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26 month old doesn't sleep

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  • 26 month old doesn't sleep

    Hello everyone,

    I am new on this forum, and hope this is an appropriate place to post. Sleep is one of our problems, not the only one, but hopefully solving it will help with some of the others (mostly behavioural, and probably more my problems than my son's!).

    Our son has never been a "by the book" sleeper- when he was a newborn, I celebrated if I got 20 minutes out of him at a stretch. As far as we know there are no medical issues. He went through a phase where he slept through the night, but it was only a phase. He goes down with a fight (both nap and night sleeps) after our routine, which involves lots of parent time- bath (at night only) stories, cuddles and laying down next to him for a while. We do have to leave before he'll fall asleep, so he should know that we're not there. But he wakes frequently crying for "pappa".

    He's not particularly verbal yet, so he can't really tell us what's going on, if he's had a bad dream, or scared or what.

    We have never co-slept. It doesn't work for my husband, and honestly, at the beginning I tried it to encourage him to nap, but when a parent is lying beside him, it's playtime (always been like this) so I'm not sure how well it works for our son, either. Although, I have to chuckle- "we don't co-sleep" but one of us, usually my husband, sleeps with him for at least part of the night. If we go in after he's slept a while, to calm the crying, he'll actually fall asleep with one of us beside him, so at that point, it works.

    He goes down at 9ish (to give him pappa time in the evenings) and wakes at 6am before my husband's alarm goes off. He does come into our bed at that point and fidgits and plays until my husband gets up to take his shower.

    Last night, we're both pretty sure that our son was awake all night. As his night sleep deteriorates, so does his day sleep (or vice versa??) and his behaviour. I do not know what to do.

    There are some confounding factors, that I know are playing into this- in late August (after a month long trip to visit my family in the US), we moved from the UK to France. Then in September he and I were back and forth to deal with the actual move. Things settled down and then 3 weeks ago, our daughter was born. He seems to be dealing very well with her- wants to cuddle, kiss, hold and hug her all the time. Also, we're living in a fully furnished rental house while we house hunt. I can not child-proof this house enough, or make it really safe for him to play in, so he hears lots of "no" and "stop that". Sadly, even the yard is mostly paved over, so he can't do many of the things he'd like too. I can't WAIT to have our own house.

    IMO, the big factor though is that he's been asking to nurse since we weaned in June/July (because my breasts couldn't take it...too sensitive...but he wasn't ready). When my milk came in, we tried it, but his poo gets super soft (like nursing poo, but not as nice). His poo was normal (=solid) before we weaned, so I'm worried that he's not digesting it well and that it might be making him sick. But maybe it's normal? Has anyone else been through that- does the poo go back to normal as the intestines re-adjust??? I'm trying to replace nursing with cuddles and body rubs (which he loves). But I'd like to let him nurse, especially since he asks (although he's stopped recently), I think he really needs it and it will only help (unless it is making him sick).

    I've been trying to give him lots of one-on-one time with me during the day (our daughter so far sleeps enough for the two of them!), but it doesn't seem to be helping.

    I have both Pantley's sleep books and been trying her techniques for 2 years now, but to no avail.

    I would really love any suggestions or advice you all may have!

    Thanks in advance!!

  • #2
    Sleeping idea

    Have you thought of moving his bed so it is right next to yours? It might be worth a try. Also, all of ours went through a wanting to play stage when they were bed-sharing crawlers/toddlers. I just held them gently but firmly and didn't make eye-contact or any noise. They didn't like it, but within a week or so they got the message. I just did the same again if they woke in the night and wanted to play, Perhaps Pappa can do this, very gently? Wanting to be close to parents at night is very natural and normal.
    Good luck and hope these ideas help.
    Last edited by kloppenmum; 12-17-2010, 05:08 PM.


    • #3
      Here are some comments people have made on the Facebook page in regards to this post:

      Comment 1
      Sleep is important. @ 26 months they still slept w/ me or older siblings. They are now between 25 & 35 and mature, productive, responsible adults w/ children of their own - they too welcome snuggling during the night!

      Comment 2
      Our son is 29 months old and still does not sleep through the night unless I am with him when he wakes up in the middle of the night. I wish I had the answers, but I don't. We did co-sleep, which we loved, but now is the time we'd like to get him to sleep on his own. I will not go with the cry it out method either. It breaks my heart.

