Thursday, June 13, 2013

Not eating, not sleeping

For 11 weeks, hubby has been travelling for work, Monday to Friday, and then back home weekends. (So he’s home Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights).

Matthew was always a co-sleeping baby until a few months ago when we moved him into his own room. I would sit with him until he falls asleep and he’d wake between 1 am and 3 am, call for me and I’d go sit with him again till he fell asleep. When hubby started going away, Matthew got into the habit (or should I say I allowed the habit to form) of sleeping with me in my bed, normally only the Monday night. Then Tuesday to Thursday same routine as before, in his bed with me sitting with him. Only difference now, was that instead of calling for me when he woke in the middle of the night, I would wake up with this little face staring at me from inches away. I made the mistake of putting him in bed with me then, instead of getting up and putting him back into his own bed.

When hubby gets home Friday, Matthew just refuses flat out to sleep in his own bed. He wants to be close to hubby and sleep with us. Now I understand why he felt like this, he missed his dad, was scared that he wouldn’t see his dad again for a few days and that if he woke up his daddy would be gone (we never did this, hubby always said goodbye to him and never left while Matthew was sleeping). But it was the whole weekend. We indulged him (mistake I know but I think we felt guilty of Matthew missing out on time with his daddy) and we would wait until he fell asleep with us and then move him to his room.

This was the first week after nearly 3 months that hubby is back to normal, no more travelling, and things have been a bit rough with Matthew. I don’t know if it’s just an age thing and it’s something all toddlers go through or if it has anything to do with hubby being away for so long. Matthew is 2.4 years old and since Monday night, he refuses to eat. I know this is normal behavior for toddlers and they won’t starve themselves. He only wants yoghurt, biscuits (mini cheddars), sweets and peanut butter sandwich.

My mom picks him up from crèche in the evenings and then feeds him and my niece. Since Monday, he doesn’t want to eat when he’s there and tells her “Don’t want” and “Don’t like it”. We then pick him up, go home and when hubby and I eat, Matthew will normally eat with us, sometimes just out of our plates. When he didn’t want, we just left it and figured he’ll eat if he’s hungry. Normal. But he went to go fetch a bowl and asked for food. I dished the food in the bowl and gave it to him. He looked at it and gave it back saying “Don’t want”. Fine. But he kept asking for food. I tried everything and eventually just gave up and left him. He threw the mother of all tantrums and wouldn’t stop. We left him. Fast forward a little bit. Bath-time is over and it’s time for sleep. Matthew refuses and I want to tear my hair out. I sit with him in his room. I sit with him in the lounge. I leave him alone in his bed. He has a night light, hubby and I are both up and the light is on in the lounge. So it can’t be that. Hubby eventually went to fetch him and put him in our bed. Oh and bedtime is 8pm and we struggle with him to go sleep from 8pm to 9pm.

This has been our nightly routine since Monday. And it can’t go on. I am slowly going insane and I’m not sleeping properly because Mr sleeps like he owns the whole bed. I don’t know what to do and I know it’s going to take some drastic action to get him to change. He is fully potty trained and eventually off the dummy. (Oh and the night waking started again after the dummy “disappeared”). He’s almost 2 and half and still wakes in the middle of the night. I think in his whole life, I only had maybe 8 days of sleeping through the night.

Is his bedtime too early?
Too late?
Should we try to get more food in him?
Burn off more energy before bedtime?
Should I try to incorporate maybe story time in bed before lights out?
Maybe put all the lights off?
Try some lavender essential oils?
Or just leave it for now and go with the flow? It is my own fault we’re in this situation in the first place…


  1. Hi Kim,

    Have you tried moving his bedtime a bit?

    Dont stress the eating, if he is hungry he will eat. Hayley is at a phase now where she only wants yoghurt at night.

  2. Hi Kim!
    I'm a bit late commenting here - have things improved by now?
    If not, i'd recommend the story time in bed, that's working so nicely for us now.
    Shucks girl, that's so hectic @ only 8 full nights of sleeping thru in his whole life!


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