Landon has been waking up in the night more and more lately, it’s been about once a night. He usually wanders into our room and I go and tuck him back in and pat him for one song (he has music that plays while he sleeps) and he’s good for the rest of the night. A few nights ago he started waking up twice in the night, sameĀ routineĀ and he’s back to sleep. Then there was last night early this morning.

2:30am. Landon wanders in our room, I take him back to bed and pat him for a song. But he doesn’t want me to leave. I pat him for another… still not wanting me to leave. I go through all the things that might be bothering him as to why he isn’t going back to sleep to no avail. He’s trying everything he can to stall, stall, stall. Finally (a little after 3) say it’s time to go to bed. Then it’s hysterics in his room until about 5am with various forms of intervention from both my husband and I to get him back to sleep (ranging from shutting the door and letting him cry it out to laying with him to let him fall asleep with us there (he just wanted to play…)). Finally he fell asleep for about 15 minutes at 5 am, then wakes up and we start all over again. We just gave up. Brad was up working since he couldn’t sleep anyway and Landon came in and laid next to him on the couch. About 5 minutes later he fell asleep again and slept until about 6:15.

He’s been resisting bed time more and more lately. We’ve tried pushing it later, tried earlier. He has a night light, we allow a limited amount of “one more things” to help him get settled to go to sleep.

The huge question on my mind… what to do? I obviously would love for bed time and even night time wakings to go smoothly and peacefully and I totally get that sometimes falling asleep, especially alone (except for ‘blankie-bear’) is hard at 3, BUT at the same time he needs to learn and we can’t lay with him every night until he falls asleep. That’s not good for him nor for me (who is still waking in the early morning for a feeding for Riley).

We’re going to try a sticker chart again for bed time and if he does all of his jobs (including going to sleep nicely) he gets a sticker/stamp. We had to do this about 6 months back and it helped a bit then. Not quite sure how to approach the night wakings though. I know consistency is important. So I think Brad and I will have a little discussion about what the plan is – let Landon know said plan and go from there… any ideas for the plan???

What do you do when your children wake in the night? Are you more of a “go to sleep and figure it out” kind of parent or one that would lay with them until they fall asleep and hope it’s a phase that passes quickly.

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3 Responses to The Toddler Who Wanders in the Night

  1. Jody says:

    That’s a difficult one. He could be coming down with something and that’s his way of communicating it to you. OR he could be just testing his limits… maybe a growth spurt? You’re right, you and Brad will have to come up with a plan and see what happens. Hopefully the culprit will reveal itself soon! Here’s to a good night’s sleep!

  2. Nicole says:

    I clicked on the link to this story because my son (2.5 plus a couple months) just started waking up in the middle of the night and I was curious to see how you handled it. Luckilly right now it’s taking just walking him back to his bed, rubbing his back for a minute, and walking out. I’m hoping it doesn’t progress to what you describe above because I too am up in the early morning feeding an infant. I know you wrote this a couple months ago. Do you have an update? I hope things are better for you!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Nicole,

      Landon’s night waking did get better, I think the thing for us was just consistency find a plan and stick to it. A huge part really is just the age and if there’s anything I’ve learned about the hard times: most all are phases and this too shall pass.

      However the GOING to bed thing got significantly worse until recently. We tried a new thing (I posted about it here) and this is working wonderfully. I don’t think this would address the night waking though. You might be able to do something like this (if it gets worse) in that you just give him a book and leave a low light on for him to read in bed. Good luck!