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2.7 year old doesn't sleep through. I'm exhausted. Please help.

(5 Posts)
FreddieMercuryforQueen Fri 26-Oct-12 08:33:14

my 2.7 yr old DS doesn't sleep through, he never has really although he used to be a lot better. Every night it is a fight to get him into bed, although we have some success in reading stories to him until he sleeps. Again this used to be much better and from being a baby he would self settle but in the last couple of months he has become a nightmare, we moved him into a bed from his cot in July and for a while he went to bed happily as usual but this degenerated into him getting out of bed every night and proclaiming he doesn't like bed or sleep, or the toy giraffe in his room or shadows on the wall. You get the picture. We've tried ignoring him and directing him back into his room and putting him back to bed but hours of that gets wearing and we're exhausted. As I say marginal success has been gained with reading to him until he conks out. We then have problems Wight night wakings, we used to (pre 2 months ago) get one waking per night on average, 2 would be considered a bad night and we'd get the odd night where he'd go 7pm until 5.30am which to all intents and purposes was a full night. shoot me now but he still gets a bit of milk when he wakes up as it used to help him settle back down without fuss. Note the 'used to'.

Last night though for example he dropped off after 45 minutes of stories, woke up at 11pm, went back off with more stories, woke up at 2.30am, screaming, DH went into his bed with him for half an hour until he went back to sleep and hen managed to disturb him as he came back, DS then came I to our bed and much fun ensued getting him back into his own bed, tears continued (DS and me) and he eventually went back to sleep with some more milk and DH in his bed. 5.30am he was up for the day and back in our bed.

This is every night. I work 13 hour shifts. DH works 9-5 mon to fri. We have a 9 year old DD who is getting disturbed. We're at our wits end and we're exhausted. Whn I do a nightshift DH lets him sleep in our bed which doesn't help but I do understand why he does it.

Any ideas? Please help.

Ps we've tried night lights and story CDs. To no avail.

FreddieMercuryforQueen Fri 26-Oct-12 13:08:09

Oh god no one? Really?

babyboomersrock Fri 26-Oct-12 13:21:45

If he sleeps more easily in your bed, I'd let him do that for a while. I know some people advise against it - but honestly, he won't want to sleep there for ever.

If you think about it, it's only recently that children have been expected to sleep alone. A few generations ago, children were heaped into one bed, so they had the comfort of siblings.

All of mine slept in our bed at some point - if it helps you get a night's sleep, just go with it for a month or two and see what happens. Keep it low-key - it isn't a big deal, and it will take the pressure off all of you for now.

I know it isn't great having a toddler sharing your bed - they take up a disproportionate space, and you may not have a great night's sleep, but you are having very little sleep at the moment.

FreddieMercuryforQueen Fri 26-Oct-12 13:35:18

Thanks for replying. He does sleep much better in our bed but as you say no one else does. I suppose it's something we'll have to consider unless anything else has any other bright ideas?

Hadeda Fri 02-Nov-12 11:02:11

I came on here because my DD at 3.4 is still regularly waking at night!

My DD does go to sleep ok since she started sharing with DD1. But mine are much closer in age (18 months apart) and the same gender so that may not help you.
For bedtime - explaining that he's a big boy and can go to sleep? My DD1 doesn't like going to bed but knows that after 8 is grown up time. If she does come down I never act pleased to see her - ie not horrid to her, but a stern "what are you doing here" and walk her straight back to bed. I decided a while back (she must have been 3) that she was old enough to understand that some times are not for her. We also talked about her having no energy for [insert list of fun things next day] if she didn't sleep. And added staying in bed at bedtime to the star chart.

For the night - that's hard isn't it? You just want to sleep and will do anything to get some sleep. Our DD2 has regularly slept in our bed but we decided about 6 months ago that we were going to stop it. She is too big and wriggles too much so none of us sleep. Now when she wakes we go and settle her if she is 90% asleep or get in her bed if she isn't and then sneak back to our bed once she is asleep. You DH will have to practice sliding sideways out a bed without moving the duvet! Also, now she is old enough to be rational, we've started talking about her needing to sleep and needing energy. She is desperate to go to school (DD1 has just started reception and DD2 will go next Sept) so we are pushing the "you need to be a big girl and need lots of energy to go to XYZ school". Doesn't stop her waking up, but in the morning she is very proud of herself if she stayed in her own bed (even tho' one of us spends an hour at 3am there too...!). We are hoping that this will gradually move to her settling herself or even sleeping through.
The alternative, which we have done on desperate nights, is for one of you to sleep in his bed and the other to stay in your bed with him. Our DDs are both in full size single beds so we can do that. But I am personally very unhappy to do that long term, as I feel DH and I do need some places which are ours and recognised as such.
I guess whatever you try, you both need to agree to it.

One last thought: I see you moved him to his own bed in July and things deteriorated 2 months ago. At night, is there any chance he's cold? I had that with DD1, didn't realise she kicked the duvet right down the bed and because it has no sides it either slid off or got so far down she wasn't covered - which led to her waking at night. I now check them both as we go to bed and cover them if needed and also have already put on their heavier winter duvets as it's harder to kick those off when moving.

Anyway, hope some of that essay helps!

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