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Does anyone else have a 2 year old that doesn't need much sleep?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I looked for a sleep forum but only could find a family bed co-sleeping section. Anyway, I was wondering if I'm the only one with a 2 year who doesn't sleep like the sleep experts say she should. She only sleeps 8 or 9 hours at night (I'm so envious of those who sleep 12 hours, she might sleep 10 or 11 hours if she doesn't nap). She naps like a normal 2 year old, in terms of it being 2 hours, but it's later in the afternoon (like 3PM to 5 PM) probably because she's not up super early, so then she's not ready to go to bed until later (11 PM or 12 AM). She turned two in July. And she gets up around 8 AM. I know it's not the worst situation (um, as a baby she wouldn't let me put her down and she woke up hourly and needed a breast in her mouth to sleep), but still, those with kids who sleep 12 hours sure seem to have it easy!

post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

Yeah and sometimes she does ok without a nap, so I tried to give her a chance to nap by 1 and if she didn't fall asleep, then no nap, but then one day she was crying a lot because she must have been tired, and sometimes she'd start falling asleep sitting up in the evening, so I let her nap late in the afternoon again since it's what she needs.

post #3 of 14
my 2.5 y.o. goes to bed at 10:00, gets up at 7:00 and doesnt nap. and she is on the go allllll day! it is tiring but at least she self entertains or the most part.
post #4 of 14
My girl got 10-12 hours total. Her nights were 9-10 ish hours and most days she napped 1-2 hours. Now that she's 2.5, she sleeps more at night. Naps only happen in the car or maaaybe in the stroller. If your kiddos don't seem overtired then I wouldn't worry, especially if napping is the norm.
post #5 of 14

My girl sleeps for 10-11 hours and naps from 1-2 hours. I have noticed that some days she'll go without a nap but then she'll be extra cranky in the evening. Or if I follow her cues for a nap sometimes she doesn't go down until 3:30 or 4 and that is just impractical. So the past week or so I have started putting her down for a nap at 1 or 2 even if she's not starting to seem actively tired. And she'll fuss a little (which she will no matter what time it is) but then she'll nap. If your kid's nap time is bothering you, you could try changing it... worth a shot.

post #6 of 14

I have a similar sitch! My 21-month-old sleeps from about 11 PM-9 AM or something like that. So about 10 hours, maybe a little less. He wakes up to nurse about twice during that time. Then he takes an hourlong nap at, like, 3 pm.

 

I think more kids do this than the "experts" say, and moms are too ashamed to admit that their kids go to bed at like midnight so no one talks about it. But it's a thing.

post #7 of 14

My 2.5 year old sleeps about 10-11 hours overnight, and stopped napping several months ago.  He wakes up anywhere from 2-6 times a night and needs to nurse back to sleep.  He's always seemed to need less sleep than his peers, and doesn't have any symptoms of being overtired.

post #8 of 14

Uggggh yes.  About 10 hours of sleep at night, and a 1.5 hr nap.  I need the sleep more than she does.

post #9 of 14

This may be a really stupid question, you guys, but what would happen if you put your kids to bed at 8 instead of 10ish? Do they scream and cry to get up? What if you slowly put your kids to bed earlier and earlier (even 15 minutes earlier each night) until they were hitting a more traditional bedtime? Maybe 8ish? I really think I read somewhere that even though kids go to bed later, their bodies don't allow them to sleep later in the morning. And that even though they are getting through their day, they aren't getting the amount of sleep that their tiny little bodies need.

post #10 of 14
My DS just turned 3 and still wakes several times each night. We are VERY consistent with his schedule, but he still only gets a maximum of 10 hours at night ( typically sleeps around 9 hours with several wakings). Here's what has been helpful for us...


- A consistent schedule - We offer food at the same times every day, and turn off the lights at the same time every night.

- Cutting out gluten - My son and I both have suffered through digestive issues. We were never tested for Celiac's, but cutting out gluten has helped us both tremendously. Does your LO have any signs of allergies?

- Semi-cosleeping - When DS wakes up at night, either my partner or I will go into his room to lie down with him. That way at least one of us is sleeping. Forget the negative comments. As I've made clear to those brave enough to cross me on this issue, this is a matter of survival.

- Accepting that DS doesn't NEED as much sleep as other kids his age - My DS is gifted. (He could identify all upper & lowercase letters by 19 months, knew all basic colors/shapes/car logos before 2, could name most numerals up to 100 before 3, and could recognize over 100 words before 3 - all without being "taught".) As I have come to learn, many gifted kids don't have the same sleep requirements that others kids do. Accepting this and lowering my sleep expectations has probably helped most of all!

The lack of sleep can be pretty miserable at times, but my partner and I have learned to adjust. It's still hard to listen to those parents who talk about having to wake up their 4 month old after 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Really? What could I possibly say to that?
post #11 of 14

Yes!  No matter what we do, my dd cannot fall asleep before 10:45-11. She just is not tired at 8 like many of her peers, and she often does not need a nap, though i feel like i do!

 

My DH and I were the same way, so we're not too worried about it, though I do get very tired. Every so often I reattempt NCSS and Dr. Markham-style sleep routines and end up regretting it. DD sleeps easily when she is ready, and I remember from my own toddlerhood how uncomfortable it is to be "required" to sleep or rest when one is not ready, so I am trying to follow her cues.

 

KathrynH made some great suggestions.  I'm not strict about schedules but find it helps to have certain guidelines, like "we go upstairs at X time" and "at Y time we turn on the bedtime light." We have a basic routine--snack, go upstairs, brush teeth, read in bed, nurse--but number of books or whether a second snack is necessary varies.

 

 

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

I don't think that trying to put her to bed 15 minutes earlier at night until she reaches a more reasonable bedtime (such at 8 PM) would work unless I started making her get up earlier in the morning and made her wake up from her naps earlier so that she'd be sleep deprived. It's easier to just give in and go with her schedule than to set alarms to get up earlier (who would do that?!) and have to deal with a possibly cranky kid. The light here could have something to do with her schedule--it summer it doesn't get dark until after 10 PM and in winter it's still dark at 8 AM so this might contribute a little to her funny sleep habits. Also, I have black out curtains in her room so maybe if I didn't she'd wake up earlier--but I don't want street light to get into her room.

post #13 of 14

I would experiment with sneaking into her room and opening the blackout curtains in the morning, personally. 

post #14 of 14

Personally when I try to put my daughter to bed any earlier than 9:00 she will wake up in the middle of the night looking for a glass of milk or saying that there are shadows in her room or something, then DH ends up sleeping that last half of the night in her room. Although, I do notice that if she goes to bed after 10:30 for some reason she is up way early the next day - like at 6:00 am. I have tried a few times to have her skip a nap during the day and by 5:00 pm she is a bear, and by 6:00 pm she is passed out on the floor somewhere misses supper and then wont go to bed until 11:00 pm.

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