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Another "my son won't sleep through the night" thread .... only with a difference ....

(29 Posts)
ghosty Fri 04-Feb-05 00:44:03

Because my son is 5 YEARS OLD!!!!
And he is driving us crazy!

We have good phases but more often than not he wakes up at least once in the night ... "I need a cuddle", "I'm scared", "I'm thirsty", "Is it morning yet?", "When is breakfast time?", "Where's my blanket?", "Where's my pillow?", "Where's Bear?", "I've had a bad dream", "It's too dark", "It's too light" .... you name it ....
At the moment we are doing a sticker chart so that if he wakes up in the morning and it isn't time to get up (he wakes up for good any time from 5am) if he stays and plays in his room without waking everyone else up he gets a sticker ... so that bit is working .... every 7 stickers he gets a treat .... he is working towards going to the cinema with his Dad.

But it is the middle of the night wakings I can't handle ... last night he woke up at 2.04am, 3.17am, 4.35am and then at 5.37am (sorry for the specifics but every time he calls out I look at the clock and feel so much anger and resentment towards him .... So of course this morning he had his breakfast at 6.30 and then got into our bed and went to sleep!!!! I had to wake him at 8am to get him ready for school and he was just knackered.

Added to the fact that DD is teething (she is 1) I was basically up from 2am all night last night with one or other of them ... so I am shattered too ...

What can I do that doesn't involve drugging him????????????????????????????????

G xxx

Gwenick Fri 04-Feb-05 00:48:38

OMG - I don't know how you cope. I'm afraid I don't really have any suggestions (well not serious ones - knocking him over the head with a frying pan )

Do you leave a drink in his room for him, does he have a night light, or a little table lamp which could be left one (so when he wakes up he can find his own teddy/blanket/pillow etc etc) Sorry don't really know what to suggest

Cristina7 Fri 04-Feb-05 00:50:50

Ghosty, I have no idea as my son (also 5) also wakes up in the night. I just accept it, I'm afraid. He comes into our bed and I'm too tired to argue, just make space for him. My husband is the one with grand ideas about how he should be sleeping all night through in his own bed etc, but he doesn't wake up at all and I'm just too tired to start doing anything at 3 am. Oh, my son also wants to fall asleep in bed with me, so I'm often in bed with him by 9 pm and sometimes sleep through or else wake up in the middle of the night and then I can't go back to sleep. No solutions, I'm afraid, but I'll be reading here to see of others have any suggestions. TBH I'm noy THAT bothered, really, as long as he goes back to bed straight away and doesn't do a wee-wee on my side of the bed (he still has the occasional accident).

ghosty Fri 04-Feb-05 01:06:22

We have tried everything we can think of ...
He has a nightlight ... and a bedside light .... he also has a drink by his bed. We have tried different nightlights but he can't sleep with too much light, yet is afraid of the dark ... so we have a low glow one. We even painted his bedroom white (the old colour was green) so that the walls were lighter!
I think the last resort will be to let him sleep in our bed, but we are reluctant to do that as we have never done that and our bed is OUR bed

Gwenick Fri 04-Feb-05 01:09:14

I know he's 5 - but have you spoken to the HV about it at all - there may be a sleep clinic run somewhere near you that may be able to advise you on a course of action. Obviously if you don't want him in your bed, you really want to try and avoid the situation where you let him in. What works for one person may not work for another.

ghosty Fri 04-Feb-05 01:17:53

Hmmm ... we don't have HVs here but now you mention it I may ring up Plunket (funny name ... society for Women's and Children's Health that does all the stuff that HVs do) ... they are normally dragons on the end of the phone and are really helpful ....
I know it sounds funny and mean that I don't like him in our bed but neither of us sleep if he comes in, and so I lie there awake all night ....... so it won't help my knackeredness ....
Thanks for the advice though ....

Gwenick Fri 04-Feb-05 01:20:05

I don't think it's mean at all - what works for one person won't work for another. We had DS1 in our bed until he was 6 months old (not planned to co-sleep) and while I'll admit I did enjoy having him there I was MORE than happy to do the CC with him and get him in his own room and own bed.

suzywong Fri 04-Feb-05 01:23:43

huge huge sympathies ghosy xx

Socci Fri 04-Feb-05 01:24:05

Message withdrawn

pinkwhistle Fri 04-Feb-05 01:30:20

Ghosty, you must be permanently exhausted!

My only thought was seeing that the sticker chart for the mornings is working, why not extend it to during the night as well?

