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I have a wild 21 month old toddler and a 4 month baby just to give a picture.

He was never great at putting himself to sleep at night but when I was expecting number 2 we seemed to get into a good routine where even if he was awake for a while he would roll around quite content and for the most part we would always have him sleeping right thru normally somewhere between 630-730.

He started going to bed and instantly unzipping his sleeping bag, throwing out his sleepyhead, ripping up the sheets and now he's climbing out.

He doesn't have the language skills or sense for me to move him to a toddler bed.

To try and help with bedtime I cut out his naps and when he did fall asleep I limited the time asleep to 20 min. For a week this helped with bedtime, he would be crashing out taking his milk. The past three nights he's been up for approx 3 hours during the night and this has started a vicious cycle of trying to sleep during the day.

During his wake periods, his sister likely needs a feed so I need to bring them both down stairs so he's supervised and I've put the tv on and hes eventually fallen asleep. I know I shouldn't do this but I can't find any other way.

This week alone I've suffered two panic attacks and been put on anxiety medication as I am so highly strung.


  • i'm really sorry you're struggling at the moment - toddlers sleep can be so stressful, especially with a little baby too, so it's great you've got some medicine to see you through. 

    In the meantime, i think you should take another look at your sons routine - he might be getting over tired, so maybe try retintroducing a nap - maybe 12-1 the latest - i always found if my daughter slept past 2pm, it would totally mess up the evening sleep. 

    Also, it sounds like it's time to get him out of sleeping bags. Buy a toddler duvet, and his fave character sheets to go over it - make a big deal about it, and hopefully he'll be excited about having a duvet and sleeping with it. 

    I know it's easy to say, but if you're putting the tele on in the night, this is gonna create a new bad habit - he'll wake and know he'll be 'rewarded' with TV - are you able to tough it out, and if he wakes, you feed your baby in the same room as him?

    I know it doesn't help now, but it is just a phase and if he slept through before, he can do it again. 

  • Thank you for your reply. I was having a particularly bad weekend. 

    I just don't know what's wrong with him. He slept Sunday night but then last night he was up 2 hours even though he'd had no nap and was sound asleep at 730. 

    I didn't go into his room for 40 min. I went ib to check he hadn't poo'd or been sick. I sat on the floor not saying anything but when I tried to leave he went hysterical. I eventually took him downstairs and gave him a wee drink of milk but didn't put the tv on and just sat and cuddled him. It was around 2 hours and luckily my daughter decided she didn't need a feed. 

    He woke at 7 as usual. I don't know if I should allow him a longer nap if he takes one or to stop him. If only they came with instructions. 

    I've certainly been concentrating on my breathing and taking my medication to try not get angry / upset as I know he's not doing it to be bad.

    If I bought him a duvet and tried to make a big deal he'd look at me like an alien as his communication skills are great but I've swapped to a bigger size as I didn't realise it was an 12-18 he was in I thought it was 12-24 and he does like the extra room.

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