Getting 3 year old to stay in own bed all night

(130 Posts)
littlemissblue Thu 05-Dec-13 16:37:50

I have a 3 1/2 year old DS who has always been a bad sleeper. Until recently he would get v upset if I left him at bedtime to go to sleep by himself and wanted me to stay in the room with him.

I have managed to stop this though and he now goes to bed around 7pm and I can leave the room and he'll go off by himself.

Recently dropped his nap so he's going to bed earlier than before which works well for me as I'm 31 weeks preg.

He wakes between midnight and 4am every night though and cries for me in his bed (daddy won't do he gets hysterical if daddy goes not me) and wants to come in our bed. I have been giving in as he goes straight back to sleep in bed with us until around 6am.

However with new baby due in Feb I feel he needs to stay in his bed all night now but not sure of best way to go about it. I'm so tired I hate the idea of hours of crying and battling with him but I guess that's inevitable??

Anyone been in this situation? Have tried the gro clock but found it lit his room up so brightly it woke him properly when he went into light sleep (even on dimmest setting). Do I just need to tuck him back in explain its still night time and he needs to go back to sleep in his bed and leave? Or stay until he goes back to sleep again? If I leave him and he screams should I go back after a few mins?

Hoping after a few nights of hell he'll get the idea, but he's a sensitive soul (esp with baby coming) and will pull out all the stops to make me back down - scared, thirsty, pull up leaked, mummy I need you etc etc and I'm so hormonal I'm worried if I can do it!

Dh works 5am - 10pm in London so won't be able to help me inthe night as he needs his sleep, plus DS gets more upset if he goes to him in the night.

Any advice welcome! Sorry it's so long :/

littlemissblue Fri 20-Dec-13 06:22:46

Rubbish night last night, DS woke at 12, 1.30am, 3am, 5.30am for the day. He's upset he can't have his choc coin and sticker :/

Grumpy house here this morn

PicardyThird Fri 20-Dec-13 06:36:39

I'm going to venture that he is rightly upset - I am not saying this to be hard on you - but what I mean is he almost certainly can't help it and he is still very, very little.

My two are 2.4y apart. When dc2 came along, I had the baby in a bedside cot next to me so I could feed in the night, then dh and dc1 was on his other side. He would sleep through and never disturbed the baby. Dc1 had been in our bed until then and we found that easier and gentler, not to mention more pragmatic, all round. Might this be an option for you?

I had two very 'bad' sleepers, if 'bad' means wanting parental closeness at night. They do grow out of it, bit by bit. It took time with ours and they do still come through to our bed on occasion at 8 and 6 (the older a lot more than the younger one, interestingly), but we choose to live with that so we don't have to get up at night, and if they do it before we are in bed we steer them gently but firmly back to their own.

littlemissblue Fri 20-Dec-13 07:51:30

Of course he's upset - it's a change to what he's been used too. But as I said earlier up the post he didn't sleep very well even in our bed, and I hardly slept at all as he kicked, thrashed and didn't want any covers on him so we were freezing.

I was fed up with not getting enough sleep, esp with dd coming soon.

When he wakes now he doesn't ask to come in our bed anymore, he just wants to get up, which wouldn't be acceptable whether he was in our bed or not. He is very proud of himself when he does sleep well and tells people 'when I was a baby I slept in mummy's bed but now I'm a big boy I sleep in my bed all night!'

I guess everyone does what's right for their family, and while that may have been right for you I don't think it's the long term solution for us.

Misty9 Fri 20-Dec-13 08:14:19

Sorry to hear about bad night littlemiss sad and in totally with you on co sleeping not working for us either. Ds ends up horizontal and kicking me in the face! the book I read just said not to mention sticker etc if they don't earn it, but your ds sounds a bit too savvy for that approach!

Drum roll...ds slept through! In his own bed! absolutely sods law then that I was so bunged up I barely slept.. hmm bless him, first thing he said was i get sticker, and we hadn't even mentioned it for ages!

Hope you get some rest today x

littlemissblue Fri 20-Dec-13 09:35:47

Wow Misty that's awesome! Long may it continue smile

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