M.M. asks from Canton, MI on August 08, 2007
2 Year Old NOT Sleeping Thru the Night
Our 2 year old does not sleep thru the night and I don't know why and am looking for suggestions to change her behavior. Most nights she wakes up and she wants a drink of milk. I take her downstairs, she takes a drink, I take her back to her room, rub her back and she falls back asleep. This whole process takes about 20-25 mins. Then there are the nights (like last night)where she wakes up at 2:00am and is up till 5:00 or 5:30!!! She is not fussy, she just wants to get up. She wants to have something to drink or go to the bathroom or watch a movie. I allow her one drink and one trip to the bathroom and that is it. I don't know what is causing her to wake up and stay up, but it is taking its toll on us and her.
We stick to a routine nightly, bath at 7:30, something to eat at 8:00 (like mac-n-cheese or pizza), a movie and in bed by 9:00. My daughter has to wake up daily at 6:30 for daycare, so it's not like she can sleep in on the nights she does this. This has been going on for months and I am now 7 months pregnant and would like to put an end to this before the new baby arrives.
I've had some say to lock her door from the outside and let her cry. The problem I have is, she's just awake (we've all had days where we just can't sleep), it's not like she is being bad. The last thing I want to do is make her afraid of her own room or being in her bed because when she does sleep, she loves sleeping in there in the dark. I also play soft music and have a fan on low for white noise.
Any thoughts on breaking the wake up habit??
So What Happened?™
I just wanted to say THANK YOU to those that responded. We cut out the carbby late night meal and there is no 30 min movie before bed these days. First 3 days didn't make a difference, but our daughter has now slept thru the night the last 5 nights in a row!!!! YEAH!! I am soooooo happy. Thanks again for the help!
J. answers from Detroit on August 13, 2007
My stepdaughter used to do this. My husband had a talk with her and said it was important to not wake us up unless it was an emergency. She was able to get herself a drink and use the potty and go back to bed.
K.K. answers from Detroit on August 09, 2007
I agree with what most of the moms have said - change your nightly routine a little. Start with the movie and snack (high protein), then move toward the bath and a quiet story at just before she goes to sleep. Keep a cup of water by the bedside, and tell her that milk is for when it's light out only. Talk to her, reassure her, but make sure she stays in her room with the lights off or really low. Limiting to one bathroom trip a night is a good idea. I think not letting her out of the room is the key, cause she starts to get stimulated by the new rooms, lights, prospect of milk and playtime. Don't punish her, just gently but firmly let her understand that it's not as fun as she thinks it is to get up in the middle of the night.
R.W. answers from Jackson on August 08, 2007
The carbs are going to give her a high prior to bed and then the added stimulus of the movie is going to just add fuel to the fire.
R.M. answers from Kalamazoo on March 31, 2008
HOpe things are still going smoothly...
C.V. answers from Grand Rapids on August 08, 2007
You have to teach her to go back to sleep by herself when she wakes up. What she is doing is forcing herself to wake up. Most people (including kids) wake up throughout the night but as adults we just go back to sleep. She forces herself awake because she knows you will do things with her, get her milk, bathroom, movie, ect. You need to teach her to go back to sleep by herself. I would start by when she wakes up put her back to bed don't really communicate with her. When she tries to get up put her back to bed but don't say anything. Keep doing this without communicating with her. Don't get mad at her just keep putting her back to bed. Eventually she will realize that you aren't going to give in and go to sleep. My first son we did this with. The first night he got up 56 times. My husband and I took turns so that we wouldn't lose our cool with him. The next night it was only 12 times and the third night he didn't get up. He was about the same age when we did this. He is now almost 4 and has slept through the night since we did this. The first couple of nights you may not get a lot of sleep but it is worth it in the end. Hopefully you will get this solved before the baby comes. Good luck
A.A. answers from Kalamazoo on August 08, 2007
This is just my opinion, but here it is. :) I think you should start by giving her something lighter to eat at night. Try fruit or crackers or something easier to digest. Mac and cheese or pizza could be keeping her body up because it takes more work to digest those things. If it were me, I'd also switch from watching a movie to reading books or something that does not stimulate her mind so much. Good luck! Hope you find the solution!
R.R. answers from Grand Rapids on August 09, 2007
My daughter, who is now 4, used to do the same thing. Wake up in the middle of the night asking for a drink. I would give it to her at first, after the first time it became an every night thing. After a while I figured out she was doing it because she could, because she was eating well during the day, she shouldn't be wanting anything at night, so I stopped giving her what she asked for. Maybe 15-20 mins before bed I'd give a drink, then make her go to the bathroom right before bed. I told her that the drink she got would be the last until morning. She wasn't happy at first but after a couple of days, she was back to sleeping thru the night. I would say just don't give her the drink, I'm sure she's getting plenty of fluids during the day. If she's not being bad, don't lock her room. Just leave her and let her get herself back to sleep. She'll figure out that she's not going to get what she wants and she'll give up trying to get it.
C.S. answers from Detroit on August 08, 2007
I would start by not getting her out of the bed when she wakes up. Have a cup of water in the room for a drink. Drinking milk at night isn't good for her teeth anyway. Don't talk to her except for offering the drink of water. Then tuck her back in and say goodnight, then leave the room. It's ok if she cries, she's going to have to for you to break the habit of her getting up in the night. Good luck and I hope she's sleeping before the baby comes
A.M. answers from Grand Rapids on August 08, 2007
Hi - I feel for you - sleeping issues are the worst!
Here's my advice...stop the high-carb late snack and put her to sleep earlier in the evening. She has to get up early and 2-yr-olds should be sleeping for 11-12 hours at night (from what I've read/heard from our pediatrician). I'd put her down at 7-730. I'd also skip the movie. A bedtime routine that works for our family (1 year old and 3 year old) is dinner at 530, bath immediately after dinner, and then winding down while picking up toys in their rooms/play area and then books to read and then bed.
HANG IN THERE! Congrats on the new baby-to-be!