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  #1  
Old Apr 10, '12, 8:35 am
friendster324 friendster324 is offline
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Default Toddler sleep problems

I'm hoping some seasoned parents can give my husband and I some advice in regards to our (almost 2 year old) toddler. Just as a little background, up until January he was sleeping in our bedroom, the first year and half mostly in our bed, but towards the end he was in his bed at the other side of the room. We moved into a 2 bedroom apartment in January and decided to get him sleeping in his own room. He transitioned fairly smoothly, with the exception that getting him to fall asleep at bedtime took a really long time. We've always kept his bedroom door and our bedroom door open at night so he could come into our room if he needed us. That turned in to him coming into our room every night. This hasn't been a huge issue up until recently for two reasons. First off, I'm pregnant and due with our daughter in a couple weeks. We're hoping to get him out of our room soon so we aren't dealing with 2 kids in our room. Secondly, this past week he hasn't been going back to sleep quickly once he comes in our room. For instance last night he was up for two hours before he went back to sleep, and he still woke up at his usual time. For what it's worth, the way we figured out how to get him to fall asleep at bedtime was to do our normal routine, then lay him in bed and place a baby gate up at his door so he could still see us but not leave. He cries at the door for a little bit then crawls into bed on his own. We are open to any suggestions.
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  #2  
Old Apr 10, '12, 9:32 am
losh14 losh14 is offline
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Default Re: Toddler sleep problems

First, congrats on your welcoming your second child soon. I'll keep you in our prayers for an easy delivery and healthy baby.

Second, our oldest turns three this year, and our youngest is six months. So I know what you mean about sleep issues! Our toddler generally sleeps well partly because we've had a very consistent bedtime routine. It is a long routine - shower, brush teeth, read three stories, sing three songs - but it's a nice one and it's one that gives me time with her when I work late (which I often have to do). But when anything throws her off schedule, her bed routine is really off. Her little sister is one big thing, and we're trying to establish a routine wiht the baby (they share a room). The time change last month was another, and she's still recovering from that one.

I've noticed it helps if she stays on routine during the day - eats and naps normally, and has a play period when she gets home from school - she goes to bed very easily. What helps even more is if she plays hard so she gets tuckered out. Our worst nights are the nights when she's inside all day and kinda bored. I've also noticed that she really does need time with both my wife and I during the evening, so we give her that and she feels like she's had sufficient attention.

The last thing I've noticed - she will wait to fall asleep until the baby's in there. That makes it tough - so we have to try to get the baby to doze off for at least a while before we put the toddler down for the night.
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  #3  
Old Apr 10, '12, 9:35 am
Z_Ninja Z_Ninja is offline
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Default Re: Toddler sleep problems

It certainly takes a whole lot of patience. My oldest son and daughter are about the same age difference (close to 3 years apart). We were in that same boat about 7 years ago. We also left our doors open to allow our son to come into our room. Most of the time my son would fall asleep on the couch and I would carry him into his room, very easy. Other times, when he was noticeably sleepy, I would go with him and read him a story, usually sit with him until he was asleep, sometimes lying with him (I would sometimes fall asleep also. )
All I can really say, is just have patience.

My daughter at 7 doesn't like going to sleep in her room alone. I will take her up, say prayers with her and she is fine to go to sleep alone.
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  #4  
Old Apr 10, '12, 10:17 am
kristacecilia's Avatar
kristacecilia kristacecilia is offline
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Default Re: Toddler sleep problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by friendster324 View Post
I'm hoping some seasoned parents can give my husband and I some advice in regards to our (almost 2 year old) toddler. Just as a little background, up until January he was sleeping in our bedroom, the first year and half mostly in our bed, but towards the end he was in his bed at the other side of the room. We moved into a 2 bedroom apartment in January and decided to get him sleeping in his own room. He transitioned fairly smoothly, with the exception that getting him to fall asleep at bedtime took a really long time. We've always kept his bedroom door and our bedroom door open at night so he could come into our room if he needed us. That turned in to him coming into our room every night. This hasn't been a huge issue up until recently for two reasons. First off, I'm pregnant and due with our daughter in a couple weeks. We're hoping to get him out of our room soon so we aren't dealing with 2 kids in our room. Secondly, this past week he hasn't been going back to sleep quickly once he comes in our room. For instance last night he was up for two hours before he went back to sleep, and he still woke up at his usual time. For what it's worth, the way we figured out how to get him to fall asleep at bedtime was to do our normal routine, then lay him in bed and place a baby gate up at his door so he could still see us but not leave. He cries at the door for a little bit then crawls into bed on his own. We are open to any suggestions.
It may help you to start transitioning your son to sleep with his door closed, although the baby gate is also a fair idea until he can climb over. We usually just close the doors when we put our kids to bed. Once they can open the door themselves we put a knob cover on the INSIDE of the bedroom door to make sure they can't get out by themselves (for safety reasons).

This has helped with keeping them in their own beds because we can meet them at their door if they get up during the night (we hear them trying to get out), attend to their needs, and put them back in their beds. The consistency of putting them back in their own beds has been a saving grace for us. Also, because you are almost due it'd be in your best interest to have Daddy deal with any night wakings in older kids, probably. If he expects you and you are busy holding a sleeping baby or nursing a drowsy baby you will compound your problems.
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  #5  
Old Apr 10, '12, 11:17 am
SonCatcher SonCatcher is offline
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Default Re: Toddler sleep problems

They're all different. As a practical matter, all kids face transitions in different ways. We found out early on that baby gates didn't work out with either of our kids (no matter how big the enclosed area was, they hated when we were "outside" and they weren't). They seem to be clingy but usually are looking for security.