You could do this one of 2 ways (that I can think of anyway!). You could tell him that if he wakes you during the night, he won't get a sticker at all. Of course this could backfire in the morning!

OR he could get one sticker for staying in his bed quietly all night (with the possible exception of going to the loo! but without waking anyone else, mind) and a second sticker for the morning bit.

Explain that he could get his reward twice as fast this way if he does the right thing. This puts him in control. It's probably partly habit and partly an attention/control thing, so you need to help him break the habit plus turn the control part around so everyone wins. Hope this helps.

suzywong Fri 04-Feb-05 01:32:54

mother/parental love must be the strongest thing in the world mustn't it, under what other circumstances would any one put up with being tortured in this manner.

weightwatchingwaterwitch Fri 04-Feb-05 06:00:47

Ghosty, I agree, extend the stickers to the night too. He has to learn that if he wakes he must get himself back to sleep. But hey, what do I know - I've been awake since 5.20am with dd so I'm knackered, pissed off and probably a bit mad.

suzywong Fri 04-Feb-05 06:06:44

join the club www, seriously, it's a friendly place and no one smirks at your eye bags

GRMUM Fri 04-Feb-05 06:28:46

Hi ghosty,lots of sympathy...I remember those nights.I can't manage without my sleep at all and also used to just let them get in bed, however that isn't the best answer. Does dd sleep in your room still? Maybe he goes to bed really early and doesn't need so much sleep? Maybe he isn't physically tired when he goes to bed? all just ideas off the top of my head. I have read here on mumsnet of a special clock to help kiddies who can't tell the time when it is time to get up.

GRMUM Fri 04-Feb-05 06:47:21


ghosty Fri 04-Feb-05 08:26:41

Oh, you are all so brilliant .... thanks
GRMUM, we have done the clock, got the tee shirt, the whole bloody works .... he ended up chucking it on the floor and it broke! It did do the trick most of the time from the age of 2.5 till 3.5 ... but for the mornings only, not the middle of the night thing ....
I think, after reading that tear jerking thread about how quick they grow up we are going to admit defeat and let him come in with us for a cuddle if he needs one .... I have lost the will to fight!
We will continue the stickers for the morning thing (he has to learn that just because he is awake and ready for breakfast at 5am the rest of us aren't!) and then after a little while we will introduce the two stickers like pinkwhistle suggested ... great psychology that is, will get his reward twice as fast ... it will appeal to DS' greedy nature
WWW, LOL at 'a little bit mad' ... that is how I feel! I had DD's first birthday party today with her little group of baby friends and I was like a mad woman, splodges of pink icing down my top, hair all over the shop, talking just a little bit too loudly, laughing just a little bit too shrilly, like something out of a Victoria Wood sketch ... when they left they must have thought I had lost the plot .... I put DD down for a sleep and sank into my sofa and didn't move for an hour.
Now it is 9.30pm and I am all set for bed ....
Night all and thanks again xxxx

nasa Fri 04-Feb-05 08:32:37

OMG Ghosty this is spooky - I was going to start a thread about exactly this. My DS is 3 and half and is waking about 4 times a night. It's awful, it's like having a newborn again. At least with babies you can try cc or whatever but it's so difficult when they're bigger isn'tit, We're at an loss as to what to do. We had 4 times last night and then he was still up at 6am. LOL at the Victoria Wood woman! IF you find an answer to this do share it won't you!
ps. I hate that soddin clock that is supposed to help them stay in bed - utter waste of money

stripey Fri 04-Feb-05 08:39:04

Hi Ghosty
I do sympathise and don't have any real solution ds1 was always a bad sleeper but then settled around 2.5 He started to get bad again a few months ago (around age 4). Dh was adamant he shouldn't have a nightlight but let him leave the curtains open and the streetlight shine in going to sleep. We also got him a few torches to leave under his pillow which he could switch on if he woke up and was scared of the dark. This did seem to help.

A couple of weeks ago we moved him in with his brother (aged 2.5) and now he sleeps really well. I think he just feels more secure knowing there is someone in the room. Probably not much use to you but just wanted to sympathise. Hope he settles soon.

