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  1. #1

    Son won't sleep through the night in his own bed!

    Hello, I'm new to the forum and excited to be here to talk with other moms. Currently I'm dealing with some sleeping issues with my son and would like some suggestions on how to get him to sleep in his bed throughout the night.

    My two year old is having a problem sleeping on his own. He stays up really late in bed and then when he finally falls asleep, I leave his room and go to mine. Well when I wake up he's in my bed and laying on my back. I've never had to deal with this before. Most of my kids had no problem sleeping on their own. My question is how do I get him to stay in his bed throughout the night? If I take him back to his bed, he screams and kicks, it also takes a while for him to go back to sleep.

  2. #2
    Hi NicoleB,

    You mentioned that your 2 year old stays up really late in bed before he finally falls asleep, at which point you leave the room. Your need your quiet time in the evening (without children) so I would encourage you to be sure he is getting up early enough, taking a nap early enough exercise during the day and also to be sure his tummy is full when you put him to bed. You can offer him a protein snack like a scrambled egg or peanut butter on a slice of cucumber. Protein "sticks to the ribs" and can help a child sleep better.

    If a child has had a really big day, they will usually go to sleep fast and sleep soundly. If your child is taking a nap in the middle of the day, you may want to make sure that nap is happening by noon (put him down by noon) and that he is not sleeping for more than 2 hours (up by 2:00). Then if you take him on a walk in the afternoon (make him walk) or take him to the park to play (running around, climbing, etc.) he should be ready for bed by 8PM (if not earlier). If he goes to bed at 8PM he should wake up around 7AM.

    So here's what I would do. I would get him up at 7AM, offer no TV or computer all day (so as to encourage more movement/exercise), give him his breakfast around 8AM, snack at 9:30AM (if needed), lunch at 11:30 and nap at noon. Encourage movement in the morning. Play outside in the back yard, make an obstacle course inside, etc. Get him up by 2PM then snack, then walk/park trip, then dinner, then protein snack before starting your bedtime routine.

    We've got some great mums on here who have good ideas for bedtime routines, but a bedtime routine coupled with everything else I've mentioned will really help your son to "wind down" and know that bed time is coming. You can brush teeth and read a book together, and then put him in his bed. You may need to stay with him the first few nights, until he falls asleep.

    If he wakes up and wants to climb in your bed, you could have him climb in on your husband's side. He may associate you as his "comfort" in bed, so this might help to break the pattern. Another thing you could do would be to throw a sleeping bag on the floor, and if he comes in, you give him the choice. You can sleep in the sleeping bag, or go back to your bed.

    If he starts to get upset, then you take him back to his bed and leave him there. While he's crying, you can say, "When you stop crying, you can come into mummy's room and sleep in the sleeping bag." He will most likely prefer to be in your room, even if he can't be in your bed, but you won't let him in your room unless he stops crying (because "Daddy needs his sleep").

    It may take a night or two of you working on this, but my guess is that he will finally get the idea, and will choose to sleep in the sleeping bag.

    From there you will be able to transition him more easily into his own bed.

    Where is he taking his naps every day?

    Warm regards,

    Kate

  3. #3
    I think the major problem is that he's sleeping in too late according to your suggestions. Since I've been home lately, the bubs have gotten off schedule. They sleep late and take naps even later. I definitely need to change this pattern. I'm going to try your suggestions this week and see if I can get him sleep through the night. If not, I'll definitely try out the sleeping bag idea. I hope it works because this weekend proved to be another episode of coming to our bed.

  4. #4
    Hi NicoleB,

    I think you've had great advice from Kate.

    I can second this theory - that if a young child goes to bed earlier then they will generally sleep better. I would recommend the gentle parenting book the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley as full of useful though gentle ideas to help your toddler to sleep better.

    We, fairly recently, started having more of a routine with my toddler and as a result of being in bed by 8pm he is now sleeping much better and is happier in the daytime. I must admit, I was quite surprised at the difference as he seemed to want to stay up later but I am now much more aware of his 'sleepy signals' (rubbing eyes and ears, yawning, being extra quiet etc).

    Do let us know how you get on,

    Best wishes,

    LJ

  5. #5
    LJ - very interesting that your son sleeps better when he's in bed by 8PM. It makes sense because then he's not overtired when he goes to bed which means he gets higher quality sleep.

    Nicole - any news on whether your son is going to be earlier and easier yet? I'm curious about what you've tried and how it's going.

    Warm regards,

    Kate

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