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3 year old not sleeping. HELP! Like NOW!

(22 Posts)
PavlovtheCat Tue 04-Dec-12 22:22:47

He has never been a great sleeper, but after much work we got him to sleep til 5am, then in with us til 7am, worked relatively ok even if he does figit too much!

Anyway, has had a bug, and left with a nasty cough for the last two weeks. Saw GP today who said not a chest infection, just lingering cough.

He just won't sleep. His bedtime routine has gone to shit. He gets a million times, despite us following a nice calm relaxing bedtime routine, normal time. He does not sleep until 8:30pm or later, continually coming out of his room. He is hyped up (overtired we think).

This evening we put him to bed earlier, due to him being so tired.

He wakes during the evening, wakes several times at night, sometimes coughing, sometimes just crying for me. And ends up with us at some point in the night, kicking, fussing, crying.

Over the weekend, on one night, he woke 7 times, no word of a lie. He is simply refusing to settle for either me or DH, but if DH sees him, the world has ended.

The only way he will settle is if I sleep with him in his bed. I just cannot do that. My eyes are on stalks and my head is pounding.

Right now, he is screaming his head off, crying til he coughs, coughing til he wretches. The only way he will settle is if I go and lie with him. And if I do that, he will wake again in a couple of hours and so it goes on.

I am so tired. I no longer look forward to sleeping any more. It's not like this is new really.

Right now I am ignoring him. Well, I say that, my head is literally throbbing with pain from his crying/shouting. Should I ignore him? go to him and lie with him? what? help me work through this!!

<pulls hair out>

Tamdin Tue 04-Dec-12 22:27:59

Hi pavlov! I'm rubbish at ignoring the crying. I would go in. It's anything for an easy life in this house and repeating the mantra "it's a phase, it too will pass". Sorry not much help but didn't want to read and run

Longtallsally Tue 04-Dec-12 22:28:27

My 2 were bad sleepers - 7 times a night was not unusual for us too.

I would sleep with them, simply because I got more sleep that way, particularly if they were ill. You don't say how old he is, but when they are small, and coughing, it's awful. Calpol, cuddles, a window slightly open . . . . I slept better with him than in the next room waiting for him to wake.

Get through the next week or so until the cough is better, by doing whatever gets you the most sleep. Sleep with him if you want to. It won't get him into bad habits. He can be settled back into sleeping alone once he is better.

Best of luck

beatofthedrum Tue 04-Dec-12 22:29:08

Poor poor you. That sounds awful. My dd had sleep problems (they passed! This will pass!) and your post has brought back the feelings of wretchedness and despair. My advice is do whatever you need to do to get some sleep, whether it is lie with him in his bed or bring him into yours. Cuddle him and sleep together in whatever chunks he will sleep. It is so upsetting for you to feel angry and resentful towards him (though so unavoidable too!) Jump in now and don't worry about creating further problems, I worried too much about that I feel in retrospect.

Big sympathies, hang in there.

PavlovtheCat Tue 04-Dec-12 22:31:13

tamdin <waves? how are you!!!! DH is, as we speak, vacating the bed...

Longtallsally Tue 04-Dec-12 22:31:14

And if he's that restless/upset at night, try the GP for a quick check on his ears. DS1 although a poor sleeper went through a bad patch after a nasty cold, with no sign of an ear infection, but the GP found it straight away, when we eventually went.

PavlovtheCat Tue 04-Dec-12 22:33:14

longtallsally go gave him a thorough check, he is ok infection wise, but not a happy bunny generally atm. I am going in...

Tamdin Tue 04-Dec-12 22:38:44

Hope you both get some sleep tonight. If he was doing until 5 in his own bed he WILL go back to it when this passes. I'm good. Ds2 (22 mths) is in bed beside me fast asleep. Dh has also vacated the room. We shall muddle on! x

PavlovtheCat Tue 04-Dec-12 22:51:35

thank you.

He is fast asleep in our bed next to me. He cuddled straight in 'i just need to cuddle you mummy' put his hands on my face, legs wrapped around me, asleep. Now sprawled gently snoring/purring.

DH is on the sofa bed, bit put out but his own idea, so we all get some sleep. Not really put out, but we had BIL over from US at the weekend so we were both on the sofa bed then, and DS was with us a lot of that time, and it is small, he just wanted to have a decent sleep in his own bed! Soon.

This second time has been sooooo much harder. DS sleeps much worse than DD ever did!

Longtallsally Tue 04-Dec-12 23:02:14

Aw bless! DS2 was a fantastic cudddler too. He would wake in the night, see me there, hug me and sign happily " I love you soooo much . . ." then go back to sleep.

Does your ds have a full size single bed yet? He will need one sooner or later, and so if it means you all sleep better, then it may be worth getting one for times like this. You can jump in with him and sleep for an hour or two, whilst dh stays in his bed - or your dh can have the single bed for a good night's sleep whilst you and ds enjoy the double and you all get some sleep.

