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 09:35:47

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

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 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.

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 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

littlemissblue Wed 18-Dec-13 23:40:21

sad that sucks Misty. Hope you both feel better soon. You tried Vicks vaborub on soles of his feet with socks on the top? Stops them coughing!

My DS has woken himself coughing tonight too but has stopped since did the feet trick. He always has a bad night on our nct antenatal nights! Fingers crossed that I don't hear from him in a while

Misty9 Wed 18-Dec-13 20:08:29

Aww, glad to hear you're making progress smile unlike us...

Ds can't shake this cough and keeps waking himself up coughing. He's ending up in our bed every night by 2-3ish and we feel a bit defeated tbh, especially as we're going away on Saturday for a week so figure there's no point in battling only for it all to regress again hmm sad

I've now got a cold so can't sleep anyway!

littlemissblue Wed 18-Dec-13 09:26:45

After a bad night on Monday night we had a good night last night, DS only woke twice and was asleep again within 5 mins. He did wake for the day at 5.40am and wasn't happy when I told him he needed to wait for the sun to come up before he could get up (6am), in the end I laid in his bed with him and we had a chat til 6 smile

How about you guys?

Misty9 Mon 16-Dec-13 20:14:31

It's funny because he's actually quite a reserved and laid back child - until he gets frustrated! Yes he does throw in the day (though not at nursery I've just discovered) and we discipline with attachment principles I suppose - no naughty step as yet. It would need to be in a padded cell anyhow!

Last night, not good. Woke at 12am, I tried to settle him but crying for dh so he had to get up and settle him. Ended up in our bed from 3ish again and crap night's sleep all round sad we can't keep going like this but feel at a loss what else to do sad we're away for a week over Xmas too, so not sure it's worth battling now only for it to be disrupted for so long. He went down like a dream tonight though, and we've started the sticker chart again. We'll see.

I'm off to bed at 8.30pm so I can catch up on some sleep...

Hope your night goes well.

Eletheomel Mon 16-Dec-13 09:57:19

littlemissblue - just caught up with thread, sounds like things for you and DS are going well (definite progress compared to a week ago). It's amazing how excited they are to see the sun in the morning :-)

Totally pants about your DH you (sometimes it feels like you can never catch a break, eh?)

littlemissblue Mon 16-Dec-13 06:59:55

Misty wow he sounds fiesty!!!! Does he throw things in the day too? Wondering what method of discipline you use.

We had a bit of a breakthrough I think! DS woke at 11.30pm but he didn't mention that he was scared at all, I told him I'd be back in 5 mins to give him a kiss and a cuddle if he laid quietly with his eyes closed, and when I went back he was asleep!

Woke again at 4am for a wee and again only took til 4.15am to go back to sleep. Then woke for the day at 6.40am!!!

He was so pleased with himself and happy to see the sun up on his clock. The sleep fairy had put a choc under his pillow too and he was able to put a sticker on his reward chart! smile

Poor dh however pulled a muscle in his neck last night so was in agony all night and hardly slept :/ he's hoping to get into work (2 hour commute :/) as needs to talk to his boss, plus he can use the physio there and hopefully see the GP. Bad timing as they are deciding bonus' at the moment and if he has to be off a while that will impact it no doubt.

Why is it not everything can go well at once!!?!

Misty9 Sun 15-Dec-13 21:52:16

Hi littlemiss. Sounds like you could be onto a winner with the gro clock if he got excited about the sun coming up smile might try that with ds, now it know you can turn down the brightness. Mind you, is it throw-proof?!

We had a so so night. He woke when we went to bed but settled again quickly. Then he must have woken at some point in the night as I awoke to his feet kicking me in the face! Dh said he was half asleep and must have hoiked him into bed. To his credit, dh took him back to his own bed at 3.40am where he stayed for a bit, but then started throwing things hmm. In the end, he came in with us so we could get some sleep.

So not much progress to report! However, we have noticed a change in that he doesn't scream the second you get up from the side of his bed (after threatening to leave if he won't settle down) so we might try the 2mins and check strategy too (he tends to say "I'm coming" if you go anywhere). It's the throwing thing which is difficult to ignore but we've removed anything breakable so we'll see.

Onwards... We can do it! God knows what number two will be like if we don't...

littlemissblue Sun 15-Dec-13 13:36:50

Odear, dh doesn't have any leave left before Xmas and is saving it after jan for when baby is born. He'll do it at weekends but DS is no different to me or dh getting up.

