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AIBU to leave DD (2) to go to sleep on her own

(23 Posts)
EyesDoMoreThanSee Fri 28-Sep-12 19:30:22

Every night I lie on the bed in my DD's room while she is in her cot waiting for her to fall asleep. It takes an hour and even then she sometimes wakes as I creep out.

I'm fucked off with wasting half my evening every evening waiting for her to go to sleep. She has never slept through the night and she is tired mostof the time. She desperately needs better quality sleep.

DH is out tonight. I'm wondering about giving her a kiss and telling her mummy will be back in a few minutes to check on her and then popping back in every 2-5 min. DD's sleep is so bad she is under a sleep physchologist but they haven't been a bundle of help. Yet.

pleasethanks Fri 28-Sep-12 19:36:13

Are you me? Up until nearly 3 weeks I was doing the same. Except I had to have my hand on her. It was exhausting. We had to do it for three months, it came out of nowhere. It got the stage I dreaded putting her to bed and I felt she was ready for us to try something different. Previously (well in the aforementioned 3 months) she screamed blue murder if we left her and stood up in her cot howling.

One night I put her into bed, rubbed her back, kissed her, told her I loved her and left, leaving her door ajar. About about 10 minutes of annoyance form her, it all went quiet. Been getting slightly easier every night now (touch wood and sometimes she barely protests).

I didn't plan to go back in to check on her unless she went sobbing hysterical and even then if I had gone in I would have probably stayed with her as going in and out would have disturbed and annoyed her even more.

So, long story short, YANDBU.

pleasethanks Fri 28-Sep-12 19:36:57

One thing though, how long have you had to stay with her? If a long time, I would maybe warn her before bed that things are changing and she is a big girl etc. Otherwise she might get a nasty surprise!

MrsMuddyPuddles Fri 28-Sep-12 19:37:28

If you go down this route, you need to try it every night for several days (a week or so?) to give her consistancy, else it'll be confusing.

That said... if mine were under a sleep pschologist, I would not change things because I'm "fucked off" one night... (and yes, I did go through that phase. DH took over bedtime which helped, but we did the "sitting in dark for ages just next to the crib" then a bit closer to the door, then just outside the door... we didn't just go straight from in the room to leaving her to wail. --except on the nights when it was the safe option as I was about to loose it--)

pleasethanks Fri 28-Sep-12 19:39:01

Oh god, I missed the bit about the sleep physchologist. I maybe would not change things without speaking it through with them?

PuffinPie Fri 28-Sep-12 19:41:40


EyesDoMoreThanSee Fri 28-Sep-12 19:44:24

I'm not fucked off one night. I'm fucked off with it every night. For two years and for most of those two years it's taken longer to get her down then she stays down anyway. They have given up on drugs already.

Sleep Dr says she has never learnt to self settle and that however we try it that is the goal. The idea is that as and when her bedroom is finished we do gradual retreat but I have reached breaking point with this madness

blackcurrants Fri 28-Sep-12 19:49:07

Eyes I feel for you - we've got this "MUMMY STAY HERE! DADDY SIT HERE!" wailing every bloody night for the last month - our son turned 2 in July. never used to be a problem. Because he's in a toddler bed and we're in a flat, we can't do anything else until he's settled, he just walks right out of bed and into wherever we are, looking knackered and miserable. It takes about an hour every night (regardless of when we put him to bed) and I am often up later than I want to be myself because of it (pregnant, tired, fed up.)

Wish I could help you but you are NOT alone! If we're in the room with him he wriggles and fiddles around in his bed, lurching towards us for hugs. if we're in the room but further away (eg by the door) he gets out of bed, and if we're sitting on the other side of the door calmly repeating 'get in your bed' ... he lies down on the floor by the door crying for us (once fell asleep there... sad) and I have NO IDEA what to do!

Ragwort Fri 28-Sep-12 19:50:25

I would try it, tell her what you are doing and then try leaving her for 5/10 minutes etc. It surely can't be any worse than it is already? How long does she cry for? Do you immediately rush in or let her cry it out?

It sounds absolutely horrendous - what happens when she wakes up, does she scream for you ?

I cannot imagine how awful it must be for you, I was blessed with a good sleeper - no idea why, but he was able to self-settle from day 1.

PuffinPie Fri 28-Sep-12 19:53:13

You sound shattered, it is exhausting I know. DS now 2.5 did not sleep through until he was 2. Even now we sit with him until he falls asleep.

If you choose to leave her and return, I would say you need to be consistent and I would return after 5 mins, settle her then gradually leave it a little longer each time before returning. She will get the message eventually.

Can dh not help one evening to give you a break? I know this is sometimes easier said than done!

This post may get more tips and support in the sleep section.

EyesDoMoreThanSee Fri 28-Sep-12 19:54:37

She wakes every 2-3 hours since about 12mo, before that it was every hour.

It has taken over our lives. We are permanently too tired, we can't have babysitters, I'm meant to study in the evenings bit usually too tired, but 8-8.30 after fighting to get her down fir over an hour I am too wound up to think straight.

It sucks.

EyesDoMoreThanSee Fri 28-Sep-12 19:56:42

DH does help. But we usually last about three months before declaring the other needs to take over.

