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dont know what to do. going insane with our 23 month daughter

(14 Posts)
munchkin1 Tue 30-Aug-11 20:45:00

Our daughter is 23 months. She will be two in three weeks. I think she is going through the terrible two's at the moment .The problem we have is her sleeping. She wants one of us to sit next to her Cot till she falls asleep. this got far too worse a couple of weeks ago . We use to sit down and wait till she fell asleep and if we leave her room when she is fast asleep, If not she would scream the house down and get her sick. So I or my partner would sit next to her cot and when she dosed off we quietly got up and shut her own bedroom door and would go out. We also got her favourite juice next to her cot. This was another mistake we made in giving her juice before she would sleep. She would cry out for this saying JUICE, JUICE and we would give this to her. To this date we still do this routine and it’s the biggest mistake we have done as now she is getting up three to four times a night and expecting us to be next to her while she sleeps. I and my partner are having sleepless nights due to this as she keeps waking up and calling us. If we do not go into her room and sit next to her she will scream and scream for hours till she gets herself sick. She would also fling herself to the floor crying. This would go on for awhile. She really throws up as well each time.

So my partner or me would go and sit in the room three or four times a night every time she is awakes and sits next to her cot. This is taking the toll on us and with work next day we are both getting sleep deprivation and very tired next day.

Can I just say we only did this routine to stop her crying and getting herself to an awful state where she would go bright red and get sick? Her current bedtime routine is that she wakes up at around 6.30 am. She then goes for an hour and a half nap at 11.30am. She has a dinner at 5.30pm and then she goes to bed at 7.00pm. She then wakes up at 11.30 screaming for juice, she then again wakes up at 1.30am at night and 3.00am at night asking us to stay in the room with her.

We have made a bad mistake of giving her juice and giving into her to stay next to her each time she wakes up.

We really won’t to get out of this routine.

Has anyone gone through this and can anyone give us some advice in how to tackle this please as we both are going insane. All we want is our daughter to have a smooth sleep and us not waking up through out the night. Please advise us with any suggestions or methods we could try.

Haberdashery Tue 30-Aug-11 21:10:53

Couldn't you just take her into bed with you? At least then you would get some sleep. Also, please don't give her juice at night - it is really bad for her teeth. If she won't have water to start with then water it down bit by bit or try milk.

thisisyesterday Tue 30-Aug-11 21:16:39

firstly i would cut out the juice. give her water or nothing. if she complains be strong! juice is really bad for her teeth through the night.

then I think you have 2 options. you can either take the easy way: sleep in her room, or bring her in with you until she is old enough to be able to go to sleep herself in her own room
or take the harder way which is to do some kind of controlled crying where you basically leave her to cry until she "learns" that you don't come.

personally i would do the first one. she is just a baby and she needs you there to feel secure. when she is a bit older she'll be more capable of understanding that it's ok to sleep in her own bed, and that if she wakes you can settle her without her needing to scream and cry.

Treats Tue 30-Aug-11 21:18:41

Only sympathies to offer - our 23 month old daughter has also just started 'requiring' us to be there while she falls asleep so I know how it is - not as extreme as yours though.

the only thing I can suggest is that you go into her when she wakes and say "Night night littlemunchkin, it's time to go to bed", put her back in and leave. Repeat until exhaustion (hers) sets in. You'll need to repeat a number of times before the lesson sinks in, so be prepared.

Agree that you've got to stop the juice. Cut that out first and then follow through on the rest.

Good luck.

Petesmum Tue 30-Aug-11 21:28:17

I second the don't give her juice. I'd work towards giving her just water though you may need to water down her juice over time. Then gradually reduce the amount of water you give her. I did something similar with DS to get him off his night feed.

Can totally sympathise with you on the sitting there till your DD falls asleep. We got into the same mess with DS blush o can't tell you how many times I woke up slumped against his cot with my arm stuck through the bars. It got easier once we got him to sleep through & not wake up for a drink (see comments above) also getting rid of his dummy helped as he didn't wake up screaming for it (Santa swapped dummies for presents!!) and finally we started sitting slightly further away each night until we reached the door, then we sat on the landing & gradually inched the door closed. In all honesty it did take ages to sort the problem out and more patience than I ever thought I had but it was a good lesson in not holding baby in your arms every night till it fell asleep. I won't make the same mistake with the next one!