Chickling we've tried all sorts of bribery / rewards which DS likes the sound of in the day but when night comes he couldn't care less just wants me not to leave him. He seems quite anxious sometimes but there's no point staying as he makes himself stay awake to check I'm not going!

chickling Sun 15-Dec-13 12:12:11

I haven't read all the posts so someone might have said this but I'm having the same prob with my DS also 3 1/2. I bought a small jar and some pirate coins (tesco party bag stuff) and every night that he stays in bed, he gets a coin in the morning. When the jar is full he can choose a treat eg, the zoo or a trip on the train. It's worked for the last 2 weeks touch wood!

ODearMe Sun 15-Dec-13 11:15:39

Can you do it starting from a fri night, all weekend and then your DH take annual leave on Monday and Tues? A few days might be all it takes. Has to be worth a try to put you all (including your DS) in a better position when dc2 arrives. Congratulations by the way! smile

littlemissblue Sun 15-Dec-13 10:44:47

Ohdearme daddy can't go in the week as he leaves for work at 5am and doesn't get back til 10pm so he wouldn't be fit for work

ODearMe Sun 15-Dec-13 09:42:20

I would send daddy every night until he gets the message and does not bother waking up. Think this is about power, not simply just waking up and wanting mummy.

littlemissblue Sun 15-Dec-13 09:30:35

Misty how was last night? i did all the getting up last night and let dh lie in as his RSI in his neck is really bad at the minute. Better to let him sleep than have him moaning all day!!

Ohcrap you can lock the groclock so they can't change the stars to sun apparently! Did your dh not mind staying in her bed all night?

We had marginally better night i guess, ds woke at 1.10am and went back to sleep at 1.45am, then woke again at 4am and went back off at 4.45am then woke at 5.30am and Im not sure if he went back to sleep but he was quiet in his bed until sun came up on gro clock at 6am - cue ds very excited and shouting to show us the sun was up!

Every time he woke he wanted me to stay with him and look after him, but i was firm and told him I had to go back to bed. Had to threaten to take away his comforters at one point. Then tried the idea that hopeinhell had that I told him I'd come back in 5 mins if he laid quietly in bed, did that twice and on the 3rd visit he was asleep.

Anyway he didn't get a sticker for his chart as he was up and down several times, not that he's bothered!

Also I got this last night http://www.littlechildrenbigdreams.com and personalised it to him (the monsters one) so we'll try that today too.

Ohcrapwhathaveidone Sun 15-Dec-13 08:58:38

Morning! How was your night? Any luck with the reward chart/gro clock?

We tried the gro clock with little success, DD knows how to make the sun come up herself pressing the buttons!

DD stayed in her bed with DH until 4am at which point I let her come in my bed, I was too tired to resist as I'd only just got back to sleep after feeding DS at 3amconfused then both up for the day at 6am!

Sounds like you had a hideous day yesterday hope your night went well and that today is better for you.

Misty9 Sat 14-Dec-13 20:23:33

Oh dear sad sorry to hear it was a bad one. For us ds woke at 10ish when we went to bed, then again 30mins later, then again 10mins later...at which point I gave in and said stick him in with us (probably because dh was knackered and I was having to do the resettling!). Pretty unsettled night not helped by my being kept awake by bloody SPD pain.

We've had a party this afternoon/evening so will see if that knackered him out enough to stay asleep all night!

I have NO idea what we're going to do when the next one arrives in April. Probably tag team...

Hope tomorrow goes better for you littlemiss - and you can at least have a lie in?

littlemissblue Sat 14-Dec-13 17:30:15

That is most definitely sod's law!! I understand not wanting your dd to scream and wake your DS, our dd isn't due til 5th feb I REALLY hope we're sorted by then.

DS had reflux as a baby so hoping dd won't and have got a sleepyhead deluxe bed thing from John Lewis to go inside bednest which is supposed to help them sleep well so here's hoping!!!

I couldn't have sat on the floor for an hour well done you, I don't bother as like your dd my DS makes himself stay awake so I can't go. But he screams when I go, he has hardly no voice today!!!

Got the gro clock out for tonight plus a Thomas reward chart but doubt it'll work.

