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How can i get my 2 1/2 year old to sleep in his own bed?? I'm very tired!!

(12 Posts)
Em308 Sun 07-Sep-08 11:05:07

Can anyone give me some much needed advice, please? My 2 1/2 year old son will not sleep the whole night in his own bed and i've run out of ideas as to how to get him to stay there! When he first went into his big bed he would stay there most of the night, just coming through at about 5.30am, which i didn't mind as he'd go back off to sleep (and kiddy cuddles are lovely as we all know!). But it's steadily got earlier and earlier and it's now 11.30pm!! I take him back and have to lay with him til he goes off to sleep but every time he wakes he comes through again. After 3rd or 4th time i'm usually so knackered i give in and let him stay with me sad. I don't know anyone else who has this problem so i don't know what to do. Can anyone help??

VictorianSqualor Sun 07-Sep-08 11:07:14

Rapid return.
It might take a few days(and a few hundred times a night at first!) but just keep returning him to his own bed, and telling him he can't sleep in yours.

cookiemonstress Sun 07-Sep-08 14:13:01

ditto Vs. Rapid return. My dd1 was terrible at this age. Tried everything and Rapid return was only thing to work. Have to say though, it took weeks rather than days. They will get message eventually, you have to be consistent. My HV though gave me good advice about doing Rapid return. Only do it when you feel ready and pref get someone to share it with because it's an exhausting process in itself and for it to work you have to follow through even if it takes 200+ attempts on first few nights. Good luck! The end result is worth it.

JiminyCricket Sun 07-Sep-08 15:01:48

rapid return - but i think he would have to be going off to sleep without you there as the first stage (i.e. rapid return at bedtime) - it sort of reassures them that they are safe awake in their bed and dropping off to sleep, and then means they can be returned in the night. I totally second that you have to be having a good week and 100% committed to try rapid return (it might be easier than expected, but prepare yourself for a fractious upsetting evening). We return ours to bed if they come in to us anytime before 6.30. They still come in the night if they need something (bad dream, lost cuddly etc, but not often and they know we will return them). I think learning to sleep in your own bed is an important thing personally, but its no biggie WHEN its tackled (i.e. what age) for us it was the sooner the better tho! Explain to him that he has to learn to stay in his bed, then on the first one or two returns repeat that, then after that don't say anything or make eye contact, but also try really hard not to show you're cross, just be really firm and consistent, they will get the message.

Impstersmom Mon 08-Sep-08 10:10:40

The whole reason I joined this site, is to ask the same question as you. My dd, age 2 years 4 months is exactly the same as your son, only difference is she is still in her cot. I also do not know quite how to tackle the issue, but am being told by more and more friends and family that dd needs to be happy to be in her own space.

It begins just after bathtime. Please, any tips on the endless crying and "mummy carry" "mummy I love your comfy bed" "mummy I don't like my cot", I often go in to her, settle her and that seems to make her worse. The tip of the iceburg was this weeken my Mum had her and said she felt sorry for her because she was so upset to be in her cot. That cut a bit, so I guess I have to sort something out if it is detrimental to my daughter.

I will be thinking of you tonight. Good luck with the Rapid Return.

VictorianSqualor Mon 08-Sep-08 12:05:46

IM, have you thought about putting her into a bed, with a special 'big girls quilt' that she can choose herself?

Tell her for the next week or so 'It's nearly time for you to have big girl bird, I can't believe it! I'm so excited' and really build her up. Give her the Argos book to pour over looking at beds and quilts and sheets, read books about bedtime being a magical time.

Once she is mentally prepared for it, make the change, do it when she isn't too tired so not likely to get tetchy, get her to help you make the bed up, and totally overact how comfy it is, get into it 'wow! I might have this bed myself and you can sleep with Daddy, at least I won't have to hear his snoring!!' big shock and grin faces.

Read a story and generally spend quiet time in and around her bed. Then on the first night (new pjs/nightie also help) when you put her in the bed, (and act really excited) hopefully she won't kick off too much, if she does then start rapid return.

Just pick her up every time and take her to bed, 'It's bedtime sweetheart, you need to go back in your bed' say it softly, don't make it seem like you are telling her off, continue this until she is asleep. Not saying anything more than that one line, do not enter into conversation and try to avoid eye contact after that sentence.

3littlefrogs Mon 08-Sep-08 12:09:46

Impstersmom - she may well be uncomfortable in her cot. Are you sure she isn't too big for it/bumping herself on the sides etc?

All mine were in a bed with a side rail by the time they were 2.

I second the idea of pretty duvet cover etc.

3littlefrogs Mon 08-Sep-08 12:11:08

A proper sprung mattress on a bed base is a LOT more confy than a cot mattress, once the child is over a certain weight.

Mimsy2000 Mon 08-Sep-08 12:19:12

em308 my ds is exactly the same. everyone once in a while he will stay in his room till 6am but i'm so unused to it i can't sleep and basically wait for him to pop into my bed. normally he comes into my room around 1am.

i am totally exhausted b/c i'm heavily pregnant and can barely sleep anyway. re: the rapid return thing, i've heard to do that too but for me i'm too exhausted to even bother. how rubbish is that? let us know how you get on.....

Impstersmom Mon 08-Sep-08 20:17:41

Thanks for that good advice. The cot is massive and she is a tiny thing, so I don't think its that. I tried the bed with the rail, but bless her heart, she just kept on looking at me and saying its nicer with Mummy in my bed.

We spend a lot of time apart from her Dad, so we basically live in three different homes and will do until she starts nursery next month, so I could well be confusing her with it all and of course, the continuity has been coming in with me whenever she cries.

I now feel the pressure is on as my family all think I am doing her no favours at all by giving her false messages, that you go to sleep in your cot (within 2 minutes usually) and then as they have said give her the impression I am rescuing her from this evil place once she wakes in the early hours.

Em308 Tue 09-Sep-08 17:19:31

Thanks everyone for the advice - Impstersmom & Mimsy2000 it's a relief to know it's not just my child but i'm sorry others have to go thru it too!
I actually moved ds from cot to bed because he seemed to hate cot so much when he was 22 months, but i don't think i made a big enough fuss about how great / comfy etc his new bed was - if i had done it then maybe he wouldn't hate sleeping in it so much now. So, i'm going to try new bedding first (just had a chat and he said he doen't like the dinosaurs on his bed, but would LOVE Lightning McQueen so i've just placed an order on Amazon!), and then i'm going to try - and perceiver! - with rapid return.
Have to say i'm guilty of the same as Mimsy2000 - i lay awake for hours waiting for the patter of his feet, cos i know it's going to happen eventually and so get an even worse nights sleep because of it!

nw10liz Thu 11-Sep-08 13:25:42

Like you Impstersmom, I came to this site just because we have this problem.

We moved ds into dd's room a couple of months ago, and it was all fine. She is 3 and a half, he is 9 months now. At first she really liked having him there and was happy not to be sleeping on her own. But over the last 3 weeks she started acting up, and it all culminated in a terrible night last week where we did a form of rapid return. (However, I didn't know there was a term for it, and there was a hell of a lot of screaming and shouting from all of us, so clearly it wasn't done right).

Eventually she ended up sleeping on the naughty step - to her, this was preferable to returning to her own room. Very upsetting, and we removed ds from their room when we realised.

DS is now back in our room in a travel cot and she's got her room back. I'm not happy with this, as she has "won" the fight. However, I've just returned to work, she's starting "big" nursery soon and she's getting used to being at a childminder in the meantime, so clearly she's unsettled.

Question is - when we return ds to their room, how do we do rapid return without her waking him up as well?

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