The Sleep Fairy

I can't remember the last time that The Boy slept through.

It has been at least two months, possibly three, since he went to bed at half past seven and woke up eleven hours later. The two nights when he was comatosed due to a cold don't count because I didn't sleep well through worry.

It's not as bad as it could be because Mr. TheBoyandMe is really kind and does the middle of the night wake-ups. I tend to sit and sob otherwise. However, just because I'm not up with him doesn't mean that I'm asleep.

So I can't work out what the problem is. Just as soon as I thought I'd worked out that it was the night terrors, it was teething that was waking him. In the last few days I've come to the conclusion that it might be a full bladder.

More and more he's calling out in his sleep that he needs to go to the toilet. Last night was the third time in a week that we've lifted him, put him on the potty and he's done an enormous wee.

What do you do? Do you lift your child for a wee halfway through the night?

Then we have the morning wake-ups. He used to wake up anytime between half past six and seven o'clock, but recently it's been getting earlier and earlier and we have no idea why. The six o'clock is just too early when he hasn't stopped buggering around at bedtime until nine, then has a half an hour disturbance at around midnight for a wee. And the clocks are going back in a week or so; that's going to make it five o'clock!

He is exhausted, we are exhausted. And I can't see the wood for the trees. I feel I'm missing something obvious but can't work it out.

Has anyone got any ideas please?

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  1. says

    We discussed lifting, but in the end decided that if she was not ready to lose the nappies then it was better for us all to get a straight sleep. She probably wakes up in the night now once every 2-3 weeks.
    As for the early thing, I'm with you! We've had a few 5:30am ers and they are killers. She's in a bed so trots through and getting her to go back to sleep is impossible. I too am dreading the clocks changing. She has a gro clock and a clock in her room. She can tell the time so knows that 7am is when she should get up. She can put her lamp on. She is fully independent and still chooses to get up early!

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      The thing is that he's waking anyway to ask to go, we're just contemplating lifting him an hour earlier to orevent it happening at one when we've only just gone to sleep. I'm exhausted

  2. says

    God you poor thing you sound shattered. You've also just made me realise that sleeping through doesn't last forever (oh crap!). How about if you wale him just before you go bed? I know of some people that do that and it seems to work some of the time. Hope sleep finds all of you very soon.

  3. Jenny Paulin says

    Burton has started waking up at 6am again!! He goes through stages and here is one again. Could be a growth spurt? It's not good I know. Maybe he needs to drop his daytime nap and see if that makes a difference? Good luck xx

  4. says

    Oh that is so difficult and I don't know what to suggest. Does he wear nappies at night? I think I am with you and would be tempted to lift him. I know experts say not to as it is not them controlling the wee, but I think for sanity and sleep sake it might be worth a try. My mum says she lifted us all at night as then it was the 'done' thing. A friend of mine has also created a sleep fairy box that they decorated together and the sleep fairy deposits something small like stickers as a well done for sleeping well. I feel guilty as I have been so lucky with sleep with mine, but then Noah is 3 and still not toilet trained properly. There is no rhyme or reason for children and their behaviour sometimes. x

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      He's in pull-ups at night, in order to make it easier for toilet trips. The amount that he did in the potty last night at midnight, with a bone-dry nappy on would prove the experts wrong, he's controlling it. I don't think a reward system would work because he's not being naughty or doing anything 'wrong' he's distressed and waking, or just awake! Thanks for the thoughts though.

  5. says

    you probably already know you need a bedtime routine, same things same time every evening. bath, supper, teeth story, lights off. so I wont tell you that.

    I use to half wake mine and walk them through to the toilet just before I went to bed, should give you the first few hrs sleep uninterrupted from that problem at least.

    Its easy for me to say but you need to be persistent and more stubborn than him, he if comes through you put him back…20, 30 times a night. I know its hard going and its easy to give in, but if he is coming through and gets into bed with you then you have got it for a yr or 2, if you persist and put him back you have got it for a week or 2.

    If he is in bed and settled for 9 can you not go to bed for 10? I know there are things to do, but if you go to bed for 10 and he is awake at 5.30 you can get stuff done in the morning? Hubby can then lift him for a pee before bed and then you can get up with him in the morning. Not really conducive to a happy marriage but as you know parents are not people and you dont have any rights!!!

