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I know you can't help, it's just an exhausted sob into the ether.

(57 Posts)
ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 09:27:29

Ds1 is 5, and he kept me awake until midnight last night, moaning, complaining, wandering around, fiddling, demanding to sleep in my bed, blah blah blah

Ds2, who slept solidly all night, got up at 5.45.

This is just an extreme version of a pattern that is getting worse and worse and worse. Ds2 has always been an early riser, ds1 has always been hard to settle (sibnce ds2 was born) because I can't actually shut him in his room - he screams and wakes ds2 up.

Does anyone have a clue how I can synchronise their sleep patterns?

Miaou Sun 27-Jul-08 09:29:33

Oh what a nightmare, BGP sad

I have a (less extreme) version of that going on - ds2 wakes for a feed around midnight, ds1 is up for the day at six, and I'm permanently knackered!

No advice, sorry - other than ignore ds1 but I know you will have tried that with knobs on wink

cornsilk Sun 27-Jul-08 09:31:35

Mine are a bit like that, but are older now so less of a problem - hopefully you'll find that too in a few years time.
For now, could you put ds2 to bed a bit later?
Or can ds2 watch TV while you snooze first thing? We used to switch on the portable in our bedroom and our ds2 would watch that while we snoozed for a bit.
Also we would take turns getting up at the weekend so we got one lie in.
You have my sympathy!

FabioThatFirggingCat Sun 27-Jul-08 09:32:26

Bribery for ds1 - sticker charts? allowed to stay up late one night a week?

To synchronise I think you need a slowly slowly approach, but early risers are a bugger to sort out. THere was thread on here about 'wake to sleep' - I think you wake them up at some hideous hour like 4am, then they snooze off till 7 or something. Might just be for babies though....

When ds2 starts nursery/playgroup, that might help him sleep longer in the morning. I wouldn't try to tire ds2 out to make him sleep longer because that's one that tends to backfire spectacularly ime.

Will find wake to sleep thread.....

Notyummy Sun 27-Jul-08 09:33:02

Sounds like a nightmare. I'd be torn between the touchy feely sleep therapy approach, and the 'remove a much loved toy for every 30 minutes he is not in his bed and lock them in a clear container where he can see them' approach....but I guess you may have tried that?

How is DS1 during the day? Is he knackered from staying up til 12 and needs more sleep? Does he sleep better after a day at school/nursery?

SSSandy2 Sun 27-Jul-08 09:33:30

story tape for ds1 to listen to when he's in bed (unless they share a room?)

Maybe ds2 no longer needs a midday nap if he usualyl has one?

FabioThatFirggingCat Sun 27-Jul-08 09:34:36

Early risers thread

Not read, think it might be for younger ones but possibly some tips.

You must be completely shattered. Hope you're having a quiet day today.

Miaou Sun 27-Jul-08 09:35:03

Ds1 will play in his room for a fair while by himself (but noisily, so he wakes me up hmm) before banging on his door and asking to come out (he can open it himself but, weirdly, he always asks first!). How old is ds2? Might he play for a bit before getting you up?

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 09:35:34

Well, according to what is wrong with ds1 he should be clinically dead by now. He has had a tunny ache every night since he was 3, a headache, sore feet, sore legs, sore throat (although he's forgotten that one recently), raging, raging thirst, needing a poo or a wee every 5 minutes for 4 hours between 8pm and midnight - the poor child, how he suffers in the name of staying up late.

What really pushes my friggin buttons is the way he moans about how tired he is the next day.

Ds2 does get up early - but he sleeps for nearly 11 hours first!

cornsilk Sun 27-Jul-08 09:36:43

You've got a lark and an owl!

Miaou Sun 27-Jul-08 09:38:36

Can you just not engage with him? Dd2 does this a bit (even at the grand old age of 9) - she always discovers bits that hurt after she has gone to bed. I don't look at her, just say "no you haven't, go back to bed" (cruel mummy) - works every time. Doesn't stop her trying it on though.

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 09:38:59

No nap for ds2 since he was 18 months old - they do share a room, yes, or ds1 would be in there stomping around as much as he liked while I held the door shut.

He is currently on a week long toy removal scheme, because he got up at about 10pm one night last week and drank liquid soap. Then lied that he had only drunk water (whilst retching and foaming at the mouth).

I can't shut Sophie the Guinea Pig in a box. I can't. It might work, and Lord knows I have thought up some bizarre and some may say barbaric punishments in my time, but Poor Sophie.

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 09:40:57

All ds1 gets out of me after half past 8 is "night night"

I find him in my bedroom, the bthrooom, he is a compulsive fiddler. I cannot take him into shops any more - it's normal for 2 year olds to get hold of things and open the packaging - not for 5 year olds. So I've started internet shopping and we go out to places where the potential for damage isn't so high!

