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has anyone ever experienced this? please help, this is exhausting all of us!

My 2.5 year old has always been SUCH a great sleeper. No night wakings since she stopped nursing at night (6 months), sleeps right through, goes to bed awake, talks and sings, drifts off, sleeps till morning (early riser, but can't complain too much). WELL, she got sick and had a fever for about 4 days while we were visiting my in-laws. She was totally thrown off -- needing motrin and water in the middle of the night, needing extra comfort, plus we were dealing with a 2 hour time difference. To make a long story short -- she's healthy but waking up EVERY night and it's taking us an hour and a half or more to get her to go back to bed. She says she's scared, or sad, or doesn't want to sleep... we've tried re-starting our bedtime routine (a few songs and then kisses and hugs), we've tried not responding, we've "reasoned" with her, during the day she appears to fully understand but at night her fury is unleashed!! WHAT TO DO??

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Asked by EmilySusan at 3:26 PM on Jan. 6, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 5 (79 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Is there a radio or any "white" noise you can have playing in her room? Might help to keep her asleep. It could just take a little more time but of course she's gotten cozy with the night visits from when she was sick. You somehow have to break the cycle. I hate to suggest it but maybe a shot of Tylenol at midnight to keep her sleeping until at least 6AM?

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:29 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • Just go with it. If she is scared she is going to need reassurance and tons of it. You can't "reason" with emotions. She is scared, needs you and I would just give her that. It will pass once she has got enough long that is and for how many nights I can't say.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:30 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • **smile** You do know this is the payback for all the sleep you got in her infancy? All of us pay those dues at one point or another!

    Google "Elizabeth Pantley." Her "No Cry Sleep Solution" is very helpful for many parents.

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:35 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • What I was doing at first was sitting on the couch in her room until she fell asleep... but then one night she kept asking, "mommy, are you there?" and sitting up to see me, so I thought even that was distracting. Eventually if she is dead asleep (like if I wait 10 minutes after she falls asleep) I can get out of there, but then she inevitably wakes up an hour or two later; whereas the few times I've gotten her to agree to put herself back to sleep (after a hug and a song, then a battle, then a hug and a song, etc), she will sleep till morning. I'm just not even sure how to comfort her and get her back to sleep without totally reinforcing the waking, and keeping her awake even!

    Answer by EmilySusan at 3:37 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • Just keep assuring her that you are still in the house, and that if she REALLY needs you you will be there. I think going somewhere shook her confidence it shouldn't take longer than a month for you to get her back on schedule but for now she needs to know you are there. Try getting a glade plug in with a lavendar scent or other soothing scent, and white noise or even soft music can help. Maybe soon tell her you will come in X number of times and back it down to 1 and then back to none. Good luck.

    Answer by truealaskanmom at 3:51 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • It can take a week or more to get back into the normal sleep patterns after being sick like that. Give her time, and try not to be too harsh on her. She's adapting too as she grows.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:20 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • Im glad your dd is feeling better.
    You just gave me flash backs. I have three kids, but looking back on those nights, my dd always woke up. I let her crawl into bed with us. Co sleeping doesnt bother me, I mean, I didn't rest well, but I liked letting her crawl in with us. Also, when my daughter was that age she started to outgrow naps. I thought she was to young to be outgrowing naps. At naptime, I eventually placed her in her bed with books, allowed her to read and play quietly but she was to remain in bed. It worked for me. Maybe your dd is getting too much rest?

    Answer by 3gigglemonsters at 4:45 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • My son had a "vampire" fear at about that age (don't you love older cousins?-lol) So we made up an elabortate story of how it was our cats' job to go out every night & protect the house..b/c every one knows VAMPIRES HATE CATS!!! -lmao the stories had to be extremely big & believable though to fool our doubting son!! He is 11yrs old now & finally watched the 1st Twilight about 3 weeks ago.. & commented on "it not being that bad" afterward!! By the way son also slept 8hrs every night after only being 2wks old. Maybe there is a pattern!!

    Answer by KAT0123 at 8:55 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • Children around this age can go through different forms of seperation anxiety. Has there been any changes in the routine? Maybe time spent together has not been as often as before? Change in primary care giver or people in household? Some times when routine has not been changed a child can still go through bounts of anixity or fear of seperation. It is some thing that they do grow out of but it takes time. A lot of reassuring is the best start. Keep a sleep or bed time routine the same each night. It would not hurt to talk to your child's doctor to make sure there is no medical reason behind all of this.

    Answer by jlbohannon at 10:46 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

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