2.5 year old wakes up crying SEVERAL times each night - no sleep... help!

Michele - posted on 02/29/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )




Hello moms! I am new to this group and feeling really desperate. Our 2.5 year old girl will not sleep through the night. Typically she wakes up several times (sometimes 2-4x) every night crying. We have tried letting her cry it out, we've tried a fan / white-noise, we've tried darker curtains, we've tried going in there to calm her down, we've tried everything we can think of.

The crying can last 10, 20, 30, 40 minutes each time. And it's not soft sad crying, it's loud screaming crying.

We both work full-time jobs, so we need sleep and we're running ragged at this point. We've thought about having another child, but are afraid that her crying would wake up a new baby, plus we're just exhausted with one!

We've been praying that God will help her sleep and give us patience and grace. We'd really appreciate any advice anyone can offer. Thank you!!!


Jenny_D - posted on 02/29/2012




This is actually very common for this age. My husband and I went through this very same thing with our daughter when she was the same age (is now 3). It took about 3 months for things to get back to normal. It seems long when you are going through it, but it will pass!!! First of all, make sure that you are playing in her room with her during the day so you can see that she is assured her room is a fun safe place. Also, make sure that you are consistantly doing a night time routine with her EVERY night to comfort her. Don't make a big deal about the fear, screaming and try not to get angry with her but comfort her and encourage her as much as possible. Try to make sure she is not watching anything that is scary and keep her world as safe and secure as possible. Wait it out and praise her when she does anything good like for example: if she stays in bed for 3 hours without crying, tell her, "wow hunny, you slept good for a long time! I am very proud of you!" etc...

Nicky - posted on 02/29/2012




my son is 3 and also still wakes up at night, usually for a drink or he cries and says he forgot to tell me he loves me or give me a hug & kiss night night (which by the way he never forgets) but i think he just dreams about it so he calls me downstairs for "love me's". sometimes he wakes up 2-4 times a night also. but just recentley i have noticed when i put him to bed 45 min- an hour later then normal he sleeps through the night. i used to put him to bed between 7 & 7:30 now its between 8 & 8:30 as you said we have full time jobs and its nice to just sleep through the night. try putting her to bed a little later, its worth the try..it worked for me :) good luck hun!!


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Kelina - posted on 02/29/2012




has she got a nightlight? has she ever slept through the night? I like Elfrieda's idea about the toy, but you could also try if she can go all night without calling for mommy and daddy then she'll get to go somewhere special-her favorite park for instance. Eventually you won't have to use the bribe anymore, it'll becomes a habit.

Elfrieda - posted on 02/29/2012




What about a reward for not calling you in the night? Get a special toy, show it to her and tell her that it is only for big girls. Explain that tonight, she can act like a big girl by sleeping all the way through the night, and if she wakes up, she can take a little sip of water, tuck her stuffies in again, and go back to sleep without calling you or her dad. If she does this, she gets to play with the toy the following day. If she doesn't, the toy is sad and goes into the cupboard to wait until she sleeps all night.

My son wouldn't understand that, so I'm not sure that your daughter would as she's only a couple of months older, but maybe it would work. If my son wakes up and cries, usually I wait for at least 15 minutes to see if he'll go back to sleep. If I think that he just doesn't feel like sleeping, I tell him, "Now it's time for sleeping. You have your dog and your rabbit and you can play with them until you feel sleepy. When you feel sleepy you can put your head on the pillow, ah-ah, what a soft pillow. Mmm. Mama likes to sleep on the soft pillow. I'm not coming back until the morning. Night-night, I'll see you in the morning." I never go up more than once a night unless he's sick or teething. Usually he sleeps straight through, so we have a bit different situations, but I hope it helps a little.

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