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 :/

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 05-Dec-13 16:41:01

I'd just let him sleep in with you - sorry, I know that is not the advice you wanted. That way everyone gets more sleep, plus he's probably feeling a bit insecure about the new baby.

Lastofthepodpeople Thu 05-Dec-13 16:54:06

No advice I'm afraid but will definitely be watching this thread. I'm in the same boat!

littlemissblue Thu 05-Dec-13 17:06:14

I appreciate that it's easier in one way to let him sleep with us but I don't sleep v well with him in with us, plus when I'm up in the night feeding the baby I don't want him disturbed and then have him and the baby to settle by myself!

ImaginativeNewName Thu 05-Dec-13 17:10:42

Also in the same boat. My ds is 4 and we now have a 2yo too who conversely, is a great sleeper. Every now and then DH gets fed up of it and makes noises about returning him to his bed each time but as he never gets up with him anyway and I need my sleep at the moment, this never happens. I think it is more common than a lot of people would have you think.

EatDessertFirst Thu 05-Dec-13 17:37:02

Honestly (cue the flaming grin), I'd just keep returning him to his own bed and let him cry it out. He isn't a tiny newborn and a bit of crying shouldn't be the end of the world. He just needs to re-learn to self settle which you say he has done previously. Don't go straight back in if he screams. You'll be able to tell if its genuine pain/distress or if he is just a bit cross at being left. Give it a few minutes and see if he calms down of his own accord when he realises he doesn't 'need' you just then after all.

You sound like you have tried everything else with a new bundle of joy on the way the last thing you need, as you rightly say, is TWO little ones to settle.

I'd make sure you include him as much as possible with the new baby, and make some time for him to have you all to hiself every day.

Congrats on your baby. Good luck.

roweeena Thu 05-Dec-13 19:01:30

Definitely just go in a tell him it time for sleep and walk out and leave - it will be horrible but its what you have to do. He is a clever little 3 yr old who has realised that if he cries in the night he manages to get in bed with you. Be very firm with him, tell him what's going to happen in the day and don't back down. It will take two - three nights max.

Eletheomel Thu 05-Dec-13 19:40:29

It could be worth persevering with the gro clock. We got one when DS1 was just over two years old, and like you were quite alarmed at how bright it seemed (even when dimmed) as we never used a nightlight at all.

However, after a day or two he got used to the light and really took to the clock (switching on the star at night, staying in bed until the sun, and then coming through to our bed at sun up (his reward :-) and we'd read the gro clock story the first few weeks (it was dull, it didn't last long after that!)

It didn't work right away (in terms of him staying in bed until the sun, he was an early riser (not a wanderer) and it took a while to get him to stay in bed awake until sun time, but he was a lot younger than your son, and by the time he was your sons age he had it down pat.

He's 4 now and we take our gro clock whenever we're staying away anywhere else as he looks for the sun for his cue to get up.

Given you have a baby coming soon, I'd be wary of doing any kind of harsh sleep routine now, purely because when the baby arrives it's likely he'll regress for a short while anyway (he might start wetting his pants, want you to spoon feed him, want to sleep with you) and it'd be a shame to go through something harsh now that might only work for a month or two (if you know what I mean).

If I was in your position, i'd start taking him back to his bed everytime he comes through to your room during the night and sit with him until he falls asleep, when he realises that mummy's bed is no longer an option at night, you might find he wakes less often (and will fall asleep quick with you there).

APipkinOfPepper Thu 05-Dec-13 19:58:27

We had this with my 4yo DS. Once the new baby came along, we had a while where he would still come through to our bed in the night, but he was not so settled with (dim) lights on, baby waking and feeding etc. It wasn't long before he started staying in his own bed all night! So in our case, we did nothing and it all seemed to work out ok in the end smile

BarberryRicePud Thu 05-Dec-13 20:10:49

I wouldn't be too harsh tbh. DS is 3.6 and had been sleeping through since 8m until I was pg with DD. She's now 7m and he still has runs of genuine nightmares (comes in shaking) and some attention seeking, particularly with early starts.

I had spd and couldn't keep returning him and was exhausted. I also recognised that he was and still is feeling very insecure about the arrival of a sibling. I let him stay for 10-20mins and then take him back and stay with him for 10 mins or so. I also put this on which is v soothing and he calms very well with it on. Mostly he'll go back to sleep. Sometimes he comes running back in after the turtle has finished still scared and I let him stay then.

Many a night has been spent cosleeping with baby one side and DS the other!

Would you consider putting a little mattress and sleeping bag in your room? Tell him he can creep in if he's scared but not to wake you. If he doesn't use the bed overnight he gets a treat in the morning. Also, the passes thing can work. Give him 3 passes for getting things once he's in bed (drink of water etc, extra loo trips) and any unused ones get swapped for chocolate buttons in the morning.

Only you can know if he's taking the Mickey or if he's genuinely distressed but if you're unsure I'd go with the gentle approach. Having been through the arrival of a sibling, id really recommend as much support and tolerance while maintaining boundaries, for your 3 year old as you can.

Good luck. (Oh and it's much easier having a toddler and a baby than being pg with a toddler!)

littlemissblue Thu 05-Dec-13 21:38:12

Thanks all, he never comes into our room in the night he sits up in bed and cries for me until I come, I guess if I didn't he'd come find me eventually but he's scared of the dark when he wakes I think, so doesn't get out of bed!

I think I'll try to stay with him in his room until he goes back to sleep and if that works then gradually retreat.

I know he wouldn't sleep on a mattress in our room - he wants to snuggle up with me!

Perhaps I'll have another go with the gro clock too.

Thanks for the support!!

Misty9 Thu 05-Dec-13 22:06:24

Also in the same boat here - ds is 2.3 and I'm 22wks pregnant. He usually appears in our room at least once a night and dh does the 'rubber band bounce' where he immediately (once I nudge him!) directs ds back to his own room then stays until he's asleep. If it's later than 5am we let him into our bed for a snooze and cuddle, but I think he's starting to like this a bit too much as he's coming earlier and being more resistant to being returned... Doesn't help that dh likes cuddling his boy...

One thought - does your ds have a nightlight? He's a classic age to develop fear of the dark etc, and crying out for you might be a sign of that?

We're thinking of trying the gro clock too but the brightness you mention is concerning as ds is such a bloody light sleeper. I think I'll have to get used to settling two children through the night... Good luck.

Misty9 Thu 05-Dec-13 22:07:21

Oh, and we've not been able to walk out and leave ds to self settle since he went into a bed. If we do he gets hysterical and starts trashing the room...

cravingcake Thu 05-Dec-13 22:46:05

Another one here with no advice but in same boat. My DS is 2.1yo and has only just gone into his big boy bed. I'm 32 weeks with DC2 and trying to decide the best way to handle this. I'm having an elcs in January so know i wont physically be able to take DS back to his bed, plus i will need sleep to be able to deal with him and baby during the day so dont want him getting used to sleeping in bed with us, especially as he doesnt settle well and wriggles too much. DH will help as much as he can when i kick him hard enough but its so difficult to know what is best.

littlemissblue Fri 06-Dec-13 06:27:47

Well we had mixed results last night, DS woke at 1.15am and I managed to settle him and only had to stay 5 mins before he was asleep. He then woke at 1.50am and again only took 5 mins but more resistance as desperate to come in my bed. Then woke 15 mins later and I couldn't face doing it every 15 mins all night and so gave in hmm he fell instantly asleep in our bed til 6am.

