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2 year old waking for periods of up to 5 hours at night. End of tether....

(12 Posts)
egypt Mon 07-Sep-09 05:58:27

Any ideas anyone, as I'm booked to see the doc later today.

2 year old never been a great sleeper, ever. Was sleeping through but only when we ignored her night wakings at the age of 2. Now at 2.5 she is wanting me to sit with her whilst she falls asleep and obviously crying wanting me when she wakes in the night. Totally understand the psychology of this, and understand I need her to fall asleep on her own. BUT, when I do sit with her in the night she mostly does not go back to sleep. The whole night. She will certainly not settle without me - will come to the door, scream (wake her sister up who has to be up for school at 7am, so cannot have that).

So, last night for example, she got to sleep with me sitting with her around 9pm, after 2 hours of me refusing to do that, then of course giving in. Then, at 2am she woke, came to her door (stairgated) and screamed. Would NOT go back in her bed. I put her in the spare bed with me. She kicked, squirmed, laughed, played, etc for a couple of hours. Then I had had enough, so brought her downstairs. So now 4am. She didn't go back to sleep until 9am and slept for 3 hours.

And no she didn't nap in the day yesterday. At all.

I am shattered. Also just found out am pregnant so am especially tired and desperate!

She's not normal is she?

egypt Mon 07-Sep-09 08:32:47


juuule Mon 07-Sep-09 08:39:06

I've had similar.

We let them fall asleep downstairs and carried them up. They could only stay up if they lay down and shut their eyes. I'd hold their hand and read a book or watch something on tv.

Waking in the night. I'd get up for an hour and go throught the same stuff. Sometimes the child would play for an hour and then settle down and fall asleep for me to carry up.

I found it quite relaxing at times. Much better than fighting with a child who refuses to sleep.

Other times, I've got in bed with the child and then snuck off once they were fast asleep.

llareggub Mon 07-Sep-09 08:45:33

We've had this too.

Usually DH gets into bed with him (I am breastfeeding the other so he is usually with me) or we go for long drives. The drive usually gets DS back off to sleep.

egypt Mon 07-Sep-09 13:10:06

Thanks for all your replies.

Sometimes she will go back to sleep after an hour or 2 and I do get her in bed with me. If I bring her downstairs she definitely won't sleep again.

The problem is that it's frequent that she stays awake for 2,3,4,5+ hours. So awfully hard.

jamandjerusalem Mon 07-Sep-09 13:59:37

I think you need to call in the big guns. I had a friend whose DD did this, after a year or so they got help from a sleep clinic.

They used Millpond, it cost £250 but at that point they said they'd do anything to have sleep again. It worked.

MrsBadger Mon 07-Sep-09 14:02:20

I swear, I am keeping dd in a cot till she is 7...

MarmMummy Mon 07-Sep-09 18:44:41

We had this with DS too - thankfully it has stopped now for the most part!

What finally worked for us was something from Ferber's book I think.

You work out on average how much sleep they need a night. So in our DS's case he slept from 7pm till 1.30am then about 3.30 am till 6.30 am. That's a total of 9 and a half hours sleep. Then you put them to bed that number of hours before they normally wake up, so in our case at 9.00. Once they are slepping through you can gradually make the detime earlier again. So we are now back to 7.45 - 8.00.

We were amazed that it worked!!!! I think the principle is that not all children need 12 hours (sadly!) and that by making them stay in bed for too long, when they stir in their sleep they actually properly wake up and genuinely aren't tired enough to drift off again

Hope that makes sense!

MarmMummy Mon 07-Sep-09 18:45:47

Hmmm, and the sleep deprivation now being caused by my DD clearly is having an impact on my spelling! blush

egypt Tue 08-Sep-09 09:42:31

Thanks MarmMummy, makes sense. I went to the docs and he was very understanding. He gave me an antihistamine based medicine for a short term sedative, so I can get some sleep at least for now, then said in a week to see the Child Physch there, for some sleep advice.

AND - last night (with the meds) she slept 12.5 hours. She is a different child today and me too of course. Let's see how tonight goes.

MarmMummy Tue 08-Sep-09 14:13:14

Well done! How blissful to have had a full nights sleep - bet you feel like a new woman. I think sleep deprivation is crippling after a while!

Your GP sounds really helpful. I never even considered appriaching them for help with sleep before.

ches Tue 08-Sep-09 17:19:26

TBH I think she sounds like a normal 2yo who is probably getting those nasty 2yr molars.

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