Wtf is wrong with my son?(48 Posts)
2yo. Last night had around 6 hours of broken sleep. About an hour 8:30-930pm, awake until after 1, then woke again for half an hour at 3ish then up at 6ish.
This was a particularly bad night but he's always bad. Occasionally sleeps for 3 hours but usually up every 1 or 2 hours.
He's running around the house happy as Larry and I'm on my knees.
How is he doing this?
I don't expect any answers, just need to tell someone else how shit my life is since I probably won't speak to another adult today.
Does he still nap in the day? I had to stop my son napping at 2 because his sleep got so bad in the night. After a couple of days of adjustment he slept a lot better.
He does still nap. Maybe I'll try keeping him up. He's usually so shattered he's falling asleep by midday.
This is not a regression - his sleep has always been bad. Only slept for 5 hours twice in his life!
Its crap, you have my sympathy. My son did this till he was 3. He's not perfect now but its much better. And there's loads of advice but it either doesn't work or you are too tired to make it work. But what helped me survive was moaning about it to friends, have you got people to moan to?
Like greys we ditched the nap (unless we went swimming - impossible to keep a child in a car seat awake after swimming!) also we Did Not Leave Bedroom during nighttime (ie 7:30pm till 'morning' which we hope is after 6 but was occasionally as early as 5) or turn on lights etc. I did have a few nights of being sat up what felt like all bloody night in a dark room or to and fro back to my bed, but after a few grim nights it seemed to work.
For mine, sheer boredom seemed to do the trick in the night, plus we got air every day (walk/toddle somewhere, bike, scooter etc) so reasonably physically tired too.
Good luck, try to remember it's just a phase!
No friends to moan to. Sadly over two years of no sleep has made me into an even less interesting friend than I was before.
Are you sure it's a phase? How long does this have to go on for for it to stop being a phase and just be how we "live"?
My DS didn't reliably sleep all night without waking until he was 2. Before that he would wake at least once and just need to be resettled. I cut his naps Down from hour and half to an hour which stopped it, and when he started waking again I stopped the nap altogether. He sleeps fine now and has just turned 3, unless he has dreams that wake him up as he has the last couple of nights.
Well your son was a good sleeper then. Once per night would be a dream come true! Are you trying to rub it in or just unaware?
His nap is about 45 mins so can't be cut down really but could be dropped.
We don't leave the bedroom at night. The lights are off. Nothing interesting is going on. Just me banging my head against the wall.
Poor Tycho. It really starts to feel like torture, doesn't it. The kind where you have to pretend all day you're OK and being expected to Do Stuff, but then it starts all over again the next night.
It IS just a phase and it WILL end - sometime between now and the teen years your littleTycho will sleep all night, every night, or will know not to, or not want to, wake you. That's for sure. I know that's not much comfort when you want it to end NOW. But every day could be the last day (bar illnesses) of this torture and the start of his maturing sleep patterns, because one day it will be. Maybe even today... hold on to the hope!
When he starts school he will likely be tired out and sleep better, though that probably seems a long way off to you in your exhausted state. I see he already has a lateish bedtime, 8.30? - many say 'sleep breeds sleep' and that putting them to bed earlier helps. That didn't work for me, and I had to keep my little sleep-haters up till a time I'm not admitting on MN and rigorously not allow daytime naps, though that cuts down a bit on one's free time, but I traded it for one long-ish stretch in the worst hours of the night. But they are all different and I'm sure you've tried everything.
I really feel for you and hope things get better soon. It must be so hard not having another adult to talk to today - that brings a little bit of normality to the sleep-deprived craziness. At least there's MN .
Yes thank goodness for mn. My only friends!
His bedtime is actually 7 but he takes a long time to wind down. I also have a 5yo who is very tired and needs to go to bed early so I don't want ds roaring around keeping her up.
It's fucking torture.
Yes school is years away. I'll have fallen asleep at the wheel and driven off a bridge by then. Hopefully today.
Do you have a bedtime routine?
Does he have a snack before bed?
Do you get him up when he wakes up?
Plenty of fresh air and running around in the day, every day?
Do you do the whole no lights on,no talking business when he wakes up?
How long is his nap and what time is bed time?
No sleep is a killer!