Feel like I completely failed. Not sure if I'm doing the right thing by staying but hate the idea of him screaming in bed in the dark by himself.

BarberryRicePud Fri 06-Dec-13 06:42:35

In that case I'd put a mattress on the floor in his room if there's space and just sleep there from when he wakes. And gradually retreat the mattress.

I too couldn't stand the thought of DS crying in the night.

BarberryRicePud Fri 06-Dec-13 06:53:31

Or better still find a friends house to sleep at for 3 nights and let dh deal with it. If he can show your DS you're not there he will learn that Dh will do. And believe me you need that before dc2 arrives. It will involve tears but its not leaving him alone. Be back in time for breakfast and say bye bye before he goes to sleep (let Dh put him to bed).

And you're not failing. It's bloody hard being pg with a preschooler.

cravingcake Fri 06-Dec-13 06:59:27

Not failing at all, you both got (hopefully) a 4 hour stint of sleep. Dont beat yourself up about it, just try again tonight with your plan. The mattress on the floor in his room may work well for you.

I'm thinking of putting a stairgate on my DS bedroom door, i think part of his problem is he has gone from restriction of cot to freedom of all upstairs and its too tempting for him to get up and come into us.

JellyMould Fri 06-Dec-13 07:03:21

Sticker chart. He gets one sticker for going to sleep on his own, and two for staying in bed all night. When he calls out, go through and remind him of the sticker deal, give a quick cuddle and leave.

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Fri 06-Dec-13 07:03:54

Seriously - your DH works 5am - 10pm? Every day?

littlemissblue Fri 06-Dec-13 07:14:23

Every weekday yes hmm we live a 2 hour commute away from London so as he has to be in the office from 7am until 7/8pm he's out the house a lot sad

Which means I'm a single mum in the week and I have to do all the bedtimes and getting ready in mornings - not looking forward to this when baby girl comes along!! Dh is great at weekend and will help with bedtime and get up in morn with DS but he needs sleep to recover from his week at work too. It's a juggling act!

I will try again tonight and try to be tougher. Unsure about the mattress on floor as I know DS will want to be down there with me!!! He's such a clever boy he knows what buttons to push to make me cave!

He said "I love you so much mummy that's why I love to sleep next to you" this morning!

BarberryRicePud Fri 06-Dec-13 07:50:27

Or are there any DGP or close friends nearby that he could go to for a sleepover, just to break the habit?

Don't know if you'd consider this?

littlemissblue Fri 06-Dec-13 07:57:20

Barberry my parents live close and he does sleep over there occasionally - and sleeps through every time!! (Or they don't hear him crying!)

BarberryRicePud Fri 06-Dec-13 07:59:55

Ah. Could you send him there for 3 nights and then join him staying (in a different room) for a couple more nights?

Does seem to be 3 nights to break habits with kids.

I'm not saying there's an easy answer btw. It's bloody difficult.

Eletheomel Fri 06-Dec-13 08:08:11

You've not failed, you were just shattered - you're in late pregnancy and you need your sleep more than most, don't be too hard on yourself.

Ideas from other posters are good.

Maybe best trying this (or any other plan) at weekends though when your DH is around so he can help out (if not during night times just now (if your little boy wouldn't take to it and that would just keep you awake anyway) then he can look after him during the day to let you have a catch up nap?)

You'll get there and one day you will look back with rose tinted glasses and smile (honestly!)

roweeena Fri 06-Dec-13 09:24:28

Ok I'm the harsh one but do listen to my advice and just think about why he is doing it - he wants snuggles, which is lovely but lets face it not an option and def won't be when the baby comes along (I know as I have an 8 week old and 26month old, believe me you only want to be looking after one in the middle of the night!)

Yes you gave in last night because its hard and you were tired. I understand that you don't want to be harsh (it is def easier said than done). How about the middle ground you go into him but you are not nice to him so he realises he isn't going to get lovely mum attention - so no cuddling, just go in and say its time for bed and then sit with your back to him until he falls asleep. So he isn't getting any attention from you. It's sort of the same but your not leaving him on his own in the dark. Just keep repeating in a calm low voice it's time for sleep.

The first night will be hard and you need to be prepared for that but he will soon get the idea.

I know it sounds harsh but actually in the long run your DS will get a much better nights sleep. (This is what I did when I couldn't bare to leave my one crying)

Racheld33 Fri 06-Dec-13 09:53:54

Hi littlemiss, I moved our 3.3 DS into his own big room, with big bed when I was 36 weeks pregnant (3 months ago) and I was just strict. I didn't let him cry it out exactly, (although without sounding sceptical he is very clever and I think worked out long ago if he cries he gets what he wants!) but I was so desperate to have it 'sorted' before the new baby came I was a lot stricter than usual.
for the first few nights everytime he cried either me or DH did the same thing....
Walk in, say 'it's bedtime now, and you sleep in your own bed' give him a cuddle, lie him down in his bed (but didn't get in), walk out of his room quite quickly, and waited outside for a few mins, and if still crying do exactly the same thing. First night was hard work, second night only had to go in once, been sorted since then.
I'm not suggesting you need to let him cry, but thought I'd let you know what worked for us.
Also we do have a gro clock but only introduced that a couple of weeks after we'd sorted the sleeping, just so he knew when wake up time was (but I don't think it will help with mid night waking)

superzero Fri 06-Dec-13 10:03:53

My advice is,don't fight it.I was in the same position a few months ago and worried for the same reasons 3.5 yr old coming into bed and new baby imminent.It is tiring enough being pregnant without a battle in the middle of the night.
Have you got a spare room?Once my baby arrived and was sleeping next to me in the cot,DH went off into the spare room as was getting disturbed by the baby waking anyway and if DS1 got up he would come into my bed and sleep or go and find DH and sleep there.
He occasionally still comes into our bed but seems to have grown out of it and prefers his own.

TheMarshwiggle Fri 06-Dec-13 10:09:18

I'm not sure your DH's need for sleep trumps yours. Since I got pg with dd, ds got daddy if he woke in the night. He then learnt to just come and quietly climb into our bed in the middle of the night, which we were fine with as we often didn't even wake up!
When dd arrived we didn't let him in for a bit so dh would go and sleep in his bed with him instead. We now let him come in again as he doesn't get disturbed by dd waking or even crying.
Not saying any of this will work for you but it has surprised me how well it's working for us.
Btw I'm soooo much less tired now then when I was pg even though dd (5 months) is a crap sleeper

oscarwilde Fri 06-Dec-13 13:13:51

Does your DH have time off over Christmas? The practical reality is that when you have a newborn on your hands he is going to have to get up to your son for a bit anyway.

I would hold off for a few weeks and over Christmas if he's got some downtime, do the mattress on the floor (or just get into bed with him if easier but trickier to sneak off) thing.

