Do you stay with your toddler until they fall asleep?

(82 Posts)
Sprite21 Sat 26-Jan-13 20:20:44

DD is 16 months old. After her bedtime routine I put her down in her cot and she insists on me holding her hand until she falls asleep. I don't mind usually as I just read mumsnet posts on my phone. But sometimes it takes a while and DP gets frustrated because dinner is ready. He thinks maybe we should just leave her to cry because other babies seem to just go down.
I just wondered what other people do? Am looking teaching her that she needs me to fall asleep? She sleeps through most nights now so I can't complain there.

AppleOgies Sat 26-Jan-13 21:33:03

Yes. He's 2.10. He falls asleep so quickly though, it's really no hassle.

zeeboo Sat 26-Jan-13 21:35:59

Yes, she goes into her bed next to mine and I go into my bed and I read on my kindle while she falls asleep. It's a lovely half an hour or so of rest for me before I go downstairs and turn my attention to the older children.

I used to, but we have a nightlight attached to the side of the cot (it's actually a 'deconstructed' mobile - we took the spinny bit off) which plays a lullaby.

I cuddle with DD for a while, once she's had a story and then put her into her cot. I stay for about 5 minutes, and do my best to persuade her to lay down and be quiet.

After that I tell her I'm going to check on the cat/on Daddy, or some similar excuse and leave the room.

She normally settles within about 10 minutes.

TheFallenNinja Sat 26-Jan-13 21:38:36

No, but I'll sit at the top of the stairs for a while and listen.

tacal Sat 26-Jan-13 21:40:13

I still do and he is 4 now. We read a book, or sometimes watch a dvd, and then cuddle or hold hands until he falls asleep.

Iggly Sat 26-Jan-13 21:42:21

Yes I do.

Although I will point out I dont consider a 16 month old a toddler even when they can walk. My eldest is 3 and youngest is 14 months and even though she walks she's still a baby!

Iggly Sat 26-Jan-13 21:44:39

"other people's babies seem to just go down". I bet I'd you asked around you'd find otherwise.

I remember hearing my neighbour letting her 18 month old scream for 20 mins at bedtime as she left her. Fucking awful to hear and I am not her parent!

maxmillie Sat 26-Jan-13 21:44:59

No. But mine have never cried after bedtime routine, settling etc so I just kiss them, tuck in etc say nite nite love you and close the door.

I never leave them crying though if they wake up in the night or anything.

DoubleYew Sat 26-Jan-13 21:51:16

Yes stay with him (still bf), if he's not had a nap 5 mins, if he has had a nap up to 1.5hrs. I listen to my ipod and eat with him so not starving if he takes ages. Sometimes fall asleep and wake to everything left on downstairs (single parent).

Devora Sat 26-Jan-13 21:54:29

Yes I have done this with both of mine, still do with the youngest (who is 3).

At times it has felt like a huge burden - now I have my kindle fire I am happy just sitting by the bed reading a novel, and she settles quickly. But there have been times when I have spent a huge chunk of my evenings settling first one then the other, frustrated to the point of tears. And a babysitter is out of the question - only me, dp and my dm are able to get them to sleep.

I know I am a complete wuss on this, and I know why. First it's because I was terrified of the dark as a child, and bedtime was a torment for me for many years. Second is because I work FT, often long hours, and this is often the only time of the week I get with them (and my working mother guilt makes it hard to deny them). Third is because the youngest is adopted, and very very clingy, and it feels too high a risk to leave her to cry.

HardlyEverHoovers Sat 26-Jan-13 22:10:22

Yes i do, take the opportnity to read a book. Maybe u could have dinner a little later?

newbielisa Sat 26-Jan-13 22:13:07

Yes, DD1 is 2.5 and we get into her bed with her (and sometimes/a lot of the time fall asleep as well). I say we but it's mostly DH as we have DD2 who is 11 weeks and a prolific breast feeder. Whenever DD2 is asleep (not often) and I get the chance to do DD1 bedtime I love it but know I'd get really frustrated if I had to do it every night, my husband is a Saint.

I'm guessing the Mumsnet philosophy of "this too will pass" will one day come true and she'll go to bed by herself. When that does happen DH and I will probably sit on the sofa brimming about the good ol' days when our little girl wanted us at bedtimesad

MummyDuckAndDuckling Sat 26-Jan-13 22:23:35

No
Routine for 16mnth dd is into sleeping bag, read a few books, into cot with teddy and dummy and I say 'night night'. She has a little light that projects stars into the room so has that on and usually is sleeping within 10 mins.

No offence, but I couldn't be bothered with the whole having to sit with them/lay with them till they fall asleep. My evenings are 'me' time

AngryGnome Sat 26-Jan-13 22:29:22

Yes, either dh or I do most nights. Ds is just over 2 and takea anything between 5 mins and an hour on bad nights. It's not a big deal for us at the moment.

Rikalaily Sat 26-Jan-13 22:36:32

Dd3 is 2.5 and for the first time fell asleep on her own tonight. We always sit with her until she drops off and have done with all of them apart from my first who I did CC with because of pressure from the in laws, swore to never do that again.

