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  • Toddler sleep issues

    Hello, I have a 2.5 year old daughter that has slept with us from birth. She was a FANTASTIC sleeper from birth until 5 months when she started teething and was bad until she stopped at 18 months. She slept great for a few months until she turned 2 and got her 2 year molars. And then she started almost nightly waking up multiple times a night crying fussing kicking screaming. It can last from hours to minutes. Sometimes she is in raged and sometimes she will fall right back asleep. She has no medical issues. We striclty follow chiropractic and natural medicine. She has never had any medicinal formula, no vaccinations ect. We have gotten her on a good schedule which has helped but it hasn't supsided so we have also tried chamomile teas, calm's forte, proper diet. Nothing works she is really active and so happy except for the normal 2 year old outburst. She takes a 2 hour nap daily with no problem, falls asleep within 10 minutes. But night time is such a struggle she will fight for an hour or more and finally sleep from 9-6 or 7 usally. But with the constant waking up crying, screaming, whining. It is totaly wearing on my husband and I. I am sure we are not doing everything perfectly (who does).

    Forever we have had to hold her rock ect. She always fought us for sleep. But she lets us now lay with her to fall asleep it just takes so long and then she wakes up whimpering ect. We would like to eventually move her into her own room but she is not talking good enough and she is strong minded and it's not a fight we are willing to deal with at the moment. But it is beginning to interrupt the new baby as well who also is a fantastic sleeper. I am concerned the new baby will change when she starts teething. I think it's because we didn't give her anything to help the teething pain. I am not much for giving them aspirin or medicine.

    I guess I feel like we are missing something and don't want to make the same mistake with our second. Any help would be appreciated.

  • #2
    In addition to having a new baby sister, your first daughter is headfirst into her own important developmental stage.

    How old is the new baby? Has her sleeping quality decayed after her birth or while you were heavily pregnant? I saw a lot of sleep (and otherwise) disturbance in my son's life during my late pregnancy and early infant hood of his brother, please do not discount it's effect even if from your point of view all is well.

    Options for transitioning into her own room..... Have daddy sleep with her all night....for a week. Then have him move over to your bed half the night...etc...

    Or you if you can get away from the baby for a bit.

    Has your relationship changed with your daughter since the baby was born? That alone might be enough for her sleep to be off.

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    • #3
      I am always trying to be aware of what our oldest is going through and realize she is always changing. This night time issue has really struck a cord with me though and it' s not really getting better.

      The baby is now 10 weeks old and is still a great sleeper down between 7-9 I wake her at 11 to feed and she's good until 7am. (my oldest did this as well).

      I guess since the implement of routine and earlier bedtime the night issues ARE better but I guess very discouraged because they haven't ever stopped and feel like she is in a horrible pattern and there has to be something to BREAK it and make her happy at night the way she is during the daytime.

      As far as the transitioning I do love your suggestion, with her it's small steps so I think we could try that. I am sure our relationship has changed with her. She has always been soooo attached to Daddy, she really doens't care if I am there or not. But since being on maternity I really bonded with her and then having to go back to work in the middle of that is heart braking. Imagine she only last week wanted me to put her to bed, I haven't done that since she was 10 months old.

      When she is upset and going through tantrums I instead of time outs, I simply grab her and say I love you and hug her and it seems to help more than time out where she screams louder. She is soooo strong but soooo sensitive as well.

      I know we are all going through a lot, it's a huge transition with the new baby. I just want what's best for her.

      Thanks so much for you suggestion.

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      • #4
        i'm wondering if this could be night terrors? do you think she's fully awake, or is it more like she's in a sleep state? my oldest had terrible night terrors for a while. sometimes it's just a developmental thing that they will outgrow. i also used a homeopathic for night terrors (we only do natural medecine as well).

        have you looked at her diet? wheat and dairy are typical offenders in night waking.

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        • #5
          Yes, your daughter sounds like such a cutie-pie! It is a big thing to get a new sibling.
          Have you read Siblings without Rivalry? That is a great book for adjusting your own head (as a parent) to be more aware of the things you say and do regarding your children.

