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nursing 3 year old doesn't sleep well after 4 am (or sometimes after 2:30am!)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

My almost 3 year old who still nurses wakes in the wee hours (used to be 4 am now it is earlier). Generally when she wakes at night she nurses a few minutes and then turns away to sleep. In the early, early morning she just tosses and turns and switches nipples and squirms and just doesn't seem to be able to really get back to sleep. She doesn't talk or anything she just moves. Actually, I realize as I am writing this that she wakes earlier now that we dropped naps. BUT she has been doing the 1/2 awake squirming for a LONG time. 

 

Is this a typical pattern? Someone did post once that they thought their allergic child woke at 4 am. I have tried to be aware and can't find a connection but I have not been recording foods or anything. Do you think this could be from being in an uncomfortable bed? 

 

I am so tired and know I should night wean for my own sake but actually I am not sure it would help this early waking.

 

Thanks for any advice.

 

 

post #2 of 9

I truly believe night weaning would help. I dont Understand How moms can keep up night nursing as long as they do. Its not healthy for either party to wake that often. When I hear moms  in defense of there toddler waking at all hours of the night by saying they cant even sleep through the night so why should their toddler all I can think is "mama needs to fix her sleep problems." Sleeping through the night is essential to our adrenal recharge and overall well being. Its more tiring to wake throughout the night than it is to just stay awake all night. Sleep deprivation is not good no matter how severe or mild it is. Good luck mama. Im going through my own night time issues and none of it is ever easy. Well maybe for those lucky mama's it is.  =)

post #3 of 9

Is this every night or intermittently?

 

My DS (almost 2.5) does this intermittently, and there seem to be very few things I can do about it.  Trying to make sure he is WORN OUT by bedtime can help, as can making sure he had a good dinner.  But when he starts tossing and turning and tossing and turning I roll over and present my back to him.  The only time I engage with him at all is if he tries to get out of bed, I'll remind him to lie down, or if he starts getting loud I remind him it's quiet time.  Other than that I ignore him and do my best to go back to sleep myself.  It doesn't resolve the problem of his sleep, but it means I get a little bit more and tend to get less angry about it. 

 

In the last week or so he's started asking for food at that wake up.  Either cheese or a banana depending on his mood.  I do get up and get it for him, and then go right back to ignoring him.  On the days I've given him something to eat he's typically asleep again half an hour or so later.  Whereas when he just gets milk at that wake-up it's not as easy. 

 

HTH

post #4 of 9

I don't know if I have any advice, other than to say I'm right with you!

 

My dd will be 3 in May, and I (mostly) night-weaned her about 6 mos ago. She's good for most of the night - if she wakes up she can go back to sleep with just a hug or pat on the back - but around 4 or 5am the pleas become more insistent. I've found it's easier for me to give in most nights than try to fight her and convince her to wait until it's light out (as we've discussed over and over again at bedtime!). I have started limiting the nursing to a count of 5, which seems to help me go back to sleep quicker.

 

I haven't explored the connection to any possible allergies. For the time being, you may need to just find a way to get yourself a solid night's sleep (go to bed earlier?). I find if I can get 6 hours straight, then I feel pretty good. 

 

Good luck mama!

post #5 of 9

Does she need to pee? 

And, I did notice with my kids that age 2-3 was a big middle-of-the-night wakeful time.  They both sleep more soundly until morning now (well, they often wake up in the middle of the night but go right back to sleep). 

post #6 of 9

 I was just getting on to post the same thing about my almost 2 year old DD. She has been waking up 2+ hours before her usual wake up time for a little over a week. It seems like once she starts nursing she wakes up just enough to be unable to settle back to sleep. Her naps have gotten shorter. I feel she isn't getting enough sleep based on the changes in her behavior. But I don't know how to help her beyond trying to night wean completely (this is her only feeding overnight). 

post #7 of 9

I would definitely night wean.  Mine went through that with the on/off nursing in the morning.  Once I cut it out they slept much better.  it was true for my kids that night nursing was really only beneficial for their sleep in the first year or so.  After that it starts to hinder, not help.  I, too outgrow my ability to nurse easily in sleep around that time.  I missed the cues with my first but not my second lol.  

post #8 of 9

I wish there were more answers on this thread! My 2.5 year old does the same thing, and he has been night weaned since 14 or 16 months and sleeps with a paci instead. He sleeps in his own bed and was the. best. sleeper. ever. Until he learned how to climb out of his crib. Now he wakes up more than my 1-year-old during the night and comes into our room several times in the middle of the night. Then, he is usually up at 4:30 or 5 AM. We tried making his bedtime later, even though all the experts say not to. We moved his bedtime from 7 to 8 gradually, and then it was 8 or 8:30 for 6 months or so. It made absolutely no difference.

 

If we let him climb into bed with us in the morning, he just climbs all over us and wants to chat. We have had good luck just letting him watch TV with a snack, but my concern is that he's not getting enough sleep. He is cranky and exhausted during the day.

 

I'm at my wits end too, and I need to be talked out of putting a safety knob on the door. I don't want to lock him in his room. But I am a monster all day because I was up at 4:30 in the morning. Sorry to have hijacked this thread! I just wish someone had the answers :)

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbutterflykissesm View Post

I'm at my wits end too, and I need to be talked out of putting a safety knob on the door. I don't want to lock him in his room. But I am a monster all day because I was up at 4:30 in the morning. Sorry to have hijacked this thread! I just wish someone had the answers :)


I can't help with the getting him to sleep more aspect.  Mine has decided 4:30-5 is THE time to get up every morning regardless of what time he went to bed.  I put the gate up in the kitchen so he can't get into trouble, lay down on the couch and let him play in his room (he can turn his light on/off, and he has toys and books) until it's time to get up (6:30).  He'll come wake me up when he needs a diaper change or if he's ready for breakfast, but otherwise he's getting really good about playing (mostly) quietly and letting me get another hour or so of sleep.  It's helped my attitude immensely, since I'm NOT a nice person when I'm woken up at that hour every day. 

 

For a while I was giving him my iPod to play with during that time, but I've discontinued that, since it's too much like a reward for getting up at that hour. 

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