      Comment 3
      I was a nanny & they believed in Ferberizing (crying it out). When she said she was pregnant w/ 2nd child I started looking for another job! Just can't listen to that (they started her @ 3 months old because THEY wanted to sleep!)

      Comment 4
      Oh, it's so sad. I know some people are okay w/it, but my husband and I are not.

      Comment 5
      My 19 month old doesnt sleep either. My husband wants me to let him cry it out but I cant do it. My ped said I am training him to wake up because I keep going to get him, but oh well I would rather go get him and put him in my bed and we both go back to sleep then both of us awake crying.

      Comment 6
      I am happy to know there is so much support for co-sleeping & attachment. There was little or no support in the 70's (a throw back from the 50's). I told my husband if I got more sleep I was a happier person (common sense) & therefore kinder (not sleep deprived) & when he saw the difference we got a bigger bed to accommodate our toddler w/ us! Sometimes it takes evidence for some men to see what works.

      Comment 7
      My daughter is 27 months and we bed share and she has never slept through the night. She still nurses at least 3-4 times every night. It is exhausting I know! I do not have answers but I can tell u that u r not alone. Hang in there. U r doing a great job!!!!

      Comment 8
      I'm there too. Mine gave up nursing at 9 months but still wakes up alot at night. She sleeps in a double bed and I go in with her if she wakes after I'm in bed. She's 27months And has just got really bossy about my sleeping position I have to lay on my back with my arm around her and her head on my shoulder! Luckily my husband supports my not letting her cry it out standpoint. We both feel it's cruel and unnatural.


      • #4
        I know your exhausted! I have a 20 month old who recently started to sleep through the night. Gabriel did co-sleep with us from the day he was born because sleeping was so difficult from the start. We recently transitioned him into his own bed which is right next to ours. Every nap and every night is somewhat unpredictable. He was up once last night. I can handle that for sure! The exhaustion of a non sleeper can certainly be overwhelming. Gariel continues to breast feed. I am 22 weeks pregnant too. In addition I'm also working full time. I'm so grateful that at least for the time being he's sleeping. I really cannot remember my year long maternity leave with him. You're doing a super job. You know what's right for you and your children. I believe that we need a lot of reassurance particularly when the going gets tough. Do try to relax. The more uptight we are the more our kids feel it! All the best!


        • #5
          So my son is now 27mo old and he was an onand off sleeper aswell. He did co sleep with us but we found the co sleeper very helpful. When he hit a year old I turned the co sleeper into a reg playpen, then put his same pillow inthe bed with his same blanket as well as our blanket from our bed (folded up) and we started him out with naps alone then slowly moved on to bedtime. We did let him cry no longer than about 5 min because neither of us could stand it. He did great at nap time but hated bed time. So what I ended up doing is laying in our bed next to the co sleeper with all lights off but we did have a fan for white noise and hedidn't cry just fell asleep. About a month ago we purchased a big boy bed, that we got a side rail for I think he related it to our bed because I bought him the same blanket we had. For the first two weeks he did great falling asleep alone and sleeping all night then he started to wake up once ortwice a night and totally stopped taking naps.

          So at night when he woke up I started to lay down with him and he put himself right back to sleep. He has since figured out how to get out of his bed in the middle of the night and then comes into our room. At this point we just roll with the punches, it is what it is. I'm expecting my next baby in about 2 weeks so we will see how our lives change. Our son also has some speech issues cannot really tell us what is wrong etc. So I just figure when he is ready to sleep he will sleep again, until then I enjoy the days where he naps, and some of the nights I get to sleep lol. Sorry can't be more helpful but I think it's pretty normal for kids to just want to be cuddled. He just likes to have someone next to him...but I'm sure by 5 he will be in his own bed for good lol


          • #6
            Thanks everyone! You all have some great ideas, I'll experiment around and see what I can incorporate. I'm also sorry that so many of us are going through the same thing, lack of sleep is a drag, but at least it seems like this is a normal thing and not something to worry about. And that's big in and of itself.

            For those of you who are expecting, may your next one be a sleeper!!! Mine seems to be (so far, knock on wood) and it makes dealing with my eldest much easier.

            Happy Holidays! May they bring all your wishes to fruition, as well as bring you all health and happiness.