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Night waking!

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#1 Monica


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Posted 28 May 2012 - 08:21 AM

I threw this out on facebook a little while ago and have tried some of the advice offered there but it's not working!

At least 3-4 times a week Nina is waking at around midnight and often staying awake until 5am.

At first we were pretty lax, letting her in to bed with us, giving her food when complaining of hunger, watching a DVD with her so we could doze etc etc. We've become tough the last few times it's happened and she isn't a allowed out of her room. We will stay with her but often that results in us falling asleep and her mucking around, kicking, hitting, spitting on us til we wake up, she becomes very fereal. Will yell at the top of her lungs that she is hungry, scream til she nearly vomits.

We have tried holding the door shut for up to 10 minutes but it doesn't work, she just gets so worked up and even more wide awake.

Last night after 2 hours she came to bed with me but wriggled and kicked me the whole time. DH the got in to her bed with her. There has been no food given (only water) and no TV. She finally went to sleep at 5am and was awake at 6.45, far too tired to go to DC so I am home whilst DH sleeps as he's just come off 2 x 14 hours shifts.

Could there be something medically wrong? She has a cough that is worse when she lays down but I am reluctant to think it's that because on the nights she does sleep through, she does cough and it doesn't wake her.

She is no longer having a daysleep so it can't be that.

Do we just keep sleeping in her room and tough it out?
I am also thinking about taking her to pick out something at the shops that she can have after a week or so of no wake-ups (or at least quick re-settling). I could also do a sticker chart for her to see more immediate gratification.

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#2 hanes


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Posted 28 May 2012 - 08:30 AM

Could she be hungry?? Would it be worthwhile offering her something small after dinner or before bed??

It sounds like you're doing everything you can. I hope you find the solution soon smile.gif
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#3 ~steph~


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Posted 28 May 2012 - 08:38 AM

Is she having a day sleep?? Both mine either fought bedtime till 11pm or partied in the middle of the night when they needed to drop their daysleep. We cut it out totally with H, but cut it done to a max of 1 hour for A, but only on days he desparately needed a sleep. Made for a few crappy days, but at least they were sleeping at night!

Other than that we would do what you are doing.

ETA Ignore me, I missed one sentence in your post and it was the important one about her not having a daysleep anymore!
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#4 ~ela~



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Posted 28 May 2012 - 08:54 AM

What fun that sounds like! sad.gif

The first thing I would have said was the day sleep but as she's not having one it must be something else..

I would make the time she is awake (the 12 - 5) very boring - think back to newborn waking during the night times - almost darkness, feed and back in bed, little voices etc.. Just re-inforce the night time is for sleeping, have her look out her window to see how dark it is, make sure you use your ''inside quiet voices''. So no dvds/games, then she will think the waking up is proving rather boring, youre not coming to the party, she can't play etc, so it may be better just going back to sleep. Surely it will soon stop as it's getting colder - who wants to be out of bed that long!

As for her saying she is hungry, make a point in offering her something a bit after dinner. Say she eats dinner at 5.30, at 6.30 offer her yoghurt/custard/fruit/toast etc and remind her that's all we eat until we wake up.

It's sure hard work. Since being toilet trained Ethan wakes up at least once a night for the toilet, but often tries to dart past me to play after washing his hands which isn't on!

As she's hit 3, she would understand how one of these work:


I don't have much else..

#5 tastebud


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Posted 28 May 2012 - 08:55 AM

I had this with my little girl when her baby brother arrived. We got through it with (eventually) some tough love.

It started up again a couple of weeks ago. Well I thought that was it. Turns out it was worms ph34r.gif

Have you guys wormed the family recently? My mum reckons adults lose the sensitivity but it can play havoc with children's sleep and behaviour.

Just a thought!

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#6 claire_p


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Posted 28 May 2012 - 10:02 AM

Yes, give the sticker chart a go!!!