          My son was 3 when his brother was born, and now a year later is still a little 'off' with his sleep. Part of that is his developmental stage (strong imagination and becoming more independent so a little fearful that mommy and daddy won't be there for him..etc) Keep in mind this child was a dream sleeper. All night long, easy naps, easy transition to own bed and then own room. Even a period where he wanted to put himself to bed! We can help them through the changes and give them tools but we cannot constantly think it is something we did or didn't teach as parents! EVEN if it is.......we still must move on with the present.

          Regarding reconnection with your firstborn here are some links.

          Embracing Transitions
          by Patty Wipfler


          Practice Positive Discipline one of
          API's Eight Principles of Parenting


          The Case Against Time-out
          by Peter Haiman, Ph.D.


          I think that its great when you comfort your daughter during times of strong emotions!

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          • #6
            Thanks everyone for your help. I just bought from Whole foods Bach's rescue remedy and rescue sleep and we will see how it goes.

            My daughter does not consume much dairy at all. I never drink milk and won't allow my kids to. She only gets dairy in yogurt and the occasional cheese slice. I was using rice milk based yogurt but at this age she goes in such spurts of what she will and won't eat. On that note, we eat organic and whole grain breads. However she is in the most terrible eating phase as most children I think. She used to love all sorts of fruit and cucumbers whole cow couldn't have enough now for almost a year she won't eat much of a "balanced" diet, so I control what I can.

            Again, we can only control so much. I know in a perfect world they would eat, sleep, act perfectly, but what she does eat I make sure is at least whole grain or low in sugar, ect. I really do make it a priority for my kids to eat properly. I can't wait for the baby to start eating, I loved making all her food and watching them explore new things that of course they wouldn't eat now

            For the most part I believe we have to roll with the punches so to speak as they grow and develop but I also think there are tools to assist her when it gets a little out of hand. I won't give up on her!

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            • #7
              i love Bach keep us posted!

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              • #8
                Well so far it's only been two days I don't know if the Bach has worked in fact after giving it to her she hasn't napped in two days. The night time issues are still here. We are going to try and tackle it as a whole and work on our (parents) emotional stress. Hopefully that will help more than anything. We really would like to get her into her own room but I am worried that it will be another thing to add to her already highened stress level? Is now the right time I don't know.

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                • #9
                  I think I am learning that this is just how she is and I have to learn how to deal with it. Sometimes I think she is made of steel, I found some information on about spirited kids, she meets some of that. We have said since day 1 she never stops moving and she has such a short fuse and gets easily upset at the strangest things. She is constantly fixing things around the house, rugs, chairs, closing doors ect. I guess I will LOVE her through it and once I come to terms with it, everything will work out.

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                  • #10
                    have you read Raising Your Spirited Child by Kurcinka?

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                    • #11
                      Update

                      Well things are going MUCH better. I tapped into my mother's intuition and put her back into seventh generation diapers after switching her to name brand diapers for a few months and she has been sleeping through the night instantly for almost two weeks now. She is still my little handful but not in the same way during the day. She will always be who she is, I will never try to change her.

                      Thanks for all the support, now to only graduate her to her own room

                      I will get that book though, any other book suggestions for attached parenting. Looking mostly for discipline styles. I believe we can speak to them and teach them instead of screaming at them and forever sitting them in a corner.

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                      • #12
                        I know how hard sleep issues can be (for the little one and you). Not only do you have the exhaustion and stress from the lack of sleep, which kinda makes it hard to even think clearly enough to come up with a solution, but then there's the concern (and for me resulting guilt) that their lack of sleep is detrimental to their health and development. That was my biggest worry and what led me to find a way to help my son get at least a few hours of quality sleep a night (he has extra sleep problems due to a seizure disorder). What helped a lot and actually has other health benefits and no side effects (unless overdosed) is MELATONIN. This has really helped with my son. I would give it a try! You can order liquid - delicious in a bit of water or watery juice. I ordered Natrol brand on, I think, amazon. Anyway, speaking of 'the devil', the kiddo's awake and crying. Gotta go! Good luck!

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