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Help ~ 23 month old with sleep problems

I have a 23 month old son and a 4 year old daughter and am having massive problems with their sleeping. When the clocks changed in October we were away and my son went from waking at around 6 to waking at 4.30am, I thought it would sort itself out once we were home but it has just got worse. They are now both waking at 4.30 / 5am and will not go back to sleep, My son is also waking more frequently during the night, last night he woke up at 2.30am and wouldn't go back to sleep until nearly 5am meaning I got less than 3 hours sleep so I am now desperate for help. I've let us get into a lot of bad habits which I know I need to change but I don't know where or which to start with so need some guidance on how to go about it and in which order please.

My son still has a bottle at bedtime, he won't drink milk out of a cup and wakes in the night if he doesn't have milk.
If I leave my son to cry for more than a few minutes he brings the milk up that he's just drank!
I stay with him until he's asleep
My son has another bottle of milk as soon as he wakes and my daughter has a cup of milk as soon as she wakes

When my daughter was young I used controlled crying and after a week she was sleeping like an angel but if I leave my son he is sick.

When he wakes at 4.30am I've tried going in, laying him back down, soothing him and leaving again every 5 minutes or so, I've also tried just leaving him and not going in at all until 5.30 / 6am but he just screams for the whole time.

This is resulting in the whole house being tired and miserable and we are now into our 5th week and I'm at the end of my tether. He used to sleep so well, putting himself to sleep and sleeping in until 6am or if he did wake he'd cry and I'd leave him and he'd go back to sleep. As he's got older I've gradually had to assist him more and more (I shouldn't of I know!) and now since the clocks have changed its just gone crazy. If anyone has any advice it would be appreciated! x


  • Hi,

    Do you have a bedtime routine? If not then putting one in place could really help. If so, what is it maybe you could change it in someway that could help? Maybe a fresh routine could help with a fresh sleeping pattern?

  • At the moment our routine is bath or shower, teeth, pyjamas then into bed for a story for around 7pm ~ is there anything else you think would help? Definitley open to all suggestions! Do you think he's going to bed too early?
  • Hi whizzi,
    i've been going through similar prob's with my son who is 3 next week. He had been such an angel but think he is just going through a phase & touch wood he has been a bit better the last 2 nights (although not as he was before). I have literally had to stick to my guns & slowly i think he may be getting the message.

    What time does your son have his day time nap if he still has one??? If it's late afternoon could you bring that back a bit? Also around your sons age i had to shorten my little boy's nap from 2 hours to 1 as it was affecting how tired he was at bedtime.
    Another idea is to try a later bedtime, maybe 8pm?? I dont think it would happen over night but maybe after a few nights you'll get an extra hour or two?
    I was watching supernanny a while back & a little boy on there was being sick if he was left to cry, suppernanny said it was all to get what he wanted (not saying that this is what your boy is doing) but if he know's by being sick you'll come running then he's in control. Suppernanny suggested completly ignoring it, not leaving him in sick or anything but no cuddles just simply clean up the mess & carry on doing whatever you were doing & let him carry on crying & he'll soon learn being sick wont get him anywhere.

    Cor it's easy to give the advice but i def know how hard it is when your the one up all night. I really hope they give you more sleep as i know how awful you must feel.

    Good luck sweetie xxx
  • we had this a couple of weeks ago,Ds will be 2 1/2 next month and one night our friend said isnt he fantastic at going to bed.......cue 20 times getting back up to put him to bed!!! and 3 weeks of torture after that

    we have had to stick to our guns and really just keep putting him back,one night he got up at 2.30 like your son and was up for 3 hours and then slowly went back to sleep

    he gets pick right back up and out back to bed tucked in and said good night to,no conversations so mollly cuddling as much as i want to i no it works as every few months when i think hes growing some we have a little trouble

    we also had to cut out his nap in the afternoon,i used to make him have one knowing he would be grumpy for DH when i was at work,he now has one if he feels he wants one i dont force it

    i now have a sonn who goes to bed at 7 and will sleep until 7 sometimes 8 which he has never done!!! he will at times still get up at 6-6.30 but more so 7 now

    all i can suggest if cut the nap if he still has one or atleast cut it down and just percevere with putting him right back to bed and telling him its bedtime it does work not right away thats all

    good luck i know how you feel xx
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