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To think our bedtime situation madness!?

(49 Posts)
SleepFail24 Sat 25-Feb-17 21:44:29

I feel like an utter shit mum right now. dd1 had always been poor sleeper but is now finally sleeping though (well comes into our between 3am and 7am which I don't mind). Problem is getting her to sleep. She's 3 and her general behaviour has gone right downhill anyway. Loud, bossy, always hungry, demanding. Just annoying to be honest. Though she is also funny clever creative lovely (all the positives everyone would say about their 3 year old). We also have a new baby so I know some of dd1 attitude will be due to all that but hee sleeping isn't.

So I ebf and made mistake of feeding her to sleep. She'd only sleep that way for ages and weaned herself from night feeds around 2.25yrs. Since then needs me beside her for her to sleep (even went though phase of needing to rest her head in my arm but I managed to stop that quick as gave me dead arm!). DH did eventually manage to settle her and did quite frequently when baby arrived and I was recovering from birth etc. Now it's only me she won't let DH near her at bedtimes. So DH gets home around 630-7 and we take dd1 up for wash, teeth brush and pjs. It's a nightmare she won't listen won't do it runs a round. Then she gets 3 short books read and lights out. I tell her a few made up stories in quiet voices and she does sleep eventually usually by 830, sometimes nearer 9. It's far too late for her I know.

During this time DH is changing baby who is often very upset. She is also ebf and won't take a bottle (we are trying as dd1 refused and that was a nightmare). DD2 often upset sometimes needs to come in for a feed etc which I feel then disturbea dd1. By time dd1 is asleep we are both exhausted. I take over baby duty so DH can have his warmed up meal.

It's crazy right?! I don't know how to fix it and feel like it's all my fault. I don't want to do cc. DH did try it once and it was horrible. Dd1 in state and I was in tears downstairs. I tried gradual retreat but doesn't seem to matter she'll just come out the room. I want to try reward stickers but she doesn't seem to get them and it's not immediate i.e. I'd have to give her them in morning if she went to sleep well. So we can't go on like this. i was on own tonight and it was horrible. Baby crying and dd1 wouldn't stay in room without me so was half in half out her room trying to settle baby and how is dd1 suppose to sleep with all that anyway!?! So how to I fix this and how so I make sure this doesn't happen again with DD2!? We couldn't cope for another 3+ years of the same. So far she seems a better sleeper naturally. I am often feeding her to sleep but equally she'll be rocked okay and has once so far went to sleep in cot on own. What maps should she be having?! Dd1 was a nightmare for those too. Catnaps when young then mainly had to take her in pram then later car as for older or she just wouldn't nap. Never ever napped in cot. I remember going to a friends for lunch and she popped her similar aged DS into a sleep bag took him up to cot and left him and he was still asleep when we left 2hrs later!!! I couldn't believe it.

I feel like such a crap mum compared to everyone I meet. I feel like the scruff at nursery pick ups and the badly behaved children (though by all accounts she is generally ok at nursery...certainly no behaviour complains other than she was a bit Moany). I can't even get a meal out on the table for us all and I am letting dd1 watch far too much tv right now as I can't cope otherwise.

SleepFail24 Sat 25-Feb-17 21:45:36

Sorry thanks so long blush Also we have occasionally tried taking her upstairs at 630 or so to start bedtimes it doesn't seem to make any difference sad

Nemesia Sat 25-Feb-17 21:48:48

Could you sit outside her room with the baby? She would know you were there and you could still talk to her calmly. The door could be open to begin with too.

pinkiepie1 Sat 25-Feb-17 21:54:10

Not really any advice but I know where your coming from. My dd is 3 has never slept and now we bought her bed into our room because I tried everything. We at the moment have given up on strict bedtime as im pregnant and im picking my battles. Give yourself a break, im sure it will all be fine, well that's what people keep telling me lol
Hugs xxx

MrsBartlettforthewin Sat 25-Feb-17 21:54:37

Didn't want to read and run. But wanted to say you are not a crap mum. All kids are different and dd1 will learn to go to sleep by herself at some point it will pass!

