21 month old won't go back to sleep! HELP!!!

[deleted account] ( 6 moms have responded )

My DS keeps waking around 2 or 3 am, and no matter what I do, I cannot get him to go back to sleep.

Here's what I've already thought of...
I don't think he's teething
He doesn't have an ear infection
He isn't getting sick

And here's what I've tried...
giving him a lovey
laying down with him in my bed
giving him a little snack
changing his diaper

I can't let him cry it out b/c I have an older child who is affected. (Believe me I would do it in a heartbeat if I could.) My entire family is exhausted. I'm totally desperate and out of ideas. Someone please help us!!!


Stephanie - posted on 02/19/2011




i have the same questions jodi has.
what time does he wake up in the mornings, when does he nap (and how long), and how do you put him to sleep?
Also, I can only recommend Ferber as well.
I did it with my kid too. It took us 4 nights and she was putting herself to sleep. she didn't cry for hours. it started with 20 min and went to no crying on the 4th night.
There is a night time routine -bath, bottle, book- and then I rock her just a bit, but she's still awake when I put her to bed. I can also skip the rocking and put her straight to bed. when she wakes up (i ignore it - she puts herself right back to bed) this was also in the beginning, she hardly ever wakes up during the night.
My Emma is 21 months old. She goes on daily walks with me and the dogs. She gets lots of exercise.

Does he get enough exercise during the day?
I would see to it that he gets lots of time on the playground and running around. Let him nap for 1 hr or 1.5 hr.
And then on a Friday night give him a bath, read him a story, rock him and put him to bed around 8 (or whatever time is best for you)
and when he wakes up, go in tell him it's time to sleep, close the door and let him cry it out. it'll be hell.
and then do the same thing on saturday and on sunday.
if he get up around 7 or 8, let him nap around noon.

if your older child can stay with grandparents, then do that. or let him camp out in the living room with dad or somewhere where the screaming won't be as loud to hear.

your kid knows it's ok to wake up and stay awake because he is being entertained by mommy.
give him some tough love and let him know it's time to sleep. and if it takes 3 hours. he will eventually go to sleep. you can go in every 15-30 min to calm him back down, tell him it's sleep time... rock him if necessary and put him back to bed. trust me it will wear him out.
he doesn't have the strength to do this for many days.
and while he's in there you need to listen to music or watch TV, don't listen to him scream. set a time, so you'll know when to check on him. don't check to often.
(the book says not to pick him up - but if they are about to hyperventilate, you do tend to pick them up and calm them down)
you will eventually notice a change of scream/cry... to a very tired/exhausted tone. that's when you don't go in anymore... then you can go and lay in your bed and sleep.

i know this is a long post...
but it can be a long process... don't make it longer then it needs to be.
just think in the end you'll sleep through the night as well...
we all did it, you can do it too!


View replies by

Stephanie - posted on 02/19/2011




in addition... the reason it is so important that kids learn to fall asleep on their own: kids that put themselves to sleep, are more likely to roll over and go back to sleep when waking up in the middle of the night, compared to kids that were put to sleep by their parents.

Debbie - posted on 02/17/2011




My son is 21 months. He has been doing this new wake up thing for the past few weeks. He wakes up full of energy. This week it was Wednesday morning 2:15. He stayed up till 5:30. He was up again by 8:30. During the day he took no nap. He has been drooling. It has only been happening once a week. I have been talking with friends and there seems to be a similar thing happening with them. I would like it to stop.

Maryamu - posted on 02/16/2011




If he is napping too long during the day that could be the reason. Whoever is watching him during the day should make sure he does not nap for long.

Amy - posted on 02/15/2011




Ferberize. Even if your little one goes to sleep fine at bedtime getting up in the middle of the night has probably become a habit and I swear by the book, "Solving your Child's sleep problems" by Dr. Richard Ferber. It may give you a few rough night and yes it may wake your older child but it will only be a few nights and well worth it if you can stick to it. (an no it doesn;t suggest you let them scream for hours on end) I am still mad at myself for not doing it sooner with my little guy, and now that I am expecting #3 I plan on not waiting as long to get this one to sleep through the night. Your sanity is worth a few bad nights. Honestly it took my son 2 nights and this was after 10 months of getting up twice a night.

Jodi - posted on 02/14/2011




My first thought is why is your older child affected? Do they share a room? How does he go to sleep at bedtime? Do you have to rock him? What time is he going to bed at? Also, when he wakes at 2 am when does he go back to sleep? I

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