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Still having a hard time....

Sep 29, 2014 - 14 comments

I'm still having a hard time getting Preston to sleep through the night. It'll go in cycles. He'll sleep through the night for a bit, then he flips to waking up during the night. We're in the cycle now of waking during the night. It's been going on for weeks. He wakes during the night at least 5 days out of the week. Some weeks it's every night of the week.

I can't let him cry it out because we have neighbors downstairs and she can hear him.

So at his 2 year check up last week I asked my Dr if she had any suggestions. I was shocked at the answer she gave us. I would like to know if anyone else would've been shocked at her response. Her suggestion was to give him Gravol before bed. Yes, her suggestion was to drug him before bed! While it seems very tempting to do some nights just to get a full night of uninterrupted sleep, that doesn't seem like the right answer. Especially coming from a Dr.

She also said that a 2 year old only needs about 7-8 hours of sleep a night. That didn't seem right, so I Googled it. What I was reading said they should get about 10-12. I know every child is different and some will require more or less. But 7-8 hardly seems like enough.

Does anyone have suggestions to help with sleep? This is really killing us. I really thought this would've gotten better by now. But he's never been a good sleeper

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6990909 tn?1435279416
by jugglin, Sep 29, 2014
Crap....seriously?  I can't even believe that was her recommendation.  I'm actually stunned. Also, 10-12 hours is the "norm" for his age and I agree that kids are different but I can't believe that 7-8/night would be right.  Maybe 7-8 hours one night but not every night.

I'm sure there have been some things that have changed in the last 5 years, but I go back to old school.  Are you making sure he has the same regimen every evening?  No tv or electronics for at least an hour if not more before bedtime.  No liquids after dinner (or there abouts). Reading together to calm him down. There are the sleepy time baby soaps for bath time (lavender scent). I'm sure you can Google more advice that don't involve medicating him.

When he wakes up does he stay up for awhile or go back to sleep?  To be honest, my little dude (7 yrs), to this day "wakes" almost every evening and sleepwalks into my bed.  No joke.  I have caught him in the act and he is truly sleepwalking.  If I am still awake, I walk him back to his room.  Otherwise, I wake up with that sweet boy next to me most mornings.  DH gets a little irked once in awhile, but since it is late it usually doesn't interfere with "adult time".  And, the way I look at it he won't do this forever so I'm enjoying my last baby while I can.

Keep asking and seeking answers that don't involve medicating him.  Google.  Check out different parenting books at the library... I know I had many.  You deserve better answers!

Best of luck honey!

1580318 tn?1550258081
by Shannon79, Sep 29, 2014
I was in absolute disbelief when she said that. What kind of Dr suggests to drug your child???

He has his dinner, then has milk just before bed. I did the same thing with Reilly and he slept through the night from 3 months on. TV is on most of the day. May have to try without it on. We stick to the same routine every night. We start getting him ready for bed about 7:30.

I've used lavendar body wash since he was born. It worked for Reilly, but hasn't done a darn thing for Preston.

He's awake for at least an hour before falling back asleep. So yes I'm up with him.

The other suggestion she had was to put him to bed later. Like 9 pm or later. We're in bed by 9:30 every night because we're so wiped from being awake during the night with Preston. That would leave absolutely no "adult time". I wouldn't be able to keep him awake that long anyways considering he's decided that he doesn't want to have an afternoon nap anymore. And even when he was napping he'd be going to sleep after 9 and that didn't make a difference.

I would be okay with him getting up and crawling into bed with me.

I'm definitely gonna have to keep doing some research on this and hopefully find something that works.

