Is there a sleep regression at 3.5 years?

(15 Posts)
YukoandHiro Sat 09-Jan-21 18:54:20

My daughter is suddenly waking for two hours in the middle of the night. She requires one of us to sit with her or get into her bed with her for HOURS to get back off to sleep again.
It started with waking due to illness but has persisted now she's fine. She is having a massive language leap. She might not be as physically tired as she should be as we've pulled her our of pre school - in London, covid is too much of a risk now. We live in a flat, no garden.
I have a 12 week old baby. This is killing me. By the time she's resettled the baby is awake for another feeding. DH works evenings and nights so often doing all this alone.
Tell me it will end soon?

OP’s posts: |
YukoandHiro Sat 09-Jan-21 20:26:45


OP’s posts: |
OverTheRainbow88 Sat 09-Jan-21 20:35:10

My 4 year old has started having nightmares so cries in the night and I have to go and see him and resettle. But I don’t think it’s a regression more an awareness of horrible dreams!

GenevaMaybe Sat 09-Jan-21 20:36:08

Does she still nap in the day? What time does she go to bed at night?

YukoandHiro Sat 09-Jan-21 20:43:01

No she hasn't napped since she was just over 2.5 - she always dropped naps early. She's slept through from about 18 months til recently (illness/nightmares aside), and if she did wake a quick tuck in and song would usually do it. She's in bed for 6.45, usually asleep by 7. Sleeps til 6 generally.

After these disturbed nights she's sleeping in til 8am or later because she's missing hours in the night

OP’s posts: |
YukoandHiro Sat 09-Jan-21 21:11:22


OP’s posts: |
YukoandHiro Sun 10-Jan-21 03:17:57

Bump. Help! She's been awake two hours now and now the baby is waking again. I also think I'm getting the beginning of mastitis from exhaustion so having to stay up more to express. I need advice!

OP’s posts: |


Enormouscroc Sun 10-Jan-21 03:28:37

Bless you. Huge sympathies! I have a 3.5 year old and 11 month old. 3.5yr old wakes / cries out a couple times in the night and husband generally settles her. She’s waking for the day at 5ish. Baby is waking every few hours and is having stunts of being wide awake for an hour or two from 3ish.

My only advice is to get your husband to watch the children in the day for periods so that you can have some rest. I know he does night shifts but you need rest too. Also 6.45 sounds quite early for bedtime. Is it worth pushing this back 45 mins?

YukoandHiro Sun 10-Jan-21 04:28:16

Ugh solidarity - that sounds so hard too. I'm dreading the baby's four month sleep regression which will come soon!
I don't know why my 3.5yo is suddenly so hard to settle at night. It might be to do with the new baby and the adjustment but it didn't start when she was born, only recently

OP’s posts: |
YukoandHiro Sun 10-Jan-21 04:29:55

Waking for the day at 5 is hard. We had a lot of that when I was pregnant

OP’s posts: |
GenevaMaybe Sun 10-Jan-21 07:55:33

She is using the lie in to compensate for night waking. You’ll need to wake her up for the day at 7am regardless of what has happened in the night for two weeks solid and see if it makes any difference. Also night wakes you need to make 100% boring and non interactive.

milknapplayrepeat Sun 10-Jan-21 08:44:29

I have a 3.5 year old and a 4 month old and am experiencing similar... 3.5 year old DD has gone from sleeping through from 7pm to 6:30ish every night to shouting for us multiple times, waking up for the day before 6am and generally being a tired mess most afternoons. She hasn’t napped in the day since April, lockdown #1 put paid to that!

Anyway, was just joining in to say that I have been putting it down to an attention thing since her little sister arrived. Like you, it didn’t start right away but has been getting progressively worse since baby came along. Could your situation possibly be similar? I often think DD1 doesn’t fully understand why DD2 gets to sleep in Mummy and daddy’s room and calls for us in the night as a kind of subconscious “remember I’m here too!” thing. She loves her sister and we haven’t had any obvious jealousy fortunately but we have had a loooooot of attention-seeking in the day and at night. I’m no saint obvs, I do get cross with her sometimes and the sleep deprivation is sucking my soul out through my pores... but I’m trying to cut DD1 some slack, cross my fingers it’s a phase, and hope that as DD2 gets older that it will pass.

Sending you lots of supportive vibes! flowers It’s super hard having a baby, harder having a baby and a toddler and even HARDER doing it all in a lockdown.

TheYearOfSmallThings Sun 10-Jan-21 08:51:57

It's not a sleep regression, it's just circumstances. Between less activity and exercise during the day, loss of her usual routine, a newish baby and the house being more restless at night, her sleep has become disturbed.

I agree with previous posters about keeping things firmly boring and minimal when she wakes, to ensure this is just a blip rather than becoming a new routine.

lemonsquashie Sun 10-Jan-21 09:15:02

I don't think it's a thing but my almost 3 year old goes through this periodically. It will start with her waking due to bad dream and then one of us sitting with her or bringing into our bed.Then it happens the next night and the next and the next etc. Eventually she becomes difficult to settle her in for the evening and we end up feeling tired and grumpy all day

It's frustrating as it becomes a habit for her and I think she does it because she likes the attention. Some nights I have sat next to bed for hours trying to get her back to sleep

I find that the only solution is to be quite harsh and let them cry a bit. Let them know that you're not able to sit there next to the bed for hours on end. You may have a couple of tough nights but it will be worth it

SwanShaped Mon 11-Jan-21 07:51:26

Omfg I came on to post this exact thing! My daughter was awake for over 3 hours last night. She’s often awake for 2 hours in the night. Chatting. I don’t engage. She still gets up at a normal time coz she has nursery. No naps. It’s killing me.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in