He will regress when a new baby turns up. Our experience was that the baby slept fine but we were on our knees as DD suddenly started getting up every 30 mins during the night. Clearly she felt she was missing out on a "party" in our room. Things didn't settle down until we moved DD2 into her own room at 3 months. She clearly felt more secure with this so if you have a moses basket in your bedroom it is time to start explaining where the baby will sleep for a little while.

We also made a point of pointing out to her when she was grumpy and we were, from not getting enough sleep. It has gradually sunk in and we get proud announcements now about staying in bed all night and how happy we should all be today.

There is a book "The Dark" by Lemony Snickert which is excellent too.

It is a phase unfortunately. If he is sleeping and not bouncing off the walls in the middle of the night I would be inclined not to fight it. If it will be an issue, then sleeping with Dad over Christmas would be my recommendation.

littlemissblue Fri 06-Dec-13 16:45:35

Eletheomel thanks, yes dh is great at the weekends and takes him out so i can rest. I normally let him lie in on a saturday but he gets up early with ds on Sunday morning and he brings me breakfast in bed smile

Roweena I did what you suggested last night - sat at the end of his bed on the floor, but to be honest it's so dark in his room he couldn't see me and I had to guess when he was asleep from his breathing as couldn't see his eyes! he didn't fight going back to sleep as I stayed in the room but I know if he'd heard me leave he would have kicked off crying. It's just if he wakes every 15/30 mins all night I don't know if i have the will power to go and sit in his room until he's asleep every time as I'm so tired anyway! Don't particularly want to start sleeping on his floor as he'll want to get in with me and it'll be very difficult to stop and get back into my bed at some point.

Rachel thanks for letting me know what worked for you, I think thats exactly what i need to do so he gets the idea quickly I'm just worried if i can go through with listening to him crying for however long it takes!

TheMarshwiggle no way ds would let dh into bed with him even if he wanted too! Dh works very long hours in a high pressure job and has to have to sleep to be able to concentrate at work, I'm fine with that it just makes things more tricky. Obviously if i was ill or physically couldn't get up for whatever reason he'd step up willingly but generally it's up to me!

Oscar Dh has from 25th dec to 2nd jan off but we are away for 3 nights 27th-30th so ds will be on an airbed on the floor in the same room as us then. We've ordered a bed nest for the baby so will explain baby will be sleeping there when it turns up. As ds doesn't see dh in the week barely at all when he does occasionally go to him in the night ds just cries out for me and wakes up properly, i'm awake anyway as I heard him so it's just easier for all if I go!

So tonight i'm going to try to do the same as I did last night and stay in the room until he's asleep, if he wakes too often again then tomorrow night I will try to be harsher and tuck him back in then leave the room and see what happens.....

littlemissblue Fri 06-Dec-13 16:46:42

Oh i bought a little plug in nightlight from John Lewis today too, as I asked ds this morning if it was too dark in his room and it scared him and he said yes. So will try that tonight too...

Eletheomel Fri 06-Dec-13 19:29:47

Good luck littlemissblue - really hoping the nightlight works and you get a better night (crossing all fingers and toes!)

roweeena Fri 06-Dec-13 19:54:00

Good luck - I know its hard but it is a battle of wills! Xxx

Racheld33 Fri 06-Dec-13 19:57:08

Good luck!

littlemissblue Sat 07-Dec-13 06:27:41

We did it!! I went to bed early as dh not home til 11pm and I was tired and DS woke at 10.55pm so I stayed with him but he took a little while to go off and was pretty cross.

Woke again at 12.30am and he was having none of it! Tried staying but he wouldn't go to sleep just was kicking off wanting to
come in my bed, throwing his cuddlies etc so I explained it was night time and time for sleep (cue more shrieking) and told him I was going to bed too as I was tired and left for 2 mins.

He screamed of course and tried to lay him back down when went back but he resisted, explained it again and left for 4 mins, he ramped it up coughing so much he was gagging screaming help me mummy I'm sick, I don't need sleep I have lots of energy (!) etc, tried to settle him when I went back but he was so angry!!

Left again and he threw his cuddlies out as was screaming for them then after 5 mins he came running into our room (unheard of but night light must have lit room up enough so he wasn't scared of dark) crying he needed a wee, I took him straight to toilet he did a wee and took him back to his bed, he starting crying he wanted to come in our bed and I retrieved cuddlies, told him I know but it's not going to happen and he needed to go to sleep now else he'll be too tired for swimming in the morning, he let me tuck him in and I kissed him and left - and he went to sleep!!!

I couldn't sleep for ages but I woke at 5.30am and heard him make a noise, thought here we go as he NEVER wakes and stays quiet in bed but at 6am (earliest acceptable getting up time in our house) I got up to toilet and peeped in at him and he was laying there awake!

He grinned when he saw me and was pleased as punch when I praised him for staying in his bed all night. He's having snuggles in bed with us now (lights on etc) and did say 'I cried lots didn't i!' but I told him it was because he was cross, but he was a very good boy for going to sleep in his bed smile

I'm so chuffed with myself too! Dh said if I felt like I was going to crack then wake him and he'd take over but didn't need too!

BarberryRicePud Sat 07-Dec-13 06:41:16

Brilliant OP!

Hope your DH brings you some flowers home, you deserve it! Really hope that's it cracked.

Happy sleeping.

roweeena Sat 07-Dec-13 10:37:58

Excellent, its so easy to give the advice but very hard to do. Keep it up for the next few nights and hopefully you will have it cracked xx

cravingcake Sat 07-Dec-13 12:04:01

Fantastic, well done.

Misty9 Sat 07-Dec-13 22:49:44

Well done. I must say I'm amazed your dh can sleep through that! So far tonight we've had two wakings...and he's asleep in his bed at the moment. He spent last night in with us and I was kicked in the back/front all night. Not tonight!

Will see what my resolve is like at 2am though... Keep it up OP, you're doing great smile

15thaugust Sat 07-Dec-13 23:40:35

I kicked out DH when DD 6 months, as he was useless at night and she woke every 1 or 2 hours when i was on my knees from lack of sleep and resorted to co-sleeping with her against professional advice, however i regained my sanity. She then migrated to his bed when new baby brother woke her. She is now 3 and will get her own room and a single bed soon, but two doubles has been easier on everyone. It is not normal for young children to happily sleep alone all night. Just enjoy cuddles while this phase lasts. Don't feel bad. do what suits you. Good sleep is essential. Thankfully DH not European so this arrangement totally normal in his country & family where 3 generations under 1 roof and adults happy to do this. His niece and nephews regularly asked get in grandparents and aunts and uncles bed not just parents. Gradually as they get older they stop. This seems more natural when you remember how frightening nightmares and the dark are when you were a child.

BarberryRicePud Sun 08-Dec-13 07:09:39

Any more success last night littlemiss?

Hope you got a decent stretch of sleep.

littlemissblue Sun 08-Dec-13 07:34:07

Misty I know it amazes me what dh sleeps through - DS used to wake EVERY HOUR through the night from 4 months to 18 months pretty much - I turned into a basket case! But dh used to tell ppl DS slept through!!!!!!

