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Soon to be 3 year old sleeping badly and constantly tired

(18 Posts)
GlummyMummy Sat 15-Apr-17 20:59:59

My DD is nearly three, used to sleep through for 12 hours a night, but for the last while has started waking multiple times overnight and then getting up at 6am for the day. As a result, she is knackered during the day and her behaviour is suffering as a result. I usually end up having to let her nap, though she stopped napping nearly a year ago.

Any ideas as to how to prevent the early wake ups? Wouldn't mind so much if she'd slept right through, but 6am on top of being up to her at 2am and 4am is hard going! Anyone else had the same problem? It's just a shame when I see other kids her age looking refreshed and active, and she's yawning her head off and getting over-tired.

JimWithTwoNoses Sat 15-Apr-17 21:31:05

Do you know what's waking her up? Nightmares, too hot/cold, thirsty, or just random?
What happens usually when she wakes up, does she need you to get up and stay with her, or you just tuck her in and go back to your room, or does she come in your room?
How do you put her to bed at bedtime?

Sounds hard going, hopefully you can get some ideas to sort it smile

minipie Sat 15-Apr-17 21:35:46

Reinstate the nap (but 40min max) for a while

GlummyMummy Sat 15-Apr-17 21:41:10

Thanks for replies. It is hard going, as she's really hard work during the day and it's worse when you've not had a good sleep!

Her usual refrain when she wakes up is to ask for juice, but she then takes the tiniest sip so I suspect she's using juice as a ploy to get us to go in to her. To be fair, she does resettle quickly, but is usually up several times a night.

At bedtime, she self settles, around 7.30, though she does still have a dummy (that's another story! 😃)

Happy to give her naps for a while again, but not sure if that's encouraging the early rising? Plus, she will only sleep in the car so it means a bit of driving around aimlessly!

JimWithTwoNoses Sat 15-Apr-17 22:08:51

I don't think I'd give her naps. But if she was flagging I might let her chill out in front of the to or do a quiet activity like read stories to her for a while mid afternoon. I'd be worried naps would make her sleep worse at night as she doesn't need that much sleep.

I think what I'd try (although maybe you've tried this before) is have a talk with her during the day about bedtime and staying in bed. Tell her when she wakes in the night you won't be giving her juice anymore as it's bad for her teeth and she doesn't need it at night time etc etc. Then follow it through and when she wakes go in tell her it's night time and she needs to go back to sleep. Then leave. Resign yourself to a few rubbish nights sleep and think of the long term. If she moans just be really boring and keep putting her back to bed. Maybe do some kind of sticker chart reward system for the week and tell her she gets a small toy at the end of the week if she can be good.
I'd keep the dummy for the time being if you don't think it's related and tackle that another time!

GlummyMummy Sun 16-Apr-17 07:58:26

Sorry, should have said "juice" for her is just water!

Thanks for the tips Jim, that all makes sense. We were offering quiet time of TV for an hour a day instead of nap, but then I worried she was getting addicted to CBeebies!

And yeah, the dummy is our next issue to tackle....kind of dreading that!

Ohyesiam Sun 16-Apr-17 08:04:43

My eldest did this, and we did the chill out with TV just after lunch , th en something really tiring, like swimming, or several miles walk. There were 3 bad days, then she was over the hump and was sleeping better, so didn't need the chill out time.

JimWithTwoNoses Sun 16-Apr-17 17:55:01

Did think juice in the middle of the night was unusual!

Good luck, I didn't have exactly the same issues with my 3 year old but something similar, it was soooo tiring! But really didn't take long to nip it in the bud once I thought enough was enough and got stricter. Maybe a week.

GlummyMummy Sun 16-Apr-17 19:29:17

OhyesIam, wow, your toddler would walk a few miles? I'm impressed! Once my daughter gets the TV on there's no shifting her!!!

Going to try a GroClock I think, see if we can solve these 5.45 wake ups. I haven't slept past 6 in weeks. She does seem to be a child who needs quite a lot of sleep, she is very wired and uncontrollable when over-tired.

GlummyMummy Sun 21-May-17 08:02:53

Well, several weeks on we are still exhausted!!! My daughter hasn't slept beyond 6am for the past 5 weeks, has been up at least once in the night (last night 1am) and takes 20-30 minutes nonsense to get her to sleep at night so it's after 8pm before she's asleep. Going to my bed at 9pm, so literally getting one hour to myself per day.

Her behaviour has been bad-rough with other kids, tantrums, throwing things etc. I know if she just got a bit more sleep she would feel better and be less whingey. just no idea how to solve her sleep issues. She's on the go all day so is getting plenty exercise. Any ideas?? Totally knackered!!

FATEdestiny Sun 21-May-17 10:48:59

Going to my bed at 9pm, so literally getting one hour to myself per day

You can change this mindset within yourself. Think of your bed as "me time". Put a positive slant on going to bed early - that glorious, snuggly, cozy time you get to yourself, with no demands on you, in your warm snuggly bed. Consider yourself lucky (within your own mind I mean) to have the luxury of going to bed early to get lots more sleep.

That aside...

My daughter hasn't slept beyond 6am for the past 5 weeks, has been up at least once in the night (last night 1am) and takes 20-30 minutes nonsense to get her to sleep at night so it's after 8pm before she's asleep

This really isn't that horrendous. And is an improvement. Since you started this thread, she was waking multiple times. Now it's just once - that's great.

I also feel 20-30 mins to get her to sleep really isn't an unreasonable amount of time. Can't you make bedtime earlier, say 7pm? What actuslly happens at bedtime?

