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Exhausted,Toddler refuses to go to bed, will not sleep unless in bed with me..HELP

(7 Posts)
memorylapse Mon 29-Aug-11 12:21:37

my 17 month old has usually been quite a good sleeper, but a couple of weeks ago, out of the blue, she has refused point blank to go to bed, and will not sleep during the night, the end result being that I end up bringing her into bed with me.
H and I split up in the new year so Im on my own with three other children, aged 7.10 and 17 so I cannot just leave her to scream as its waking them all up.

A usual nights scenario goes like this:

bed time wind down routine, followed by milk and into her cot. She immediately stands up and starts screaming. If I leave her she would still be screaming an hour later (I did this one night with regular checking) and ended up getting her up and taking her into bed with me, she then squirms and kicks all night so I dont get any sleep.
Sometimes she falls asleep in my arms (bad I know) and therefore wakes about an hour after she goes into her cot and screams again, for ages and ages until I put her in my bed. Im desperate for any advice as Im at my wits end sad

Iggly Mon 29-Aug-11 13:20:17

Can you stay with her in her room with her in her cot until she sleeps? Give her a cuddle until she's almost asleep or asleep then in cot. Stay in her room (you can get cheap foam fold out beds for £20 - we have one) and reassure her for every night waking. The aim is to get her used to her cot as she's probably got separation anxiety.

Once she is more settled you can work on less involvement at bedtime - putting her down when drowsy then when awake.

What time is she going to bed? I think you might need bedtime around 7ish if possible as if she's overtired (likely) it is ten times worse.

memorylapse Mon 29-Aug-11 14:59:13

she goes to bed around 7.30-8 at the moment, but then of course since it all went out of the window, its been midnight before she has settledconfused
Problem being in that she will not lie down, so just stands there screaming, but perhaps I guess if I were lying on a bed next to her she MIGHT lie down, its definitely worth a try!

Iggly Mon 29-Aug-11 15:40:45

It might be worth cuddling until she relaxes, tell her it's ok it's bedtime then lie her down and keep hands on her so she knows you're around?

memorylapse Mon 29-Aug-11 16:04:58

Sadly tried that, she just screams, incidentally, she doesnt sleep in the day either unless in the car

Daisy1986 Mon 29-Aug-11 22:01:01

I think that sounds like separation shes scared your going to go too and being a toddler night time seems like an awfully long time. When my LO started seeing her dad (he wasnt interested first 9 months) She refused to sleep in her bed, go anywhere without me, wanted carrying all the time, would wake up screaming in the night etc. Separation anxiety from me I think as his vists were only time she was away from me.

My own personal parenting style is very attachment based so if I was you I would give her the time she needs with me in my own bed and expect her to settle down back into her bed in a few months. however I only have one child and having more then one this probably isnt possible.

Could you take her out in the car? Not very practical but you could drive till shes asleep then move her. Maybe to a local drive thru for a naughty evening ice cream for 7 and 10 year old?

Make sure she has things that smell of you in her cot, top, pillow etc might help her sleep.

memorylapse Mon 29-Aug-11 22:15:25

Thanks Daisy.I do suspect that all the upset hasnt helped.
Well tonight, she had, bath, story, cuddle etc then up to bed,she started screaming straight away, so I put on the digital radio onto the station that I normally have on in the kitchen..and left, for half an hour she wailed, then silence, went upstairs and she was sat in her cot, reassured her and lad her down, then sat next to her cot for 5 mins, then moved away a few feet, reassured her then repeated till I was out the door, so far so good, fingers crossed, however Ive bought a camp bed to put in her room so that I can bunk down in there until she gets into a better pattern

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