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If you had a hyperactive, defiant, non-stop, sleep fighting baby/toddler when did they calm down?

(12 Posts)
Nosleeptilteenagers Wed 29-Jul-20 10:20:01

My second DD is absolutely exhausting! My older child was what I considered a fairly average baby/toddler, fairly good sleeper, a bit naughty but generally easy to look after.

My second is just 2 and she is nothing like her older sister. She’s a whirlwind, doesn’t stop, doesn’t sleep - never slept through. Tells me she doesn’t want to sleep because it’s boring. She wakes up in the night and wants to play for hours. We have tried everything to get her sleeping, that’s a whole other thread.

In the day she just wants to be doing something constantly. Usually something she shouldn’t be doing like climbing on furniture. She won’t chill for a second, I’m sure my oldest could sit for an episode of Peppa by now! She also lashes out a lot and finds it funny when she’s told off. She will shout things like “I don’t love you mummy” when I’m telling her she shouldn’t be doing things.

She’s a joy when she’s engaged with you in an activity of her choosing,
she’s very clever and speaking far more than my older child at 2. She also potty trained at 20 months. I mean surely potty training comes after sleeping through?!

For others with similar children, when did it calm down? Did it ever? I’m worried for her when she starts playgroup in a few months that she’ll lash out at other children and have no respect for the group leaders. She’s in with a childminder 3 days a week at the moment and she behaves a bit better for her but still won’t sleep and has bitten the other child in her care once, in retaliation to them biting her but still.

I’m finding it all very challenging and the sleep deprivation is torture.

OP’s posts: |
Marcipex Wed 29-Jul-20 10:23:04

I’m sorry but she sounds normal for two.

Nosleeptilteenagers Wed 29-Jul-20 10:24:28

Maybe my older child was the strange one though.

I don’t know any other 2 year olds that don’t sleep through at least some of the time though.

OP’s posts: |
Ihaveoflate Wed 29-Jul-20 10:29:28

It sounds exhausting! I have no direct experience (my baby is just 1 yo) but I think the bit you mentioned about her being bright might be key. My older sister didn't sleep through the night reliably until she started school and my mum had tried everything by that point. She was a very early reader and pretty much taught herself by the time she started school.Turns out she just had a very active mind and needed the stimulation to tire her out (she's still a light sleeper at 41!).

I'm sure wiser women will turn up with actual advice, but maybe she just needs a lot of stimulation with activities that engage her (not easy now in current climate). Comparing her to your older child, although very hard not to, is probably not helping. She sounds a delight, if a bit exhausting!

Notverybright Wed 29-Jul-20 10:33:30

Mine sleeps now started doing so around 3 1/2, but the other behaviour hasn’t changed and he’ll be 5 soon. He does seem like the unusual one in his peer group now though. At 2 more of them seemed as hyperactive as him.

Marcipex Wed 29-Jul-20 10:35:43

I’m afraid I do...I’m a nursery worker so I meet a lot of them.
Your older child was just naturally more chilled by the sound of it.
I know it’s exhausting, I’m not minimising it.

It’s often the very clever ones who are so busy, if it’s any consolation.
Some sleep better with background noise eg cbbc has 8 hours of rain/waves/white/pink/engine noise. You could try those to see if it helps her settle/stay asleep.
I really wouldn’t worry about her behaving badly at nursery when she hasn’t even begun yet. Many children respond differently to teachers/nursery staff, and if she does misbehave, they will deal with it! That’s their job.

crosser62 Wed 29-Jul-20 10:39:19

5. At school full time. Then slept a full night through.
Didn’t calm down any though.
I was called in by the teacher most days about not sitting still, not concentrating, not doing work set, was always on the naughty cloud or red traffic light or whatever each class had for behaviour.

Very high needs, very high energy, very challenging, did just about everything you can think of, is written in books, advised by school/ other parents and well nothing worked. At all. Ever.
So I accepted that it was just the way they were.

Now older and less challenging but still hard work.

It’s draining, I was a walking zombie for the first 5 years of their life. I feel your pain op.

Marcipex Wed 29-Jul-20 10:40:41

I was going to suggest teaching her to read.
Also, as much exercise as you can muster. Swimming was ideal for tiring mine.

Have you got a trampoline? Many children use them for exercise and it seems to help them chill out too... I suppose it’s the rhythm.

Paperthin Wed 29-Jul-20 10:45:30

I think she is just different to DC1 - my DC2 was the same . My DC1 is very laid back and DC 2 the opposite - to be honest they are still like that now and they are older teens! I found I just needed different strategies for each of them... eg for DC 2 who is on the go get them involved in stuff you are doing to keep them busy ( eg mopping the floor ) different boundaries in pace etc. The sleeping is tricky - if she is safe in her room it’s about setting the boundaries that she plays quietly in her cot/bed as it’s night time - don’t go in too often or put the light on etc....

Nosleeptilteenagers Wed 29-Jul-20 10:51:42

Thanks all. I think I was lulled into a false sense of security with DD1!

Roll on school 😂 Joke - I’m not wishing her childhood away. She’s quite slow with her teeth so that might have an impact on the sleep too.

OP’s posts: |
TheABC Wed 29-Jul-20 11:55:37

It does not get any easier, but you get more techniques for coping! My seven year old gets up at 5:30am, but he has finally learned not to wake me before 6. Plus- added bonus - he can now read books in bed and rustle up cereal to eat.

wagtailred Wed 29-Jul-20 12:00:43

Basically when we combined full time school with a sport that needed a lot of training. Although he wasnt defiant to be fair. Just constantly on the go. By 11 he was able to sit and watch tv.

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