How do you settle your baby/toddler at night?

(4 Posts)
MaMaPo Mon 21-Apr-14 09:29:32

This is a very weird question but I have managed to reach 16 months of parenting without knowing how people do this during nighttime wake ups.

Background: my daughter is 16mo and until 3 nights ago was still having breastfeeds at bedtime. Most of the time she would feed to sleep but was able to self-settle (e.g. for naps and during the night) and had slept through pretty consistently from about 11mo.

Through bad luck and bad timing, I have weaned her during a slightly unsettled time - she has a bit of a cough, and is a bit teethy, and generally a little bit grumpy. But she has coped wonderfully with weaning and is able to pop off to sleep without much grumbling.

Last night was awful. She woke up coughing and crying at about 12.15am and was up for about 2 hours. We gave her pain relief and I patted her and rocked her a bit, but she's a real non-interventionist baby. She really just gets more furious if she's picked up or if you're in the room at night - oh, unless she gets a feed of course! So last night I was really at sea about what to do.

Should I leave her to cry? Not fair when she's under the weather, surely.
Should I try to rock or pat her to sleep, even though she's not been rocked to sleep since 6mo?
Should I trying singing? talking? being quiet? Should I put a low light on?

Any ideas welcome! If I'm not feeding her, I have no idea how to settle her!

slightlyconfused85 Mon 21-Apr-14 13:26:51

My 17.5 month is also a non interventionist baby! The more we are there, the less likely she is to sleep. She rarely wakes, but if she does we struggle and don't really know how to settle her. She settles beautifully in the evening by herself usually, and sometimes wakes at night, chats a bit and then goes back to sleep.

If she wakes up crying seriously for more than 5 minutes, one of us will go in, check her temperature and give her some calpol incase she is teething or has tummy pain. She then gets a 15 minute cuddle in our bed or in her room, which is long enough to reassure her and ensure that any medicine will have kicked in. She won't sleep in our bed, just faffs about, so we do put her back in her bed with a kiss and tell her she needs to go back to sleep. She usually wails and cries for a little while, but will go back to sleep quicker than if we were up and about faffing with her. It's not nice to hear them cry, but if you've done everything and she won't sleep when you're trying to help her then there's not that much else to do unless you want to get up with her in the middle of the night. I wouldn't return to rocking or feeding.

TodayIsAGoodDay Mon 21-Apr-14 22:14:02

I do exactly the same with our 17.5 mo. Keep the cuddle very low key - lights off/low, sit fairly still (a bit of swaying to calm her if necessary), gentle, quiet, barely-there voice.

If more like when she wails when I put her down I just reassure her very quietly but still leave the room quite quickly.

ChazzerChaser Mon 21-Apr-14 22:20:57

Stick boob in mouth, or rock, or the other night he bobbed in with us for 10 mins then was sleepy enough for cot again. It's pretty rare he wakes now, he just got there in his own time, no crying or training or anything.

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