FabioThatFirggingCat Sun 27-Jul-08 09:42:21

What happens if you tell ds1 his hyperchondria sore head/feet/eyebrow/middle left toe/fulcrum is due to tiredness. In fact you recently read this in a big book about children and sleeping, tell him, and the only solution is earlier bedtimes.

What about putting a potty in his room and telling him to use that and go back to bed?

I think the rotten thing is, you just have to consistently say, No, back to bed and march him back without eye contact (mean, I know, but he's 5, not 1) and gently say, night night etc.

Do you think he gets wound up from when his dad comes? Not that you should stop that, of course, but maybe exdp could help.

cornsilk Sun 27-Jul-08 09:44:08

Some chn just can't switch off at bedtime. What time do you turn the TV off at? It might help if the whole bedtime process was moved an hour early. We lie to ds1 about the time and change the time on clocks so that he thinks it's later than it is. This time of year is hard though, as it's still lightish at 10.00p.m. I was also like that as a child, I would lie awake in my bed for hours. I was too scared to get up, my mum was terrifying! You probably aren't going to get him to go to sleep any earlier, but you might be able to train him to lie in bed with a book or something.

Miaou Sun 27-Jul-08 09:44:14

Ah, didn't realise they shared a room.

Notyummy Sun 27-Jul-08 09:45:29

Could you have ds2 in with you for a few nights whilst you 'break' ds 1, so if it involves a rumpus the other one isn't disturbed?

If it has been going on for a long time, I seriously might consider a sleep therapist....if nothing else, getting another adult to work him and tell him that is not normal or acceptable might help?

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 09:47:52


On the subject of his Dad (this is going to be something blindingly obvious that I have overlooked, I can just feel it)

His dad comes between 5pm and 8pm and puts them both to bed.

The pissing about tends to start after his dad has left for the evening.

Now, he never asks for his dad. He knows his dad comes at tea time every day. He probably sees more of his dad than some kids whose dad lives there.

But I do wonder if the person who bedded him not being the person who is there for the other 21 hours a day could be contributing to the unsettledness.

He is just too big to use a potty - he doesn't fit on one at all, I had to stop him using it at 4 (although he was happy with it). Also he still does a poo at night sometimes - and I don't fancy that much grin

the big book of childhood ailments may be a good one - I won one, a few years ago, in a mumsnet competition!!!

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 09:50:46

Ds2 can't come in with me, I'm in a single room, they have the double.

I am going to dig the Big Book of Poorlies out though.

We don't really watch the tv in the evenings - and that's not virtue, we just don't have time. We eat at 6, bath at 6.30, ds2 bed at 7, ds1 bed (after board games and stories) at 8.

cornsilk Sun 27-Jul-08 09:52:39

If he's used to that routine with his dad, it shouldn't really cause him to be so restless though.
I think the fiddling and the restlessness go together myself. I know lots of mums with 'fiddly' kids that can't switch off at night.

3littlefrogs Sun 27-Jul-08 10:08:58

Ds1 is old enough to understand consequences for behaviour - rewards for good, sanctions for disruptive.

His behaviour is classic attention seeking.

I wonder if his dad is getting him overexcited and therefore overtired?

IME dads like to play noisy games etc, and often are not good at the settling down routine that is essential for 5 yr old boys.

DH used to arrive home just as I was putting the boys to bed. Cue much excitement getting up and down till we all ended up fraught. In the end I asked him to stay at work later during the week ( come home after they were settled) and spend time with the boys at weekends. It was much easier all round.

I do feel for you - I had this for a couple of years and it is exhausting.

I do think trying to sort out the pre-
bedtime routine and a mixture of bribery and sanctions - such as not being allowed to watch a particular programme for example, is the best plan.

It can take weeks to change behaviour, so don't lose heart.

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 10:09:30

I was a restless kid myself. I was frequently up until all hours - still am. L:ast night was so revoltingly sweaty. I do have sympathy with him but it's wearing me ragged.

NotQuiteCockney Sun 27-Jul-08 10:12:54

Couple of options ... can you work on more of a cooldown process with DS1 - do yoga type breathing with him, maybe?

The other thing is, it sounds like you're stuck in a bad loop here - he knows you're pissed off with him, and then he can't sleep, knowing the most important person in his life is angry with him. He doesn't know how to fix it, so he keeps engaging in the behaviour that makes you angry. You need to be the grown up, step back, stay calm and loving (but firm) and help him calm down and go to sleep.

Also, does he get up when DS2 gets up? He should, so he's tired at bedtime ...

cornsilk Sun 27-Jul-08 10:13:56

There you go then - he is an owl.You may have to accept that he can't just switch off 'cos it's bed time. Train him to do something in his room after he's been put to bed, read a book or something.

3littlefrogs Sun 27-Jul-08 10:16:45

Can you try separating them - you and ds2 in double room, ds1 in single room? You can always put them back together in a couple of years with a room divider or something. Mine have slept in just about every room in the house, and every possible combination, just so that everyone can get some peace.

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