my 2 1/2 year old daughter is suddenly developing sleep issues! She wont fall asleep at night unless I sit with her untill she does and then she only sleeps for a couple of hours and makes her way onto our bed...any advice on how to get her to fall asleep and stay asleep in her own bed?

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Charity - posted on 12/28/2008

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It will be difficult, but be consistant. The hardest thing to do is to put her back in her bed everytime she gets in yours. You will be exhausted and it may take a couple of days to a week, but you should see results. Good luck, been there, done that!! By the way, this is April's sister..>Charity

Deb - posted on 12/27/2008

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My mother in law uses the 'magic mouse' (which I have stolen and use myself). If he stays in bed after we do do stories and cuddle time, the magic mouse will see and bring him a treat (aka I leave 4 little chocolate chips in a tiny bowl next to his bed, which he finds the next morning). He's 4 so I'm not sure if it'll work with 2.5 yr old.....(oh and I made the mistake of joking and calling them mouse droppings.....one morning, he was all 'oooh, mouse droppings yum....'

[deleted account]

This is normal. Does she have a sibling that she can sleep with? Most kids are afraid to sleep alone at times. Most adults don't even sleep alone, so it's natural for kids to not like it. My kids have all done this at one time or another. There are times when I let them in my bed depending on the situation (if they are sick, truly scared, something upsetting going on, etc.).



You could offer rewards for her staying in her bed. Keep a chart and reward her when she stays in her bed the entire night. I also recommend Elizabeth Pantley's, "No Cry Sleep Solution." It's a gentle way to get kids to learn to sleep.

Jade - posted on 12/27/2008

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I am going through the same thing with my 2 year old son. I went through it with my 4 year old daughter also. From all of the research I have done, at this age they start to understand fear a bit more. I spent a week where I would lie down with him until he got to sleep. Then I spent a week on the floor until he fell asleep. This week, I am all the way in the door way and he is across the room in his bed. It has been a long process, but it is working. Last night he walked up to me 15 minutes before bed time and told me he was ready for bed. He slept from 8:30 until 7:00 this morning. I was thrilled.

Ninna - posted on 12/27/2008

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And night routine is very,-very!!-, important. She knows what is happening...

Ninna - posted on 12/27/2008

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I recommend you to have "sleepschool"with your daughter. When she comes to your bed, take her hand and tell her: "now you must go to sleep, good night", and take her to her own bed, and go straight away. If she comes back, do the same again. The third time, you only take her back to her bed, and dont say nothing and go away. And this goes on, so long that she stays there. It may take a time, but it is worth it.

Stephanie - posted on 12/27/2008

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I too agree with pretty much everyone about this being a phase. I might also add that it could also be a reaction to baby number 2 on its way. Without totally understanding it, he knows that there is someone else taking mommy's attention and time and maybe that's increasing her insecurities. Don't worry too much about sleeping when the baby arrives because you will worry for nothing.... you or dad will most likely wake up at night for her but only for a while.... when she feels she still has attention and mom and dad still care for her, those insecurities will diminish. I might add that dad's role with this toddler will be VERY important to compensate for you being with the newborn a lot. My 2 and a half has very similar problems and has always had sleep issues but we deal with it a day at a time and thins are working out (not perfect) but liveable. I'm sure things will work out for you as well. Good luck:)

Julie - posted on 12/27/2008

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Cheese and chocolate make a massive difference as to how many times my daughter awakes in the night and illness. She also never sleeps during the day either as she would go down to sleep but wake up many more times if she even only had fourty five minutes

Cassandra - posted on 12/27/2008

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thanks for all the posts!

my husband and i really don`t mind having her in our bed during the night however she just seems to have such a hard time actually staying asleep these days and yes sitting on her floor for up to an hour each night is starting to drive me crazy :) Also baby number 2 is due in about 7 weeks and i worry about all of our sleep!

Julie - posted on 12/27/2008

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My two and a half year old was exactly the same and still is sometimes when under the weather etc. We use the phrase you are a big girl now alot! We put a time for when she is allowed into our bed which was only after 6am and to get her to fall asleep by herself i would read her her stories and instead of laying with her for her to fall asleep i would tidy her bedroom quietly or put the washing on the radiator - still there but not actually laid there. The next week i would do that and then tidy the bathroom next door as well. She could still hear me but i was doing something useful - because i dont know about you but all the time i was laid waiting for her to fall asleep i would just be thinking of all the things i should have been doing!! That was all it took she now goes straight to sleep on her own and if she does wake in the night i just say no it isn't 6 o clock yet i will tell you when it is and she goes back to sleep! Good luck

Amanda - posted on 12/27/2008

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yeah my little girl is 19 months and she has gotten to the point she will not take a nap at all during the day and it could be 11 at night before she finally gives up and goes to sleep and stays asleep....so it is obviously a phase all children go through...my daughter has been on a strict routine up until recent and she has made her own routine so to speak....i just go with the flow...now grant it i don't allow her to stay up til 11...but instead i let her run and play and we play hard til 9 or so and yes it is a battle getting her to sleep but once she is out she is out....so no naps during the day and play with her up until 30 minutes or so before you want her to lay down for the night....that gives her time to use any energy that is left and then 30 minutes to relax in your arms before bed time...so far it has worked for me....some days are harder than others but i have learned that is a fact of life with babies....i am a newly single mom and this is my first child so i gave up on trying to make everything just right and i now try to go with Skyler's flow...at least for the most part...i am still mommy and she knows when mommy says "night night" she understands to lay down and go to sleep...

