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Do you stay with your toddler until they fall asleep?

(82 Posts)
Sprite21 Sat 26-Jan-13 20:20:44

DD is 16 months old. After her bedtime routine I put her down in her cot and she insists on me holding her hand until she falls asleep. I don't mind usually as I just read mumsnet posts on my phone. But sometimes it takes a while and DP gets frustrated because dinner is ready. He thinks maybe we should just leave her to cry because other babies seem to just go down.
I just wondered what other people do? Am looking teaching her that she needs me to fall asleep? She sleeps through most nights now so I can't complain there.

ceeveebee Sun 27-Jan-13 12:29:35

God no. Never have. Always left them to settle even from a few weeks old.
However I think as I have twins its easier to leave them as they keep each other company. And DS loves his jojo mamam cow comforter and would not sleep without it, we have 4 now.

noblegiraffe Sun 27-Jan-13 12:33:19

Yes with my DS, gradual withdrawal worked as far as stopping patting/touching/sitting right next to the cot but if you stepped a foot outside of the door, however quietly, he'd be up and crying like a shot.

Then we moved him to his big boy bed at around 2, I sat down by the door as usual and he said 'go away mummy' and has fallen asleep by himself ever since.

Longdistance Sun 27-Jan-13 12:43:18

My dd1 who is 3.4 is a bugger to settle, so we usually sit with her.
It's like she can't switch off, and wind down and is constantly going like a Duracell bunny hmm it is exhausting just watching her wind down.
She's always been like this, even as a baby wanting someone in the room with her.
Dd2 however, is a thumb sucker and self settles like a dream baby.

notso Sun 27-Jan-13 12:49:56

With DC1 yes, but it was a pain and we were still doing it at 4 years old so the subsequent 3DC have been taught to fall asleep on their own.
I find doing something upstairs like sorting laundry for a while helps so they know you are there.
Sometimes DS2 2y does a bit of a shouty cry more cross than upset IYSWIM when I leave the room and I go back in and say "shhh, sleeping time" resettle him and then stand close to the door for a minute, but always try to leave before he is fully asleep.

Girlsville Sun 27-Jan-13 13:18:06

If he needs it, I would just stay with him. I am ( gasp) a v strict believer in routine but I always stayed with dd1 at nap time and bed time until she fell asleep because she wanted/ needed it. The day she moved to a bed at 2. 10 she said ' I'm ok mummy' and has never needed me in her room since. I do think if they need you to stay with them then it is a personality thing it causes a lot less anxiety for everyone of you do stay, and they all grow out of it in time. Dd2 who is almost 2 has never needed us in the room to go to sleep - different children, different needs.

Beatrixpotty Sun 27-Jan-13 14:07:08

With my first,yes for a while,think it had to stop at 18m when DS2 came along as simply no time to do it,but never with my second.They share a room though so he always has company.Also is an easy baby/toddler and sucks a toy for comfort so can't wait to get in his cot.Always have the same lullaby CD on too.
Is it the same at lunchtime nap time too?If they can do it then,it should be possible to get them out of the night time habit too otherwise it just gets frustrating for everyone..

AngelDog Sun 27-Jan-13 21:00:58

Yes. He's 3.1 and panics even at the thought of me being downstairs in the evening while he's asleep.

NeverStops Mon 28-Jan-13 09:49:14

I have an 18 month old DS and after his bath at 7.15pm has his milk and a story and then goes straight into his cot and after kisses and a tucking in rhyme we leave the room. we started this at 8 months old and he was reluctant at first, crying for attention and head banging, but after a week of doing the same routine he soon realised it wasn't going to get him the attention. Now 10 months on if he isn't tired when it is bedtime he plays with his cuddly toy until he goes to sleep... sometimes it 5 minutes sometimes it can be an hour, but he doesn't kick up a fuss and isn't stressed about bedtime.

