Toddler awake for hours in the middle of the night- HELP! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 04-02-2011, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Lately DS has been awake for 2+ hour stretches at night after he initially goes to sleep. Nothing really helps to settle him, he just has to get it out of his system. He is NW'd and sleeps in his own bed. We sleep with him when necessary but are really trying to get him used to not having us in there at all because we have a baby on the way soon. Some nights (1 in 10) he will STTN or wake 1-2x and that is awesome. Most nights however are 5 or so wakings with a 2 hour period of restlesness and crying. We tried the potty, changing diapers, water, etc but he will still whine and toss and turn. Last night he went to bed at 8pm, was up at 10 until 12a, slept until 3:15, was up until 4:30 and hen slept until 6:45a. No one is getting enough sleep and it is tortuous. He has always been a frequent waker since he was born but this is ridiculous.  I'm sure he has his 2yr molars on the way, but they aren't poking through yet.  He is very verbal and has been putting whole sentences together and he has been self-directing PLing for the last month.  BUT, I have a hard time always blaming his sleep on something since we have never really seen evidence of direct correlation in the past.  HELP!


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#2 of 17 Old 04-02-2011, 11:16 AM
 
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Wish I could help, but I have no advice - just wanted to commiserate.  We're going through the same thing here too.  4 nights out of 7 DS wakes for 2 hours or so.  Usually from 3am till 5 am and then falls back asleep right as my alarm is going off.  Ugh!!!  I'm clueless and was blaming it on 2 year molars, potty training, cycles of the moon :)   Who Knows!  But unlike your child, DS is very happy and awake just wanting to play.  I hope it's just a phase.  Maybe they are learning so much right know that their brains just can't shut off.


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#3 of 17 Old 04-02-2011, 11:46 AM
 
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No advice either- but I would love to hear some!! My son is 17m and has been waking around 2:30 and wants to play for a couple hours. It is maddening! He is totally happy, and wants to get up and run around. I have no idea what causes this. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one with this wacky sleep issue!

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#4 of 17 Old 04-02-2011, 08:20 PM
 
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I'm there too with my 18 mo DS.  He only does it occasionally.  The last bout was about a month ago, and I think it lasted 3 nights.  Then we started again 2 days ago.  He goes to bed normally, then wakes around 12:30 or 1 am.  Crying, fussing, and general restlessness.  If I bring him to bed with me, he'll sometimes settle a bit, but doesn't sleep well.  Other times he just tries to climb off the bed and gets frustrated when I tell him it's time for bed.  He doesn't want to play - he keeps saying "nigh-nigh" - but he just can't seem to relax enough to sleep.  This lasts anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hrs.

 

I'm not positive, but it does seem to correlate to when DS is having a cognitive growth spurt.  It's like his mind is just going and going, and it won't let him sleep.  His naps usually go to pieces at the same time.

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#5 of 17 Old 04-02-2011, 08:32 PM
 
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Does DS still fall asleep in the car seat? I know it's not a great habit to learn, but honestly if DD woke and wouldn't go back to sleep, I'd take her for a ride. I'd say it's more important to get them into the habit of staying asleep all night, then you can work on not having to drive them. 


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#6 of 17 Old 04-02-2011, 08:37 PM
 
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Glad we're not alone - DS (22 mo) has been doing the same thing.  No 2 yo molars poking through, but lots of developmental things going on. I think it's just that his little brain wakes up and can't turn off for awhile.  I just lay next to him and read my Kindle - fortunately, he doesn't thrash, or cry or try to get down, he just wakes up and can't settle back down.

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#7 of 17 Old 04-02-2011, 09:40 PM
 
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We're there, too.  DD wakes at least once a night about 5 hrs after she goes to sleep, and can be up for 2 hrs.  She fusses, flops, and is restless, and not much seems to help her back to sleep anymore.  I have a feeling that there are a lot more sleep-deprived parents out there than we would imagine...


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#8 of 17 Old 04-03-2011, 02:37 PM
 
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My son's 2 hour night waking sessions only happen when he eats tomatoes. Tomatoes= waking a ton, plus 2-3 hours awake in the middle of the night. No tomatoes= 2-3 short nursing sessions, and back sound asleep.

 

He also wakes frequently when he's sick, and it's possible that teething adds to it, but being awake 2-3 hours seems to be solely related to tomatoes. (but for some reason ketchup is ok for him. Who knows why. lol)


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#9 of 17 Old 06-28-2011, 08:38 PM
 
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Gretchen_PDX: , im just wondering if your son is still doing this? Mine started these night time wakings at 16months of age, and is still doing it! Hes now 2, and its beyond the point of being ridiculous. He is just happy to be awake and talk/sing/kick his legs, etc. But he can get LOUD and excited at times,which keeps me awake. He rarely cries, and so I usually don't go into his room.

Any one else notice any food correlations between what your kid eats and night wakings???

