Why Won’t He Sleep? Why?!

by Sarah on January 23, 2014


It’s been well documented on here that my boy has never been the best sleeper. First we had his reflux to deal with and once that battle had been won it was the early rising but (and I don’t make this next statement lightly) both phases were an absolute breeze compared to what we’re dealing with now…

Dylan’s latest phase appears to be insomnia. He goes to bed just fine but by the (very) early hours and by very early I mean we’re lucky if we get past 1am now, he’s awake and wanting to get up! Sometimes he’s quietly jumping in his cot, slowly ramping up the noise levels to a crescendo of crying but for the most part, he wakes screaming “Mummy, Mummy” *sigh* and no amount of shushing, comforting or plain ignoring lulls him back to sleep. He tries, gawd bless him, sometimes for a good 10 minutes we can hear him tossing and turning, trying to get himself back to sleep but this always results in yet more upset and frustration if we leave him to do this more than a couple of times.

We’ve both tried sitting by his cot, we’ve brought him into bed – we’ve tried everything we normally wouldn’t out of sheer desperation for more than three hours of solid sleep. But alas the poor boys mind seems to be on overdrive – no sooner are his eyes open than he’s pointing at objects around his room, naming his chair, bunny, clock – telling me I’ve got “lel-lo hair” and “bu eyes”, asking for bananas and books and “kay-ons” (crayons)…he’s totally alert. And so this game goes on once we’ve moved downstairs to the sofa. Even though we continue to sit in the dark – it can still take a good four hours to lull him back to sleep.

My husband and I are like ships who pass in the night. We make a great tag-team, splitting the hours so we can both show up at our jobs bleary-eyed but just about capable…but goodness knows I’d just love to spend a full six hours in bed rather than crammed onto the sofa!

We initially thought we were jinxed. Worse still that we’d done some kind of strange conditioning on our toddler that meant he’d always be a cruddy sleeper – but when browsing through the various social media channels I’m somewhat addicted too I can see it’s not just us. There seems to be a crazy-ass phase when kids hit 18-24 months that turns some into total insomniacs  – and not just those who’ve always been difficult sleepers!

I’m still none the wiser as to why Dylan’s waking so much or for such big gaps – but I’m ruddy glad to know it’s not just him. And so we’ll continue to try any means possible to get him to sleep and to get him through this blip. Tonight we’ll take our lead from Gemma at Mission to Mum, who’s been going through the same rough patch with her toddler and is documenting it here. We’ll attempt a slight routine tweak to see if that alters the night waking’s.

I don’t think there’s a quick fix but I’m relieved to know we’re not the only ones. That thought keeps me sane. And for now? Well I’m getting through my days on a heady mix of strong coffee whilst repeatedly telling myself “it’s just a phase”. And in the words of another blogging Mum Josie, who’s also suffering from lack of sleep “this too shall soon pass” *crosses fingers*.

Love Sarah *yawn* xx

PS On Monday, in the dead of the night at some crazy, whilst I was desperately trying to put him back to sleep, he sat up and said “God bess”. I kid you not – it floored me – an arrow to my heart moment - thank goodness for these little snippets of loveliness that make it all so damn worthwhile!

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