My 2 year old son has been waking up in the middle of the night ever since he was sick 2 months ago. I have been getting up with him and bringing him to bed with me. The doctor told me to let him cry it out. I have set up a gate in the door frame of his room. Does anyone have any tips on how to get through this?

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Louise - posted on 03/01/2009

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i would let my son cry for at least 5mins if he carrys on il go in there an say shhhhh and put my hand on his head just so he knows im there and leave. if it starts sounding like hes getting distressed i will go in give him a cuddle and put him down again i will also not talk to him if he starts again i just do it again its hard but you have to try... and not get him in the habit of you running to him everytime.
my sons also 2yrs i started this when he was round 1yr old and he sleeps thru the night sometimes he has moments of waking but i will wait awhile and 97% of the time he will drift off to sleep again.

Andrea - posted on 02/27/2009

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Does it bother you to have him in bed with you? My son goes through sleep stages- he'll sleep all night in his own bed for months & then he'll hit a patch where he comes in our room for a while early,early in the am. We've been to a sleep clinic 2x & the dr. said it doesn't hurt their sleep when they switch beds in the middle of the night. Kids usually don't wake up fully & go right back to sleep.

Her suggestion if we wanted it to stop was to wait longer to go to him. The first night wait a full minute. The next night wait 5, etc.

Personally, I wouldn't let a 2 year old lay in bed & cry it out. That's pretty old for that. I would talk to him about it- try a reward system, try going to him & comforting him in his own room- things like that. I think a 2 year old would just end up being scared if they were left in their room alone to cry & cry.

Jeanna - posted on 02/27/2009

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Instead of bringing him to bed, lay a blanket or sleeping bag on your floor by your bed.  When he comes in let him know that he can sleep there.  We did this with my daughter and called it her "special bed".  She doesnt wake up in the night as much because she knows that she cant cuddle in bed with mommy and daddy.  It took a couple of weeks but she now knows that if she wakes up in the middle of the night, that she only gets to sleep on the sleeping bag.  Make sure that you have a talk with him and show him his new special bed if he needs to get up in the middle of the night.  That way you sleep better, and he will start staying in his bed more because he will figure out that he no longer can come to bed with you.  Hope this helps.  They way I see it, you can fight it and let him cry it out, or comfort him in a way that still lets you sleep and just wait it out (it's only a phase). :)

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Is he actually awake or just crying in his sleep? If he is actually awake I would go in a calm him down, maybe sit on his floor or something. If he is crying in his sleep I would ignore it {very hard, I know!} but he will just keep doing it and it should only take 2 or 3 nights for him to realize your not coming in.

Fiona - posted on 02/27/2009

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My 6 year old son "wakes" at night crying and we go in and talk to him until he is calm and then we settle him back down into his bed.  I have wake in quotes as we think he is sleepwalking sometimes and he is not fully awake other times. 



My oldest son had night terrors and we did the same thing.  They do grow out of it eventually but it is important that they know their bed is where they sleep and your bed is yours to  sleep in. 



Does he have a special toy that he sleeps with that could be given again to settle with.  Kind of along the idea of the toy got lost but now he has your little one and everything is now okay.  Maybe even a crib toy that he no longer uses but plays music for a short period of time.  Turn that on and leave the room after he has settled.



Good Luck, I know it is hard on many moms and dads when their kid cries.

Ashley - posted on 02/27/2009

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My 2 year old also recently got over being sick.  She had to take several antibiotics.  The doctor said that the trauma of being sick and the meds could be why she is waking up.  Just give it some time.  Comfort him and let him know that you are there.

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My 15 month old daughter cries out in the middle of the night when she is teething or when she is sick.  I stopped bringing her into bed with me because it became a habit.  I decided to go in when she cries and rock with her until she calms down and is ready to  go back in her crib.  She usually cries for a couple of minutes after I put her back down but then she is able to calm herself and go back to sleep.  It sounds like your son is no longer  in a crib so I would suggest resting with him in his bed until he calms down, but not necessarily until he falls asleep, or sitting on the side of his bed if it is not big enough for the 2 of you.  Hope this is helpful.

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