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Thread: Toddler sleeping issues? Is it a phase? How do i know? [long]

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Redcliffe Peninsula (Brisbane)

    Question Toddler sleeping issues? Is it a phase? How do i know? [long]

    Hello everyone!!

    My little guy Declan (2.5yrs) has developed some sleep issues recently since he had a cold & throat infection about 2-3 weeks ago (finished 2 courses of antibiotics to knock it on the head).

    He definately needs the afternoon sleep as he gets beside himself if he doesnt have the sleep and will be very difficult by tea time if not impossible.

    He goes to daycare 2 days a week and they have 11.30-1.30 nap time there and if the kids dont sleep they still enforce quiet time.

    His normal bedtime was 7.30pm but we noticed the tiredness was getting extreme with the cooler weather so moved it to 6.30 then 6 pm as it is taking quite some time to settle him and he did seem to benefit from the earlier nights ( less temper tantrums, dissagreements, no hyperactivity which happens when he is overtired).

    He use to get up at 6.30-7am but then he was getting up at 5am as we are up for a feed for the twins (twins are 10weeks) at that time and he was coming into our bed regularly. After a week I said ok enough is enough and gently let him know that 5 am was too early and that he should wait until it is light to come to our room. I walked him back to his bed and that sort of improved, most mornings he wakes at about 6 now.

    His daytime naps AND his nighttime bedtime is becoming hiddeous. My gorgeous little boy has never had sleep or behaviour problems before however since I was about 8 or 9 months pregnant with the twins they have got progressively worse.
    Now 90% of the time getting him to bed at any time involves him getting up several times, requesting drinks, food, attention anything so he doesnt have to stay in bed.
    I resorted to removing his books/cars from his room until he went down today even threatened to remove more toys from playroom until he went to sleep (it took from 11.30 until 2.00 before he went to sleep and then he slept until 4pm).

    I dont use his bedroom as a place for time outs or punishment as I want it to be a warm place for him not a punishment place. I am worried our battles over bedtime will make him think badly about going to sleep instead of relaxing into it.

    We used to lie with him every night to settle him but stopped this gradually when I was approaching term with the twins as we knew we were about to have our hands full.

    I spend individual time with him every day so he doesnt feel like the twins take Mummy away completely but I cant figure out how to deal with this current problem with sleep. Other problems like not eating etc I have dealt with using persuasion and withdrawl techniques.

    Please any one with ideas can you post them?

    (I read all the other toddler sleep posts I could find before I posted this, but with little baby twins and sleep deprivation I am in need of constructive advice so I am not wearing myself out dealing with this EVERY day)

    How much sleep do 2.5yr olds need?
    How do you make settling themselves easier?
    Am I too soft or too hard or expecting too much? (the usual questions)

    Thankyou to all who made it this far (LOOOONG blinking post I know)

    and thanks in advance for your advice!

    Last edited by kaety; June 26th, 2006 at 09:50 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    Hmm one thing you might want to be careful of is his afternoon sleep, If you don't get him down in a certain time period then maybe drop it for the day as with him getting up at 4pm after the sleep hes probably not tired again for some time.

  3. #3
    Melinda Guest


    Maybe try giving him a drink and something to eat immediately before his nap time (and take him to the toilet if he's TT) so that when he tells you he's hungry/thirsty/needs to go to the toilet, you can tell him that he's just had a drink/something to eat etc (that way you can eliminate those things as a genuine reason for wanting to stay up).

    Is it possible for either yourself or DH to revert back to lying down with him of an evening to help settle him? Perhaps he doesn't want to go to bed because he feels he is missing out on your time and knows the twins are getting a lot more attention these days? I can only imagine how hard this must be on you......but perhaps it's worth having one of you look after the twins and the other spending one on one time with Declan at bed and nap times where possible and doing something 'special' that only 'big boys' can do, like read a special book together and have a snuggle up in his 'big bed' or something like might make him feel a bit warm and fuzzy about having a return to that special bonding time he previously had with you and it might help him re-establish his confidence in going to sleep himself?

    Just some thoughts anyway.......

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