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2.5year old rubbish sleep

(10 Posts)
Em152 Mon 22-Apr-13 01:16:15

Hi all

Not sure if anyone can help but am at end of tether. DS has always been a rubbish sleeper. Had prob at least 18 months of horrendous early morning waking. Then we had probs with noisy neighbours that totally screwed things up. He's always needed lots of reassurance and we've got into terrible habits.

Anyway, we usually sit by door while he goes to sleep and this has been working fine. We had a blissful 4 months when he was sleeping 7.30-7 v often and 7.30-6.30 on a bad night. Sadly this has all gone to pot.

We've now got loads of night waking. Most nights he wakes up and is awake for at least an hour - mostly it's two hours and sometimes 3!! He's also waking up at 6 every day. Even if he does sleep through he wakes up at 6 and is constantly knackered. He has tantrums really easily and screams and cries a lot. We'd dropped all naps a while ago and this had been key to the better sleep, but he seems exhausted and like he needs a nap again now.

We've had a couple of horrible bedtimes this week with proper over tired meltdowns so we've bought bedtime earlier but this hasn't seemed to help with the night wakings.

Any ideas? He's still in a cot. We were planning on moving him to a bed next month but I'm terrified of doing this while he's sleeping so badly and could get up all the time. It would make everything much harder.

BlingLoving Mon 22-Apr-13 16:21:59

Hello Em152. Just a sympathetic handhold from me. We also have a bad sleeper and the problem is that when you get into a bad habit with them, it can be very hard to break. For various reasons, we've had some tough times recently too and DS has been waking a lot in the night. However, it is getting slightly better now.

My only comment is that we started making a little nest of blankets in his room for us. So we would go in and lie down and doze while he was awake. We were firm that he wasn't getting a cuddle or getting up or whatever, but we would stay with him. It's not ideal, and I do worry about long term habits, but in our case there seems to be an insecurity thing so we couldn't just leave him but at the same time, if we cuddle or pick him up we NEVER get any rest.

DesperateHousewife21 Mon 22-Apr-13 17:42:51

Thank goodness for your post!!
My ds is 2.9 and is EXACTLY the same. Dh sits in with him while he's going to sleep and he now can sit in the doorway but ds still wakes in the night and climbs in our bed and because we're asleep (also have a 5 mo dd) we don't take him back.

He's in a bed and has never slept through the night.
He has about 1 or two naps a week, he's been waking at 6am which makes the day too long to go without a nap so we are in a horrible dilemma every day.

He also has tantrums and cries because of tiredness, esp from 4ish til bedtime.

I'm getting so sick of it and really wish he would just SLEEEEPPP!

So will check in and update progress and see of anyone else has a magic solution!

binkybonk Tue 23-Apr-13 04:20:55

Clicked 'add message' but have literally nothing to add- my DS1 is the exact same...!!
Don't know whether to allow the daytime nap/ take it away...
Don't know whether to stay in the room/ make him cry for a bit...
Don't know whether earlier bed or later bed works.... confusedconfusedconfused
So no answers just more questions! DS2 is 10weeks so it's all fun and games here wink

turnipsoup Tue 23-Apr-13 05:11:49

I've got a couple of suggestions...

might be outing myself in rl, but
A friend of mine had this problem with her slightly older DS2. She was advised by someone who had the same issues, and had been to sleep clinic to contact the 'sleep fairies' (waves to turnipsoup's friend who is a regular MNer!)
It works like this.
1) Talk to the child about the sleep fairy who comes at night to check and see if they are sleeping.
2)The child puts a little pot somewhere in the house but not in the childs room.
3) Make a reward chart for the child, and decide on suitable reward. (could be daily or weekly depending on the age of the child)
4) If the child had a good night, a gold star is left in the jar. A not so good night i.e. waking once, half a star (or silver etc) and a bad night a sad face.

Friend had tried EVERYTHING, and this seems to work.

It also seems to work with DS2 who has this week started waking in the night. I suggested to him that we talk to our friends son about the sleep fairies, and he has slept through since.

We DS1 who was a terrible sleeper, we used stickers. Each evening we would sit down and write in a notebook the good things that had happened during the day. Then we would would put in a sticker for having a good bedtime. We would come back in to his room 10 minutes later -if he had not been crying- and put in another sticker. So on and so forth until he was asleep. If he had a good night we would then put a sticker in the book in the morning. DS1 was very sticker motivated...can you tell smile If he had so many stickers in his book he could earn a dinosaur toy.

I think what both of these have in common is that they have a really good bedtime routine, the child prepares in both of them to be rewarded, i.e. gold star or sticker, followed by an ultimate reward. I knoow that not everyone wants to reward with tangible things, but we were desperate blush

DesperateHousewife21 Tue 23-Apr-13 11:41:43

So ds woke at 6am yesterday, we went out to a play group. He was so tired he fell asleep on the floor at 4pm.

I didnt realise because I was in a different room, I woke him up when I did see him, he prob had about 10 mins.

He then didnt go to sleep at bedtime til about half 8- an hour late.

He then slept in his bed til HALF 5!! But then wanted to be up and about.

Obv he was hugely tired because that's not enough night time sleep.
He fell asleep in the car about 11am and is still asleep now.

He's got nursery today so want to let him have a proper nap for once.

Tonight will prob be fun and games again grin

Em152 Sat 27-Apr-13 05:12:25

Feel so much better that others are in same boat. It's 5 am and we've been up for an hour with DS already. It's my mums birthday today and we're supposed to be going out for lunch with DS is going to be a nightmare now. Bracing myself for a v trying day!

He slept really well on Thurs night which meant we had a lovely day yesterday. He was like a different child. He had a couple of tantrums but they were manageable - unlike the multitude of meltdowns he has when he's exhausted.

Really don't know what to do next. It's DH's 40th next weekend so we've been kind of waiting to do anything drastic until after then as he has loads of things planned. Might try and knock the sitting outside door on head after that. Baby 2 on way in early Sept so really really want to get DS's sleep sorted before then.

We've tried stickers and presents - which he loves - but they seem to have minimal impact really.

Our biggest prob is that when he wakes in night he always takes at least an hour and a half to go back to sleep. I appreciate that he may wake up every now and again - all kids do - but it's the length of time he's awake that's the real killer (and screws him up for next day). We can't sleep in there with him as part of reason we're in this mess is because we used to do that. He started refusing to go back to sleep at all unless we stayed in there - so really want to avoid that as had a rotten week just breaking that habit.

Still sat outside room though... Grrr!!

DesperateHousewife21 Sun 28-Apr-13 07:41:16

We're still stuck too, didn't go to sleep til 8:15 last night and woke at 6 this morning.
He's already throwing himself around the floor crying because he's so tired hmm

PotteringAlong Sun 28-Apr-13 07:53:45

There is also no rhyme or reason to my DS - last night he slept through 7-7. Awesome.

Friday night? He was awake from midnight - 3.45am. Horrendous.

I have no advice, just caffeine!

emmyloo2 Tue 30-Apr-13 03:33:06

God I need to join this thread. My 2.5 still wakes every night. Usually hops out of bed and appears in our room. He generally goes straight back to sleep but he then wakes between 5am and 5.45am every morning. We had a few good nights last week but last night he woke at 3.30am and just couldn't seem to fall back asleep. He finally did and then woke up again at 5.10am. It's driving me up the wall!

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