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my 2 year old has started waking up in the middle of the night. Do we soothe her or tell her to get lost?

(8 Posts)
Cappuccino Wed 21-Feb-07 09:30:00

she cries

we go in

she demands cuddles from dh

or 'feed' from me

we are knackered

we can be up for 2-3 hours straight

we are no strangers to controlled crying but unsure how to do it with incredibly loud toddler with language skills

<crawls on knees>

nailpolish Wed 21-Feb-07 09:36:01

Capp, my 2yr old sometimes does this (she has recently been teething, but the excuse is now wearing thin)

dh goes in, speaks to her VERY sternly, she gets a tissue for her nose (this is a dd2 thing) and that is all

you have to put on a stern face

good luck

gegs73 Wed 21-Feb-07 09:36:31

I would go in once and tell her its night time and that she needs to go to sleep. Double check that there is no reason she is crying then leave her. I wouldn't feed her unless there is a reason you have to do so.

Is she having nightmares? You could ask her about this in the day. DS started having them when he was about 2.4 months. He had been watching tv which wasn't scarey - Number Jacks!! but I think he was waking up at night thinking about it which made him cry. Stopped that and he stopped waking up.

In the morning tell her you are really tired and have no energy (DS is big on this as he loves Lazy Town) as she woke you up then be boring for abit (not hard if you are knackered). Good luck

Chandra Wed 21-Feb-07 09:37:21

At that age, I think, what I did was to ensure DS was having enough food during the day, and if he cried, I went to the room, put him back to bed, all with the lights off, and comfort him a bit without speaking much (he was such a negociator since early years that the mere act of opening my mouth would make him go on for hours).

If he wanted more milk, I offered water, thinking that if he was really thirsty he would accept it, otherwise he was not really thirsty.

Sometimes you just have to take them back to their beds 30 times before they get the message. We tell him it is time to sleep, and put him back to bed, second time we repeat, and from third onwards we just kept getting him back to his bed in silence.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 21-Feb-07 09:39:16

Oh dear, hard work.

How is her sleep in the day? Any idea what's triggering the waking?

I had great success with DS1, by a) explaining that him being loud was not letting whatever treasured toys he was sleeping with, sleep. So we needed to take away the toys so they could sleep. b) we use noise machine, blackout, and a timer with nightlight to let him know when it's morning.

You can still do CC. YOu calmly explain it's sleeping time, and you need to go to sleep, and so should she. A bit of soothing isn't a disaster, but 2-3 hours is a real nightmare for all of you ...

Cappuccino Wed 21-Feb-07 09:56:37


when I said 'language skills' I didn't mean being able to articulate nightmares! You must have a very gifted child there!

thanks though cos you have all confirmed my suspicions of what we should be doing - we had been treating it as one-off waking but we need to get a Firm Hand

ta all

MrsJohnCusack Wed 21-Feb-07 09:57:04

my DD started doing this a few months back
We decided she was feeling unsettled; even though I don't think she's grasped there's a new baby coming (she's 2.2 now) she knew something was up.

We tried controlled crying and it just DIDN'T work, she is way too bloody minded and it was taking 2-3 hours to get her back to sleep and we were all exhausted and tearful.

by blundering about we discovered that the only thing that worked was a sort of gradual withdrawal method. it was torture to start with, I (it had to be me, DH wouldn't do, she just sat up and stared at him) sat on the floor until she went to sleep (or so I hoped) whilst I sat in SPD induced agony on the floor and then had to crawl out on my hands and knees. but eventually I only had to go in, pat her back, and then sit just outside the door with it slightly ajar, and it would only take 10-20 mins to get her back to sleep. (have just had to do it tonight to get her to sleep because APPARENTLY a 20 minute kip in the car means bedtime slips by 2 hours ) Another key was, I don't talk to her at all, just wait for her to lie down again. She can't get into a conversation, and also I am less likely to start shouting like a madwoman (which was what was happening when tried the controlled crying )

anyway, this is a right old ramble. Just want to give some sympathy and say good luck!

charlieq Wed 21-Feb-07 10:24:24

This is interesting- ds (3.7) is always having nightmares, since about 2 like gegs73's ds.

Last night he had one about aliens coming and picking him up off his bed and taking him away!! (complete with quotes from his story book Here Come the Aliens, read to him last night....)

I can't seem to do anything about it. We have tried most things except getting really harsh immediately because he always seems distressed (not that distressed, just whiny) & it seems too cruel to add to it.

I try to take him downstairs (I am on floor above him) silently & straight back to bed. I don't encourage him to give me an account of the nightmare though sometimes I get one anyway.

Every morning I tell him how tired I am and he doesn't get a star unless he sleeps right through. But none of this is working. and knackered (I'm 34 wks pg- might be contributing to the problem)

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