Ok, so my son is 22 months old and we took him off the pacifier about 3 weeks ago. We understand that there is some time for him to adjust to not having it, but since we took it away he hasnt been sleeping at all. He usually naps for 2 hours a day, and bed time used to be between 8 and 9. Now for the last 3 weeks, he is completely wired at bed time and he doesnt even show any sign of being tired at 10 pm. I havent had a full night of sleep since then and am concerned that he will get a messed up sleep schedule. The problem is that he hasnt slept a single night for 3 weeks. We tried to take away the nap, but it just makes things worse and he still stays up all night. for example. right now as i write this, he is sitting on the floor whining at me and it is 1:30 in the morning. He is finally looking tired, but is not showing any sign of actually going to sleep. He also refuses to sleep in his room when he does sleep. If we put him in his room before he falls asleep, he screams like someone is cutting his leg off. We tried to just let him scream it out, but he will scream louder and louder, and not give up. we left him in there for almost 2 hours last week, and he ended up waking up the upstairs neighbors son. we need help.
The way to go in my opinion is to get him out of the habit of falling asleep then being put to bed .Put him to bed first read him a story then leave, or sit in the room but just stay quiet ,he will yell but he will get used to the new routine .This will be a phase most parents go through it,the pacifier wont have helped when it was taken away however he will be over that now .I would still cut nap time down to 1 hour as he is nearly two years old .May I ask if when he wakes you give him milk or drinks , he may also be waking for that ..So take him to bed, read some nice stories to him, sing some songs ,the leave or stay quietly in the room, sat on the floor or a chair.if he tries to get out of bed , quietly no words put him back .If you are consistent it will work and may only take a few nights.When he wakes in the night, take him back to bed , no words, over and over if you have to ., Not easy but doable ..good luck
Well, at this point his sleep routine is already messed up, and it sounds like he is very very overtired. When they get overtired it actually makes it harder from them to sleep.
The recommended amount of sleep for a child this age (mine is just about the same age as yours) is 10 to 12 hours (including a nap). Now, every child is a bit different, but this is the average.
I agree with putting him to bed awake and also establishing a solid routine. I find sleep works best for us if I get him up the same time every day and put him to bed the same time every day. My son is 2 1/2 and no longer necessarily naps everyday, it really depends on if his nighttime routine varied (ie: was really tired earlier then normal so was put to bed a bit earlier then normal).
Some other tips that might help. No TV or other stimulating activity at least an hour before bed. We keep in pretty quiet during that time and it seems to help. Try not to let him snack for at least an hour before bed, and keep it to water or milk only.
Best of luck, mine isn't a good sleeper either and I know how hard it can be.
I feel for you. I know this is hard. What I have found with my little guy is that as he gets older it's getting tougher. He can hold out longer and longer. I think some kids just fight sleep - I know mine does. Try your Pediatrician for advice. Mine is pretty good at giving me suggestions and ideas. Also, a couple of good books for you are "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby" and "The Happiest Toddler on the Block". The author of the later, Katz, has also just written a new one about Sleep Habits. I haven't read it yet, but intend to. He wrote the "Happiest Baby on the Block" and for me it was the best book about parenting newborns I read. Very practical advice on things like soothing techniques. Give them a try, they are typically available at the library. Best of luck to you.
Like the others have said, you are definitely describing the behaviors of an overtired child. Margy's and adgal's advice is similar to what I would have suggested. I know you have tried it, but this is not the kind of thing you try once or twice and then toss the idea. It takes time and you can make it gradual and less traumatic.
He needs to learn to self-soothe. That doesn't happen over night. If he has something else he is attached to, you can encourage him to look to that for comfort (a stuffed animal, a blanket, a special pillow, etc). A white noise machine helps many children including mine sleep soundly through the night and may prevent wakings.
I did this at a much younger age, but here's how I got over the hurdle of teaching them to fall asleep on their own in their own beds. It took about a week for each kid.
~first i established routines like the ones described in previous posts. same music, etc.
~ got a cute nightlight from ikea to produce a warm soft light so they weren't scared to be alone.