Sleep well

PavlovtheCat Tue 04-Dec-12 23:10:04

Thank you! he is in a toddler bed as his room is tiny. If we put a single bed in there he will have little space for toys, honestly it's a cupboard!

He will be going into a big bed when he goes into the same room with his sister (which oddly is huge!), but until he sleeps a little better that won't be happening!

He would happily sleep upstairs with us (we are in the loft room). If I were to bring his bed up and put him next to me, I swear our bedtime problems would end, instantly. He has ishoos being away from me for some reason. (boy? hmm)

OovoofWelcome Tue 04-Dec-12 23:16:27

Hi Pavlov, sympathies. Relentless fatigue is horrible.

Maybe he'll sleep better in with his sister?

PavlovtheCat Tue 04-Dec-12 23:17:55

we have considered that, he does prefer company, or...they will both end up not sleeping! We are thinking about it.

piprabbit Tue 04-Dec-12 23:18:02

Could you try putting audio books on a CD player in his room? Might help with settling at bedtime as you can start listening together and then you can 'pop out for a moment' but the story will carry on.

I had this problem with my DS and it was a horrible time. In the end (once I knew he was over his illness) I went back to settling routines and treated him like a toddler. The whole sitting by the bed calmly repeating 'Time to sleep now' and nothing else. It worked, and probably more quickly than I expected because he had already done it once and just needed 'reminding'.

Also starting nursery really helped - getting physically tired as well as emotionally/mentally tired. Have you been staying inside because of the weather and/or illness? Maybe a day out in the fresh air running around could help break the cycle.

PavlovtheCat Wed 05-Dec-12 08:53:34

piprabit I have thought about audiobooks actually, or gentle music, I think he might respond quite well to that. I might start that tonight, it will help sooth him even if he is still feeling a little unwell. He is at nursery twice a week and we have continued that, although, he has cried every day of it, and normally he loves it and goes off happily, now in the mornings he cries as soon as it is mentioned. He had a meltdown today as a new jumper I bought him hasn't got thomas on (i am starting to dislike thomas with a passion wink). We have tried to get out in fresh air, although possibly not as much as we would normally due to the weather being so utterly miserable. We probably do need to get him outside a bit more.

He slept a bit better last night I think, or, rather, when he did wake, I was there so he settled back down quickly. But he tossed and turned a lot, and woke twice for about 30 mins coughing, kicked me in the head a lot, and amazing almost pushed me out of our big bed! So, he might have slept a little better, I did not ! He did wake in a better mood though, and brought a book for me to read him before going for breakfast. Just didn't last long.

DD woke with a headache and her cough is worse, so looks like our holiday next week to center parcs winter wonderland is going to be full of coughs and lack of sleep!

MissRedIndie Thu 06-Dec-12 05:53:59

Maybe try a 'sleepover' in dd's room to test how they would sleep together without actually taking the plunge? You could put mattress on floor. Good luck, sleep deprivation is miserable, I feel your pain!

TheGirlOnTheLanding Thu 06-Dec-12 08:30:07

I agree with trying him in your DD's room, our DD2 was a terrible sleeper but somehow DD1 rarely got disturbed by it and they both like the company. I hope it all starts to improve soon, sleep deprivation is utterly miserable.

PavlovtheCat Thu 06-Dec-12 10:19:55

miss luckily, we have a sofa bed in DDs room, so we can put him on that before taking the plunge. Funnily, DS has asked to sleep in DDs room in the last day or so.

We are going on holiday next week and they will be sharing a room, so this will be a good test, see how we get on and maybe we will move them in together in the new year.

He woke 3 times last night, and ended up in our bed kicking me in the head and not settling. Then, at 5am, DD woke up with her own cough keeping her awake, so I had to settle her too sad

My eyes are like stalks! DH got up with the children and took DD to school, albeit because i told him i was not getting up, nevertheless he did it. luckily I am not at work today.

battyralphie Thu 06-Dec-12 10:28:50

you might like to see whether his cough might respond well to air that is a bit moister. You could buy a humidifier, or just let the shower run for a while in a shut bathroom and get him to breathe the steam. you can also buy fairly cheap and basic steam inhalers or a nebuliser. This helped dd massively who always has this after nearly every cold. Otherwise, would he consider sleeping in a buggy or is he too big? Sometimes with dd sleeping a bit more upright helped. And if you are not giving him any cough medicine, definitely ask in the pharmacy what they recommend to take away the tickly bit of his cough.

PavlovtheCat Thu 06-Dec-12 11:12:24

batty oh thank you for reminding me about steam! How did I even forget that! I will also put some little water pots on the radiators. The house is a little dry atm due to heating being on as it's so cold. I will go do that now. Thanks again smile

battyralphie Thu 06-Dec-12 11:15:50

hope tonight is better!

PavlovtheCat Thu 06-Dec-12 11:25:57

thanks, me too!

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