Any ideas???

ChellengeneOctober 2, 2006

For the past two months, my two year old has decided to wake up at all hours of the night. Nothing has changed as far as routine, naps, room, etc. She has a two hour nap in the afternoon and goes to bed between 8-9. I have no problem putting her down for bed, she climbs in bed, I sing her a song and then kiss her goodnight. I can even walk out of the room while she is awake and there is no fuss. There are times when she'll tell me she wants to go to bed. The problem is when she decides to wake up in the wee morning hours. She has been waking up anywhere from 1am-5am and it takes me about 1/2 hour to get her to go back down. She will wake up crying and start to climb out of her bed, normally I hear her right away and will get to her before she gets out. I have her lay back down and sing to her, but it doesn't work like when I put her down in the beginning. If I walk out before she falls asleep she freaks! I've tried just laying her back down and going back to bed...but she throws a fit to the point of where she almost makes herself sick. I am at my wits end. I am 6 months pregnant and exhausted as it is, plus work full time. My husband works nights so it is just me home with her for bedtime. She does have a nightlight, and i have left the hallway light on as difference. I have also left the lights off only to be waken up by her at 4am crying because it's too dark. If she gets out of bed before I get in takes twice as long to get her down. For example..the other night she woke up, walked out into the living room and turned the tv on. She didn't cry until she realized that she couldn't turn on her favorite show, Caillou. Yes, it was 1am and my daughter refused to go back to she watched Caillou until 2:30am when she finally told me she was going night night. I have tried putting a gate in her door only to be awoken by frantic screams because she couldn't get out. I don't know what to do. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can convince my two year old to go back to sleep on her own when she wakes up? She was such a good sleeper, so easy to put to bed, and would stay in bed. Now with a baby on the way I am worried that it is going to be h*ll for me at night if the baby wakes up for a feeding and she is up as well. I'm sure this can't be good for her either, not getting the sleep she needs. I was thinking of trying the glow in the dark star and moon stickers and telling her if she wakes up to look at the stars and moon on her ceiling. Any other ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks for listening!

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my DD was a heavy sleeper and daytime naps never impacted her ability to sleep at night.

However, I do know other parents who had to eliminate the daily nap at this age. In fact, if the child fell asleep in the car on the way to the store, that little 'catnap' would disrupt their nightly sleep.

You might start small - just shorten the nap by half, and see if her nighttime goes better.

Of course, eliminate usual 'suspects' like hunger, by trying a bedtime snack.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 10:02AM
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Night terrors. Not an uncommon thing and as far as I know no one seems to have a reason for it happening, nor a cure. My son did that for a while, then turned to just sleepwalking and eventually out grew that too...but still talks in his sleep, his wife tells me! LOL!
The way I found best to "break the spell" was to gently but thoroughly wake him. My friend suggested taking him into a dimly lit bathroom and washing his face with a damp cloth, then turn the light on bright and either stand him in fornt of the toilet or change his diaper...then put him back in bed like it was for the first time of the night.
Her theory was that by waking him you would get the dream out of his mind and proceede from there. Sometimes it worked....sometimes it didn't!
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 2:41PM
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Oh, I am so sorry to hear about this problem! It can be very difficult to break if you give in to her midnight playtime. First, I would get a baby gate to put in her doorway. Then I would set up a pillow and blanket in front of the gate,in her room, therefore she will be reminded that it is still nighty night time. The less stimuli she has from you the better, because it will only reinforce her waking up. If you do wake up with her as you have been doing, tell her it is still night time and she can not get up until the sun shines in her room. "Goodnight Moon" is a good book to read before she goes to sleep, and then talk to her about sleeping until the sun shines. Show her the sunshine in the morning and talk about it."See how bright the sun is,it is morning, time to wake up." At night time remind her"The sun is not shining it is dark,still sleep time." If she throws a fit keep checking on her but do not pick her up or let her watch T.V. it will only reinforce the negative behavior. She will be confined to her room. Unfortunately, you may have a few sleepless nights to break her of this habit. However, once she realizes you are not going to give in , she will have to form her own sleep mechinisms.LOL and prayers!!P.S. If she can climb over the gate, they do make doorknob handles for childproofing.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 4:39PM
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Trekaren could have it with the fact she's ready to give up the afternoon nap or Gracie that it's a habit. It doesn't sound like night terrors.

Eitherway, it will take a good week or two of following Gracie's advice. But you will be happy you did. Always keep her room dark, (exception would be her night light), no getting out of bed...if she can get out of her crib, you may have to put her into a toddler bed or something, but confine her to her room. I know she throws a fit, but do NOT play with her. Put her back in bed (don't talk to her), and walk out. It will work, it will just take that week or two (and really only that much time, it will only seem like forever).


