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2.1 yo night terrors/ bed transition/ early waking/ frequent waking - any similar experience?

(2 Posts)
matana Wed 02-Jan-13 10:01:44

DS is usually a great sleeper, though has always been prone to periods of waking that doesn't seem to be illness or teething related. He's not a particularly anxious little boy and mainly takes things in his stride. But my DH has always suffered with night terrors (he actually acts out his dreams, which is pretty scary sometimes) and i don't know if this is hereditary and might be responsible for some of these episodes.

We converted his cot to a bed after Christmas and he's taken to it really well on the whole. He goes to bed without a fuss and is asleep within 15 minutes most nights. But he's begun waking earlier than usual and crying, which is unusual for him. I heard him cry at 5am today, went into his room and he was walking around looking disorientated, trying to open the wardrobe. I assume he thought it was the door. I had noticed that his feet were freezing cold, so maybe he woke due to cold (he has a duvet but often kicks it off and is never awake enough to pull it back over himself). I gave him a cuddle, put him back to bed with his teddies and he went back to sleep, until 6.45am. He doesn't normally wake until closer to 7.30/8am.

I think he's probably more unsettled recently because of the excitement of Christmas as well and change in routine with both DH and I around all day every day for a week, but have also heard that 2 year olds can go through a kind of regression that might be linked to their growing awareness, imagination and independence. I also know that bed transition can cause problems like this but was wondering if anyone else has experience of this and knows how long it might last. Likewise, if anyone has any knowledge or advice on nightmares and night terrors i would like to hear it, particularly if it's thought to be hereditary. He can open doors now and so we keep the gate at the top of the stairs closed at night in case he goes wandering and is disorientated. I know i'm doing right by responding to him, comforting him and helping him back to bed but now i'm back at work again i'd like some reassurance that the sleep deprivation won't last forever!

mystiquesonya Wed 02-Jan-13 10:39:50

I can't offer any reassurance I'm afraid but I am going through exactly the same thing with my dd who's just turned 2. In fact I'd come on to start a thread asking for advice when I saw yours. Up until 2 weeks ago she was an excellent sleeper but now she cries as soon as we step foot in her bedroom - this is at day naps as well as night, in fact I've given up on day naps now. She'll then cry a sort of frightened cry which quickly turns to an angry cry. I tried going up and reassuring her, doesn't work. I've tried taking her out and giving her cuddle and putting her back down, doesn't work. Tried bringing her downstairs for a little before taking her up, also doesn't work. If her crying was more of a whimpering I'd probably leave her to it a while longer but after 5 mins which is the longest we've left her, she's literally screaming. She is so exhausted that she's miserable throughout the day, falling over, not eating as well as she used to. The last few nights I've just put her in our bed and she's gone off absolutely no problem so it's definitely to do with her room/cot or maybe being separated from me, although during waking hours she has no problem leaving me. The problem with her sleeping in our room is that I have to go up the same time as her as we've got a wooden shelving around the bed that she could roll onto and get injured.
Like you, I was wondering whether she'd had a nightmare that had frightened her or that it might be the excitement of Christmas. Her birthday was just before Xmas so we've had a pretty chaotic couple of weeks.
I hope someone has some experience of this and can offer us some advice.

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