How do you handle kids who wake up in the night and don't go back to sleep? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 7 Old 10-03-2011, 04:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 4.5yo dd has always woken in the night and sometimes stayed awake for 2-4 hours. She has done it less frequently since 2 or 3, but she still usually does it once every week or two. She doesn't want to be alone, so one or more person in the house winds up being up with her.

I just felt like I was finally starting to catch up on sleep from last time (and all the night-waking with 2yo ds) and it happened again this morning. She woke at 3:20, and finally woke ds for good around 5:30, so the three of us got up (2 hours earlier than usual).


The only solution I've found doesn't really feel like a solution to me -- tv or movies. Dd has her own room right next to ours. Ds goes to bed in a crib in our room and moves to our bed sometime in the night. Sometimes when dd wakes she wants to come in the crib, which is fine if she can be quiet (sometimes she can, sometimes not). Sometimes if ds is sleeping I will go lie in her bed with her (dh is completely unwilling to do this if I am busy with ds). This can work, but if ds wakes up and she's still awake it can cause a problem with her coming into our room and talking to me while I try to get ds back to sleep -- which usually results in an early wake up time for all of us. It's hard for me to figure out when to cave in and turn on the tv. I don't want it to become a habit or expectation, and I don't want to turn it on when she might still fall back asleep either.

Okay, this is getting long and going nowhere. I'd love to hear your stories and ideas. TIA
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#2 of 7 Old 10-04-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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I have a 5 yr old ds who regularly wakes up at 4am and is wide awake. He shares a room with my 6 yr old ds so I can't turn on the tv or any lights and there's no way I'm going to let him get up and roam the house at that hour so our solution was to download a bunch of children's games on my iPhone and if he wakes up he lays in bed and plays the games with the sound turned off. He usually plays for about a half hour then puts it down and goes back to sleep. I know that's probably not the best solution but we needed something for him to do quietly in the dark without waking the rest of us.
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#3 of 7 Old 10-04-2011, 07:15 PM
 
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My son did that, and he turned out to have an underlying medical condition. He was never fussy, just awake. He really couldn't get back to sleep. Once we corrected the problem, he started sleeping through the night consistently. He got ear tubes (which I know are controversial here but helped in the short term). We found out that he has celiac disease and are now gluten-free.


It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#4 of 7 Old 10-04-2011, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the suggestions.  We are already gluten free.  I have been thinking of getting dd's hearing checked again because she doesn't respond well when I talk to her (I think it's developmental -- i.e. she's too busy with whatever her mind's on to hear what I'm saying to her) but it does sometimes make me wonder how she's hearing.

 

She wouldn't really be entertained by a game like that, but maybe a movie on a laptop or tablet -- I'm not excited about that solution, but it's in the hopper.

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#5 of 7 Old 10-11-2011, 03:00 PM
 
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I have a 2.5yo girl who does that every so often and it seems like anything we do to "occupy" her during that time (especially watching screens) just becomes an incentive to get up! There are so many things to juggle in a child's day but definitely lots of exercise helps my gal have a better night, sometimes going out both in the morning and the evening.

 

Sometimes she just wants have one-on-one time with her night owl daddy (and maybe that's what's happening: she may be a night owl too!) so luckily that works, IF the awake time occurs earlier.

On the mornings we have to get up early I always calmly explain that the reason she's so tired is from staying up too late. She doesn't care, but, I say it anyway.

 

Really, it's all about giving up control of them and trusting them. I KNOW THIS IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE!!!! But remember that we often feel so much pressure to socialize them when really they need some time and space to feel themselves. Nighttime is special that way, for many folk.

 

And, good luck to us all!

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#6 of 7 Old 10-18-2011, 08:03 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post

My son did that, and he turned out to have an underlying medical condition. He was never fussy, just awake. He really couldn't get back to sleep. Once we corrected the problem, he started sleeping through the night consistently. He got ear tubes (which I know are controversial here but helped in the short term). We found out that he has celiac disease and are now gluten-free.


Not to highjack the thread, but VisionaryMom, could you elaborate? We are having serious issues with our 4 yr old DS not sleeping. He will go to sleep at bedtime, with no problem, but he gets up around 12:30-1am and will.not.go.back.to.sleep for anything. We have tried everything under the sun. Was your son showing any other signs of having trouble with his ears? Or the celiac? I don't think DS has either of those troubles but you've got me wondering if maybe he could. It's just not normal, and he's totally exhausted. He used to sleep a good 13 hours with no trouble. This started just a couple of weeks ago, and we are absolutely miserable. Sometimes he is only sleeping 4 hours a night! And we are sleeping less than that! Just wondered if there were other signs and how you figured it out. TIA.

 

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#7 of 7 Old 10-20-2011, 09:12 AM
 
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Just joining in here with a 3.5 yo son who has periodically been a 2 am party boy throughout his life. Our management techniques have varied with his age, but we always try to keep it super boring. In the past year he's slept more or less through the night, or at least not needed to fully wake up and party, but for the past few weeks it's happening again, along with way too early wake ups. And he doesn't nap anymore. 

 

I haven't been to this board since I moved out of the family bed after night weaning, but now I'm trying to move back in with son and husband and it's all going wonky. 

 

Are all y'alls fussy sleepers the kids who have more or less always slept the minimum hours for their age, with the maximum work? Mine is.

 

(we are mostly gluten free now, in response to a dental issue - and the less gluten we eat, the worse the sleep! excellent hearing though, part of the problem - so grateful to my husband for creating a free white noise mp3 that anyone can download)


Mom of one child (2008), wife of one husband, tender of dogs, cats and chickens. Household interests: ocean life (kid), bitcoins (husband), simplifying (me).

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