M.M. asks from Canton, MI on March 06, 2008
Soon to Be 3 Year Old Doesn't Sleep Thru the Night!!
HELP!!! Our soon to be 3 year old does NOT sleep thru the night and we have tried EVERYTHING to figure out why she is waking up, but have yet to "crack the code." She attends a full day pre-school program 5 days a week (7:00am-3:15pm), she is a fairly good eater (as of the last 2 months), she is not given a lot of junk (one popsical after school, that's it-we won't even let her have yogurt any more because the sugar is so high & we don't know if that contributes to the lack of sleep). We do allow her some "educational" tv, but nothing after 7:00. She takes a bath every night at 7:00. She goes to bed between 8:45-9:00 with no lights on. I read her one story and lay with her until she falls asleep. We feel like we keep the same routine every night, we don't supply her with a lot of sugar, she doesn't watch a ton of tv, and we are at our wits end!!!!!!! Any suggestions? She wakes up any where from 1-3 times a night usually starting at 1:30am. Some times she goes right back to sleep when I cover her up, other times I have to lay with her and then I fall asleep in her bed. When I wake up and sneak out, she wakes up within 30 mins of my leaving and we start the cycle all over. She also has to wake up at 6:20 every moring, so she needs her sleep. She does nap at school for about an hour and a half.
Willing to try anything at this point!!!! My 4-5 hours of broken sleep a night isn't cutting it anymore.
J.F. answers from Detroit on March 10, 2008
Is she potty trained? If so, she may be waking up to go to the potty. My 2 year old son does this. For a while I didn't know why he was waking up so often. But everytime he woke up, I put him on the potty.
M.D. answers from Detroit on March 08, 2008
Hi there! I know how tiredsome it can be not getting any sleep and working outside the home!
My son is 5 and now sleeps well. A book you might want to look at is, "1-2-3 Magic" by Thomas Phelan. It deals with overall discipline and deals with a chapter on bedtime and night wakings. It is very easy to read and you can start using the techniques right away. I'll think of some more that have worked for me! Good luck!
V.W. answers from Detroit on March 07, 2008
I think it may be because you fall to sleep with her. She may be waking up and finding that you are not with her and she has become ucustomed to falling asleep with you.
M.K. answers from Detroit on March 07, 2008
I am a mom of adult kids. I did not sleep through the night for 7 years (we had 3 kids within 5 years). If we had a newborn, when they finally slept through the night (over a year old), then my 2.5 year old would start waking; we called it "musical beds" - we too would lay down with our kids to fall asleep most of the time. My husband would end up not getting back up and be there till morning sometimes. OR before we practiced the family bed (out of sheer desperation) we would always go to them when they woke up. We believed and still do that by meeting our kids needs when they are young, you build a good foundation of trust for when they are old. At some point, we ended up doing a pesudo family bed and stacked a crib mattress on some crates on one side of our bed next to the wall, so if somebody climbed in, they had a spot to go and we had a sleeping bag on the floor on the other side of our bed - one of our kids really didn't need to lay right next to us, as long as he could hold my hand, he was fine. Like I said, this went on for 7 years and enventually, they all slept through the night;) I too, tried all the gimmicks and tricks and even them crying it out - crying it out ripped out my heart and I could not do it, it just felt so wrong! And the gimmicks didn't work either - perhaps I did not try them long enough, I don't remember. I really don't think it's realistic to think that kids sleep through the night. I think doctors and friends set us up when they have expectations for that - I had to change my expectation to meet my baby's need - I just didn't have kids that did that.
Not sleeping when they are little as a parent, trains us for when they are teens and college age and you are waiting for them to get home - even if you are in bed, you are not sleeping; if you happen to fall asleep, you wake up in a startle when you realize that they aren't home yet.
I did not work full time and I am sure that sleepless nights make that even harder; on top of having a 4 month old. It is hard to be at our best when we are sleep deprived. You sound like you are a good mom trying to do what is best for your child as well as getting some of your own needs met. I wish you luck.
2 moms found this helpful
R.H. answers from Detroit on March 07, 2008
My daughter isn't even 1 yet...but I have read alot on this topic. There are many people out there who do believe kids just naturally do not sleep through the night. They will wake to check in with mom and dad, or because they have to go to the bathroom, or any number of things. If you think about it... we adults rarely actually SLEEP through the night. We wake, roll over and fall back asleep...or get up to go to the bathroom as well.
