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Pregnancy & Parenting
Moderators: bierorama

my 2 year will not sleep through the night any more!

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Please help! my son has recently decided he no longer wants to sleep! I've tried everything! He has a routine before bed that works. but i cant get him to stay asleep. He goes to bed at 9 pm, and hes up at 1 am and then he will not go back to sleep. Sometimes he cries all night, or he talks to himself. My husband and I have tried soothing him, nightlights, stories, rubbing his back, laying him back down. I dont know why hes traveling backwards, or how to help him sleep through the night. Btw he takes 1 hour naps if that. please any advice would be appreciated Smile thanks

Edited Apr 05 2012 14:07 by bierorama
Reason: Moved to Pregnancy & Parenting for better response.
4 Replies (last)

It's been a while since my kids were that age, but I'll try to offer some advice.

You may want to eliminate the naps, or maybe cut him down to one nap per day, and one that is not later in the afternoon. Some kids don't need naps and stop them early. One of mine stopped her naps around 2 years old. He'll probably be grumpy in the afternoon until he adjusts to the new schedule. If he starts to want to take a nap later in the afternoon, don't let him. You don't want him to refresh himself with a nap just a few hours before bedtime.

I don't know if he sleeps in your bed or your bedroom, but put him in his own bed in his own bedroom. I know many people advocate a family bed, but I don't. (But I don't judge those who do.)

All children need to learn how to put themselves to sleep and then back to sleep. If you rock and hold him before putting him to bed at 9:00, and he's asleep when you do, stop that routine. Hold and rock him and get him drowsy, but put him to bed awake. If you lay down in the bed with him until he goes to sleep, stop that as well. Then when he wakes in the middle of the night, he knows how to put himself back asleep. Your goal is teaching him to put himself to sleep, not you putting him to sleep.

Go to him once when he wakes in the middle of the night to make sure his diaper isn't wet, he hasn't tangled himself up in blankets, etc., but after that let him be. If he is talking to himself, just let him. If he's crying, and there is nothing wrong, let him cry (that's a hard one, I know). It may mean a few (or several) sleepless nights for everyone concerned, but eventually he'll learn that night time is for sleeping, not for interaction with Mom and Dad. If he's being rewarded (with your presence) for crying and yelling for you at night, of course he will keep it up.

Good luck, but he needs to learn how to self-soothe himself to sleep and then back to sleep.


When my son was about that age he did something similar where at 2 in the morning he would wake up and try to migrate to our bedroom.  I had to keep sending him back to his room each night and sit next to him and pat his back until he fell back to sleep.  This happened for probably a month or so before he stopped trying.  I also had problems with his grandma putting him down for his nap when it was "convenient for her" which was around 3:00.  I had to send him to a daycare where I could be sure his nap would be at nap time (his nap time at daycare is 12:30-2:30) so that his nights wouldn't get mixed up.  I hope you and your husband find something that works for you--every child is a little different!  Good luck!

I agree with the cry-it-out approach. I "sleep trained" my son at 10 months... It was really difficult, but in about a week he was good to go. He's going to be three in July and he hasn't regressed. Is there anything new in his life that could cause stress? Sometimes stress will do it. Regardless, good luck!

maybe try aromatherapy crystals. If you get the soothing sleep remedy just toss a some in with his bedding when you wash it. I have friends who swear by it, they say it will help them sleep deeper so they don't wake up as easily in between REM cycles. I hope you find something that works!

4 Replies