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2 YEAR old doesn't sleep through. Any tips? I'm quite tired now....!

(23 Posts)
Hadeda Thu 28-Jul-11 13:54:40

Pretty much that...

DD2 was 2 at the beginning of this month. She has never really slept through. We had a 6 week stretch around September last year when she slept through 3/4 nights a week. Then she got a cold and it ended.

She wakes any time between 2am and 3:30ish and comes into our bed then as it's the only way to be sure we all get some sleep. This has been the routine since we stopped co-sleeping all night around her first birthday. She goes to bed ok - I sing her a song, give her a kiss and leave while she is awake. So she can put herself to sleep.

But she just doesn't sleep through and as she gets bigger it's becomming more disruptive to have her in bed. And I am very very tired! sad

We have tried patting and rocking. We have tried just sitting in her room with a hand on her back. We have got into bed with her to settle her. We have had three goes at leaving her for a while to cry (i.e. doing it over a few nights, not that we've left her just three times in her life). That makes her very very upset - beyond what I think is reasonable so I don't think it's fair to her. I've read NCSS, Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child, endless websites but all either deal with babies or talk about evening routines, which we have.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? A full night's sleep would make an incredible difference to our lives....

noblegiraffe Thu 28-Jul-11 21:10:39

How long does she nap for?

Hadeda Fri 29-Jul-11 14:14:34

Thank you for the reply!

Nap is about 30 - 45 mins usually.

I'd have thought that if her nap was too long/heading towards dropping it she wouldn't go to bed in the first place though, rather than waking at 2am?

spout Fri 29-Jul-11 14:24:03

DS is the same age and has NEVER slept through. Not ONCE. We've just bought a Gro Clock which he is slowly responding to, in that he knows that when there's a star on the clock it is sleep-time, and mummy and daddy are only happy to see him up when the sun on it appears.

noblegiraffe Fri 29-Jul-11 14:48:02

I find that if my DS naps too long he still goes to bed fine at the normal time but then is awake for up to 2 hours in the middle of the night. So it might be worth trying going without a nap and seeing what happens.

Mine always sleeps a lot worse when it's hot at night, what's the temperature in her room like?

stirlingstar Fri 29-Jul-11 14:55:47

Commiserations. I don't really have an answer - but maybe a bit of hope. My DS2 was a TERRIBLE sleeper - hard to get to sleep, lots of night-time waking, up for the day at 4:30am in his first year, alway in & out of our bed etc etc. It gradually started to improve a bit at 2.0 (the odd night slept through), rapidly improved at about 2.3, and now at 2.6 he sleeps through about 4 nights a week and wakes for a short cuddle the other nights, but is spending all night in own bed. I didn't do anything magic (though did introduce the sunshine clock to indicate 'getting up time') - I think mainly it was just maturity. (DS1, 20 months older, had always had similar routines and never had significant sleep issues.)

This too shall pass... stick with the routines, and keep fingers crossed.

MrsVidic Sat 30-Jul-11 19:04:35

Im going to give you honest advice, you dont have to take it but here goes.

From your post it sounds like your knackered and you have tried everything. That is your problem. You need to do 1 thing and stick to it.

Get a good nights sleep- then start cc. IMHO anything else will delay the inevitable. smile

froggers1 Sat 30-Jul-11 19:07:48

i could have written your post a couple of months ago. In the end I went to the Millpond sleep clinic - google it. They do it all over the phone with you. It worked and I am now getting til about 6 am most days!! A bloody miracle! Good luck

Parietal Sat 30-Jul-11 19:23:28

When she wakes at 2, is it possible to settle her back to sleep in her own bed? If you can manage that, you are half way there. I'd go for a gro-clock or similar, and explain the rule that we stay in bed quietly til 7am. Then if she wakes at 2, just tuck her back in bed without talking. Repeatedly if needed, but once she gets the rule, it would only be one brief visit per night.

Going from that 1 resettling visit to no night wakings is one we haven't yet entirely cracked with our 3 year old, but we are getting there ...

Hadeda Tue 02-Aug-11 14:31:39

Oooh, lots of responses - thank you!

I had thought of a gro-clock but thought she might be too little for it. Perhaps that's worth trying.
And on naps - we do limit it to an hour max but maybe cut back. She really seems to need it though.

She won't settle back in her bed when she wakes. I expect that is because she's got used to getting in with us. Plus she is incredibly strong willed. We did tyr it - a few nights in a row we tried to settle her. She woke around 2am and did not go back to sleep until 5ish, when we cracked and took her to bed. In between that she was angry if we left her (honestly, she was angry shock!) and just lay quietly if we stayed with her, but awake. And we were exhausted from being up all night.

And MrsVladic - I do think you are right that we need to stick with whatever we decide is our approach.