Suzanne - posted on 12/27/2008

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I know this is going to sound crazy, but try it for a week and see what you think:

When your husband gets home from work, set aside about 10-15 minutes of "couch time". During this time, your kids should be able to see you, but are not allowed to disrupt - naturally this is harder with a 2 1/2 year-old, but with firm and consistent reminding, they'll get it. During this time, you and your husband should sit and talk together. When the kids interrupt, firmly explain that this is Mommy and Daddy's time and you will be with them when you're done. Do NOT use this time with your husband to talk about any problems you are having. This time should be chit-chat, catch up and reconnect-after-the-day time. Around 2-3, children become aware of relationships outside of themselves and that triggers some natural insecurities. This time reassures your children that all is well in their world, they are safe because your marriage is safe. They NEED to know that. Couch time must be done when the children are awake and KNOW about it, otherwise, it won't help. This is a simple, effective and FREE option to try. I know from experience it works and when my husband and I allow couch time to slip for too long, my littlest one (almost 4 now) still will come and get in bed with me in the middle of the night. All 3 of my children hit this same snag about this same time, I didn't come upon this solution until my 3rd, though and it's been invaluable! For those moms whose husbands are out of town, you could try scheduling every evening or other evening a speaker phone call. This way, you're are still sitting down together, it's still Mommy and Daddy time and your children hear you interact with one another on a casual and relaxed basis. After you're done with your 10-15 minutes, then let the kids talk to Dad, but you must establish Mom first in Dad's life to create the fundamental foundation in the family. Good luck. I know this will help if given time, but I know it's not always easy to implement for so many reasons. I hope you are able to use it. :o)

Alix - posted on 12/27/2008

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My son is 2 1/2 and was sleeping fine, then all of a sudden a couple of months b4 xmas he started to wake in the middle of the night. He was sleeping in a cot with no sides, so he was close to the floor. Just before xmas we decorated his room and he had to sleep in a proper bed for a few days. He slept straight through while in the proper bed. Now he has his bedroom decorated and he has a big boy bed he sleeps straight through - touch wood!! I do believe if they wake in the middle of the night that you need to go to them and get them to settle in their beds. Gives them independence and the knowledge that mummy or daddy is still there if they need them.

Cindy - posted on 12/27/2008

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Try cutting down on her daytime nap and keep her bedtime ritual. My was always bath, story and singing them to sleep. It's probably just another phase she's going through. Stick to your routine and when she makes it to your bed, always put her back in her bed! Some hugs, kisses and another song she put her to sleep again.

Lizette - posted on 12/27/2008

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Your 2 1/2 sounds perfectly normal! My boys went through the same phase and eventually outgrew it. They seemed to need comfort when they were afraid and only Mom and Dad could provide that comfort. Because it was harder on us adults to share our bed as they got bigger we set up a sleeping bag at the foot of our bed and told them that anytime they needed our company they could come to our room and sleep on the sleeping bag. Our 8 year old will still use the sleeping bag ocassionally when he has an accident in bed. I remember being terribly tired during this stage but keep in mind that this too shall pass and in the not too distant future you might even remember it with fondness.

[deleted account]

I make the same routine for bedtime every night. It's bath first, book reading, and then prayers and in bed. They must fall asleep in their own bed. Even if you have to take them back a dozen times. However, my parenting rules was if a child wakes in the middle of the night and climbs into your bed, I let them stay there and sleep. With all 3 of our girls (the oldest is 18 now) they had times where security with their parents was important. They outgrew this stage around 3 or four. There were times that after they fell asleep, I would carry them back into their own beds. So, our rule was you have to fall asleep in your own bed, but if woke up in middle of night, welcomed to climb in between Mom and Dad. (and sometimes take back to bed when fallen asleep).

Denise - posted on 12/27/2008

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Let's see.... is your daughter beginning to use her imagination more? Role play, making her babies eat, talking with her stuffed animals? If you have noticed a spurt is this development is also means that her imagination will also be working more at night. She is very possibly just having more dreams. Some good, some bad, some that just wake her up. 1st cut out any and all TV (if she watches it) at least 3 hours before bed. That constant changing of images, will continue on and disrupt sleep. 2nd take a look at naps. Do they need to be pushed back in the day? Is she getting the recommended amount of sleep? 3rd talk to her, tell her she is dreaming, see if a night light will help. Now that a pattern has developed with her waking at night her body will have to unlearn that. It takes time and it is something that comes and goes. My oldest is 7 and we went through it and it has just hit my 2 year old. Sometimes nothing but time helps but it will go back to normal. Until another development that is :)

Rachel - posted on 12/27/2008

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Hi there.....my son is exactly the same. He is also 2 1/2 and has had sleeping problems for a little while. We have actually started to take a sleeping diary to keep track on what is going on, and thinking of attending a sleeping clinic next year to get some normality in his little life. It's like his body has forgotten to know how to sleep. What we have found has worked is allowing him to choose a toy to take with him to bed, cutting out his daytime sleep or making it 1/2 hour only and treating him not wanting to go to sleep at night time on his own as a behavioural issue. At first I passified him and helped him go to sleep but it got a little rediculous and would take up to an hour to get him to go to sleep. So eventually I had to tell him that if he didn't stay quiet and on his bed, I would shut his door. Once or twice we have actually given him a little smack on the bottom for it. He is now a lot better. at night time, we have re introduced the side on the bed as he felt insecure with his feet falling off the side of the bed all the time. This has also helped. Hope this can help you

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