My 19mo is similar and it does feel like torture. Last night I had an hour and half of him sat on my bed saying 'mum, mum, mum' and crying. It's not cio (I don't think) because I'm there and trying to comfort/settle him, it's just that nothing works until he eventually sorts himself out. No words of wisdom other than you're not alone. We start most days at 5am, today we got a lie in til 5.50! My only consolation is my older daughter is a fab sleeper 7 til at least 7 so I know that it's not me, it's just how he is. I'm looking forward to the day when he's old enough to put the TV on and get himself a drink and breakfast! If it happens before then, it's a bonus
I am putting my hands up and saying that is not normal. 6 hours of sleep every night on a regular basis is not normal. Assuming he has a 2 hour nap that is 8 hours' sleep in every 24 hour cycle, repeatedly. Maybe some kids need less sleep but that is well below the average.
Does it cause behavioural issues of any sort? That you say winding down takes a long time suggests to me that is chronically overtired. Something has got to give. I don't know if a GP will take you seriously but I would contact a sleep consultant or a sleep clinic.
OP's son doesn't just wake once or twice or wake up early. He stays awake for hours at night and has done so for months. That is really not all that common.
Things to think about:
What does he do when he is awake? Will he lie in bed calmly?
Does he have food intolerances? Is he uncomfortable?
I am assuming that you do all the stuff they tell you to do: calming bedtime routine etc.
There are multiple things to sort and each is probably different from the rest and unrelated (and some may be less important to you than others):
1. Falling asleep which takes 90 mins. What happens if you read a story, tuck him in and leave him to it? Will he go bananas? So that's something to tackle- the falling asleep bit.
2. Then is the repeated waking bit. Now lots of kids wake up but do go back to sleep. My 4 year old wakes once a night, drinks water (independently) and goes to sleep. Sometimes he even goes to the toilet. So waking up per se is not an issue.
3. Waking up and staying awake. That's more problematic. Again either he is overtired or needs sleep aids to fall asleep. What happens if you again just leave him to it in a dark room and let him drift off?
No behavioural problems I don't think. Just the usual toddler tantrums, but not bad ones, and he's quite short tempered so I guess he is pretty overtired.
Gp can't do anything. Believe me. I've begged for help many times.
He never "drifts off to sleep" he needs me with him. The problem is I can't just leave him because it wouldn't be safe to leave a 2yo unsupervised for hours at a time. I could get one of those cages people use for dogs but I think that's a bit cruel (though very tempting). If I left him in bed he'd just get out and follow me.
Yes we have a bedtime routine of bath and stories, low lighting, no tv. All the usual stuff. No idea about if he's in discomfort. His language is not very good.
I agree that something has got to give. But it seems that it's going to be me not him. Last night he just lay next to me in bed in the dark for about 2 hours. Every so often he'd claw at my face, give me a kiss, kick me by accident as he wriggled around. I feel sick.
No money for a sleep consultant. And no energy to do whatever it is they advise. I'm so close to the edge now. I don't expect solutions. There aren't any. Every part of me hurts. Especially my heart when I think of how neglected my poor Dd is. We used to have so much fun but now our lives are just terrible.
cunting sympathies to you. Your situation sounds similar. My 5yo dd sleeps brilliantly. Unless she's ill we don't hear a peep between 7pm-7am. She's fab. By far my favourite child. Ds is horrific. Yes very much looking forward to when he can be trusted on his own so I can just ignore him. If we survive that long.
sympathy, sleep deprivation is the worst. DS2 didn't sleep through reliably until he was 4, and even then he woke at 5.30 everyday for a further year or two. In the end we would just let him have 20 mins in our bed then return him to his (often several times) and waited until he outgrew it, DH also made it a mission to properly wear him out on the weekends too by playing football etc which did help. Hang in there it will come good- he's 7 now and it feels like a distant memory
I really feel for you. My youngest is a sleep devil. Actually no, if he was the sleep devil then that would mean sleep is part of his vocabulary and it really isn't. He has slept for 7 hours straight twice in 17 months and I can't tell you how much that was celebrated in this house. Usually it is between 2 and 4 hours, then either up for a similar length of time or up and down from then on. I have no solutions, only sympathy.
Unsurprisingly, you sound awfully depressed. If the GP won't help re your son's sleep, they should do something about that. Apart from sleep, it might help to talk to a counsellor as it sounds like you don't have any help with your kids at all. That's a lot of pressure and responsibility, even if they are letting you sleep.
