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My 2 Year Old WON'T Sleep During the night. How can I change that.

My son will be 2 in less than 2 weeks, and in the past few months his sleep pattern has changed drastically. He was sleeping from midnight until about 10am (which was perfect for our 3rd shift jobs) and he would get a 2 hour nap atound 3pm until 5pm. And it then changed out of the blue to wanting to stay up until 6am and sleep until 3 or 4 pm. I didnt like this pattern so I tried to switch it out to where he wasn't getting a nap, and somehow he is now sleeping from 2am until5am.. then he gets up and is wide awake. He will then go back to sleep anywhere from 9am-10am. and sleeps until anytime between 12-2pm. He then gets sleep and tries to sleep again around 6pm-10pm... then it all starts again from the 2am until 5am and is the same each day.
I've tried cutting the naps to 1-2 hours, making him stay up later than usual thinking he will sleep late, keeping him up from 5am until about 4pm, but it really doesnt change anything?!

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Asked by junkgirl at 10:40 AM on Feb. 17, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (4)
  • The best thing would be to eliminate naps. I had to do that with my son, he was the same way. He may get cranky at first, but it won't hurt him to be a little upset. At 2 they should be weaning off of naps anyway, so having him quit napping cold turkey is not a bad plan.

    Answer by devinmendsen at 11:06 AM on Feb. 17, 2009

  • I really wouldn't drop the nap. I know the old-wives-tale wisdom says to get a kid overtired so they will sleep better - but it's just that, an old wives tale. Kids who are overtired are flooded with adrenaline. The same chemical you get flooded with in a car wreck or while being mugged. Try relaxing and sleeping then! Kids who are overtired have a much harder time falling asleep, staying asleep, and are more likely to wake earlier, not later. Bad idea all around. Did you know that most preschools that offer naps find that nearly all the kids sleep? And that's at age 4. Most 2 year olds still need a nap!

    I'd get him up at the proper time every morning. Do not let him sleep in.
    Get him into sunlight within an hour of that to help reset his his biological clock.
    Get him down for his nap.
    Put him in bed at the proper time. If he doesn't sleep right now, what do you do? Let him up to play? Don't. Let him pitch his fit.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 11:32 AM on Feb. 17, 2009

  • I totally agree with Kaycee.
    My daughter sleeps worse the more tired she is. If she stays up late she still wakes at her usual time but is fitful through the night and grumpy all day

    Answer by heather.darin at 11:47 AM on Feb. 17, 2009

  • I guess it all depends on the child. My son slept better without the nap, and was not overtired. Also, unless your child is up at 2 am screaming and is hurt, ignore him. Check in, see that they are fine, and then leave. So they cry. They will learn that they cant always get their way.

    Answer by devinmendsen at 12:00 PM on Feb. 17, 2009

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