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to be utterly sick of 3 year old's incessant evening wakings?

(27 Posts)
stickersarecurrency Wed 05-Jan-11 00:31:33

He self settles at bedtime. Then wakes repeatedly until we go to bed, when he joins us. He's often restless but generally sleeps uninterrupted once in our bed.

He's always tired. I'm fed up with evenings spent running up and down, him crying and DP making excuses for him. Tonight he got up once to see if we wanted to go to bed, once to pee, 4 more times because he needed to pee again, then three times because he doesn't like being on his own. Now he's in our bed, with us, but he's getting no TV all day tomorrow. I gave him the option and that's what he chose. But DP's grumpy with me because he thinks I'm too hard on him.


charliesmommy Wed 05-Jan-11 00:43:44

what does he do if you put him back in his own bedroom?

stickersarecurrency Wed 05-Jan-11 00:47:14

Gets up again ten minutes later. Or goes back to sleep for a bit then gets up again. It's getting worse over time.

KickArseQueen Wed 05-Jan-11 00:48:39

Have you tried the back to bed routine?

Its worked for 3 of mine so far ( the 4ths a bit young wink)

fishtankneedscleaning Wed 05-Jan-11 00:49:18

You will have to keep putting him back into his bed everytime he gets out of it. Do not say anything and do not give him eye contact. It may take two weeks but it will be worth it in the end. Good luck!

ChippingIn Wed 05-Jan-11 00:50:50

Too hard on him??

Not hard enough.

Put an end to coming into your bed and he will stay in his - he's staying half awake to wait for you!

The first few nights will be tough, but if you just tell him he's a big boy now and needs to stay in his own bed and keep taking him back there and do not relent it will be sorted within the week.

IF he responds well to star charts let him pick something and do that - if not, just tell him that it's how it's going to be from now on as he's A Big Boy.

IF you want to co-sleep (my idea of hell) then that's fine - but put him in your bed to start with - then he knows he wont 'miss' you going to bed.

KickArseQueen Wed 05-Jan-11 00:50:59

Oh also dc 3 ( who is 3 yrs old), would NEVER stay in his own bed until I bought him a very large polar bear, it lays behind him in his bed on the same side of him that I would lay if he as in my bed. It seems to fool him that hes in with us.

KickArseQueen Wed 05-Jan-11 00:51:45

Chip!!!!! Its a miracle!!! We agree on something!!! LOL!


stickersarecurrency Wed 05-Jan-11 00:52:06

Is that like rapid return? Need DP on board for that. DP tends to sit with him/tell stories etc. Not helpful in long run. I am quite APish but draw the line at a 7pm bedtime.

KickArseQueen Wed 05-Jan-11 00:53:14

Well almost, I'm fine with co-sleeping up to a point, but I'd need a bigger bed to do it much past 2 and a bit! I'd never get them all in.

ChippingIn Wed 05-Jan-11 00:54:10

I'll crack the champagne grin

<How are you??>

KickArseQueen Wed 05-Jan-11 00:56:22

Stickers, Back to bed, you Say "bedtime sweetie" the 1st time "bedtime" the second time and nothing after that, no eye contact, no conversation, don't be cross, just calmly guide back to bed and snuggle in.

Its kind and theres still no mileage in it for the child, so they stay put eventually. Expect a lot of returns on the 1st few nights but it gets better quite quickly.

KickArseQueen Wed 05-Jan-11 00:57:54

Chip, not too bad, need to go on a diet, are you still on a thread somewhere near here or am I getting mixed up?

stickersarecurrency Wed 05-Jan-11 01:00:18

We've a 3 month old too so bed is jam packed. Complicates matters with DS being booted out too. But I've had it with this. Thanks for suggestions. Will give them consideration but for now I'm going to bash bunny clock to a painful plastic death.

rodformyownback Wed 05-Jan-11 01:04:23

We have had very similar experiences with our DS, and DH is much more patient than me so I do know where you're coming from.

It does seem a bit hard to be FUCKED OFF with a 3 year old who is feeling insecure at bedtime.

Perhaps you could try one of you lying down with him in his bed until he goes to sleep rather than leaving him to put himself down? It might seem like a step back but he might sleep better for a little bit longer so at least you get an evening. Get DP to do it so you at least get 20 mins or so to yourself at DS's bedtime.

It must be really hard to be patient when DS is always tired - is this affecting his behaviour during the day? It can be a bit of a vicious cycle (believe me I know from experience!!) when tired DC is naughty, you get annoyed, you're stressed before bedtime because you know tonight is going to be as bad as ever, DS goes to bed in a foul mood, won't go to sleep, ad infinitum...
TBH, to do you really think giving him no TV tomorrow will make him stay in bed tomorrow night? From where I'm standing it seems more likely to perpetuate the cycle if you continue to punish him tomorrow.

Perhaps you could tell him tomorrow sometime "tonight you're going to go straight to sleep and stay in your own bed like a big boy". Maybe offer a treat the next day, depending on what works with your DS (longer term carrots and sticks don't seem to work with ours at all!) Make a fuss of him at bedtime, you do his routine up to taking him to bed, tell him what a big boy he is, then DP take him up to bed and stay with him til he goes to sleep? Then if he wakes up, remind him that he agreed to stay in his own bed because he's such a big boy now? You'll have to find your own way because you know your DS best, but this sort of stuff, led by DH because I was at the end of my tether, seemed to work for us.

FanjoKazooie Wed 05-Jan-11 01:10:43

If you want to carry on co-sleeping, then put him to bed at 7pm in YOUR bed.

