From Sleeping Angel, To Sleeping Demon – My Toddler, The Sleep Thief

13th January 2017

My daughter slept through from the age of two months, and oh how smug I was about that. I had the perfect baby who slept like a dream and everything was lovely and happy. Fast forward to today, she will be two next month and she hates sleep. She is a sleep thief and everything is grumpy and miserable.

from sleeping angel to sleeping demon - my two year old has started refusing to sleep in her own cot - a plea for advice

We are at a complete loss as to what to do with our darling daughter, the sleep thief. Every night gets a little less bearable. We are all exhausted, we are all grumpy, we are all snapping at each other. We all need sleep. Even the sleep thief herself needs sleep. Now that she is over tired she is sleeping less and needing sleep more – it is a vicious circle.

It’s been building up to this gradually. Quite a while ago Aria went from sleeping through to waking once or twice during the night, she would usually have a bottle and go straight back down, no qualms. On the odd occasion she would be really upset, we would assume she was teething and if hubby was dealing with her he would stay with her until she fell asleep. If I was dealing with her I would bring her in our bed – I have no patience, especially not at 3am, and definitely not at 5am.

This week it has escalated. She will go to sleep fine with her bottle and a book. Then she wakes up during the night and all hell breaks loose.  She will not settle. She hates the person who goes to see her, she hits and kicks so that she can get to the other one of us. She will absolutely not go back in her cot. Even hubby has started to bring her into our bed – which of course he says is all my fault. When she comes into our bed she has to be close to me, she literally lies on top of me and presses her head into mine, until she eventually shuffles off down the bed and settles at the bottom of the bed.

Then last night it blew up out of control. Her bed time came and went. She would not go to sleep. I tried giving her a bedtime bottle and she refused, just climbing down from my lap and running away. I tried reading to her and she cried. I tried putting her in her cot and leaving her and she screamed and screamed and screamed. She stayed up until around 9:30pm when I decided just to go to bed myself and bring her in with me. Then it was party time.

She went hyper in our bed. Pulling the duvet off me, walking across the bed and then throwing herself down, bouncing all over the place, singing, punching me, kicking me, pulling my hair – all while laughing hysterically.

At 11:30pm she eventually shuffled down to the bottom of the bed and fell asleep, where she stayed until the alarm went off at 7:30am. Eight hours sleep is not enough, not for a toddler. She has gone to nursery today with big bags underneath her tired little red eyes.

I am hoping she will have one of her famously long naps in nursery, the longest one was four hours. She needs it. And me? I’m getting drunk tonight in the hope that I sleep through everything.

We went to Bluestone in December and she slept through every single night, which has us thinking that maybe she just doesn’t like her cot? As a result we are getting her a new bed, her single bed should arrive today, I’ve also ordered a Peppa Pig duvet cover and some Peppa Pig wall sticks because she is obsessed with that bloody pig, I’m sure she prefers Peppa to mam & dad so hopefully she’ll happily sleep with Peppa!

She also loved veg, particularly broccoli, a quick look at the dried up veg splats across my dining room floor will show you how wrong I was to be smug about that…

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