Barberry we were visiting my BIL yest so got DS in his pjs (it's an hours drive away) and we left at 6pm, DS asleep by 6.20pm in car, put him straight into bed when got home and next thing I hear from him is at 6.10am when he climbed into our bed happy as a sailor!!!!!!! Couldn't believe it!! grin

BarberryRicePud Sun 08-Dec-13 08:49:25

Oh that's brilliant! He'll love all the attention for being such a clever boy too.

Wishing you a good sleeper with your soon to be dc2.

littlemissblue Tue 10-Dec-13 08:27:35

Well it looks like DS was lulling me into a false sense of security night 2 and 3 were great, last night however he woke at 3.30am and crept into our bed waking me to tell me to move up!

Took him back to bed and he kicked off and wouldn't settle, he was in and out of our room, crying on and off, he stayed in his bed quietly for half hour so I was sure he must be asleep but then came in saying he didn't like his room...dh took him back a couple of times too but he just couldn't go to sleep!

In the end I sat with him and he finally went off at 5am hmm

He slept til 7.15am and is full of it today, unlike me.

Feel really fed up about it, thought we'd cracked it :/

BarberryRicePud Tue 10-Dec-13 08:56:59

But you are cracking it! It was never going to be perfect from night one. You've had 2 good nights and 1 bad. That's a major improvement from every night being bad.

Stick with it. Loads of praise all day when he stays in his room. Maybe pick out some wall stickers together and he can put one up when he stays in his room. May make his room feel nicer to him too.

Don't lose heart. DD is 7m and we're working on sleep. It's 2 steps forward and 1 back. Doesn't mean we're not making progress. Just don't let him back in now!

roweeena Tue 10-Dec-13 14:58:14

Be consistent and he will get the idea, it won't take long. I know its tiring but it will be worth it.

oscarwilde Tue 10-Dec-13 15:18:11

Wow - you are doing soooo well. Yes, last night wasn't so good but there will always be an off night here and there.

Loads and loads of praise will do it. Also, giving him a name like SuperStar helps - it seems to really appeal to be called TopX or Superstar or whatever. The nurseries really do this with kids over silly stuff. Obviously with a more competitive environment it helps but have a go.

littlemissblue Tue 10-Dec-13 17:01:47

Thanks, he had he pre school jabs this morning and so i'm in the bad mummy books! "why did you let her do that mummy!!??" So hope that won't affect tonight. I can't have another night like that tonight i've felt hungover all day :/ not looking forward to dd coming along now!!

rooted Tue 10-Dec-13 17:11:29

We have just been through this with one of our twin girls. Unfortunately I went down the bribery route And told her she could have a toy of her choosing if she stayed in her own bed for a week! Lots of false starts but she did it and got a belle doll which she loves. Last 4 nights has still slept in her own bed so hope that it has broke the habit! I told her belle would go back to the shop if she didn't sleep in her own bed!

LaVitaBellissima Tue 10-Dec-13 17:22:18

Watching with interest, I am embarrassed to say that I end up with both of my twins aged 3 in our bed every night sad it's time to fix it I just don't know if I can do it!

littlemissblue Tue 10-Dec-13 19:57:36

Lavita it's so hard isn't it - I wouldn't be doing it if DD wasn't due in 8 weeks, even though I sleep much better without him in the bed!

Dh got home early and is just putting him to bed, fingers crossed it's a better night than last night!

Eletheomel Tue 10-Dec-13 20:18:57

Just to say, you're doing really well OP, pp was right, it was never going to be good every night straight away, it's always 2 steps forward, 1 step back with young un's but that doesn't mean you're not making progress (praise yourself as well as DS for doing well on those 2 nights).

And think of it as 8 weeks to crack it - which is a long long time, childrens' habits break much quicker than that, you just have to stick in there.

I'd forgotten all about the horrors of sleep deprivation until DS2 turned up and we had some nights when he was awake from 10pm to 7am when DS1 would wake up... However, you do get through it, it doesn't last and once you've had DD, you'll have much more energy (on top of which, as you'll be up most of the night it'll be easier to deal with DS1 as he won't be waking you up grin (just trying to see a bright side here, not meaning to be flippant :-)

littlemissblue Tue 10-Dec-13 21:27:20

Thanks, I'm really hoping DD will be a better sleeper than DS, I remember being up feeding him for 5 hours at a time in the night (very low milk supply it turns out!) and he had reflux so would only sleep on my chest!

Will try to bf DD but won't beat myself up if I need to switch to bottles, going to do what is best for us all at the time.

As you say 8 weeks is a long time to sort DS, and I'm probably expecting too much too soon from him. It's a real anxious trigger for me (his sleeping) as it's been a huge issue ever since he was born and I guess I've always felt ashamed I've never managed to crack it!!

Eletheomel Wed 11-Dec-13 08:27:09

littlemissblue - how did it go?

Just to say, having babies/toddlers/preschoolers who don't sleep well isn't a reflection on you, some kids just dont' sleep well until they're older. DS1 was a very poor sleeper as a baby/young toddler, but when he was 2.5 yrs he started sleeping through and now I sort of forget how bad it was (rose tinted specs and all that).

A lot of folk have babies that naturally sleep well, and most people I know who have a baby/toddler that sleeps well did some form of controlled crying (usually cry it out) - that's not a path I wanted to choose (although I did used to think about it, but ultimately I knew I'd never do it).

I think they get there in their own time (which can be a bummer for us parents!) Here's hoping your little boy gets there before his sister arrives.

FWIW, DS2 is 6 months old now and since the day he was born has been a better sleeper than DS1 smile. He doesn't sleeep 12 hours or anything (that's fantasy land to me!) and has been a bit disrupted this last 6 weeks or so (colds, teeth etc) but even then he's still better than DS1. I reckon if you get one bad sleeper, your next baby should be easier (otherwise it's just not fair! grin)

littlemissblue Wed 11-Dec-13 09:29:10

Well it was better than the night before, he woke at 1.30am and let me tuck him back in and went straight back off, then he came in at 4.45am all wet where pull up had leaked :/ changed him and tucked him back in bed, expecting a fight as near to getting up time, but after I sat with him for 2 mins I left him and he went back off til 6.30am smile

I feel fluey today and he's very snotty so hoping for an easy day!

Eletheomel Wed 11-Dec-13 11:26:12

That sounds like definite progress to me, reckon a fluey/snotty day will require some vegging out time for both of you in front of the magical box of lights and sounds... (maybe even with chocolate grin)

littlemissblue Wed 11-Dec-13 11:38:33

Yes we are watching ET and DS has been eating chocs off the Xmas tree haha.

Supposed to be going to see Santa this avo....hopefully we'll be upto it!

apocketfulofposy Wed 11-Dec-13 12:08:57

another one here who would let him stay in with you,my5th is dueany day now and my 3yo dd is going nowhere fast lol.i co sleep til they want their own bed though so will have both with me.

LifeTooShort Wed 11-Dec-13 13:02:46

Have you tried the 'sleep fairy' method. You buy loads of bits from the £1 shop and you tell him that if he doesn't wake you up a night then in the morning the sleep fairy will have left him a present under your pillow.

