My 20 month old DD was always a fantastic sleeper up until the last couple of months. She started waking up in the night and the only way I found to comfort her was to bring her downstairs for a cuddle on the settee. Over the last couple of months she has begun to scream the moment I put her in a cot bed and wakes frequently in the night, so I bring her down for a cuddle but she is taking longer and longer to settle. Last night she was awake at 10pm and I didn't get her back into bed until 3am. She was then awake at 4.15 so I brought her downstairs and for the first time I was so tired I fell asleep on the settee with her which I don't like as it's not the safest thing to do. I don't know where to start to try and put things right, as my husband helpfully pointed out as he went to bed I started this problem by taking her out of cot-bed and bringing her downstairs to comfort her in the first place. Any advice would be much appreciated, I feel like I'm on the verge of breaking.
Not to be flippant, but if he's so knowledgeable on root cause, then he should be in charge of her sleep. In all seriousness, please try not to get bound up in fault or blame. You want to reset her sleep so you could start by deciding what your limits are. For example, I couldn't do controlled crying so I might set up a mattress for me in DDs room to gently get her used to sleeping in her own bed. Then after a while remove it and start moving further away till eventually she was sleeping solo. All habits can be changed eventually.
Thank you - that was one of the techniques I was looking at, as I can't do controlled crying either. Preserving is a struggle when DD is upset I just want to pick her up, but being next to her should help. How long did it take you?
She's 20 months old so while she IS upset, it's probably because she's angry. Not getting her own way. Which obviously at this age comes out as tears.
Explain to her, no more going downstairs . If you are going to do gradual retreat tell her what will happen. At bedtime we will do bath, story , cuddle, into cot. Mummy will stay with you until you sleep. And stick to it. I did it with Ds1, different circumstances (I'd always fed to sleep) and I took ages over it as he was only just 1. But he didn't cry. I went very slowly, he took 75 minutes to fall asleep the first night with me leaning into the cot to reassure. But within a couple of months I was putting him in his cot and sitting outside for maybe 20 minutes while he fell asleep. It's well worth the time investment.
It sounds like your daughter will cry. A lot. But you will be right there next to her. Cuddle her over the bars if you want (I did)
My aim was for ds to need less reassurance to fall asleep. He had his favourite teddy which he cudoled and a music/lighshow. So it still took him 20 minutes to fall asleep but he could do it without my help.
We did night weaning, moving to own cot bed, and falling asleep without breastfeeding all at once (I do not recommend trying to achieve all this at once!). Started when DD was 14 months. Consistent sleeping through and anyone close to her can put her to bed achieved by 22 months. We went very slowly though.
there might be crying as you change the routine but remember you all need your sleep - could you start by lying down next to her cot and ignoring her and pretending you are going to sleep. She will cry but get bored and tired eventually and go to sleep.
The only other solution is co sleep - my 3 yr old still comes and climbs into bed with us every night and it doesn't bother me!
To begin with I think I will just have to lie there and hope she gets bored! I did consider co - sleeping but my husband is a very rough sleeper and also sleep walks so it would worry me he would accidently clobber DD with his arms in his sleep!
Merc I stood leaning into the cot patting, shushing, singing etc. Ds was only just 1 so a bit different. I'd suggest doing whatever it takes to settle her, if that's laying down next to the cot do that.
I did interact with ds bit on a low level. Hug over the bard, then "time to lay down, night night" etc. I didn't pick him up.
YOU DON'T KNOW that she would have continued to be a fantastic sleeper had you not started taking her out to comfort her. Neither does your DH. The causation could easily go the other way- she hit a rough patch sleep-wise, so you started comforting her. Correlation is not causation, and just because B happened after A does not mean that A caused B.
People like to think that there is some guaranteed secret to making all babies and toddlers sleep through the night all the time, but I don't think there is.