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3 year old sleep needs?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

Quick question about your 3-3.5 year olds.

 

Mine, in the last three months has gone from having 12 hours sleep a day (sometimes split into night and one daytime nap...but for the last few weeks that 12 was at night only) to only getting 10.5 hours a night in the last two or three weeks!!

 

It is manifesting with crazy early (happy/playing) wakeups at 5-5.30am.

 

Is this normal??

 

Can she possibly be only needing 10.5, after consistently getting 12 just a few weeks ago?

 

Or can I hope it's just a phase?

She is going through a lot of changes at the mo which are in turn making her overstimulated, overtired...and also excited. I'm hoping when she 'settles' she'll go back to getting more sleep?

 

 

 

 

G.

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

No one?

 

Bet you're all too busy with your crazy 3 year olds to even post! Ha ha. :o

 

As per my other thread - I'm starting to conclude that amongst other things our little angel-devil-child is getting extremely overtired. She's been existing on the 10.5 hours a night now for maybe three weeks? (which coincides with us moving into our new house...hmmm)

The thing is she doesn't seem to catch up any time - if I get her to bed early, e.g. 6.15 am - she often still wakes at 5-5.30...but lately her behaviour is such that we're not able to get through dinner, bath and bedtime routine in a timely way and she's not in bed until 6.45, then not asleep until 7.15, then awake again at 5-5.30. OMG.

 

At this age, is early-waking still a sign of overtiredness, like it is with babies?

 

I wish she would sleep during the day still, have a catch up. Our days, and particularly the afternoons and evenings have become hell on earth.

 

Struggle on....somehow....

 

G

x

post #3 of 9
Grover, we're not in exactly the same situation but my 3.5 year old has been in a really dreadful phase lately, too. She isn't waking early, but she is waking more at night, sometimes just a few minutes every 2 hours, sometimes for hours at a time. A few days ago she was awake from 12:30 to 5 a.m. I almost died. Anyway, I am almost positive that the sleep issues are developmental. Hopefully we'll start to pass through this soon. She was doing z little better in the daytime, but this week has been worse again. I'll tell you this - it's not doing my diet or my wallet any favors. I've been stress-eating and treating myself to stuff like crazy!
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Argh, it's dreadful isn't it. Just when you think things are going 'smoothly' for five minutes - BAM!

 

I sure hope it's all developmental too - the sleep, the behaviour. What constantly worries me though is somehow introducing (or letting slide) dreadful habits that will continue through to adulthood! Well, not quite...but lots of sources seem to indicate that this age is very important in terms of limits, boundaries, development etc.

 

We have been quite staunch about routines etc thus far, but literally in the last two weeks her bedlam has tossed all our groundwork out the window! Really hoping we can be the grownups and find a way through it all...including new stubborness about bedtimes. Gah.

 

Another thing I read a long time ago was:

If you have a good sleeper, they might regress or have trouble sometimes, but they'll always go back to being a good sleeper. I SO hope this is true too. It has been in the past...but this three year old business has scared us all silly with it's new and crazy things.

 

And yet - I also read somewhere (a curse on the internet) - that 3 year old sleep patterns won't change much from now on. So does THAT mean that if we let the sleep crumble into not-enough, or whatever now...that it'll stick forever?

 

This week, and last week....I'm really, really not enjoying parenting at all.

 

Good luck with yours! We had a night time waking last night too...but so tired she nodded off before we could even decide who was going to go to her.

 

G

x

post #5 of 9

I don't agree that 3 year old sleep patterns won't change! I think that your comment about your daughter being a good sleeper should be your consolation. My twins went through all sorts of ups and downs with sleeping patterns - and it was a bum when they would never sleep at the same time! But overall they were good sleepers, and by the time they were four they both had settled into a good routine of about 11 hours - maybe 10.5. 

 

I think it's a case of patience at this stage...

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveMyKids2 View Post
 

I don't agree that 3 year old sleep patterns won't change! I think that your comment about your daughter being a good sleeper should be your consolation. My twins went through all sorts of ups and downs with sleeping patterns - and it was a bum when they would never sleep at the same time! But overall they were good sleepers, and by the time they were four they both had settled into a good routine of about 11 hours - maybe 10.5. 

 

I think it's a case of patience at this stage...

 

Thank you for that.

It's nice to hear that they can go back to, or overall remain good sleepers.

I can't force her to sleep unfortunately....if I could, I'd make her have an extra two hours on top of the 10.5 she seems to have settled on lately. I think she is very overtired.

 

Did your twins radically reduce their sleeping hours at any point around that age? (To me, an hour and a half...without ever catching it up, just seems like an awful lot to drop).

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Just a little bump in case anyone has any other thoughts?

 

Our girl still is not sleeping more than 10.5-11 hours each night - and naps are still history (boo hoo).

 

Some people would think that is enough...but I think she needs at least 11.5-12! She is just so overtired all the time these days.

 

On a normal day she is in bed and I'm out the door at about 6.15pm. She will fall asleep usually before 6.30 - but then wake up between 4.30 and 5.30.

I've still been desperately trying to get her to tack some sleep on by seeing if putting her to bed at 5.45 (or whatever) will work...but it doesn't seem to.

 

She will fall asleep in the car sometimes these days, which she never used to.

And the overtiredness is really affecting her behaviour I think.

 

I try offering stories and 'quiet time' in the middle of the day or early afternoon, but mostly she is not having any of that.

 

 

Any thoughts?

Should I give up on trying to get her to sleep more?

Will it change by itself (back to more sleep) - if I just stick to her routine??

 

Thanks for any opinions at all.

 

G

x

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

We are concluding we'll just have to suck it up and move her bedtime later.

 

:-(

 

For the last three days she's woken at around 4.45am. Gah.

 

The annoying thing is that she'll chat and sing happily in bed for ages...but as soon as we get her up she starts to be demanding and grumpy and shouty with us. This really is a very tiring, and trying time.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

We are still at a loss as to how she could have dropped 1.5 hours (sometimes more) sleep in just a couple of months (!)

 

Nights when she goes to sleep a little later, she still wakes at the awful early times (and just gets less sleep).

If we try for earlier, sometimes she wakes up at the normal 'early' time - sometimes even earlier!!

 

Not sure how we can 'move her around the clock' and have her get up later...if she's always waking up at the same time. GAH!

(Which, at the moment is always around 5.15am.)

 

 

No one had this problem?

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