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Toddler sleep - advice needed.

(16 Posts)
Pocket1 Mon 18-Jan-16 21:11:40

DD is 2.5 and has never been a good sleeper. And I'm desperate for help to improve things. 

We have a good bedtime routine and she's in bed 7/7.30 and gets herself off to sleep no problem.

But she wakes EVERY night and we take her into bed with us (we've given up sleep training and now co-sleep). She wakes anything from 8.30pm to 4am, but on average it's about 9pm (when I then have to go to bed as otherwise she won't settle) . And she wakes up ready to start her day 5.50/6.30am. This had been our routine for 6 months now. 

I don't have an issue with the co sleeping per se (although I'd prefer her to stay in her room), but I cannot cope with the lack of time I have to myself. She doesn't nap during the day any more. I love her dearly but I am going crazy having her attached to me 9pm-7pm most days. I'm also just knackered. 

What can I do to make her sleep better in her room? Or sleep longer in the morning? I don't think she will understand reward charts yet. 

She's still sleeps in gro bags in her cotbed. We'd love to put her in a bed but that feels a million miles away. 



ODog Tue 19-Jan-16 11:55:48

I would say try the bed with a duvet. If it doesn't work out then you haven't lost anything. My DS became a bit like that around a year so at 13/14months we moved him to a toddler bed with a duvet and he slept much longer in his own bed. Still comes through to us around 3am give or take but we can re-settle him in his own bed if he wakes earlier. Some nights he stays there all night. I read somewhere that at some point babies/toddlers become aware that they are trapped in the cot and/or sleeping bag and if they need to get to mummy or daddy then they can't so they start refusing the go in and//or stay there.

Pocket1 Tue 19-Jan-16 12:26:51

Thanks. I think we will give cotbed and duvet a try. Interesting about feeling trapped.... Hadn't ever thought of that before!

ODog Tue 19-Jan-16 12:30:57

It also helps that we can squeeze in the bed with him to re-settle if we need so he still gets the comfort of co-sleeping without actually being in our bed all the time. You can't do that with a cot.

LearningAsIGoMummy Tue 19-Jan-16 15:58:43

I feel your pain. You're much more long-suffering than me though. My DD1 is 23 months, and we've just been through moving her from cot to bed (needed cot for DD2). We had a month of her getting up every night and paddling through to our bed at about 3 or 4am, then variable success getting her back down to bed - some nights she went straight back down, other nights she'd start messing about and appear very awake. We even resorted to putting her back down in the travel cot, which worked fine, she went back to sleep, but wasn't a long term solution.
I chatted to the HV who suggested a stair gate across her bedroom door. We'd really tried to resist this, as didn't want her to feel trapped or unhappy in her own room (and didn't want to disrupt her bedtime routine, which like yours has always been very good). Anyway, after 5 wks of her waking virtually every night at 3-4am, we installed the gate. It took only 3 nights before she stopped waking, and sleeps through every night again. She's very accepting of the gate, knows we shut it after we've said good night, and just comes to the gate in the morning and calls us, it certainly doesn't distress her. We've had one night and one daytime nap where she's fallen asleep on her bedroom floor next to the gate, rather than in her bed, but she's transferred to bed without waking. Other than that it's been great, would definitely recommend giving it a go.

Pocket1 Tue 19-Jan-16 20:35:16

We have a stair gate bought exactly for that reason - I will make sure we use it too. Feel quite heartened that there is hope!

Quick question - how did you deal with the night waking on the 3 nights? And how did you settle DD? smile

Scotinoz Wed 20-Jan-16 02:26:19

I have a just turned 2 year old wakes during the night - could be 9pm, could be 2am, could be 4am. Could be once, could be several times. She's much better than she was though.

She's in a little toddler bed with a duvet and pillow - seems to prefer it to a sleeping bag - and a night light. We've got a gate on the door too, but she can open it so the click of it unlocking just serves as a warning that she's on her way.

We just take her back to bed at night, just her a hug, tell her it's bedtime and hope for the best!

Re reward charts...I'm thinking of giving it a go. I'm not totally convinced she'd get it, but I've done a bit of bribery with Peppa products which seems to have worked.

amysmummy12345 Wed 20-Jan-16 03:41:39

I could have written this!! DD is 2.4. Goes down in own room each night, toddler bed and duvet... Totters into our room anywhere between 10pm-3am... Toying with idea of gate on her door... Guess we've just become lazy at accepting her into our bed when she comes in. Previous to her sleeping in own bed she exclusively co slept her entire life so I feel guilty if I take her back after she's tried so hard in her own room sad She's come such a long way in a few months, cut right back on breastfeeding for comfort/to get to sleep, she's requested I don't lie in her bed with her any more... If we could get this sleeping through lark down we've nailed it!

