2 Year Old Doesn't Sleep

Jesse - posted on 04/27/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My son is 27 months old. He does not sleep!! I've tried everything for the past two years to get him on a schedule and nothing works. He will sleep for about 2 to 3 hours at a time, and then be up for hours. He's otherwise healthy, just energetic. I'm starting to think that something is going on. He's not a cranky kid, doesn't cry or whine, he's not in pain, he's clean and changed, tummy is full, and he's not teething. Has anyone ever had a kid like this? Any tips or advice??

I'm in desperate need of a full nights sleep!!! Please help! :(

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Evangelyna - posted on 04/27/2013

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He might just be a natural night owl. I am and my parents just made me stay in my room at night, as I got older and school age I learned how to adjust myself to sleep at night. Do you allow him to nap during the day? If you do, I would stop doing that. That could be a start to getting him to sleep at night, that's what I would have to do to switch over to nights. After a night of staying up all night I'd stay up all day and then conk out at night. It probably won't be easy to keep him up during the day if he gets grumpy but that's all I can think of. Also I'd just stop going into his room at night. He'll be fine. Other than that I don't know what to tell you. Everyone has their own natural rhythm. I have always been and will always be a night owl, my parents just let me be a night owl and wouldn't let me keep them up at night.

Wanita Van - posted on 04/30/2013

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Hi Jesse
there could be several things
1) if he s attending a day care - investigate if meds are given
2) my oldest son was also really hyper so we kept him awake, only let him sleep once in the day 30 min to an hour in the afternoon and then woke him. he slept right through the night. if he is sleeping a lot in the day, why should he sleep at night?
3) make sure he is fed well before bedtime and that he had ample exercise in the afternoon and a warm relaxing bath. he can have a nice bottle of formula milk before bed time.
4) at this age they dont need milk at night so if he wakes only give water in his bottle or cup. he will moan a bit, but after waking a few nights only for water will stop waking up.
5) if he wakes at night, dont get up put on the tele or computer, instead keep the lights off and make him understand that no one will be playing now, everyone is asleep. be kind and loving, but firm. sometimes they just want to know that your around and then they will go back to sleep.
good luck
mom of 3 boys - 15, 13 and 7

Elizabeth - posted on 04/30/2013

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This may not be the best idea at all, but I find that my 20 month old daughter doesn't want to sleep sometimes because she has her own agenda, like she wants to color or she wants to dress her baby doll, stuff like that, so I just put the baby and a few outfits in her crib with her and let her have at it until she falls asleep, sometimes I even have to let her have a coloring book and one chubby crayon in bed so she color until she falls asleep.

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Cindi - posted on 05/01/2013

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Does he nap during the day? If so, move it earlier or eliminate all together. My in-law's call me the sleep nazi because if didn't have a nap that was over by 4 o'clock (after they were infants of course), I wouldn't let them, I would keep them awake until bedtime. And then they would sleep all night (10-12 hours).
Watch what he eats and drinks-some non-obvious things, not just sugar and caffiene can affect sleep patterns, everyone is different. And don't give him anything to drink after supper, at 27 months he may be being woken up by bladder cues now.
Even if you can't always do it at the same time, do the same routine each night. Bath, book or coloring, bed, or whatever. No tv or electronics.
Make sure his room his thoroughly childproofed and tell him if he wakes up in the night he has to just stay in there. Get an 'ok to wake' clock and tell him he can't come out till it says so, or tell him he can't come out till light is coming in through the window. Use a baby monitor turned at a volume that you could hear a scream or cry but where small noises won't wake you, so you can get some sleep too.

Ana - posted on 04/30/2013

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He's not tired, sounds like to me. What kinds of activities does he do during the evening before bed? And what are his night time foods and snacks? Something with sugar?

Just asking. These are the things that were keeping up my little family member. He's 18 months old and would not sleep either.


I have 2 kids, 3yr old and a 3month old and they both sleep through the night. the 3monh od just did it on her own, and my 3 year old I had to train.

Food, bath and bed by 8pm. Start routine at 7pm. play time from 4pm to 7pm, just to get her tired. She can run around, take a walk outside, play with toys, etc....

It worked. Now we are working on night time potty training..

Evangelyna - posted on 04/27/2013

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There's nothing wrong with him lol
Just ignore people and their stupid questions, some people are sunshine and rainbows first thing in the morning and others will give you death glares and bite your head off if they're up before a certain hour or haven't had their coffee yet. Some people can't stay up until 10 even as adults and some people can function on very little sleep. There's no right or wrong way to sleep. I can function just as well off of 2-3 hours of sleep as I can off of 9. If he sleeps in your room it'll probably be harder to sleep while he's awake but if he's in his own room just teach him to play quietly by himself. He'll probably get bored and fall asleep before too long. When I was around 3 or 4, before I started kindergarten at some point I would be up at night and just be in the dark either with a flashlight so I could read or just laying in bed waiting to fall asleep. At that age, since the night seemed to go on forever, I was CONVINCED the sun would not come up unless I went to sleep which is what made me want to sleep because I didn't want it to be night all the time lol And then I was old enough to stay up all night and learned that the sun rising was not dependent on whether or not I slept. That was a sad morning lol

Jesse - posted on 04/27/2013

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Thanks Evangelyna :) I'm kind of thinking the same thing, but when everyone hears he doesn't sleep, they always ask, "what's wrong with him?" It kind of has me worried. He has always been a night owl, even during pregnancy his most active hours were during the night. I guess because I was always on the move during the day. Its comforting to know that he isn't the only one. Now to just figure out a way to get some sleep for myself LOL

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