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Feel like a failure as cannot get Ds (2) to sleep without laying down with him...please tell me I am not a terrible mother....have been in tears tonight...

(66 Posts)
ohnowhatnext Sun 12-Oct-08 21:34:26

Posteda little while ago about Ds and his new habit of throwing himself out of his cot, well took peoples advice and he now has a bed but he will not sleep in it!! Have put a duvet down next to it which he sleeps on.

Have had a few HORRENDOUS nights where DS is not going to sleep until 9 or 10 at night despite myself and dp doing everything we can to 'exhaust' him in the day and also not allowing him a nap (he had pretty much dropped a daytime nap anyway). Also he has been waking so often in the night that for sanitys sakes we have been taking it in turns to bed down next to him.

Well tonight we decided to be a bit firmer and did not 'bed down' with him but every five or ten minutes one of us would go in and without interacting pop him nack on the duvet. Well that was a complete disaster as he became increasingly 'hysterical' and in culminated in him throwing himself against the furniture and he was drenched in sweat to the point where I was really worried about his wellbeing.So yet again I layed down next to him til he dropped off. Sigh.

I have since been in ntears because I just feel like I am not doing things 'right' or maybe if I was a better or more competent mother we coulod get him off to bed in a reasonable fashion. But he is only just two and obviously the technique of consistently putting him back to bed is not going to work if he is going to physically injure himself, that just doesn't sit well with me despite what I have seen on supernanny!

Am I expecting too much? What age can you begin to implement a strict routine? I should add that he nearly threw himself over the stairgate this evening he was so worked up and we dont have the room to put one up in his doorway.

Any advice, reassurance very much appreciated.

emkana Sun 12-Oct-08 21:36:50

You are not a bad mum, on the contrary you are a fantastic mum, because you give your son the love and security and nurturing that he obviously needs. He will go to bed "properly" when he is ready for it, and the more you are by his side the quicker he will learn it.

first of all, you need to figure out why this is so important to you. Is it because you feel that this is the correct way of doing things and if you do it differently you are doing it wrong?

Or is it because you really do need him to settle himself?

I still sit with ds till he falls asleep, he's 3.

Either me or dp still gets in dd2's bed with her and stays till she's really deeply asleep. She's 4.

It's whatever suits your family, if your lad needs a bit of extra settling and you are okay with it, then just go with it.

You may have gathered that I don't actually have any advice on how to stop staying with them as we haven't got to that stage yet. Dd1 just never seemed to care whether we were there or not so have no experience.

Good luck
xx

lisad123 Sun 12-Oct-08 21:39:53

oh sweetie, been there, they can go all night! cheeky buggers
I would soend a few more nights bedding down if you can, then slowly move away everynight, till your by the door and then edge out of it. HTH but holding your hand and handing u a tea

Howlingbellyofbeelzebub Sun 12-Oct-08 21:39:58

You have my sympathies, we have been through this with both dd's. For us, gradual withdrawal worked. At first we sat up in the bed but didn't lie down next to them, next sat on the floor next to them holding hands, then sat other side of the room etc until you're out of the door! I think going from lying down with him to expecting him to fall asleep on his own is too much. The way we did it is a long slow process, and normally with some tears at each change of stage but it does work in time - I'm currently at sitting on the other side of the rooom with dd2 (2.5) but 6 months ago she had only ever fallen asleep breastfeeding with me lying next to her so we've come along way smile Hang in there.

BeheadedHereNow Sun 12-Oct-08 21:42:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CaptainKarvol Sun 12-Oct-08 21:45:07

I don't know if this will be reassuring or not.

My son is 2.7, DH or I lay down beside his toddler bed each night while he falls asleep. I withdraw my attention, but not my physical presence, and that seems to work for us.

I get up in the night when he wakes and sleep next to him in the spare bed. As you say, for sanity's sake.

He has slept through maybe half a dozen times ever.

I have gone through stages of feeling like crap about this. Especially when I see / hear comments about how you are 'doing your child no favours' by not 'teaching them to settle themselves'.

But I truely believe DS was not trainable without serious damage to his - I dunno - peace of mind? Emotional well being?

