My 26 month old has never been a good sleeper. As a matter of fact, at 24 months, she FINALLY started sleeping through the night. After about 8 weeks, we have reverted back to waking every hour- 2 hours. She starts kicking in her sleep, screaming and finally sitting up and crying. She does sleep in our bed. (after fighting this for 18 months, I put her in my bed hoping to resolve the situation).
When she wakes up and calms down, she just says she doesn't want to sleep or mommy to sleep AND/OR she says her tummy hurts. We have a routine that we stick to and their haven't been any recent changes in environment, etc.
An interesting side note to this, for the last few months, if she sees a cartoon character sleeping on a tv show, she cries for them to get up. In her books, if the character goes to sleep, she cries and boo-hoos for them to get out of the bed and wake up. I have to change the channel, or makeup endings to stories to get her to stop.
From a physical side, she does have Acid Reflux and takes meds and has since 6 weeks old. She has DDH and was in brace for year as well but now brace free. We also have VUR which she is on an antibiotic regimen until our insurance approves surgery. And she is cutting her 2 year molars.
The problem is: I can't figure out if something is wrong with her and if she IS having discomfort OR if she is just in a phase of insecurity/nightmares. Does the VUR cause any discomfort out of the realm of active UTIs? When I ask what hurts, she says, "nothing hurts now. I don't want to go to doctor..." She has so many doctors, she hates going...so I don't know if she telling the truth. THEREFORE, I am stuck trying to decide whether to correct her, etc... or sit up all night and try to get her back to sleep. This goes on for about 2-3 hours....
Wow, it does seem like something physical is going on when she sleeps that she doesn't understand and it scares her, maybe she's prone to sleep paralysis where there's the feeling that something heavy is sitting on the person and they can't move. Even some adults get scared by that and think something bad or evil is on them but it's a physical sleep disorder for some. It's where her mind wakes up before her body does and the thing that makes the brain keep her body form moving and acting out her dreams still has the body in that state of not being able to move even though she's awake and that scares her because it feels like something big is sitting on her. Do a google search on sleep paralysis that will explain it better. As her doc if that can be it and if there's something he can give her to prevent that from happening so much.
I meant to write ASK her doc. :) Her tummy hurting may be the feeling of something heavy sittng on her and her waking up kicking and screaming sounds like how a person would try to move during the sleep paralysis but can't then when the sleep paralysis wears off and suddenly they can move, they are kicking and sreaming which is what she was trying to do when she could nto move. Seeing the cartoon characters asleep scaring her sounds like she sees the whole issue of sleeping connected to something bad, like she thinks somehting tries to get people when they sleep and that's what sleep paralysis can feel like. It feels like something is holding you down. I used to get those so I know. ;) For most people it happens occasionally bur for some with medical problems it may happen more often.
Have you looked into the possibility of night terrors??? It's more common in kids then people think and they aren't just nightmeres they are really horrifying nightmeres so it could be something like that. I would check back with the doctor and ask about them and if there is any other physical explanation ie her acid reflux meds aren't working properly? or something like that.
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