My DD was similar to this we had to sit holding her hand and repeating stories in soft voices until she feel asleep then crawl out of her room. It was exhausting. We then started telling her we'd be back in 5 min just need the loo etc and leaving it longer and longer each night before we'd return until she finally got to the point that she was falling asleep in are absence. It was long but now she sleeps great.

You will crack this please don't be so hard on yourself flowers

SleepFail24 Sat 25-Feb-17 22:01:52

Sorry I don't know how to do the quote but to reply to individual posts. Thanks for replies. It's nice to read others similar as everyone I know had children who are asleep on own by 730sad

Nemesis I did try sitting outside. She just went on and on at me to come in her room. MrsBartlett I've also tried saying I'll be back in a few minutes to check (did tonight as needed to change baby) but she cried buckets and follows me.

MrsBartlettforthewin Sat 25-Feb-17 22:07:09

Oh sleepfail that is tough. How is she if you go out for the evening? (Realise that might not be an option at the moment with the baby) could you go away with the baby for a couple of nights and let DH try and sort the sleeping? Just a thought no idea if it would work or if she'd just be even more determined to have you when you came back.

RandomMess Sat 25-Feb-17 22:09:36

I would actually give her some quality time before you go up, quiet reading books together on the sofa with TV off, baby can feed etc. then go up a little bit later than the usual time. Be strict she asked once to do something with Mummy, if she doesn't then you leave her and DH takes over. She will kick off but will also learn that she needs to do as she is told.

It does sound exhausting and horrible but you need to change he pattern of behaviour somehow.

Another thing would be that you get teeth brushed into pjs (you, DD and baby) get into your bed and all go to sleep grin

Lapinlapin Sat 25-Feb-17 22:09:42

Don't be hard on yourself. I have a 3 year old who can take ages to fall asleep too. Was also breastfed and v clingy!

Just a thought: could you swap things round a bit so your dh reads to the 3 year old whilst you get the baby to bed?
Then you could take over with dd1, and although it still might take a while, at least you'd know once she's asleep you're free? Plus your dh would be freed up earlier and could eat whilst you get dd1 to sleep.

OR, have you tried getting dd1 to sleep earlier? We often do bath at 6, to allow time for all the stories and faffing that bedtime involves. For some reason we've discovered that our 3 year old has an optimum window. Get it right and he falls asleep quickly. If it gets too late, it takes him ages to fall asleep.

Digestive28 Sat 25-Feb-17 22:15:14

Our oldest was similar and still wakes frequently (now 3 and a half). Sleep got worse when baby arrived, which we didn't think was possible. What helped us was putting baby in her room and us all doing bedtime together, think she felt she was missing out. It's not perfect but it's soo much better so maybe worth a try?

randomer Sat 25-Feb-17 22:18:32

blimey OP self preservation is the order of the day. if 3 year old has her own lovely bed and room why is she coming into yours?

Sorry but no. This is your room, this is your bed , this is the routine.

HeteronormativeHaybales Sat 25-Feb-17 22:24:16

None of my kids - I have three - have ever gone to sleep much before 9. Some children just don't need as much sleep. 3's still really little. My first two were 2.4 years apart and dc1 was in with us until he was 3 - his cotbed on one side of our bed and dc2's bedside cot on the other. After that I'd often sit by his bed while feeding dc2 to sleep. They're 11 and 9 now and I promise you they learned to drop off on their own eventually, although dc1 did come into our bed at some point most nights until he was 8ish. He needed it <shrug>

You may not like at all what I'm going to say now, but please take it in the spirit in which it's intended - of an outside observer (of your posts, anyway) trying to help you make sense of things. It feels to me a bit as if there's a bit of distancing from dd1 going on - you're critical of her behaviour (why is always being hungry an example of bad behaviour, btw?) and the positives you list are the ones 'any parent' would say about their children. I do think the sleeping is to do with your new baby, tbh. The arrival combined with the critical attitude towards her - I wonder if there's a bit of a sense in the air that she's the big one now and has to be a big girl and perhaps also stand back a bit? - may be making her feel pushed out, which she will be kicking against by seeking closeness to you. Tbh my way forward would be to give her this closeness.

