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2 year old suddenly refusing to sleep alone... familiar to anyone?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

DD just turned 23 months old. Up until now she has been a champion sleeper, going down to sleep alone in her room and sleeping 10-11 hours a night routinely, and 1-2 hours for nap. The past couple weeks though, things have changed. First it was night waking, often with panicked screams (nightmares, I am guessing?) Then it was stalling bedtime-- taking over an hour or more to fall asleep (but staying asleep fine). Now she is refusing to sleep in her crib or have anything to do with it. She adamantly screams, "No crib, sleep Mommy Daddy's bed!" over and over. We want to make sure she feels like we respect her emotional needs so she has been sleeping with us, but she is a squirmer and a kicker, so no one is getting much rest.

 

To top of it all off, I'm due with baby #2 in about two months. I wonder if she senses that change on the horizon and this is related, or if this is just fears/nightmares/ anxiety. Whatever it is, any suggestions from you wonderful mamas on how to help her through this? I'd love if she could go back to sleeping independently (nothing against co-sleeping... we did it for 6 months with her and it was lovely, but she is too much of a 'mover and a shaker' in her sleep for me to rest well.) At the same time, I am willing to put up with some inconveniences for her emotional well being.

 

TIA!

post #2 of 12

Sounds like it could be the new baby, or the nightmares, or just a developmental leap.  You might find that she goes back to her routine in pretty short order once she feels secure and comfortable again.  hug.gif

post #3 of 12

Oh.my.god. Youre living my life. AND youre in Seattle, too (I'm eastside). How bizarre. Honestly, no joking, everything you said is 100% the same as my situation. Everything. We're dying over here! No answers to help yet, but we transitioned her into a toddler bed yesterday and I'll let you know how it goes. So far, REALLY rough. -sigh-

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by micromama View Post

DD just turned 23 months old. Up until now she has been a champion sleeper, going down to sleep alone in her room and sleeping 10-11 hours a night routinely, and 1-2 hours for nap. The past couple weeks though, things have changed. First it was night waking, often with panicked screams (nightmares, I am guessing?) Then it was stalling bedtime-- taking over an hour or more to fall asleep (but staying asleep fine). Now she is refusing to sleep in her crib or have anything to do with it. She adamantly screams, "No crib, sleep Mommy Daddy's bed!" over and over. We want to make sure she feels like we respect her emotional needs so she has been sleeping with us, but she is a squirmer and a kicker, so no one is getting much rest.

 

To top of it all off, I'm due with baby #2 in about two months. I wonder if she senses that change on the horizon and this is related, or if this is just fears/nightmares/ anxiety. Whatever it is, any suggestions from you wonderful mamas on how to help her through this? I'd love if she could go back to sleeping independently (nothing against co-sleeping... we did it for 6 months with her and it was lovely, but she is too much of a 'mover and a shaker' in her sleep for me to rest well.) At the same time, I am willing to put up with some inconveniences for her emotional well being.

 

TIA!

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

No kidding, graciegal! I actually just moved from Seattle to the Eastside too-- we're in Woodinville. Are we neighbors? :)

 

Let me know how the toddler bed transition goes! We're thinking of buying her a big girl bed and seeing if it gets her jazzed or not. We need a new bed too so we'll get a king in the meantime to get us through the next few weeks.

post #5 of 12

Not personal experience, but I've heard from friends that having a space in your room for her other than your own bed can work, particularly if she's so squirmy that you're not getting enough rest.  One of my friends swears by a sleeping bag on the floor.  She says it makes the child feel welcome, but it's not terribly comfortable, so they end up preferring their own bed. 

 

We sidecar a toddler bed with my 28 month old, but I definitely noticed an increase in obvious dreaming (talking in sleep, etc.) in the past 6 months of so.  I'm sure that must be pretty disconcerting.

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by micromama View Post

No kidding, graciegal! I actually just moved from Seattle to the Eastside too-- we're in Woodinville. Are we neighbors? :)

 

Let me know how the toddler bed transition goes! We're thinking of buying her a big girl bed and seeing if it gets her jazzed or not. We need a new bed too so we'll get a king in the meantime to get us through the next few weeks.

