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My toddler won't go to sleep in her own bed!

(17 Posts)
shanoddle Sat 18-Aug-07 11:30:00

Can anybody help me? My two and a half year old has always been a perfect sleeper. Recently she has started refusing to go to sleep in her own bed, we gave in due to our own tiredness and let her fall asleep in our bed, and then moved her into her own.

However, she now wakes up as soon as we move her and she wil cry and cry until she comes into bed with us or sleeps on a mattress on our floor. Rapid return isn't really an option as she doesn't actually get out of her bed, she just sits in it and crys.

Have done cc before, and it worked, but now when I go up at the time intervals it riles her up more and she clings to me and all possibility of her settling is lost. Do you just leave a 2 year old cry as long as it takes them to fall asleep? I feel mean but start work in Sep and this must be sorted!

KerryMumbledore Sat 18-Aug-07 13:39:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LoveMyGirls Sat 18-Aug-07 13:55:20

Put her to sleep in her own bed from the start of the evening, do bath, stroy bedtime etc all in her own room tell her she is going to be a big girl and sleep in her own bed perhaps get a night light, light show.

You need to be tough she has learnt that she can cry and egt what she wants, if you keep giving into her at this age i predict a nightmare for you in the future, she needs to know who is boss and you need to be strong. There is no reason she cannot sleep in her own bed. I had this with my dd1 who slept in our bed until 2.5 when we moved house we decided enough was enough and she was having her own room, we stuck to it despite the fact she climbed over the stairgate and took her nappy off, covered herself in pooh and cried and cried. We did try putting a video on in her room but every hour whenit went off she screamed for it to go back on, 2 nights of that and we decided we had to get tough so we took it out of her room. she is now 8 and has gone to bed perfectly everynight since then. it took us 2 weeks of being tough for it to work.

We tried telling her to get back in bed the first few times then we ignored her unless she came out, if she came out we didnt speak and put her straight back in bed, she soon got the idea. hth a bit.

shanoddle Sat 18-Aug-07 15:34:52

Right, tough love it is then! I have done Gina Ford in the past so I am capable of being tough. My partner finds it harder though and doesn't like leaving her cry so I think I'm going to have to be tough on him too! The annoying thing is I know she can do it, she has been great until the past few weeks. It doesn't help that we have just been on holiday and we all shared a room. But it is getting to the point where I am sleeping elsewhere just to get a good nights sleep which doesn't help our relationship one bit.

We have done bedtime videos in the past as a treat and it made it much harder for her to settle, might try the night light though. So do I just leave her cry unless she actually comes out of her room? She has cried for hours at a time...? She used to just play up for us and be perfect for her Grandma which made feel me slightly inferior as if I couldn't do things properly, but now I think its more just a playing up for the parents thing. (Having said that she refused to settle for her grandma last night so I think she is just pushing and pushing at the boundaries)!

MaureenMLove Sat 18-Aug-07 15:47:15

I agree completely with LMG's <Waves hello!> And yes, unless she comes out of her room, ignore her. But remember if she does come out of her room, just lead her back in, with no conversation. Its gonna be a tough couple of weeks, but it does work. The first couple of nights she will cry for a long time, but then it'll start getting less and less - promise! Good luck!

LoveMyGirls Sat 18-Aug-07 19:05:16

Yes she is getting to the pushing boundaries age, deffo be tough and if dp is finding it hard to be tough what about promising him treats he can only have if you are both tough with dd so you get the bed to yourselves? iyswim?

You need to find something to distract yourself like MN!!

LoveMyGirls Sat 18-Aug-07 19:07:22

Sorry MML how rude of me!! {LMG waves} (thanks for agreeing with me, helps to know I can be right sometimes )

startouchedtrinity Sat 18-Aug-07 22:09:49

Shanoddle, I did rapid return with dd2, but with dd1 I did gradual withdrawl. Basically you sit on the bed while dd goes to sleep. The next night you sit beside the bed. Then each night you move further away until you are outside the door when dd goes to sleep. Thereafter you can just do 'back in aminute' and go away - do go back but they are nearly always asleep when you do. It took less than a week to get dd1 to sleep through using this method after 2 yrs of no sleep and cc not working.

