2yo transition to bed - Bedtimes getting worse

(12 Posts)
Lifeonthecanal Thu 22-Nov-12 16:37:06

We have recently been in a very similar situation. My DD is 2.9 and we have taken her out of the cot in preparation for a new baby arriving. At first we did it without a stair gate and it was a nightmare - the sides went back on the cot.

We left it a couple of weeks and then removed the cot/toddler bed, put up her new bed and used a stair gate. The norm is now we have to take her back 2 or 3 times. If she gets up and stands at the stair gate I leave her 5 minutes before taking her back to bed 'supper nanny style' and not talking to her. This usually works and now she sleeps really well in it. Letting her choose 2 duvet covers has also helped I think!

The downside is that we do have earlier mornings. She is usually up about 6.15 and she is learning that we will turn on her bedroom light and she can play quietly until the sun on her gro-clock comes on, which is at 7am.

Naps have also been difficult and she really isn't ready to drop them. If she is VERY tired she will go to sleep, but often I have to lie with her until she drops off. This is something I haven't ever done before. But if works, so for now we will stick with it. I guess this might be more difficult if you have a baby, but it might be worth a go.

QTPie Wed 21-Nov-12 21:24:09

I am afraid that we have always had a stair gate... (had it up since DS could crawl - just to "contain" him in his room). So we never had the shock of introducing it.

Maybe you could start off with one of you sitting in the room with her (for ages nights), thenmove to sitting just outside the stair gate, then to moving away altogether? So gentle stages, lots of "shush shush, go to sleep". With most of these things it requires a lot of patience and a bit of time... (a lot harder if you have a new baby too)

ellesabe Wed 21-Nov-12 21:12:22

She's asleep! Went straight to sleep when dh returned her to bed. When will she have the presence of mind to put herself back to bed? Or am I living in fantasy land?!

EMS23 Wed 21-Nov-12 21:08:51

Ellesabe - we're on night 3 of tough love. It's killing me too. Tough love for us is returning her to bed and me not giving in and cuddling her to sleep.
1st night, she got up 4 times then stayed in her room but sobbed for a good 15 mins before it all went quiet. Was up a lot in the night but resettled easily each time.

Last night, stayed in bed and cried for 3 mins, then slept through all night.

Tonight, I was on my own with both kids. She really upped the ante on me. Out of bed at least ten times, full on hysterics and made herself sick. She finally gave up when DH got home and went in to return her to bed.

I hate this too, I really thought it would be easier. Good luck.

ellesabe Wed 21-Nov-12 20:57:48

Ok, we have a stairgate up! And figured out that if we open the boiler cupboard then the door obscures her view of the tv grin

So...she is currently screaming at the stairgate. Dh is going to go and put her back in bed in five minutes, explaining that she needs to go to sleep. She only had a 20 min nap today so must be shattered.

Can anyone who has done this before remember what the outcome was on the first night with the stairgate? I'm wondering just how late it will be before she actually goes to sleep. And what us likely to happen tomorrow night??

I already hate this sad

ZuleikaD Wed 14-Nov-12 08:10:38

I agree with move the tv and put a stairgate on.

QTPie Tue 13-Nov-12 22:44:46

Move your TV around?

I agree with the stair gate I am afraid. We moved DS to a bed at 2 years 1 month, he is 2 years 9 months now. When we first moved him he was great (staying in bed) and was like that for a good few months! But the last few months he has been "on and off": some times he goes virtually straight to sleep, other nights/naps he may be up an hour "pottering"/playing/"emptying drawers" before putting himself to sleep. I have always had a "no interference" rule (his room is completely childproof and I have learnt not to leave much in his drawers!): I think that if you make an issue of it, then it becomes a game and will get worse and will become a whole "bedtime avoidance" technique...

Anyway, I think that (unless our child is exceptional), there will ALWAYS be times that she will get out of bed. I know that i used to a lot. The less you react to it, the sooner she will get bored of it and decide to go to sleep. You will probably find that - even if she does see he TV - she will get bored very quickly with it (unless you watch Peppa Pig all night for your own entertainment!).

EMS23 Tue 13-Nov-12 19:57:21

Have had the exact same issues as you. In fact, I think we were both on another thread on this subject. Anyway my DD2 is now 8 weeks old and DD1 is just starting to settle back down again.
She's still getting out of bed every now and the but less than before. Early waking still an issue though.

We just persevered with return to bed. No way I could drop her nap, she needs it and so do I!

Oh dear, no, probably not ideal! grin

ellesabe Tue 13-Nov-12 19:44:11

Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately dd can see the tv in the lounge from her bedroom door so I'm sure would quite happily stand at a stairgate all evening watching telly!

When we moved dd1 into a single bed at about that age, prior to the arrival of dd2, we just put a gate on her door. She usually goes to sleep fairly quickly, but if she doesn't, she can just potter around her room for a bit. Can't really advise on the naps, as dd1 has always been a bit of a random napper. Hope things improve for you soon!

ellesabe Tue 13-Nov-12 19:15:01

We moved dd1 into a bed about 6 weeks ago, thinking naively that she would be settled in it by the time dd2 arrived. Dd2 is now 1 week old and our plan has completely backfired.

Dd1 is struggling to adjust to life with a sibling and missing her mummy (had emcs so finding it difficult to play with dd as I usually do)

Anyway, bedtimes are a nightmare. She spends up to 2 hours every night getting out of bed. Dh sits outside her bedroom door and puts her back each time supernanny-style but she is just getting worse.

When she was in her cot still she would go straight to sleep at 7pm, wake at 7:15am and have a 2hr nap every afternoon. Now she only sleeps about 8:30-6am and for the past couple of days has had NO nap at all because she just won't stay in her bed.

So what do we do?

- Put the cot back up? This would be a massive effort as it has been dismantled and sent to in-laws and would mean that dd2 doesn't have a cot (the new bed is a double-decker one to fit them both in)

- Persevere and pray that she gets better?

- introduce a duvet in the hope that it will make bedtime seem more grown-up and appealing? She currently sleeps in a sleeping bag. Would a duvet make it more difficult for her to get out of bed? It would certainly be more difficult to put her in each time.

- Change the bedtime routine to break the bad habit? Maybe by putting her in bed for her story so that she has time to wind down in there and get comfy.

- Ditch the nap entirely? Although the past couple of afternoons have been truly hellish as a result.

- Try some sort of reward system for staying in bed? Not sure this would work as she is only just 2yo and by the time we could reward her for staying in bed (ie the next morning) surely she'd not make the link.

Sorry this is so long. We're getting desperate!!!

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