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toddler sleep nightmares....can anyone advise please?

(11 Posts)
biggernow Tue 18-Aug-09 09:10:16

My nearly 2yo DS has been sleeping great for 9 months now- following a soft controlled crying period back when he was 14 month old (after 14 months of no sleep for mummy and daddy they has reached the end of tethers!) but suddenly he has started being REALLY tricky to settle. Once he is asleep he sleeps all night (waiting for this to change too...) but usually I would just leave the room and he would go to sleep-but now I have to stay with him. Tried CC last night and after 2 hours I just had to stay with him. Dont know what to do to solve it.
He starts nursery for a couple of mornings in September, Number 2 due November so lots of changes on horizon....
He naps for 2 hours at lunch- do I need to change this????

He could be teething (back molars) as is dribbling loads (and is in good health- got him checked yesterday before CC) so he had some calpol last night so know there was no pain! So confused.... CC worked so well for us before and he was SO much happier once he started sleeping properly.

Anyone got any advice???? THANK YOU!

TheOnlyDailyMaleForMeisDH Tue 18-Aug-09 10:32:45

So let's be clear, your child is now old enough to understand that you are leaving him and ignoring his evidence distress and you are surprised that he's finding it hard to settle hmm

The poor probably is teething and it can be very painful and one spoonful of Calpol may not be hitting the spot (switch to Neurofen, it's anti-inflammatory so helps reduce the swelling which hurts so much as well as generally killing the pain).

I would personally cut his nap back to 1 hour and get him running round more during the day to tire him out. I know it's hard when you are pregnant (get a ball, throw it, get him to retrieve it - yes I know that's what you do to dogs - works for toddlers too wink) but if I may speak frankly, I had a DS when DD was 20 months old, everything changes and everything will be difficult for a few months at least and this will seem like small fry compared to bigger issues later on

When he goes to nursery he may well sleep more - because he'll be tired - but the settling to sleep thing will come once he's not in pain anymore. There is no need to do controlled crying IMHO. If you do decide to sit with him, don't talk though. Make everything calm from an hour before bedtime, bath, milk, teeth, story, into bed and then hold hands but don't talk.

Sheeta Tue 18-Aug-09 10:37:16

I would also suggest trying neurofen - calpol has no effect on DS (21mo) when he is teething, but Neurofen is like a magic substance

Teething powders also realy help (relatively new discovery for us)

Agree with pretty much everything DailyMale said - DS is at the stage now where he needs an hour of running around in the park every day, otherwise it takes him forever to settle. Soft play is the work of the devil (IMHO) but it works

biggernow Tue 18-Aug-09 18:28:11

Yes- he had nurofen (obviously just 5ml) too an hour after calpol (2 spoons- 10ml) given anti inflam properties I do feel it is superior to calpol, and always teething powders (my dad is homeopathic doctor)- and usually these alone would do trick for a bad teething period. I am aware teething is painful.

I am not a bad person, or will be made to feel bad for trying to use 'CC' last night as it worked so well before (he was aware then- he as 15 months old before but fine) and besides my version is not exactly harsh (Ferber would think me a Fraud- way too Sears and Baby whisperer led)- I am actually far too soft in general and given I didn't sleep until I was 5 years old as my Mum is very soft too- I don't want to go down that road as it was very hard before on all of us. Also- he wasn't crying for most of the 2 hours last night and when he cried it was just the odd angry protest and he was not distressed- he was jumping up and down in cot practising his vocab and throwing his toys down side of cot and then got upset because he wanted them.

He already has extremely active days- we live by the sea and are very outdoorsy so he is always out and about and we hardly use a pram either. I know he will fall asleep if I am there- but obviously don't want him to rely on this- especially if I have to be in hospital when I have this baby for some health reasons- or can't always be on hand when the baby arrives- I am trying to give him the independence to get to sleep on his own which he has done before. I am well aware there will be lots more developmental changes- and I realise it is probably separation issues on top of teething given his age. Given I breastfed him for 14 months and we haven't had a night apart for nearly 2 years we have a very close bond and he is usually very confident so this week has been HIGHLY unusual. Nursery will be yet another change, but a positive one as he loves other children so will really benefit from the interaction- and of course the new environment will be stimulating physically and mentally- it's very exciting.