My kids were coming into bed with us and there was no room so I would have a terrible nights sleep, so I had had enough and made them up some "Sleep in your own bed rewards charts", which they have done so well with. Liam failed the first night so didnt get to put a sticker on but once he understood that he didnt get his sticker for that reason he has been in his bed ever since (3 weeks now). At the end of the 7 days/stickers I have got written on their chart either Small Toy or Book. They have loved getting to pick something for the last 3 weeks (only $10 and under).

Do you give her milk and a snack just before bed to fill her up? Or maybe place a little midnight snack at the side of her bed, which she can eat if she wakes up without getting out of bed.

Good luck!
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#7 Monica


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Posted 28 May 2012 - 07:35 PM

Tastebud- worms is the first thing I thought of but she hasn't complained of an itchy bottom, dis your dd?

I've been told many times that hunger won't wake a child. I do give her milk after dinner but she is such a shocking eater that we've tried to stop offering extra food afterwards, its a bit of a catch 22.

Next time it happens, I will be getting the sticker chart happening. She actually was allowed to pick some at the shop today and hasn't looked at them since so I might use those!
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#8 Porthos


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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:40 PM

Sorry this is still going on Naomi sad.gif What a giant PITA.

As you know, Cate is also a fussy eater so I used to give into the whole 'I'm hungry' bit. I am not doing it anymore as it's so clearly a ruse...and she does eat enough during the day to make it through the night. I will let her have a small water if she really gets stroppy but I will stick with the theory that kids don't wake from hunger.

This sounds harsh, but I would get out of her room and stick with the shutting the door thing. Keep the door shut for as long as you have to until she calms down (you can keep sticking your head in saying "when you stop X I will come back in"). The fact that she gets one of you in there with her would be enough of a draw card to keep waking IMO.

We are on night four of a star chart for Cate ourselves. She is over three and a half and well able to sleep through the night....lately she has been waking up because her doona is messed up, or a doll has fallen out of bed etc etc....just silly things that she is old enough to rectify herself without waking the whole bloody house. DH took her to pick out some new Bombers pjs, made a big deal of putting them in a 'special spot' and has set up a 14 night star chart. Three nights of sleeping through so far, pray God she keeps it up wink.gif

There's no harm in treating Nina for worms either....one little chocolate tablet will do the trick, plus a hot wash of her bedding and pjs. Wouldn't hurt to rule it out.

#9 **** Sarah and Adam ****

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 10:05 PM

So if this was one of my children I wouldn't be hanging around in there for 5 hours. No way, I would be setting up clear boundaries that sleep time is when we are all in our beds sleeping or resting. If she wants to be awake she'll have to do it alone in her bed without disrupting you guys.

What time is she going to bed of a night? Stepping back from bedtime what is happening from say 5pm onwards?

With eating I do not play the game. I've observed my kids sleeping super well when sick and not eating so I figure they can cope a night if they choose not to eat dinner, gets easier as you can negotiate more and more when they get older. Our kids have dinner between 5.30 and 6pm. They have yoghurt at 6.30pm. If they are still hungry after that they can have a piece of fruit IF they attempted and ate a reasonable amount of dinner.
Teeth are brushed and we read a book to each before a cuddle in bed and sleep time. We say goodnight and I expect sleep until 6-7am. I will console/soothe/provide comfort for night wakings, but if it is night waking to be awake then I won't play that game.

#10 Monica


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Posted 28 May 2012 - 10:23 PM

On my phone so will make it quick.
We are doing the bath early due to cold weather so dinner is between 5-5.30. She is offered fruit and milk after that. Given there is no daysleep she is ready for bed 6.30-7 often asking id she can go. We tell her it's one story then sleep. Sometimes she will fall asleep before the end. Bedtime isn't really an issue BUT on the nights DH is home she does try it on. He is far less firm than me and when I tell him I never have a problem with bedtime he rolls his eyes. When he is around it's as if I'm not there in nina's eyes (that doesn't bother me though).

Sticker chart is the way to go I think.

As I've said before, we live in a unit so it's hard to let her scream for an extended period of time. I will drops note under some neighbours door tomorrow though, just to let them know what's going on.

