Anyone successfully done CC with a two year-old?

(43 Posts)

I can't believe I've let it get this far - but I've spent the last two years in a sleep-deprived fug and can't carry on. I need to get work and my brain isn't functioning as it should.

My sleep habits with my two year old DS are terrible. He gets given bits of milk through the night, starts the night in his own cot and then comes into my bed when he makes a fuss in the small hours. I wish the whole co-sleeping thing worked for us, but I don't get a wink when he's in with me. It's honestly like having a newborn.

I've always erred on the side of caution as he has severe reflux, and although he's on strong meds, I've worried about leaving him to cry as I can't be sure if it's pain or not.

However, the fact that he falls asleep the moment he's with me kind of proves otherwise.

In order to get him to go to sleep in his cot at the start of the evening I have to hold his hands through the bars for half an hour.

Writing it down like this makes me realise how daft it's got. His sleep is totally controlling the household.

Thing is I have an older DS who is four, and who is quite a light sleeper, so not very sure how it will work. I just know that I can't let things carry on as they are. Any advice most welcome!

Bump! Am in middle of him plaintively crying out for me. I just don't know if two is too old for CC? It's really hard when they can articulate their feelings and needs. hmm
Sadly I have a need too- for sleep- that is incompatible with his!

MrsExcited Sat 02-Mar-13 19:50:05

What about reading up on Tracey Hoggs pick up put down

MedicPeso Sat 02-Mar-13 20:00:43

Oh no, that does sound difficult. I haven't done CC, but I have been in a similar crappy evening-stealing place a couple of times with DS. I completely agree with your comment about sleep deprivation - you're aware that the way things have to be done is a PITA, but you keep doing them because you don't have the time / headspace to think about what you'd like to do instead.

We've used gradual withdrawal a couple of times, and this worked well for us. But our DS was younger, so I'd recommend reading up on the different methods that can be used with slightly older children. I think gradual withdrawal would be appropriate though (and would hopefully be much gentler on everyone involved).

If this is still too much to tackle alone, ask a sleep specialist for help. You can talk to a couple on the phone, and find out what methods they would use. It's £, but probably not as £££ as you'd think, and can all be done over the phone (including a few weeks of support).

Good luck.

CPtart Sat 02-Mar-13 20:00:49

A two?

MedicPeso Sat 02-Mar-13 20:07:26

My DS is still in a cot at 2.5 as well grin.

He fits, he doesn't climb out, it works for us.

Thanks for the suggestions! We did try pupd with his older brother when he was much younger, but may look at that again.
It actually only took 10 mins tonight (and it's the first time he's gone to sleep on his own for about six months) so not so bad. Not sure about using same technique for night wakings though.
What's the issue with a cot at two? Everyone I know kept theirs in a cot or at least cotbed with sides (which is what we have) til aged 3...

HenD19 Sat 02-Mar-13 20:14:48

We're having a nightmare too at nights with our DS aged 2.3. He learnt to climb out of his cot 3 wks ago and kept climbing out which we thought was dangerous so we changed it to a cotbed and put a stair gate on his rm. we were starting CC with him hoping hed give up and get back in bed and ho yo sleep but the little monkey kept using toys and books to stand on and diving over the gate. We're trying rapid return with not great results and I am losing the will to live, esp as I'm 30wks pregnant. Have put a bed guard on his bed tonight as found him asleep on the floor last night so am wondering if he's been falling out and then waking up and coming into us. It's so frustrating and you have my full sympathy. Let me know if and how you crack it.

MedicPeso Sat 02-Mar-13 20:18:52

I wonder whether telling him what's going to happen would help as well, he will be old enough to understand.

We had to do pretty similar to you - night-wean, stop moving DS into our bed, stop touching DS as he fell asleep, then stop talking to him, then leave the room. It's hard work, but with a well-thought out and consistently applied plan, it should work.

LaVitaBellissima Sat 02-Mar-13 20:23:06

I have twins in Cotbeds, I am not planning on putting them in beds ever anytime soon. Cotbeds go up to age 5, our are huge, and I still put them in giant grow bags so they can't escape!

What about trying a gro clock op?

Sounds similar to what I'm trying, medic peso. It's reassuring to hear that it's worth persevering with.

Hen, I feel DS may become a vaulter too. One day at a time! Can you put some kind of pillow barrier under the sheet to stop him falling out?

Must be even harder when you're pg and time against you though- my sympathies! smile

Ah- I do actually have a gro clock from when DS1 was this age. I used it for early waking but maybe would work on night too. Thanks for tip!

