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AIBU to want to send DS to sleep boot-camp in DD's room?

(23 Posts)
Ninkynork Sat 11-Jul-09 21:01:44

DD is going on hols with the GPs next week for five days. DS is two and has never slept for more than a few hours without bottles of milk. He wouldn't have anything other than BF for ten months so the current situation is still an enormous relief to me since DH can now pitch in.

Because he is still in a cot in our room we haven't been able to try any CC post-midnight because he knows we're there and we don't sleep at all when he is up. To be honest, CC before we go up to bed results in wailing for hours on end.

AIBU to want to take advantage of the opportunity to try to sort it out? DD is nine and needs her sleep for school so I haven't had the guts to put them in the same room yet. (We only have two bedrooms)

Or should I realise that the rod is of my own making by not doing it at 6 months as my HV suggested? Or wait until he sorts himself out in a year or two as DD eventually did? The thing is, I don't think I can cope with a third winter getting up before five a.m in the freezing cold and dark.

If IANBU can you please remind me what I should be doing? I have been "coping" for so long that I have forgotten pro-active strategies!

allaboutme Sat 11-Jul-09 21:09:57

god, yes, why wait another YEAR OR TWO?
he will feel better for learning to sleep well too.
go for it, a week of pain for endless nights FULL of sleep smile

pippylongstockings Sat 11-Jul-09 21:24:40

It is very hard when you are sleep deprived -yes, yes, yes, go for it.

What have you got to loose?

Ninkynork Sat 11-Jul-09 21:34:02

Thanks, yes we have nothing to lose. Luckily he can't climb out of the cot yet so should we give him a bottle of water and just let him get on with it for the night? Doors open or closed?

DS isn't that verbal yet which doesn't help. But honestly, he is wet through every morning from all the milk and that isn't going to do him any favours come potty-training time.

herbietea Sat 11-Jul-09 21:39:02

Message withdrawn

Flyonthewindscreen Sat 11-Jul-09 22:30:42

Def go for it, I did CC with DD to stop her feeding every 2 hours at 6 months and then again at 11 months to stop her wanting to start the day at 4-5am and it was the best thing for the whole family.

Your DS will feel better for learning how to have undisturbed sleep and you will feel a different person (in a good way smile).

AppleandMosesMummy Sat 11-Jul-09 22:40:31

I'd have a look at the "no cry sleep solution first", that will explain better than I ever could why CC doesn't work and is so stressful for the child, there is a better way.

Ninkynork Sat 11-Jul-09 22:55:38

Tried the Pantley pull-off and Dr Jay's method aaaaaaages ago. I know what you mean though, it is awful denying him but he is two now. Old enough to be told he shouldn't do things like hitting and biting and sticking his finger in the plug socket. Old enough to realise he must try to sleep when it is dark.

But I see your point. He is still very little.

AppleandMosesMummy Sat 11-Jul-09 23:12:40

NCSS worked for us, it really did, especially as they are older (my DD was 3 and still BF, so CC would have been child abuse for her).
Is he napping in the day ? Strangely that was my DD's problem she needed 2 hours at lunchtime so she wasn't too tired at bed time, then it was tea, play, bath, bed (with me lying on the floor patting her) but it took 10 days and job done, no screaming from either of us.

Ninkynork Sun 12-Jul-09 00:02:42

Yes, two / three hours nap during the day. He is horrible without it and sleeps even worse at night when he doesn't have it for some reason.

If I try to cut the nap for a few days on the trot will it eventually impact on night sleep do you think?

Ninkynork Sun 12-Jul-09 00:17:04

Oh I see, you are advocating the nap, no?

Would CC really have been child abuse for your DD aged three? That's why I am posting in AIBU. I think it may be too late for me to sort it myself and to embrace the rod blah blah.

AppleandMosesMummy Sun 12-Jul-09 00:21:28

Yes naps = very important I think, essential.
Honestly I do think 18 months is the cut off for CC if you must do it at all, but that's my opinion.
At 2 he understands you're holding out on him, at three she could have vocalized the distress and trauma I'm sure.
I probably sound like a lentil weaver but really I wasn't, I worked full time from 12 weeks and so the time we had together I was damn if it was going to be spent in tears and equally I could have done with a good nights sleep but it wasn't going to be at her expense.

allaboutme Sun 12-Jul-09 09:01:20

surely the older they are, the easier it is to do CC as you can explain to them what is going to happen and any protest is more of a tantrum rather than genuine confusion and distress at not knowing whats going on.

Tell your DS that he's going to be a big boy when DD goes on holiday and sleep by himself. Big it up. Promise him a treat at the end of the week if he tries hard to sleep by himself.

Make sure he has a beaker of water in with him.
I wouldnt just leave him to it though. Keep going in and re-assuring him that its ok and its night time, so he needs to go to sleep, pat and shhhhhh at him to calm him down etc.
It'll be really tough the first few nights and no one will get any sleep, but if he is waking up just for the milk then once he gets out of the habit of having it in the night he'll sleep much better.

