Author Topic: Please help 2.5 year old sleep disaster  (Read 299 times)

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Offline laura034

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Please help 2.5 year old sleep disaster
« on: November 27, 2018, 12:18:45 pm »
Hello all please help me Iím desperate
My son Oliver is 2.5 years old and has been a good sleeper since he turned 2 when he finally started sleeping through the night. Recently with no changes in his life at all heís suddenly started going crazy at nap and bedtime he refuses to lay down in his cot and screams no bedtime this can go on for an hour before he exhausts himself and will lay down.  I have been sitting quietly in his room while this goes on saying itís ok go to sleep. Heís also started waking crying at 5am at which time I just get him up as my husband gets up for work at 5.30 anyway. I have anxiety disorders that are linked to crying so when heís like this it makes me panic. His routine used to be
Wake 6-7ish
Lunch 12
Nap12.30-2
Bed after bath stories and milk at 8

With his crying itís been
Wake 5
Nap 12 -1.45
Bed after loads of crying 9ish

In the day heís sad keeps saying no bedtime itís heartbreaking because he has to go to bed.

I would be so grateful for any advice

Thanks Laura

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Re: Please help 2.5 year old sleep disaster
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2018, 21:47:32 pm »
Hi there
It sounds like your LO wants to try going without a nap.  He may or may not be ready for it but he'd like to give it a go so perhaps that's what you can try?  Lots of LOs have dropped their nap at this age so it wouldn't be unusual.  It is not necessarily an easy ride, mine tried to drop his nap at 2yo and after a while he realised he still needed it and he just started accepting the nap more readily again. Then about 6 months later he dropped his nap cold turkey (at just over 2.5yo).

I see you moved the nap earlier since he is waking earlier in the morning, unfortunately this can have the result of perpetuating the earlier waking so if you do not want 5am WU (although sounds like you don't mind) then I'd suggest pushing the nap later again, in 15 min stages each day until you reach maybe 2pm.  If his nap is later in the day you either accept a later BT and shorter night (but he may be better rested due to having a day nap) or you cap the nap so that you have a better chance of getting BT at a more reasonable time.  The nap can be reduced gradually by waking him to maintain a decent length A time before BT.  Some people reduce gradually over time until the nap is only say 10 mins long and then drop the nap.

If he fully refuses the nap I think I'd be tempted to just say okay let's try it and see how it goes.  Instead of the hour or more of crying and stress just get on with another activity together.  Watch him for tired signs (you could offer a short nap later on) and aim for EBT, in the early days of nap dropping some LOs go to bed at early at 5pm whilst they adjust to the new routine.

I'm sorry this is causing you anxiety, several times with my DS i decided it was better to have a later nap or later BT rather than all the fighting over it.
I hope this helps some.


Offline Katet

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Re: Please help 2.5 year old sleep disaster
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2018, 23:16:30 pm »
As the PP said sounds like he's pushing to give up his Nap & maybe some Bedtime fears - he's at the age that nightmares & even night terrors can occur

I totally understand you on the anxiety over crying (I notice that I'm much the same with Puppy whimpering as we have a Puppy now... it's hard)

A few things to consider. Textbook ideals are just that "ideals" but from a BTDT, I've managed to raise two (I'm told by their teachers) well adjusted teens & broke many "sleep rules" along the way.

So some suggestions I have
1) try nap time in your bedroom on your bed with you, have a rest/read a book yourself & lay down the rules this is quiet time, we read our books & relax
2) If he will sleep in the stroller or the car & needs a nap use that to avoid the nap time battles.
3) Change the bedtime routine & maybe even change his room around... make it different - add/remove music, read more stories if you read them or start them if you don't etc.

For me personally I loved my children when they were toddlers, but I didn't really love spending loads of time with them & I spent every day hanging out for Nap time & bedtime for the break & I suspect that my anxiety to get them napping could have lead to some of the times we had refusal, so working out what you need from a break, rather than them needing a sleep could help too- if that makes sense.
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

Offline laura034

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Re: Please help 2.5 year old sleep disaster
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2018, 08:32:20 am »
Thanks so much for your replies. Last night was easier he was so exhausted he fell asleep during his milk. He woke twice in the night but only for 5mins saying it was morning! He then slept until 6.45. Iíll try a shorter later nap today and see how it goes.

Thanks again itís so nice to hear from people who understand

Laura

Offline laura034

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Re: Please help 2.5 year old sleep disaster
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2018, 19:37:29 pm »
Hi,

Well nap was a bit better he did cry but only for 5mins but one thing thatís really sad is that my boy who used to love stories just wonít let me read to him at all because he knows itís part of his bedtime routine. So at nap today instead of having cuddles drink and 3 stories it was just putting him in his cot while he cried.
Has anyone else experienced this. Heís also eating and drinking less at lunch and says no bedtime because normally itís nap after lunch.

Thanks laura

Offline Katet

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Re: Please help 2.5 year old sleep disaster
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2018, 21:14:20 pm »
Heís also eating and drinking less at lunch and says no bedtime because normally itís nap after lunch.

Sounds like something has frightened him when he's been napping or sleeping.  Have you tried rearranging his room & giving him a nap in a different place, those both helped us with nap refusal/drama.
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

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Re: Please help 2.5 year old sleep disaster
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2018, 19:08:20 pm »
I think at this age just some reassurance that nap time is not coming would help.  I'd probably tell him just before you serve lunch that he doesn't have to nap after lunch and then repeat it when you serve.  He's obviously used to the routine.

As for books, I didn't read bed time books with my DS until he was about 4yo, it just wasn't part of our routine, I don't think it needs to be part of the sleep routine although it might take a little while for him to work out that books and bed are two separate things. I'm sure once he's worked it out he will enjoy a book with you again, just make it at a different time of day.  Mine managed to make a different link with books which was he insisted on 15 books being read whilst he was on the potty!  He wouldn't get off until all the books in his bathroom box were complete and I had to reduce it to 2 books so he ran out of books quicker. I think the associated can be changed in a reasonably short time it's just that at the moment your LO might be thinking he has a long battle ahead of refusing his nap, he'll soon work out that you've moved things and the battle has been reduced quite a lot.


Offline laura034

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Re: Please help 2.5 year old sleep disaster
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2018, 20:02:09 pm »
Thanks for your replies. The last 2 days have been great itís like a switch has been pressed and Iíve got Oliver back. Heís having his stories and going to bed happy again. Iím wondering if itís been a developmental thing because his speech and vocabulary has improved so much and he used to stutter and thatís gone too.

Thanks for taking the time to answer me

Laura

Offline Katet

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Re: Please help 2.5 year old sleep disaster
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2018, 20:26:53 pm »
Sounds like it was a developmental step. Glad things have got better.
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05