Victoria2002 Sat 02-Mar-13 23:04:56

I think cc combined with a firm 'it's sleeping time, lie down please' or whatever can work at this age, especially combined with praise/bribery along the lines of 'you are such a big boy now that I know you can sleep all night in your bed' and lots of praise in the morning for any improvement. Definitely old enough to understand what the plan is. You could even promise a treat after a weeks good nighttime behaviour or whatever.

KD0706 Sat 02-Mar-13 23:11:27

I've never done CC myself but I did have coffee on Friday with a friend who was saying she had done it with her almost two year old. The DD was waking multiple times at night asking for a bottle if milk and then barely drinking any. So my friend thought enough was enough. She was tough but it seemed to have worked for them.

Thank you! I caved in the night and gave a (very small) amount of milk, as I knew he would go back off again v quickly, but as DP and DS1 are away tonight I will try and be more hardcore <wibble>.
You're right though, he is old enough to get it so I need to see it through.

MedicPeso Sun 03-Mar-13 17:02:46

Just to add that you can also night wean using gradual withdrawal instead of CC. For us, this meant not giving any milk (BF), but sitting with DS until he went back to sleep. Night weaning significantly reduced night waking - apparently DS had learned hunger, because he was so used to having multiple top-ups in the night.

KD0706 Sun 03-Mar-13 18:23:08

I can sympathise with how tough it is. My one year old is still waking in the night for milk. She is breastfed. Because she's only just one I'm not averse to feeding her a bit in the night. But some nights she wants three feeds which I think is a nonsense. But whenever I try to settle her without a feed I tend to cave after a while and just feed her for an easy life.

HenD19 Sun 03-Mar-13 20:03:13

Have been doing f***ing rapid return for the last 50minutes aaaaaaahhhhhh! And I want to watch 'call the midwife'

Hah! How long did it take in the end?
TOnight took 1 hr, and I went up every 15 mins, but he wasn't crying, just calling out. I reckon I need to cut down the lunchtime nap as he's just not that tired at bedtime.
MEdicpeso, I am doing the cold turkey tonight but offering water instead. I just worry if I stay with him I'll see his little pleading face and give him some, whereas if I stay outside the room I won't be able to.
It's the coward's way out, isn't it sad.

HenD19 Sun 03-Mar-13 21:57:49

It took 1hr and he was definitely tired when I first put him into bed. Got to toughen up in the night and stay strong too as have let him sleep with me the last two nights as have been so tired. Am still (like every night in the last 3 wks) hoping for him to shock me and sleep through.....but I doubt it v much. Good luck spotofcheerfullness and hope you have a good night smile

Good luck tonight! Let me know how it goes tomorrow.
I too will try and stay strong...

Bloody hell. Knackered this morning.DS was up for an hour 2.30-3.30 but settled fine after and slept til 7.15 this morning! That is an excellent night for us. Shame then that new neighbours' baby screaming all night and them all up for the day and making noise from 5.30. Karma for the last four years I spose <yawn>.
But I feel this hasn't been strictly CC as he hasn't been crying really, just calling out for me. Doesn't seem too bothered this morning I must say...

helebear Mon 04-Mar-13 07:57:03

We just did gradual retreat with dd (nearly 2) as we were still cuddling her to sleep which was taking up to an hour and driving us insane. Anyway, it took 5 weeks of us being really firm with her and dp & I sticking to the same method and saying/ doing the same thing at bedtime & she's now lots better. My point is that whatever method you decide to go with I think you have to dig deep and stick with it and be really consistent because you're essentially breaking a habit & teaching a new way to go to sleep. It's hideous but worth it!

HenD19 Mon 04-Mar-13 09:15:31

Great news spot! Much better night here too. DS woke at 12 and 1.30 but I put him straight back to bed and he went yo sleep straight away and slept til 6.50. Wonder if he just wants reassurance that he's not on his own in the night?

That's fab, Hen- and I'm sure you're right, they are old enough to get that we're there, it'll just take a bit of prompting!
Helebear, thanks for the reassurance grin. I need to be realistic and not assume it'll be sorted in a day!

Update - both DCs went to sleep on their own tonight - first time this has EVEr happened!
Also had a much better night from DS2. Upshot was that he woke up early, but I'll take that if it means a bit more sleeping through!
How is everyone else doing?

HenD19 Wed 06-Mar-13 18:08:04

That's brilliant! It's such a relief when things get better. We're into are 4th week of DS waking twice a night every night. Fortunately he's going straight to sleep when I put him back in his bed. Just wish he's stop waking. He's still not great at staying in bed at bed time, even when tired which is really frustrating. I think we're slowly getting there though. Have a good night spot.