I would explain that if he is sick, wet etc. then it is ok to wake you but otherwise he has to stay in bed and not wake you for the sleep fairy to visit. He is old enough to understand and IMHO old enought to self settle.

purrtrillpadpadpad Wed 11-Dec-13 13:11:15

Been reading this thread with interest, so pleased it's worked op. Felt a bit sick reading about all these parents happily or miserably cosleeping with their toddlers, sat here looking at my 6 month old non-sleeping baby and feeling horrified at it stretching out forever... I don't think I could ever do controlled crying but if the other extreme is to cosleep with a child old enough to walk and talk, yikes.

TwoThreeFourSix Wed 11-Dec-13 14:26:37

Am watching with great interest - lots of good ideas here, thank you everyone!

DS is 2.3 and I'm 19 weeks pregnant. DS has always been a bad sleeper (reflux until 18 months!) and has been in and out of our bed since he was 8 months, when I gave up through exhaustion.

He's been sleeping with me (DH is in DS' single bed) since I got pregnant because of severe "morning" sickness meaning I couldn't face getting up in the night (DS gets hysterical if it's DH - always has done).

We're planning on using the Christmas holidays to get him into his bed (DH and I both work FT in high pressure jobs) and to stay there. Not sure if bribery would work - DS doesn't like chocolate and even refuses biscuits if he doesn't want one!

Sticker chart might work. Think I might have to get tougher but it's so hard.

FurdyCone Wed 11-Dec-13 14:53:51

My 4yo DS has started doing this. I'm hoping it's just a phase and he will go back to sleeping in his own bed all night. But in the meantime, I'm not sure how to deal with his Christmas stocking on Christmas Eve. I've told him Santa won't be able to find him to leave his stocking presents if he isn't in his own bed, but that one doesn't seem to working. Any ideas?

littlemissblue Wed 11-Dec-13 16:53:11

apocketfulofposy - i don't sleep well with him in the bed though, there just isn't enough room for dh, heavily pregnant me and a tall 3 year old who likes to lie horizontally across the bed with no covers on him, so we get kicked or head butted in the back and freezing cold! Obviously if we all slept well it would be the easiest option but i'm fed up of it!!

Lifetooshort - he can't be bought i'm afraid :/ he would prob like the idea when we suggested it in the day time but when its in the night it wouldn't occur to him and he would rather be in our bed to anything tbh - we've tried similar things before.

purrtrillpadpadpad - 6 months is still very little hopefully your baby will settle down and sleep on their own soon. There are other methods to help them self settle - no cry sleep solution for example but it didn't work for my ds and it takes a lot longer to implement than controlled crying.

TwoThreeFourSix - i agree its very hard to get tough but to be honest once i had started the first night it wasn't as bad as i thought it was going to be and easier to stick too than i thought too. the thought of it is much worse! Once you've started you need to stick to it though else the tears will have been for nothing and it will be very confusing for dc. I wanted a magic solution but after 2 easy nights then 2 challenging ones i guess it's a learning curve for DS and that won't happen immediately. hoping by xmas we might have pretty much sorted it! Everytime he gets up or cries i tuck him back in, stay for a min telling him calmly it's just bedtime and time to sleep in his bed and then leave. The consistency seems to be paying off!

FurdyCone - all i can suggest is every time he comes into your room just take him straight back to his bed and tell him he has to sleep in his bed until morning, then either stay with him until he's asleep or leave and return if he comes back or gets very upset. Really hard but i doubt he'll start staying in his bed out of choice unless you intervene!

TwoThreeFourSix Wed 11-Dec-13 17:05:24

Thats interesting - DS also sleeps horizontally (DH isn't there) and also hates the duvet! When we settle down to sleep he sometimes even objects to me having the duvet which is very annoying!

DH isn't yet convinced DS is ready to sleep in his own bed. He says its not much fun for him in DS' bed (not compfy) but that it's miles better than 6 months ago when we were woken 6 times a night and I spent all night getting up.

We will either try this holiday, or wait for me to go on mat leave at 33 weeks (standard mat leave in this country) so I don't have to go to work the next day!

SteamWisher Wed 11-Dec-13 17:21:23

Hi OP just wondered if you'd rules out reasons for waking? Is he potty trained? Do you lift him for a wee at the same time you go to bed - he might have a low level awareness and need a wee.

Other things to consider - if he snores then rule out enlarged adenoids as it can cause sleep apnea meaning he can't quite breathe properly. The other thing is whether his reflux still bothers him - I give mine a sip of peppermint tea on occasion before bed as we got unsettled night with ds for these sorts of reasons.

payney954 Wed 11-Dec-13 17:33:45

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littlemissblue Wed 11-Dec-13 18:13:21

He is potty trained in the day but wears a pull up at night, we lift him when we go to bed and he comes in to tell us he needs a wee in the night.

It's def not reflux when he used to have a nap he'd nap all afternoon without waking if we left him! Plus when he sleeps at my parents he sleeps through every time!

Doesn't snore either. When he's in our bed he's happily sleep all night long and not wake, he's just a very stubborn and willful child in general!

If he doesn't want to do something we have to be very firm / use naughty step to gain back control. He's very clever too, if I ask him to eat 5 more mouthfuls he'll say ' or how about 3? ' he can negiotiate very well. "I'll go help daddy make a cup of tea and he can bring you a biscuit, and I can have one too!" Etc

We just have to be very firm and consistant with him, it's very wearing!

BettyandDon Wed 11-Dec-13 18:25:00

Hi OP my DD is 3.5yrs same problem almost exactly for about 6 months or so.

Just this week we have done a reward chart (homemade about fairies). If she stays in her room all night she gets a sticker, after 10 stickers she gets to pick a toy at local shop. We are on day 8 and she has slept through every single night! We are amazed. She has totally bought into it. When she goes to bed she says 'I'm going to get another sticker' when she wakes up she calls for us and says 'I've done it'.

I am not a fan at all of reward systems. The only time I've done it was with potty training. That worked like a dream too.

I have also drummed into her that things she thinks she sees in the night (shadows) are not real and she is repeating it back so I think that has also helped.

KateMoose Wed 11-Dec-13 20:01:52

I have had the same with my DD who is 3.2. I have unashamedly used bribery. 'If you stay in your own bed all night you can have a sweetie'. On the nights she doesn't, I don't mind her coming into my bed, but she gets. I sweetie. She knows this and most nights she sleeps on her own bed and gets very excited that morning when she wakes up!

The 'sweetie' by the way is a chewable multi-vitamin smile

KateMoose Wed 11-Dec-13 20:02:51

That's meant to say no sweetie, not Isweetie!