Thanks G for your input

2181422 tn?1400514980
by K_Bmomma, Sep 29, 2014
my son ( just turned 2 on the 22nd) does the same thing!! I cant figure it out. But i know with skye he isnt fully awake when he "wakes up" he just cries... for no apparent reason. I am with ya girl.. I finally got my youngest sleeping through the night and then now skye wakes.. very very frustrating. But like jugglin said i try not to get to erked by it ( unless multiple times a night) because I wont be having anymore babies.. and something he will grow out of

5575813 tn?1452484685
by Hollus, Sep 29, 2014
Is Preston able to tell you what's going on or why he's upset when he wakes? Is he having bad dreams or night terrors? Are there other soothing scents you could try since the lavender doesn't seem to be helping? Have you tried any quiet, relaxing music? I will say that 7-8 hours a night does not seem right for a growing toddler. I also know that if I was in your position it would become a qualtity of life issue and not just for me but for the entire family. I don't do well with lack of sleep night after night and the people around me suffer greatly from irritabilty, mood swings, and I get very snappy and short with those around me. I would hate to subject those I love to that for very long. That being said, if I had done everything I could think of and my child was still waking up in the middle of the night on a weekly basis, and the ped suggested it and the med was mild, I would consider a medical sleep aide but nothing long term of course. I agree with our other MH friends that he will grow out of it but how long will it affect your family in the mean time. My sister's family co-sleeps. I wonder if that would help?

Have you thought of getting a second opinion from another ped?

1779215 tn?1349141170
by Mom2boys1980, Sep 29, 2014
I'm sorry but a 2 year old needs more sleep than that! My daughter is 27 months and she takes a 3 hour nap during the day from 12:00 to 3 and that's because I wake her up to pick up my boys from school at 3:30. On weekends she sleeps from 2:00 to 5:30. She's off to bed most nights at 8-8:30 and sleeps through the night and is up at 8/8:30. She's very active during the day, loves to eat and my doctors words... She's heathy!  Any doctor that tells you that your 2 year old only needs 7/8 hours of sleep is MENTALLY INSANE! I say follow your motherly instincts and do your research..sometimes it's just a phase they go through. Just take it day by day and try to comfort him, sometimes they just want momma's extra kisses and hugs. ;) take care Shannon xoxoxo

961574 tn?1520651703
by mhv, Sep 29, 2014
This is my 2 he knows what is going on.  He knows that if he cries, you will come get him.  I think you need to give your neighbor a heads up, and tell her to put in ear plugs and turn a fan on high in her bedroom,  until you can break him of this.  
It reminds me if my husband, we go all day without iPad, and "snack" soon as hubby walks in the door, they are asking him for IPad and for a snack...yep, he gives it to them.  
They are so smart!  
I think he just likes his mommy time, and knows how to get it.  I kind of agree with moving his bedtime back, you might not get as much "adult time", but you may get more sleep :)
The twins go down at 9:00, up at 8 or so, then nap from 2-4:30 to 5:30... They definitely need more sleep then 7-8 hrs

1580318 tn?1550258081
by Shannon79, Sep 30, 2014
K - I hope he grows out of this soon. Been dealing with it for 2 years. I try not to let it irk me, but it does. I won't be having anymore children either, but I'd still prefer to sleep through the night.

Hollus - No he's still not talking much, so he's not telling me what's wrong. That's exactly the issue we're having now. I'm not very pleasant in the morning due to lack of sleep, so everyone's suffering. Oh believe me the thought has crossed my mind to use something to help him sleep. I actually looked at the children's Gravol when I was at the drugstore yesterday. It did say it can cause drowsiness. But it also said it can cause excitement. That's all I'd need is for him to get all excited before bed. And I don't really want to start co-sleeping as it can be a hard habit to break. This was just from our family Dr. Here in Canada, you don't generally have a pediatrician unless something is wrong with the child and you get a referral from your family Dr.

Mom - I wish Preston slept anywhere close to that! He doesn't even want to do his afternoon nap anymore! Although yesterday he finally decided to have a nap from 4-5 pm. But didn't fall asleep till about 9:30ish last night. But he didn't wake up during the night at all. If this is just a phase, it's one heckuva long phase!

Mhv - Even if i give her a heads up, my husband wouldn't allow me to let him "cry it out". He would get too frustrated and angry. Oh they are crazy smart! It amazes me how smart he is. I'm coming to the realization that we might have to compromise on this and weigh the options. Less adult time vs more sleep. Although we have tried this before and it hasn't worked. Last night was the first time it worked. So not sure if it was just a fluke.