I'd consider putting a camp bed or something in his room and sleeping there - not interacting with him at all when he wakes. Might buy you a few more minutes.
Really feel for you!
Well, my son was obviously "not normal" either, as we spent what felt like years, but was probably only 3 months, awake from 1-3, and up for the day at 5.30.
The only way I could deal with it was to sleep (haha, doze if lucky) on his floor. I'd start off in our bed, but when he woke up, ld basically make a nest on his floor, force my wrist through the bars, and pray tonight would be a 30 mins night, not a 3 hour session.
Not sure what changed things. Just time I suspect. Not helpful, sorry.
It does get better. Not because he sleeps better, but because when he wakes at 4 am now, he knows to read, and not to wake anyone else. He's 7. And apart from being happy on 8 hrs a night max ,(if we fly home, he will do 2 hrs on a night flight, and be fine all the next day) and atrocious at spelling, he is a perfectly lovely 7 yr old. There is hope. And until then
Try And to him. It did have some affect. DS, Mummy is tired. She needs a good night's sleep if she is going to manage to go to the park/swimming/ other excitingish thing tomorrow. Please try and stay quietly in your bed all night. The had some affect, sometimes, from about 2.
Ok some things... If he really can't manage all day give him ten minutes hen wake him... Don't let him have a decent nap...The long day is easier to manage than a long night..
I would suggest you do one of two things..Firstly remove anything from his room that isn't safe in his bedroom..He should be perfectly safe in his bedroom...
Do you have a stair gate on his bedroom, if so shut it. Do not let him out his room at night unless toileting,( if he is out of nappies) even then I would use consider using a potty in his room.
At night two ways of settling one moving chair where you move further and further away each night..I did this. I would read a book by night light ...He has to at some point learn to settle himself to sleep.
Or return to bed no eye contact, cuddles after first bedtime goodnight.. I would definatley also consider the return to bed technique for night times too...Although this requires energy to do it.
I also got a gro clock so he knows when it is morning..This is more likely to work closer to 3 than 2..
Do you give food, water in the night. I would only give drinks of water at this age.
I have a none sleeper child..The advice is really tough to follow when you are so exhausted. He is now 9 and still an early riser but lies in bed reading a book..
I sympathise. It's incredibly hard. Sleep is such a basic need and when you've been deprived for so long everything starts to fray around the edges.
My son is nearly eight months old, so I've only got months under my belt not years like you. He sleeps so lightly, will not sleep alone, and wakes every 20-40 mins. I haven't had more than an hour or so in a row for months and there have been days I've honestly thought my sanity was in danger. Through it all, ds is a ball of energy,
Ignore the Advice (I know, this is advice) because you've probably tried everything and it you're like us, nothing bloody works. The idea of gently popping a hand on them until they fall asleep? Laughable. Controlled crying, after which they just drop off after a few hours? Nope.
It's incredibly hard. The hardest bit about parenting in my experience.
Sleep consultants? Well, I've seen plans they've drawn up for friends and there's nothing revolutionary there. It's the stuff you're likely doing anyway - routines and then some variant on pick up put down, cc or gradual retreat (none of which worked for us.)
The only thing that's keeping me from a breakdown is dh, who takes him at 5-6:30 am before work so o can have a sleep, breakfast and shower.
It sucks. Have a virtual internet hug, and try not to murder the 'oh yes mine still wakes once a night' crowd. They know not what they say and and
My DD is almost 23 months and can't nap really now, if she does we all pay.
If I keep her awake she sleeps from 7pmish to 7amish with a wake up at 4 normally for a cuddle and a drink and goes straight back down. If she naps that bed time goes out the window and we are looking at a 9pm bedtime and running around like a mentalist at bath time and wake ups for drinks and cuddles and stories at midnight, 3am and 5am wanting to get up for the day. Drives me barmy. If she has to have a nap I'm very strict about it starting no later than 11am and going on for no longer than 45mins. Any longer than that is a huge mistake!
My Dad in particular is very soft with her and tells me off for keeping her up, and sometimes she's clearly a bit sleepy in the afternoon but our nights are hell if she sleeps in the day for any length of time. Sometimes it's barely worth keeping her up all day as we end up with a witching hour from 6-7pm where she's a bit of an arsehole but this has now been going on for 5-6months and I know it's not a fluke.
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