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2 year old overnight waking when previously slept just fine

Our 2 year old has been having a hard time sleeping in his bed. He is in a camp stretcher style bed at daycare, so we recently took his cot down and put a small single bed in its place in the room, with same linens; it is short to the floor and not full single size so he can easily climb in/out.

We have been having a hard time getting him to stay in his bed and in his room at bed time, but also he has been waking 2-3 times overnight. He has always been good at self-settling with minimal upset and sleeping through night.
I used to be able to settle him back to sleep with a drink of water, quick cuddle and pop him back in his cot. But now he cries and thrashes about and asks to come into our bed. If I respond to him, he won't hear me/listen to me, but if my husband does (regardless of time of day/night), he seems to respond, even when my husband and I use the same language.

We try to stay consistent about dealing with it, i.e. returning him to bed, telling him it is sleeping time and to stay in bed, verbal reassurance etc.
Is this likely just a phase? is it possible for him to get into 'bad habits' as a result of this unsettled behaviour? Nothing has changed in our lives other than introducing the goldilocks bed into his room, but we are getting exhausted with the constant overnight waking.

Jane ...
Answer: Hi, This is not an uncommon situation. It can be very difficult if not impossible to pinpoint exactly why sleep behaviour changes. Sometimes it's just in line with other developmental or environmental changes. By transitioning him into a toddler bed you've done the right thing in terms of his age and stage. But as you're finding beds don't "contain" toddlers like cots do. Giving him low level reassurance, taking him back to his own bed, not "rewarding" his getting up by letting him into your bed and giving him the same consistent message will work, even if it takes what seems like an eternity. Stay calm, consistent and tell him what you want him to do i.e. "Back to your bed, go to sleep". You may find that if he's repeatedly coming out of his room, that placing gates across his doorway may help in terms of actually keeping him in his room. Another strategy is the "camping out" method for parents. For comprehensive information about how to do this check the Huggies website. Cheers Jane
Answered: 09 Mar 2015