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How do you keep a 2.5 year old in his bed at night

(6 Posts)
emmyloo2 Wed 24-Apr-13 09:29:25

My 2.5 year old DS, for the last few months, has started coming out of his bed at night and down the hall into our room. He just appears in the middle of the night. Usually around 1am and then again at 5-5.30am. We are very consistent in our approach - straight back to bed and he generally falls right back asleep. Last night he appeared at 1am and I marched him back to his room, put him in his bed, told him I was going to the toilet and by the time I had finished, I went back into his room and he was asleep again. When we came in at 5am this morning my husband got up and my DS immediately rang back into his room and into bed because he knows he isn't meant to come out of bed until morning. He then went back to sleep until 7am. Often though if it's after 5.30 he refuses to go back asleep. I am 36 weeks pregnant with number 2 and am absolutely terrified as to how I will cope with this plus a new born.

He doesn't go to sleep until around 7.45pm and his day time nap is about 45 min - 1 hour. Earlier bed times don't help. Less or more sleep also doesn't seem to help during the day. More sleep makes it worse actually. He goes to day care two days a week and on MOnday they let him sleep for 2.5 hours and he woke up at 2am and was wide awake. I was furious with them!

Any tips? He says he is scared of animals in his room so I am not sure if he is having nightmares and is looking for reassurance??


narmada Wed 24-Apr-13 09:32:05

Has he got a cuddly toy or something to take to bed with him? You could tell him that the toy will 'keep a look out for him'. Nightlight, maybe, if he hasn't already got one.

Is there any chance you could move him back to a cotbed with sides for a while, or would he be able to climb out?

Wishiwasanheiress Wed 24-Apr-13 09:36:46

No answers just sympathy. My dd is similar, my dd2 is 12 wks. Dd1 slept well til dd2 arrived. Went to pot for 9wks with nightly visits. Finally settling now at 12 wks.

We did same march her straight back, no speaking. Sme nights she climbed in spare bed. I left her there as it seemed to comfort her a bit. Could be the thought of things changing. Could be reaction to your own nerves, i think you are best just referring to it as a phase. That way there's less pressure on everyone. It started, it will go on a bit, it will then suddenly stop as all do.

T make you feel a bit better, the majority of my fears before I gave birth didn't occur. The reality is easier than the expectation. You will cope, honestly.

Good luck and congrats

emmyloo2 Wed 24-Apr-13 09:38:45

Thanks Narmada. He has a blanket and several toys that he takes to bed. I will tell him they will look after him. We don't have a night light but we leave his door adjar with the neighbouring bathroom light on. He was really getting anxious about the door being closed so we now leave it open and that seems to make him happier. He has a very vivid imagination and he will take things he hears from his stories and then he will talk about them in the middle of the night when he wakes up. I think it's an overactive imagination to be honest but it's very tiring.

I am not keen on putting him back in the cot because he has been in a regular bed for over a year and we need the cot for the new baby! I guess i am just hoping this is a phase and he will grow out of it....rather than I have somehow ruined his sleep by not doing the right thing!

emmyloo2 Wed 24-Apr-13 09:53:03

Thanks so much Wishi. I am actually really really nervous/depressed/terrified about the thought of another baby. Only because I found number 1 really really difficult. Just the lack of control, the total change in lifestyle, the interrupted sleep. Finally now after 2.5 years it's getting slightly easier and the anxiety I feel is dissipating. However, I am dreading going right back to square 1 with a baby that won't sleep, walking the streets at 10pm at night with a baby that won't sleep, worrying about day time nights, controlled crying etc. Even though DS's sleep is not great, it's manageable and I can reason with him. However, we have had some hellish nights when he was little where I just sat down and cried from frustration and exhaustion and I am dreading heading back to that again.

I honestly am excited about meeting the new baby (who is a girl) but also dreading it which makes me sad. With the first I was so excited because I didn't know the shit storm I was about to enter. I sometimes wonder why others cope so well and I seem to struggle!!

I think this is the subject of another thread though - title "Dreading the second baby!". smile

narmada Wed 24-Apr-13 09:57:54

It sounds like you're doing all the right things to me, I wouldn't worry. Kids can be very perceptive - I am sure that when DC2 was nearly here, DC1 knew something was afoot and went a bit funny.

I think that 2.5 is a key age for fears and overactive imaginations etc. This too shall pass, and all that grin

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