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Help! 2 year old sleeping deteriorated

(69 Posts)
TheChineseChicken Mon 06-Aug-18 06:36:32

Hoping for some advice, please. Our 2 year old DD has previously been a good sleeper. Goes down in her cot at 7pm with no problems and chats to herself until she falls asleep then wakes at around 6.30am.

For the last week to 10 days it's all gone to pot. Doesn't want to fall asleep by herself and wails mummy or daddy until we go back in. This continues on repeat until she eventually falls asleep. Then during the night she wakes multiple times calling out for us. Last night was 5 or 6 times!

It's exhausting and so frustrating. For information it is of course hot at night (although had been for a long time before the problems started) and we were on holiday for a couple of weeks so she had been sleeping in strange places. The sleeping problems only started on the last three nights though and have continued for a week after our return.

Any ideas for how we can fix this?!

TheChineseChicken Mon 06-Aug-18 12:33:26


arbrighton Mon 06-Aug-18 13:02:15

Think there's another sleep regression at tat age and probably she's unsettled after coming back from holiday back to routine

TheChineseChicken Mon 06-Aug-18 14:06:26

So it's just a waiting game?

arbrighton Mon 06-Aug-18 14:40:01

I guess so. Sorry my (only?) Ds is just 13 mo

Summerdays2014 Mon 06-Aug-18 17:21:26

Hi OP,

I’ve just posted this on a similar thread in behaviour/development. Seems like we are in a similar position...

My son is 2.6 and is similar. Was a good sleeper but now will not go to sleep unless one of us is with him or he is in our bed. Sometimes he doesn’t fall asleep until 9.30. He the wakes up in the nights and comes to find us and is then up for the day at 5. I can no longer get him to nap in his cot but he falls asleep as soon as he is in the car seat. I then bring him in but he only sleeps for about 30 minutes. I have also taken down the cot sides as he was throwing himself out.
I have no idea what I’m doing at the moment...

Cbeebiessavesmyafternoon Mon 06-Aug-18 17:30:26

Teething? Final molars coming in?

TheChineseChicken Mon 06-Aug-18 17:58:54

My sympathies Summer, it's soul destroying, isn't it? Like having a newborn except one that can scream 'Mummy'! Plus she's so tired because of the bad sleeping that she's quite difficult during the day as well.

I managed to get her to have a lunch bag nap today so I'm hoping that will help but we'll have to see.

Could be teething or illness. I'm tempted to give her some ibuprofen before bed to check but is that bad?!

TheChineseChicken Mon 06-Aug-18 17:59:31

Lunch bag nap means long nap, obviously...

Cbeebiessavesmyafternoon Mon 06-Aug-18 18:02:43

I don't think giving one dose of neurofen to see if that helps is bad at all. My DS who's two has always got clingy and unsettled at bedtime with teething.

TheChineseChicken Mon 06-Aug-18 18:29:43

I'll try that then. Along with lots of before bed reassurance and cuddles

HouseOfSix Mon 06-Aug-18 18:39:40

My DS is 2.5 and although he's sleeping ok he has started the shouting 'mummy' 'daddy' quite a few times before going to sleep. For him I think it's a mixture of a few things, he has just started becoming scared of things, previously a scary bit on a movie would have sort of washed over him, now he has the understanding to comprehend that there are things to be afraid of. In conjunction with this, he is also in a very controlling phase - basically trying his hardest to control DH and I as his skivvies... From speaking to friends with similar aged LOs it seems this is quite normal for their age.

Your DD might be shouting on you just to check you'll come when she calls - both for reassurance but also to make sure you are at her beck and call (literally!).

We have been going through when called upon and giving reassurance but also reasons why we need to leave (need to go get ready for bed, my bath is ready etc) which he seems to accept. Can you try that?

TheChineseChicken Mon 06-Aug-18 20:27:55

45 minutes of yelling followed by another 45 of chatting (which is fine as she doesn't need me in the room for that). So not ideal shock

Summerdays2014 Mon 06-Aug-18 20:51:36

Well my son is still running around refusing to get into bed. Every time I put him down he just climbs straight back out

TheChineseChicken Mon 06-Aug-18 20:58:28

We still have a cot so at least she's trapped!

Summerdays2014 Mon 06-Aug-18 21:23:58

Keep hold of the cot as long as possible! This whole nightmare began at the start of the warmer weather when I took him out of his sleeping bag. He then discovered the joy of throwing himself out of the cot head first...
I seriously have no idea what to do about all this though. I’ve tried earlier bedtimes, later bedtimes, trying to force a longer nap, no nap at all, reward charts, physically putting him back into bed every time he gets out, ignoring him, being really strict, following a routine, patting and stroking him in the cot.

Maybe I just have to pick one strategy and stick with it. It’s exhausting and he’s grumpy during the day and I’m just rapidly loosing patience. I’ve now come to bed and left him with my husband to try and get him to sleep...

crazycatlady5 Mon 06-Aug-18 21:33:31

Why can’t you stay with her if that’s what she is needing at the moment?

zombiemum123 Mon 06-Aug-18 21:45:17

I am in the same position with my ds! I actually posted about this but didn’t get many reply’s, he was 2 in May, always been a great sleeper however for the last few weeks he gets hysterical when we leave him in his room so we have been staying with him till he falls asleep- that can be 3-4 hours! He is happy as Larry when we’re in there, laughing and constantly getting out of bed. Tried ignoring him but hard when he’s getting out of bed and shouting- he laughs angry. I have a 12 week old baby who thankfully is a fantastic sleeper but I feel like ds 1 gets all my Attention. He wakes once in the night and screens for us. For the last couple of nights we put a blowup bed in his room so dh just goes in and he falls back asleep, but I have taken this out tonight as I don’t want it to become a habit. He doesn’t nap anymore ( they stopped a few months ago) but previously slept from 6.30 till 7.30-8.. I’m at a loss of what to do, he’s had sleep regressions before but nothing like this! From what I can gather this seems like a totally normal issue and happens to a lot of people, I really wish I had a time scale of how long this is going to go on for! I feel like it’s going to be forever. Sorry it’s also happening to you but it is reassuring as it sounds like a battle a lot of people go through, just wish there was a solution sad

TheChineseChicken Mon 06-Aug-18 21:51:18

I think consistency is the key but it's easier said than done when you get desperate. I get such a sinking feeling when she won't settle, it's so depressing.

I keep telling myself that everything with children is a phase - good and bad - and that this will all change again. Doesn't provide much comfort though...

zombiemum123 Mon 06-Aug-18 21:52:56

Yes consistency will be the key! Always is I suppose, I’m trying to be consistent as I can but also hard with the baby. Please keep me updated smile

TheChineseChicken Mon 06-Aug-18 21:53:09

Because crazy if I sit next to the cot she jumps up smiling and laughing and wants to play and then she'll never go to sleep. This isn't about selfish parents not wanting to give time to their children it's about not wanting to reinforce bad habits and to encourage children to get a good night's sleep hmm

TheChineseChicken Mon 06-Aug-18 21:55:57

You're in good company Zombie. I think we all just have to accept that nothing we do makes any difference. I'm sure at this age it's a toxic combination of understanding more, developmental leaps, and testing control and boundaries

zombiemum123 Mon 06-Aug-18 21:58:28

Your right! Fingers crossed for a somewhat decent nights sleep. wine

vaskea Mon 06-Aug-18 22:20:30


TheChineseChicken Tue 07-Aug-18 07:21:48

Not sure if it was the nap, neurofen or nightlight but we had no wake ups!

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