Hopeinhell Wed 11-Dec-13 20:16:13

My dd was like this. She always slept loads better in our bed. When she was around 3 I would say that she has to stay in her bed and that if she lay quietly I'd go and kiss her in 5 minutes. I would tell her I'd only go in when she was quiet for 5 mins. I then had to keep myself awake so that I could go in to her after 5 mins. I just went in, kissed her and said I'd be back for a kiss in 5 more minutes of quiet. It didn't take long before she'd go back to sleep after a couple of visits and then eventually I'd just go in, reassure her we were all still here and she'd go back with no more visits from me. She's 7 now and still a terrible sleeper really, but she does stay in her own bed all night at least!! I probably could have done it quicker but I didn't want to have her crying herself to sleep.

grew Wed 11-Dec-13 20:33:18

When we had this issue we found rewards of toy cars worked well. Also I found the groclock too bright but put a lamp on a timer and explained it was morning when the light came on.

Misty9 Wed 11-Dec-13 21:59:33

Hi littlemiss, sounds like it's going relatively well smile just to reassure you you're not alone - the night before last ds was in with us from 2am, but then last night was the first night ever he has woken but stayed in his bed!! Dh still had to go in, but it was a new one on us.

He's had a bloody awful day of tantrums today (my one day with him) so we'll see what tonight holds...dh has had to resettle him once already. He took about 90mins to go down at bedtime too... Can't wait til there's two of them! shock

Hope your night is going well.

sleepcrisis Wed 11-Dec-13 22:08:32

I haven't read the whole thread as am in a bit of a hurry, only read the first page, so I apologise if this has already been said. Just thought I'd mention this re the brightness of the gro clock. We also found it way too bright but realised that you can actually switch the brightness right down to 'off' I think it might be '0'? So the clock face is basically off through the night until the sun comes up and it lights up. We don't use the blue stars function at all, DS just has to wait until he can see the sun.

princesscupcakemummyb Wed 11-Dec-13 23:05:48

another in this same boat while pregnant with dc3 my 2 year old dd was okay as theough the night as she slept with me and dh and still breastfed her to sleep tried to wean her she wasent have none of it anyway now baby number 3 is here shes worse then ever dh is doing the night time with her but she now wakes several times a night and even gets up by 6 in the morning so sadly im no help but im watching this thread and glad to see im not the only mummy going through this

littlemissblue Wed 11-Dec-13 23:30:30

Misty how's the night going so far? I feel your pain although DS is quite easy at going to bed it's just during the night we have problems. Hope you get a good night, day of tantrums isn't fun!

Amazing how many of us are going through the same thing and yet I know no one personally who's child has a sleep problem except me! Makes me feel crap when all my mum friends' children sleep through in their own beds and have since 6 months :/

Thanks for the gro clock tip I'll def be using that for morning wake ups once he's got sleeping through cracked!

We had antenatal class tonight so put DS to bed at 6.30pm (no nap today) and he was asleep within 10 mins, the babysitter said he hadn't stirred when we got back at 10pm, which is normal tbh he doesn't wake til early hours usually, just off to bed now hoping for a good night! Baby is awake and kicked me though so who knows when I'll get to sleep!!!!

Good luck everyone! X

Misty9 Wed 11-Dec-13 23:38:04

Quiet so far... i really ought to be asleep too. Hope your second baby allows you some sleep! Fingers crossed for good nights all round smile

Katnisscupcake Thu 12-Dec-13 08:04:02

How was last night LittleMiss?

I remember going through this when DD was 2.5. It was a real shock to the system as she'd slept through the night from a few weeks old, then suddenly she just wouldn't stay in her bed and sleep.

I took advice from various people and did what you did, sitting by the bed then moving further and further away each day until eventually I sat outside her room (with a book...) with the door open until she could still see me. Then sat in our bedroom talking with DH so she could hear that we were next door and eventually she just started dropping back to sleep.

It took about 2 weeks altogether and she's never done it since - weird!! We went for the Groclock aswell and DD still has it now.

As your DS has asked for a night-light, would it be worth you trying the gro-clock again?

Sounds like you've made great progress though!! smile

littlemissblue Thu 12-Dec-13 08:22:46

We had a crappy night :/ DS woke at 3.45am and didn't go back to sleep til 5.30am sad( he was crying he was scared / needed a wee / wanted me to stay with him etc kept coming in if we didn't go to him. I'm exhausted.

Had to get cross in the end and threaten to take his cuddlies away if he didn't stop being silly and go to sleep. It worked but fed up it took so long sad he's just woken up at 7.30am which is v v v late for him but not if he's been up for that long in the night I guess.

Dh is taking him to London with him today as they have a nursery at his work and he loves going on the train, going out to lunch in London etc so at least I get a day of rest today.

Eletheomel Thu 12-Dec-13 11:02:27

A day off sounds good OP - reckon you should make the most of it. I still think he's doing well and while it is tiring, if you do this every night for a fortnight, you'll find those random nights when he comes through (as he will do it every so often I'd imagine) will be few and far between and he'll settle quicker when you go to him.

It's a big change for him and it will take him a while to get used to it (these night wakenings might also be him expressing some kind of stress/worry about the new baby - you never know). A friend of mine said they'd read something about not making any big changes to toddlers/preschoolers in the 4 months before and after a new baby arrives - not sure where she got it from.

Have a bath, a nap (although I always find napping makes me more tired - not sure why!) read a book and enjoy your day of peace (mentally preparing yourself for tonight - which will probably be fine as he'll be shattered being out all day :-D

1789 Thu 12-Dec-13 11:39:16

my eldest miraculously started sleeping through the night when my second was born (she was 2.5 at the time). then, the same thing happened with my second (never slept through the night) until I put her in a big double bed with her big sister when she was 2.5 and now they both sleep through every night. i don't sleep train or any of that other stuff, so I know it's my fault, but i think they just like cuddling up to a warm body in the middle of the night so I'm so happy they seem to love sleeping in the same bed!

littlemissblue Thu 12-Dec-13 12:37:44

I just felt so helpless in the night, nothing I did made any difference! He's so stubborn he just won't give up without a huge fight and I don't want to get cross with him if he scared but part of me just feels like he's saying it as another ploy for a attention.

Everything seems so much worse in the middle of the night! Mum thinks I need to get tougher with him as he's so clever he runs rings round me!

Dh has told the nursery to give him as much nap as he wants today As he was up half the night, so hope he doesn't have a huge one then not be tired tonight, although he won't be home til later I suppose.

harrycat99 Thu 12-Dec-13 15:01:38

Hi there, I had this problem with my little boy (when aged 3), gro clock didn't work and found out the blue light this gives off is not very helpful for sleep anyway, even on lowest setting.

So I replaced it with nightlight (one that goes on plug socket) on timer, and set the timer to go off at 6am. I explained this to him and if he did it 'fairy' would bring him some raisins (they are like sweets to him). You have to be strict any only give reward if 'stays quiet until light goes off'. To begin with, I set it for 5 and worked it (5 min per night) to 6 o'clock. Worked really well, and only very rarely he doesn't get reward. Some people might do a few smarties or something. I printed off image of the fairy and I gave it to him with the treat. It basically means when light is on (bedtime / wakeup) they can't make a fuss/ shout out etc. Well, they can but they don't get reward. If they do shout out a lot, you just go in and tell them that the light is on, it's sleep time and leave the room again.

harrycat99 Thu 12-Dec-13 15:02:49

P.S You've done a great job, if he can now fall asleep himself - that will make things easier.

littlemissblue Thu 12-Dec-13 16:22:19

Ok so this is where I'm not sure the best thing to do... When he cries for me / comes in to find me do i

A. Go to him/ take him straight back, tuck him in tell him it's bedtime and time to sleep and leave straight away - which means he'll carry on crying or come straight back into our room... And repeat.


