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Help! 2 yr old suddenly waking at night

(11 Posts)
singerinband Tue 03-Nov-15 09:30:38

Hello all. I'm just after a little advice please.

My little boy turned 2 in August and has always been a good sleeper, but the last week or so he has started waking in the night and won't settle back down.

Last night we had 2 full hours of calling out, crying, screaming etc and I'm exhausted! I tried going in to him a few times, then calling out to him in between times to reassure him that I was still there. I even tried being stern with him at one point. Nothing seemed to work.

My mum has suggested moving him from a cot to a bed, but I'm still not sure this is the answer and I don't want to do anything rash as I'm sure it's just a phase, but I'm not sure how much longer I can on like this.

Any suggestions of ways to get him sleeping again??

Thank you!!!!

QueenMolotov Tue 03-Nov-15 09:40:26

Does he still nap in the day? If so, drop one (or all if he only has one nap).

What are his activity levels like before bed?

Is he having nightmares/night terrors? A night-light might help him feel less fearful if he wakes.

Is he toilet training atm? If so, an awareness of needing the loo/of being wet might be waking him.

Does he have a comforter, or favourite toy? Those kind of things help my dcs if they wake at night.

I think it probably is a phase and the kindest thing to do is to continue to be gentle, yet firm. Reassurance, cuddles and a kiss before saying goodnight. No bringing him into your bed unless you are happy for him to rely on that to settle back down (I know that is difficult to resist when all you want to do is sleep!)

QueenMolotov Tue 03-Nov-15 09:41:42

Your DM might have a point: is his cot becoming too small for him? He might be uncomfortable?

singerinband Tue 03-Nov-15 11:38:30

Yes, he still has a two hour nap in the day, but up until a couple of weeks ago that didn't cause a problem, he was still sleeping from 7.30pm to 6.30am. I may try and cut it down a bit, but he's certainly not ready to cut it out completely. He has a dummy and a muslin cloth, so plenty of comforters.

He doesn't come into my bed, it's not something I've ever done as I can't sleep with a little one wriggling around.

I'm going to try an extra night light tonight to see if that helps and I've brought a talk back monitor which should be delivered tomorrow, so that I can talk to him if he wakes in the night rather than calling down the stairs (we are in the loft and he's on the floor below).

It think it's either night terrors or perhaps some kind of separation anxiety as he calls out "I want mummy" and cries.

Please don't say he needs a bed..... I can't bear to think of taking him out of his cot yet!!

billabye Tue 03-Nov-15 11:44:35

My 2 year old DD is going through a similar phase. She has just dropped her nap and won't go back to it come hell or high water sad
We got a nightlight and that has helped a little but hadn't cured the problem altogether. its possibly bad dreams as she also calls out to us and then cries like she's frightened. I think you just have to reassure them and wait it out and hopefully the phase will pass. I bloody well hope so anyway smile

QueenMolotov Tue 03-Nov-15 12:32:30

Ah, I know that sad feeling when the time comes for your LO to move from their cot! Is your DS in a cot or cot-bed now? My dcs had outgrown their cots by around 2.5yo: dd1 then had a toddler bed (same size as a cot-bed) which lasted until she was 5yo. I conceded that it was time to move her when her feet dangled off the edge blush She was so happy to then move into her 'big girl bed' smile Dd2 moved from her cot to a full-sized bed a 2.6yo (against the wall plus a guard rail) and she sleeps very soundly. Haven't had any problems with that touches wood!

Maybe shorten the length of your DS's nap by 30-40 mins if the night-light doesn't soothe him enough. It's tricky working stuff out for toddlers because they're not exactly babies anymore; their bodies and imaginations are alive! But they are still very much a baby because they can't articulate what's going on in their heads.

singerinband Tue 03-Nov-15 12:56:53

He's in a standard cot at the moment. He's almost 2yrs 3months now, so I suppose I'm getting towards the transition time. My daughter was younger than that (just turned 2) when she went into her bed as her new little brother needed the cot and she LOVED her big girl bed, so we didn't have any issues. Being a boy, I was waiting for him to climb out of the cot before I moved him, but he isn't really that agile!! Ha ha!! In my head, I was planning to get to Xmas before I moved him..... probably because he's my baby and I'm not ready for it emotionally yet!! BUT he is big for his age (looks more like he's 3), so maybe he's running out of space.

I just asked him why he cried last night and he mimicked "I want to to get out, I want to get out", so I asked him why he wanted to get out and he said "I want to go to mummy's room"! That part makes me nervous as without a cot, he'll be able to get in and out himself!

I'm going to try cutting his nap back to 1.5 hrs and see if that changes anything over the next day or so. If it's no better by the weekend, then I may have to get him a bed. I suppose I can always put a stair gate across the doorway to stop him escaping!

Why do they have to grow up????

singerinband Tue 03-Nov-15 13:12:10

Ok general consensus.... has he outgrown his cot?

Bless him..... butter wouldn't melt now!!

Queendedede Tue 03-Nov-15 13:54:32

If he wanted to roll over left or right from that position he wouldn't have the space and will hit the sides do I would say too small. I'm moving ds2 into a bed after Christmas, he will be 21months. His cot has been too small for months - he is an active sleeper!

QueenMolotov Tue 03-Nov-15 19:47:09

I would say that it looks a little cramped in there for him if he rolls over. I would say he might feel more comfortable in a toddler bed, or even a full-sized bed. Having used both and transitioned into both, my preference is for cot to full-sized bed, but that has to be your call. I just think in hindsight that the toddler beds are a bit pointless, but I felt very differently when transitioning dd1.

When dd2 moved into her big bed, we put up a guard rail against the open side of the bed. It's by Hauck and takes up almost half the length bed - certainly long enough to stop her little body tumbling out (and she is tall for her age). I think it acts as a visual deterrent to her, and stops her from climbing out as it physically blocks her way.

We also put a pressure stair-gate against the door frame in case she ever climbed out. She's 3.6yo now and I trust she won't climb out as she's slept in her big bed for over a year now (although we've moved the stair-gate to the top of the stairs, just in case).

singerinband Wed 04-Nov-15 11:17:09

Thanks everyone!

His ears must have been burning yesterday because he slept through the night last night without a murmur! Fingers crossed that continues!

A new bed's definitely on the cards, but if he keeps this up I may not need to rush it through as quickly as I thought.

I'm really hoping that the phase has passed!

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