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17 month old suddenly taking ages to sleep at night. .. should I cut his nap back?

(8 Posts)
WhyTheHeckMe Fri 02-Jun-17 21:22:47

My 17mo has been a dream since Xmas, goes down in his cot awake and doses off after about 5 mins of chatting to his teddies. Sleeps from 7.30 pm till 6.30 am.
However the last 4 nights he has been a bit of a nightmare.
Absolutely nothing has changed, he's his usual happy self and bedtime routine is the same. But i put him down and he does his 5 mins teddy talk and then he goes into meltown mode. He cries and stands in the cot and won't settle at all.
Last night he even managed to get himself out of his sleeping bag. We go in and try and lie him back down, stroke his head etc. But he just won't calm down. It's taking almost an hour to get him to go to sleep but then he's waking at the same time in the morning but he is very tired
He sleeps for about 2 hours during the day and now I'm wondering if I should try and cut this back? Or is it normal to have phases like this?
I guess I've just been spoiled for the last 6 months!

FATEdestiny Fri 02-Jun-17 21:58:42

If he's only sleeping 2 hours, I wouldn't cut back daytime naps for a lobg time yet.

In terms of sleeping bag, get a zip-up-the-middle sleeping bag instead of a shoulder poppers sleeping bag. If still escaping, put it on backwards.

The cause of the difficulty settling could be any number of things:

- Separation anxiety. Just a phase when toddler wants a bit more reassurance. I'd give Is that reassurance, it's just a phase.

- gross motor development. Sleep ususlly goes rubbish as toddler learns to stand, walk, climb etc. This also usually means staying by the cot at bedtime. Constantly lying back down to reitterate the need to lie still for sleep.

- pain. Teething, illness, ear infection, sore throat.

- lack of exercise / activity in the daytime.

- too much exercise / activity in the daytime.

Believeitornot Fri 02-Jun-17 22:00:50

It might be the warmer muggy weather.... it's horrible!

ohidoliketobe Fri 02-Jun-17 22:04:34

My DS switched from 2 x 1 hour naps to 1 x 90 min nap around that age. Bedtime got noticeably better, he moved from about 12.5 hour block to 13.5 hours at night for a few months.

FATEdestiny Fri 02-Jun-17 22:05:03

Yes, good point. Could well be temperature related.

I understand that the human body sleeps better if slightly cooler when initially going to sleep. You could try wetting his hair to cool him down

WhyTheHeckMe Fri 02-Jun-17 22:16:40

Fab thanks ladies!

He has an ikea zip-up-the-middle bag that I'll try if he manages to get out again. I Couldn't belive it when I walked in and he was there in just his nappy!
He doesn't seem to be in any pain and he's going off to nursery just fine so maybe not separation anxiety. However he does seem to be picking up a lot of new skills, trying to forward roll :-/ and a lot of new words so maybe he just has a very busy mind? He is always on the move. Hates TV and technology (for now). Would much rather be playing hide and seek with us allll night lol.
His rooms been about 22 degs so hes just been wearing a 1.5 tog bag and a nappy do you think that sounds okay?

Ohidoliketobe - ds dropped to 1 nap 6 months ago, he's always needed a lot less sleep than others his age unfortunately for me! He dropped to 1 nap at around 11 months and it's worked great. Never have a battle to get him to sleep or anything and he will wake up after 1.45 -2 hours of his own accord. I'll give it a whole longer and hope this is a short phase!

Liskee Sat 03-Jun-17 07:46:51

DS1 (2.5) has been like this for months and months. He too was a dream, probably til around 18 months and then started to take ages to go to sleep at night. He went through the crying a tapping stage and now just chats and sings to himself for 30-60 minutes before self settling. We call it his wind down time. There's a lot going on in his wee head so he maybe needs the time to get it all out.

Anyways! My advice would be just keep going as you are. His nap is perfect for his age and he most likely will just get through this phase and go back to quick settling, or he could do what my DS does and have his wind down.

FATEdestiny Sat 03-Jun-17 10:38:15

His rooms been about 22 degs so hes just been wearing a 1.5 tog bag and a nappy do you think that sounds okay?

I find that after the baby months (when controlling body temperature is vital), a toddler will have their own preferences. Some children prefer to be cool, some prefer to be warm.

Compare to my 2y7m old. Her room is currently much hotter than that (she wont have a fan on and an open window wakes her). So room is usually about 24-26 degrees. She is wearing a s/s nightdress and a 2.5 tog sleeping bag. Tried out 1 tog sleeping bag last week, she woke up asking for a jumper (!). She prefers to be warmer than average.

Compare to my older daughter - she needs to be cold. She will have a fan pointing in her face, often just wearing pants in bed and with a very light cover.

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