B. Go to him and stay with him for a while until he's calm and then leave him to go to sleep by himself?

I've tried staying with him until he goes to sleep but he keeps checking I'm still there and he's v quiet and still but after half hour he was still awake! I can't sit on his floor for hours I'm just too tired.

I wish it was going to bed we had issues with as at least I'm not in bed then and I'd have more patience! Plus he'd be more tired, whereas at 3-4am he's had a good chunk of sleep already. He goes to bed easily, by himself though so you'd think he could self settle in the night!!!!

oscarwilde Thu 12-Dec-13 17:26:11

I'd say "B". it's going to be tough but it is doable.
If he doesn't want to do something we have to be very firm / use naughty step to gain back control. He's very clever too, if I ask him to eat 5 more mouthfuls he'll say ' or how about 3? ' he can negiotiate very well. "I'll go help daddy make a cup of tea and he can bring you a biscuit, and I can have one too!"
^^ He sounds a perfect candidate for a reward chart. Put DC2 on it when they arrive too as he'll love to feel superior to his "badly sleeping" younger sibling!

littlemissblue Thu 12-Dec-13 17:40:00

Well i've just ordered a Thomas reward chart from Amazon which will come on Saturday! ds really wants Skarloey (train from Thomas tank) so that can be his reward for staying in bed all night for a week!

roweeena Thu 12-Dec-13 18:22:49

Hey little miss sounds like you are doing great but remember to be as firm as possible and to not give him attention in the middle of the night (although it is hard). He is playing up more because he probably realises that this is a way for you to stay in his room, give him cuddles etc. be firm, back to bed, not even a friendly voice - keep doing it and remember it is a battle of wills and he just has to get bored of it before you cave!

Even negative attention is better than none in his eyes so try not to give him any IYSWIM and he'll soon realise its not worth getting up/ waking up for.

Then loads and loads of attention when he sleeps through.

Therefore option A

notwoo Thu 12-Dec-13 19:24:49

Am watching with interest as he sounds very similar to my DD who is 4.5.
She's always been a bad sleeper - must have tried just about everything since she was born - all of which have either been unsuccessful or worked for a week.

She managed to rack up 20 nights in her own bed (over about 5 months) to get a coveted dress but as soon as she'd got it she was back in our bed and didn't mind when I took it away again.

We had 3 hellish nights of taking her back to her own bed every time she came in to ours (took over an hour of continuously carrying her back kicking and screaming every time she woke so v little sleep of anyone) which we thought had done the trick but a week later she was ill so back to square 1 and I couldn't face doing it again.

So she trots into our room every night and snuggles up. It doesn't really disturb our sleep most nights but it makes it hard to get up early in the morning (to have shower, walk dog etc.) as she wakes up too and is then grumpy.

Her younger brother has also started waking in the night after being a pretty good sleeper so far but I'm trying not to make the same mistakes with him so am gritting my teeth and putting up with some crying - I'm sure it's better in the long run!

BarberryRicePud Thu 12-Dec-13 19:33:08

I'd go option B. At least then you've got option A left to try. If you start with A you don't really have anything else to do.

If you're exhausted though i do think option A is likely to work faster. Good luck!

Misty9 Thu 12-Dec-13 19:40:12

It might not feel like it, but it does sound like progress littlemiss smile reward chart is a good thing to try too - we did this with ds recently, and whilst he got the concept and talked about getting his stars, he wasn't too bothered to not get them! He's only just two though, so a bit young maybe still.

Our night wasn't too bad - up at 2am (dh tells me grin ) but settled quickly and up for the day at 6.30am.

As for which option, we're currently going with B as A just results in hysterics and he can't self settle when he's in such a state. I'd try B and see how you go...but can your dh not take some of the strain?? Or at least start it on a weekend and get him to do both nights?

He took an hour to go down tonight and is full of cold again bloody nursery so we'll see what the night holds. Good luck your end smile

littlemissblue Thu 12-Dec-13 21:16:48

roweena ds got back from london and said he felt sick (from the car i think) and was white as a sheet and coughing/gagging over the toilet, got over it quite quick but doesn't seem quite right still. Makes me worry about being too hard on him tonight, why do they always get poorly at the worst times??! He had an hour nap today (woke at 2.50pm!) and so he's only just gone to bed now (9pm), so who knows what the night will hold!

notwoo i feel your pain :/

Barberry i agree but as you say A will work faster and i have chronic back ache today, the thought of being up and down all night fills me with dread. Although both options involve me getting up i guess.

Misty i'll swap your night for mine! I doubt ds will go for the reward chart, he's not bothered about stickers when he's having a tantrum in the night, but you never know. Dh did help a bit last night, but he goes back to sleep immediately after putting ds back to bed and so as soon as ds comes back in or kicks off i have to wake him back up to get up and see to him. i'm awake anyway as i can't sleep until ds gone off properly, so seems pointless us both being awake.

argh why am i having another one of these non sleeping creatures??!!!!

Eletheomel Thu 12-Dec-13 21:37:33

I'd go for option B, but I'm soft.

What does he say when you discuss this with him in the cold light of day? What reasons does he give about coming through to your room? Do you discuss how tired you are and how if he comes to your room you can't play with him as much during the day as you've used up all your energy?

Have you read the 'there's a house in mummy's tummy' book to him? It's one of those 'you're having a new sibling' books, but it's got a bit in it about how mummy gets tired when she's pregnant, so you could maybe dwell on that bit!

Have you got him to agree (in daytime) that he will try really hard to sleep through? Or does the nighttime totally negate anything he says/discusses about it during the day?

If he likes negotiating (DS1 loves making deals), then that's in your favour, you can negotiate/make a deal about how if he doesn't come through then x will happen (whatever floats his boat) but if he does come through then x will not happen.

littlemissblue Thu 12-Dec-13 22:26:31

Eletheomel yes we talked about it this morning and he said he wanted me to stay with him because he was scared of being by himself. I told him how tired i am - he knows anyway as i say it a lot! - and how we all need our sleep but it makes no difference.

He agrees every evening he's going to stay in his bed and we agree on something he can have next day if he does, which he is keen on, but when night comes he forgets about it and when i remind him he doesn't care.

roweeena Thu 12-Dec-13 22:31:47

Good luck, its so easy to post on here telling you to be firm with him but its stupidly difficult to actually do with your own son (speaking from experience). Was he looking ill when he went to bed? If so take it easy, but try not to tell him sleep in your bed as you may be back to square one.

roweeena Thu 12-Dec-13 22:32:50

Obviously if he's really ill though then sometimes cuddles are the best medicine

littlemissblue Fri 13-Dec-13 06:52:07

Thanks Roweena, night was ok he didn't actually wake til 5am but really don't want him up before 6am so we had an hour of screaming and taking him back to bed.