This is what we did with DS1 and he was much happier. He decided aged 4 that he would sleep on his own, and he's never been back! Phew!

rodformyownback Wed 05-Jan-11 01:12:09

Oh stickers we really are in the exact same boat! 4 week old in bed with me and there really isn't room for 4 of us.

DS has been really poorly over Christmas and is still coughing himself sick 2 or 3 times a night so he and DH are in the spare room together. Prior to that I was really sore post section so had the bed to myself with ds2. Last night DS went down in his own bed and stayed there until his first coughing fit. Same tonight. I've no idea how we're going to play it when he gets well - will leave it to soft bastard DH as I'm quite happy having the bed almost to myself atm!

squarehat Wed 05-Jan-11 01:14:44

No real advice but simular situation. DD doesnt sleep with us but recently been waking 5-10 times before we go to bed, she usually sleeps through after that, which is great but seem to spend all the time I should be relaxing, talking to DP, watching TV, MNing or whatever constantly walking up and down stairs, fetching drinks of water, finding dora, pulling up socks, applying plasters to imaginary cuts etc.

It hasnt bothered my much over the holidays but its starting to grate now. Have starting telling her we are doing X tomorrow but we can only do that if you go straight to sleep, which so far seems to do the trick, as long as we are doing something half way decent tomorrow that she can get excited about. Maybe try reasoning like this? I did a sort of CC with DD when she was younger but if I dont respond to her now (shes nearly 3) she just says Mummy why you not talkin a me? With puppy dog eyes

rodformyownback Wed 05-Jan-11 01:15:42

I do agree with Chipping even though I have said go softer and she has said be harder!

What I meant was, make a fuss of him at his actual bedtime, ie when he is first put down to bed. Then put him back gently but firmly the next times. Definitely no stories or songs.

ChippingIn Wed 05-Jan-11 01:46:16

No, once they have been put to bed and had whatever (stories, cuddles, songs etc) then it's time to sleep - anything after that is rewarding them waking up and creating the habit NotAGoodIdea. A 3 year old does not need to be 'stayed with' while they go to sleep. As his parents you need to help him learn to do things - this is one of those things, self soothing, settling and sleeping well - it is an invaluable lesson, learning to go to sleep and stay asleep - settle back to sleep if woken. Explain to DH that he is not doing DS any favours encouraging him to wake throughout the evening.

If he grizzles about the baby being in your bed just explain to him that when he was a baby he slept with you too, but that's not what BigBoys do and as soon as the baby is big enough the baby will be going in its own bed too. Be firm & consistent.

FanjolinaJolie Wed 05-Jan-11 06:06:54

Rapid return.

No chat, stories or eye contact and be consistant. Clearly it's working for him to keep getting up if he gets treated witn attention and stories.

Not fair on him to allow him to get so tired.

MoonUnitAlpha Wed 05-Jan-11 07:08:13

I agree with the others - either go one way or the other! He either sleeps in his bed or yours. Telling him he has to go to his bed first, and then at some unspecified time he comes into yours, is too confusing for him.

stickersarecurrency Wed 05-Jan-11 09:11:32

Thanks for all the replies.

He does settle himself to sleep - at bedtime we have a good routine (bath/wash, into jammies, brush teeth, bed for a couple of stories, lights out) then we leave and he's asleep within a few minutes usually.

The situation has evolved because from 6 months he used to start the night in the cot and then when he woke he'd come into our bed - he was a frequent waker, so we coslept prior to this, but with my return to work FT we moved him to starting the night in the cot in the hope that he'd eventually spend longer and longer in there.

By around 2, round about when he was self-weaning, he'd slept through a few times - probably less than double figures though. For the last year he hasn't slept through unless he's been with someone else. He went through a phase of waking between 2 and 4 to join us and it seemed he was doing longer stretches but recently we've been going backwards and it's been evening wakings. Of course he doesn't understand the difference between waking before our bedtime and after it.

Neither of us have a problem with cosleeping per se, but space is becoming a problem and DP is having to sleep in DS's bad a lot of the time. We only have 2 bedrooms.

I don't doubt that it's our inconsistency that caused the problem - we genuinely thought he'd eventually start sleeping through all night and thus we just had to wait it out. The problem now is that DP thinks we need to start returning him each time, but I think we should be silent and not interact, and he thinks it's best to do whatever to settle him. He thinks DS will cope OK with each of us having a different approach. I'm not so sure. HV offered to help but not until DD is older, but DP thinks we don't need anyone's help.


ChippingIn Wed 05-Jan-11 12:46:14

He wont cope with each of you having a different approach and it's not fair for him to be the 'good cop' and you to be the 'bad cop'.

I can tell you what the underlying problem is though - you are conflicted about having him in your bed or his and before you can get anywhere with this you need to decide whether him sleeping in your bed is OK and in that case put the baby somewhere else when you put her to bed and put DS in your bed, then bring DD in with you when you go to bed OR agree (with DH) that you are no longer co-sleeping with DS and that he needs to a) be told that & b) not be 'rewarded' for waking up - or this situation will just continue.

DS is waking up all the time because he knows he will get stories/songs/cuddles/someones attention - you need to break that cycle - whether he's in your bed or his own.

stickersarecurrency Wed 05-Jan-11 18:25:16

Thank you - it does make sense. He's mega tired just now due to some unfortunate but unavoidable events recently, which makes everything worse. Coupled with the sugar fest over Christmas I'm finding him hard work at the moment. I'll try to get DP on board.

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