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#10 of 17 Old 06-29-2011, 05:18 PM
 
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Our DS (22 months) just started doing this too. He's never been a great sleeper but would generally wake up and then go straight back to sleep even if it meant sleeping with us. But lately he's been waking up around 3 am, and can't settle until around 5-5:30. He won't cry but would toss and turn constantly and kick with his legs. I am at a loss as to what's causing this... also thought it could be molars, but can't feel anything yet. Interesting theory regarding tomatoes... What I've noticed is that if he has a good day time sleep and wakes up quite late (i.e. past 2 pm) then he won't be sleepy in the evening until about 9:30 pm and will do this night waking thing. 

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#11 of 17 Old 07-04-2011, 02:15 PM
 
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Quote:
My son's 2 hour night waking sessions only happen when he eats tomatoes. Tomatoes= waking a ton, plus 2-3 hours awake in the middle of the night. No tomatoes= 2-3 short nursing sessions, and back sound asleep.
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Any one else notice any food correlations between what your kid eats and night wakings???


Yep. My DD woke at least once a night for one or two hours, sometimes two or three times per night, until I cut eggs out of her diet. She had ZERO other signs of egg intolerance. She still gets trace amount of eggs (in baked goods, etc.) but no more eggs for breakfast! It's been almost a year since we cut eggs out and we have reintroduced them a couple of times, each time with the same result: she goes right back to waking up for two+ hours at night.

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#12 of 17 Old 07-31-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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@ArticRose how did you know it was eggs? My 30month old boy has been having the same sleeping trouble as everyone else's here. He goes to bed fine on his own. Has been a sound sleeper since birth and now all of a sudden wakes up for hours at night. He is happy when he wakes but is up from 1 to 4 hours at night, which makes for miserable days. He does snore also sudden for about 3 months now. But the hubs said something about milk allergy's but he has NO symptoms of any food allergys at all.....the only thing we have is waking at night. So how do I narrow it down to which food???? Any help would be appreciated for this sleep deprived mommy.

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#13 of 17 Old 07-31-2011, 03:15 PM
 
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lurk.gif 2.5 year old doing the same thing. No idea why. Losing mind.

 

Perhaps I'll start a food diary...

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#14 of 17 Old 10-06-2011, 06:47 PM
 
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Just wanted to post another reply. As stated above my son was a sound sleeper from birth. This summer starting in June he just started waking up for hours at night. Not unhappy just awake. After about 6 weeks we were at our wits end. So we decided to remove dairy from his diet. He is still allowed some soy but no dairy or casein. TWO DAYS LATER HE STARTED SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT AGAIN!!!! WOOHOO!!! He was never allergic to dairy. No signs or symptoms of being allergic but it was our last ditch effort. It has been about 2 months off dairy and he has not waken up once at night. Just wanted to put it out there just in case any of you other moms wanna give it a try. Good Luck!!!!

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#15 of 17 Old 10-06-2011, 09:12 PM
 
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A friend of mine allows her 20 month old to eat basically anything for breakfast and lunch ( like wheat, eggs, dairy etc)...but for dinner she does a VERY gentle diet and has her son sleeping beautifully through the night.  It definitely could be food.  Can you try pretty safe non-irritating foods for dinner for a while and see if that helps?  Maybe something is digesting funny and waking your LO up?


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#16 of 17 Old 11-11-2012, 02:00 PM
 
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"Wish I could help, but I have no advice - just wanted to commiserate.  We're going through the same thing here too.  4 nights out of 7 DS wakes for 2 hours or so.  Usually from 3am till 5 am and then falls back asleep right as my alarm is going off.  Ugh!!!  I'm clueless and was blaming it on 2 year molars, potty training, cycles of the moon :)   Who Knows!  But unlike your child, DS is very happy and awake just wanting to play.  I hope it's just a phase.  Maybe they are learning so much right know that their brains just can't shut off."

 

Pranava, You obviously wrote this years ago...my son, 21 months old, has been doing exactly this for about six months. He'll sleep through the night maybe two nights in a row, then be up for two hours the next two. We're currently working with a sleep trainer who says she's never encountered this issue (waking up inconsistently, seemingly out of nowhere, almost always between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., talking and singing for about two hours, then drifting back asleep). We're now trying to limit his early-afternoon nap to 1.5 hours and put him down a little earlier (around 7), in addition to altering his diet somewhat and giving him Hyland's Calms tablets before bed, but I'm wondering if you ever figured out 1) what was causing the mysterious night waking sessions and, perhaps just as importantly, 2) how to resolve it. Did your son just grow out of it?

 

Thanks in advance!

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#17 of 17 Old 11-12-2012, 07:55 PM
 
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Somehow it is just very reassuring to see all of these other folks who's toddler's have the same issue. I thought my dd was alone in this. We have dealt with 2+hrs of happy awake time from 3-5ish most nights for a while now. Recently we have started giving a bedtime snack right before nursing to sleep and its seemed to help. I got the sense dd was hungry for more than bm, and asked her one night and she walked excitedly to the door and signed eat. Often now I give her turkey hoping the tryptophan will help, plus it seems like that's filling enough to last. Also trying to make sure she gets outdoor exercise during the day, doesn't nap too late or long and that she uses the potty before bed may be factors. It seemed like maybe having to pee woke her but being hungry made her not be able to fall back to sleep.
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