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Toddlers & Preschoolers Toddlers & Preschoolers

did your toddler refuse to sleep?

Posted by on Mar. 6, 2014 at 12:42 PM
  • 17 Replies
Hi ladies. I'm new here and really hoping someone has had a similar experience to what we're dealing with. This is a little long, please bear with me.

Dd is 20 months and has never really slept through the night but had a good stretch where she would wake up only once for a few minutes and go right back to sleep without trouble. Bedtime is fine, she goes down initially very well. It's the middle of the night when she wakes up that is the problem.

Starting at about 18 months she began staying up no matter what we do. We have tried comforting, rocking, ignoring her, rubbing her back, whatever we can think of but she's staying up longer and longer, it's up to 2-3 hours now! This is every single night. She cries a little sometimes, but mostly just plays by herself in the dark. She sleeps in a crib in her room and has since 9 months old.

This wouldn't bother me much since she's obviously not upset, except for 2 things.
1. She gets very loud with her squealing and playing and giggling, and dh and I are exhausted. It's very difficult to ignore and go back to sleep. Our doors face each other and there isn't much we can do to block the sound.
2. She's over tired and doesn't make up for the lost sleep. In fact, she's waking up a little earlier and napping a little shorter. She has dark circles under her eyes and is very cranky by the end of the day, and much less patient during the day.

The pediatrician thinks it's behavioral because she's still gaining weight and meeting her milestones, but this just doesn't seem normal to me! It's been 2 months of this and there hasn't been any improvement. She doesn't have symptoms of anything dietary as far as they can tell. I'm exhausted and desperate.

Did anyone experience anything similar? Do you know of any resources I could look into to help get her sleeping again?
by on Mar. 6, 2014 at 12:42 PM
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Replies (1-10):
TheMommaJessie
by Bronze Member on Mar. 6, 2014 at 12:48 PM
1 mom liked this

my 3 year old ds won't sleep through the night, won't eat much, won't potty train ect. I have tried melatonin it relaxes him out enough to go to sleep but for some reason he just won't stay asleep all night. his doc also says nothing is wrong. might try cutting naps out during the day. about an hour or so before bed play constantly see if that will wear her out. try cutting anything out with sugar, corn syrup, ect see if that helps. aslo red food dye can cause hyperactivity and sleeplessness

olivejuice2
by Member on Mar. 6, 2014 at 1:46 PM
Thanks for the tips. I hadn't thought about the red food dye. We tried cutting dairy for a few days but that didn't make a difference. She's not showing symptoms of dairy sensitivity I just felt like I needed to try something.

Quoting TheMommaJessie:

my 3 year old ds won't sleep through the night, won't eat much, won't potty train ect. I have tried melatonin it relaxes him out enough to go to sleep but for some reason he just won't stay asleep all night. his doc also says nothing is wrong. might try cutting naps out during the day. about an hour or so before bed play constantly see if that will wear her out. try cutting anything out with sugar, corn syrup, ect see if that helps. aslo red food dye can cause hyperactivity and sleeplessness

TheMommaJessie
by Bronze Member on Mar. 6, 2014 at 4:06 PM

you are welcome. Might try what is called ADHD diet its high on complex carbs, protiens ect. I am going to start trying that with my ds and see if it helps him with his sleep issues and all around behavior issues.

Quoting olivejuice2: Thanks for the tips. I hadn't thought about the red food dye. We tried cutting dairy for a few days but that didn't make a difference. She's not showing symptoms of dairy sensitivity I just felt like I needed to try something.
Quoting TheMommaJessie:

my 3 year old ds won't sleep through the night, won't eat much, won't potty train ect. I have tried melatonin it relaxes him out enough to go to sleep but for some reason he just won't stay asleep all night. his doc also says nothing is wrong. might try cutting naps out during the day. about an hour or so before bed play constantly see if that will wear her out. try cutting anything out with sugar, corn syrup, ect see if that helps. aslo red food dye can cause hyperactivity and sleeplessness


.Angelica.
by Angie on Mar. 6, 2014 at 4:08 PM

wish I had some advice, I thankfully have not been through this. good luck

iamcafemom83
by Member on Mar. 6, 2014 at 4:12 PM
Is the room cool enough? She isn't over dressed, etc?

One thing that has helped us is a box fan in the hall way. I keep it running all night when the kids start doing this. It helps!

Another thing I would scrutinize is her daily activity. Is she getting enough time outside to burn energy? Even though she may be over tired right now, kods still need to run. I think if she isn't, this may help break the cycle.

I know you mentioned it is difficult to ignore. ..but I would try to. If you are going in there when she stirs, it may prolong her going back to sleep.

I know this is a frustrating time, but I think it is something normal kids go through. Hope it breaks for you soon.
olivejuice2
by Member on Mar. 6, 2014 at 10:54 PM
Thanks. I try to make sure she gets time to run every day, but some days are tough. I hope it breaks soon, too!

Quoting iamcafemom83: Is the room cool enough? She isn't over dressed, etc?

One thing that has helped us is a box fan in the hall way. I keep it running all night when the kids start doing this. It helps!

Another thing I would scrutinize is her daily activity. Is she getting enough time outside to burn energy? Even though she may be over tired right now, kods still need to run. I think if she isn't, this may help break the cycle.

I know you mentioned it is difficult to ignore. ..but I would try to. If you are going in there when she stirs, it may prolong her going back to sleep.

I know this is a frustrating time, but I think it is something normal kids go through. Hope it breaks for you soon.
olivejuice2
by Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 2:08 PM
Thanks! I hope it ends soon.

Quoting .Angelica.:

wish I had some advice, I thankfully have not been through this. good luck

iansmommy9
by Silver Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 5:24 PM

 Does she have toys in her crib?  If so, take them out. Try to make the environment boring.  I always tried to give DS something to eat before heading to bed to try to keep his tummy full and eyes closed.

olivejuice2
by Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 11:02 PM
She has a stuffed bunny that she won't go to bed without. Sometimes she has one other stuffed toy as well but not always. That doesn't seem to make a difference though.

Thanks for the ideas. I just wish she could tell me what's going on!


Quoting iansmommy9:

 Does she have toys in her crib?  If so, take them out. Try to make the environment boring.  I always tried to give DS something to eat before heading to bed to try to keep his tummy full and eyes closed.

SCL_HF
by Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Our Pedi gave us a good system when DS was going through this. 

When LO starts crying, wait one minute, go in the room, with a calm and monotone voice say "It's bed time (insert nickname or name)", lay LO back down and walk out.

Repeat after waiting 5 minutes, then 10, then 15, and so on adding 5 minutes each time. DS never made it to the 10 minute mark. 

Pedi told us that this way, LO is still reassured and the trust is still there that when something is truly upsetting or bothering LO Mom and Dad will still be there but the behavior isn't truly encouraged. It worked like a freaking charm for DS!

Good luck Momma!

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