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Help me get my 3 year old get to sleep by herself again!(8 Posts)
DD is nearly 3 1/2. She was a high needs baby who screamed a LOT and was always a dreadful sleeper till she was 2 when she suddenly started sleeping through (yay!). Since her baby brother was born in April her sleep has gone downhill again. We have waking in the night and early wakings but the main issue we have is that she now refuses to go to sleep on her own at bedtime almost every night. Our bedtime routine is rock solid, dinner, little play, bath, teeth, pjs, story, bed. She will usually let us say goodnight, turn off her light and close the door but she is now getting up within minutes and telling us she can't get to sleep. She will cry if we try and leave her to it, and this will just escalate until she's hysterical, so one of us (mainly dh) will lie on her floor or on her bed with her till she falls asleep.
What can we do/say to her to help her? We can't just leave her as she gets so upset, and it is proper sad crying not just playing us.
thanks Buttercupup, nice idea which I'm sure would work on some little ones but my dd would look at me as if I had 2 heads if I tried that. No chance! She has special toys who live in her bed only and we have managed to convince her to let us leave her for 10 minutes (by which time she was asleep) by giving her one of her much loved cuddly Disney princesses to keep her company. This rarely works though.
I could have written your post word for word! DD was a high needs baby, had to be held 24/7, a very poor sleeper she finally started sleeping nights at 2 yo but it still took me a while to get her to bed and slip out. Her brother was born in September, she moved into DH's bed while I was in hospital...and has stayed there since (she is 3.5yo now). I have no idea what the solution might be! We keep reminding her that she could go back to her own bed but have left the choice to her as she seems extremely stressed by the possibility. She'll grow out of it at some point I suppose!
At least I'm not alone then! You are right of course, they won't need us forever
Not sure if this will help you, but is it possible to leave the room door open a tad? Perhaps she is scared of something?
Earlier this year (and soon after his little sister was born, though I'm not sure if it's related), my then 19 month old starting suffering separation anxiety. I discovered, completely by accident, that leaving the door ajar helped stop the bedtime distress. After putting my son in his cot, I went downstairs to get my newborn from hubby, so I could feed her while I sat in DS' room. I left the door slightly open, and by the time I got back upstairs he was doing his usual pre-sleep chattering, so I left him to it.
Perhaps the door was some kind of a psychological separation, and he felt more secure/less distanced from us when it was open. More light filtering in may have helped too (blackout blinds and curtains in his room).
May be worth a try, if safe to leave the door open for your LO ...?
We used a sticker chart at 3 1/2 to stop this very problem. We wrote up a list of "rules" together and if she stuck to them we gave her a star, 5 stars earned a treat.
We found staying in the room progressively less worked best for out little one.
We'd start out sitting in with her until she was settled, lying down ect. Then make an excuse to leave for a bit and tell her we'd be back! For example, "mummy's just going for a wee" "I need to blow my nose" "I'm just going to put the washing on" kind of stuff! We'd always go back so she was happy for us to go, except we'd leave it longer and longer before returning, until quite often she was asleep by the time we did.
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