Thank you anyway for taking the time to reply.

Sheeta Tue 18-Aug-09 19:14:44

biggernow - be careful with doses of ibuprofen. Baby Neurofen says the safe dose at that age is 5ml, but calprofen (same ingredient) says 2.5ml.

Keep meaning to ask my GP about this and find out what is actually safe, but a pharmacist friend of mine agrees that 5ml can be too much for an under 3. Sorry I don't have more concrete information.

It does sound like a phase though, you might just have to ride it out. If you gave him that much paracetamol and ibuprofen then it wasn't pain keeping him awake (as you know I'm sure) and the fact that it's fairly sudden after such a long period of sleep hopefully means that it'll pass relatively soon


TheOnlyDailyMaleForMeisDH Tue 18-Aug-09 19:24:54

Sounds like he may be a bit worried about where he will fit in when the baby comes - he's probably worried he won't be your number one anymore.

Or is there a chance he's under the weather for another reason, does he have earache, or a cold?

biggernow Tue 18-Aug-09 20:27:12

Sheeta- he very rarely has nurofen to be honest so not too worried- i know the calprofen is different- my GP said 5ml is fine for a nearly 2 year old (and i would only ever give one dose every so often)- I'm not a big one for these drugs but felt in last couple of days he needs the help- always a few days before a tooth appears- I know the signs pretty much now as he has all but 4 of his lovely teeth! Anyway- did have a friend and her young baby here recently for four nights and it started then- so could well be it shook him a little as I held baby quite alot. Interesting how things bug them. (Also his tantrums have increased- which is to be expected given age- but some of them are rather random!!!)

He is fine otherwise theonlyoneforme- he had a little MOT yesterday to check on these symptoms and Doc is pretty much in agreement its teeth related (given dribble, off food a bit, crankier than usual and the finger chewing with absence of sore throat) Dad seeing him tomorrow so will get his view (and he is usually right although nurofen is not in his vocab unless fever there!!)

He is aware of baby in tummy for sure and no doubt prospect of sharing mummy not that appealing!! I will do everything to make it a good thing and DH and I are very geared up for much chaos and change! It will of course be worth it.

I feel more sorry for our dog- she has just accepted second place rather begrudgingly....she will be mortified when this one appears bless her!!!

TheOnlyDailyMaleForMeisDH Tue 18-Aug-09 20:51:30

Oh dear - it does sound like insecurity.

Have you explained to him how he is going to be in charge of his little brother/sister and he will have to show him how things work and his toys etc. I got a couple of books (waiting for baby and My New Baby) which were very helpful, no words in them just pictures you can talk about.

I also explained that when the baby came mummy and daddy would both help to look after him but when the baby went to sleep we would have special time with my daughter so she didn't have to worry. It did help. But I think I had to repeat this every day for six weeks before she believed me.

Sheeta Wed 19-Aug-09 00:10:34

biggernow - calprofen is no different to baby neurofen in terms of dose. exactly the same ingredient.

Sheeta Wed 19-Aug-09 00:15:36

I would also encourage him to name the baby in your tummy. Saw an old friend today and her DD1 referred to the newborn baby by pushing her tummy and saying 'baba'.

they realise so much, they really do know what's going on. there is a baby in your belly, and he know's it. I'm of the belief that the little ones are much more aware than we are..

biggernow Wed 19-Aug-09 09:12:07

yes, i am aware nurofen and calprofen same, my doc said 5ml dose of the nurofen we have, as stated on packet is fine given the small amount and rare times he has it. I don't have any calprofen but am aware it states a smaller dose- which is why I asked my GP after noticing in boots.

Anyway, I have one of those picture books and we read them together often. He calls the baby 'baby' (bee bee) and kisses it every morning then pulls my top down and says bye bye and gets on with day. We talk of it all the time. They are so aware- absolutely agree!

Thanks to you both.

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