explosioninatoyshop Mon 28-Jan-13 11:58:08

We did until DS was 13 months, it often took him 30 - 40 mins to go off, and he'd wake up several times in the night. Then I went back to work and I wanted a bit more of an evening with DH, and wanted DS to sleep better at night. We did gradual withdrawal - shortened settling down routine, then started leaving the room before he was asleep and only very brief visits if he woke up in the night. Once I got to the leaving the room stage he did cry in protest for about 20 mins the first night and 15 mins the second night, then got over it and has been fine since. He now settles himself down fine and sleeps through (mostly!), it's so much better for us all. I think what's most important is to figure out what works for your family, and do it! Don't worry about what other people do - that way madness lies grin

sweetaddict Mon 28-Jan-13 21:50:05

Can I ask people how you sit with a child if you have another to put to bed afterwards? What if they take ages, does the older just wait?

rrreow Mon 28-Jan-13 22:17:59

We started off like that (around 12m - before that we co-slept and he'd go down when we went to bed) and gradually stopped doing it. Thing is, staying with him started taking longer and longer because he was too stimulated by us being there, so at a certain point we started withdrawing more. Leaving the room and coming back etc if he cried. It was over the course of about 2 months I think to get it completely reliable where we could just do bedtime routine and then leave the room (apart from when poorly).

Since yesterday we have moved DS into his own room though, so to help him transition we're staying with him until he's asleep (currently sitting down just inside the door, tomorrow will probably sit outside the door).

ceeveebee Mon 28-Jan-13 22:20:30

My Dsis used to sit with DC1 and BIL with DC2. Total madness

I suspect in most cases, once DC2 comes along then DC1 has to learn to fall asleep alone. But maybe I'm wrong

FunnysInLaJardin Mon 28-Jan-13 22:25:28

No, but my DC were good at self settling and so didn't cry or need us to stay. Once in beds they would come downstairs but we solved that by sitting outside their rooms with wine and the computer until they learned we would be there until they went to sleep i.e. would put them back in bed as fast as they got out. Now DC aged 3 and 7 go to bed and play/sing themselves to sleep

MooMooSkit Mon 28-Jan-13 22:29:48

No I never and don't stay with him. He has a little whine for about 5 mins then drops off anyway. If i've ever tried to stay with him till he falls asleep if he has been upset he just gets hyper that i'm in there and starts wanting to play and sing songs with me.

Zappo Mon 28-Jan-13 22:29:53

"Can I ask people how you sit with a child if you have another to put to bed afterwards? What if they take ages, does the older just wait? "

Am lucky in that DH is normally around to help me at bedtime and although I do both bedtimes at the moment (as both ask for meat bedtime), he can entertain the younger while I put the eldest to bed first. Eldest is usually the more tired of the two as just started school.

I dislike doing bedtime on my own as DD2 (2) will jump around and run up and down when I'm trying to have some quiet time/ read with DD1.

Frequently our story is disrupted so I read as quickly as I can and then switch off the light and say "I will just get DD2 to sleep and check on you afterwards. I wonder who will fall asleep first." I then take DD" off to bed.

DD1 is ok with this as shortly after DD2 was born I stopped waiting with DD1 until she was asleep (she was always resisting sleep to stop me leaving). Once I started telling her to try to go to sleep and that I would check on her in 5 minutes she started to relax (as she knew I would come back) and would be asleep in a few minutes.

silver28 Mon 28-Jan-13 22:34:21

I used to sit with DS, sometimes for up to an hour. One night when he was 2.5 I decided to try leaving him. He did cry while i sat on the landing and went back every few mins cos he got out of bed a few times. But after 15 mins he fell asleep, so it hadn't been too bad. The next night I was prepared for the tears to start but be just said 'night night mummy' and snuggled down to sleep. He's 4.9 now and has been brilliant at going to bed just about every night since then (lucky though, I know, but it can work like that).