They are all different. I had to close my ears to other people's opinions in the end, and just do what gets me through. My DS is lovely, btw. Sensitive, funny, active. Just a rubbish sleeper. Maybe you have one the same? Oh, and I was like this as a child too, and I survived to adulthoodsmile

Tommy Sun 12-Oct-08 21:48:01

DH or I lie next to DS2 and sing him to sleep - he is 5. I don't have a problem with it at all - in fact, it's a nice time to spend with him.

I'm sure he won't want us to do it when he's 13.

Agree with squonk - think about why you want to change it. If it's just because you think you should then don't worry about it

whomovedmychocolate Sun 12-Oct-08 21:48:17

I don't know how old he is but we went through this with DD (now 2) and it passes. If they are feeling sick, scared, confused or just downright arsey they will find it hard to settle - like anyone but eventually they find a way.

I was happy to lie down with DD till she learnt to let me sit in the chair and then I would just go next door and let her hear me doing things and then eventually something just clicked into place and now she waves, says 'night, night', turns over and expects me to close the door and go downstairs.

Which isn't to say she doesn't call me if she's scared or upset, but mostly I don't hear a peep till the next morning now (good bloody job as we had another baby in the interim!)

Hang in there, he will find his own way to settle in time. You are not a bad parent because you care enough to want him to be happy.

mollythetortoise Sun 12-Oct-08 21:49:09

i laid down with my dd now 5 till she was about 3 and could understand better about going to bed etc.. it took about 15-20 mins then i'd go downstairs. I do the same with my ds now and expect to keep doing it till he's about 3 but would do it longer if necessary. I don't see it as a big deal.. it is less time consuming than constantly up and down stairs all night and he falls asleep happy. really , don't stress about it, it's no big deal and won't be necessary forever.. he does sometimes wake so I just go up, lie down again and within 30 secs he is asleep again..

ohnowhatnext Sun 12-Oct-08 21:50:24

Hello again,

scaryhalloween you are right to ask the question, why do I need him to settle on his own, and i think the main reasons are fear (of 'spoiling' him/ creating an 'uncontrollable' child etc etc- loads of feras and silly stuff about getting things wrong for him) and secondly because I have been feeling really low recently and desperately need those few hours in the evening to try to relax (as i am sure millions of parents do sad.

I adore my ds and have enjoyed him virtually 100%, even the newborn waking every few hours scenario was nothing like this, I think because DS was such a 'good' baby and I felt like I was meeting his needs, getting it right basically.

Thanks for all the replies it REALLY helps...

Orinoco Sun 12-Oct-08 21:52:20

Message withdrawn

TheBlonde Sun 12-Oct-08 21:52:34

This is totally normal

I ended up doing rapid return when I could take it no more
Now DS is 3.5 and half them time I have to lie down with him as he wants cuddles

My two settle within quarter of an hour when I'm there with them, so I actually get more time to myself downstairs on my own with a bottle glass of wine than I would if I tried to get them to self-settle.

If you are happy to give it a go, try and relax into staying with him till he's fast asleep and before too long, he will realise that you are staying and fall asleep almost straight away.

Then the rest of the evening is yours grin

MadamDeathstare Sun 12-Oct-08 21:56:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

popadopalis Sun 12-Oct-08 21:57:25

You are definately not a bad mum. Iwth my first I went through a similar experience and I got myslef really worked up because everyone was telling me what I ought to be doing and telling me things like, I'd constantly have her in my bed or me in her room or she'd never manage to sleep. I was an emotional wreck a lot of the time until I gave in and did it her way and she got herself into the right pattern when I stopped getting so stressed about it. With my ds I told everyone I was doing it my way regardless of what anyone else sais, and they said A LOT! He has been in my bed from day one and only last week did I put him in his own cot all night and in his own room. He's nearly 11 montsh old. He was breast fed whenever he liked as he was in bed with me. He took a couple of nights of upset but not anything like dd used to do and he is perfectly happy. I say, do what works for you and your family and DON'T let anyone tell you they know better. YOU are the expert and that's all that matters. Trust your instincts and don't worry. I very much that by the time he's eighteen he's not gong to be in bed with you or you sleeping on his bedroom floor. Good luck,

Spero Sun 12-Oct-08 21:58:13

I find it really hard to accept that a child who spends the day in a warm loving home, who is well fed, played with, cuddled, loved etc, etc will suffer serious emotional/developmental damage if left to cry at bed time.