I have had loads of advice. But tonight I just wanted to ask if IABU about getting up and walking away

blackcurrants Fri 28-Sep-12 20:00:26

Eyes since it seems to take us the same amount of time whether we sit in there with DS, or whether he howls at us through his bedroom door, I am beginning to feel that we would not be unreasonable to let him howl.

Not at the actual moment as he has a miserable cough, and crying plus coughing has always made him throw up - but in principle it is almost certainly time. I feel for you so much - he only started 'sleeping through' at about 16 months, and has been waking a lot due to his cold this week. It's so bloody miserable, it's like having a newborn but sort of harder, because you've been tired for 2 years already!

mamij Fri 28-Sep-12 20:02:36

Can't be much help but DD1 (almost 3!) has never slept through. Like you, we have always stayed with her until she's asleep.

When she was in a cot, I used to collapse on the bar of the cot because of sheer exhaustion from getting up every couple of hours to settle her - we ended up co-sleeping because it was easier and we all got some sleep.

We're in a society where we feel pressured to let them self soothe and there seems to be a taboo, etc. Co-sleep if necessary to maximise sleep if you need to. They won't stay in your bed forever!

EyesDoMoreThanSee Fri 28-Sep-12 20:04:19

I do co sleep after her first wake up.

Otherwise we would get zero sleep

But I'd rather not do that either

DuchessofMalfi Fri 28-Sep-12 20:07:30

Just a thought but have you tried boring her to sleep by reading a grown up's book in a quiet voice? Sounds a bit weird I know but, when DS had problems with sleeping and wouldn't settle I got bored just sitting in his bedroom waiting for him to go to sleep so I would read aloud from whatever book I was reading at the time (using a book light bent right into the book so it didn't shine round the room). He loved listening to the sound of my reading to him, so relaxed and was asleep usually within about 20 mins or so. Might be worth a try, if you haven't already tried it?

gemma4d Fri 28-Sep-12 20:08:49

My DD is 18 months and for ages has been going a few months of settling herself, then a few months of needing us to stay with her, and repeat....

I ultimately go with the flow - I wont let her get really upset even if it means being in with her all evening (groan), but I do try and push the boundaries. Can I sit further away, can I sit with my back to her, can I stand in the door saying shhhhhh, can I wonder around saying shhhhhh, can I pop in and out.... you get the idea. Anything to stop her from getting used to have me sitting right by her. I think it helps!

VforViennetta Fri 28-Sep-12 20:09:35

I don't see the harm in giving it a go, but you would probably need to do it for a while to see any difference, she may surprise you and drop off after a bit of grumbling.

Much sympathy to you, I have only ever had to do the shush pat, crawling/creeping out of the room thing for brief periods before, I would have lost patience a very long time ago.

EyesDoMoreThanSee Fri 28-Sep-12 20:26:40

Well I snuck and she stayed down.

But we are worn out, and the situation must change.

vanillamum Fri 28-Sep-12 23:03:29

I don't know if this would help you but we had bad sleepers especially our eldest, and I know the feeling of it going on for years. We read the books etc but nighttime just felt like some kind of tag team sleep depriving event with them all ganging up on us (we had three under four)Our solution was to give in and we got two Ikea beddinge sofa beds. We put one down like a bed and one up like a sofa and put them together. We then slept on them horizontally which gave us the extra width to accomodate whatever small chid came into bed with us, I would also fall asleep with them at night. It got us over a rocky patch, and they have more or less grown out of it now.
Good luck and I hope things get easier.You have my sympathy too-that just aching everywhere from tiredness is so grim and I remember feeling so angry that my best friend's kids all slept and why wouldn't mine??

Graciescotland Fri 28-Sep-12 23:14:22

We've started doing this with our DS 2.1, he sleeps in a bed and tends to try and escape so I sit at the desk in the hall (and read) putting him back to bed 3 or 4 times before he drops off but it used to take hours. He doesn't cry just comes and knocks on his bedroom door (it's a bit stiff so he can't open it), he'd wail if no one came though.

gymmummy64 Fri 28-Sep-12 23:15:32

My DD1 was nowhere near as extreme as yours, but was an appauling sleeper and had never slept through by the time DD2 was born (3). She always (eventually) went to sleep in her own bed but always, every single night ended up in mine, so effectively we co-slept. In many ways I didn't mind it and should have done it from bedtime, but I felt a huge pressure not to.

Once DD2 was born, it took about 4 days - I was even more sleep deprived and very much not sympathetic or welcoming when DD1 came in. Within 4 days, she slept through the night for the first time ever and largely carried on doing it.

Looking back, I should have saved myself the grief and co-slept from the outset. when she was bfing we pretty much did that anyway. I co-slept with DD2 from the beginning, but ironically, she then opted to be in her own bed!

londonmackem Fri 28-Sep-12 23:26:01

We were doing this until 3.1, we found going back after 5 mins helped and now sometimes we forget but she sleeps anyway. We also allow story CDs if she is struggling. We read stories then the cd goes on so we can escape.
She still come in our bed though during the night so suggestions please- our solution so far has been to buy a bigger bed!

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