BeBeatrix Sat 25-Feb-17 22:25:48

I'm childless and I'm afraid I don't have any helpful advice to give.

But you're definitely not a crap mum. The ones who worry about a being a crap mum never are.

Cupoftchaiagain Sat 25-Feb-17 22:28:45

1. U r not a shit mum!
2. Lots of people have 3-4 yr olds with late bedtimes, they just don't seem to talk about it as much as the 7pm-ers; ) our dd at 4. 5 is 9/9. 30pm, yes I would love it to be earlier, yes I have tried many, many things, I reckon she just doesn't need that much sleep (apparently her dad was just the same as a kid). Do u/your husband normally sleep for more or a bit less than the average for adults? OnceI stopped beating myself up about dd not being asleep early, life and our evening routine got a LOT better.
What can you do that is more enjoyable/relaxing in the evening with both dds? I love cosying up on sofa to watch a cartoon, or having the first stories there. Which is much easier for baby feeding. Good luck!

sirfredfredgeorge Sat 25-Feb-17 22:28:56

Ten hours sleep is still within the normal range for a 3year old, so if she'd asleep at 9, up at 7, then that is not necessarily "far too late for her" amount of sleep required is individual, maybe your expectations are out of kilter with her needs?

FuckingSausageFingers Sat 25-Feb-17 22:31:03

Mine is quite a bit younger than your DD1 but thought it was worth adding that he won't nap in his cot - car or walks in the pram only - and I don't see it as a problem. I have friends who have to be back home for X time because baby will only nap in their cot and it seems like a massive faff to me, so that's what I tell myself when I'm heading out for a walk that I don't particularly want! ;)

You don't sound like a crap mum at all btw. You sound caring and lovely actually. Just a bit fucked off. Now ask yourself: am I really the only mum who's ever been fucked off with their kid?? NOPE!

Sorry I can't offer any words of wisdom re: 3YO sleeping. Hope you get things sorted soon!

Olympiathequeen Sat 25-Feb-17 22:39:55

I really think it's just a glitch because of the new baby and will settle itself in time. Maybe just give yourself 6 months of torture and hope it settles down. Meanwhile try to wear her out as much as possible. DS2 is 3 so after nursery we go for a walk, soft play, swimming etc to tire him out.

The more exasperated you all get the more unsettled she'll become so sometimes acceptance of the awfulness and snatching naps with the baby is all you can do.

We also have to sit with DS2 to get him off to sleep so another rodded back here. Last night we had a book, a story about his day, goldilocks and the three bears with actions, a drink, a top up of the drink, a rendition of 'we wish you a merry christmas', (him not me) and his 'wind the bobbin up' pantomime before we got anywhere near settling. Just as I thought he was asleep, he says....don't leave me.... So I know entirely how difficult it is!

Esspee Sat 25-Feb-17 22:40:00

OP, I have no idea how to turn things around with your situation but wish that new mums were made aware that always returning baby to their own bed after feeding and changing and never allowing them to sleep in your bed sets up a routine which allows parents enough sleep to enjoy their children. I also found that babies who are encouraged to sleep during the day actually sleep better at night which seems counter intuitive, as are early bedtimes. Go past the witching hour and the difficulties begin.

SuperFlyHigh Sat 25-Feb-17 22:40:04

No kids either here and no you're not a crap mum! If you were you would not be posting here!

Maybe concentrate more on the fact it's her room and she needs to sleep there in her own bed. If you're really serious and have the money get a sleep therapist involved.

I'd hazard a guess though that a lot is to do with arrival of your baby though.

Akire Sat 25-Feb-17 22:40:54

Can you try later? At least partner can come home get to speak
To you and kids and eat his meal then try taking her up at 8? May at least give you a feeling of a break where you are not both apart and
Killing 2-3h trying get her to sleep.