Sometimes my daughter screams and begs me to come back. I carry on walking away because those two hours between 8-10 are the only hours in the day i get to myself and I want them. I don't think that makes me a bad mother or my daughter a damaged child. After five minutes of screaming she is asleep and sleeps thru.

If you don't enjoy a long bed time routine of patting, singing, laying down etc, I don't think there is any reason you should have to go through it. a child might scream, might even make himself sick but it won't last for ever and from what I've read/seen on super nanny about sleep training, it does seem to work quite quickly.

I know some parents find it really hard when their child cries and gets into a state but I guess you've just got to balance that against how stressed/unhappy the bed time routine makes you. you are still important, your health and happiness matter.

mollythetortoise Sun 12-Oct-08 22:00:13

i did this with my dd for 3 years and she most definately is NOT spolit or uncontrollable in any way. Please don't think you're spoiling your ds by settling him to sleep at night. My dd has always enjoyed sleeping and goes to bed with no problems now and I think that is because she has good sleep associations (that it is a nice thing to do etc) and so I've chosen to do the same thing with my ds.. I know evenings are precious , i work 4 days a week so my evenings are v precious too but actually it takes up less of my evening than up down up down stairs constantly or listening to tears.. they are both bed at 7pm and I am back down again by half past at latest.

Incidentally, I treat the time I am putting them to bed as "me" time.

I read them a story, then I get into dd2's bed and read my book. ds falls asleep in his bed, dd2 cuddles up and falls asleep and I've read a chapter or two.

I don't faff with them.

jollydo Sun 12-Oct-08 22:01:18

Agree with Squonk and others. It took me until ds1 was 3 to realise that it was easier and better for us and him if we lay down next to him until he was asleep, and didn't worry about how long it would go on for and should we wean him off it, etc.
He is now 4 1/2, and it takes him about 5 mins to go to sleep with one of us there, and then the rest of the evening is ours.
I think we are given this idea early on, that we MUST get dcs to settle themselves as soon as possible, and we don't question whether that is actually important to us.
(With ds2, we have never bothered trying. I cuddle him to sleep every night, and it's a lovely part of the day.)

AccidentalMum Sun 12-Oct-08 22:05:52

You are not a bad mother! Not qualified to judge, but you sound lovely smile.

I stay with DD1 (3.1) until she drops off some of the time now but DD2 (nearly 1) has gone straight to sleep in her bed since about 4 months old (not co-sleeping up to then being for mad people wink). Now I am a bad mother! DH stays with DD1 until she sleeps usually....we are coming to the end of sort of instinctive gradual withdrawl ...there is hope!

DH started a thing where you talk about a nice subject in a simple way with DD1 (usually foods she likes or parties) to wind her down, then you say you have to go and do something boring and she is to have lovely dreams.

AccidentalMum Sun 12-Oct-08 22:06:58

PS. My friend is an Child Psycologist and her DD sets up bed on the landing most nights smile

Spero Sun 12-Oct-08 22:14:30

I really, really wish I could learn the secret of how to treat reading Goodbye Mog or Make way for the sodding ducklings as 'me' time. But I fear is beyond me.

Tryharder Sun 12-Oct-08 22:16:58

Totally agree with others on here. Am not going to say anything new really but what's wrong with laying down with your DS until he sleeps??!

It's all the fault of bloody supernanny and her ilk that mothers in this country feel they "have to" sleep train their children. I always lay down with my DS1 when he went to bed when he was younger (he's 4 now)and now he goes to bed by himself without any fuss. So that's a big 2 fingers to all those who said I was making a rod for my own back, told me my son would still be sleeping with me when he was 18....shock

FWIW, I think most forms of sleep training are unkind (my personal opinion, others may totally disagree and i respect that). As adults, we don't like to sleep alone so why should babies/young children?

Stinkyfeet Sun 12-Oct-08 22:17:32

I agree with the poster who suggested Gradual Withdrawal. It worked for both of mine, although they were younger than this.

Expect it to take a while (a few weeks perhaps), but it's much less stressful than controlled crying, and works in the end.

Good luck smile

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