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3 year old still does NOT sleep through the night - Any Advice at All????

Posted by on May. 19, 2009 at 5:40 PM
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I am at my wits end and don’t know what to do. My three year old daughter still does not sleep through the night or at least not consistently. She will sleep through the night maybe one night in a week or two week time span. All the other nights she wakes up once, twice maybe three times or more during the night. In the morning I am so tired, with a low level of patience and high level of frustration and cranky. I feel awful that I am that way. She has never been a good sleeper.

Some background information, during her first year I always rocked her to sleep never realizing that she needed to learn to fall asleep on her own. I was not a fan of Crying It Out so I slowly had her learn to fall asleep on her own. She now falls asleep on her own for both bedtime and naptime and has been doing so about a year and a half. I just don’t understand why she needs so much reassurance during the night. And how do I solve this problem, so I can get some sleep? During the middle of the night, she calls me into her room for stuff like her hair is in her face or her blanket needs to be fixed or to tell me something or for some other reason that I really don’t know why. She is still in her crib and has no interest in changing to a bed. She insists on the door being open and must have the lights on. She has a nightlight that is on and we have recessed lighting in her bedroom on a dimmer so they are on but dimmed down low. Sometimes she calls me in because when she looks out her bedroom door it is dark in the rest of the house. I explain to her that it is night time and that is why it is dark in the house. She will start crying and screaming. I tell her that she needs to be quiet because her baby brother and Daddy are sleeping but she won’t stop. I have to threaten to close the door but she still won’t stop, so then I close her door for a minute and open it up and she will finally stop screaming and lie back down. By the time this battle is over and I get back to bed, I can’t sleep. Or if we don’t have a battle then after calling me into her room two or three times then I am up and can’t go back to sleep.

I have no idea what to do and I really need to do something to help this situation. I am just so tired and worn out. I would have thought she would have outgrown this by now. Does anyone have any advice, suggestions or anything to help me figure out what I can do so she will sleep better???

Sorry for the long post.  Thanks in advance.

Stephanie

by on May. 19, 2009 at 5:40 PM
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Replies (1-10):
FolasadesMom
by on May. 19, 2009 at 6:51 PM

Oh my!

Well i have a shocking sleeping DD also so my advice doesn't come from anything i personally know..

But my mother told me this about when my brother and i were babies. My brother was a bad sleeper and needed to co sleep and was up down all night but when i was about 6months my mother started sleeping us together and he slept through strait away.

Something about him 'careing for his baby' he just slept better and the warmth of another child i guess.

Its common for young children to sleep together and when i have a second i plan on doing this.

All up to you.

Is your son in the same room as your older child? maybe if they were 'roombuddies' and you made a big deal of her being the big girl of the room she might even sleep better knowing someone else is in the room?

Lilypie 2nd Birthday Ticker

StephanieF2
by on May. 20, 2009 at 12:38 AM

Thanks for the response.  I have heard that sometimes it can be beneficial to have children share the same room.  My son sleeps in his own room.  He is a great sleeper.  I am worried that her bad habits would rub off and ruin his good sleeping habits.  (that would be my luck!)  Also, he just worships her and thinks she is so funny.  She would keep him up at night and she is a very earlier riser and again would wake him up.

Stephanie

FolasadesMom
by on May. 20, 2009 at 1:40 AM

thats so cute they have such a relationship.. hmm but your right there.. bad sleep might catch! and they might play...

idk.. maybe give it a try they could have a special sleep over wkend? see how it goes

Quoting StephanieF2:

Thanks for the response.  I have heard that sometimes it can be beneficial to have children share the same room.  My son sleeps in his own room.  He is a great sleeper.  I am worried that her bad habits would rub off and ruin his good sleeping habits.  (that would be my luck!)  Also, he just worships her and thinks she is so funny.  She would keep him up at night and she is a very earlier riser and again would wake him up.

Stephanie


Lilypie 2nd Birthday Ticker

Valerie71
by on May. 20, 2009 at 7:30 AM

I'm in exactly the same situation, Stephanie, so I relate!  Lack of sleep is the biggest problem in our family and it's not our one year-old or my husband causing any problems!  Our three-and-a-half year-old, who has been in a toddler bed for over a year, is usually up at least once.  I go to her immediately to keep everyone else sleeping; after lots of tears and training she knows I won't stay with her, but there's always some little reassurance she wants me to provide.  Upon advice from this group I'm trying to remain silent, just getting a different toy or photograph for her to sleep with and then leaving immediately. 

I waited too long for cry it out with her, and also stayed with her until she fell asleep for too long after moving her to a toddler bed (without choice since she crawled out of the crib and we were about to need it for her sister anyway).  I was stricter with our second daughter and she's a much better sleeper.  We've got a third coming in August and the girls will have to share a room, so I hope it's true that will help.  They get along wonderfully and our older daughter very much wants to have someone sleep with her so I'm optimistic.  I'm making having her younger sister move in a reward for when she sleeps through consistently so we haven't tried it yet, but I would appreciate any advice on how to make sharing work!

