It is quite common for children of this age to wake several times during the night, but this is usually for a few minutes at a time. Your son falls asleep well which is important, so we need to look at the possible causes of a 2 year old waking repeatedly through the night.You have done all the usual things to try to solve his sleep problem. It is unlikely that he has a sleep disorder as he falls asleep well and also sleeps well while at the creche. he does not appear to be having night terrors so that can be ruled out. The first possibility is the well-known situation where a child is patted to sleep at night or has a parent next to him or some other special routine when falling asleep and will expect exactly the same thing when he wakes at night. It is important to let your son fall asleep by himself. Extending his bedtime by half an hour will help to change this form of expectation and also ensure that he falls asleep on his own. Then there is the 'learned hunger' situation where children of this age are used to getting and continue to expect feeds through the night. I presume that this is not the case with your son. It is important that the house is quiet at his bedtime and that he is not in a bedroom where he can be disturbed by traffic noise or by noisy neighbours. Ensure that his room is well ventilated and not too hot or too cold.Finally there are the medical conditions that may cause this kind of waking pattern. The most common is acid reflux which causes discomfort and wakes children from sleep. Another very important cause is a blocked nose especially when a child snores and a condition called 'sleep apnoea' results.Finally if your son has a frequent cough at night it is important to exclude asthma. If you suspect any of these medical conditions may be present, your son will need to be seen by his paediatrician.
If you do not think any of these several possibilities I have mentioned above apply to your son, it will help to consult a child sleep expert such as at 'Sleep Matters' www.sleepmatters.co.za
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