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  1. #1
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    Default Hysterical 2 1/2 year old refusing to sleep

    So here I am in the sleep section again... after battling with weeks of no sleep from bubs not sleeping we have finally managed to get him sleeping a few hours at a time. Lo and behold, seems he only gave up his post to tag team his brother in the job of driving his parents insane from no sleep. My 2 year old (3 in May) usually sleeps 2 hours in the arvo and generally from 7-8pn til about 6-7 in the morning. He would get up a few times...need a drink...need to go toilet...need to give you a cheeky smile and run back to my room...but he would always go back to bed without too much drama and eventually go to sleep. Suddenly he practically refuses to go to bed. As soon as you mention bed he starts 'dont want to go to bed' or 'dont want to go to sleep'. I can coax him in there and read him a story but as soon as I get up to go, he's right behind me. If I manage to get out the door and close it, he's right there screaming high pitched and hysterical, it takes forever for him to calm down. I've tried staying in there with him til he goes to sleep but he just wont go to sleep. He tosses and turns like he has a right bee in his bonnet and eventually I fall asleep and he gets up and tries to leave. We did let him stay up for a few nights but he is just a mess. He is soo tired, big dark circles under his eyes, crying at the drop of a hat etc. I just don't understand it and I'm at a loss as to what to do. I have a baby as well so cant always stay with him for hours trying to get him to sleep (which seems pointless anyway). We've tried putting him in our bed as well, but that doesn't cut it either.

    This seems to have come about at the same time that he has stopped listening to us, wont do anything we ask and favourite word is suddenly ;no'. Is this just the terrible twos arriving a bit late? Any suggestions on the bed thing? I'm ready to throttle him...but then I feel so bad as he is such a mess, breaks my heart

  2. #2
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    My son is 3 at the end of mArch And has just dropped his naps, I know it sucks having a non napping almost 3 yr old. But it's worth it to have him go down to sleep happy at night.
    A few of my friends.with kids of similar ages Are dropping their day sleeps at the moment too

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    My son is the same age, he is also the middle of three kids. He has just dropped his day nap, I have to battle to get his day sleep and it's such a drama, I would rather just get 7pm bedtime.

    It probably sounds harsh, but I don't put up with much at night, if they sick I am of course happy to get them whatever they need, but other than that I am as strict as super nanny at night! If I wasn't I would be getting up for all 3 of them all night long, especially since DH sleeps through everything.

    The first time he gets up you say "it's time for bed sweetheart", 2nd time you say "it's time for bed" 3rd time you just keep putting them back without saying anything. It will probably take a night or two, but tough love at this age does work.

    You could also put a childgate on his door so he can't get out.

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    SugarSkull  (26-01-2012)

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    We havent even bothered trying to get him to go down during the day. I've tried the just take him straight back to bed thing, but after a couple of hours I must admit, I really just get over it. His determination is admirable thats for sure. Hubby says he gets it from me, but I'm not so sure!

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    Could there be something wrong like teething or worms?

    If there isn't a medical reason, honestly I think you need to do the tough love thing. Think about it, if you were two and knew if you got out of bed and screamed mummy would come and read to you or give you a cuddle, wouldn't you do it all night long?

    It really depends on what you want to put up with. I need my sleep, I already have an 11month old who wakes maybe once a week, of course I happily get up for her. She is too little to understand it is night time and mummy needs sleep.

    I would put a childgate on his door and ignore him. It will take a night or two, but I think this is better than cranky 2 yr old and a cranky mummy for weeks on end!

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    qtkiwi  (26-01-2012)

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    I agree with Jalibali. The "put back or set back" method is the solution. I did this 2 weeks ago when my toddler started throwing huge hysterical fits at nap and bed time. I started at nap time. First day I put her in bed, she got straight out and was hysterical at the door. I picked her up gave a cuddle said its sleep time and laid her back in bed. Straight out again and I just picked her up said sleep time an put back. 3rd time say NOTHING. Just pick up and straight into bed. This happened approx 20 times. I was livid and exhausted being 9 months pregnant, but never let her know or see this. At bed time that night I only had to do this 3 times. The next 2-3 days it was 3 times maximum I had to do this. Now I pop her in and she goes straight to sleep within minutes of bed and nap time. It's all about testing the boundaries and being shown in response that mummy/daddy know what's best. Sleep is needed for brain development the more they miss out throwing these tantrums the more their moods will be effected by it all.
    Be strong, a few hard days is nothing compared to letting it ride out for months. Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by jalibali View Post
    Could there be something wrong like teething or worms?

    If there isn't a medical reason, honestly I think you need to do the tough love thing. Think about it, if you were two and knew if you got out of bed and screamed mummy would come and read to you or give you a cuddle, wouldn't you do it all night long?

    It really depends on what you want to put up with. I need my sleep, I already have an 11month old who wakes maybe once a week, of course I happily get up for her. She is too little to understand it is night time and mummy needs sleep.

    I would put a childgate on his door and ignore him. It will take a night or two, but I think this is better than cranky 2 yr old and a cranky mummy for weeks on end!
    I'm going to try this.
    Ds is starting to push the boundaries beyond the level that is acceptable to me. Bedtime is turning into a huge battle ground. Something has just got to change, as it is at the moment it's all yelling and finger wagging and crying...

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    Quote Originally Posted by qtkiwi View Post
    We havent even bothered trying to get him to go down during the day. I've tried the just take him straight back to bed thing, but after a couple of hours I must admit, I really just get over it. His determination is admirable thats for sure. Hubby says he gets it from me, but I'm not so sure!
    Sorry, you wrote that he was having a 2 hour nap. I know determined kids I have 2, just want to send you some hugs and strength and hope you get him sorted soon!

  11. #9
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    Please update would love to know how you go. My 2 year old (3 in July) will scream for hours some nights and usually ends up in our bed (I know we are to blame). I wedge a chair under his door so he cant get out and take it away when he is asleep. Some mornings I wake up to find him in our bed and I didnt even hear him get in (this scares me). Is it best to leave the door open and do as Mezzee (great advice by the way) or keep on wedging the door.

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximum22 View Post
    Sorry, you wrote that he was having a 2 hour nap. I know determined kids I have 2, just want to send you some hugs and strength and hope you get him sorted soon!
    Sorry for the confusion, he was having a nap quite happily in the afternoon before he started all this crazy carry on. This afternoon I drove around for a couple of hours just so he would get some sleep. Doesnt make for a great bedtime but at least he was in a better mood. I also have an eleven month that wakes 2-3 times during the night (bit this is a huge improvement from every 45mins, lol).

    Will drag out the safety gate tomorrow and do the tough love thing. Hopefully without too much waking of bubs


 

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