Time for another sleep discussion with DH I gues.....

Hadeda Wed 03-Aug-11 10:02:29

Right, I have HAD it! DD2 up at 11pm and wouldn't go back to bed. Tried to settle her, gave up at 11:40 and shut myself in the bathroom. She screamed, I washed. Tried to put her to bed after that. She screamed, I fled to our room. She followed and turned up in our room howling like a banshee. I gave up. She hiccuped and sobbed for half an hour. I only got to sleep after midnight. DD1 turned up at 4am with a bad dream (unusual for her). DD2 didn't want DD1 in bed so pushed and kicked intermittently at her until I separated them and slept in between the two of them. So they pushed kicked me for the rest of the night, because they are restless sleepers and not because they wanted me out of bed. Feeling exhausted and I have such a busy day at work. Does anyone else feel like a hamster on a treadmill sometimes...?!
DH away on business overnight so missed all the fun.

Groclock on order and DD2 and I are having a Talk tonight about big girls sleeping in their own bed with dolly and bunny and NOT in mummy's bed.

titferbrains Wed 03-Aug-11 10:17:17

sounds like too many habits (coming into yr bed, holding out till you give in etc), I would call millpond. DD has never been a great sleeper but I stopped having her in our bed at around 6mo because I knew I wouldn't sleep well if she regularly came in with me. She woke often, crying, but I always did the same thing: kept room dark, quick cuddle, tell her it's time to go to sleep, tell her I'm going to lay her down now, do it and walk out even if she started crying straight after. She might cry/fuss a bit but I always tried to leave it a few mins so she could self settle first. DD is now 2.10 and has just gone into a big bed. She is generally sleeping well in it but heat is now waking her and she keeps falling out (because of waking up and getting in funny positions, I think) but when it was cooler, she was not really waking at all.

A couple of months ago she did seem to be having night terrors - waking, crying, but not communicating at all, and that was very difficult. But I wonder if she was just a bit too big for her cot and was hitting the sides when moving to get comfortable.

I think if you are too tired to deal rationally with DD's sleep habits/be really strict about it for several nights (at least a week) then maybe best to get some advice from millpond about what aspect to tackle first. I would also say that she may need to drop the nap - she could have maybe one or 2 naps a week but not a daily one.

titferbrains Wed 03-Aug-11 10:19:35

sorry, to be clear, being consistent at night meant that even if she did wake a lot, she'd always go back to sleep pretty quickly. Only problem was that I struggle to get back to sleep after settling her - but then I'm not a great sleeper and always struggle to get off to sleep and get back to sleep.

Tonksforthememories Wed 03-Aug-11 10:25:27

I'm having exactly the same problem with 22m DS. Good to hear about millpond!

I'm struggling cos i never has this problem with my girls, CC not an option as they all share a room. He sleeps fantastically till 2am on the dot, then has to be in our bed.

Don't have any advice i'm afraid, just wanted to let you know you're not alone and i'm watching with interest!

Waitingforbaby Tue 09-Aug-11 18:09:36

I'm in a similar situation - my DD2 turned 2 years old last week and slept through from about 1-4 months and not since. We moved her cot into our room for a few months earlier in the year. We've moved it back now and I've set up a temporary bed/mattress next to her cot so I sometimes end up there as I've stopped bringing her into bed with us.

I'm also fed up with it. I don't want to do CC when she wakes in the middle of the night as it'll probably wake DD1 (and not sure I could do it) so not sure what to do except go with the flow and hope she grows out it.

I've thought about 'wake to sleep' but usually I'm too tired to wake up to do this! Watching this thread with interest...

BlueChampagne Wed 10-Aug-11 16:59:25

Although not a believer in homeopathy, we tried the Bach Sleep Rescue Remedy a few times on DS2 at about 18 months, when he's only slept through a handful of times. It's probably entirely coincidental, but (whispers) things do seem to have improved since then. At about a fiver from a chemist or healthfood shop, I imagine it's cheaper than Millpond! Anyway, I offer it up in case it helps anyone.

Hadeda Thu 11-Aug-11 12:16:38

Well, here is an update. Progress - virtually none.

Tricks/tips tried:

1. Groclock arrived on Friday. I put it up until Sunday. She and DD1 were most interested and we made the stars go out and the sun come up. Effect on keeping her in bed though? Nil. Didn't expect an immediate victory though so we will persevere.

2. Nap reduced to 30 minutes.

Was her birthday party on Sat so I didn't want to do anything before that as I was too busy. And was finished on Sat night (16 children and associated adults.....). Sunday she had a long nap so went to bed later, but night was usual story of come into us around 1/2am.

