sleep regression in a 2 1/2 year old! - Mothering Forums
Co-sleeping and the Family Bed > sleep regression in a 2 1/2 year old!
MrsBone's Avatar MrsBone 01:11 PM 07-07-2011

My DS was sleeping through the night(12 hours) for about 3 months solid in the spring/early summer, just in the past week or 2 he's begun waking early, like between 2:30 and 5am. We usually just let him crawl into bed with us when that happens, but it's been happening every night for the past week and a half. I'm starting to think he's just getting into the habit of it, and thats why he continues to wake. We also have an 8 week old little girl. He seemed to do fine transitioning from a toddler bed, to a full bed right around the time DD was born, and it was smooth sailing at night for the first 6 weeks or so. Lately, he'd have to go to bed at midnight in order to sleep until 8 like normal. I used to be able to put him down by 8 or 8:30 and he'd sleep solid until 8 or 8:30 am. Experienced mamas, can you help me figure out what's causing his night-waking? He wont tell me, he just says he wants to get up, and is very irritable. Today he woke at 4:30 and has been awake since. He didn't go to bed until 9:30 last night cause he slept in until 9:30 the day before. I keep thinking I need to either push his bedtime back or forward but I'm not sure which one. For the past few nights he's also woken up with a soaking wet diaper, so we change him promptly and in the past, he'd go back to sleep, but not lately. I was giving him a cup of milk before bed so I'm going to start making sure he doesn't have anything to drink past dinner time to see if that helps with the wet diapers. I don't mind him crawling into bed with us if he'd go back to sleep, but lately he hasn't. This morning, after struggling with him for two hours we finally told him that if he wanted to play he had to go to his room or the playroom, but that he couldn't come in our room unless he was going to go to sleep. So for 2 more hours, he played and I went back to sleep. Not a total loss, but I know it's going to get harder when DD isn't as easy to put back to sleep by nursing. mama needs to sleep and daddy usually only gets around 6 hours of sleep a night as it is!

megan sacha's Avatar megan sacha 08:50 PM 07-07-2011

No real advice to you...just wanted to commiserate.  I think that DD's arrival is most likely the cause of the sleep disturbances.  Before my DD (10.5 mo) was born, DS (3 yr, 5 mo when she was born) mostly took naps and went to bed around 7-7:30.  If he skipped a nap he'd go to bed around 6 and either way he'd sleep all night until 7-7:30 am.  Since DD was born he completely stopped napping and started waking between 4-5am and sometimes as early as 3.  We bedshare with him (and the babe) and it was super stressful, irritating trying to get him to go back to sleep when he never would.  He would just be noisy until one of us would get up with him.  He would refuse to get up alone.  We were starting our mornings with him being very mad at him quite often and it was bad.  Then we figured out that we couldn't change the situation and once we accepted it, it was much better.  The behavior hasn't stopped but it's no longer damaging our relationship.  We have since figured out that he must be getting up that early to have time alone without his sister.  So, nearly a year later we're still dealing with the stress of the change.


I guess the only advice I can offer is not to let him sleep until 9:30 am.  If he is often waking early, I'd put him to bed early and make sure he doesn't "oversleep" and get off his schedule.  My son now usually is asleep right around 5pm with really sucks, but it's the only way to get him the sleep he needs.  If we keep him up later he gets up even earlier and is a MESS.  


Good luck!

MrsBone's Avatar MrsBone 09:19 AM 07-08-2011

well, I guess I feel blessed that he gets up and plays on his own at least, letting me go back to sleep! I'm not really frustrated with him, I'd just like to figure out how much sleep he needs, and how to meet those needs. I feel like 7-9 hours at night with no naps can't possibly be enough sleep for a 2 year old, so I'm thinking I need to let him stay up later (9:30 or 10) and give him a nap in the afternoon. He hasn't napped during the day on a regular basis since his 2nd birthday, and did well with it, but maybe he needs them again? It does get ridiculously hot here during the summer so maybe he needs to nap during the day again. We're talking 100 degrees +

MrsBone's Avatar MrsBone 08:33 PM 07-11-2011

Oh man, it's getting worse. Saturday night, he went to bed at 10, and woke on his own at 8:30. He took a 3 hour nap that day(we all did, actually) and then wouldn't go to sleep until like 12:30am. He was then up at 6 am and just fell asleep for the night(9:15pm)after screaming and fighting for over an hour. He had a poopy diaper, so I changed him, then he asked for milk and water, so after an hour of struggle, I gave in and gave him both drinks. I know he's probably going to wake up wet, but I don't know what to do! I feel like he drinks enouogh during the day but then again it gets 100 degrees plus here in the summer, so maybe he's not. I don't now. Does sleep regression come with growth spurts as well?? So frustrated, and said a long prayer in the shower tonight to help us get through this!   :)