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 10:56PM
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I could not tell if you said she was in a crib or bed? If she is still in the crib then they make tents that you can attach to the crib. I had a friend that used one with her son who at about the same age, did the same thing your DD is doing. It worked beautifully and actually was a positive thing for her son because of the idea of it being like a camp out!!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 3:53PM
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Thanks for all of the replies. Things have been going well. We ended up eliminating her nap during the day and she is now sleeping through the night! :) yayyy!! I thought she would be exhausted by 7:30 without her nap, but she gets a second wind which holds her over. She now goes to bed between 8:30-9:00.

Now if someone could just tell me how to get through the terrible two's while being 6 months pregnant..... :)


    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 2:02PM
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I'm glad to here that she is sleeping, so you can get a little more sleep (between pottie breaks). Getting through the terrible twos while 6 months're on your own there honey!!!


    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 6:54AM
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Glad she's sleeping through the night...wish I could say the same for me. Our two and a half year old wakes up in the early morning and wants to play. And he hasn't had daytime naps since he was a little over a year old...I always let my kids behavior be my guide for cutoffs of habits. When he could repeatedly stay completely awake on a car ride for more than an hour I knew he was ready to cut out the naps...and if it's too soon, your child will deifinitely let you know.

I know your daughter was not having night terrors because my four year old suffers from them and they tend to happen in the first few hours after the child has gotten to sleep when they have entered the deepest stages of REM sleep! And they are just as scary for the parent as they are for the child.

As for being 6 mos. pregnant and dealing with the terrible twos....been there done that! A few small suggestions.....1). During a tantrum put her in her room (and protect your baby bump), shut the door, and walk away for five minutes, take a deep breath, regroup and remind yourself that she is going through what most two year olds go through. 2). Get her as involved in your pregnancy as you can....if she knows there is a baby in there and you let them interact you stand a much better chance of avoiding jealousy. 3). After she has gone to bed treat yourself so can relax with a warm bath, a movie, a good book, just let yourself relax. 4). If she's too difficult to take into public - don't - find someone to watch her or wait until DH can take care of her...sometimes it helps to just get need breathing room too. There are a myriad of other things that you can do. Take it from a mom who was 5 months pregnant with a high risk, low activity pregnancy who had to deal with some febrile seizures from her two year old and had to keep her self under tight control in order not to create problems for the pregnancy and baby (scared the hades out of me & glad I have never had to see one again). Seems impossible, but it can be done my dear. One day at a time, even one hour at a time, but you'll survive.

And congratulations on the new addition when he/she arrives!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 10:38PM
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Wow, it's been forever since I had a chance to get back on here. Netta, it's funny that you wrote that, not to long after I posted my last post my daughter had a really bad night as far as the terrible twos goes. She was being very "awnry" and the time outs were not working. She was climbing on a table and pulling on a shelf. I was so worried that she was going to hurt herself that after the fourth time of me telling her no and removing her from the situation (and she was giggling like a hyenia) I felt myself getting to a frustration level that I have never been to before. I actually got scared. I put her in her room, put the gate up in front of her door and walked away. I ended up calling my mom and crying like a baby! I felt like such a horrible mother that I could even get that frustrated with my sweet little angel...but she helped me to understand that it happens, and that I did do the right thing by removing "myself" from the situtation. I haven't had to do it since - I find myself being much calmer and finding positive ways to deal with the terrible twos. I do have her very involved w/ my pregnancy. We found out what we were having so that we could, in a sense, get her used to her little brother before he came out. yes, it's a boy!! :) She sings songs to him and kisses my belly night night. When we ask who is in mommy's belly, she says Jacob. She knows that the doctor is going to take the baby out of my belly and asks me when all the time (she can't quite remember January) :)
I've learned to stop looking at the clock at night to see how far off bed time was so that I could finally rest, instead I try to think of new activities that will help tire her out. Last night we had a pretend picnic in her room and she even called her poppop to invite him. It was fun. I love being a mommy and I know that this terrible two thing shall you said...just gotta take it one day at a time...I have to learn to push my exhaustion aside and just pretend I have energy..I find if I do that..i don't get as frustrated and find I have a lot more patience :) and on a side note - she did go a few weeks with no middle of the night wake ups..but did recently have a few, but now it doesn't take as long to put her back down. I just go in, tuck her back in and walk out. I don't even have to sing to her again, and she wakes up less times now. Last night she only woke up once..and had slept through the night for the two nights prior to we are getting there, slowly but surely :)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 11:09PM
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