2.5 year old bedtime issues(7 Posts)
The last 8-9 months the only way our son will fall asleep is us sitting in the room with him. Apart from the odd night it only take 15-20 mins but what steps can we take to stop it? He will scream, get out of bed and play up so it's easier to stay to just get him to sleep
Is this a classic 'choose your battles' as won't last forever?!!
You can do gradual withdrawal. So slowly over the course of a week or so get further and further away. Start on the other side of the room, then in the doorway, the on the other side of the door, then on the top step of the stairs, then half-way down etc. Let him get used to each step before you move in to the next one. Normally, they get each step quite quickly so it should take no longer than a couple of weeks before you're just leaving him to sleep by himself.
Or you can use Supernanny's 'stay in bed' technique, which is basically just keep picking him up and putting him back to bed until he gives up and goes to sleep. No talking, no eye contact, no nonsense. This is normally quicker, but generally more stressful for everyone. If he sleeps within 15 mins or so anyway, I'd go for gradual withdrawal.
I've tried the putting back in and it is too stressful and lasts over an hour and then I feel he's wasted an hours sleep and got upset, this way he's sleeping calmly etc
I'll try the moving away, although he's very specific about where we sit!!
We sit with my son who is the same age and I don't see it as a problem! He's only just stopped being cuddled to sleep so maybe we are doing very gradual gradual withdrawal but he's only tiny really so I'm happy to do it for now.
We put our DS, similar age, back in his bed. No talking, just put him back in.
He doesn't scream or cry though. He just stands at the baby gate at his door shouting for us. If he's tired, he doesn't do it at all. If he's not very tired we can be up and down 7 or 8 times. Over time using this approach he's got better at occupying himself and even if he's not tired now, he'll often play quietly on his own until he is.
As others have commented though, I wouldn't mind soothing him to sleep if it was only 20 mins. We had a phase when he was younger though where 20 mins, became 30, became 40 until it took forever to settle him, so we just had to stop and let him settle himself.
We got to the end of our tether with this from DD - started out as 10 minutes but ended up being 1 hour+ of lying on the floor next to her each night.
She was 4 when we did the 'rapid return' technique described above. Advised by a sleep consultant. We explained it to her, she got Russell the Sleep Dog with a story read by me programmed in, and off we went. The first night she came out 118 times. Then about 50, then 10, and now she stays in bed although does still call us to come in a couple of times before going to sleep (which we do). It's made a big difference to our evenings and to her daytime behaviour.
As others said 10-15 minutes doesn't sound like an issue, but if it gets out of hand like it did for us then rapid return is worth a try...
Almost sounds like a phase which without addressing it could last ages or get worse!
I'm going to try moving away each night and not give into him telling me where to sit!
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