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toddler insomnia?

(30 Posts)
mummylonglegs Fri 21-Jan-05 12:59:58

I wonder if anyone else has experienced this. My dd, 2.3, has been a pretty good sleeper since birth apart from a glitch around 18 months which included bedtime refusals etc. and we got over. But she's lately developed this weird insomnia in the early hours of the morning, around 2-3ish typically but it was 1.30 last night. It's not every night, last night was the 4th time it's happened this month, mostly she's still sleeping right through the night. When it does happen I hear her shuffling round and sighing and yawning, then after 10 mins or so she calls for me so I pop in, make sure everything's ok, give her a kiss, she says goodnight perfectly happy and off I go. Then 15 mins later she calls me again and says she can't sleep. I try to ask why but she's not great with why questions just yet, so I settle her down again and off I go. This goes on for up to 2.5 hours. She doesn't cry. She's just wide awake. I can relate to it in that it happens to me sometimes when I'm very stressed about something. I've tried cutting down on her daytime sleep but this just makes her over-tired at bedtime (I think she really needs a nap still) and wakes up very early in the morning. She's not hot or cold and doesn't seem unwell.

It's weird. Familiar anyone?

mummylonglegs Fri 21-Jan-05 14:42:11

any takers? I guess it's a weird one ...

mummylonglegs Fri 21-Jan-05 21:09:45


galaxy Fri 21-Jan-05 21:16:10

Totally familiar and dd is same age as yours. I often wake up to hear dd chattering to her cuddly toys or singing to Baby Tad in the early hours. Usually around 3am and she shuffles, chats, sings and moans for about an hour or so. I've stopped going in recently and found that she settles more quickly than she was when I was popping into check on her.

She did say she had a windy tunmmy a couple of times so that may be waking her up. We have been giving her her dinner later than usual lately.

Dior Fri 21-Jan-05 21:19:55

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nailpolish Fri 21-Jan-05 21:23:58

mll, my dd is 2.3 too. she wakes quite a lot once in the night, expecially just now with all the bad weather etc. sometimes she gives a cry out, or i hear her chatting to her bunny. i dont go in if i dont think she is especially distressed. she just goes back to sleep on her own. sometimes she cries and shouts that she has lost her 'bada' (her comfort blanket) and i know that she couldnt get back to sleep without that. sometimes though i know she throws it out of the bed on purpose to get attention, she doesnt try and get up though, i just think she wants reassurance that i am still there.

she only wants to get up if she is unwell

dont go in every time, just walk past noisily to reassure her someone is around, or shout out 'go to sleep honey, its bedtime'

or you could just keep quiet, as we do, and she will probably just turn over.

i imagine she has an active imagination at this age, like my dd!

i have cut down my dd's naptime from 2 hrs to 1, which i think helped a wee bit


jrsmum Fri 21-Jan-05 21:27:03

My son does this too hes 2.4 and won't go back to sleep unless hes in bed with me, Anyone know how to stop this?

Dior Fri 21-Jan-05 21:29:19

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nailpolish Fri 21-Jan-05 21:29:34

omg poor you jrsmum

i think cold turkey is best for this.

be cruel to be kind (will i get slated for that?)

i believe its best for baby and you

jrsmum Fri 21-Jan-05 21:31:26

I've tried ignoring him and trying to settle him back off, he gets so angry he has taken the stair gate off his bed room door by throwing himself at it!!!

Does this seem normally for a 2 yr old ???

nailpolish Fri 21-Jan-05 21:35:38

hmm 2 yr olds can be very determined cant they?

my dh is big fan of reverse psychology - hes says tell him 'yes you can sleep in my bed but im sleeping in yours'

jrsmum Fri 21-Jan-05 21:36:21

That sounds like a good idea! I might try that one.

Dior Fri 21-Jan-05 21:37:28

Message withdrawn

nailpolish Fri 21-Jan-05 21:37:46

also what about bribery?

a special day out, star chart (maybe a bit young), trip to the shop for a new toy or sweetie?

jrsmum Fri 21-Jan-05 21:40:36

I'm using that to stop him hitting me. No black eyes or cuts for 3 days. Hurray!!!

nailpolish Fri 21-Jan-05 21:43:10

my dd hits me too, i have started to try the ignore tactic and it seems to be working. i say 'did you just hit me' and cos she knows its naughty she tries to stop herself, i can see her holding her hands behind her back but if she does it again i ignore.

its difficult though, isnt it? its the hardest thing i have had to do, deal with the hitting

mummylonglegs Mon 24-Jan-05 11:58:05

Thanks for the replies everyone!