I think we stayed with our son and read stories and prayed while he drifted off to sleep. I particularly had to engage him more so my wife could attend to our daughter. She is the one who revisits more us when she can't sleep. If God graces us with another, we might have to get her a cot in our room.
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  #6  
Old Apr 10, '12, 11:17 am
ricofall ricofall is offline
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Default Re: Toddler sleep problems

To prevent sleeping issues, we do not allow our toddler to sleep in our bed. Also, we keep her bedroom door closed after we put her down. To help ease our minds, we have a baby camera so we can see what she does and when she really falls asleep. She is allowed to be up, for as long as she stays in bed, she is ok. Also, if she cries....we let her cry for about 10-15 mins and then check on her. We spend no more than 5 mins to comfort her and walk out again to repeat the process if she starts to cry again (even if she starts to cry as we leave).
Currently we have realized that she not not afraid of the dark and apparently has good night vision. We know this because she will at times get out of the bed to play with toys in the dark, even after we quit using her night light.

On a side note, that camera was one of the best purchases I have made.
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  #7  
Old Apr 10, '12, 3:48 pm
Rita77 Rita77 is offline
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Default Re: Toddler sleep problems

I know you didn't mention naps but naps affect nighttime sleeping in a big way. my rules for toddlers only 1 nap a day and it has to be done with by 4pm. for us its better to go lay on the floor next to him then let a toddler come into our bed. I know your pregnant so hopefully your husband can. 2 years are really hard to get to sleep and stay alseep. it gets eaiser with time. but for now when he gets up no talking, no lights, no eye contact, everyone must lay down. if you want him in his bed in his room say it and make it happen dont give in. I'm a big fan of the "Cloud B twilight turtle" its a night light. its the only thing my 3 years needs at night now to go back to sleep.
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  #8  
Old Apr 10, '12, 4:04 pm
pentecostbaby pentecostbaby is offline
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Default Re: Toddler sleep problems

Why does your toddler need to be in his own room, and stay there? As long as you are practicing safe co-sleeping, it might be a good idea to let it ride, KWIM? Your toddler will need a lot of reassurance when your baby is born, and letting him know he is still welcome in the family bed can be a big deal.

I ask because we have two babies 22 months apart. Both co-sleep for part of the night. We started DS1 in his own bed two or three months before DS2 was born, and let him come in our room later. He now comes in at 5:30 instead of 2 am. DS2 starts in his swing (reflux baby), and comes in when he needs to eat - anywhere from midnight to never, if he decides to STTN. We use a twin sidecar red to a queen; the boys never lay next to each other, and there is plenty of room.

It's a big help for DS1 to know that he can still get cuddles when he needs them at night, and that his baby didn't supplant him.

We also have no sibling rivalry; DS1 loves his baby. This seems to be the norm among most AP families I know - just my observations; obviously happy families come in all kinds. I honestly believe, though, that AP babies have their needs met, and are able to be happier about siblings, rather than worry about being left out, because their needs for comfort are met.
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  #9  
Old Apr 10, '12, 4:24 pm
Rita77 Rita77 is offline
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Default Re: Toddler sleep problems

[quote=kristacecilia;9165170] busy holding a sleeping baby or nursing a drowsy baby you will compound your problems.[/QUOTE]

whated to address the bolded part at the end. I know its not the subject but I has happened to me. my husband doesn't help..... so I put the rocking chair near or next to the toddlers bed and explained mommy has to nurse the new baby go back to sleep. again no lights, no talking, and toddler must lay down.
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  #10  
Old Apr 10, '12, 8:03 pm
casey zia casey zia is offline
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Default Re: Toddler sleep problems

Child #5 had sleeping issues the others didn't have, as a toddler. Would go to bed happily enough, in his own bed, but started coming to sleep with us more and more--didn't really know what was going on with that. (Dreams? Fears? Lonely?) I set up some blankets on the floor beside my side of the bed that I could roll up during the day. I'd roll them out when I went to bed, and this son could crawl into those blankets if he needed to during the night, and he didn't wake us up. He just wanted to be near us. It took about a year before he gradually just didn't use the blanket-bed any more, but I never made an issue of it, and let him find comfort there. Meanwhile, we had another baby and I didn't need to worry about toddler in our bed with baby and husband and me. That would have exacerbated the sleep deprivation that comes with new baby!
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  #11  
Old Apr 11, '12, 12:23 pm
friendster324 friendster324 is offline
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Default Re: Toddler sleep problems

Thank you all for your replies. Last night we tried keeping the gate at his doorway. When he woke up, my husband met him at the door, gave him some comfort and placed him back in bed. It only took a few minutes of crying before he realized he needed to stay in his own bed. We all slept wonderfully! I think being near us at night was actually making it harder for him to sleep. I'm hoping that this continues to work out.
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  #12  
Old Apr 11, '12, 12:43 pm
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kristacecilia kristacecilia is offline
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Default Re: Toddler sleep problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by friendster324 View Post
Thank you all for your replies. Last night we tried keeping the gate at his doorway. When he woke up, my husband met him at the door, gave him some comfort and placed him back in bed. It only took a few minutes of crying before he realized he needed to stay in his own bed. We all slept wonderfully! I think being near us at night was actually making it harder for him to sleep. I'm hoping that this continues to work out.
We found the same thing- that being near us would actually make it harder for our kids to sleep. It seems like there is a time from roughly birth to a year where they SHOULD be around you while they sleep (in your room, cosleeping, etc). Then there is a window- which seems to be somewhere in the 12 to 18 month range from my experiences- where transition to a crib and then to their own room is not too difficult. But if you let it extend past that window sometimes it's become an unnecessary habit that just needs to be broken.

I realize that is not the case in every family, but it has been our experience.
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