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2.5 year old will not go to sleep at a reasonable hour! Anyone else in same boat?

(10 Posts)
gio71 Tue 23-Jun-09 08:49:56

My 2.5 year old ds has never gone to bed early. While all his little friends have been doing 7-7 forever envy, he collapses anytime between 10 and 11.30! He rarely seems tired the next day, gets up between 7 and 7.30 when we do and has a nap in the afternoon for about an hour. I have tried to get rid of this but he isn't ready, gets very grumpy in the afternoon and then gets new lease of life in the evening and may go down 15 mins earlier max! I am happy that he doesn't go down too early as i like him to have time with his Dad when he gets back from work, plus we live in Italy and it is very orientated to being able to take kids out in the evening for walks etc, especially when it's hot and we avoid going out in the day. But something in the middle would be nice. Last night he was bouncing up and down on our bed at 10.30! Finally collapsed gone 11. This is pretty normal behaviour for him. Is anyone else in the same boat? I have tried all the tips re bedtime to get him into a routine and nothing has worked so am feeling a bit resigned to my fate, would just like to know it's not just us smile

ShowOfHands Tue 23-Jun-09 08:56:43

My dd is similar and has been since about 14 months. She hasn't napped since then either so she's on the go from 7am until at least 9 or 10pm. She is happy, sunny and isn't tired. She just doesn't seem to need that much sleep. If I spend the whole day wearing her out with lots of swimming, running, climbing etc she may be asleep by 9pm but I'm usually exhausted.

I just let her get on with it tbh. I can't change it. It's easier in the summer too as we just go out for a walk or play late in the garden after dinner. And if dh has been on day shifts then he gets some time with her in the evening which is nice for everybody.

She's 2.2 btw.

gio71 Tue 23-Jun-09 09:09:38

that's good to hear you let her get on with it as well. That is where I am at now, I have found it so exhausting and ultimately unsuccessful trying to change it that as long as he doesn't seem tired in the day I think we may as well run with it as seems to be right for him. I just feel guilty sometimes am failing him by not establishing and suceeding with a stricter routine. Not helped by FIL making it quite clear he thinks that's what we are doing!

ShowOfHands Tue 23-Jun-09 09:30:10

Oh no. That must be difficult, having other people being so critical.

The way I look at it- as a hippy, lentil weaver, ap type- dd is an individual and forcing her to sleep when she doesn't need to seems ridiculous when she's a happy, well-adjusted and alert little girl. I can't see the point of forcing an arbitrary routine on her that doesn't fit with her natural needs. In fact, she has her own little routine, just nobody's written a book about it. Here...

DD eats when hungry, sleeps when tired. There ends the book of my routine.

And as far as 'failing' by not establishing a routine, well at what cost? If he's happy and you're happy then that's all there is to it. It's be different if you were unhappy or he was but it doesn't sound like either of you are. You could force a different routine to the one he naturally craves and could end up with an unhappy little boy. Well if that's success you can keep it. He hasn't read whatever book it is FIL thinks children should adhere to.

I've perfected the art of smiling sweetly, nodding and ignoring. You see I'm weird for bfing at 2.2yrs. I'm doing it for me, dd doesn't want it anymore, I'm forcing her, she'll still be bfing as a teenager. Yes MIL, whatever you say. Nod nod nod.

HaventSleptForAYear Tue 23-Jun-09 09:33:48

DS2 is like this (was 2 end Jan).

He has a nap at the childminder's, he asks for it (at home he takes himself off up to bed).

I asked her to limit it to 3/4 hr-1hr - I think she has.

He goes to bed at around 8 with his big brother who is tired from school (4.5).

Then he stays in bed about an hour looking at books and then often comes down and has a cuddle or a play around us.

This is quite annoying as we need to work in the evenings, but even when he doesn't have a nap he still stays up late!

When he skips the nap he ends up falling asleep on the sofa at 6ish which is worse than anything.

gio71 Wed 24-Jun-09 08:37:05

Thanks for the posts, it's reassuring to know it isn't just me doing something wrong then smile. My Mum keeps telling me to forget about it and relax, she had 4 of us, 3 of us slept, the other one would crash out at 11.30 and be up at 5! shock. She did nothing different with any of us and my non sleeping brother was the third so wasn't as if she was new to it. I think really I am happy enough with the situation but it's difficult not to wonder and worry when every other toddler I know settles themselves happily at 8 at the latest!

sarah293 Wed 24-Jun-09 08:39:46

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crokky Wed 24-Jun-09 09:01:57

My children are similar.

DS is 3.3 and does 3 full days a week at a school nursery (with children up to 18 months older than him as the class is mixed). You would think this would tire him. Nope - he went Monday and Tuesday (yesterday) - he went to bed at 10.15pm and got up this morning at 6am. He does not sleep in the day and has not done for a very long time.

My DD (15m) is very simlar - she will go to bed maybe 9.30, up at 6.30 maybe 1-1.5hrs sleep in the day.

There is no hope - some children just don't need sleep!! But in your position, I would definitely cut that afternoon nap out - if it is difficult, you can first let him have a nap every other day/every three days then cut it out entirely. My DS didn't sleep in the afternoon at that age. Plenty of children do, but you seeem to have hardcore DCs like me so I'd cut it out!

BasementPeople Wed 24-Jun-09 10:02:51

You could always try setting a rigid bed-time at (say) 10.30pm then very slowly making it earlier by 5 mins per day/couple of days until you reach your preferred time.

But only if it bothers you enough!

craftynclothy Wed 24-Jun-09 10:22:33

Similar here (though she has dropped a significant proportion of her nap lately so is now going to bed between 8pm & 9.30pm).

SOH sums it up for me...dd is happy in her own routine. She's not tired and grumpy all day so is obviously getting enough sleep (and my HV agreed at her 2 year check).

Sounds like we're in the same boat cos my IL's keep going on about how we "should be getting her to bed earlier" (i.e. by 7pm) hmm. Doesn't help that BIL & his wife have their dd in a v strict routine and IL's see them more often.

As far as I'm concerned if dd is happy and healthy then I'm happy...and I don't give a s**t if FIL is happy wink

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