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22 month old traumatised and cot to bed - any ideas?

(3 Posts)
Gizboss Thu 01-Sep-11 08:24:11

My family had to travel abroad unexpectedly due to my father in law being taken ill, he died when we were there. My 22 month dd came with us and from day one was surrounded by a horrible sad atmosphere which really affected her. She had an ear infection when we were there and every night for the 14 nights we were there she woke up and we brought her into our bed so as not to wake my mother-in-law (normally at home she would sleep in her own cot and has sometimes slept with us when ill but has always gone back to routine with a couple of nights of CC).

She was very nervous and clingy when we were there but when we got back home seemed to relax a bit. We tried to get her back into her sleep routine gradually and did some CC, however after 6 nights of her crying almost constantly, she then managed to throw herself out of her cot. So now we have taken the sides off and are doing cot to bed transition. She's chosen a duvet and is gradually getting more used to it but we have had to stay with her every night, stroking her, until she falls asleep which takes between 60 -90 mins then when she wakes in the night we take it in turns to sleep on cushions next to her cot. It has been 3 nights so far of this and am wondering if people have ideas on how we can progress so as to get her to go to sleep on her own and resettle herself. She used to be able to but seems to be out of the habit and needs more constant reassurance.

In the day she is also refusing to sleep in the bed and falls asleep in the pushchair instead - before she was in a great routine of sleeping for 2 hours a day in her cot. I am giving her loads of attention and doing all of her favourite things with her in the day as luckily I am still off on school holidays.
My DH and I are pretty exhausted with everything that we have all been through and both of us are now getting ill. I've no local family. If anyone has been through anything similar or could suggest anything to help us with the cot to bed situation I'd appreciate it.

Iggly Thu 01-Sep-11 10:50:59

Can you use a travel cot for day naps? Because she threw herself out of the cot when upset as opposed to climbed out, it might not be an issue.

As for falling asleep - with the poor day naps, she will take longer at bedtime as she'll be overtired. I've been having this issue with DS (23 months). So I have a short bath routine, then spend 15 minutes cuddled on his chair reading a story quietly in a low light to relax him. Then tell him it's time to get into bed for sleep. I sit next to him in the dark and stay with him til he drops off. If I put him to hbed earlier, it takes 20 mins. Too late, takes longer!

I've been moving away from the bed after physically reassuring him for 10 mins and sit in a chair and tell him it's night night if he gets up. If he gets really upset I'll go back next to the bed. Some nights I've been able to leave him grumbling after 20 mins to sleep alone.

As for night wakings - you need to make sure you're each getting a chunk of sleep (at least 5 hours) so split the load. Also it's been really cold at night - I've had to add extra layers to DS as he kicks the covers off. Can you do the same? It keeps his night wakings down.

I've also put foam bed guards in his bed which gives some security and stops him rolling out.

Gizboss Thu 01-Sep-11 13:22:26

Thanks Iggly for your response. I've just managed to get her to go down in her bed for a nap so am hoping that she stays down and that it helps with the overtiredness. It's interesting what you are saying about gradually moving away from the bed and will try that tonight as well as trying a slightly earlier bedtime - we've been getting her to bed later than normal in the hope that she might be tireder and to give us a chance to eat beforehand but it's not worked so might as well go in the other direction! Got a bed rail and think she's warm enough but might try another blanket tonight just in case. Any other ideas very welcome.

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