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sleep training for a 2.5 year old? UPDATE: nite 1

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any advise?  my 2.5 year old has been sleeping just horribly and i dont know how to help him.  he has been waking up 3-6 times per night and staying up for long periods of time.  we go from his bed, to the couch, to our bed....its like musical sleep spaces.  and he doesnt sleep well in ANY of them.  sometimes he will go for a few days where he will sleep great but then he switches back to sleeping like crap and disrupts the entire household.

last night he finally went to bed at 9, then he was back up by 11 and we snuggled on the couch until he fell asleep.  by midnight my neck was killing me and i was sick of getting kicked.  i got up and went to my bed.  then within an hour he was back up.  then my husband snuggled him on the couch.  by 3 am he finally came back to bed.  by 4 am our son was back up AGAIN.  we brought him into our bed where he wispered and kicked and was a general pain in the butt until my husband got up to go to work at 5.  i spent the next hour trying to get him to go back to sleep but he spent most of the time hanging half off the bed kicking the frame.  by 6:15 he ran out of the room, into the bathroom and threw cat food everywhere.

now if he had just gone to SLEEP at 9 then getting up at around 6 would be no big deal.  but i cant handle this sort of disruptive sleep.  i have adrenal fatigue and my body creates cortizol when i hit REM....so if i dont ever get to that point then i literally feel so ill the next day i can barely function.  this is a big reason why i started taking sleep meds (which i have recently weaned myself off of) and i need to figure something out.  if he was a tiny little baby then i would expect this type of behavior, but he is going to be 3 in august!

any advise?  i hate cio and dont mind bedsharing, but he is NOT good with bedsharing...and i swear i am just about ready to duct tape the kid into bed and get a set of ear plugs.  HELP ME!

okay so this is what happened in night one:  he snuggled with dad and had quiet time from 7 until 7:45.  then dad got him ready and put him to bed and sat by him a few feet away on the couch.  when he got up he put him back into the bed.  he screamed the whole time.  he was asleep by nine and eric went to sleep in the bedroom. 

i got home at 10.  by 10:30 he got up and was crying in the kitchen heading for our room.  i put him back to bed and sat by him on the couch.  he cried for 30 minutes and tried to get out twice.  then he finally went to sleep.  at 2 am he got up AGAIN.  at this point my husband got up and put him in his bed and sat by him on the couch.  he screamed, cried and tried to get up over and over again for an hour but finally went to sleep.  at 5:45 he got up AGAIN.  i put him in his bed and told him it was still time to sleep.  he went down pretty easily after 5 minutes of crying. 

he was back up at 6:30 and by then it was "time" to wake up and i got up and so did his little brother.  long story short we will just keep repeating the process until he understands that he has to sleep in his bed.  i just pray it gets better soon :(

by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 8:37 AM
Replies (21-30):
soulofsunmama
by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 10:58 PM
I've been reading this lately...so far I like it more then he "babies" one, and I really liked that one!

Quoting hapababies:

Have you read the "no cry sleep solution for toddlers and preschoolers"?

I own it, but haven't had a chance to really get into it.
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FrumpyMama
by Silver Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Ugh! I know your pain! We went through this with my ds after we had dd. It was a week long horror movie a no sleep for mommy.  But what worked for us is that I literally got up and brought him back to his bed each time, tucked him back in, etc.  There were a few nights that resulted in hide and go seek (stub your toe on the chair in the dining room at 2am), but after just us being steady about it. He got the picture. It still works even now. I don't mind him crawling into bed with us as long as he actually sleeps, but even now I still have a few nights where it's "Ok Bud, back to your bed."  Does he have a lovey or blankie?

jconney80
by Group Mod on Feb. 11, 2013 at 11:00 PM
I think that CIO is for babies and with toddlers by that age they know you are there for them so it's different. I don't like it either. My son is like this also.

First I would plan out how you want nighttime to look such as.... What will you do when he wakes up? Where do you want him to be all night? I agree with not playing musical beds. Then if you need to make a little story showing and explaining what happens at night when he wakes up etc.

Adenoids and tonsils are something else to check out with sleep disturbances.

Food allergies is another thing to look into like others suggested.

I would try to make the rules and be consistent to see how it goes.

The last thing to rule out is sensory problems. But I wouldn't worry about that unless nothing else works. I've been through sleeping problems for forever. My kids all have sensory problems. They will wake up early no matter how much sleep they get. My son is the most disruptive at night.

Also lots of opportunity for exercise during the day can really help.
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tansyflower
by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 8:49 AM

bump for update

larissalarie
by Gold Member on Feb. 12, 2013 at 9:56 AM
Yep, you've just got to keep putting him back into his bed. All the musical beds is just making things worse. A 2.5 year old crying about wanting to be up is NOT cio! He's far old enough to understand what's going on and crying to try to get to get up anyway, which so far has worked for him.
It sucks, but a week or two of consistently just putting him back to bed saying it's night-night time will likely fix the issue.
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VintageWife
by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 10:09 AM

We're trying to work with our 2.5 yr old too (3 in July). Good luck!

tansyflower
by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 10:16 AM
1 mom liked this

thanks for the reasurrance!  i know that this sort of bed time bootcamp is something we just have to do.  he has to learn that night time is for sleeping in his bed. 

you know when i was little my mom used to say to me "just wait until you have a kid who is JUST like YOU!" and now i do. 

yay me :/

Quoting larissalarie:

Yep, you've just got to keep putting him back into his bed. All the musical beds is just making things worse. A 2.5 year old crying about wanting to be up is NOT cio! He's far old enough to understand what's going on and crying to try to get to get up anyway, which so far has worked for him.
It sucks, but a week or two of consistently just putting him back to bed saying it's night-night time will likely fix the issue.


ballerina.2006
by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 10:37 AM
What size bed is he in and how old is the mattress?

My 4yo ds has nights similar. We recently cleaning and purged his room and ds has opted to sleep on his floor and we haven't had any wake up issues. I think my ds hates his memory foam mattress and that has been the cause of some (many) sleepless nights for me. If it's possibly maybe a campout on the floor one night would help.
Does he have a nightlight as well?
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bloomsr
by Bronze Member on Feb. 12, 2013 at 10:41 AM
Hang in there. We went through something similar to this with dd when she was 19-23 months old. She would wake up for long lengths of time throughout the night and nothing seemed to help. Persistence, cutting daily nap times and patience was what helped a lot. Do not engage at all when you put him in his bed. No "good night" no "stay in bed" no "I love you" no "it's bed time"

Nothing. Just put him back in his bed. Over. And over. And over... A few long nights and hopefully things will get easier for you. It sounds like you made a lot of progress last night!! Good job!!
Precious333
by Gold Member on Feb. 12, 2013 at 10:48 AM
Hugs......we are dealing with the same, so i know what you're dealing with.
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