bag then she wakes a lot too.

Could he be too hot?

Your ds still sleeps more than enough to make me envy though!

rookiemater Wed 09-Jul-08 20:42:18

Thanks folks. We are trying a night light tongight. When I put DS to bed I explained that if he woke up and he couldn't find his special cuddly toy, then he could use the light to help him find it, rather than crying.Interesting Honoria about that Dr Tania point, gosh how I love that woman, she is so fab and usually right about most things.

We stopped using his sleeping bag a few months ago and at the time he seemed really pleased about having his own special duvet and pillow.

I think teething might be involved but his appetite is generally fairly good at the minute, so I doubt thats the main issue.

So if its a phase when are our DCs going to stop doing it, please reassurance, even lies will do at this stage.

rookiemater Wed 09-Jul-08 20:42:19

Thanks folks. We are trying a night light tongight. When I put DS to bed I explained that if he woke up and he couldn't find his special cuddly toy, then he could use the light to help him find it, rather than crying.Interesting Honoria about that Dr Tania point, gosh how I love that woman, she is so fab and usually right about most things.

We stopped using his sleeping bag a few months ago and at the time he seemed really pleased about having his own special duvet and pillow.

I think teething might be involved but his appetite is generally fairly good at the minute, so I doubt thats the main issue.

So if its a phase when are our DCs going to stop doing it, please reassurance, even lies will do at this stage.

rookiemater Wed 09-Jul-08 20:43:53

OOps sorry about the double post, the batteries on the remote mouse appear to have packed up so I'm using the annoying finger touch control on the laptop.

fairylights Wed 09-Jul-08 20:48:30

my ds is only 20 mo and has never been the best sleeper but has been doing exactly what you describe recently - sorry i am another empathiser with no words of wisdom though! I really hope he is doing the individuating thing now though, God help me if he gets WORSE..arghh.. last night he was awake from 10.30pm til 3am getting more and more hysterical so for the first time in his life he slept in our bed just so we could all get some sleep..am really hoping he will not expect the same treatment again tonight!!

firststeps Wed 09-Jul-08 20:54:40

Could it be their molars coming through - DS1 went through a phase of night waking around 2 years, once all 4 molars had cut he went back to sleeping right through again (thank god!)

rookiemater Wed 09-Jul-08 20:56:59

I don't think its teething, because usually when DS is teething he goes right off his food, and atm he is a hungry horace.

m0nkeynuts Thu 10-Jul-08 13:10:11

I don't have a magic solution, but my DS went through the same thing at that age - which makes me think it's developmental. For us, it lasted on and off for about two months and it was VERY hard going.

He's 2.5 now and sleeps absolutely fine - very, very occasionally he wakes from a bad dream, but we can usually settle him back down within 15-20 mins.

He's tall enough to switch his main bedroom light on and off, so we have a low light bulk in it and it's often on all night.

rookiemater Thu 10-Jul-08 19:04:44

Thanks monkey. We tried a night light last night and he he only cried once, and was quiet again before DH managed to get up. Either that or we were both so tired, it was my night off from duty so I was wearing ear plugs, that we slept through.

Thankfully granny is here for the next two nights, so hopefully will handle any wake ups, fingers crossed.

nowwearefour Thu 10-Jul-08 19:07:54

i think is v common. happened to me too- i put it down to arrival of new baby. but it is (as is everything!) a phase that will pass!

onwardandupward Thu 10-Jul-08 20:01:02

I have no magic solution, but my advice would be not to try to work out what is causing it, because you can drive yourself mad. Too hot? too cold? too much light? not enough light? too much exercise? notenough exercise? too much TV? hungry? thirsty? needing to poo/pee? blah blah blah. This way madness lies, and you think you've got it cracked for 2 nights and then back to square one.

A solution I have heard of which works with some children is to pick them up gently and take them somewhere else and then go to sleep with them. So take them to parents' bed, or to the spare room, or to the sofa or, dammit, to a nest of cushions on the kitchen floor (next to the fridge I've heard of as a good one for some people - the white noise being appreciated, apparently). Or even take them somewhere else and settle them and then slip off. That depends on whether the child prefers to sleep alone or with company, of course.

