Help – Sleep issues with 2 year old

posted 10 months ago in Parenting
Post # 2
3880 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Sorry bee I know this sucks!!

The only thing that will work is some tough love. He keeps repeating behavior because he knows it works and he gets the outcome he desires. You are just going to have to walk in tell him that its enough and that its time to go to sleep. He will probably scream louder and cry but he will eventually fall asleep. He may repeat the same thing the next night and the next night but eventually it will sink in that its bed time without mummy.

I know its hard to have to hear your kid scream and cry and not run in to comfort them but its probably one of the only ways to stop the cycle.

Good luck.

Post # 4
8950 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2016

You’re just gonna have to let him cry it out. PP is right, you’ve enforced the behavior by doing what he wants when he cries. If he sees that crying will not get him what he wants he’s more likely to stop trying after a few days.

Post # 5
3880 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Lol…kids are smart and they know how to push a situation in their favor. I was just under two when I worked out that holding my breath until I passed out got my parents to react and fuss over me and do my bidding. It worked around three times until my mum cottoned on to what I was doing and gave me a smack on the butt. I never did it again! 😂

Child rearing is a battle of wills where yours must always be stronger!

Good luck and you are not alone!

Post # 6
4927 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Maybe pick him up, put him back into bed but say nothing? Have you asked him what’s going on during daylight hours? Not sure how communicative he is, but maybe he’s having night terrors, or something happened? Maybe he needs a night light to help self soothe? 

Post # 7
2212 posts
Buzzing bee

can you put a cot in your room so he can come into your bed like he did before? While you try to figure out what is causing this change in his behavior? I am not an advocate for letting a child cry themselves to puking. He may not know why this is happening either, as he is so young. Good luck, bee.

Post # 8
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Poor kid, he probably just liked being in the same room with you and I feel for him – who doesn’t love a cuddle? My five year old still complains that he misses when we were all sleeping in one room! But you must be exhausted, so you’ve got to do something.

What happens if you don’t try to transfer him – say, you put him in the crib and sit with him, without hanging out on the couch? Or let him sleep on the couch altogether? DS moved from crib to sofa bed at the same age because he preferred it to an actual bed – we had to put a chair against the side at first so he wouldn’t fall off, but it went great and he’s still sleeping like that.

Oh, and sadly, if the kid prefers mom, it doesn’t really help when dad does the nice thing and gets up. Mine are like that, and usually if they see dad in the middle of the night, they just throw a bigger tantrum.

Post # 9
3349 posts
Sugar bee

Honestly, the only way I’ve ever fixed this same issue is Ferber. My son does this whenever we stay in a hotel or shared room together (he is 2 this month). I will go in after 15 min, give him a hug, kiss, etc. but I don’t pick him up. I just lay him back down in his crib and haul ass out the door. The first night tends to be tough and I will go in again every 15 minutes until he settles (usually takes 2-3 times max), and then from the second night on he generally makes it through the night. 

Post # 10
8664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I would basically just sleep train. You don’t have to leave him in there to scream forever; we did the method where you go in at intervals to soothe them like pp posted about. There’s probably going to be some rough nights for a bit but you just have to power through it. He’s 2, he’ll be okay.

Post # 11
1670 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I second the ferber method.  That is what I did with my first because he would not sleep through the night.  By the third night he was sleeping through the night.  It’s hard at first but it get easier.  Good luck. 

Post # 12
417 posts
Helper bee

Have you considered moving him to a regular bed? It will make it easier for you to lay down next to him /with him as you do on the couch. Then you can sneak out after he is passed out. You could even just sit on the floor next to the bed and rub his back until he falls asleep so your getting up wont disturb him. Having a big boy bed, a sippy cup with some water next to him to help distract when he is upset could help. I don’t know what it is but I’ve found with that age group when they are freaking out a nice drink of water helps distract them and forces them to breathe and stop screaming. Obviously with a big boy bed you’d have to put a gate at the door and baby proof anything in the room he can reach but I’ve seen quite a few 28 month old transfer to a bed just fine! Good luck and I hope you can all get some sleep soon! 

Post # 13
340 posts
Helper bee

Try a weighted blanket! It’s like being wrapped in a big warm hug and helps many people with sleeping/anxiety issues. It’s the same idea as those jackets for pets who have separation anxiety :]

Post # 14
2138 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I’ll just start by saying that I’m against sleep training.. I think that the concept of teaching a child that if they wake up wanting mommy then there’s no point crying for mommy because she won’t come anyway is depressing.. 

I think there are ways to ensure everyone has a good night’s sleep while your child also feels safe and secure and knows that if they need their parents then their parents will come. 

OP, I’ll tell you what worked for us – we bought a ‘special toddler bed’ for our 2 year old, he chose the design himself (a train) and we put his favourite teddies in it.. and put a single bed up next to it so that mom or dad could sleep there with him if needed. We lie on the single bed before bedtime, read him stories and then stay there with him until he falls alseep. If he needs us during the night, we do the same – lie there with him for a while. He knows that when he’s alseep then mom and dad leave but he also knows that if he needs us we’ll come back. Most of the time he doesnt’ need us anymore.

Personally I want my child to know that if he cries for mom then mom will come.. not that if he cries for mom then mom will ignore him. 

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