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Please help! Our DD1 (2), has suddenly decided after 2 years that she doesn't want to go to bed or sleep at all. She wakes in the night constantly. After 2 months we sought advice. We now put her in bed, stroke her once, walk out. She instantly follows and this is then repeated for 3-6 hours. We are on night 3 and no improvement. Anyone done this with success.
Luckily this didn't happen with us, but I think at this age we had a baby gate on her door - however, if she woke and didn't re-settle, I tended to get her out of bed and do something else for a little while and then put her back to bed.
Thanks Beamur, baby gate sounds like a plan. I certainly couldn't shut the door on her.
We have had a baby gate on the door way to DS's room forever, the side came off of his clothed when he was 25 months old. We have just been starting to leave it open the last month (he is 2 years 11 months) to teach him the responsibility of not having it: but at this age we think he is ready.
His room is child proofed and he has a few toys in there (can't hurt himself or do any damage). The approach (ie whe baby gate was closed) was that I didn't mind whether he stayed awake and played (and didn't cause a fuss) - he always went to sleep eventually (may spend an hour playing).
You might want to take a gentle approach with the baby gate. When you first out it up, sit just inside it. Insist that she stays in bed (you will leave if she doesn't) and stay until she is asleep. Then, after she is used to this (3/4 nights), sit just outside the baby gate. Again insist that she stays in bed (otherwise you will go), but give her reassurance that you are there (I used to shush after saying, a couple of times "mummy is here"). Then after a week, move a bit further away. Then creep to your bedroom maybe (again verbal assurance). Then you are hopefully away... That is the approach that I used anyway: firm, but gentle and reassuring - lots of patience and little steps on my part, but it worked
Good ideas from QTP - if she's not been used to one, it could take a little gentle introduction first.
I used one as soon as I changed DD from her cot to a cot bed because I was worried about DD wandering about in the dark, but she really liked the gate and used to close it behind her when she played in her room, it made it her own little space. She cried and cried when we took it down!
Personally I'm wasn't keen on using tactics where DD got worked up and upset - it just seemed to take even longer to get her to sleep - but I do realise it works for some people.
I definitely agree with Beamur - we try to keep things gentle and reassuring at bedtime. I am firm, but gently so. He knows that I am always there for him, but he also knows that it is bedtime and I don't do messing around.
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