Sleep Problems for Both of My Children

Updated on January 05, 2009
B.B. asks from Moville, IA
4 answers

I have two children a daughter who just turned 3 and a son who just turned 1. Both are not sleeping well any more, day or night. My daughter has always slept good at night pretty much since birth but has never been the best at naps. She did okay as a baby, I felt it was enough, but not like what most babies napped. But once she got about 1 1/2 she fought like crazy to not take naps. I know some kids "outgrow" naps but I felt this was way too early. She would still usually end up falling asleep and things would be good. By the time she was 2 she only took naps maybe half of the week and only for about an hour. She would still be really tired at about 5 o'clock but thats too early to put her to bed for the night. Now for the past 6 months she hasn't taken a nap. The only time she will take a nap is if she falls asleep in the car on the way home, but as soon as we are home she wakes up and won't got back to sleep. She is HORRIBLE by 4 o'clock, she is screaming, yelling, throwing, kicking, hitting. She has just a total melt down! I have about had it with this! She is so tired but she just will not sleep. Now in the past two weeks she has started waking up in the middle of the night saying she's not tired anymore and wanting to get up! I just don't understand how a kid can go on that little of sleep! I have tried calling it a rest time, her room is already super dark, I've tried sleeping with her, letting her sleep some where else in the house but nothing seems to be working.
Now for my son. He slept wonderful at night until about 5 months old and then it was okay. Then at 7 months he got sick and he slept one night in our bed that turned into 5 months! We finally got him out of our bed around Thanksgiving and it was going great but now about 3/4 of the time he is in our bed again. He either won't go to sleep in his own bed or he wakes up so many times in the night that we just bring him in to our bed. As for naps, well when he was first born I just always held him when he took a nap, not thinking about the consequences for later! So for the past 6 months I have tried to get him to take a nap in his crib and finally a month ago he started to. The only problem is he will only sleep for about an hour all day. His room is bright and we are hoping once we get new curtains for in there he will sleep better. We have a bear that plays the heartbeat and that has really worked but it stops plaing after 45 minutes and then he wakes up until we turn it back on a major pain. We have ordered a sound machine that plays the heartbeat that doesn't turn off were are hoping that works too. Also the cry it out method causes him to throw up. So if we leave him to cry for too long, he eventually works himself up so much that he vomits in his crib and on the floor.
I'm sorry this is so long but I've found on here if you don't get specific on here you get a lot of advice for things you have already tried.
Any ideas on how to get my two kids to sleep would be so greatly appreciated.
Thank you,

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answers from Minneapolis on

As for your daughter, she may very well not need a nap at 3 years old, but may instead need to sleep 12-14 hours/night. I say why NOT put her to bed at 5:00 p.m. for a week or two, and see what happens?? What do you have to lose. She just might sleep until 6:00 a.m. or 7:00 a.m.--wouldn't that be nice??

A well-rested child sleeps better. She's now not sleeping at night because she's chronically overtired. Once she's had a few weeks of healthy sleep under her belt, then you can slowly push back her bedtime to a more agreeable time.

My son is also 1 year old, and he naps anywhere from not-at- all to 2 hours in the afternoon. So, I don't think your son only napping for 1 hour is really problematic. As my son's naps decreased, his sleeping at night increased. Why not put him to bed early, too, and see what happens? My son goes to bed at 7:00 p.m., but if he hasn't napped at all, I put him to bed at 6:00 p.m., and then he sleeps straight through until 7:00 a.m. (I hope the noise machine you've ordered helps, too.)

Lastly, I'd say take a good look at both their diets. Read the labels on what you feed them, if you can't pronounce an ingredient and have no idea what it is, DON'T feed it to them. Even foods marketed to toddlers and labeled as "healthy" can contain dyes and preservatives.



answers from Grand Rapids on

Ok, for your daughter she is doing a power thing, I would lay her down, tell her it is quiet time and leave the room. If she gets up and comes out, tell her to go back and let her know there will be consequences if doesn't stay in her room, stay strong and be consistant, if you give in once, she'll take it as a weakness and try again the next time.

For your son, and they say co-sleeping is so wonderful, this is a very good example why I'm against it. Your best bet is to put him in bed and let him cry it out. Eventually he will get it and he'll go to sleep on his own. It may take a while, and once again you must be consistant and not put him back in your bed. (my aunt allowed my cousin to sleep in their room. He was in High school before he stopped sleeping on their floor every night.)
It is not the easiest thing to listen to your child crying, but unless you plan on spending the rest of their childhood not sleeping, you need to start getting them to sleep on their own now!



answers from Minneapolis on

I would get a sleep book. It will help with how much each of them should be sleeping and ways to help you sleep train them. We use Good Night, Sleep Tight by Kim West. She is known as the "Sleep Lady". The book is amazing. And it goes all the way up to age five. And it won't take you long to read because it is broken up into sections based on age. I read what I needed to know in about a half an hour. But it helps to have a guideline and a game plan that you know will work. But you have to be patient because the older they are the harder it is to break their bad sleeping habits. Good luck.



answers from Minneapolis on

Well, it sounds like you have your share of sleep problems. My 2 youngest have had major sleep issues too. I've tried everything with them, and the only thing I have found to work is to just let them work it out on their own. My 2 year old slept horribly until she hit the 14 month mark. We literally did cry it out every other week because something would upset her sleep patterns. Now if she wakes up in the middle of the night, we just leave her and she goes back to sleep. My son is the same, we have just let him work it out on his own. I've found if we go in there, he gets more hysterical. I know it seems to be neverending when you are living it, but it will get better.

As for your daughter, it sounds like your daughter is manipulating the situation. My 3 year old doesn't nap anymore either, but she is required to have quiet time. Sometimes that means being in her room reading, or sometimes I lay her in my bed and turn on a quiet show. Sometimes she falls asleep, sometimes she doesn't. But, if she doesn't have at least 30 minutes of quiet time, she too is a terror around dinner time.

I know you are tired and out of ideas, but stay strong and try to tackle one issue at a time. It can be overwhelming trying to do all of this at once. Good luck! I wish I had a miracle answer for you but I don't. I just want you to know I've been there!

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