 

We're in Kirkland! :) We're on night three of the toddler bed. She loves it (I think?) but it's sooo painful to get her to stay in there. Least time taken to get to her sleep: 1.5 hours. Most = 3 hours. Naps are a no-go. She has to be dead tired to get into her bed and stay there. But I sense a routine developing and her -wanting- to do good, just doesnt know how yet. Each time to get her to sleep we've draped ourselves on to the side of the toddler crib/bed and she has laid on our arm until she falls asleep. She wants to be right near us. Truth be told, though, the transition was perfect timing. Need to get her transitioned before I get too big/have baby, and she really is ready. It's funny how when they're ready, they're ready! Just a lot to learn for a small little thing. We're exhausted but proud of her progress so far... even though it used to take literally 2 minutes to get her into her crib and asleep. Those were the days.....

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by graciegal View Post

 

We're in Kirkland! :) We're on night three of the toddler bed. She loves it (I think?) but it's sooo painful to get her to stay in there. Least time taken to get to her sleep: 1.5 hours. Most = 3 hours. Naps are a no-go. She has to be dead tired to get into her bed and stay there. But I sense a routine developing and her -wanting- to do good, just doesnt know how yet. Each time to get her to sleep we've draped ourselves on to the side of the toddler crib/bed and she has laid on our arm until she falls asleep. She wants to be right near us. Truth be told, though, the transition was perfect timing. Need to get her transitioned before I get too big/have baby, and she really is ready. It's funny how when they're ready, they're ready! Just a lot to learn for a small little thing. We're exhausted but proud of her progress so far... even though it used to take literally 2 minutes to get her into her crib and asleep. Those were the days.....

 

Good for you for persisting! Man, I hear you on the time it takes to get them to go to sleep. Took me more than an hour to get DD down last night, in my bed. She wanted to play with the blankets, fidget, "go downstairs to play", etc. UGH. I am not loving this phase, needless to say.

Can I ask how you knew she was ready for a toddler bed? I know my DD is definitely over her crib but she seems more hellbent on sleeping with me than anything. Wondering if buying her a new bed will be a good idea or not?

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

In the meantime, newmamalizzy your idea about the sleeping bag is an intriguing one. We might have to give that one a whirl tonight. Although if last night was any indication, she is hellbent on climbing into our bed at all costs, LOL.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by micromama View Post

 

Good for you for persisting! Man, I hear you on the time it takes to get them to go to sleep. Took me more than an hour to get DD down last night, in my bed. She wanted to play with the blankets, fidget, "go downstairs to play", etc. UGH. I am not loving this phase, needless to say.

Can I ask how you knew she was ready for a toddler bed? I know my DD is definitely over her crib but she seems more hellbent on sleeping with me than anything. Wondering if buying her a new bed will be a good idea or not?

 

Well, I knew she was ready when the started to climb out of the crib every few minutes. Kinda forced our hand, I wanted to wait much longer but there wasn't much I could do!! I am going to do my best to make my bed off limits except when sick or really scared. We did it the first night, she was a pain, so we said to ourselves she's going to be a pain no matter what, let's stick to our guns and keep her in her room. Only took an hour for bed last night and an hour for nap just now. Getting less. She's willingly going into her bed now, so she knows what she needs to do.

post #10 of 12

My daughter's turning 3 next week, and year 2 was full of wanting us close at bedtime.  Life's big and noisy and crazy at age 2, so I think they're just craving that extra security. My daughter had a period of a couple of months where I tucked her in and was able to leave to either my own bed in the same room or even out of the room for a couple of weeks, but that was followed by an even stronger insistence of being close at bedtime.  So, it comes and goes.  Bad dreams has coincided with an increase in creativity/imagination, so I think a lot of it is due to that.  Lately, I usually just lay with her for 5-10 min until she's pretty sleepy (or I've dozed off), then tell her goodnight and get up and that's working out fine.

 

Maybe her naps are too long, or she just needs to push her bedtime back a little bit?  Alternatively if I get my daughter to bed TOO late, then it takes her forever to get to sleep as well. 

 

Good luck!
 

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Interesting development here... This weekend DD absolutely refused to nap, but slept 12-13 hours at night and fell asleep easily. Hmm. Maybe she is trying to drop her nap? Regardless, still in our bed but that is fine. We've decided to buy a king bed and a big girl bed, and slowly encourage her. The crib will go to my second DD due in Oct.
post #12 of 12

We decided to take the front rail off my DDs crib and turn it into a "quasi" big girl bed (with a guard to prevent falling in the middle) and then, in Oct when my DS is born he will co-sleep with us until around 6 months. At that point we'll take her crib back for him and make a big to-do about buying DD a toddler bed. So this way she is still familiar with her crib, still smells like her, and yet it's got that freedom too. Plus that gives us almost 9 months until the next "big change."
 

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