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toddler's sleep pattern getting increasingly erratic

(5 Posts)
bluemoon Tue 04-Jan-05 15:20:28

Dd's 2.3 and has been generally a good sleeper with a big glitch at 15 months which we eventually resolved with cc. She goes to sleep by herself well daytime and night time but lately the amount she sleeps is all over the place.

Saturday: 8pm - 4am, awake til 6am then slept till 8.30am
Sunday: Slept 8pm - 7.30am
Monday: Slept 8pm - 2am, awake until 4am then slept until 7.45am

I don't mind the varying morning waking times but the long hours of being awake in the night are tough. I can't do cc as she's not crying. She calls for a drink of water which I take her, then I can hear her shuffling round and sighing and yawning and trying to sleep until after about 20 minutes she calls me again and says 'I can't sleep mummy' so I settle her down again and it just repeats until eventually she falls asleep again. She seems to be genuinly insomniacal! Her room's not too hot or cold and she wears a sleeping bag still. She's not unwell. This has been going on now on and off for about 2 weeks, previously she slept 8pm - 7am religiously for months and months.

Mum2girls Tue 04-Jan-05 15:34:12

Much sympathy - but no advice. Last night and this is an example of every night (just so you know you're not on your own).

7:15 DDs (2 and 4) go to bed
11pm me and DP go to bed
01:25 DD1 comes into room and DP takes her back
01:45 DD1 comes into room and I take her back
15:something or other, DD2 wakes up crying and gets into bed with me and DP
a bit later DP goes into spare room.

DD2 has slept with me for part of the night for the past 7 months.

clary Tue 04-Jan-05 15:35:27

when you talk about sleep in the daytime, do you mean she still has a daytime nap? If so, maybe time to drop it. Dropping the nap at 2yrs for DD solved her lying and chatting in her cot for an hour at 8pm, not quite the same as you but perhasp there's only so much sleep a 2yo needs?
Is she in a cot still? we also moved to a bed at the same time and it was a lot better, she had been cramped in the cot and banging about on the sides. hth

bakedpotato Tue 04-Jan-05 15:58:09

bluemoon... aargh. i remember reading that even children who have histories of being good sleepers are prone to bad patches around 2 yrs (we had two very bad stints caused by first dd's fear of the dark, then a severe night cough) but things settle down again by 3. i think aloha (hmm, yes, i'm pretty sure it was aloha) posted something along these lines a few months ago.

anyway, that's no comfort to you at the moment. IMO your DD may not be crying but still, the effect of the nightwaking's the same... she's worked herself in a bad sleep habit, and you're having to resettle her, so she's getting used to that and now it's self-fulfilling.

there was another thread on here a few months ago about teaching 'coping strategies' to 2-yr-olds, telling them it's normal to wake up, but it's not OK to wake everyone else as well. i'd tell her it's no big deal, no one's cross, but next time she wakes up, she can have a drink from the sippy cup (stick one in her cot) and maybe look at her book (if you have a nightlight) and then roll over and hold teddy/suck thumb/whatever and go back to sleep. and in the morning, if she has not woken you, make a huge thing of it and stick a star on the star chart.

bluemoon Tue 04-Jan-05 22:17:39

clary, she does have a daytime nap but I think she needs it as when she doesn't have it she sleeps much worse at night and wakes really early as I think she's over-tired by bedtime. In total she rarely has more than 13.5 hours sleep per 24 hours which I think is normal for her age. The other reason I haven't cut the nap is because when she wakes at night she ends up sleeping in late in the morning rather than cutting out on sleep. But I do continually keep my eyes open for the time she's ready to cut the nap.

Yes, bp, it is a habit and you're right that it keeps me awake as though she were calling for me, but she honestly hardly calls for me. In a 1.5 hour being awake she'll call me at most 3 times. It's so weird really. She never gets upset or asks me to get her up, just says she can't sleep and that's how it sounds as I hear her tossing and turning and yawning. I already did the telling her not to wake me and I think that's why she's trying to get back to sleep on her own but she can't. I kind of understand as I've often had a middle of the night kind of insomnia when my mind starts working over-time and I can't get back to sleep again.

She won't have a night light. She likes the dark. So far! When I tried a night light she called me to turn it off as it was too light to sleep!

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