Posted by: Odie | 2007/07/26


Toddler Sleeping Disorder


My name is Odette, I have a toddler of 2 years 7 months old and we are having endless problems with his sleeping pattern.

He attends a creche during the day from 7:30am to 6pm, the creche has told me that he has an hour nap everyday. After picking him up, we go straight home, cook dinner, he has a bath by +- 7pm (I feed him his dinner in the bath), after bathing he watches a movie or has some quality time with Mom and Dad.

I have tried to take him to bed at 9pm, but he will lay there for hours and not sleep, I have now made it 10pm but still the same problem, he will remain awake until after 12pm every night. You can only image how exhaused I am and how exhaused he must be as well. I have minimised his fizzy drinks intake as well as his sweets, but nothing seems to be helping. Please assist me, I am desperate.

Many Thanks


Expert's Reply



The problem here just may be that he is being stimulated too much in the evenings when the family is together and the quality time may be too short for him after the long day at the creche.Watching a movie may be just too stimulating for his mind at this age. It would be best to keep things quiet when you put him to bed at about 8pm. Read to him from books that will not excite him too much but which are happy and peaceful.

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user comments


Posted by: Odie | 2007/08/06

I have tried everything. It has been a week since I submitted my problem on the internet, and nothing has helped. I am mentally and physically exhausted. On Friday (03/08/07) he only fell asleep at 2am, Saturday again only at 3am Sunday morning. This cannot carry on. Last night I put him to bed and switched the lights off and went to my own bed, I heard him playing and talking to himself till 2am this morning. What am I doing wrong? Please help I'm depserate. My husband and I have decided to take him to a Paediatrician for a check up and see what he has to say. This is so frustrating. Regards Odie

Reply to Odie
Posted by: muffin | 2007/07/26

can you not feed him when you get home, say just after 6 (maybe give him the previous night's leftovers that you and your husband ate), then bath him 1/2 hour later, and then follow a bedtime routine, story and bed and maybe bottle or drink, brush teeth by 7.30. i know this sounds radical to you, but your son's problem is that he is not getting enough sleep. Sleep begets sleep, and you have to start putting him to bed earlier, put him to bed and lights out, no toys or anything in bed. he will get the hang of it. If you play with him or let him watch TV before bed it makes them more hyper. I have always followed this routine with my children and it works, and I have recommended it to friends who were having problems and it worked for them too after a while, you have to be firm with him and make him stay in bed.
An excellent book to help you with sleep is "Healty Sleep Habits, happy child", available on Kalahari dot net, I read the whole thing when my son was 8 months and I made a lot of corrections and he now goes to bed at 6.30 and sleeps till about 6 (he's 16 months). my daughter who is 3, sleeps from 7 to 7. Try it. good luck

Reply to muffin
Posted by: Odie | 2007/07/26


Unfortunatley my husband and I only get home just before 6pm every night, so to feed him before 7pm is impossible. I do read to him and keep him relaxed and calm, but to get him to sleep by 8pm will be a mission impossible, he just will not go to sleep, and if he did actually fall asleep he would be awake at 11pm full of energy and ready to take on the world again. I'm at my wits end, not sure what else to do. My doc recommended Ratlin, but I dont want him to be doped up and on drugs at such a young age, if i can keep the meds away complete i'll be happy.


Reply to Odie
Posted by: anthea | 2007/07/26


i know what it feels like to be exhausted. my son is one year and five month's although he sleeps by 8:30 he then wakes up after 12 am every hour to feed. only wakes up when he refuses to eat during the day so he gets hungry during the night. i got this advise from my ped you can try. you also feeding him to late try feeding him by 5:30 then 7:00 a light snack when he is bathed try not to exite him an hour before bed time dim the ligjts then read a storie or sing to him but know playing as they get over exited then struggle to fall asleep. this worked wonders with both my kids my daughter is six it even worked on her. try cutting out the fizzing drinks all together. hope this helps.

Reply to anthea

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