DH and I aren't often on the same page either, you know the deal, we're struggling again sad.gif
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#11 **** Sarah and Adam ****

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 10:27 PM

Ofcourse you are struggling you are tired and dealing with an extremely tired toddler! It's bloody hard. I don't think the sleep element of parenting will ever be something that sits well with me!!!

Sticker chart sounds like it's something you are comfortable with. I would include things on the chart that are easy for her to achieve, I think yo ucan get charts where you identify the items that need working on, i.e. sleeping all night, toilet use, brushing teeth etc. You could pick a couple of things with her that are easy enough for her to achieve along with the night waking.

#12 bluenomi


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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:29 AM

When did she give up her daysleep? I know DD sleeps badly at night if she's missed her nap or had a short one during the day. Maybe she still needs some sort of nap during the day to help her sleep at night?

The other thing is it might be night terrors so she doesn't want to go back to sleep because she's scared. We've had that lately and it is a fight to get her back into her cot and alseep because she really doesn't want to. It's a bit harder when they are in a bed though, DD can't climb out of the cot! It takes lots of reassurance and cuddles and back patting to get her back to sleep (usually an hour or 2)
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#13 Avery



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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:04 AM

Oh man N, I feel for you sad.gif
I'm on my phone so I'll make it quick but I can vouch for those clocks a PP mentioned. We got the groclock one and it was fantastic. Really helped E understand when it was time to stay in bed or get up
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"It's risky" said experience.
"It's pointless" said reason.
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#14 aChocLover


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Posted 29 May 2012 - 11:03 AM

We had this sort of thing with DD2. We should have knocked it on the head early, but we were just too darn exhausted and fell into that "it's just easier if we comply" thing. We ended up cosleeping ~4 nights per week until she was 4 1/2.

Ultimately, it was persistence on our part that won. Being persistent and consistent in both of yours and DH's approach to sleeping/ staying in their own room. Otherwise the tikes go for the weakest link wink.gif

Do you think that she's getting too cold at night and it's the cool that's waking her? DD2 was forever kicking off her sheets/blankets and once awake it was hard to get her back to sleep. Can you monitor the temp in her bedroom? What about a timed oil heater thingy? If you're awake at midnight, can you check on her and put her blankets back on etc?

Good call on the worms, too. I've heard that it's incredibly painful and have heard stories that involve tweezers and a flashlight sad.gif

#15 Monica


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Posted 29 May 2012 - 11:20 AM

So, this morning I woke to DH and Nina snoring through the monitor.
She had woken at 2am and he sat with her for 20 minutes and she went to back to sleep. He came to bed, she woke again at 4am, again it took her about half an hour to go back to sleep, they must have both fallen asleep and that’s where they stayed.
Not overly happy that he stayed with her BUT that is a damn sight better than it has been.

I am doing the DC pick-up today so am going to have a chat with her on the way home about the sticker chart and also get some worm tablets and change her bedding.
If she has them, would she be complaining? I remember them as a kid and they were hideously itchy. I am assuming girls can get them at the front as well? She is ALWAYS touching herself (just a phase hopefully) so I’m wondering if that is more the problem.

Re: the day sleep, she has quiet time in the afternoon. On DC days she has a sleep but is so exhausted at the end of the day sleep isn’t really an issue.

I am going to keep a diary of what she eats and what her nights are like. She doesn’t eat a lot of sugar (we don’t have lollies or chocolate in the house and she only drinks water) but I’d like to rule that out too perhaps.

I also think DH has to toughen up a little and not be so worried about being the bad cop (running joke in our house). Things just run much more smoothly routine wise when he isn’t around but that’s not something I can really fix without getting him off side, we butt heads SO badly. He thinks me wanting her in to bed at a decent hour is being selfish and wanting time to myself – well hell yeah but it’s also for the good of the child – kids are ruled by sleep (well at least mine is) and she is SO much easier to deal with when she’s had ample. Easy for him to say that too after a 12 hour sleep all day yesterday whilst I took the day off work and wrangled a tired, cranky child from the time she woke at 6.45am, damn straight I want some peace and quiet come 7pm

Sorry, little bit of a vent there.

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