Good luck!

choceyes Tue 30-Aug-11 21:28:42

My 2.9yr old DS also wakes up at night wanting us. He used to co-sleep with us till 21 months till our DD was born and shortly after that went into his own bed, but still requires us to be there with him. He usually wakes up at around 2am (i think anwway, not looked at clock for a long time) and my DH goes in and sleeps the rest of the night in his toddler bed (big enough for an adult too). and that works for us.

I think it is entirely normal for a child to not want to sleep alone in a room on their own. A lot of adults won't like to, so why do we expect it of a small child?

But if co-sleeping is not for you (and I realise that a lot of people don't), then there are gentle ways of reassuring them at night. the book No Cry Sleep Solution might be of help.

choceyes Tue 30-Aug-11 21:31:23

Just wanted to add that we also tend to sit in DS's bedroom till he falls asleep if he wants us to (sometimes, not every night). I have a book light which i use to read a book sitting at the end of his bed, so I'm not doing nothing and get some reading done! and DH checks his e-mail and goes on the net on his phone, if it is his turn!

WynkenBlynken Wed 31-Aug-11 08:25:49

I agree that you need to stop the juice, offer water or milk instead.

My DD1 went through a phase like this just before she was two. The only thing that helped her was putting her in a big girl bed. I think she was feeling trapped in the cot and the first night in her new bed was the end of the screaming and me crawling out her room on all fours! She loved it and it broke the habit as there was something new to focus on.

Just a thought, I know kids are all different but maybe this could also be the issue here?

Octaviapink Wed 31-Aug-11 11:49:36

Definitely ditch the juice. Bad for her teeth and it's a load of sugar you're giving her which will wake her up. Not what you want! It shouldn't be replaced with milk, either - that's just as bad for teeth.

We also made the move to a 'big girl bed' around two years old and it was great. Get a stairgate for her bedroom though - you don't want her wandering around.

Iggly Wed 31-Aug-11 15:45:55

Stop the juice! Give water. I'm just repeating what everyone else is saying wink

Also DS is a similar age and we stay with him until he sleeps. He seems to need us which is fine - he's had these phases before which pass. He's occasionally waking once a night needing us recently so again we stay with him. The nights are getting cold so make sure it's not that.

I also have my suspicions that his teeth are bothering him (mainly that he chews his fingers a lot) which could be an issue?

Octaviapink Thu 01-Sep-11 13:13:27

Just to add that we also had to stay with DD from about 12 months (when she started nursery and was miserable for ages) up until she was about 20 months, I think. I think it's normal.

MagnumIcecreamAddict Thu 01-Sep-11 21:27:54

I only had 7.5 months of sleep deprivation (so far, DS 14 months) and don't know how I'd have coped if it had carried on so I'm all admiration for how you're managing to work too.

I think you know you have to ditch the juice and you could either increasingly dilute it each night or go cold turkey. Once she's not getting the sugar buzz she may wake up less anyway.

Gradual withdrawal (moving your chair a little further from the cot each night) probably the kindest way to go, maybe with a star chart or other reward for being a big girl?

Not saying there's a book out there that'll fix things but I did find this incredibly helpful, particularly the online sleep forum with advice from mentors.

Wish you the very best of luck.

munchkin1 Wed 07-Sep-11 20:27:41

Thanks for all the nice comments everyone We have now stopped giving juice at night and this has had a great improvement on her behaviour and sleep . We have also bought a night light and changed the cot into a bed. She loved this and does not now feel trapped in the cot. She feels more confident and feels like a big girl to sleep in cot with duvet over her.

We are now giving her only water at night and she is waking up only once to drink this. She is less demanding juice now and has a couple of sips of water at night

We are reading her a book before bedtime and she likes this and she gets sleepy after a while. After this we say to her goodnight and distance ourselves from the bed for a while staying close. We then moved away further and further away from the cot and this has worked. She does not demand us to be right next to her now.

At night she wakes up but we reassure her that we are close to her and say “daddy and mummy are here”. She then just goes back to sleep. This has really worked and it’s a miracle. Last four days we have had not to wake up once. Whatever we have done has worked and we are very happy it has worked. A lot of the ideas we used are from here. We combined everything and adopted to suit our daughter and us. e.g not giving juice, distance technique and reassurance. We also changed her daytime routine into 1 hour sleep and she is very comfortable with this.

We are shocked how quickly this has worked. Many thanks to the lovely advice we received. We are truly grateful to you all. Happy parents now and less sleepless nights.

InmaculadaConcepcion Wed 07-Sep-11 20:49:39

How lovely to read of such a quick and relatively painless improvement! Sleep deprivation sucks and it's great to hear you and your OH (and LO) are all getting decent Zs again.

Long may it continue smile

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