Other helpful things are giving her something to look after (something of yours like a top or t-shirt, or a special cuddly) and photos of her with you in her room. HTH

shanoddle Sun 19-Aug-07 12:09:31

Thanks for all those comments! I'm not sure that the gradual withdrawal will work for me as she refuses to even lie down in the bed, let alone close her eyes! (Although I have seen supernanny do it and it looks like a good method!)

I will try leaving her to cry first and if that doesn't work will think about the gradual thing. Maybe giving her dps pillow might be a comfort, she prefers his side of the bed to mine ha!

At least I do have the next couple of weeks to do this as am on long hols for the summer, and she visits her grandma most days so I can catch up on any lost sleep!

The only other thing that makes things slightly difficult is that she is potty trained, but she uses the fact that she needs a wee to get me up the stairs. She does wear a nappy for bed but ignoring that and letting her use her nappy almost goes back on what I have spent the past couple of months training her to do! Maybe a nightlight and leaving the potty in plain sight? She is capable of going by herself! Any ideas?

startouchedtrinity Sun 19-Aug-07 13:19:42

My dd wouldn't lie down, it was a battle of wills but after the first night we cracked it.

startouchedtrinity Sun 19-Aug-07 13:20:40

When dd1 got out of nappies we left the bathroom light on so she could take heself there and back - which she does, but is then so proud she comes and tells us!

mummymagic Sun 19-Aug-07 13:34:39

Hi, I do agree you need to be firm with children as they like to know boundaries etc.

BUT why doesn't she want to go to bed? Can you try to work out/ask her why and address her issues? eg she doesn't want to go to bed because she is scared, have a light on.

It just seems odd to me that she was a perfect sleeper and now doesn't want to go to bed. Could she be ill? Or going through a slight separation fear? Can you sleep with her in her bed as a reassurance? Just not sure that just leaving her will address whatever is causing her to wake. Only if she is literally just waking out of habit (and testing boundaries) and you want her to learn that you won't go to her at night iykwim. Personally I still wouldn't just leave her alone but that's down to you.

shanoddle Sun 19-Aug-07 13:57:45

Thats what I thought initially, but it's not that she doesn't want to, she just doesn't want to sleep in her room. As soon as she is in our bed (in the pitch black as that is what she prefers) she goes straight to sleep without either of us being there!

Also it hasn't been a sudden dislike for going to bed, it has been very gradual and I think it's just that she has been pushing and we have let her and it's only now that we have realised the reality of the situation and she isn't happy about us trying to sort it out.

I may try leaving the landing light on / night light, but usually this keeps her awake as she starts to play with her toys in the bed but I suppose this might be a help in her calming herself down?

mummymagic Sun 19-Aug-07 16:12:43

Ah, so it does need a firm approach I guess.

shanoddle Mon 20-Aug-07 21:51:00

Hurrah! I have just done my first night of being a mean mummy. BUT it worked! After ten minutes of rapid return, crying and kicking and screaming, she gave up and fell asleep in her bed!

So I'm just off to sleep in my own bed, plus dp, without having any troubles moving her out of her bed! Hopefully the same will work if she wakes up during the night...thankyou mumsnet!

LoveMyGirls Tue 21-Aug-07 12:26:08

You are not a mean mummy you are doing the best all round for your family which is what GOOD mummys do! She is in her bed and you have yours back to yourselves which in the long run will do your relationship the world of good which in turn will benefit your dd as its more likely a couple that sleeps together stays together? (i have no reserch to back this up but I know i would find life alot harder if we didnt have our alone time in the evenings and a bed to cuddle in without interuptions)

Well done you!!

shanoddle Thu 23-Aug-07 21:53:21

Can I just say another huge thankyou to those of you who gave me tips on the rapid return method etc? I started on monday night and it is now thursday, and for the past two nights dd has gone straight to sleep in her own bed without so much as a whinge! Brilliant! For the first time in a while, we had a full, un interrupted nights sleep last night BLISS!!!

Will def recommend this to others in the future, plus will be a mumsnet addict from now on I fear!

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