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2 yr old waking in night and stopped settling herself

Hi all,

My 2 year old has suddenly stopped being able to settle herself to sleep in the past 3/4 months. It's reached a bit of a head in the last week where she is waking between 4-6am and is completely unable to get back to sleep. She is tired and wants to go back to sleep but just ends up screaming and shouting for me for hours on end.

When all this began I'm sure we made a few mistakes and set up some bad habits e.g. Putting her in our bed to sleep or if past 6am putting her in out bed with Cbeebies on so we can go back to sleep, etc. We've been so used to her sleeping through the night 7.30pm to at least 7am that we thought it might have been just a phase for a couple of weeks but it's got steadily earlier that she's waking and unable to sleep.

She ends up shattered all day and so am I so it's really affecting us. I'm currently 7 months pregnant and dreading what the next few weeks will hold in sleep deprivation before baby comes and things get even worse.

I'm at the end of my tether with it. She has a day time nap for 1-2 hours that she really needs (as do I!). She has even started having trouble dropping off to sleep at night too despite being super ready to sleep. We have a really well established bedtime routine which sees her in bed by 7.30 every night.

Last week she was really unwell with a sickness bug so spent a lot of time in our bed and with us so I wonder if this week she's having trouble adjusting to being back in her own bed? I'm at the point now where I cant think if any other option but to leave her to cry it out - do you do this with toddlers or just babies? If us going into her or putting in our bed actually helped her to sleep I wouldn't mind carrying on with it but nothing seems to help her sleep. Plus I don't want to go back on her previously good self settling and feel she needs to be independent at this point not more reliant on us to get to sleep.

Am I really awful to leave her to get on with it (after popping in once to check shes ok and has dummy, blanket, etc.)? I need my good sleeper back before I completely lose my mind! I'm starting to take it out on her due to exhaustion and hormones and feel constantly guilty for that.

Sorry for long post. Any advice or experience appreciated.


  • My son is same age and has started doing the same - by ignoring him over a week or so he's finally started sleeping through until at least 6, which is better than before! Unfortunately I think it's a combo of louder mornings (birds etc) and being unsettled with knowing baby is coming etc. Daniel has always been a fab sleeper so it came as a bit of a shock I can tell you! Unfortunately it just takes patience which I know we're lacking in that at the minute with being pregnant! He surprised me the other day and slept until half 7!!! Just wish I'd been able to sleep at the same time! Good luck x
  • No advice really, but we are also going through the same thing (although my daughter has never been a great sleeper!!) We are expecting a baby in 3 weeks, but we are moving in about 10 days - so I couldn't bring myself to let her to cry it out when there will be so much unsettlement in the up and coming weeks anyway. However, if we had not had those issues - I would do it! As from my past experience (even though i thought i'd never do it) CC was all that worked for DD.

    Hope you all start sleeping again soon - you have my every sympathy! xxxx
  • I'm not going to help at all i'm afraid as I have just written a similar post! Just wanted to say your not alone and that maybe its just the time of year and louder mornings as a lot of the toddlers seem to be doing this lately!

  • Thank you for the replies. I'm obviously not the only one! It's just such a surprise when you've been used to a bed bug!

    Things have improved in the last few days. We bought DD a gro-clock sleep trainer and she loves it. We've used it for four nights so far and we've had two 7am wake ups and one 6.30am wake up with no waking in the night (we've set the clock to 'wake up' at 7am) and today she slept until 7.30am but did wake at 2am so I went in but we didn't have any crying or complaining and she settled quickly and went back to sleep.

    We've also taken the sides off her cotbed so shes also really happy with her big girl bed. I'm not holding my breath that we've solved it for good but am feeling miles better after the last four improved nights sleep!

    Fingers crossed it continues. I do recommend the gro-clock as it comes with a story book that helped her to understand that she must get up with the sun on the clock so it removes the emphasis from the natural increasing daylight at this time of year.

    All the best ladies! X
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