ImogenTubbs Wed 20-Jan-16 07:04:39

Our 2.5yo DD wakes every night. She does have a safety gate on her door, so she just sits up in bed and cries, 'Mummyyyyyyyyyyyy!' until one of us goes and gets her and brings her into bed. We are weak. We are tired. But secretly we love the cuddles...

Peppapigallowsmetoshower Wed 20-Jan-16 07:18:53

My 2 yo sleeps better with a duvet and pillow. I wouldn't have believed it. He's never been a sleeper, still isn't 100% but he is much better. In his gro bag he'd stand up, flap around, crawl around and generally seem unsettled. (He'd lie on his back and flap his legs like a lobster tail) Now he lies in one position, head on pillow and sleeps better. I think it gives him a sense of space and he does stretch out sideways and can wriggle freely.

Apart from that I'm at a loss. He settles at night by himself now (_long long_ time coming...) but if he wakes he comes to us. I don't mind as it's usually 2am or later but 9pm? I can understand how you're feeling, it's too much. Koala toddler is exhausting.

Pocket1 Wed 20-Jan-16 08:56:53

Thank you everyone. I'm sorry you've all suffered too (but relieved to know we are not the only ones). 

We will move to duvet, sides off cotbed and stair gate this weekend. Might throw in sticker reward chart too. 

Last night I slept at the end of the bed like a dog. DH was scrunched up in another corner. While DD was in the middle like a stretched out Catherine wheel, wriggling and turning and kicking each of us in turn... She's bright eyed and bushy tailed today. We are, erm, knackered!! But we did love those late night cuddles (in between the kicks). 

Thanks again. And I'm praying for good sleep for all of us!! 😄

amysmummy12345 Wed 20-Jan-16 17:12:34

DD and I were talking this morning and I said "I didn't hear or see you come in or bed in the night?" Her reply was "I did it like a snake!" I can just imagine her slithering under the covers and popping up between me and dh grin gave me a chuckle grin

Pocket1 Wed 20-Jan-16 21:27:18

The trouble is they are toooooo cute! Hence we let them get away with so much. smile

billabye Wed 20-Jan-16 21:44:57

Apart from the co sleeping we've been having similar problems with our DD 2.6 waking in the night and calling out for us to go in and give her attention. She also started early waking as well.

We bought a Gro Clock last weekend and it's working! We made a big deal about her getting a clock for her own room and talked a lot about staying in bed for the blue stars and getting up for yellow sun. So far she's slept through and we've been able to ditch the nightlight we were using.

(Hope I haven't now jinxed it!)

skankingpiglet Fri 22-Jan-16 21:47:20

I hope changing the bed over works OP. It did for us. We converted DD's cot bed into a bed at 16mo as I really wanted to try out the Montessori-style bedroom. It had the unplanned but very welcome result of her sleeping through for the first time ever on the first night! We were just shock, she had been an appalling sleeper up until then managing a 5hr stretch at most before that. She was so so excited when I set up the bed, and even more so when she saw the duvet and covers (maybe a trip out with your DD tomorrow to pick some together?), she couldn't stop squealing and rolling on the new bed. She now climbs into bed and lies down waiting to be tucked in, I think it's her favourite place and the shine certainly hasn't worn off it yet nearly 4mo later. We have had to put a gate across her room though to stop the odd escape attempt in the morning or at nap time. She still wakes once a night a few times a week, but sleeps through most nights now.
We've also toughened up about waking, only going to her if she is upset, rather than moaning or calling 'Mummy!'. A quick check over, dummy back in, 'Shhhh, night time', and out again when we do go in.
I think the sleeping has improved as she feels happier in her proper bed, but mostly I think it's the space to spread out (not confined by a sleeping bag) and she regularly climbs out and sleeps on top of the covers if she gets too hot, rather than complaining to us. It turns out she's a 'cold' person like me and likes to hang her toes out, rather than like DH who goes to bed fully dressed and still moans he's cold!

kiki22 Sun 24-Jan-16 14:44:36

DS went into a single bed at 17 months so that we could get him out of our bed since no one was getting a good sleep. When he got up I went in with him once he was sleeping I would go to my bed if I hadn't fallen asleep as well over time he got up less and less. I think it becomes a habit to get up and come in once they are used to sleeping in there own bed with you its easier to get them to sleep without you.

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