There is a belief by many that says we 'teach' our kids to 'sleep through the night' by teaching them we aren't available for them. This does not build confidence that mom and dad will take care of them. I know it is tough. BOY do I know it is tough... right now I get 1.5 - 2 hours of sleep at a time. However, you can try teaching your daughter to soothe herself ... as do. Check on her...and comfort her...but maybe don't lay with her.
You may also try an earlier bed time. That sounds a bit odd...but it often works for many kids.
1 mom found this helpful
D.W. answers from Detroit on March 06, 2008
Hi M., Both of my girls never slept thru the night at 2 yrs, until I followed the doctors advise. They told me that it is just a habit for them to awake during the night. They told me I just needed to let them cry, once they realize that no one was coming they would go back to sleep. By the third night they would sleep thru the night. It's much easier said than done. They would cry mama for 20-30 mins the 1st night, I was allowed 1 time to go in and lay them down and tell them to go to sleep. The 1st night is hell on the parent more than the child I think, to hear them cry for you. The 2nd night gets better, and the magical thing is that on the 3rd night they sleep thru the night. You do need to be strong to do this,but to be able to get a good nights sleep is your reward. Good luck if you decide to do this . D.
M.B. answers from Benton Harbor on March 06, 2008
Hi, it sounds like she is waking up to have you close by. You may want to try reading her book to her and then just tucking her in so she can fall asleep herself. Your nightly before bedtime routine is just awesome, but she's getting used to you coming into her bedroom whenever she wakes up. So, you just need to train her to be a big girl and go to sleep on her own. My son cried for about 30 minutes the first 2 nights, but now he just tells me night night and I love you mommy. I even put a gate in his doorway just in case he wakes up and decides to wander the house. Whatever you decide to do, just be consistant. That is the key.
L.H. answers from Detroit on March 07, 2008
Get this book: "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Weissbluth. http://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Sleep-Habits-Happy-Child/dp...
pediatrician recommended it for us since our boys (2 & 4) don't sleep well. The book is wonderful and helped us break our bad habit of laying with our child to fall asleep as well. In a nutshell, you slowly progress from their bed, to a chair by the door, then in the door, then outside the door, until you're not by the door anymore. I also do 2 minute checks by poking my head in the doorway so they see me and then don't get up. The "silent return to bed" is great also. We returned to bed 100 times the first night, then 45, then 3 times. It's not going to be easy, but the time and effort is well invested in the long run when you get some sleep! Pick a weekend or vacation day to start so you don't have to go to work the next day! Good luck!
N.W. answers from Detroit on March 06, 2008
M., I have a few suggestions (my now 4 year old used to do the same thing:
Make bedtime between 8 and 8:30 and make her bath later ( it relaxs them.
Does she get a nap/rest at preschool? I find that when my son takes that late of a nap, it is harder to get him to bed on time.
Finally, you may just have to let her cry for a week until she learns to stay in her bed.
You can try a reward system... a sticker for each night she stays in bed and a treat at the end of the week-- it worked great for a friend of mine.
S.M. answers from Grand Rapids on March 07, 2008
question....have you taken your 3 year old to the doctor? perhaps there could be an underlying reason for waking. for example. ear infection? My son didn't sleep thru the night for at least the first 2/3 years. as it turned out it was due to ear infections. though they were not always full blown, he was always stuffy, sooooo anyhow, laying down would bother his ears after a few hours, as it turns out, he is allergic to cats, got rid of those, there is a genetic factor in how his sinus paths are. they told me that babies do not have developed sinus' therefore allegies were not a factor, hmmm, as it turns out the specialist proved them wrong, anyhow, sugar never made a difference, naps, etc. he is simply built to have drainage, which at a very young age caused ear infections etc. if this is your problem, then precautions to consider, pets in the house? how old is the house? live in the city? all in all my son did better when we ensured that his room was his solice, kept dust free/animal free etc.
another factor to consider of your daughter, does she really need such a long nap in the middle of the day? perhaps she is getting the sleep she needs and is simply not tired in the middle of the night? some people/children don't require as much sleep as others. I definately hear you on the broken sleep pattern for yourself, especially with having 2 children so young, and working full time. you have many jobs! best of luck, my apologies for the rambling. S. (Montague)
A.U. answers from Lansing on March 07, 2008
I had the same problem my daughter woke up all the time it wasn't sugar or t.v. we figured that out. we basically had to wait it out she is going to be 4 in June and its still only been one month since she started sleeping though the night we had two night in that month she didn't sleep but she also had a really bad cough. Good luck i know its stressful. But on medical look at it have you checked how she breaths at night