Toddler sleep regression - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1 Old 09-26-2004, 02:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't know if "regression" is the right word, but I definitely feel like we are moving backward rather than forward. My ds is 2 and has been sleeping fine for months. He's been sleeping in his own bed and room for 6 months and it was a very easy transition. He normally wakes up once during the night and we bring him into bed with us where he stays until morning. Typically at nap and bedtimes we lay down with him until he falls asleep and it takes about 15-20 minutes. Occasionally we'd have a bad night where it would take a lot longer for him to go to sleep.

However, the last month or so things have not been as smooth and it's becoming frustrating for dh and me. The biggest problem we are having is that it is now taking FOREVER for him to fall asleep. At naptime I can count on spending at least 45 minutes and at bedtime it's often at least an hour. We have been laying down with him for about a year now, but suddenly he is needing to be rocked...and rocked...and rocked every night in order to fall asleep. This is how it was when he was a baby, so this definitely seems like we are reverting back. He doesn't like to be rocked, but if we just lay with him it takes even longer and he keeps himself awake by playing or kicking the wall. The rocking does mellow him out. He doesn't cry at all, he just tells me he wants to "sleep", which means he wants to get in his bed rather than be rocked. A lot of times what happens is that he will be practically asleep and then somehow he wakes himself up again, and at that point it is even harder for him to get back to sleep. We have also had a couple of nights lately where he will wake up in the middle of the night and be awake for several hours. It is obvious that he wants to go back to sleep and is trying, but he just can't for some reason.

I have been checking for teeth but don't see any signs of teeth. He is not crabby during the day either. I have been thinking the past few days that maybe he is overtired and that is why he's having a hard time falling asleep, so I've been trying to put him to bed a little earlier, but it's still taking forever. He is taking shorter naps (he's gone from 2-3 hour naps to about 1 1/2 hours naps). I thought maybe since he was not sleeping as much at nap time that he might need more night time sleep.

Is there anything I can try to do to help him fall asleep or am I just stuck spending forever each night laying silently on his bed? I usually "play dead" when he's going to sleep and try to make sure that he's not being distracted or stimulated. I don't think I"m putting to bed or down for naps too early--he does seem to be tired and will be rubbing his eyes, starting to get cranky, etc. HE doesn't like me to touch him when he's falling asleep, so rubbing his back or things like that don't work--it just wakes him up more. HE does want my presence though. He's not nursing (long story) so that's not an option either. He does go to bed with a pacifier which has always in the past been great for helping him get to sleep.
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