I got in bed with him for last 5 mins and he calmed down, he told me he's scared of people coming in to get him and that's why he wants me to stay in his room with him :/

Eletheomel Fri 13-Dec-13 09:18:16

Is there any scope for introducing a new 'guard' cuddly toy (or any toy I suppose if he doesn't like soft toys) that will keep him safe? We often tell our son that his favourite toy doggy will keep him safe at night and he's just to give him a cuddle and he'll be okay (blatant lie - but well, that's motherhood for you....)

Or you could make some kind of 'shrine' thing with all his favourite things and photos of you and your DH and him and say it's got magic powers (ya da ya da ya da - more and more lies grin

Is there anything he's seen or heard recently that might have given him a bit of a scare (might be why he's suddenly started doing this?)

We also still have a monitor in DS1's room and he uses that as a 2-way communicator so he just tells us if he needs a wee or anything and we come through to get him. It's not an ideal solution for you, but maybe if he could talk to you it might help reassure him? (still waking you up though, which sort of defeats the purpose, but might stop you having to get up all the time and might stop his crying if he knows you can always hear him (if you know what I mean) esp if he's getting scared.

I know the gro clock has been mentioned many times on this thread (and you've not had much luck with it) but that was the one thing that worked for us in terms of getting DS1 to stay in bed until 6:30am.

It took a bit of time and we were realistic initially (his usual wake time was 5am, so we'd set his gro clock for 5:10 and make him stay until the sun came up, then we'd increase it incrementally until the time we wanted - often he'd wake before then, but he would (and still does) stay in bed until his sun came up).

littlemissblue Fri 13-Dec-13 10:05:48

Eletheomel he LOVES cuddly toys and he has about 15 in bed with him!! I know if i say that Eeyore will keep him safe he'll just say 'no he won't' and carry on crying. he doesn't believe a word we say half the time lol i'm just torn as to whether he's playing on the 'i'm scared' tactic or if he really is.

He did watch ET other other week and this morning he said he was scared ET was coming into his room.... but my gut tells me he's not as worried as he's making out.

If he carries on sleeping through but waking at 5 ish then i'll definitely get the gro clock back out and give it another shot. i'm sure he'll just lay in bed crying until sun comes up though! talk about high maintenance.

He was very grumpy and argumentative/rude this morning before preschool. Had to put him on the naughty step in the end. Told him it's because he and mummy are so tired because he got up too early and cried in his bed, but doubt it sunk in!

I have a day wrapping Christmas presents today but don't feel very merry at the moment. Feel like every things getting on top of me, dh has problems at work and is worried he's not going to get any bonus in January which would mean we're in the sh*t as we are relying on it to get the baby stuff and pay off some debts. Fed up ds is being so difficult, my back is agony, knackered, going away after Christmas and need to cook food/prepare for that argh.

Sorry for moaning!

Eletheomel Fri 13-Dec-13 10:21:28

'Tis the season to be moany littlemissblue, you're not alone and you've got a lot on your plate, give yourself a break, it's tough in late pregnancy when you have an older child and are getting no sleep and christmas is a bloody expensive and stressful time of the year, and if you've got debt and work worries no wonder things are getting on top of you.

You could always put your daughter in with your son when she comes home from teh hospital, you might find if he's getting woken every 2 hours all night, he won't have the energy to be scared/start crying....

I think we overplayed the 'tired and grumpy' card with DS1 to the extent that now whenever he's a bit grumpy and we ask him what's going on, he starts crying 'it's because I'm tired'.

I realise this suggestion is mean (and it's relying on pulling out the big guns) but have you mentioned that santa might not be pleased with the fact he's getting up at night and that if he doesn't start staying in his bed, santa might not come as he doesn't like to be seen by boys and girls during the night? And that he might end up on the naughty list...

(my son is very concerned about santa - but mind you, he buys the 'guard' cuddly toy lie, so maybe he's just a sucker!)

littlemissblue Fri 13-Dec-13 14:10:12

I tried the Santa thing already - he cried even harder then and took ages to calm him down! There seems to be nothing I can say or do that's worse than not coming into mummy's bed!

Misty9 Fri 13-Dec-13 14:29:56

Oh, littlemiss, I feel for you having to essentially do all this alone sad I'm lucky to have dh working from home.

If he really doesn't want to be alone, what about having a little bed next to yours that he can climb into (silently without waking you!) in the night? It's a suggestion in the no cry sleep solution for toddlers, but we don't want to try it as the baby will be in there too - but in dire circumstances, is it worth trying?

Who on earth has said you have to do lots of festive cooking etc when heavily pregnant?! Can you m&s it? Maybe try having a list of what needs doing and aim to get 1 or 2 things done each day? Most of all, give yourself a break and get as much rest as you can x

Misty9 Fri 13-Dec-13 14:31:15

Oh, and ds was in with us last night from 3ish (I think) practically lying onmy head... hmm I suppose he is ill with a cold and cough but then he's been ill since starting nursery a month ago
Onwards and...sideways?!

littlemissblue Fri 13-Dec-13 16:18:50

Misty the lying on the head thing is exactly why I want my bed back!!! nursery does mean they get ill for about 6 months which sucks. Hope tonight is better for you.

Thanks for understanding i do honestly feel like a single mum most of the time in the week, dh would love to be home more and he does help out loads when he's here but he has a very well paid job and we need the money unfortunately! Both ds and dd in my tummy are IVF babies and didn't come cheap!!!!

In a way it's kind of dh's fault we are in this position though as he missed ds so much when he was a baby, when he woke in the night he encouraged me to bring him in our bed so he could see him if be it very briefly! He was worried ds wouldn't bond with him at all. But now he's as fed up as me of being kicked in the night and so told me we really need to get him out before baby comes - but it means it mostly falls on me as he needs the sleep to function at work!

Not keen on the bed idea as I know ds won't go in it - he wants to snuggle up with me, plus we have a bed nest that attaches to the bed for the baby to sleep in so not really room!

As for the cooking, we are going away to the peak district from 27th-30th dec for my dads 70th bday celebration - 2 of my brothers and their kids are coming too so they'll be 13 of us in a huge house we're renting. One night we are getting a takeaway, one night my bro is doing a roast and the other I said we'd do spag bol, so dh has said he'll make the sauce on Boxing day, plus i'm making 2 cheesecakes to take. It's all the packing and taking snacks/ puddings for ds i need to get my head around, i'm a bit OCD about organisation and get panicky if I'm not sure what i'm doing when. I'll be 34 weeks when we go but at least ds will have his cousins to play with and look after him (he's the youngest) and dh will be on hole so I can chill out!
Ds is on the floor in our room on an airbed then, so who knows how he'll sleep!!!

We're at mum and dads for Christmas day so I said i'd take a pudding for that, but i'll make that on Christmas eve.

It'll all come together i'm sure, the thought of it all is worse than doing it!

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

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!

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 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 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!!!!!

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 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?

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.

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 and personalised it to him (the monsters one) so we'll try that today too.

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 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 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

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!

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!

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 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!!?!

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?)

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.

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 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 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

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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