TracyK Fri 04-Feb-05 09:05:51

has he always woken through the night - or is it just since the new baby arrived?? maybe he just wants a bit of attention - he maybe sees that when the baby cries in the night she gets attention??

ghosty Fri 04-Feb-05 19:57:46

WOW, what a successful night ... I can't believe it! Just before he went to bed, DH and I sat DS down and asked him why he thought he woke up so much ... his answer, "I don't know Mummy, I think it is because I love you so much and I just want to see you ..." ... Awww, bless
So we asked him if he would like to come to us in the night if he was scared .... he loved the idea and said he would do that ...
Anyway, so he went to sleep around 8pm .... and we didn't hear a peep from him till 7am when he went to the loo then went straight back to his room and played quietly with his toys until we got DD up at 7.15! We told him how proud we were and gave him two stickers for his chart .... He was soooooooooo happy with that!
Amazing, success without even a shot fired .... . So I only needed to get up for DD a couple of times between 3 and 4am as she was hot and got stuck in the bars of her cot.
Tracey ... he has always been a bad sleeper, we did CC with him as a young baby and that got us through till he was about 2 (we had to keep doing it though) and then when he went into a bed at 2 he has been a shocker .... late to bed, up in the night, early waker. Always fought his daytime sleeps as a baby too. Like I said, we have had good phases, brought on by sticker charts and advice from books like Toddler Taming and Richard Ferber's Solve Your Child's Sleeping Problems but after a few weeeks of success it all goes pear shaped again. The new baby didn't really affect him that much, in fact she has slept better than him in her first year than he ever has done in 5 years. I remember in her first few months when I should have been getting up to her through the night I would only need to deal with her once and him three or four times!

nasa Mon 14-Feb-05 09:57:35

ghosty - how's it going?
we tried the sticker chart with ds and it worked like a dream for 1 week but now he's reverted back and is waking again.

racegirl Tue 15-Feb-05 20:02:25

our two year old has always had the same routine. Bath, milk with book, clean teeth, bed, one story, lights out. I think he's actually settled down a sum total of 20 nights - ever! I am writing this now as he is still screaming (he went to bed at 7.45. It's never been different we did controlled crying and it worked for a bit then he changed it. It's so frustrating because he never plays up for anyone else at bedtime. He wakes up through the night and asks to get out even though we have never allowed him to sleep with us. I am 7 months pregnant and desperatley need to get this sorted soon as he needs to go into a 'big bed' (which we tryed tonight and he got out 3 times before he went back in his cot).
He is an intelligent, well mannered and happy child in the day and he tells us he wants to be good and that he is 'naughty in the night'. We've stuck to the rules done all the right stuff and still seem to be having a nightmare. we just have to leave him cry himself to sleep every night and it's breaking my heart listening to him screaming for mummy and daddy. Nothing seems to help he always wants another story which we always say no to, or to get out or come downstairs which we have never done. When will it sink in? Any ideas for an ounce of sanity?

charliecat Tue 15-Feb-05 20:17:06

My dd didnt sleep through the night till she was I survived I will never know. She even managed it for a few months after shedd started full time school. She used to do all the blanket teddy video...whatever excuse and whatever I got her well she wanted something else.
One night she got up and I was so so so so tired she said I want to watch a video...and I said Do you, is that what you really want? Fine so I plonked her in front of a video at 3am Id had years of it...I was so so so knackered.
At 7 am when I got up she was sitting there looking at a blank sceen asw I suppose she didnt know what else to do...and I got up and cried my eyes out....she just looked at me.
Cant help, she seemed to just grow out of it but oh my I sympathise.

ghosty Thu 17-Feb-05 01:16:25

Well, we had a successful 3 weeks .... a 21 night sticker chart that worked like a charm, he got his rewards (swimming with Daddy after 7 nights, Movies after 14, and mini golf after 21)
DH then went away for a few nights and DS wasn't great, he ended up sleeping with me for those 3 nights as I didn't want to argue with him anymore.
DH has been home for one night and we were back to 2 wakings ... aaaaaaaagggghhhhh
So we will start another sticker chart but I think we will only have 2 rewards for this one.

Racegirl, have you tried cranial osteopathy? That has helped DS in the past .... I was told by an osteopath that some children have congestion in thier heads and that lying down is not comfortable for them ...... that is why they may be 'good' during the day and 'naughty' at night .... perhaps your DD can't get comfy??? I am going to take DS back to the Cr. Osteo ... he is due for a trip to the 'Head Doctor' as he calls him

jabberwocky Thu 17-Feb-05 08:11:34

Supernannny (is it the same episode in UK as in the states?) dealt with this on Monday night. She had a 3 stage strategy. Ist time out of bed, kisses and cuddles and back in. Second time, saying back to bed, third time not saying anything but just putting them back in. and then continuing with that each successive time. I think I've got this right. She's always saying it's the details that make the difference. I think she also said to head off the drink, nightlight, etc. beforehand to eliminate excuses. Maybe there's a Supernanny website with all the tips? Haven't thought to look before.

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