OK, we have clearly done everything wrong - please tell us how to sort out DD's sleep!

(21 Posts)
BabCNesbitt Mon 28-Oct-13 17:33:14

DD is nearly 2, and still can't go to sleep without the nightly routine of BFing, patting, singing, bouncing, etc (all this after dinner, bath, bedtime story). But as she gets older, it takes longer and longer for her to go to sleep with all this palaver. Some nights, DH or I don't get downstairs until nearly half ten. thlsad

We've tried sitting with her and waiting for her to fall asleep, but she keeps asking for singing and to be picked up. In desperation, we've even tried leaving her for a few minutes, but she just got more and more hysterical. I've really no idea what we should be doing, but right now it feels like she'll never bloody fall asleep without us doing all this gubbins! Has anyone else been in this situation and come out the other side?

WipsGlitter Mon 28-Oct-13 17:41:58

No. But sometimes I'm very firm and say "time for sleep, lie down and go to sleep". I think you need to pick a lights off time and leave. Go in to reassure if shes crying, but no picking up or singing. Just gently make her lie down again and repeat "time for sleep".

Good luck!

Nevercan Mon 28-Oct-13 19:53:45

I would say you are a big girl now and don't need singing etc. make sure she has something to cuddle and give her a big kiss goodnight and then go. I think she will try all the tricks for the first few nights but then realize things are not going to change if you keep putting her back in her bed.

zippey Mon 28-Oct-13 20:29:49

Does she sleep during the day? My DD used to go to bed about 9pm, till we dropped her daytime sleep. Now she goes to bed between 7 and 7.30pm.

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Mon 28-Oct-13 20:46:56

Einstein defined madness as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

at the moment, you can spend three hours getting her to sleep using the same technique. So give yourself that time to try something new.

id go for doing a story at bedtime. Bath, bf, into bed, then lay next to her in her bed with the lights low and read some stories. If she tries to sit up, encourage her to lay down. It may work, it may not, but you lose those three hours anyway, so worth a shot.

whatever advice you choose to try, please try it for a full week before moving on to something else.

BabCNesbitt Tue 29-Oct-13 03:27:08

Yeah, we need to agree to be persistent with anything we try, I guess. Tonight (it's currently half nine here) we've been trying the 'bath, story, bf, good night' routine then trying to leave her to it, but she's howled ever since then; we've popped in a couple of times to try and reassure her, but she keeps on crying and getting more and more worked up. There's no sign that she's about to drop off yet. sad Are we horrible parents to leave a 2-year-old crying like that, or is it the only way through?!

Only way, I'm afraid. She's just trying to regain control of the situation and trying out different strategies. Crying will not hurt her at two years old. Stick to your guns!

GuillotineLibertine73 Tue 29-Oct-13 03:34:03

It's a change, so she will kick off, if you keep going in though and just laying her down and saying night night, she will get the message eventually, won't be easy, but yes give it at least a week to see any improvements.

(Says the woman up at 3 am again with her 2.5 year old!)

rootypig Tue 29-Oct-13 03:37:10

I would say stay with her, just don't intervene to help her sleep. If you're there, she will likely be crying from tiredness and crossness / frustration rather than fear.

But yes, you have to be consistent. If you let her cry and then do what you've been doing anyway, you're just teaching her to cry for longer to get you to do it. I don't mean she's a little Machiavelli, just she won't understand what's going on at all.

If you want to be gentle, kill one sleep association at a time eg BF, sing, stroke, but no motion. Stay with her and comfort her in those other ways until she sleeps. Then BF and sing. Then BF. Good luck getting rid of that one! ;) You can help by introducing a new sleep association that you don't mind her hanging onto eg a musical nightlight.

Good luck, it's awful, isn't it?

candlelight2012 Tue 29-Oct-13 03:45:57

do you have a tape recorder?

BabCNesbitt Tue 29-Oct-13 03:52:55

Thanks for all the replies (and I'm sorry that replying at this time probably means you have your own sleep troubles!) Yeah, I guess that she does need to learn that this is the new normal, and I know it won't kill her; it's just really hard sitting and hearing her crying 'mummy, mummy!' for over an hour. We have kept going in every five minutes to reassure her that we're still here and we're just downstairs. I'm just wondering how long she can keep crying!

BabCNesbitt Tue 29-Oct-13 04:18:16

10.15pm, and she's finally gone to sleep! smile

rootypig Tue 29-Oct-13 04:29:00

Well done! have a large glass of wine. It will be easier in a couple of nights....

docsarah Tue 29-Oct-13 09:22:45

Have you tried moving her bedtime earlier as well? They find it easier to go to sleep if they're not overtired.

bigwellyfucker Tue 29-Oct-13 09:24:28

What time does she get up in the morning?

Lucyadams184 Tue 29-Oct-13 16:06:32

You should watch super nanny on tube with the sleep technique, it's brilliant. It is hard work to start with but it's worth it. We used the technique with both of ours from the beginning and if they are tired now we just tuck them in and leave the room.

BabCNesbitt Tue 29-Oct-13 16:57:54

Her bedtime is usually around 8.30 at the moment, by the time she's had her bath, stories and milk, and she tends to wake up at about 7am. I'm a bit concerned that if we put her to bed earlier, she'll start waking up at 6 or worse! Mind you, if she goes to bed earlier, maybe we won't feel obliged to stay up until midnight just to have some child-free time in the evening...

BabCNesbitt Wed 30-Oct-13 05:12:27

So it's now ten past eleven and she's still crying, as she has been for the last two hours. We've been putting her back to bed when she's been getting up, and putting our heads round the door every so often to reassure her we're still here, but she shows no sign of falling asleep soon - she keeps calling for milk or singing hmm DH cracked and sang "Twinkle, twinkle" to her, but now she's screaming with rage. I think this could be a very long night...

rootypig Wed 30-Oct-13 07:25:18

Are you ok Bab? what time did she go off in the end?

BabCNesbitt Wed 30-Oct-13 18:54:37

She finally went to sleep at about half eleven hmm I just hope we're not setting her up for future therapy visits...

BabCNesbitt Wed 30-Oct-13 18:56:08

(I know that that's almost certainly NOT the inevitable result of any prolonged crying, but I've read so much AP stuff that I feel like a bad parent leaving her to cry!)

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