DD (18mo) will only go to sleep if I'm there - any ideas?

(9 Posts)
Ginfox Tue 20-Nov-12 14:25:06

If DH goes in to settle her in the night she goes ballistic. She still usually has two or three BFs in the night (or more if she's poorly). Trying to get her out of the habit.

TBH it's only come to a head as I've got to stay away overnight for work next month, and am dreading leaving him to face a night of screaming (although she may just give in if I'm not there).

Any suggestions?

Does she accept his help during day or when going to bed, or does she cry for you on those occasions too?
I sympathise because mine were like this when younger (still are when ill!). Maybe try and leave them for an hour or two together at weekend, so she gets used to 'mum's not here, can I help' and it gives you the chance to escape out for coffee and chat, can't be bad!

Ginfox Fri 23-Nov-12 13:59:41

Thanks Crushed. He's a SAHD and I work full-time. She's fine with him all day, and doesn't bother (or even notice) when I head out the door. It's only at night that she is so reliant on me.

Yes she is worse when she's ill too, but (un)fortunately last time she was poorly, so was I, so was at home with her anyway.

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Fri 23-Nov-12 14:31:07

DS is like this. Once the bath is finished and he's in his pyjamas he doesn't want anyone except me. He's 14 months and we both work FT but I'm definitely the favourite.

DS gets hysterical if DH goes in to settle him, keeps struggling to get out of DH's arms and once DH put him down (I was desperate for the loo so had sent DH in temporarily) and DS bolted for the door to find me sad grin

I We decided we'd had enough and wanted DS to get used to DH at night. So we changed the routine slightly and now it's bathtime with DH, BF, then stays on my lap whilst DH reads the story, then into cot.

My original plan was for DH to gradually do more and more of the bedtime routine, so story being read on DH's lap, DH staying with me whilst I sing DS to sleep, then gradually DH taking over and me moving further away...

But we haven't got very far because DH is now working away during the week so I'm alone for 5 of the bath/bedtimes and also it means that DH can't get the dinner going whilst I get DS to sleep...

We night-weaned a couple of weeks ago so I'm tempted to try sending DH in at night, but as it is, even in the morning DS wants to stay cuddled up to me for ages before accepting going to DH so I'm not sure if it'd work.

And to be honest his sleep is a lot better than before but still not perfect and I'm loathe to muck around with it right now.

Will watch with interest for any ideas!

jenduck Fri 23-Nov-12 16:19:55

Has she always been like this or is it a recent development? Because there is a classic sleep regression at around 18 months, because they are learning so many new skills.

My DS2 is just coming out of this, it has lasted a couple of weeks. With him, I just accepted that during the regression I needed to be there so he could see me in order to nod off, but didn't give in & pick him up (didn't want to form bad habits & could see he was fine).

Now, we are back to being able to put him in his cot & go off to deal with DS1 while DS2 drifts off to sleep. Bliss smile

Ginfox Sat 24-Nov-12 06:55:03

She has always been like this at night Jenduck, and has always been a poor sleeper.

And I've always been of the opinion that where she sleeps is not as important as how well she sleeps. When she's restless or ill we co-sleep - anything to get through the night with at least a bit of shut-eye.

Have to go away for a day next week (work) and won't get home til midnight, so if DD hasn't gone to sleep by then, at least I can rescue DH. But you never know, as she knows I'm not there she might just let Daddy put her to bed <eternal optimist>

Ooh, I remember watching the baby whisperer and she said that babies can smell the breast milk and that's why they keep crying if Dad try's to settle them, because they can smell that Mum is hiding around the corner! So maybe your DH will have more luck when your not around?!

Also, I wonder if its a control thing for her, you are out during day and only you are able to bf so obviously she will be able to call you at night. I'm no expert on breastfeeding but is it usual for 18 month old to need 2-3 feeds over night, I have no suggestions as you can't stop work or stop her wanting you but you have my sympathies and as my MIL loves to say...

It's just a phase.

There, doesn't that make you feel better? Thanks MIL hmm

Ginfox Mon 26-Nov-12 14:03:25

I've no idea if it's usual to bf in the night at 18mo (none of my RL friends have lasted this long, and I never thought I would either). I just don't want to leave DH with a screaming child.

I have suggested to him that instead of trying to mimic my routine with her, he try and develop his own, so it's a bit of a new experience for her, and not so glaring obvious what is missing from the picture. Otherwise once she's in her PJs, she will expect Mum to put her to bed, and will be disappointed (in a very shouty way) when it doesn't happen.

Will report back in the event that it actually works!

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