Sweets101 Sat 25-Feb-17 22:44:11

I bribed mine. Either with she could go to sleep in my bed (moved her once asleep) but only if she settled down and went to sleep else i'd put her in her own bed.
Only other thing that worked was the promise of a kinder egg in the morning.

Peppardew Sat 25-Feb-17 22:49:10

Just wanted to say you're not alone, sounds very similar to our situation a year ago! No real advice, but what worked for us was my DH doing bedtime and it consistently always being him. DD didn't like it at first, but she did like fact she got loads of stories from him, so that was how we sold it to her. I would do bath time so we had some time together first, then swap and I'd get the baby to bed. He's gradually reduced it down now to strict 3 stories only, then lights out and he stays until she's asleep which is usually pretty quick.

When I have to do bedtime now on my own, I'll give her the tablet if DS wakes up before she's asleep and needs to be settled and she's allowed to watch something in bed. Not ideal but it keeps her happy waiting, don't know if that's an option for you? She now asks for DH btw if I'm the one who has to put her to bed!

Also, if you're willing to consider it, I know bribery has worked well for some friends, ie children earning a toy by falling asleep by themselves, staying in bed etc

Good luck, it's just hard muddling your way through with two! For what it's worth, I've repeated all the co-sleeping, feeding to sleep mistakes with DS again, so sure we'll have similar headaches once more in a few years time grin

SleepFail24 Sat 25-Feb-17 22:49:46

Thank you for all the replies I'm taking it all in as having a good think.

Can I ask how I reply to individual posts?

bostonkremekrazy Sat 25-Feb-17 22:51:36

our dc was referred to a pediatrician aged 3 due to sleep issues. we also BF to age 2.5 and had never slept all night.
after ruling out medical problems, paed advised that we address it as a learned behavioural problem.
she advised the following:
create a routine: bath, milk, bed.
once in bed, dim lights and have story time. keep quiet etc.
then tell the rules - close your eyes, be very quiet, stay in your bed. IF you do this you get a sticker for each thing in the morning (so 3 stickers).

we made a chart together.....and i bought peppa pig stickers.

paed said if dc gets out of bed carry dc back without saying a word.

the first night it took 45 minutes.
second night 30 minutes.
third night 15 minutes.

and now dc sleeps........used to be 9pm, now its about 7pm. occasionally dc gets out and says oh i need a wee, but then its straight back to bed, sometimes i know dc is not asleep and is reading - but is in bed and not bothering us at all and only the dim light is on.

hope it helps, dc is 4 now and it changed our life. hope that helps. the first 3 nights were hard.....but worth it. buy stickers your DC will love!!!!

MissMinogue Sat 25-Feb-17 22:53:46

You are defo not a crap mum, you are an awesome mum and your daughters are very lucky to have you. I think what you need is a bouncy chair for your dd2 so she learns to self settle to sleep. You need a manual one and not an electric one so she learns to amuse herself. I have this one

I'm not a sling fan mainly as I had a c-section each time and long babies that used to kick the wound/scar when I was burping them on my shoulder and so unsuprisingly I didn't want them doing that constantly in a sling! I used to feed the babies and then put them in the bouncer and from around 3 weeks onwards they used to amuse themselves by hitting the hanging things and then they would fall asleep. It may help to give you some time in the day and evening with DD1(so you can play snakes and ladders with her for example).

I have a 3 almost 4 year old and I find that to go to sleep easily she needs to be really physically tired and so I make her walk up and down the hill I live on for at least half an hour a day or she doesn't sleep. She also needs a pudding such as rice pudding to fill her up. What is your DD1 eating as that can affect sleep?The main culprits for disturbed sleep are Wheetabix, cheese and chocolate. My elder sister didn't sleep the night until she was 4.5 years as she had a chocolate allergy and my mum never twigged and gave us cocoa every night for the iron. She only realised when she met a mum who had a son with the same issue. It is a complete nightmare when you don't get any sleep and I hope your situations improves soon

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