I think there just ARE some children who do not sleep soundly through the night. It's not because they have bad parents, and it's not because the parents are not following some magic answer which everyone else has found. Their children have a particular difficulty with sleep and they, and their children, haven't yet cracked it.

I'd be trying to manage it in the meantime, maximising sleep for parents with afternoon naps where needed, and just repeating gently "this too shall pass... this too shall pass..."

jazzandh Thu 10-Jul-08 20:40:04

How long does he take to go to sleep? Could be overtired.

My Ds used to do this when v tired, often following a cold/illness where he needed to catch up on sleep etc. or just where he went through periods of greater activity. (He's nearly 4 and still wakes in the night if he's overtired!)

Has he been having shorter naps than normal?

Has your LO always slept more or less than average?

rosmerta Thu 10-Jul-08 21:15:22

This happened with my 2.5yo ds recently. With ds it seemed to coincide with dropping his lunchtime nap. He now doesn't nap everyday and if he does, then I get him up by 2.30pm. I've been doing this for a couple of weeks now and it really seems to have worked (touch wood).

I also found that if he did wake up but was only chatting, leaving him was the best thing to do as he'd soon go back off to sleep. If I went in, then he'd either want to get up or sleep in our bed.

Hope this helps, and he starts sleeping properly again!

choklit Fri 11-Jul-08 05:35:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bamamama Fri 11-Jul-08 06:55:16

Oh I do love it when someone saves me the trouble of starting a thread!

We're having exactly the same trouble with ds (age 2.1). In the last week he's been up at least 3 times per night and on Monday it was every 2 hours with the exception of the two hours he woke up every 20 minutes. Last night it seemed to be night terrors but he's in the process of getting the last 2 molars through so I don't think that's helping.

So, sorry, another with only empathy and no advice. This could well turn into a support thread (if we weren't all too knackered to contribute to it) smile

rookiemater Fri 11-Jul-08 12:54:59

Sorry just on lunch atm so don't have opportunity to answer to everyone who has kindly posted and asked questions.

We have had the night light in for 2 nights now and it seems to have helped, in that we have only heard him cry once for a very short period and then go back to sleep.

Fingers crossed that it has helped with the wakings. Or I suppose I should say wakings and cryings, as its not the waking itself that is the problem, its having to do something about it.

njsmum Wed 23-Jul-08 14:51:59

Ahh - I am feeling better reading this thread because it means I am not the only one!!
Our DS (23 months) has suddenly started not wanting to go to be at night, waking in the middle of the night and then waking again early in the morning. It is killing me He used to go to bed 7:30 and sleep through to 7:00 the next day.

We have put a gate up at his door to see and tried to leave him, it works but I am not sure if he is just falling back to sleep by his door which makes me feel bad.

After reading the thread, maybe I will try a night light. hmm

Hopefully at least one of us will have a break though to give the rest of us a hope

SoupKitchen Wed 23-Jul-08 15:01:49

Ds 2.4 was also doing this til last week, Have now solved it for him, By potty training.
He was waking a couple of times a night whenever he peed in his nappy.
Now we are nappy free and he sleeps through only occsionally waking, if he nedds to get out and use the potty.

Older DD who is still in night nappies cries out as she wets as well, but does not actually wake.

pattymc Thu 03-Sep-09 21:19:11

this is an old thread I am pulling up in hope that some of the mums on the original thread can let me know whether their 2 year olds got through the waking in the night stage and whether they have any tips for me with a 25 month old that has been waking in the night for the past 3 months. He just won't go back to sleep and I have started to leave him to cry (up to an hour) until he goes back to sleep now as no good going in as he just wants more water, more milk, another story, daddy, mummy, light on, light off - it goes on and on - there is a night light in there now and I leave a bottle of water in bed for him so he has all he needs but hoping he will grow out of it as knackered!

pattymc Thu 03-Sep-09 21:26:32

any advice?

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