Monday and Tuesday nights were hellish. Monday she woke at 1am and came in with us. She then woke up at 5am and screamed her head off for no apparent reason. Tried teething gel - didn't want that, ripped it out DH's hand and threw it across the room. Ok, message received and understood. DH got up with her for about an hour, brought her back just after 6:30 and I left her sleeping when I got up at 7 and stumbled into the office.
Tuesday night she woke up at 1am and screamed her head off, again for nothing obvious. Asked her if she wanted teething gel, tried some calpol. Said no to gel and smacked calpol spoon out my hand. In the end I just sat and rocked her on the floor of her room until she calmed down and then sat in our bed and rocked until she fell asleep and then lay down with her. And both nights she didn't want her dummy, which is usually the first thing she wants at night.

Last night, hallelujah, she slept until 6am. Probably just completely knackered from the last two nights!

Night terrors maybe? She's just two so early but possible. DD1 had them briefly around the same age. Teething? Maybe, but violent reaction to teething gel suggests not. Just really bad attitude!? Perhaps....

Anyway, I was all prepared to be really firm with her last night as the usual trick of bringing her in bed wasn't working - and then she slept though. We will just have to see what tonight brings.....

Luckily DD1 sleeps through everything...!

glitterkitty Thu 11-Aug-11 12:40:04

Try a syringe for the calpol? My DS was just the same (he was teething which made things particularly bad- dont know if thats your problem? They dont have much logic at that age and say no to everything!).

I did the 'feck it I cant fight this' approach as having a battle of wills with toddler is hard work! Just got used to DS coming in for last few hours, got a bigger bed. It did pass by about 3, just got slowly better.

In meantime I napped an awful lot and we made a seperate bed in another room so whoever was most tired aout of me/DP could take a night off and get some proper rest.

Good luck to you.

chubbasmum Sun 14-Aug-11 21:29:54

im having problems with my 3yr old he has his moments settling down but i persevere and he stays in bed -result but its the 11pm jump into mummy`s bed thats a problem and as the other ladies have said just to keep peace i let him i work fulltime and single mum and usually up at 6am , someone suggested Bach sleep rescue remedy which i will definately be trying just Googled Millpond my God how much ????

Hadeda Sun 14-Aug-11 23:42:22

Chubbasmum- I also thought that about Millpond! Things are not great on the sleep front, but I'm not sure I want to fork out that much for advice....

Having done a lot of navel gazing on this subject recently, I have also realised that one of our problems is that I find it hard to justify to myself making DD2 so upset at night when what she wants (to be in our bed) is not naughty, it's a fairly natural and understandable want. i.e. it's not like snatching toys or biting or pushing or any of the other antisocial habits a 2 year old has, which I have no problem being quite firm about. But I struggle with her being so hysterical and crying and calling out for us (well, usually for me) when we do refuse to let her in bed as she has not done anything "wrong" there.
I guess I have to manage my feelings before we can make any real headway...

TheMitfordsMaid Sun 14-Aug-11 23:52:31

You are not alone...my DS2 has never really slept through either, and I've even tried cc! It wasn't the answer for us. Gah.

MrsBloomingTroll Mon 15-Aug-11 13:21:08

No real suggestions as it sounds like you've tried it all. Just wanted to offer some support/solidarity really.

DD1 has always been a terrible sleeper. We enjoyed a few months of solid sleep around 18-24 months, then she reverted. We changed a few things at age 2.6 which gave us a couple of good months, then she reverted again.

She's now 3.1 and still wakes once a night calling for me most nights, have to go in and rub her back. Am about to have DC2 and don't know how I'm going to cope. DH sleeps through it.

With being heavily pregnant I have decamped to a single bed in the nursery and I found that helped because DD1 knows she doesn't fit in there with me. She's tried it once or twice but usually ends up asking to go back to her own bed. Do you have a single bed you could try? Or put a bed alongside hers where you can at least lie down close to her whilst trying to get her back to sleep, then sneak off? We moved DD1 to a single bed from a cot bed for that very reason.

Sorry, I did end up giving some advice after all! Good luck x

Zoidberg Tue 16-Aug-11 08:38:56

I also want to show solidarity - certainly can't offer advice as DD is 2.3 and never slept through, comes into my bed at the first wake up, has a second wake up later on. Often these are 5 min wake ups, sometimes they are an hour. I have a lot of sympathy for you and agree with so much of what you've said, Hadeda, esp that last post about recognising that what she wants is quite natural.

We are keeping on going with it, it will end one day, I just thought that one day would have happened already.

It sometimes helps to remind myself how quickly she will grow up and with hindsight, in a mere 10 years, I'll wish I'd had more of these little girl years, regardless of sleep deprivation - have certainly read enough posts on mumsnet from mums of older children saying this sort of thing.

Then of course there are times when I gnash my teeth and bang my fist on my pillow grin

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