Finally, 6am I'd quite a normal morning time for many children. If you feel your child isn't getting enough sleep, early mornings are often a consequence of being over tired. So more sleep at the other end of the night (earlier bedtime) may help her sleep longer and be less over tired.

For the wake ups, just be consistant. Return to bed immediately with little interaction.

MrsGB2225 Sun 21-May-17 10:53:51

Can you put water in a sippy cup in her cot/on the bedside table so the drink is there if she needs it?
My son is 2 and I'm really happy if he sleeps until 6!

GlummyMummy Mon 22-May-17 08:04:41

It doesn't feel like an improvement FATE, as she always went straight to sleep, now she is in and out her room like a yo-yo, last night for 35 minutes after lights out. Can try putting her to bed earlier but not sure our bedtime routine can be pushed forward any-she goes up for bath at 6.30 so the whole routine of bath, stories and faff after lights out is roughly an hour and a half. If we push it forward, she'll be going to bath straight after tea.

Last night, she was awake for an hour at 2am, so she only had 9 hours sleep altogether. Doesn't seem nearly enough. She'll spend most of the day complaining of being tired.

MrsGB- we've actually removed her juice cup from her bedroom as it was just a ruse to get us into her room, she only took the tiniest sip! How much sleep does your son have?

InsaneDame Mon 22-May-17 10:11:15

Glummy there must have been something in the air last night - my 3yo DS normally sleeps through or wakes once briefly for a wee then straight back to sleep. Last night he woke for a wee around 12am then woke again at 2.30am for about an hour! He does that every few weeks for no apparent reason..... One plus is that when he did finally drop off he didn't wake again until 8am. I wouldn't worry about how much sleep she has - you can only create the right environment for her to sleep, you can't force her to fall asleep or sleep more than she does.

lornathewizzard Mon 22-May-17 10:57:45

Not a solution really but a few suggestions

Cut down the bedtime routine. An hour and a half of bedtime nonsense just seems draining for everyone. Does she need a bath every night? My nearly 3 year old still only gets a bath a week, twice maybe. We do jammies, stories in her bed, into her bed and I sit on the end of her bed til she's asleep. Which at the moment is about 5mins but obviously this can vary.

Which brings me to my second suggestion, can you stay with her til she's asleep? This depends on personality I think, obv won't work if you being there will distract her or encourage her to play, my DD likes the company cause she's a clingy wee thing.

Also I don't see any harm in a nap. If she's tired during the day she's tired. I like a nap too so why shouldn't she!

Also and again this isn't for everyone, if DD is up during the night she comes in our bed and goes back to sleep. Super king size is a sleep saver!

We went through a period there of months when she would be up in the night and in our bed, but the difference was we weren't up for ages because she just came into our bed (apart from the very odd occasion not well etc). Now things seem to be settling down again, fingers crossed. She's 3 in July

Now if only her little brother would give up his 4.30am bottle!

MrsGB2225 Mon 22-May-17 11:22:42

We start the bedtime routine at 6.45. After bath, milk, teeth and stories, lights are out at 7.30 and we shut the door. After chatting away for a bit, he falls asleep around 8. Sometimes he cries out, we go in say 'sleepy time' and leave again.
He starts stirring around 5.30 and shouting mummy at 5.45. On a good day it's 6 and 6.15, but it's mostly 5.30.
He naps at 12 for 1.5 hours. If he naps later he will sleep too long and doesn't go to sleep at night. When we cut the nap he was too tired and couldn't make it through the day.
With the cup, do you have to go in? If you leave in cot/bedside table, she can get it herself.
I feel your pain about things regressing though. My son slept a solid 12 hours for a long time, but for almost a year we've had an early waking issue. The only thing that worked a bit was pushing everything back a bit. But after some 4.30 starts we've accepted 5.30/6 as our wake up time now. My DH is up at 5.45 for work anyways.

GlummyMummy Tue 23-May-17 12:30:19

Thanks for the suggestions folks. Tried putting her down a bit earlier last night (so only an hour from start of bath to her actually asleep) and she was up twice during the night, and then at 6.50 for the day. So we got a long lie and a bit more of an evening, but up at 12.30 and 3am! It just seems to have become a habit for her, rather than there being any real reason for it! She used to sleep 12 hours and all her peers still do, frustrating!!!!

Enidblyton1 Tue 23-May-17 13:26:06

We've had similar night time wakings for a few months, which started just before DDs 3rd birthday. Luckily she appears to have stopped now (touch wood!).
This is what I did to cope whilst they were happening....

- shortened bedtime routine and made it earlier, so she would go up for a bath at 6 and lights off by 6.45. I tried removing the bath, but found it unsettled her more.

- she would run into our bedroom at around 4pm and I let her spend the rest of the night in our bed. That meant I was only disturbed for 5 minutes rather than spending half an hour trying to settle her in her own room.

- I explained to her that I was very tired because she kept coming into our room and that I'd be very pleased if she could stay in her own room. She seemed to understand.

- I put a grow clock in her room and said she must stay in bed until the sun appeared. This definitely worked a bit, but not every morning.

- she would not nap at home during the day, so if we were at home I would make sure she sat quietly watching TV mid afternoon. No TV after tea, in case that over stimulated her. I engineered about 3 naps a week after lunch by driving somewhere in the afternoon. No more than 45 mins and before 3pm. This really helped with the daytime tiredness.

Not sure what happened a few weeks ago to break the cycle of night time waking, but she hasn't come into our room for a while now and generally sleeps until 7ish.

Good luck!

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