We use the slowly withdraw method, sit with them for a while then nip to the loo etc, go back in and when they don't react to us leaving the room we extend the time we are out, standing just outside the door incase they get upset then just show our face, if they are happy with that thats great, if they need us in there, thats fine too. We go at thier pace, the last thing we want is bedtime to be a scarey thing for them.

kateecass Sat 26-Jan-13 22:38:26

Another person who has used gradual withdrawal when DC have had trouble settling. As lovely as it would be to stay with DC til they sleep every night you can't when you have 2 and there are all the other jobs to do. I actually think its important to teach them to go to sleep by themselves happily. Have also tidied up my Dds room as she has gone to sleep as a means of getting her to sleep and also going back every 5 mins and telling them this. These are probably for older kids though. Still do this when they needed.

rhetorician Sat 26-Jan-13 22:47:12

should add that neither of them cry on their way to sleep; DD2 occasionally for a minute or two, but only if she is really tired - it's like she is crying because she isn't already asleep IYSWIM?

thewhistler Sat 26-Jan-13 22:50:28

If it was my turn, not always, if it was DH, yes he did. Result, great bonding between DH and Ds that has stood them well.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 27-Jan-13 02:06:46

No. Ds is 2.5. I think he started self settling around 12 mo. I used gradual withdrawal and he had a musical seahorse that he would fall to sleep to. I'm just not prepared to waste an hour of every evening sitting in the dark when there's so many other things to do, plus if we want to go out, it's not fair to leave a babysitter with a child who isn't settled. Perhaps it helps that we live in an apartment so the dc can hear us chatting, moving around, etc when they're in bed.

HappyAsASandboy Sun 27-Jan-13 04:09:57

I do. My twins are two years and three months.

We lie on our bed and read stories, then they each turn out one of the bedside lights and we lie in the dark. Sometimes they drop off very quickly, sometimes it can take an hour or so. If I get bored, I look at MN on my phone.

Once they're asleep, I lift them into their cots (in our room) and then come downstairs for the evening. Or (more and more often recently) I fall asleep with them and stay in bed waking up in my clothes at midnight.

They're both still waking or cuddles or a breastfeed in the night, so we cosleep from whenever they first wake.

I think the majority of toddler need a parent close to fall asleep, and the majority probably don't really sleep through either.

NickNacks Sun 27-Jan-13 04:22:19

No never.

I can't imagine getting to 2 or 3 years old and doing this.

Mine are all very able to self settle from a young age because they know if they do have a problem and cry, I or DH will come straight away. But sitting with then every night? It shouldn't be necessary!

MumofWombat Sun 27-Jan-13 04:23:47

We've self settled from very early on. I watched my SIL spend over an hour every night with her youngest waiting with them to fall asleep and decided that it would drive me batty to do the same. DS (21 months) has lullaby music on and he looks at picture books by himself on his bed (I do read to him - just earlier on in the day!) and drops off to sleep by himself within 10-20 minutes. He's not left to cry.

applecharlotte Sun 27-Jan-13 11:58:33

I could have written your post 6 months ago. I sat with my DS for anything between 30- 60 mins until he feel asleep for every nap and bedtime until he got to about 19mo. He would cry and cry if I tried to leave. Sometimes it was annoying, but I didn't mind the me time mostly! I had lots of people saying I should just let him cry etc but just couldn't do it. However, one day i just tried walking out after a quick cuddle and he just self settled and has done ever since (only the first night of staying somewhere new do I have to sit in with him these days which of course is nothing compared to before!)

I just felt that DS became happy to self settle on his own as he had learnt that I will always be available if he needs me. I'm so glad I didn't do the controlled crying thing as I know we both would have hated that.

So I suppose the point of me posting is to say maybe in a few months your DD might be happy to self settle without having to do sleep training. If you can hold on for a bit longer (without annoying DH too much!) it might be worth it.

Some babies self settle at 3 months, some at 12 months, some at 3 years old. They're all different and I think its actually unfair to compare.

RubyrooUK Sun 27-Jan-13 12:14:10

NickNacks - I think it isn't necessary to sit with all small children. Some of them are very good at settling without any years whereas others are terrible.

My mum had one child (my brother) who self settled very early and never needed anyone to lie down with him. It never involved crying at all. And then me, who she lay down with till I was four as I needed that reassurance from my mum at night. I cried till I was sick if she left me. I wasn't fobbed off with her popping out or gradual withdrawal. (My poor mum!)

We both seem to be reasonably normal, confident adults now who can settle to sleep so I assume that different children find it harder or easier to settle so need different treatment.

bickie Sun 27-Jan-13 12:20:35

Get out of the habit unless sick. I don't think a household that runs around a child's routine is great idea for relationship. I know that's not a popular view on MN - but it is a little crazy to let the only person who can't make a sensible decision (the 2yo) dictate when everyone else eats. My niece has been brought up that way - and believe me at 3 it is wearing everyone's patience - especially my DB.

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