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2.2 year old still up at 9.30-10pm - what is going on ? (apart from mum cracking up)

(18 Posts)
toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Wed 23-Jul-08 23:00:46

DS has been a good sleeper until the last two months. We have mostly co-slept. I lie down on our bed with him, read a couple of stories, chat gently about 5 mins, then he used to fall asleep in about 15-20 minutes without any issues. He was a fab 8 till 8 boy.

Since around his (2nd) birthday, its been getting harder and harder to get him to sleep. He seems tired when we're getting ready for bed but then he'll suddenly have this "jolt" of energy after stories when i tell him its sleepy time, and want to get up again, asks for something to eat, to see daddy, etc etc. If i genuinely think he's hungry i'll get him some crackers to have in bed and he will usually eat one or two. But sometimes he just gets hyper, starts jumping around the bed, sometimes even trying to hit me or pull my hair. I've tried talking calmly, tried ignoring him and pretending to sleep myself, tried letting him get up for 10 minutes then back to bed to try again. Nothing seems to get him to settle down.

He will eventually conk out usually between 9.30 and 10pm, when i've taken him to bed around 8. It's exhausting me, i feel like "my" time is gone, sometimes i just fall asleep beside him and then its morning again and i've had no break. DH will occasionally take a turn with him if i reach snapping/crying point but doesn't seem to understand how stressful i am finding this, and then moans at me for spending all my time with ds and not with him!

i don't know what to do! Feel like its destroying the end of each day. It used to be so lovely and easy, now its a battle.

janeashersbookofspacecakes Wed 23-Jul-08 23:03:48

Is he still napping in the daytime?

LadyOfWaffle Wed 23-Jul-08 23:05:31

Does he nap still? DS gets like this if he naps now, full of energy but starts hitting/pulling/pushing etc.

wrinklytum Wed 23-Jul-08 23:11:08

I would maintain bedtime routine-bath,milk,story.

Put in bed/cot and tell him its bedtime.

Leave room.

Ignore all requests.

If he kicks off give it 15 mins or so.

Go back in.Say firmly but quietly"Its bedtime,time to sleep".Settle back to bed,ignore distraction tactics.

Leave room

Repeat,making duration of crying time longer,ie 20 mins.and so on.

It could take several heart wrenching nights but hopefully it will work.Its hard but it worked with ds.He is testing the boundaries!!!The light nights don't help,either.Sometimes they are overtired and it can make sleeping worse,paradoxically.

Does he nap during the day??

Good luck

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Wed 23-Jul-08 23:19:39

Hi ladies, thanks for responding.

Yes he does still usually have a nap of about an hour up to an hour and a half at most at some point during the day, quite often in the car when we are heading somewhere after lunch. I thought 2&2months would be quite early to drop nap totally? All his little friends of same age still nap. Would it help to try to stop him sleeping?

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Wed 23-Jul-08 23:20:37

I mean to stop him napping during the day to help him sleep at night, iyswim, sorry!

janeashersbookofspacecakes Wed 23-Jul-08 23:26:24

If he can't get to sleep at night it's most likely that he's not tired enough. DD dropped most naps at 22months. She will nap in the car because of the motion whether she needs it or not. Does he need to be in the car at nap time? Do the naps in bed then you'll know if he needs them. Get him up after 30 mins.

LadyOfWaffle Wed 23-Jul-08 23:28:12

Try and cut down the nap - I had to really with DS, it's horrible but it's cruel to be kind sort of thing. DS still sometimes naps at 2.4 if I am not on the ball or he goes in the car and I'll let him nap if I know he really is tired, or it's early still but after about 1pm I have to keep him going some days. Now on a normal day he goes 6-6/7-7 sh - He fell asleep in the car earlier though for about 40 mins and didn't go to bed until 9.30. It took a week or so to cut down and mostly cut out his naps... and it did involve waking the poor bugger up (if it was late in the day or he had napped for a good while already) which is hard but I found his bedtime and moods were spiralling out of control. Sorry, waffling!

wrinklytum Wed 23-Jul-08 23:28:30

I wouldn't force him out of a nap if he still seems to need one.What time does he go for his nap?I only ask this as dd goes to bed 7-7.30 ish and wakes 6.30-7 ish and naps from 1-2.30 usually (shes 2.6).If she napped later I would struggle to get her to bed at her usual time.She was a crap sleeper as a baby.(DS has always been pretty good luckily.)Have you tried putting him down a bit earlier? Part of it could be overtiredness,but mainly it sounds as if he is testing his boundaries.

