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  1. #1
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    Default Toddler Sleep Issues

    I'm sure other mummies have gone through this so I'm hoping I can get some tips/advice.

    My just turned 2 year old DS has started waking frequently in the night. Only a couple of weeks ago he had a few nights where he slept through (before that it was maybe one wake up each night) but in the last couple of weeks he is waking anywhere from 2-3 times, to every hour. He then becomes exhausted around 5-ish am and sleeps until 11am (sometimes ever later!) if I don't wake him. Sometimes he'll decide to get up at 5am and will then crash by 8-9am for a nap and not wake for up to 4 hours.

    Last night, he was put in bed at 8:30pm, chatted to himself until about 9:30am (he rarely cries at bedtime but doesn't always go to sleep straight away), woke at 10:30, 11:45, 1:30 and 2:20am. At 2:20, he didn't go back to sleep until after 4am. I then had to wake him at 11:30am.

    This has put us in a horrible routine. If he sleeps really late I can usually skip his nap and get him to bed earlier, but that seems to be when he has the worst sleep. If he happens to get up earlier, say 9-10pm, he wants to have a nap by 4ish and if I try to skip it he falls asleep in his dinner but obviously if I let him nap he won't go to bed. If I wake him early, say 7-8am, he will be ready for a nap earlier but fights it and then wants to nap for 3 hours. Waking him from his nap makes him super cranky and he spends the next hour or so crying and tantruming over everything.

    At night, he doesn't usually wake fully, he's usually still sleepy but he always wakes crying. Most of the time I can resettled him with a quick cuddle or pat his back. Sometimes I have to resort to bringing him into bed because I'm exhausted (which doesn't really bother me but makes it hard for me to sleep as he's a wiggler). Once he's asleep I'll usually take him back to his bed so we can sleep better.

    Last night when he was in our bed I could hear his tummy rumbling, so I attempted to give him a snack but he was way too sleepy to eat and just stared blankly at it until he fell asleep. So I gave him a drink of milk instead thinking that might be easier and at least put something in his tummy, but he fell asleep after about 2 mouthfuls.

    So now I'm wondering if the constant waking is due to hunger but he's just such a fussy eater. I can barely make him eat a decent meal, and I feel like all he ever eats is toast. The only thing I can give him and guarantee he will eat a decent amount is hot chips and obviously I'm not going to feed him those every day. He goes to bed pretty much straight after dinner but that also seems to be the meal at which he eats the least. He just picks at it mostly

    Can anyone offer any tips for getting to eat more, helping him stay full through the night or just general sleep tips? I've tried waking him earlier to try to get him in a better routine but he just ends up cranky all day and fights his nap anyway. Plus when he's getting so little sleep I feel bad waking him and making him be tired all day

    Sorry this is super long and rambling and I've probably made no sense but I'm just so tired, any ideas?

  2. #2
    harvs's Avatar
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    Default Toddler Sleep Issues

    Gosh that sounds so hard.

    So...I don't know if I'll be much help but have you ruled out the physical? Is he teething? Cold? Is he crying the entire time he's awake, or is he ready to play?

    Does he take a bottle as part of your bedtime routine? Have you tried varying meal times so have a late lunch which is more substantial and then a snacky/top up kind of meal in the evening? Could you try leaving a bottle in his cot?

    All I thought reading your post was (and I know this will be hell) I would be trying to force some sort of routine by waking him up early no matter what and limiting naps and enduring the mood that comes with it. I know it's the last thing you feel like and it's hard when they're so sleep deprived (and you!), but I think it's worth trying to get him into a bit more of a routine.

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    DarcyJ  (11-07-2015)

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    I think (help me I'm going to sound like @VicPark) but I think you need to have a solid food/sleep timings/schedule. The variation you are having in skipping naps and bedtimes plus waking him up randomly is not helping your son. Kids IMO need consistency and routine. Plus at 2yo your son is definitely old enough to understand sequence of events.

    So find a time that suits you - in my house I need my kids up by 5.45/6am for work days so they are in bed by 6.30/7pm without fail (unless it's sat night and we have church). So even on non work days I get them up by 6am latest so that their body clock isn't screwed around.

    You might also have to get strict in your sons eating. I'm very strict with meals and mealtimes for my kids. I have been since they were 18mths old. Now they are 3&5yo.


    I understand that my suggestions may not suit you or your parenting style.

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    DarcyJ  (11-07-2015)

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    I agree with Harvs, I think the only thing that is going to work here is a really firm routine. Decide what time you want him to go to bed at night, then morning wake up is 12 hours after that. So if bedtime is 7pm, wake him up at 7am, don't let him have a day sleep until say 11 am. If he wants to sleep for 3 hrs then I would let him to start with (but see how you go and wake him earlier if he is hard to get to bed at your bedtime).
    It will probably take 3 or 4 days of him being really grumpy- maybe even a week, but I think it should all come together after that. Also that way you will be able to feed him at regular times which might help his eating. But I have a 3yo who would also live on hot chips if I let her, so not much advice there, except keep offering other foods, they will try them eventually.
    I wouldn't be convinced that he is hungry overnight, I think if they are they will usually wake up enough to skull a whole bottle of milk and then fall asleep! But would check that he isn't getting too cold.

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    DarcyJ  (11-07-2015)

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    Thanks everyone I definitely want to get him on a better routine. I guess I might just have to suck it up and start waking him up early until he gets the hint lol, I'm so not a morning person though so that will be hard.

    I don't think he's cold, we have ducted air-con so the house stays fairly warm, and I don't think it's his teeth because he doesn't seem to be in pain.
    He does have a bottle, although I try to get him to drink his milk out of a cup as much as possible because I want to lose the bottles altogether soon.

    I think next week I will try to start getting him up early and see how we go

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    LittleBug'sMum  (11-07-2015)

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    Don't forget, you can choose the wake up time, if it is better for you to do 9am to 9 pm I say go for it!

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    DarcyJ  (13-07-2015)

  12. #7
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    My kids are average sleepers at best, so I can't help you there, but I happened to be perusing one of my favourite blogs today and read this post which is something that you may find of interest with your fussy eater:

    (Apologies for that long sentence. I'm listening to my dd scream and cry over going to bed and I can't think straight!)

    http://vegiesmugglers.com.au/2010/05...muggle-vegies/

    Wendy Blume has some awesome recipes and she is a great blogger to boot. I love her philosophy on getting kids to eat veggies that she talks about in this post.
    I can recommend a number of her recipes if you are looking for a place to start, too.

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    DarcyJ  (13-07-2015)


 

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