I wrote a post recently about breastfeeding through the two year molars. Yes, that is something I did. But I didn't know at first that the molars were the cause of our issues. Right around Thanksgiving my almost two year old stopped sleeping at night. Previously he slept through the night a blissful 12 hours or so, and took a nice long nap each day. Sounds wonderful right? So imagine my dismay when he stopped sleeping. As in, waking every hour or two, staying up for hours, and basically acting like a maniac all night long and all day long as well. It was like he was super human and didn't even need sleep anymore.
I eventually figured out that his bottom molars were coming in. I cannot say for sure that the molars were the only cause since my daughter never acted this way while teething.. but I am sure they had something to do with it.
I have also heard of a two year old sleep regression. And, it seemed he suddenly hated the dark as well. So, maybe it was a combination of molars, fear of the dark, and two year sleep regression. Who knows right?! The thing to know and keep in mind is it's a phase.. it's always a phase. I knew this, I have two kids and we go through phases all the time, but that did not stop me from going insane while living it.
Here are some of the things I tried during this sleepless time frame..
Drugging him. Yes, Tylenol and Motrin to help those molars. I don't think they seemed to help much but we can hope.
Letting him sleep with me. After sleeping in his own bed for a year I started putting him in bed with me. I told myself this is such a short period of time, one day I will miss this, and he needs me right now, while worrying I was creating a new bad habit. Don't get me wrong, I love co-sleeping but now that he was happy in his bed I still questioned moving the other way. This only sort of worked. Sometimes he would sleep and other times he would stay awake, smack me, and laugh and crawl all over the bed.
Letting him nurse like crazy. I am pregnant, it's uncomfortable, and all of a sudden he was nursing like a newborn. It wasn't great and luckily it has passed. I was telling myself all that same thoughts from above while doing it.
Traveling 40 minutes to find the only Twilight Turtles still in stock in my entire metropolitan area. I was convinced that the right night light would solve the fear of the dark issues. And of course my daughter wanted one too so I spent almost $50 on turtle night lights. The good news is that my kids do love them and he does seem to enjoy using it. It did not however immediately cure our sleep issues.
Letting him cry. Yes I tried and I am against it for babies. But he is two and I wasn't sure what I could do anymore without losing my sanity. It didn't help at all by the way so I gave up on it for sure.
Trying to rock or nurse him back to sleep in his room. I alternated between taking him to my room and co-sleeping immediately, or rocking him back to sleep in his room. I was not consistent. Something all the sleep advice says you MUST BE! But neither was particularly working so I did what I could stand in the moment. Most of the time he woke up again as soon as I set him down.
I tried having my husband deal with it. Unfortunately this did not work or help. The battle only lasted longer. (Sorry husband). This was a time my son wanted mommy.
In the end I spent a month mostly co-sleeping because it got us the most sleep and we survived. He started to sleep better gradually and then all of a sudden he was back to normal. He now is back in his bed and seems happy as can be about it. I have seen him wake at night, turn on his nightlight and read a book, and go back to sleep without freaking out the way he was. I can't say for sure if it was a sleep regression, all molars or what it was, but I can say I am happy it's over!
It's always a phase right?