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Old 12-10-2010, 05:12 AM
Location: Earth
4,227 posts, read 20,295,271 times
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My wife and I have a 2 year old daughter that has been awaking during the night and ends up throwing temper tantrums if we don't allow her to sleep in bed with us.

We keep her on the same routine. She goes to bed at 9 pm every night. She always has to have her mobile on, several blankets, several baby dolls, a bottle of water, sometimes a book or two and several kisses. If we don't give her these things she will scream and cry for hours on end. We also have a night light in her room that gives off just enough light to be able to see in to walk. We also have a 6 inch personal desk fan we turn on that gives off a little white noise. Her bed is located on the opposite corner of the door where one must go into her room to see if she's in bed or not. (We did it like this because the other side of her room where a bed could go has a window - we're afraid since she likes to jump on the bed [we're trying to break her of this to no aval] she will fall thru the window and down to the first story. [we live in a 2 story house])

This has been going on off and on for about a year now but only recently did it get worse. She will awaken in the middle of the night, it could be one or it could be several times. But she will start crying and screaming to come out of her room (we keep her bedroom door open as she will freak out - instead we have a baby gate up) and get into bed with us. We've tried this a time or two but it doesn't work; it stops the screaming but she doesn't go to sleep while in our bed. Instead she wallows/squirms around, starts talking and wants to get into everything, even though it's dark and it might be 3 a.m.

So now she starts crying and screaming to come out. If no one comes to her door she will continue to scream more. When my wife finally goes to the door she will want out. When/if my wife doesn't let her, she starts throwing a tantrum and starts to throw herself on the floor, kicking the door, baby gate or whatever. I've gone in there to try to calm her down but she's usually still very agitated.

We don't know what's causing all of this. She's usually easy to get down at 9 pm. We believe it's night terrors but we don't know why she would be having them. We are going to get set up to have a sleep study done on her. She's already been seen by a children's doctor who really wasn't able to pin point the issues other than possibly night terrors and thus recommended the sleep study. But in the meantime her tantrums at night have kept us up/from getting the sleep we need. There are times where she sleeps thru the night but here in the last 2 weeks she's woken us up almost every night. And there's really nothing we've changed about the environment she's been in that we can think of that would cause her to wake up at night screaming.

My wife and I would appreciate any advice you can please give so we can get back to sleeping thru the night by getting her to sleep thru the night. Thanks.
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:15 AM
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,731 posts, read 9,087,263 times
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Each child is so different...

But on that note....we have a 5 yr old boy and twin 22 mo old boys. Our 5 yr just started to sleep through the night at age 4. Prior he would like your daughter wake up about 2 hrs after going to bed, screaming and wanting to come to our bed. What ended up a compromise is that one of us would sleep on the floor after the first wake up until he fell back asleep. He would then not usually get up again.

At age 4....to break the habit of having someone go to sleep with him on the floor after his wakeup, we would go to his room when he screamed....calmed him down the best we could and then left with him awake. He would start screaming, etc but we let him air it out and over about a week period it was ok.

Now for our twins...they are almost two but we do plan on keeping them in the cribs (separate cribs) for a while longer...we didnt transition our oldest until about 2 1/2 or so.

I would suggest after she wakes up comforting her....you might have to be in the room til she falls asleep...then leave. You might have to do it again in the same night a few times...with the goal to get her used to her own room and bed and that she is safe.

Now she could be having night terrors....and if something is that severe certainly it is your option to check it out.

With our 3 kids......havent all 3 actually sleep through the entire night one or two have but havent had all 3 on the same night. good luck!

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Old 12-10-2010, 06:32 AM
Location: maryland
3,967 posts, read 5,675,300 times
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sounds like she is doing it for attention actually. Ignore her totally and after a week or so she will just stop.
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:32 AM
3,741 posts, read 2,920,687 times
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First rule out anything like an ear infection.

Does she still nap? Try moving her nap up earlier in the day. 9 seems a little late (to me) for a 2 year old...unless she is napping late.

Check with your pediatrician, but you can give her 1 to 3 mg. of melatonin....dissolve it in a little bit of water and then mix with some orange juice. You have to get her to sleep through the night to break the cycle she is in.

Two seems a little early for night terrors....most kids are more like 3 or 4. But another idea...we let my son sleep on the floor in our room for a couple of weeks...we made him a pallet of blankets and pillows, etc. Once he was sleeping well again, we moved him back into his own room.

Good luck...I know it's exhausting.
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:58 AM
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We've generally found that when our son goes to be earlier that he sleeps better. I agree that 9 sounds late for a 2-year-old; have you tried earlier?

Our son went through a similar (although much shorter) stage at about 1 1/2. His doctor initially suggested the cry-it-out method, but then after some more questions advised against that; in his case she thought that the fact that he had possibly scared himself climbing out of his crib was leading to the problem. He climbed out for the first time earlier than most kids, and she thought it possible that it had scared him so much -- since the crib is in many ways a comfortable, safe spot, and being able to get out suddenly expanded his independence dramatically -- that it sparked off the night terrors. We had a couple of very rough weeks, but ultimately everything calmed down. You say her environment hasn't changed, but she's growing fast at this age; any chance she's had some similar big milestone or change or scare? Once he was sleeping on a mattress (we initially just put his mattress on the floor) he would often just come into our room in the night and crawl into bed; it wasn't ideal, but it meant that we all got a decent night's sleep.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:00 AM
Location: Hillsborough
2,825 posts, read 5,955,446 times
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I would probably try to set up her bed in your room, so that when she wakes up, she sees that you are right there and she is fine. If she needs something in the night, you will be able to attend to it immediately before she riles herself up so much that she is wide awake.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:29 AM
Location: Florida
4,081 posts, read 3,066,094 times
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We went through this with both of our kids, and we did as Adventive suggested and set them up in our room after they woke up the first time. My seven-year-old now never comes into our room, and my nine-year-old occasionally comes in and camps out on our floor in the middle of the night. In my book, all sleep is good sleep, no matter what room they're in. It's not worth having a battle over it every night, IMO... this too shall pass.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:40 AM
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You say its been going on for about a year now. It obvious its a habit she has developed and because you haven't done much to stop it she will just keep doing it. Our daughter did this. Would wake up in the middle of the night every night wanting juice. We did that until it started to become every night. We took it away and dealt with the screaming for a week or two. Never a problem since.

If she has been doing this since she was 12 months old it makes since its getting worse. She has gotten older and is figuring out how to get what she wants. Kids are smarter than people give them credit for.

I would try the.... let her scream her head off for a couple weeks and see if it helps.

I would not recommend the sleeping in your room as the other two previous posters have suggested. Horrible horrible idea.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:57 AM
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,731 posts, read 9,087,263 times
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I concur about going to bed at 9 pm....it seems a bit late for 2 yr old. Depends on when she gets up and naps during the day of course. Our 22 mo old twins to to bed 745-8 pm. We too have found that if the stay up too late...their sleep during the night is worse as they are almost too tired to sleep well.

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Old 12-10-2010, 08:27 AM
Location: Rockwall
678 posts, read 1,250,923 times
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I have more questions than answers.

What time does she nap and for how long?

What time does she wake up in the mornings?

How much physical activity is she getting during the day?

Is her room too hot-too cold?
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