Hmmm ... I do ignore her unless she specifically calls for me. She doesn't usually go to sleep by herself when she does one of these night wakings for quite a long time though. The longest was 2.5 hours and in all that time I think I only popped in twice to make sure she was ok when she'd been calling me for a while. She did it again over the weekend for an hour one night.

She won't sleep with me, to be honest I'd do it if it worked! When I put her into bed with me (we've got a single bed in her room) she just wriggles and is uncomfortable and asks to go back in her cot. If I put her in bed with me and dp she'd just start talking and playing and get up for the day so no point doing that!

It's a mystery, honestly, as to why this happens. She's just awake. She sleeps until later in the morning after it happens so doesn't either gain or lose sleep by it. Then the next night she'll just sleep normally again.


Pidge Mon 24-Jan-05 13:11:58

I don't have a night-waking problem with my dd (2.5) but over the last couple of months she has sometimes been taking 1.5-2 hours to go to sleep in the evening. She never calls for us - she's just up there in her cot, chatting to her toys and singing merrily, so we've just ignored it! And it doesn't happen every night - but maybe as often as once or twice a week.

I did read recently - maybe on mumsnet - that it's very common for 2-3 year olds to go through sleeping disturbances, having previously been brilliant sleepers. And that usually it's just a phase they grow out of. I hope that might be reassuring. Maybe it's a stage that comes before dropping the afternoon nap - like your dd, mine definitely needs her post-lunch snooze and she even asks to go up to sleep once she's eaten.

galaxy Mon 24-Jan-05 13:13:31 dd does this on the odd occassion about once or twice every 2 weeks. She fights daytime sleep though.

mummylonglegs Mon 24-Jan-05 13:33:52

Pidge, dd asks to go to bed after lunch too! She says 'first lunch, then story, then a lovely sleep for me!' And she goes out like a light, I have to wake her up or she might sleep for 3 hours! She goes to bed fine in the evening, occasionally I get called back for 'one last kiss' but that's it. I wondered maybe she's waking in the night more aware of weeing or something like that? She's not potty trained yet. Also I guess there could be some of those monster molars coming through around now. But she just doesn't seem upset. It's odd.

halcat Tue 25-Jan-05 11:54:19

I've had a similar night waking problem with my 2 year old DD, she woke 3 or 4 times a night calling "mummy, daddy, cuggle", she'd go back to sleep if we went in but would wake again about half an hour later.

We couldn't work out why so it went on for 2 knackering months until a mate (who doesn't even have kids!) suggested she might be cold. And she was right, turns out this had coincided with the colder weather and we hadn't put enough extra clothes on her to compensate. She now wears a body suit, PJs and a fleecy top and socks as well as a grobag and rarely wakes up at all.

I felt like such a plum for not working it out for myself but I guess there's so much stuff when they're tiny about not overheating that it just didn't occur to me. Hope this helps!

Donbean Tue 25-Jan-05 12:10:27

WELL, this is such a common problem and i know this because i was discussing it with my friend who's Ds is the same age (18 months) that she has taken to texting me at all hours!
"are you up?"
"is it breakfast time yet?"
We have been up for 2 hours and it's 4am"
This makes me smile and know that im not alone!
I was thinking that i must be the only person in the world who is pacing up and down at rediculous o clock!
Not unusual at all!

halcat Tue 25-Jan-05 12:20:15

It is really common I guess but you just don't expect it do you? Everyone talks about getting them to sleep through the night when they're small and then I guess I just thought once that was sorted that'd be it!

Donbean Tue 25-Jan-05 12:25:14

Ds had slept through the night maybe 5 times since birth and i have just accepted that this is the way he is and i just have to get on with it!
I have adjusted to little/broken sleep as much as i can and try to get sleep by going to bed early so that at least i get about 5 hours unbroken sleep.
The difficulty comes with my work as some days i just know that i am too tired to concentrate and rely on adrenaline to kick in and keep me going.
Its very difficult isnt it.

Donbean Tue 25-Jan-05 12:26:27

and have to add that my lovely friends keep me laughing and smiling and knowing we are all in it together really helps me

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