Bedtime Hell!!!!!!(14 Posts)
Ok so we have one DD who's 3. She goes up to bed every night, I sit at the end of the bed until she falls asleep which normally only takes around 10minutes. We might have the random one night once every 2/3weeks where it does take her much much longer but on the whole we find it works well for us.
Now the problem. Something has shifted over Xmas. Over the Xmas period we didn't really do anything different in regards to routine although we did do a later bedtime on quite a few nights but still the same routine when we went up to bed.
Over the last week we take DD up to bed and she just will not go to sleep, consistently every single night it's taking upward of 30mins and then she'll wake up an hour later crying because she now seems to think I should be sleeping in her room with her, I don't understand why, she always knew before that I would wait until she fell asleep and then leave so I don't underhand why she is waking up and expecting me to be there?! I just don't know what to do? Part of me thinks that now all of a sudden announcing that she had to settle herself and leave isn't going to help the situation although I know this is the long term goal, any suggestions?!?!
Could you do the usual book, chat, cuddle etc then put a story cd on for company? Tell her you are just going downstairs to tidy up but will come back in 5 mins to tuck her in etc. Explain that she needs to stay in her room but you'll be back soon. If she calls out when you leave, tell her again that you will be back soon. Pop back in after 5 minutes (or earlier if needed) and praise her for staying in bed etc. repeat until she is asleep. It should get her used to self settling. I have done this with my 3 dc and they are very good at self settling and always go to sleep on their own (2 yr old and 4 yr old twins). I always tell them that I am going to do some jobs but will pop back up to check on them in 5 mins and they are mostly asleep by then (so I only need to go up once).
Hate to say it, but you might have to take it on the chin and put her to bed and leave the room while she's awake. When she comes out, return her gently say goodnight and leave again. And repeat.
DD was always a rubbish sleeper and kept coming out, it took a long time of her realising that we were still in the house before she began to self settle.
^ what Delia said, a much better explaination!!!
Does she still nap?
We had this with our twins, who are 2.4. Suddenly went from being sleepy and placid at bedtime, to being full of beans, wildly excited and IMPOSSIBLE to manage.
Dropped their nap. Sanity resumed.
Yup, a 2 year 5 month here, also have had to drop the nap (now need to get nursery on board..!)
Definitely go with walk in walk out. She's now more aware that you were there when she went to sleep and you're not when she wakes and that is distressing.
You leave, she cries. You go back in. Have a set phrase to say every time to reassure her. Mine was always 'it's sleepy time now'. Say it, lay her back down, leave. And repeat ad nauseam! It will be tough but do the same no matter what every night and she will get there.
We have night terrors here. A night light has helped and leaving door open. Luckily our goes to sleep pretty quick once cuddled.
Perhaps a story cd so she can listen to it going to sleep
Is she old enough for a sticker chart? We've recently had a similar situation with DD (4). 10 days (a stretched out "ooops I forgot again" week) of a sticker in the morning if she was good the previous night with the promise of a gift at the end, has worked wonders and we're back to as we were.
Ooh yes, passwords, rewards! Always a good one. I'd forgotten that, my kids are older.
Does she go to playgroup or nursery? Because any bit of improvement, big her up to her friends, friends mums, keyworkwrs etc. She'll be so proud to hear you are proud of her, pile on the praise.
No there's no napping, we had to drop them quite a while ago as she just wasn't tired at bedtime, she's just around the corner from turning 4. I think i just don't understand what the sudden change is about.
I have tried telling her I will be back in 5 mins etc etc but she fully waits for me to come back. She's never been good at self settling and that's why I stared sitting with her as I found it turned the going to sleep process a half an hour in and out her room every 5minutes down to 10minutes and done. It's really becoming an issue, considering this problem has only been for about a week it's really stressing me out because I feel like I don't get anytime to relax because I'm just waiting for her to wake up again.
Sounds counter intuitive but I'd have her in with us.
But then I have a very relaxed approach to sleeping arrangements.
No one in our house has ever been short of sleep, and never any tears or difficult bedtimes either.
I would also have her in with us. My just turned four year old is not a great sleeper but about 3 months ago he started having much more vivid dreams. I assume it is developmental. He comes in to us in the night genuinely scared because we're not there. I figure it's just a stage, and the best way to reassure him that we'll always be just a few steps away is to literally be just a few steps away.
We had a relapse with our 3 year dd too after Christmas. We put it down to the excitement & build up of Christmas and now back to normality which is a hard transition to make. Fortunately, one of her Christmas presents was a fluffy toy that changes colour ( bought from The Works by nanny). It's now her night time toy, she's named it Rainbow and it just sends her to sleep. My friend has a 1 year old dd and she also has one and has reported the same back! Not sure what it 'does' to them but there you have it, may be worth a shot! Good luck.
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