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Sleep issues with a Toddler

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
Hunter is in his toddler bed now. In other words, not contained. And recently he has been waking at 6am. Last night he would not go to bed until 9pm and then woke at 5:45.

We have been taking him back to his bed and tucking him in with littler interaction. But it does not seem to matter much, 10-15 minutes later he is back at our bed saying "Hi!!" Last night it took about 1.5 hours of the in-and-out to get him to sleep.

Any tips?
 

lliang_chi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
3,740
Hm, Dreamer, no tips for you since i don't have kids. But to me it sounds like you're going on the correct approach of "all business" when he gets up after bed time. Hopefully some of the mamas with toddlers can chime in.

In some old threads here mamas talk about establishing a boundary that they need to sit in their room quietly during bedtime until it's time to get up. I dunno if it works for all kids, and honestly I don't how to make this happen. But I think Mrs (she posts in the preggo thread) recently went through this with her DD.

Good luck,
LC
 

fieryred33143

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
6,689
It took Soph a week to get completely adjusted. We have her door gated so that she can't (and could) escape. Give him zero option of getting out of the room. He either stands by the gate all night or he keeps his butt on bed.

Other things that helped us:

-letting her bring things in bed with her. Be it toys or stuffed animals. Helped her enjoy the bed more.
-we leave the door open with the gate. She likes the light and noise from outside, doesn't feel alone or like she's missing out
-toddler speak. "No up. Night night only. No up"

When she would wake up overnight, we did the same as weaning her off nursing at night. Soothe from her bed.
 

fieryred33143

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
6,689
Oh and when she does get up, I don't go in her room. I stand at the gate and say "bed, now. No up. Kiss. Night night."

She was 19m when we converted (if I'm remembering correctly).
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
Definitely gate the door.
I have one of these for my preschooler and it's helped a lot as well:
http://www.amazon.com/Its-About-Time-IAT-100-Stoplight/dp/B002TKLN3C

We say over and over "when the light is red, stay in bed!". Doesn't always work but it has been a great improvement.

I think consistency is key. Also, possibly moving bedtime a bit earlier? We have this problem with my son as well (he's 4 now). Last night he was almost falling asleep at the dinner table (on the go all day, swim lessons, camp, more swimming... he doesn't nap any more). I knew I should have put him to bed but we didn't and he got a second wind. He was up till almost 9!! I put him to bed at 7:30 but he was playing and singing in bed until then. Ugh.
It takes time.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 16, 2007
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I should have added a couple more details :))

We did the transition about two weeks ago and everything has been fine! After the first morning of coming running down the hall in the am, he went back to his bed no issues and stayed there, usually waking around 7am for the day, when he would stay in his room until we came to get him (we would hear him banging around).

Hunter's bedtime is 7:30 these days, but we will try earlier if it look like he needs it. That was what we tried last night actually because he did not nap well either (only 45 minutes instead of the usual 2 hours). It just did not work at all, the was so wound up and hyper and wild, not his usualy self. So clearly something is going on with his sleep in general.

He has not woken in the night at all, and until last night bedtime ws not an issue either. The issue has been the morning wake up time mostly, and that has been going on for about a week. Now that I think about it, he peed through his diapers a couple times (now solved with Huggies overnights, thanks for the advice!), and the last few days pooped on waking at that time, so I wonder if his internal clock has become readjusted somehow...

My concern about the gate is that he will just stand there yelling for us, which seems counterproductive? He has never had his door open so I think that might distract him. I really want him to know to stay in his bed until we get him.

I do recall Mrs. talking about some methods she tried, I'll go look it up.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 16, 2007
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nfowife|1308761636|2952045 said:
Definitely gate the door.
I have one of these for my preschooler and it's helped a lot as well:
http://www.amazon.com/Its-About-Time-IAT-100-Stoplight/dp/B002TKLN3C

We say over and over "when the light is red, stay in bed!". Doesn't always work but it has been a great improvement.

I have a friend who used this too, I will go get one for Hunter. It could help.

I think the issue is when he is in a certain mood/frame of mind he just has so little self-control. When he is like that, he just can't follow rules and is more impulsive. Like when tired, or perhaps teething or something else. In those situations, I am not sure what to do.
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
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544
Yes, I have never had this problem with my daughter. A lot has to do with boys. Boys are just a different species altogether. :rolleyes:
She is 6 and so....obedient. Not that she doesn't get in trouble, but until this year when we told her she could get out of bed after 7:00, she would never get out of bed. We had to convince her it was okay to go to the bathroom and she didn't need to call out to ask for permission :tongue: .
My son is just....a ball of energy. He is on the go 24/7... has no interest in coloring, artsy type of stuff like she loves to do. It's hard.

I would tell him if he keeps coming out of his room that you will put a gate on the door. If you need to do that (once you threaten, do follow through), then go to the door one time and say "it's time for bed, I'm not coming back over here again, get in bed and go to sleep". Then you will just have to ignore him. He may fall asleep on the floor, but he will be okay. Are there toys in his room? My son's toys are mostly in his closet and we have locked the closet door so he can't get to them in the past.