LilyAmaryllis Mon 28-Jan-13 22:38:36

We were wimps and stayed with our DCs while they fell asleep. It did drive me mad though. We got round the dinner thing by eating earlier, with the children. Then took turns so while it annoyed me one night at least you'd know you had the evening off the next night!...

Youngest is 4 and now we leave him to go to sleep. 4! all those wasted years!

BUT also I would not have enjoyed hearing lots of screaming and crying.

SweetPea99 Tue 29-Jan-13 19:32:11

Going to sleep is a skill that needs to be taught to children, so you can choose to do it however you want. As someone else said, you teach them to self-settle for their lunch time nap, and then it becomes easier at night. In fact, my DS2 (16 months) goes to bedmore easily in the evening because he has an established routine - bath, milk, story, toy with lights and music. Is staying with them in their room for an hour every night teaching them to settle themselves? I'm not sure... Of course, if you don't mind, then it doesn't matter - until number 2 or 3 comes along, or until your partner isn't there to help at bedtime ( I have always done bedtime alone, so had to get the children to settle themselves, or I would have gone mad!).

sweetaddict Tue 29-Jan-13 21:03:27

That's what I would have said three weeks ago, yet now I find I will do anything that gets her to sleep so I can have some semblance of an evening. And yes we do bath, story, bed, same time etc etc...

1500mmania Tue 29-Jan-13 21:33:01

No it would drive me crazy! BF DS before bed put him in cot and then he would go to sleep. at 6 months he had a few nights of being unsettled, left him to cry and it was sorted in 3 nights. Now stopped BF and so it is milk in cup, 3 books then in the cot & leave the room. never any crying. I'm happy, DS is happy - no qualms that we did the right thing teaching him to self settle.

Maybe it's not for everyone but I hate all the comments putting down sleep training methods. Different parents do different things and teaching baby to self settle is not bad thing to do

lizandlulu Tue 29-Jan-13 21:42:38

Yes ith dd1. She used to have to hold my arm till she fell asleep, she has a cabin bed so I used to stand there for upto an hour. I didn't mind too much until dd2 came along. With very little help from dH, I found it impossible to be in two places at the same time, so things had to come to a head. She was 6 when I finally had to stop it, but I think she was old enough to understand I physically couldn't stand there for that time.
I wish I had sorted it sooner

duchesse Tue 29-Jan-13 21:57:27

Depends on the child. I've had four (toddlers) and they've all been vastly different, ranging from definitely needing to be held (DS) to actually needing to be put down (DD1) to go sleep. DD3 (now 3 yo) can be left in her bed awake and she will go to sleep in a few minutes. DS would have screamed for 3 hours if we'd left him alone in his room we tried it for a few weeks, poor child. They always always had stories at bedtime though.

I think you have to do whatever works for your child.

CointreauVersial Wed 30-Jan-13 17:48:52


Before I had children I observed my SIL spending two hours of every evening settling her DS and I vowed I wouldn't allow that habit to develop if I could possibly help it.

So all three of my DCs have self-settled since they were a few weeks old, and I have never had to stay with them, with the exception of illness, or when DS had a spate of night terrors.

It may work for some of you, but not for me. See also co-sleeping.wink

Ragwort Wed 30-Jan-13 17:52:59

I never did either, I let my DS self-settle from the day we got home from hospital blush - clearly I wasn't a Mumsnetter then as it never occured to me to sit with him whilst he went to sleep grin - perhaps I was just very, very lucky - he's always been a great sleeper smile.

I think it would be quite hard to now give up sitting with your child as they have clearly got used to it.

noblegiraffe Wed 30-Jan-13 18:04:51

I reckon you didn't let your baby self settle, you had a baby who self-settled.

I remember looking around at my post-natal group as babies nodded off in their mothers' arms. I had no idea it was even possible as my baby only got angrier and angrier the more tired he got and he had to be forced to sleep via violent rocking. Absolutely no sodding chance of self settling, and it was a good few weeks of misery before I realised that some tired babies will not simply just fall asleep.

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