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Toddler up at 5 every day - exhausting

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by zeps, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. zeps

    zeps New commenter

    We have changed the cot into a toddler bed at the start of the holidays. Daughter (2 yrs) was a great sleeper in her cot, always having to wake her up in the morning. Now she is stretching her independence to my limits.
    Bedtime routines are the same, bath, story and bed but it now takes an hour to keep her there. Doing usual stuff of being firm every time she is led back. Room is dark with blackout blinds.
    This week she has stopped getting up during the night (her favourite was 2-3 for the whole hour). Trouble is I have to put her sister to bed afterwards so it is gone 8pm before I even start making tea for me. So tired and falling asleep on the sofa at 9.
    To top it all she is up at 5 every day and refuses to settle back in bed, still continuing to be firm with her. This morning I just lay on her floor, pretending to sleep, while she chatted and sang to herself in bed. Her sister was up at 6 so we got up.
    She is very grumpy and falls asleep when we go out in the car and naps heavily up to an hour in the day.
    I'm worried that I am back at work next week and she will be like this while I will be suffering sleep loss because I'll be doing school work late into the night but getting up too early.
    Wish we'd kept the babygates so she'd have to stay in her room.
    Any wisdom is appreciated.
  2. Can't help much, but I sympathise - I'm dreading this in the summer when I have to put my little one in a bed to give the cot up for the new arrival. I know we'll have the same problems!
    The only thing I can say is (optimistically!) - it won't last forever! Not much help when you're trying to work as well as cope with all that, but I find that clinging to that thought has kept me sane through a fair few rough patches!
    Hope she settles back down quickly - it sounds like you're doing all the right things to help her into a routine.
  3. zeps

    zeps New commenter

    I know it won't be forever, our 6 year old doesn't have any bedtime issues now but she refused to sleep in her cotbed at first too. I just don't want to go through the whole summer like this.
    So fed up. She didn't settle until nearly 9 last night and was then up from 3 till 4 in the night and finally up at 6:30 this morning.
    We haven't let her sleep during today, she has been short tempered but not overly grumpy.
    Crossing fingers for tonight.
  4. At the risk of stating the obvious why not change it back into a cot? Probably a few months down the line it might be easier? My 2 year old is happy in her cot and I dont see the point in changing anything until she is either 3 or stops sleeping well.
  5. zeps

    zeps New commenter

    She's getting worse. She is up for an hour in the night and getting up 4:30 - 5:00 each day. When we were away this weekend, she shared a bed with me and slept until 7 in a room without blackouts. So frustrating now.
    The trouble is she is screaming and wailing through this battle.
    When she is up at night, I lie on her floor and creep back to bed after the hour when she is settled.
    Now unsure that the gate would work during night as her noise level will wake everyone for an hour.
    So desperate might contact health visitor.
  6. Could she be teething? My little monkey always gets up waaay earlier when he is.
    We've recently been having 5am wake-ups, so I feel your pain!
  7. zeps

    zeps New commenter

    No, it coincides with changing her bed from a cot to a toddler bed. She is getting out and loving it.
    Really not looking forward to going back to work. Glad it is a short week.
  8. atwoodfan

    atwoodfan New commenter

    A few suggestions that have helped me or other mums:
    - a clock which tells LO when it is morning - we have the Grosleep clock and you set the time and the sun appears when it is "morning" i.e. whatever time you set for it. My LO says good night to her clock very sweetly
    - rewards (stickers / whatever works) if they stay in bed all night
    - talking about the wake-ups during the day to make LO aware of them / try to unearth any problems
    - get things back the way they were (if possible!). My LO moved from a cot to a "big girl's bed at about 2 and 4 months but was very reluctant at first. We were lucky enough to be able to have cot and new bed in the room together, so she decided when to move
    It is horrible when this happens! So hard to function when not sleeping. As others have suggested it could be worth seeing if there are other factors:
    - can you make the bed feel more secure?
    - is she eating plenty?
    - would cutting daytime sleep help?
    - teething?
    Sorry I can't help more, but good lucl.
  9. zeps

    zeps New commenter

    I am thinking about getting one of those clocks, they seem like a good idea. Just wondering if she is still a bit too young at 2.
    Her bed is secure as she has a bedguard on one side and against the wall on the other.
    Food - she only eats small amounts but as she is a toddler, I'm not worried
    Naptime is erratic and can be none or only 30 mins or an hour, makes no difference to bedtime battles.
    I really don't think it is teething, no other usual symptoms.
    Thanks for replying. I just feel so frustrated as my eldest didn't do this and I'm just trying so many techniques (like the classroom!) and it seems helpless.
    Last night she slept from 9 until 7 - so relieved. Tonight she only took an hour to settle. Maybe there is a breakthrough afterall.
  10. atwoodfan

    atwoodfan New commenter

    Glad you got a good night! Hopefully will help you to carry on being persistent.
    My daughter is nearly 2 and a half and loves the clock, so it might be a little young but not much.
    Good luck...
  11. zeps

    zeps New commenter

    Now I have had enough. Spoke too soon.
    I went to bed at 12 as work to do then she woke up at 12:45 and was awake for 2 & 1/2 hours so fell into bed after 3 and then she woke up at 5:30.
    Needless to say she was a screaming wretch by the time she was dropped off at daycare nursery and I could happily skip off to work.
    Will be interesting to hear how she has been. I'm knackered now and still have the battle again tonight.
  12. First I'd keep repeating "this too shall pass" because it will - eventually :)
    My eldest has always been a poor sleeper so I do sympathise with all you are going through.
    A couple of suggestions that might help: firstly maybe try a few nights in her room with her (inflatable bed on floor etc.) so that you can catch her as she is rousing before she is fully awake. Hopefully you'll both get to sleep more quickly afterwards plus she gets the reassurance of mummy being near by. Secondly look at the kind of bed time snacks you can give which will help her sleep: there are foods which are sleep aiding. Your daughter may be feeling very insecure in her new bed (changing from what she has always known, the fact it is not contained etc.) so this could be making her a little anxious and preventing deep sleep. Maybe you can find some good bed time story books about the topic which will help her. Alternatively ask her to put her dolls to bed when you are playing and see how she approaches it - this was a big eye opener for me as Number 1 proceeded to yell at her doll and kick her across the floor! Left me in no doubt that bed time was stressful! We practised putting her doll to bed and it did help her a lot with being able to stay in bed herself. If you've changed her bed sheets/covers to coincide with the bed change see how similar they are in texture and especially weight to what she had before. A specially made weighted blanket can be very good at helping a child feel secure and stay asleep (been very good for us). It may not be linked to the bed change but just one of those phases they go through periodically. I also found Jo Frost's technique (Super Nanny) of saying 'it's bed time darling' the first time she got up, second time 'it's bedtime' and from 3rd time on saying nothing but just putting her back to bed was effective as long as i was consistent each night. I've had the nights of 10-15 reappearances after she was put to bed, but this really knocked it on the head.
    Wishing you both a good night's sleep. It is exhausting and I hope you find some solutions soon.
  13. it will pass. Isobel was the same for a week and half after her cot to bed change,.But it is hard when working as well..
    We tried all bed guards but it didn't fit her cot bed. We bought some foam bedguards. And they have been a life saver. She is always snuggled up to one and it still looks like a big girls bed. It might give more support than a normal bed guard? http://www.bed-guards.co.uk/ We didn't order the 100cm one for her cot bed we got 2x 50cm as they can be put together under the fitted sheet if we go into a single bed.

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