Had horrid day got a flat tyre while on my own at sainsburys this morn then got home and the dryer part of our washer dryer has packed up...and it ran out of warranty in sept. FFS!!!!!

Ohcrapwhathaveidone Sat 14-Dec-13 14:52:48

Really feel for you littlemiss, our new tactic is for DH to sleep with her in her room-(she has a single bed that pulls out into a double) not ideal but better than her coming into our room and being woken by DS. With the idea that she will eventually sleep in there on her own?!

So last night she went to bed all smiles and saying she was happy to sleep with and have cuddles with Daddy and come to see me in the morning. But you've guessed it by 2am she was screaming for meconfused I went in to her and had to hold her hand, I was in there for an hour every time I moved even an inch it was 'mummy where are you going?' She stayed awake the whole time I'm sure she knew as soon as she was asleep I would leave so she was actively trying not to fall asleephmm so then at 3am DS wakes for a feed so I tell her I have to go and feed him, cue more screams but I left her with DH and she eventually calmed but DH told me this morning that although she was not screaming she didn't actually go back to sleep till around 4am kept asking for mesad so like your DS was awake for 2hrs!

I really don't know what else to do I can't let her scream as it then wakes DS too. Even if I relent and allow her in my bed, me feeding DS wakes her and she then doesn't sleep well because of that.

Arrrggghhhhh not sure if there is an answerconfused but I need more sleep!!

When are you due DC2? I really hope for you that he/she is a better sleeper. My DS is much better than DD ever was not amazing but definitely has potential to sleep for a good few hours at a time but due to a medical condition I cannot allow him to go any longer than 5-6 hours between feeds so I have a baby that potentially could sleep through yet I have to wake him- Sod's law I think they call that!!

littlemissblue Sat 14-Dec-13 08:03:52

Misty dh can't get a seat on the train normally so no chance for sleep!

Ohcrap thanks for the post it's nice to know my DS isn't the only one!!!

Last night wasn't great, DS woke at 11.30pm and dh went to him but as soon as he left he started crying again. Cue dh in and out of his room every few mins til 1am, me awake whole time too. DS screaming for me and it was heartbreaking, I had to go to him in the end which annoyed dh as he thought DS had got what he wanted, but I just gave him a hug and a kiss and tucked him back in.

He was quiet for 10 mins then started again so dh went in again, he must if fallen asleep then as he woke at 6.10am for the day.

So he was awake for 2 hours in the night, I feel disheartened like we're not making any progress really.

Thought it would take a week or so to see him sleeping better but it's like he's just not getting it! We've been sticking to our guns and he's not been back in our bed so why is he still waking for 2 hours!!???!

Ohcrapwhathaveidone Fri 13-Dec-13 20:38:52

Hi littlemiss just wanted to add my DD sounds EXACTLY like your DS. I really could have written 90% of your posts. She's a clever little madam too and like you I'm not sure if she's genuine scared or just knows how to play on my emotions! She also talks about sleeping in her own bed every evening says she is going to do it but then like your DS in the middle of the night really doesn't care what's been promised as a reward all she cares about is getting in my bedhmm again only I will do she will not have DH comfort her at all.

I have a 12wk old DS who is in a crib next to my bed and the crazy thing is he sleeps better than 2.8 yr old DDconfused

I agree that everything seems so much worse in the middle of the night. I really don't have the energy to fight with her at night either as I'm also feeding DS at least once or twice a night still.

I'm sorry I realise my post is not helpful at all but just know you are not alone!

Misty9 Fri 13-Dec-13 19:00:59

Snap with the air bed situation...dreading it. We're away the whole week with my family and a bloody slobbery dog who'll probably wake ds barking and for some reason when we booked it over a year ago I thought ds would still be in a travel cot! At least family can mind our kids while we catch up on some kip eh?!

Funny, it's my dh who always wanted ds in bed too...and we had a bednest for him, which he never used, so am getting cheapo crib to attach to bed this time. Does your dh commute via train? If so, surely he can catch up on sleep then and therefore help out with nights...? wink

One thing we did do was buy a superking bed recently....but ds sleeps horizontally, so it hasn't helped that much. Said child is currently being put to bed by dh and I can hear singing and "zigzu" (character from tree fu, as if you'd need telling) being shouted down the monitor! Takeaway arrives soon so he'd better go to bloody sleep!

Hope your night goes better x

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now