to think CC/CIO is different for a toddler?

(34 Posts)
Varfalli34 Tue 22-Apr-14 10:01:11

I am in dire dire straits. My 2 and a bit year old DS is not sleeping and am at end of tether (also 6 months preys and still being sick non stop). He has always been an appalling sleeper and I did CIO when he was a baby. I was happy (well not happy) to do it as I knew he was just tired and needed to let it out a bit etc and it worked well. Now he is older it just seems so much more emotional and personal. As in, it's not him in his cot crying because he is frustrated and needs to sleep. Now he's older it seems distressing and cruel. Am not passing judgement at all. I would like to do it for him if it would solve the problem but now I'm feeling like maybe it would be the wrong thing to do. Would really like to hear people's genuine opinions on this. Do people do CIO for toddlers? Am I just being wet? Or is it a whole different thing?

Would also love love love tips on how I might get him to start sleeping through the night again (this has been going on for months).

Have tried nap in day or no nap in day
Have tried super long wind downs before bad
Have tried gradual retreat
Have tried sort of CC, going back in after ten minutes, settling back down with just a quick cuddle, no talking etc. I did this for a while but would go on for up to three hours (then I admit I would give in and sleep on floor next to him).

The thing is, I think there is something waking him up and then he finds it impossible to get back to sleep. I have had him in bed with me a few times and he still wakes up quite frequently but is easier to settle back down. I cannot for the life of me think what it is that is waking him up though.

Sorry for long post. Desperate for help!

AllBoxedUp Tue 22-Apr-14 19:19:15

If you can afford it I would recommend using a sleep consultant like Millpond. We used one with DS when he was a lot smaller and it really helped. How long have you tried each method for by the way? I think it can take at least 2 weeks with some - gradual retreat took us about 4 months!

maddening Tue 22-Apr-14 19:21:42

you could try the kissing game ? If your dc understands you if you ask ds to be quiet and try to go to sleep then it could be a good one.

basically you do all the bedtime routine then suggest the kissing game - if ds will try and go to sleep and be quiet you will come back in 1 minute to give him a kiss - then you leave but come back in less than a minute and give him a kiss and say if he is quiet etc etc you'll come back in a minute and give him a kiss - come back a minute later and give him a kiss and repeat but gradually increase the time.

it's like cc but without the crying and you assure each time that you will be back and he gets used to dropping off without you there.

Varfalli34 Wed 23-Apr-14 10:45:13

Had a hideous night last night. Four wake ups. Two of them weren't so bed, went straight back down after I came in for a quick cuddle. The thing that worries me about this though is that might it become a habit? I.e. just the two wake ups goes easily back to sleep etc, it's not too much of a bother for him (and not much for me at the moment) so might he just get into the habit of always doing this. Am feeling neurotic about the new baby coming and getting no sleep at all. I really don't think I can handle two extra wakings on top of the every few hours (if I'm lucky!) it will be with a newborn.

mathanxiety that sounds JUST like my DS! What happened in the end? Did it essentially pass and you got a good night's sleep? Please say yes!

Thanks so much for all the support everyone. I think I really need to figure out what is waking him up at night. Going to try getting him into a bed then to rapid return tip dedicatedly for as long as it takes, maybe do a rota with DH so I don't fall asleep at work too often?

maddening Wed 23-Apr-14 18:30:57

are you in the room when he falls asleep when you first put him to sleep?

Varfalli34 Wed 23-Apr-14 19:02:31

No, tell quick story in dark but he is still awake when I leave and says night mummy.

DuckandCat Wed 23-Apr-14 19:10:29

Another one who thinks leaving a small baby, with no understanding, to cry themselves to sleep is far crueller.

I think a toddler is more aware and it gets to a point where bedtime is bedtime and you just have to leave them to it!