It's so hard because you can't MAKE them sleep. You can make the room nice and cool and dark. You can take all the toys out. You can tire them out. But still, you can't make the sleep actually happen!! Sometimes I wish they made ambien for toddlers.... it would be so tempting.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 16, 2007
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He has no toys in his room, only books, and we can put them in the closet and put a child lock on the closet. That is a good plan. He is very good at making up ways to play without toys though :rolleyes: Like opening and closing the drawers, or banging on walls, or jumping on the chair in his room. My only concern is that he gets destructive, which is not his norm but if he got really rammy it could happen. There is a humidifier in his room and curtains. If he really wanted to do some damage he could. But I suppose we could intervene in that situation.

I think the threat of a gate could work, and of course follow-through. I will have to see if our portable gate will work on his door. I am hopeful he naps well today at daycare and then it will be easier tonight. Hopefully 8) And I will give him a talking-to so he remembers that he is to stay in his room until we come get him.
 

Mrs

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
437
DD - I'm so sorry you're dealing with sleep issues now! That's the last thing you need with #2 so close! Like LC suggested, I was dealing with this not long ago and turned to Dr Weissbluth's guidance in Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child. More info here: http://www.parentsconnect.com/articles/marc-weissbluth-sleep-rules.html

I honestly have mixed feelings about the reward system since I don't want my kids to think they deserve a special treat for doing what they are supposed to be doing; nevertheless, we do let Sage have a "sleep treat" when she remembers it and she has followed the sleep rules. It's made my life much better. She still gets up crazy early (5:20) but she knows to stay in bed and wait for her alarm clock to turn green (now set for 5:40) and she usually will stay there longer if I wait to get her. Anyway, I hope this helps a bit. Good luck!!

Mrs
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 16, 2007
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24,364
So tonight Hunter went down well! He got up one time but went easily to bed. I took NFO's advice and put all the books away. When my husband went up to put Hunter back in bed he said, "Where all my books?" :devil: But he went down.

So score one for the parents :appl:

Mrs I will check out that site if Hunter seems to be making a pattern of this stuff. As I said, we are fortunate he does not (yet!) woken in the night.

Where can I get one of those clocks that changes color?? The one NFO posted seems to be unavailable...
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 16, 2007
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OK, wish us luck everyone! We found a clock finally that I like that is available in Canada:

http://www.gro.co.uk/Gro-clock.html

It is really neat looking. Tonight is the first night we are trying it! Hunter has been waking pretty consistently at 5:45-6:00 so we set it for 6:15 ;)) Hope it works!

And thanks for the tip of the gate at the door. After a big fuss a while ago about it, and some trasition nights where we went in to comfort him in his room, now if he gets out of bed and opens his door, we just say "back in bed!" from the bottom of the stairs and he closes the door and climbs in bed. He opens the door 2-3 times before settling usually, but its a big improvement.

OK, fingers crossed the clock makes a difference! I hear him banging around up there, so hopefully he does not unplug it :rolleyes:
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 16, 2007
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No luck :blackeye: He woke at 5:45.

Tonight we will try again and set the clock for 5:45. Then he can have some "success" with the clock for a few days and learn how it works, and we will move it a little later.
 

swingirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,665
Just my experience. My son was an early riser and never went to sleep much before 9 pm. Not a long nap either and was done with naps way before my daughter. We taught him to stay in his room and play quietly. He just didn't need that much sleep no matter what anyone says about toddlers needing 10-13 hours of sleep. You can't force someone to sleep when they are not tired. So you have to figure out if he is tired during the day and waking up too early or does he wake up well rested.
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
I agree with the time change. We used to set the clock for 6:30 because my DS usually wakes right around then. We've slowly moved it later and now it turns "green" at 7:00. He is usually awake before then, but plays/reads quietly in his room until the light turns green at 7.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
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swingirl|1310071867|2964098 said:
Just my experience. My son was an early riser and never went to sleep much before 9 pm. Not a long nap either and was done with naps way before my daughter. We taught him to stay in his room and play quietly. He just didn't need that much sleep no matter what anyone says about toddlers needing 10-13 hours of sleep. You can't force someone to sleep when they are not tired. So you have to figure out if he is tired during the day and waking up too early or does he wake up well rested.

He sleeps about 10 hours at night and another two as a nap, so it is likely enough sleep. We just want him to stay in his room until at least 6am! When he was in his crib he would just play and amuse himself until we came in to get him, and because of that often fall back to sleep if he woke really early. So my hope with the clock is mostly to get him to stay in his room/bed and amuse himself for a little while longer! 5:45 is just too darn early!
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
UPDATE!!

This thread was so helpful.

First, putting the baby gate at the door, but still allowing Hunter to open the door when needed, totally made bedtimes better. He now pops his head out maybe 1-2 times, and we just call up the stairs "Get in bed! We love you!" or even just ignore him and he goes to sleep. So much better than constatly going up to tuck him in and chasing him, which became a game.

Second, the clock worked! :appl: :appl:

It took about a week or so for him to get it. We set the time on the clock really early at first, to 5:30, so that he would have the chance to see the sun come up. We set it earlier and earlier until he finally had a day where he got up *after* the sun, and then we made a big deal about what a great guy he is. We then set it a little later and he waited in his room until the sun came up and then opened the door and called "The sun is up!!" when it was time to get up! When he did this for about 2 days, we moved the time later again in 15 minute increments. Now the clock is set for 6:30 and he is consistently sleeping until then, sometimes even a little later. His mood is better, he is more rested, and generally better behaved. SO GET A CLOCK like this if you have the same issues, it will save your life!
 
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