    And yes I have been there, I do know what it is like, ( and have thought about suffocating a 4 week old baby and it does not get much more desperate than that) and there is a light at the end of the tunnel….you just have a few corners to turn before you can see it thats all hun.

    good luck hun…the 2 of you between you can do this

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      He's had a strict bedtime routine from a few months old. We changed it six months or so ago to ensure his teeth were being brushed after milk. He has bath, milk, teeth, story, lights out and mobile, but here's the back-breaker; we cuddle him to sleep. We will be changing the getting to sleep method in half-term so it's just us going it, not my mum being involved as well.

      He's still in a cot so him wandering around is not a problem, and that's not the issue. He's not waking and wanting to play; he's screaming and distressed.

      It's just so tiring.

  6. says

    Oh I feel for you, I hate it when they go through those "phases". Everyone says, "They'll come out the other end soon enough", but it's bloody hard when you're smack bang in the middle of it.

    I know my next door neighbour went through a similar thing with her (just turned) three year old a while ago. For him, getting him up to do a wee (while still asleep) just before they went to bed helped. And they switched him to a bigger bed.

    But they're all so different it's impossible to know the secret answer for your boy. Just trust you're not alone and there'll be about a million others going through the same thing. But I'm sure that doesn't help much when you're exhausted and just want sleep!

  7. says

    I can't help with this one, other than its probably a phase and it will pass. Both my boys wake up during the night. The oldest especially he shouts when he needs the toilet, but won't go on his own. The youngest wakes up now and again. It seems they go through phases of waking up early and through the night, then they go through a few weeks of sleeping until late. It's weird. I really hope things get better. x

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I hate it when people make out their child sleeps all the way through every night and never wake up? Twitter has made me realise that most parents have bad nights!

      • says

        Exactly, I used to think my baby was the only one who slept 15 minutes in 24 hours. I used to think I was doing something wrong. Until you read between the lines and they don't actually sleep every night. They just tell you about the good nights. x

        • says

          yes I use to laugh at the baby clinic when people use to complain "my child was up twice during the night for 15 mins each time or something similar" oh how I wish, that would have been heaven. other people bad nights are no consolation when you are too tired to function the next day. it is a phase, and all I can really say is the next one will probably we worse and you will look back at this and think it wasnt too bad.

  8. Pippa Ainsworth says

    I know I'm very lucky that my boy sleeps until about 7 most mornings but often he won't get to sleep until 10 which means that I get so little time to myself. I think it is a trade off I'm willing to make in exchange for 7 clear hours sleep per night which means that I haven't forced the issue with the bedtime routine yet – mainly because I'm scared of any knock on effect by trying to get him to bed earlier and stopping feeding to sleep.

  9. says

    I read this…and it felt like you were describing our last few weeks. Almost exactly the same, screaming, crying, running round the room in a temper at 3am. I just didn't know what to do. He kept talking about bad dreams when he went to bed so I wondered if it was that, but he was too distraught at 3am for me to get to bottom of it. Couldn't be sure it wasn't teething either. Nightmare. I was exhausted. It lasted on and off for about 2 weeks and he's now slept through for the past 3 nights. I don't even know what's made the difference. I so wish I had the elusive answer!
    One thing we are trying at the moment for the early morning wakings is the Gro Clock ( Has a star when he should to stay in bed and a sun for getting up time). Early days,but it seems to be working. ie, we are not getting up before 6am (ha ha).

  10. says

    We used to lift Sam & he would always wee, we tried with Hanna and she would never go. You know the problems we had with Sam & that would be whether we lifted him or not, I was advised by the school nurse not to lift but to increase fluids during the day & then no drinks after tea-time. If you think it's the needing the toilet that's waking him you could try that if you're not already, and to count to 10 after the bladder has been emptied & then try again.
    Hopefully it is just a phase that he's going through, Jack has been through one recently & I don't know what the problem was but it seems to be sorted now (touch wood), although he is usually awake from around 5.30 clattering around in his room (throwing talc etc around!)

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