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He's nearly 4. I thought I was done with this stage.

(9 Posts)
HolidayArmadillo Wed 22-Jan-14 04:00:23

Any suggestions as I'm at the end of my rope, DS is 4 in march and has never liked sleeping alone but recently this has descended into hideous broken nights sleep for us all. He goes to bed ok and then wakes up, anything from about midnight and tries to get into our bed. When he's taken back to his own bed all hell breaks loose and we're subjected to up to an hour of wailing, no tears, just loud wailing noise. Quite frankly it's making me feel murderous. It doesn't help that I work shifts so when I'm not here DH lets him sleep in our bed. He woke up at 2am this morning and DH is currently lying with him in bed to settle him. Everyone is awake. It's a joke.

PrincessPotsie Wed 22-Jan-14 04:12:01

I'm not surprised he's trying it on if some nights he can sleep with dad and other nights not! I think you have to be consistent.

Rapid return and standing firm should work in the end according to Supernanny and others. No talking, just take him back to bed. We did this with our then 2 year old and it did eventually work but took months.

What about trying a reward chart?

PrincessPotsie Wed 22-Jan-14 04:13:19

Oh and I forgot to say how dreadful it sounds and I'm not surprised you've had enough.

HolidayArmadillo Wed 22-Jan-14 07:49:31

Thanks Princess. I'll put that into practice, I can't wait months though, I work 13 hour shifts and need my sleep!!

PrincessPotsie Wed 22-Jan-14 18:02:55

He should get it quicker by the age if 4 though? Did you watch the sleep clinic thing with dr Tanya Byron earlier on in the year? Rapid return worked with all ages. You have to be consistent though and up for doing it for several nights in a row. Hope you have a better night tonight.

emmyloo2 Fri 24-Jan-14 03:44:35

God I feel your pain. My son is 4 in November and I cannot believe we are still having issues with his sleep. First struggle is getting him to go to bed - takes at least 30 minutes after lights out. He sometimes comes out of bed, says he doesn't to sleep in his bed, wants to do a wee, is hungry, is thirsty. And then the other night woke in the middle of the night with a nightmare and said something was pulling him out of his bed. He then wanted to come into our bed and wailed when refused. My DH slept in his bed then until he fell asleep. Luckily our 8 month old is a deep sleeper and doesn't wake up. He also has night terrors occasionally and they can take 30-45 minutes to pass.

I just can't believe he is almost 3.5 and we are STILL having issues with his sleep. When does it ever end? It is emotionally exhausting. I just don't understand where we have gone wrong.

insearchoftheFlumFlumTree Fri 24-Jan-14 10:44:42

Joining you on this thread.

I have a nearly 3 year old who has never consistently slept through the night. He appears to be largely immune to all know forms of sleep training. Much as you describe, OP and emmylou he wakes after midnight (bedtime is not always easy either) and kicks up a complete stink if not allowed to sleep with me (/and DH, but his ideal is to kick DH out and have mummy to himself). If we put him back in his own bed, he will contnue to wake through the night (citing spurious reasons such as needing water, the potty, to "just check" that his toy trains are OK, that one of his numerous soft toys which he sleeps with has fallen out of bed...) I am not all that consistent about not letting him come in to bed with me - sometimes I'm just too knackered and cave (but then still don't get much sleep, as he's a kicker and a wriggler).

I don't know where we went wrong either. We taught him (gently) to self settle from birth (i.e. we just always put him down awake from newborn stage, and he was able to get himself to sleep without fussing). We have a routine. I have a 5 year old who has slept through since he was around 6 months old (although he occasionally gets woken now by his marauding brother appearing in his room).

I cracked yesterday, I am so tired, and decided that enough was enough. Last night he woke at 3, wasn't allowed in our bed, and yelled the house down. Eventually I told him at that if he stayed in his own bed until the sun came up, I'd take him to the toy shop in the morning to choose a toy. I had to sit by his bed until 5am, but he did fall asleep on his own, and stayed there until 7.30. So we're off to the toy shop grin. I am going to take a firm approach backed up by bribery (sticker chart, with maybe a small toy a week - I don't want to bankrupt us!) and just tough it out for a while. It really can't be worse than the effects of 3 years of sleep deprivation. We'd really like to TTC a DC3, but there is just no way I could cope just now with pregnancy or another baby, I'm so tired already.

HolidayArmadillo Sun 26-Jan-14 11:12:36

I'm making a sticker chart today with him. I hope this works!! Sleep deprivation is a bitch. Sleep deprivation when there is no godly reason for it is enough to drive you insane!

TheGreatHunt Sun 26-Jan-14 19:08:48

If it takes months to do return then that's hardly working!
Our four year old has nightmares. I remember having nightmares at that age - and would lie there terrified at night not bothering to call for mum as I knew she wouldn't come.

Basically with DS, we set up a bed in his room and camp in there. That works much better as he sees his room and bed as somewhere safe. His night wakings have massively reduced and we get the odd nightmare every few weeks but that's it.

One thing worth considering is making sure his room is nice and cool. Also maybe set up a bed in his room.
Another thing - does he snore? some children have mild sleep apnoea caused by enlarged adenoids/tonsils and means they never get off to a deep enough sleep and wake in the night.

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