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Toddler bedtime seperation anxiety

(10 Posts)
StorminaBcup Sat 20-Aug-16 23:01:30

I'll try to keep this to the point. DS (soon to be 3), can't go to sleep at bedtime on his own. At the moment I have to sit by the side of the bed and cuddle him until he falls asleep. I did the gradual retreat method around two when the bedtime anxiety first crept in, and had managed to get outside of the door with DS asleep shortly after. Since then, I've had another baby (4 mths old), and DS is potty training. DS still usually has a nap in the day (an hour tops and not after 3pm). He'll wake in the night (any time between 11-5) and he comes in our bed (I first allowed this in early pregnancy with dc2 as I valued sleep more than a battle). He has managed to sleep in his own bed all night but I can count these on my hand.

Our bedtime routine begins at 6; milk, quiet play and a few stories followed by bath at half 6, another story in the bedroom, chat about the day and then straight into bed. DS has a comforter that he's had from birth plus a few more teddies on the bed. Getting in to bed is fine but he's started asking for trips to the loo (I keep them boring and don't engage in conversation), so he's taking over an hour to get to sleep which means he's getting more tired as bedtime drags on. I need to get bedtimes cracked because DH works away a lot and youngest dc also needs to start getting into a bedtime routine. It's impossible with two and it's taking until half 9 before they are both asleep.

I'm slowly losing my patience, help! What am I doing wrong and how do I go about getting bedtimes back under control?

StorminaBcup Tue 23-Aug-16 06:21:35

<watches tumbleweed roll past> Anyone? smile

Eminybob Tue 23-Aug-16 06:25:04

No advice, but watching with interest, as DS has been exactly like this since he turned 2. We are ttc no 2 and need to nip in the bud before another baby comes along.

lightgreenglass Tue 23-Aug-16 06:29:06

Is he going to bed to early maybe? Your routine sounds like it starts early for a 3 year old.

But what do I know, I have a nearly 3 year old and he does the exact same. We have to lie down next to him on the floor for him to fall asleep and then he comes into bed every night. I'm learning to roll with it. Our 14 month old sleeps in our bedroom and I always put him to bed first then deal with the 3 year old. Thankfully he's easy to put to bed. In the middle of the night I'd rather he slips in quietly than wake the baby.

Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 23-Aug-16 06:31:09

No advice, just sympathy - things are very similar here with my 2yo who had previously been in a good routine of settling himself.

StorminaBcup Tue 23-Aug-16 06:46:31

Thanks everyone. At least I'm not alone (sadly!).

lightgreenglass he's dropping his nap so it's a struggle to keep him up til dinner time some days! I've tried slightly later but then we get a bath time meltdown. Toddlers confused !

BeingATwatItsABingThing Tue 23-Aug-16 06:59:56

My DD is 2 and a half. She still needs cuddling to sleep most nights. Whether she goes down awake depends on who is putting her down. She can be a pickle with me but DP can usually put her down awake. We are about to move her to a bed so might be able to force the issue a little bit.

FurryGiraffe Tue 23-Aug-16 07:04:54

Ports of similarities here- inc baby (DS2 is 3 months). We did gradual retreat at 2ish and it worked but we then regressed. Ended up in his room again and bedtime was taking forever. I came to the conclusion that while he wanted me there, I was just too distracting. We now sit outside his door and it works well. We reassure him we're there and he's usually out in ten minutes.

My thought on your routine was that nap might be too close to bedtime. DS1 has mainly dropped his nap but has one occasionally. If he slept 2-3 though he wouldn't sleep before 8. I try to make sure naps end by 2 in order to do bed at 7.

We also

Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 23-Aug-16 08:07:40

YY to only acting up with me - DH rarely has a problem. DH likes to have it that I am not firm enough but I think it's because he's just generally mummy obsessed at the moment.

And YY to being too distracting - we end up in a catch 22 that he won't sleep if I am no there because I am not there and won't sleep if I am there because I am there. confused

Toddlerwith1ontheway Sun 21-Jan-18 13:05:47

Did anyone manage to find a solution to this?

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