Getting my 2 1/ 2 yr old to stay asleep

Loni - posted on 04/11/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi, I have a 2 1/2 yr old that's been waking up very early in the morning. My son a few months back did this, where he was waking up at 4am, 5am, or 6am, and still going to bed at his normal bedtime. He finally started sleeping longer after a month of this. He goes to with a full belly, and takes his naps in the afternoon. This week, he's been up before 5 and 6am. I keep trying to put him back to bed, but he won't stay there. He wants to come back and sleep in my bed. Any suggestions that could help him stay asleep longer?

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Nancy - posted on 04/11/2010

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My son did this. It took a little over a week, but this method worked for us and another friend. My son has a toddler bed and her daughter is still in a crib. I would do Gabe's night time routine. Dinner, bath, jammies, brush teeth. He doesn't do well with bed time stories so when we put him to bed we talk about his day. I tell him "You need to go to sleep because you need to get lots of rest so you will have energy to play tomorrow and do fun things!" I keep eye contact and use a firm but gentle mom voice. I walk out of the room. He would get up and run out. I would pick him up calmly and put him back in bed, explaining why he needs to go to sleep again. The next time I would just pick him up and walk him back in, put him in bed, tuck him in. No words. I read somewhere that talking invites a power struggle with a toddler. They don't understand words as we do. So our actions speak louder than words. I had to get up and put him to bed over and over again for almost 3 hours the first night. There were a few tears but it was angry crying. He was not hurt or distressed, just trying to get his own way. It gradually got better. He has been in our bed once since. And it's been a month. He came running in our room at 4 am scared out of his wits. He stayed in there about half an hour to calm down and then he was moved into his bed without a fuss and stayed there the whole night.

If he gets up too early, I do the same thing. I put him back to bed and tell him he is not allowed to wake up before Mr. Sun. After several days of this, I have a kid who sleeps from 8-7/7:30ish.

Kylie - posted on 04/11/2010

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maybe to start with u could let him come sleep in ur bed for a few days or so then get him use to going back to sleep in his bed he may just feel safer knowing u r there with him or try putting a picture of u beside his bed my son sleeps with a picture of his dad next to his bed he loves it

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