Thanks and good luck and sending total empathy, Valerie

StephanieF2
by on May. 20, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Thanks for the empathy Valerie.  It helps knowing that I am not the only one in the world with a three year old that for whatever reason won't sleep through the night.  At the same time I feel bad that you are in the same situation.

Congrats on the new baby and good luck and best wishes that your sleep issue with your 3 year old is solved.

leahjoy
by Group Admin on May. 21, 2009 at 12:16 PM

I'm sorry that I don't have a lot of advice to offer with regard to a 3 year old b/c most of the posts I've seen, and most of the sleep books out there, focus on kids.  It's really a shame b/c there are lots of moms like you struggling with older toddlers with sleep issues.  My son, Carson, is almost 2, and still often wakes up at least once a night, sometimes more.  I am able to get him back to sleep fairly quicklly by rubbing his back, telling him firmly that it's time for sleep, and that I love him and I'll see him in the morning.  A few suggestions for you - 1.  I've read that older toddlers are able to understand a reward system, so you can try telling them that if they sleep through the night/don't wake mommy up at all/whatever you think they will understand, then they will get a reward in the morning, like some type of special cereal, or stickers, whatever you think will appeal to them, that may help.  2. Although it sounds like she really wants the lights on, it would be best if you could get her to the point of sleeping in a darkened room with only a night-light.  Having light in the room interferes with a child's sleep cycle, and could be causing part of your problems.  Hope this helps! 

thecanz01
by on May. 27, 2009 at 12:48 AM
Well I can totally relate to you. I too have not slept well since my second child was born. He is two now and still does not sleep through the night. I am still breast feeding and although I have tried to stop I have not been successful. I have tried putting lemon juice on my breast and guess what? Now my son loves lemons! lol I am now using black pepper but he cleans it off and breast feeds himself. Don't know what to put on my breast to get him to stop. If I don't breast feed him he cries and then starts slamming his head on the floor. I think he uses me as his security blanket. At night he wakes up and I will rock him back to sleep only to be awaken by him 2 hours later. At this point I am so exhausted that he ends up in my bed and he breast feeds himself. I need serious help! He shares a room with his older brother and this is why I run to him when he wakes up cause I don't want him waking up his older brother who is 4.

Any suggestions? HELP!

Mary
leahjoy
by Group Admin on May. 28, 2009 at 8:31 AM

Wow - never heard of such desparate methods to stop breastfeeding!   It's possible that your son is having such a hard time giving up breastfeeding b/c he likes the one-on-one time that that gives him with you.  I've read that sometimes if you start really making an effort to spend a bit of one-on-one time wiht him several times a day, you may find that he seeks the breast less.  Also, make sure he is eating and drinking plenty otherwise.  Lastly, what are your concerns about continuing?  It may just be better to wait to wean until he is ready.

Quoting thecanz01:

Well I can totally relate to you. I too have not slept well since my second child was born. He is two now and still does not sleep through the night. I am still breast feeding and although I have tried to stop I have not been successful. I have tried putting lemon juice on my breast and guess what? Now my son loves lemons! lol I am now using black pepper but he cleans it off and breast feeds himself. Don't know what to put on my breast to get him to stop. If I don't breast feed him he cries and then starts slamming his head on the floor. I think he uses me as his security blanket. At night he wakes up and I will rock him back to sleep only to be awaken by him 2 hours later. At this point I am so exhausted that he ends up in my bed and he breast feeds himself. I need serious help! He shares a room with his older brother and this is why I run to him when he wakes up cause I don't want him waking up his older brother who is 4.

Any suggestions? HELP!

Mary


thecanz01
by on May. 28, 2009 at 10:39 AM
Well, I do give him one on one time. His brother goes to preschool twice a week so Luca has me more on those days. BUT - when I do give him one on one, he wants to be on the breast! He is a good eater and drinks all day long.

I don't mind breast feeding him during the day, but the problem is at night. He wakes up around 3 a.m and want to come to my bed and sleep with me while he is attached to my breast all night! I fight him off but to no avail and it gets to a point that I am so exhausted that I just fall asleep and he breast feeds all night long. So in the morning needless to say, I am sore.

To avoid all this conflict, this is the reason why I need to get him to stop breast feeding at all.

HELP!
StephanieF2
by on Jun. 7, 2009 at 6:39 PM


Quoting leahjoy:

2. Although it sounds like she really wants the lights on, it would be best if you could get her to the point of sleeping in a darkened room with only a night-light.  Having light in the room interferes with a child's sleep cycle, and could be causing part of your problems.  Hope this helps! 

Any ideas regarding how to get my daughter to sleep with the lights off or at least darker?  I try dimming then as low as possible with still being able to read because the last step of her bedtime routine is we read three books in her bedroom before she goes to bed.  She won't let me dim the lights anymore when I leave the room, in fact, she asks for them to be turned up but I won't. 

Anyone have any thoughts on how I can get her use to a darkened room?

Thanks!
Stephanie

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