~put them in bed and placed my hand on their backs for a few minutes to help settle them. I would not respond to any attempts at conversation or fussing. The only thing I would occasionally say is "nite-nite, I love you." There were times in the beginning where my hand would be firm (but gentle) enough to keep the kid from getting up. Some shhushhing is ok since the sound can actually be soothing. Once they got drowsy, I would sit back a little. If they objected I repeated "nite-nite I love you" Then I would slowly back away further. And so on. The next night each step was shortened. By the end of the week, she allowed to me start out by the door. By the next week, I just made sure to be near enough to the room so that she could hear me say "nite-nite I love you" if she wimpered. A few days later it became sufficient for me to yell it up the stairs.
Of course, your child may need modifications. But I just wanted to convey that it may be possible to do it without the screaming and that expecting a child to learn to self-soothe overnight may not be reasonable. I know it sounds like a long process, but for both kids, that first night took only about 30 minutes, and it got shorter each time. I am sure you guys are screaming much longer than that each night so it shouldn't be unreasonable to give it a try.
It also helps to tire him out physically on the day you decide to try this. Run around the park until dusk. Chase him, make him climb, etc. It may make the process faster.
If a child fusses, let's say for an hour, before he falls asleep, maybe he is being put to bed too early. I put mine down when they started to droop and never had a problem with them going to sleep. (Except for one child who had sleep apnea.) I did not read bedtime stories, or develop any other routine. Until about the age of three or so they got a small bottle.
I had 4 children and only one slept well, my eldest would bang her head on the crib in the night,,we padded it, she then climbed out all the time she had a bottle she ran around with till 2 years old ..we in fact just put up with it all till she outgrew it and then we got peace....somewhat
Thats not helpful at all. More like an insult to our parenting. Good for you not giving your children a pacifier. did you simply rock them to sleep until they left for college? Please refrain from making comments like this as this is a serious matter. And I dont believe every child is like yours or I may be mistaken, but im not.
Thank you everyone for trying to help, but unfortunately, my son is the youngest of 3. I dont want to sound like i know everything or i wouldnt have asked in the first place, but I know how to set the bedtime routine. It worked very well with the older kids. They go to bed at 8:30 every night without a problem. My daughter who is 5 takes a book to bed and my 4 year old son listens to classical music for 25 minutes. That is the major part of their routine. Well, beside the bath and teeth brushing. The fact of the matter is that I dont think the youngest is overtired. He is not tired at all. never shows signs of being tired until he is ready to fall asleep. Yesterday, he napped for 45 minutes and my wife and i are pretty sure he actually fell asleep at 5 and woke back up at 7:15. We wont know for sure because he outlasted us and woke my wife up this morning. I will be calling my doctor however. Something is seriously wrong. And as for the pacifier, he hasnt asked for it in 2 weeks. Im pretty sure its not that anymore. his sleep schedule is messed up but we are having trouble fixing it.
I truly hope you find a solution that works well for you. And if you don't mind, if you do come up with something, would you mind sharing it? My little guy is 2 1/2 and sleep has been a struggle since day 1. He just fights it like I would have never thought possible. If it's any consolation, my Pedi tells me that it is a sign of intelligence. I will be honest, the only way any of us get any decent amount of sleep is co sleeping. We just give in and let him sleep with us although we would prefer he be in his own bed. Good luck to you, and please update as to how it goes.
prilyfe, maybe we should look at this a different way. It seems like this is a truly extreme reaction to having a pacifier taken away. My own kids never used them (although, funny, I tried to get them to use them, and also tried to get them to watch TV so I could take a 5 minute shower, neither worked).
Is there another significant change in his life right now? Like, you took away the pacifier because you were moving, or something else? I do know parents who had to remove a pacifier about this age, and compared to their experiences his reaction seems much more severe.
Have you tried going for a walk or to the park after dinner/before bed? I have to say my little one was having sleep issues too, but then I started this activity & it really seemed to help get the reastless energy out of her system. I also put lavender by her bed & it just knocked her right out. I hope this helps. Best of luck.
Lateral movement in the evening is excellent for slowing down the nervous system, getting it ready for sleep as well. Swinging is what I am talking about. Make that one of the last things you do before you come inside.
Btw, I never used a paci as well and was like rockrose that I WANTED my boys to use them. LOL Not sure why, but I sure did. I agree with trying to lay him down asleep before fully asleep so that he can get used to self soothing to fall asleep if he wakes up in the middle of the night.
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