And I totally agree with them needing more then 7-8 hours. Thank you all ladies for your input

1571146 tn?1399913292
by Moma_Cher, Sep 30, 2014
Oh wow, I just read this.... Lots of good advise from everyone. I hope your success last night wasn't a fluke!

1580318 tn?1550258081
by Shannon79, Sep 30, 2014
Me too Cher. It's really starting to take a toll on us.

1571146 tn?1399913292
by Moma_Cher, Sep 30, 2014
I bet! I feel for you... I need my sleep or I'm a monster!

1580318 tn?1550258081
by Shannon79, Sep 30, 2014
Haha so am I!

My husband tends to keep his distance

961574 tn?1520651703
by mhv, Sep 30, 2014
Congratson last night! :)
Tell your hubby to put in his ear plugs too!!!  Or let him get up with him!  I bet he would start letting him CIO quick!  
My hubby wouldn't have a choice.  I would rather him be grumpy for a short period of time, then to spend another 6 months like this!  
Oh, just hubby goes to bed at 9 when the twins do, I take a bath and go to bed around 10 or so... No adult time for us.  Lol.

1580318 tn?1550258081
by Shannon79, Sep 30, 2014
It's really very tempting to do that mhv. But he's the one that works, so I doubt very much that he'll want to be the one up with him.

The big problem with this situation is that we're only in a 2 bedroom apartment (looking for bigger, but no luck yet). So Preston is still sleeping in our bedroom. We'd put him in Reilly's room but it isn't big enough. His bedroom is pretty small.

Lol I'd never hear the end of it if we didn't have adult time

5575813 tn?1452484685
by Hollus, Sep 30, 2014
My niece is very strong willed and has been a tough cookie to crack. Bed time and nap time have been no exception! She spends a lot of time with us especially during the summer because it's cheaper than day care and my spouse and I have days off during the week. She is 9 now but bed time is still a challenge some nights. It has given us lots of time to figure out works. We took a different approach when she was younger than what we do now that she's 9 but one thing that has been true through the years, we have to use a lot of tough love. We are very strict and firm with her and because she is smart as a whip, once it's time for lights out, we don't go back in to her room. I tend to be a very gray area thinker so this black and white way of doing things is hard on me. She loves to cuddle to drift off to sleep but we don't do that because it drags bed times out an hour to an hour and a half because she has to talk, giggle and play first. The other thing she tries is telling us that her stomach hurts when it's time for bed. She will have been fine all day and very active but as soon as you announce that it's time for bed, then her tummy hurts. We tell her that she needs to go to sleep and it'll feel better in the morning.

When Shelby was little, Preston's age, it was harder because my spouse and I weren't on the same page. I'm all for letting them cry but my spouse not so much. My SIL used to rock her to sleep every single night so she never learned how to self sooth and it is still present today because she's the only niece, grandchild, and she's an only child. So, since letting her cry was not on option, I used to lay across her at nap time, holding her in place, and rub the palm of her hand. It worked everytime for several years but then she got squirmy. :-) That's when we switched to the lights out, no more contact with us routine and that has worked wonderfully. I am sharing this with you hoping that something in it will help because it can be hair pulling out, stressfull, and frustrating.

So, with your little man, do you insist on him taking a nap? Is DH at home when you put him down for a nap? Is your neighbor at home then? This may be a great time to practice self soothing. Is Preston in a big boy bed yet? If not, it will make things a lot easier but if he is and he gets out of bed before sleeping, quietly pick him up and put him back in bed. You may have to put him back in bed several times before he realizes that you are serious but with some patience and time, he should start napping better and hopefully bed time with follow suite. It does seem like when he naps, things are better through the night too. Maybe he is over tired and some people have trouble sleeping if they are over tired. The other thing you could try and that works for my SIL if they are having a challenging night, they put an infant matress on the floor in their room and that's where Shelby sleeps for the night. Then she's not in bed with them but it's still a form of co-sleeping but a much easier one. I hope this helps! I know how precious sleep is for children and parents! I hope you find something that works soon! Oh and one more thing, there's always special Jell-O or Nyqhil.  :-D

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