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Toddler sleeping?

(7 Posts)
virtualrealityfreak Mon 17-Aug-09 11:26:26


I wondered if anyone had come accross as similar problem with their toddler concerning sleeping through the night?

My two and a half year old dd keeps waking up at about 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning and keeps coming in to sleep in our bed. She sometimes still needs a bottle and sometimes a cuddle. She is still restless for some time after she comes in some nights.

She has never been a fantastic sleeping since birth and still does not go to bed much before 8.30pm - 9.00pm (on a good day)! at night!

It means that my husband gets ratty because she comes in and disturbs him when he has to go to work the next day. Plus I am not getting too much sleep myself (again!). So am tired and fed up.

Nothing seems to work! We have tried putting her back to bed each time she gets up (both at bed time and during her night visits).

The only thing that works is if we put her in the top bunk bed (where she is scared to climb down)!

Doe anyone know of an easier method other than knocking her out with a mallet!

Thanks in advance!

MrsBadger Mon 17-Aug-09 11:46:40

(NB you have posted this in Living Overseas - might you do better in Sleep?)

DD is only just 2 but often wakes once in the night for a cuddle - we knocked night feeds on the head at 18m and she doesn't get anything else except water now (although will request milk / icecream / a carousel / to go swimming etc).
She's also still in a cot which makes things much easier, as I just stagger in, hit Play on the sleepy music CD, give the requisite cuddle over the bars and tuck her in again.
We made a joint decision that to have me do nights was better than involving DH as he simply cannot function as well as me on disturbed sleep - we split the burden in other ways eg he does early morning wakings at weekends, the hell that is teethbrushing etc.

We did have a brief period of late bedtimes, but have recently found it works much better to start 'bedtime' earlier, so bath at 7.30 (or earlier if she is grumpy and/or asks) followed by milk, stories and aforesaid sleepy music.
Sometimes she still doesn't sleep till 8.30 but sometimes she conks out surprisingly early and, what's more, sleeps better than under the old 'oh she doesn;t look tired yet' system which meant bathtime didn;t start till 8.30 and we had a screaming banshee to tired to wind down and would then wake, still screaming, repeatedly during the night.

She was also an abominable sleeper when tiny.

Things that have helped us over the years include the No Cry Sleep Solution book, and this article by Jay Gordon, which is nominally about cosleeping but has some very sound principals behind it - we used it when stopping night feeds.

I seep to remember the NCSS suggests making up a little bed on your floor so she can still come in to you but doesn't disturb you so much once she does - worth a look.

sam2cats Mon 17-Aug-09 11:48:16

Hi there, I am by no means an expert and I'm sure lots of other ladies will give you some good advice about this but I can tell you about my experience...My DD also started being a very bad sleeper around 2.2 (she was never great either and also still has a bottle at night, also going to bed at 8.30 - 9.00pm) she would go to sleep and then wake up and have to get into bed with me and then of course I got no sleep. I have to say the only way we cracked it was to let her cry it out and it only took about 2 nights. From what I read, its all about pushing boundaries and also they do dream quite vividly and that can wake them up. The trick is to teach them to self comfort....if they can do that they can go back to sleep on their own, it may take a few nights of screaming, but I'm sure you'll get there. You just have to have a consistent bed time routine, don't put her to bed too over tired because that makes the waking up thing worse. When she gets out of bed in the night just keep putting her back in, keep telling her its sleeping time not waking time, kiss her good night and leave her in her own room...can you put a stair gate at her door to stop her coming into you? As I say, this is just my experience and I'm sure you'll get plenty more advice. Its such a nightmare when they don't sleep, hope it gets better soon.

MrsBadger Mon 17-Aug-09 12:00:51

NB I must confess I would not do cry-it-out with any age, even a 2yo - controlled crying, where you keep going back in to reassure them - is quite different.

virtualrealityfreak Tue 18-Aug-09 11:00:42

Thank you for that advice - much appreciated. I will check out that book MrsBadger on Amazon I think!

I have just checked out the article by Jay Gorden. The key thing that struck me was the 'not feeding' after 11! I think I might give that a go!

Thanks sam2cats! I think I will use the top bunk bed (which is cot like because it has the side protection around it and she is scared to climb down!) like a door gate.

At night I will let her come into our bed for a wind down period (she likes to spend a little time in our bed!) before going into the bunk bed.

Once she is down let her cry for a while (5 minutes) If longer then offer reassurance on first occasion, then leave her to cry and self comfort (she has bottle, favorite cuddly toys etc in bed!) for the night!

He current routine is bath at eight after something to eat and bed by eight thirty!

Soooo am thinking that five - ten minutes after bath in our bed before going into the top bunk + reassurance time all complete by nine 'o' clock ish. Maybe with one story before whilst in our bed!

Thanks for all your advice it is much appreciated. I hope it will get better too soon. It is a nightmare when they don't sleep! DD has NEVER been a great sleep from the beginning so hopefully we can crack it eventually! It would be nice for DD to have a wife who is not a complete zombie for the rest of our lives!

I will keep you ladies posted on how it goes over the next few days!

virtualrealityfreak Thu 20-Aug-09 12:06:41

OK reporting back! I hope you ladies are still around.

The first night went ok and dd slept until the early hours. Then she woke up once but went back to sleep again herself. That was fine...

However, night two was not so good. Had to get her to bed in a rush last night as we were late coming home. So bad start!

Put dd daughter down, she went to sleep but then kept waking up at intervals during the night. I followed MrsBadgers advice and only gave a little milk once during the night! However dd still kept waking up so she is absolutely knackered and so am I.

So back to the drawing board...... ; )

sam2cats Tue 25-Aug-09 19:20:55

It sounds like you did really well you know for her to sleep like that the first just takes persistence and persistence and persistence and you will get there eventually. The fact that she can self comfort is brilliant and more than mine could do to begin with....

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