LadyOfWaffle Wed 23-Jul-08 23:30:25

I did find with DS I did have to bring dinner time forward as some days he gets abit tired and grumpy in the last few hours and won't eat, so he now has dinner at 4/5, bath then unwinds until he falls asleep.

janeashersbookofspacecakes Wed 23-Jul-08 23:32:46

Was talking from my perspective, in that dd has always slept in her cot in her own room, so bedtimes are times when we separate. I think if she slept with me she would probably monkey around a bit. It must be irresistible for them. I'm just like a giant plaything for her.

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Thu 24-Jul-08 00:59:25

Hi again,
Jane we live in a tiny village and most of activities/friends we go to are in town 10-15 minutes drive away or longer so car journeys are kind of inevitable. Even with window open, radio on and mum talking he can still nod off! But some days his naps are at home, not always in car.

WT, he's been a 8 till 8 baby who usually napped sometime between 2-3pm. Recently however he has sometimes had a late nap, eg in the car on the way home at 4.30 rather than after lunch. Those are the worst days!! DH has suggested keeping a water pistol in the car and squirting him over my shoulder as i drive along to keep him awake grin

i always thought if he napped, he needed it. But i think i might try cutting the time down a bit to say 40 minutes, and see if that helps?

Waffle, thats exactly it, i feel i'm at the start of a nasty spiral and need to find a way out of this before it gets really really bad!

MrsMacaroon Thu 24-Jul-08 01:17:58

agree with everyone- i would cut it out if you can unless he falls asleep spontaneously in which case give him a half hour. DD did same thing at this age.

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Fri 25-Jul-08 22:17:00

hi all, just a quick update.

yesterday i only let ds sleep for 30mins between 2.30 and 3, and had him ready for bed, stories done, light off at ten to eight. He made one bid for freedom and daddy but i took him straight back to bed, and he was fell asleep at just after 8.30.

So only 40 mins to settle, so much better than the 1.5-2 hours it was getting to be, and i got a bit of an evening to myself! hallelujah (i thought)

today dh was looking after him and (despite my instructions and reasons) let him sleep for 2 hours shock between 3.30 and 5.30. Bloody men. Have been wrestling with ds since 8, and at 10 gave up and told dh to take a turn. Am sitting here now and cannot believe how stressed and frustrated i feel. My shoulders are up around my ears. aargh!

popsycal Fri 25-Jul-08 22:23:06

the nap thing can be a red herring

depends on the child
ds1 - reasonable sleeper; early waker; still having a nap the summer before starting reception (August birthday) so just turned 4
ds2 - horrendous sleeper; early waker; rarely napped after the age of 2 - only has one occasionally

Surfermum Fri 25-Jul-08 22:28:33

I agree re nap/red herring.

Have you tried bringing bedtime earlier? He might be over-tired. I always found with dd that there was an optimum time to get her into bed. If she went up too late she became more hyper and it was harder to get her to settle.

I would just insist that he went straight back to bed. Sometimes with dd if I thought she wasn't tired or wasn't going to settle I'd leave her to look at books. She could do that as long as she stayed in bed.

MrsMacaroon Sat 26-Jul-08 00:14:55

toomuch- keep going with it then...sounds like you've found the problem. Experiment with no nap as I know that DD1 is thrown off with even a sleep in the car on the way back from somewhere- it can add an extra 20-30mins onto settling time. Sometimes no nap and bringing sleeptime a bit forward is the ideal solution as they're going to be tired but not overtired.

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Sat 26-Jul-08 00:26:22

thanks all, for support and comments

i'll keep on with restricting nap time and see how it goes.

at least once he's asleep he's out till the morning, i count my blessings for that!!

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