Silently returning toddler to bed doesn't work(24 Posts)
I am pulling my hair out over this. It's been going on for several days. We try to silently return her to bed but she just laughs and jumps up and down to be picked up as she thinks it's a game. She can keep going for hours. Only get her to sleep in the end by giving in and lying on her bed till she falls to sleep as we also have an 8 week old and it's agony staying up with her and then going straight into night feeds with the baby. She seems to love the baby so not sure it's jealousy that has prompted this behaviour. Have tried giving her more milk to calm her, singing, giving her back her baby monitor which has lights and music to try and relax her. It's just so stressful not having any rest in the evening and it's not even as though we can finally sleep once she eventually goes to sleep as we are up all night with on demand bf the baby. I say we as we live in a house where crying can be heard everywhere it's not like dh and I can take it in turns to get a good nights sleep in spare room or something as we all hear everything! Any advice????
When mine did the laughing or screaming thing, I just stood there for hours putting her back in bed in the dark. Are you certain it's hours that she does it for? Mine managed about half an hour of it and that FELT like hours....but I persisted and it took a week.
Both mine were poor sleepers. My best trick was to exaggerate the difference between day & night. Day = fun, chatty, interested adults (hard I know with baby) and night = no chat, slow, dull, robotic adults put child back to bed with no chatter. Persist for a week and it will work, and it will be worth it.
I stayed in the room or by the foot of the bed and it was more gradual withdrawal than rapid return really. But my ds would also get quite hysterical I I did it silently and I found that if I talked to him and firmly explained that he wasn't to get out of bed, he was more receptive to it.
There was a thread on here not so long ago whereby they made the room cold so toddler wouldn't want to get out of bed as it was warmer in bed. Maybe you could try that?
Well you've got an 8 week old - its not jealousy but it is an upheaval for her.
I would stay with her until she falls asleep if that is the quickest option - we did that with ds when dd arrived. I think he wanted to reassurance and to know what we were doing. She is still young even though she seems so much bigger compared to your newborn and she won't be able to articulate exactly what the issue is.
When it all settles down a bit, you can try gradual withdrawal.
How old is she ?
How long has she been out of a cot and in a bed ?
I would do what pp have said and stay with her for a cuddle too. It can't last forever.
We had the same with DS when DD was born. Silently returning did work but it took about a week to see any improvement at all.
You need balls of steel and the patience of a saint, give it a week and you'll have cracked it!
I agree it takes time if you have a stubborn child! DO persist, if you give in then it will take longer next time. My DD was the same I did the gradual withdraw approach -
1st time tell her and put her back
2nd time tell her that i wasn't going to speak to her again (in whatever words she would understand)
3rd - 100th times not speak or look and put her back in her room.
I used to stand in her door way or sit on the landing with a book, i'd refuse to speak or look at her, as long as she stayed in her room i didn't get too annoyed if she wasn't actually in her bed. If she fell asleep on the floor then I'd just put her back into bed.
Took ages and we had a few ups and downs but she does (usually) go to bed OK now (she's just turned 6).
You don't mention her age. But it does work if you persist. You just have to really, really, really persist.
Have you thought about getting her a groclock? DS had that from about 2, and it certainly helped to reinforce day/night difference.
Hope you get some more sleep soon.
I don't tell the toddler to stay in bed so she gets the chatty adult thing... I do tend to remind Bunny that he has to stay in bed as naughty rabbits don't get carrots to eat though. Generally though the monitor talkback mic is sufficient to get her sat back down on the bed or lying down pretending to be asleep thankfully (although she was a little sod this afternoon - grrr)
She is 2.4. Been in her bed only about 6 weeks. The first few nights she was in it she got up but it's been ok since then. Her thing seems to be that she wants to be with us downstairs. She comes into the room bringing books and toys from her room. I can stay with her till she falls asleep brcuase I also have to get baby down as dh gets home late so I have to juggle. I'm sure that's part of the problem too. I tried gradual withdrawal just now. I actually sat in the floor with my hand quite firmly on her chest to keep her in bed and it seemed to relax her. Then sat next to bed and then by the door. No noise for 15 mins now. Reluctant to sit with her as she has always been a self settler, even as a baby. So don't want to create a habit. The tip about coldness us good. Her room is boling as its the only one that's double glazed!
It actually helped me to lose my temper. I did one night and it really had little effect on ds. It made me feel like crap though. Silent return seemed like a good option after that and I was determined to stick with it.
I used to sit with ds while feeding baby dd. I went for the low stress option as life is too short! They both share a room now so I'm in there anyway while ds falls asleep as I'm feeding dd.
We put a stair gate on the bedroom door for a while which helped emphasize that once you were in your bed it was bedtime
Stick with it. It can take up to six weeks for them to fully get it (sorry - I know you don't want to hear that!). And when you hear success stories of the rapid return thing working after putting them back after five or six times, well, in our case it was over 75 times one night and I'm not exaggerating. We counted. You might break your back but you WILL sleep again.
We have a stair gate on the door too - primarily just because the walls in our house are shit so I don't 100% trust the one at the top of the stairs to hold out against a determined toddler.
She probably thinks she's 'missing out' if the baby is still up. Can you pretend to put the baby to bed first?
Other than that I would go for the 'silent return' it will work, it will just take time and it needs to be immediate and silent and do not give in, by giving in you have made this much harder on yourself (and her).
Personally, I would not start 'staying with her' because then later on that's another routine/habit you have to try to get her out of.
No lights and sounds things, no staying in bed with her. It is actually kind to teach her how to sleep on her own. She'll sleep better, and you too.
I used to take DS hand and walk him back to bed, light out, night night, kiss and leave.
Repeat 100 times.
They get the message in the end.
Only works if you stick with it. Be firm, but friendly.
After a week or two it is the new routine. They love routine at this age. You can build it in with the bed time routine.
Thanks all. She actually has a gate as she is in the loft room and we were worried about stairs. She hates it being closed though and always says 'gate open gate open' at bed time. I hear her get out of bed to check if it's open and if is closed she screams and wails. But if it's open she comes down. I say when she first goes down. I am leaving hate open, but you stay in bed or I will close it. So I have to follow through and then deal with the wails. Easier to leave it open I think and deal with getting her to realise she must stay in bed. Sounds like its just repetition, repetition and instead of getting worked up about it I should just accept it will happen for a few days (weeks!). Just so hard not to get any respite in the evening. She woke up in the night too last night and we ended up giving her milk as that settles her and dh had a very early start and big day at work today so just needed to try and get some sleep. Would love to put baby down first but his routine is a nice sleepy feed in the dark before bed. Wondering though if I could try and do this feed with dd on bed watching Peppa on iPad? Then I could put dd to bed once baby is down.
Wondering though if I could try and do this feed with dd on bed watching Peppa on iPad? Then I could put dd to bed once baby is down
Yes I'd do that. It's all very well worrying about changing routines etc/creating habits but they will have to change now you have another dc.
Just to say for during the night I'd recommend whoever isn't dealing with the baby stick earplugs in - might enable that person to at least doze?
We've recently started having a similar problem with DS1 (2.5), he climbs out of his cot. What I'm doing now, which seems to help, is once I've done his bedtime routine I explain to him that I'm going to feed DS2 and that he should lie down and try to go to sleep and I'll come back to check on him / tuck him in once I'm done. I've also made sure to tell him that DS2 is also going to sleep (i.e. so he doesn't think we're downstairs partying it up with his little brother while he's in bed). He's responded really positively to this. His face lights up like Christmas when I come back into his room as promised, I think he really feels special. YMMV but it might be worth a try!
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