27month old still not sleeping through at night

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27month old still not sleeping through at night

Postby STJ » Sun 15 May, 2011 4:20 pm

I have a 27 month old who is still getting up on average 3-5 times a night on most nights. Sometimes he has a drink of water and a quick cuddle then lays back down and goes to sleep. However a couple of nights back he decided to start screaming and didn't want comforting nor would he lay down. The first screaming session went on for 1hr 40 min and the second for 30 min. We ended up spending a lot of time outside of the room whilst he stayed in as he started hitting us etc. The following night he slept through so we thought yay maybe he's learnt we won't give in, however last night up again 5 times before 2am (no screaming this time though and happy to lay down and go back to sleep).

When he goes to bed at night we stay in the room with him until he is asleep. We have tried walking out but this again ends in him screaming. I know this isn't ideal but we are trying to keep some sanity ourselves.

Also he only went into a bed over the easter break but I don't think this has anything to do with it and was doing similar in the cot.

Please help, everyone is losing sleep.
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Re: 27month old still not sleeping through at night

Postby NgalaOnline » Mon 16 May, 2011 3:50 pm

Hi there,
Thanks for your post about your 27 month old.

The waking and screaming in the night sounds very exhausting.

Often, the waking in the night starts with a vaild reason, but then quickly becomes an engrained habit.

If we have ruled out an acute medical reason (teething, fever, ear infections etc), then we need to look at how we are responding in the night, and we always want to do the bare minimum to help himself get back to sleep without reinforcing the habit of waking up. A cuddle and a quick drink are powerful incentives to keep waking up in the night.

Usually, tantrums, hitting, screaming are best ignored. We can stay in the room, to help keep him calm, but just pretending to be asleep in a chair, and not engaging, explaining, or cajoling the child to go back to sleep. This on-going dialogue, is actually a rewarding exchange, and most children will like this drawn out for a few hours in the night.

Also, just sitting outside the room, as you did, can be very effective. As he slept well the following night, this sounds like a great way forward.

When he woke up 5 times the following night, but no screaming, we still want to always do the minimum to help him get himself back to sleep.

If he needs a drink, firstly ensure he is getting plenty of fluids in the day, then consider having a sippy cup of water near his bed that he can easily reach himself in the night if needed.

If he always needs a parent to be present when he falls asleep in the evenings, usually he will need that repeating throughtout the night.
It may be worth moving towards sitting outside the room in the evening while he is falling asleep.

Hope this helps.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

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