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2 year old awake for 3-4 hours EVERY night

(17 Posts)
goteam Tue 18-Oct-16 05:56:10

At wits end. 2 year old has always been a dreadful sleeper but it's got worse in the last month. He woke in the night at 2.45 and is just awake now. Won't go back to sleep. Nothing gets him back to sleep. The night before, it was midnight - 4 am, eventually getting back to sleep before waking at 7 (other child up at 6 though so no lie-in for us). It's been a similar pattern for weeks. Before that he would at least sleep through a couple of nights a week but this is relentless. He screams (not an upset scream but a wide awake screechy one) so we can't leave him and when we bring him into bed he just tries to get out and pulls our hair etc. The screaming is a new thing. We could often let him get himself back to sleep before but the scream is 'wake the neighbours' volume. Just exhausting.

Introvertedbuthappy Tue 18-Oct-16 06:13:50

Does he still nap? If so he's probably ready to drop it.

goteam Tue 18-Oct-16 06:27:59

He does most days but literally crashes out in the pram. Can't stop him. He also only turned 2 a couple of months back so feel hers till needs a nap. This awful sleep pattern is making him tired in the day too...

Introvertedbuthappy Tue 18-Oct-16 06:48:39

My eldest stopped naps at 22 months - all babies are different - you probably do this already, but do you tire him out - get him running around, walking rather than buggy etc?

Believeitornot Tue 18-Oct-16 06:52:28

I'm not sure a nap or too much napping is the issue.

Sounds like something is waking him and he's finding it hard to sleep.

Few things to rule out:
- any dietary changes
- is something waking him? Eh boiler clocking on?
- is his room warm enough? The temp really drops at about 2am and can slowly cool a child down which then wakes them making it difficult for them to fall asleep again
- illness?
- teeth? Molars?

goteam Tue 18-Oct-16 07:16:02

I tire him out as much as I can but have a 4 year old too so he does often have to go in the pram. His diet isn't ideal as he's really fussy and doesn't eat much fruit or veg. He's at nursery 3 days a week and that should tire him out. I have wondered if he's hungry in the night but he still can't say much. Don't think he's ill as it's been going on for a month and he hasn't come down with anything. His molars came through last week. Will check they all have. He doesn't seem upset or in pain though...he actually giggles and tries to play. We probably just need to ride it out but DH and I have such demanding jobs we just don't get a break...

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 18-Oct-16 07:21:11

Once I'd exhausted all the suggestions above I think I'd be inclined to check in him but not get him out of bed. You say he's screeching but not in an upset way,so why can't you check on him and tell him it's still night time? Repeat if necessary...

Sounds like it's become a habit.

MoonlightMedicine Tue 18-Oct-16 07:26:18

I know this doesn't help but we had similar for a while at that age (DD now 2.8 so not ages ago). It was a phase and it didn't last too long. I'm afraid she still wakes most nights but is very easy to re-settle.

I put it down to a sleep regression/development as there is so much going on at that age. I don't think there's a quick fix.

I know it's hard, we have a 6 year old too so no lie ins here and it's stressful keeping the younger one quiet so the older one isn't woken.

bimandbam Tue 18-Oct-16 07:32:00

I have this occasionally with ds. He is 3 in December and it has been happening probably once or twice a month.

What helps is a groclock to show him it's not sunshine yet. The first time I go in I check he is OK, not ill or cold etc. Show him clock and tell him to go back to sleep. Quick kiss and a cuddle. Then the next time it's a quick kiss and resettle. Then I do rapid return.

So just pop him back in bed and don't engage or chat. Just tell him it's not sunshine time yet, go back to sleep. He eventually gets bored about the 3rd time of rapid return and goes back to sleep.

I also don't really let him sleep unless we are in the car and it can't be helped. And then it is usually just a 20 minute nap then wake him back up.

goteam Tue 18-Oct-16 08:02:01

Dame the screaming is so loud and persistent we have to go in. We live in a flat with neighbours all around. We would leave him before as long as he wasn't upset but not with the screaming.

Perhaps it is some sort of sleep regression moonlight. Not that he had ever been a great sleeper.

bim we might move the groclock into his room as 4 year old is a much better sleeper. We do just hope he'll get bored but he doesn't seem to...

goteam Tue 18-Oct-16 08:04:07

Thanks all for the suggestion

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 18-Oct-16 08:04:53

So he's upped his game?wink I'm not suggesting not going in, just not getting him up.

I'd warn the neighbours and stick to my guns personally.

Diddlydokey Tue 18-Oct-16 08:12:56

Dame is right, he has upped hid game and found something that works. Don't try and give milk or anything like that, that's just another bad habit.

Maybe try putting a mattress on the floor so you can just lay there so he doesn't scream.

goteam Tue 18-Oct-16 08:17:42

Dame we may give it a try again. We used to do it when he hadn't discovered this ungodly scream and did have some success with him then being able to re-settle self. We know it wakes the neighbours though as they have made comments in jest about him having a good pair of lungs on him etc....and that's with us going in straight away to deal with it...if he wakes 4 year old up we have a whole other issue too...

goteam Tue 18-Oct-16 08:19:24

Diddley that's one of the things we do. Just invested in a fold up futon as we don't see an end in sight. You're right. He knows the screaming works now.

MiaowTheCat Tue 18-Oct-16 08:23:16

Mine went through a phase of doing this at 2am-4am every fucking morning and then would conk back out about 10 minutes before my alarm went off just to rub it in for me.

In our case it wasn't screaming - it was either the Hokey Cokey (curse the bugger who'd taught her that song) or Happy Birthday doo ooo on a loop getting louder and lairier for hours every bloody night. At least she was having fun because none of us were!

Doesn't help much - but it was definitely a phase in her case. We had a mattress on the floor in there and I'd just lie down in there and ignore it as best I could and doze while supervising, without reinforcing it with attention or co-sleeping cuddles.

goteam Tue 18-Oct-16 09:04:19

Sorry to hear that miaow. On the odd occasion that DS doesn't wake for hours in the night, he wakes for the day at 4.30 / 5. 4 year old used to wake early but would happily chat to self for ages but DS doesn't really talk.

We also get DS finally conking out just before we all have to be up for work...

Glad it was just a phase - hope ours is!

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