Toddler Sleep Issues – Need Help!

A friend of mine is stumped (and stressed!).  She went through a divorce about a year ago and now she has twin, 4 1/2 year old girls who will not sleep in their own beds.  Every night, they come into her room and want to sleep in her bed – with or without her!  She has tried taking them back into their room and reassuring them that they’ll be ok but this has not worked.

Any suggestions?

I am going completely crazy right now as the Twinkies have decided to re-institute past sleeping issues?! They are 4.5 yr old twins, and just don’t want to sleep in their room! Usually, one is worse than the other (or if it’s not one, it’s the other – hopefully that made sense). When they were sick the past few times (uhhh… MONTHS!) I did let them sleep with me and now they only want to sleep in my bed. I don’t even have to be in it! Although, it always starts with them asking me to stay in their room or wanting to sleep with me. And how do you explain WHY they can’t sleep with me? They will go to bed and fall asleep in their room, but it’s just a matter of time before I hear the pitter pat of their tiny little feet and my door swings open. Last night, Lily literally came in every 5 mins, starting at 10:30PM (Bedtime is always 7:30-8PM) until 2:30AM, when I finally put her in my bed and went to sleep in the guest bedroom – never a peep after that. Of course Ava woke up and
realized Lily was in my room and then she needed to get in bed with her. And sometimes the tantrums when I refuse are so bad that I fear my neighbors are going to call the cops as they scream “MOMMIE” for an hour (obviously, we have VERY thin walls here!). My room is DARK, I need to keep a light on in the hallway/door open for their room??? I cannot believe it because I have always been against allowing kids in the bed and I don’t know if I have just unraveled all these years of good practices or if something else is going on with them. The screaming, crying, begging just breaks my heart and I usually end up crying as well. I don’t yell, I just very calmly try to walk them back to their beds, assure them how much I love them and that I am right across the hall. Times are very stressful right now as I am unemployed single mom but I try NOT to show any fear or anxious emotion around them. Their dad has been gone for almost two years so I don’t think it has anything to do with that?
Plus, he and I have an awesome relationship and co-parent very effectively. Comments????


Spreading the word – Sleep cycle challenge at 13 months

Madeline has always been a great sleeper (thanks in part to Babywise). Although we “trained” her to sleep through the night early on, I never knew that the training was ongoing! I thought that once it was accomplished, that was it. But oh no…I was mistaken. As I’ve said before, there are times when they reach a milestone (or are about to) and their sleep goes from perfect and content to a complete nightmare. The older she gets, the more I doubt myself. When she was an infant, I knew she was up for one of 4 reasons: she was hungry, she was in pain, she was sick, or she needed changed (although she never really seemed to care about this). Now, I find myself wondering if she is screaming because she’s scared, afraid of the dark, having a nightmare, teething, getting an ear infection, having separation anxiety, etc…ah! Before I go on, I just want to say that this is totally normal – the 13 month mark seems to be another milestone where sleep is challenged!
BabyCenter blog
Yahoo Q&A

Every night, we put her to bed at 7/7:30 and up until 2 nights ago, she went down like a champ – sometimes she’d even walk over to the crib, grab the rails, and cry to go in. But the last two nights she screams for a few minutes when we put her in and then both nights, on the nose, she wakes up screaming at 8:00 until we go up and get her. The first night we brought her downstairs (I thought maybe we’d put her to bed too early) and she played for 30 minutes and went back to bed (still cried for 5 minutes but eventually went back to sleep). Last night, when she woke up screaming, we let her cry for almost 30 minutes before getting her (only because I heard a loud thud and thought she’d fallen out of bed) but I didnt’ leave the room – I just comforted her and turned on a nightlight before placing her back in bed. She screamed for another 10 minutes and went back to bed. Now, instead of this just being a bedtime problem, it’s turning into a nighttime problem. She wakes up every few hours and screams for 10 – 20 minutes. I look at her on the monitor and she’s walking around her crib or standing by the door side of the crib screaming. I never get her at night, so I’m hoping this stops tonight. It’s just incredibly frustrating not to know what the problem is! I wish I could look at a book and get the answer. So far all I’ve found is a lot of proof that this is totally normal and that basically we need to “retrain” her to sleep.

Today, I’m going to try to put her to bed later (@8) and see if hat helps. I’ll let you know! Maybe she’s getting too much sleep during the day and I should cut her back to one nap? Please don’t say it’s so! I love the 2 nap day! Wish us luck!

Why is she so upset??

First, I want to apologize for not writing in over a week! Thank you to Krys for covering for me! Things have been so incredibly crazy at work that I have even been working on my days off – I know, no pity for me from those who work full time, but for me it has certainly been an adjustment!

My question is, “why is she still occasionally waking up in the middle of the night at almost 1??” Madeline has always been a great sleeper, sleeping through the night (I’m talking 12 hours) since she was 10 weeks old. But it seems that every few months (more frequently when she was younger) she’d go through a period where she’d wake up in the middle of the night. Now, I don’t mind it when she wakes up and talks to herself – I actually think this is really cute. What I don’t understand is what exactly changed over the last few days?

Prior to Sunday night, we would feed her dinner, give her a bottle, get her ready for bed, lay her down in bed, and that would be it. She’s stick her thumb into her mouth, lay down, and go to sleep! So easy! Sunday night she started a new “habit” where she’d scream, as though she was in massive pain, as soon as she saw the bed. She SCREAMED for 15 minutes and then went to bed. I don’t know what happened! The same night, she woke up, not talking to herself, but SCREAMING.

David and I have a rule that we don’t go in to get her in the middle of the night unless she is sick or the screaming gets progressively worse. I have a self imposed “15 minute rule” where I don’t go in before 15 minutes have passed (again, unless she’s sick or getting more upset). So, we waited the obligatory 15 minutes, where by 10 minutes she was only crying occasionally, and she was back to sleep.