Varfalli34 Wed 23-Apr-14 19:35:23

BREAKING NEWS: DS has just mentioned a monster in his room and told me (in his very limited way) that its an owl in a tree. I do remember hearing an owl from his room in the night so maybe that is it and he is scared? You are all on edge of your seat about this I'm sure.

What to do though? Could get my white noise machine back out to try and drown the sound.

Am quite surprised about it. We actually went to an owlery over the weekend and it hasn't seemed to have had an effect either negative or positive. He is never expressed a fear of owls before and seemed to really enjoy seeing them all when we went. Also I absolutely love owls and often talk about them when we discuss favourite animals.

BertieBotts Wed 23-Apr-14 21:06:19

Maybe he's worried that the owl will come in? Maybe just make sure his window is closed and show him the tree outside and say that's the owl's house, but owls don't come into people's houses. You could make it a bit silly saying they wouldn't be able to turn on the television, or sit on a chair, or turn the taps to get a drink of water. You could think of all the things that owls can't do in people's houses and then hopefully when he thinks about the owl he'll remember the funny conversation about the owl trying to use the tap but slipping off and splashing water everywhere or making mummy/daddy cross by leaving feathers all over the floor to be hoovered up, or trying to snuggle up in bed but his wings getting in the way.

Tell him that when the owl is saying "Whoo whoo" it's just saying hello, because owls can't talk like people can and they have their own language.

mathanxiety Wed 23-Apr-14 22:29:36

It could be that he heard that they fly at night? You never know what little details small children hear and remember and you can't predict what they will make of the information they glean from a trip.

Would it help to tell him more about owls and present them as families (mummy, daddy, and baby)? Sometimes presenting scary entities as families makes them more domestic, familiar and approachable. You could tell him that they are birds who build nests in trees just like other birds, that they lay eggs and have baby owls (what are baby owls called anyway?), that they find food for their baby and feed him in the nest, that the baby owl will one day (night?) teeter to the edge of the nest and jump out and hopefully fly, just as he also learns to do all sorts of big boy things.

DD3 has an early summer birthday, and I think her learning to sleep through the night between 2.5 and 3 coincided with the autumn equinox and the arrival of darker and earlier winter nights. Maybe blackout blinds/curtains might help your DS? By the same token, she loved a night light. I got one that glowed green because that was her favourite colour. Her bedroom window was at the side of the house, but lights from cars could illuminate the room, or flash across the walls or her closed eyes when they went past on the road outside, and I think the heavy curtains and night light kept the light steady and predictable in her room.

When DD3 was about 4 I started playing classical music CDs at night and this seemed to help her relax enough to drift off. She liked all sorts of pieces, from Arvo Part to Beethoven to Chopin, and on and on.. She still does - the Bach cello suites are her current favourites. I stuck to classical because DD3 was always very sensitive to sound (she would wake at the drop of a pin when napping as a baby), and muzak and lights and smells in supermarkets used to set her screaming. She also hated going in the car unless I had classical music playing. (DD4 liked Lenny Kravitz, by contrast). I thought classical music offered more soothing choices, longer pieces that she could concentrate on, sometimes a beginning, middle and end to a piece, so to speak, and repeated motifs -- so maybe a better intellectual experience than nursery rhymes set to music for instance, or even Baby Einstein toddler music selections. This isn't music snobbery here -- I listen to anything except C&W and especially Irish C&W -- but a practical choice, and I figured if she had any sort of an ear for music, classical music would enhance it.

DD3 also had a lot of allergies, it turned out. She developed hay fever quite young, and has food allergies - dairy being the most likely to cause problems. I also found she is allergic to aspirin and has problems with latex, and there are food allergies and sensitivities that are related to latex allergy that I avoided too, for her -- avocado, kiwi, banana, apples, carrots, celery, potato and tomato. She was always a terribly picky eater so many of these weren't an issue, but she complained about bananas making her mouth very itchy, and pizza gave her hives on her chin and neck. Daily Clarityn almost year round sorted out the hay fever to a great extent but she went on to develop mild asthma nevertheless.

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