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Sleep deprivation torture

(6 Posts)
reddjango1 Mon 02-May-16 03:36:52

My dd is 2 and a half. She is a happy, confident, outgoing child. Potty trained and attends nursery for 3 sessions a week which she really enjoys. All good so far! But the sleeping is an absolute nightmare! I have a bedtime routine (tea, bath, story, bed) that I have followed since she was a tiny baby, I put her to bed between 6 and 7. I sit with her until she goes to sleep as she shares a room with her older sister. This can take an hour or more, even if I know she's really tired but she's too stubborn to settle down. So that in itself is draining as it takes up most of the evening and I have 6 other children and housework to deal with also. She then wakes up every night usually between 10 and 12 and then can be awake for hours - her record is over 5 hours! I tried sitting next to her bed to get her back to sleep but I just sat there for hours trying to settle her. She now comes into my bed but lays awake still for hours every night. She fidgets, talks constantly, takes her clothes off, pulls the wallpaper etc. I don't talk to her or engage with her except to lay her down and sshh her. She wont let me sleep, keeps poking me in the eyes and mouth and telling me to wake up. I have to be up before 7 every morning. The lack of sleep is really taking it's toll on me - I'm snappy and irritable and can burst into tears at anything! I have a constant headache and I find I'm always eating. Dd is absolutely fine and you would never guess that she survives on just a few hours sleep somedays. She hasn't slept during the day since she turned 2 so she literally has about 5 or 6 hours sleep somedays - which I know is nowhere near enough. I have absolutely no idea what to do, I can't leave her in her bed as she disturbs all the others. She is incredibly strong willed and won't be swayed by bribery or sweet talking. I tried controlled withdrawal but gave up due to complete exhaustion after 3 hours of putting her back in bed. She just found it funny! Its 3.35 am now and she has just gone to sleep after waking up at 10.30 pm. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

BigGreenApple Mon 02-May-16 09:46:40

Oh god, you poor thing! That is pretty epic. I have no advise as I've just posted my own 'help me!' thread, but you have my sympathies. Hope somebody comes along with some advise for you soon!

Zaurak Tue 03-May-16 18:49:18

I wonder if this is not so much a sleep thing as an attention thing? With six siblings, perhaps this is her way of monopolising your attention and time?
I'd make a fuss of her in the day and then after a few days tell her that nighttime will be quieter from now on and follow through (I know that's easy to say and hard to do, I've got a non sleeper and it's exhausting!

Anyway, if she's good and well behaved in the day, maybe she feels this is the way to get more mum time?

reddjango1 Tue 03-May-16 19:08:50

Zaurak, yes it could possibly be an attention thing although she has me all day to herself as the others are at school. I tried having her in my bed all night last night ( a bit of a cop out I know!) and she slept through for the first night in many months! She woke up a couple of times but as I was there I was able to settle her quickly before she woke fully. I'm just going to do this while it works!!

Handsoffmysweets Tue 03-May-16 19:18:53

red you poor poor thing! And there's me thinking I had the night from hell last night with one of mine being ill. Sleep deprivation is full on evil torture isn't it? I was going to suggest moving your other daughter and trying CIO. I know many won't agree with me on this but I have a friend in rl who could have written your post word for word. In the end she moved her other 3 to grandmas for the 6 (yes 6) nights that it took of crying, tantrums etc for her little one to finally get it and understand that night time = sleep time. I appreciate that CIO is easier said than done though. For now I'd carry on with the co sleeping if that's what works for you. One of mine spent the first few years in with me. It got me sleep and stopped me going mad. Sometimes you have to pick your battles. Good luck OP x

reddjango1 Wed 04-May-16 19:17:07

Thank u handsoffmysweets

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