Thanks! I hope you do too.
I have to say though after 4 wakings last night and a 5.10am coming into bed for milk before drifting back off to sleep, I can't exactly say we've cracked it! But still, it feels like huge progress in a short time, and the four night wakings were all very short.
My DS1 sounds like your DS on the "not great at staying in bed even though tired". At least when they're four you can resort to chocolate button in the morning bribery grin.

HenD19 Fri 08-Mar-13 11:23:14

DS SLEPT THROUGH!!!! Typically though I didn't as was awake most of the night feeling awful with a dreadful cold.... How are you getting on Spot?

HenD19 Sat 09-Mar-13 08:25:25

And again!

That is fab, Hen! (Not your cold, obv).
Same here too. High five! grin.

HenD19 Sat 09-Mar-13 14:13:04

Yeah! High 5 to you too!

HenD19 Sat 09-Mar-13 21:36:19

OMG for goodness....DS has not got out of his bed at all tonight and went fast asleep....please let this be the new norm...... Hope your DC are behaving themselves at night too Spot.

That's top news grin. Long may it continue!
Ds2 went to sleep tonight without a peep. Now if I can somehow silence the dawn chorus that wakes us all at 5am, I'll be one happy camper...

HenD19 Sun 10-Mar-13 08:23:21

Back to waking at 12.30 and 5am but luckily went back to sleep quickly. I think pray we are slowly getting there.....and that you are to...,

Thanks! We had an "awake between 3.30 and 5.30 am this morning shock" - hoping it's a blip! Must be something in the air...

HenD19 Tue 12-Mar-13 21:40:21

Feeling exhausted and pd off with not getting a full night's sleep for ages. Sick to death of DS wandering in in the night and closing his eyes as soon as I put him back in bed. Why is he bothering to get out? Also his messing around at bed time is getting to me. Sorry to be so negative but just had enough....want to stock up on sleep before our new baby arrives in may and at this rate I'll be fully sleep deprived already when the baby's out!

I was in the same position as you when DS2 was born - it totally sucks sad.
Bit of regression here, had to give DS2 milk at 1.30, then both boys up for the day at 5.30, but am blaming cold draughts from windows.
Could the cold, or hunger be waking him?

HenD19 Fri 15-Mar-13 19:44:20

Hi spot and hope all well with you, esp sleep wise. I think the cold and hunger are waking DS from time to time but not sure why else he's waking and getting up. It makes me realise how good my DD was as she hardly ever got out of bed at bed time and was and is a great sleeper-we were so lucky but didn't know it. DS is much better if DH settles him to sleep so maybe I am a bit soft. The problem is DH often works late and I mostly put them to bed myself. I'm shattered again tonight so looking forward to sleeping soon.

We are having our loft converted at the mo which is making loads of mess and extra jobs for me.....will be nice when finished but not helping my urge to nest as cant get anything sorted. Have a good weekend x

abbyfromoz Fri 15-Mar-13 23:03:48

Been lurking in the shadows here...
Just had to say! Glo clock! Never even heard of it until today! Learn something new each day...
Also...have a 23 m/o in a cot... Seriously not uncommon

Hi Abbyfromoz, how did the first run of the Gro Clock go? We had one and it worked really well with DS1 but I find it doesn't work with two children if they wake each other up easily!
How's your weekend been, Hen.
Things going v well at bedtime here (last night both asleep within 10 mins of lights out) and no waking last night. Both up at half five, but there's nothing to be done about the very noisy dawn chorus!

HenD19 Sun 17-Mar-13 06:55:09

Welcome abbyfromoz and am presuming your little one is giving you hassle too re sleeping? Have you tried the gro clock yet? My DD has one and it works really well for her but thought DS was too young yet so will be interested to see how your DS gets on with it.

It sounds like you've cracked it spot! You must be really pleased although 5.30 still feels like the middle of the night, especially at the weekend so feel for you there.

We are still struggling at getting DS to stay in bed at night but he is getting slowly better and getting out less. We've adopted the bollocking approach which incidentally isn't recommended by any of the books but seems to be the only thing that makes him stay in bed. I hate making him go to sleep in this way but the softly softly way just wasn't working. I know he'll be much better at settling at night once he dtops his afternoon nap. He's sleeping through on the odd night but still waking most nights so I suppose there has been an improvement just not as much as I want!

Enjoy the rest of your weekends smile

abbyfromoz Sun 17-Mar-13 18:43:11

Thanks guys. Yes she's generally good but got back from Aus a few weeks ago and had some random 4am wake up calls... I keep saying 'bubba! It' still dark!' But she's wiiiide awake. Haven't tried to clock- she may be a bit too little but not far off! Will give it a go though! grin

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