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Can anyone with older children please give me your ideas on this sleep issue?

(10 Posts)
BranchingOut Sun 07-Aug-11 11:56:29

Hi, I have posted a thread in sleep and would love some input from experienced parents.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/sleep/1274873-Self-settling-for-a-toddler-22m-will-transition-to-a-bed-help-In-fact-help-wanted-generally

RosemaryandThyme Sun 07-Aug-11 19:02:44

Hello
Have read your post and can sympathise ( I have 6, 4 and 2 year old children).
You perhaps wont be ready to accept this reply now but it is sent with experiance and kindness - you are faffing about too much with getting your babe to sleep, all the faffing is giving the message that babe can't just lay down and fall asleep, it is teaching babe that stroking, rocking lullabys, etc etc are needed to fall asleep, if you keep going in this way by the time babe is three you will be up and down the stairs with drinks, extra stories, kissing every teddy, wee time, poop time and still going with stroking lulabys etc etc and you will be so exhausted.
I think you should cut out all the time-wasting tinkering, have a nice routine, tea, play, bath, story, pop into nornal toddler bed (22 months you really do not need cot-sides) night-night, lights out leave room.
If babe crying/coming out of the room, then follow the super-nanny back to bed technique.
Job done
No more faffing

AandK Sun 07-Aug-11 19:13:00

I have read your post too and I have to say I agree with Rosemary

DO NOT LIE ON THE BED WITH HIM

I would sit next to him every night and read to him but never on the bed maybe next to it so he can see the pictures.

and then leave him but I would have a night light for him as long as its a very low watt bulb.

My 9yo still has a 12w bulb in his lamp.

I would then also follow the supernanny technique too and no a 22 month old doesn't need sides on his bed my son was in his own bed at 15months (he could climb out of his cot, he was walking at 10 months, crazy energetic toddler lol). I just put a few extra pillows on the floor in case he fell out. grin

jocie Sun 07-Aug-11 19:46:31

hi, i have a 5 yr old and a nearly 3 yr old. my eldest ds1 was in his cot bed with sides on until nearly 3 amd then went into a toddler bed (hemmed in ny wall wardobes, drawer units and a bed guard) and never once tried to climb out of his cot (had a grobag type thing on) and very rarely tried to get out of his bed! he also slept quite well unless ill. my nearly 3 yr old ds2 perfected climbing out of the cotbed whilst still in his gobag at just over 2!! He never once fell and was able to do it fairly silently!! We have taken the sides off and as long as he doesnt have a sleep in the day will stay in bed and drop off within 15 mins, however...... if he does sleep in the day then we spend ages doing the rapid return technic. incedently ds1 was encouraged to settle himself from very early on (bout 9 months) whereas ds2 found it very difficult and needed to be rocked etc. Whether how we got them to sleep has caused the now problems or whether ds2 is just a bad sleeper im not sure. ( apparantly i never slept through the night until i went to school at age 4 and was so exhausted i just flopped every night!!) I have a feeling thst ds2 takes after me, hey ho!
sooooooo not really any proper advice but would say to weigh up whether you can 'fight' now to get them to self settle or whether you just want to do what it takes for now and hope that they grow out of it. ( when they're teens we'll be fighting for them to get OUT of bed instead of into it!!!

BranchingOut Mon 08-Aug-11 13:59:06

Thanks for the responses - and the kindness Rosemary & T.

Yes, looking back at my list I can see it seems quite 'faffy' - I was probably not necessarily intending to do all of them, just that these were my ideas.

I definitely agree that my eventual target is 'good night' and lights out, but am probably looking for an intermediate step to get there.

He does have quite a good routine already. Change (bath if having one that night), into nightclothes, toothbrush, calm down with some books then to sleep (with a bfeed). I am fairly 'attachment' based in my parenting style, however he has almost always slept in a cot and went into his own room from nine months. I have been quite happy bf to sleep and I think the fact that he sleeps through is also a good sign - if he wakes in the night he usually re-settles himself within a minute or so.. However, I know that if I were to then just pop him in the cot without any preamble he would be horrified and just stand there totally frantic. sad

Re the cot sides - I am not too worried about him falling out as the drop is small, though he does sometimes sleep pressed up against the bars. I thought that the small bed-guard might discourage wandering!

A night light is a good idea. Or possibly leaving the door open?

What do you think would be a good intermediate step from where I am now to where I want to be?

Iggly Mon 08-Aug-11 17:06:32

DS is 22 months and we've just put him in a low bed. We use foam bed guards because he fell out in the night loads and got quite upset (he sleeps through). He can get out easily though!

Routine is milk, story, teeth then I BF if I'm home and pop into bed and say night night. If he's unsettled I'll stay for a bit lying him down then once he calms down I can leave. However since being in a bed Ive had to stay in the room with him, laying him down although he settles much better the less I interact with him. As he gets used to the bed I'll be able to go back to leaving him while he's awake.

We don't use a night - he's not bothered by the dark.

I suspect we're probably attachment style parents to some degree - I'm not happy leaving him to cry (have left him to shout though!)

BranchingOut Mon 08-Aug-11 18:13:56

Thanks Iggly.

When you say 'lying him down' do you mean something like 'pick up put down' (eg. making him lie down even though he might be crying) or do you mean sort of lying your body next to him?

I had ordered the bed guard anyway and it arrived from Amazon today, so it does sound from your experience that it is a good idea.

AngelDog Mon 08-Aug-11 20:50:46

I don't think you've missed the boat on encouraging self-settling. Have you read Elizabeth Pantley's No-Cry Sleep Solution for toddlers & pre-schoolers? Much better than the baby one IMO. Her surveys suggest that 90% of bf toddlers fall asleep feeding at least once a night, many most nights, so it's very common.

Not self-settling is only a problem if it's a problem for you. But I bf my 19 m.o. to sleep for every nap / night and intend to continue for as long as it works! wink He sleeps on a mattress on the floor with no guards.

Iggly Mon 08-Aug-11 21:06:28

No I lie him down and rub his back. If he gets up I'll give him a cuddle then lay down again and say night night. I'll say less as time goes on then try and leave. If he sounds upset I'll go back.

2kidsintow Mon 08-Aug-11 23:24:49

My two are 6 and 10 and they slept beautifully until the moment they could stand. From that stage on, no matter how awake or drowsy they were when they were put down in their cot, they would stand and scream if they were left. We couldn't do too much of the ignoring that some people suggest, because a) it felt wrong and b) they would scream until they were physically sick.

I seem to remember introducing quiet music- (I had a lovely freebie sleep CD from a pregnancy magazine with classical and nursery rhyme tune music, overlaid with a lulling heartbeat that would risk me dropping off before they did!) and quietly laying them back down whenever they got up in their cot - my version of supernannies "escort them back to bed", I suppose.

I would put my hand through the bars of the cot to rub their back and sit on the floor next to them in the near dark (landing light left on and door half shut) and move a little further away. It was a nightmare. Our house is relatively old and has creaky floorboards that sound REALLY loud when trying to sneak out when my DD was finally dropping off.

Good luck. It is a tricky stage. A little bit like potty training, you will one day suddenly realise that you are through the difficult part and will look back and not be entirely sure when it clicked or what you did!!

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