Try and offer more food and snacks etc during the day too so he makes up what he is missing out on at night.

Good luck!

AppleandMosesMummy Sun 12-Jul-09 10:12:03

Well yes you are sort of right but do you know many two year olds you can explain things to and they'll say oh alright that's fine then we'll do it your way ?

allaboutme Sun 12-Jul-09 10:39:14

no, of course 2 year olds dont just accept something they dont want to do, but thats our job as parents to make decisions that are the best for our children when they are too young to realise and accept it themselves.
If a 2 year old wanted chocolate for dinner and you explained why they had to eat something healthy instead, they wouldnt accept it and say 'ok then i'll do it your way' and they might have a tantrum BUT you wouldnt then give in and let them have chocolate.

Honestly a few nights of tantrums and crossness at having no milk in bed which leads to learning how to get a good nights sleep is much better in the long run for a 2 year old than carrying on giving milk every 2 or 3 hours and him never getting a full nights sleep.

AppleandMosesMummy Sun 12-Jul-09 10:47:46

You see I would say sleep and food are two areas you do need a softly softly approach because otherwise it's a battle of wills which can be damaging in the long term.
CC doesn't work and you have to go through it over and over again because actually you haven't taught the child to sleep you've taught the child he can scream all he likes you aren't coming into him which is very unfair when you've fed him every night for two years. He needs gently weaning off the habit.

civilfawlty Sun 12-Jul-09 10:56:17

i don't agree. I was at the whim of my dd's various waking and sleeping patterns for two years, then cracked it in two nights. It was tough, but I got a really good book and used the timer on my phone so I knew I was keeping to the times. My feeling is that exhausted/crabby/resentful (not to mention not alert when driving etcetc) parent/s is much much worse than a couple of nights crying. Do it!

Firawla Sun 12-Jul-09 11:04:51

I think its worth a try

AppleandMosesMummy Sun 12-Jul-09 11:13:12

I think you're right the habit has to be broken but not in two nights, there are ways and means of doing things so the child who didn't ask to get into this habit doesn't have to suffer at all.

kitkatqueen Sun 12-Jul-09 11:26:26

I don't know if this may help you or not, my ds is 18mnths and although he has overall been a good sleeper there have been times when all of a sudden he would only sleep for a couple of hours at a time.

I don't like cc, it hasn't worked for any of my 3 and imo its just too harsh. My option is to pick up give drink of water (if he wants it) and put back. Then sit on the floor no eye contact - if he gets really upset then pick up reassure and put back. Repeat until he realises that he isn't going downstairs or anywhere else. If he stands up repeatedly but isn't upset I just whisper "laydown" and he does. I will admit that sometimes I have sat in ds's room for 2 hrs whilst gradually shuffling towards the door. I can't actually leave ds to cry because he outward breathholds so with him its been my only option. That said it's worked briliiantly and he's a fab sleeper 95% of the time.

In his normal routine he has a story at bedtime, drinks his milk lays down in his cot and blows me a kiss.

You can teach him to sleep without masses of stress on either of you.

Good Luck

swanriver Sun 12-Jul-09 14:30:44

Could you put your dd in your room for a while on a mattress so that you can sort out ds next door. Or in living room?
Keep the nap, but reduce to 2 hours max.
I seem to remember 2 years was the tme ds was especially clingy, so I thnk you may need a gentler way than just not going in at all and leaving to scream. Perhaps cuddle and pat and then put back firmly.

Our solution to nightwaking was I'm afraid co-sleeping when woken in night. I thnk dh just used to fetch ds and plonk him into bed withus at that age, no milk or anythiing (and hs 2 yr cousin did the same with grandma when staying there) and then he went back to sleep next to us. Cosy and not stressful at all. We never did controlled crying unless he was being an unbearable fidget when he was put straight back in his bedroom cot and cried max 5mins? I do not think they need milk at that age, they need the reassurance. You could substitute a reassuring cuddle and a drink of water.

Could you tackle bedtime routine first, so that he learns to settle himself in his cot at bedtime before tackling it in the middle of the night?

Just some ideas, slightly contradictory grin sorry.

swanriver Sun 12-Jul-09 14:38:10

One trick is to stop giving milk at bedtime (ie: 7.30) but give it earlier, ie (6.00) and then just a drink of water story and cuddle at bedtime. So he gets used to sleeping without sucking milk. Comforters are great too, as part of a bedtime settling process which child can use themselves in night and not require parental presence. Knotty toy, muslin etc.
You probably know all this.

Ninkynork Sun 12-Jul-09 19:25:18

He isn't attached to anything which could comfort him really, neither does he drink much water or any other liquid. He did co-sleep until a year ago but now associates our bed with being awake and playing.

However, I am definitely going to do something, it is too good an opportunity to miss. And I will bear in mind that I got him into these habits and that it would be very unreasonable to just leave him to it.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read and reply smile

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