2 yr old up in the middle of the night HELP!!

Eva - posted on 06/30/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My 2 yr old son is constantly coming out of his room after I put him to bed. He will come out asking to me to come in and cover him up. I can go in and do it and 10 min later he's back out asking for water or something else. When he finally falls asleep and I go to bed he then gets up in the middle of the night, wanting to come in my bed. At first he would sleep through the night and then come in my room in the morning and lay with me for a little bit. Now it's all the coming out and cover me ups and I want water and crying Crying CRYING. He is scared of thunderstorms and recently we have had bad weather. We had rain and thunderstorms just about every other day for the last 2 weeks. So there are some nights that he does sleep with us, but it never used to hinder the normal nights with no storms. All of a sudden it has gotten bad that he keeps coming out of his room.
I have tried putting him back in his bed, tucking him in, being loving about it. Sometimes it works..usually not, then i've tried being the bad guy and being really firm about staying in his bed and not coming out and that doesn't seem to work either. I have tried telling him to go back to bed when he comes in my room at night and not going with him to tuck him back in. Last I have tried ignoring him when he comes in hoping that he will just go back on his own, and no luck there either. He just ends up crying...In his room, on the way to his room, standing outside my room, in my room. I am going NUTS (and we live in a 2 bedroom trailor..our room on one end and his on the other with kitchen and living room in between..so when he crying..You hear EVERYTHING!!!!) I have spanked him before, but I don't want to have to resort to that every night. It just makes me feel horrible when it comes to that and all he really looking for is comfort of some sort.
What do I do?Any tips, or ideas??

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Alicia - posted on 07/06/2010

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Okay, let me first say that I know everyone has different opinions, and ideas, but I would NOT put up a baby gate to keep him in his room. I feel like this will only make the behavior escalate. He is feeling alone in his room and wanting you, so trapping him there is not going to make that feeling any better. We had a few really hard weeks like this in our house too. My daughter was doing really well at sleeping in her own bed and then all of a sudden, there she was every night, begging to get in with us again, and the bed time tantrums, and everything else too. I tried all the "leave the room and ignore it" stuff for a night or two, but it made everything worse, and it made me feel terrible. When I finally started going in and staying with her through her fits and talking things through things started to get better. I would calmly explain that there would be no more drinks, no more stories, etc. and that it was time for sleeping while she screamed and told me no. I told her I knew this made her upset, and I was sorry that it was hard for her. The first night I tried this she screamed and writhed around for almost an hour and a half til she asked me to hold her, and then she let me lay her down and went to sleep. That was the worst night. She only threw a real tantrum for three or four nights, and then she started telling us that she was "frustrated" and that she wanted us to wait for her to fall asleep. She still threw fits, but they were small, lasting for only five or ten minutes tops. We finally got her to realize that we had to leave the room, and that we would still be there if she needed us (which is what she wanted to know all along , I think). We had some of the same fights about coming into our bed at night, but I eventually made her the deal that she was allowed to come and snuggle with us only after the sun was up. So she started to come in early in the mornings and I always let her up as promised, and then one day she just quit coming. She stayed in her bed all night, and didn't come into our room until 7:30, and she said, "Daddy, wake up. I want an egg!" It was amazing, and cute, and felt great to know that we had finally made it. This took time, but I felt like it was worth it because in the end she chose to do it on her own, she felt safe, and loved, and not like she had been abandoned by us at night. I also want to say that it was not easy. I lost my cool, I spanked, and I yelled more than once, but once I got myself under control it was a lot easier to get her under control too. If you have the time for it, and the patience, just being there for your toddler for a while at night can end in a great night sleep for everyone. Good luck, no matter which way you choose to go.

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Spanking him won't help in this situation as he is not being naughty, he has just developed a new habit. He has discovered another way to get Mummy's attention. Believe me I know how hard it is to put up with the crying when all you want is sleep but you will have to be prepared for a few nights of little or no sleep if you want to break the routine.Does his room have a door? If so put a baby gate across it so he can't get out. I realise that in a 2 bedroom trailer he can just stand there and call you but try and ignore him. If he gets truely hysterical go in, put him back in bed, comfort him and leave. Alternatively you could leave his door open a crack with a light on outside but tell him if he gets out of bed then you will shut the door.

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