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Am I the only mother who has to sit by their LO's bed as they drop off to sleep (3.5 yrs) Is it a phase, how do I break it?

(21 Posts)
mumma2cjh Wed 27-Aug-08 09:12:34

My ds is 3.5years and for the past few months after stories I have to sit on a stool at side of bed whilst he messes about then eventually drops off to sleep.

He will not let me leave the room - there's tears, trantrums and fear. Ive tried rewards, charts, the lot Ive even said he can read books in bed until he drops off but its getting a huge habit.

I really want to stop it now

SparkyFartDust Wed 27-Aug-08 09:16:12

sure you have tried, but I used to say...'I need to go to loo/ get a cup of tea and I'll be back' and then keep increasing time away, she'd drop off sometimes and not. I just found I was getting bad tempered sitting there and that wasn't restful for either of us.

How about a new night light- or one of those that's also a torch?

NotSoRampantRabbit Wed 27-Aug-08 09:19:00

I sit with DS (3.2) until he falls asleep.

I don't really mind as it doesn't take long and gives me 10 mins to sit still and think impressive thoughts (like what to have for dinner, whether to watch or record X-Factor).

However, I am slowly moving from the side of his bed, to the chair, and eventually by the door. I aim to be comfortably positioned at the top of the stairs before the end of the year.

I just find the tantrums and tears far more draining that the sitting, and it is lovely watching him fall asleep.

Could you try the slow migration to the stairs?

Marne Wed 27-Aug-08 09:21:26

WE did slow migration to the stairs routine grin

It worked for us, i moved further away each night.

northender Wed 27-Aug-08 09:23:45

We've just progressed to the stairs with dd who's the same age. You're not on your own, good luck!

mumma2cjh Wed 27-Aug-08 09:32:01

I have tried but must admit not as much as I could....Ive discussed this with him and he has said its just that he likes me there. He said he will try when he goes back to pre-school. We are also going on hols next weeks so will give it a go when we get back. He has a torch and nightlight so its not a new thing.

I have tried the moving closer to the door but he cries and sometimes wants me to pat him down! Im trying NOT to do this as it will hinder the moving away as my arms arent that long!

I dont find it a huge problem, but can see it cold become one as it takes him sometimes 30-40 mins to drop off. Sometimes he will mess about in his bed for around 30mins before me getting cross and him crying and I threaten to leave the room and so eventually he settles and goes to sleep.

I think I am going to give it a go when we get back from hols and be strict and try not to make an issue out of it

mumma2cjh Wed 27-Aug-08 09:34:06

I have tried but must admit not as much as I could....Ive discussed this with him and he has said its just that he likes me there. He said he will try when he goes back to pre-school. We are also going on hols next weeks so will give it a go when we get back. He has a torch and nightlight so its not a new thing.

I have tried the moving closer to the door but he cries and sometimes wants me to pat him down! Im trying NOT to do this as it will hinder the moving away as my arms arent that long!

I dont find it a huge problem, but can see it cold become one as it takes him sometimes 30-40 mins to drop off. Sometimes he will mess about in his bed for around 30mins before me getting cross and him crying and I threaten to leave the room and so eventually he settles and goes to sleep.

I think I am going to give it a go when we get back from hols and be strict and try not to make an issue out of it

hazeyjane Wed 27-Aug-08 09:34:45

We have just progressed to the chair by the bed!

Dd is 2.5 and up until now has only gone to sleep with dh or me lying next to her in bed.

I've been reading the No Cry Sleep Solution, which has some good (gentle) suggestions. We have changed dd's bedtime routine, started using a cd of lullabys and stories, have given her a torch. So far (finger and everything crossed) bedtimes are a bit more peaceful.

I don't mind sitting there as long as it isn't for too long, so as soon as she starts playing we go, and say we will come back for her to sleep.

choosyfloosy Wed 27-Aug-08 09:39:11

It's only worth doing when you feel oppressed by having to sit there. We have just broken the habit this holidays (ds was 4.5 when we did it). It is an incredible relief to me to be free of having to sit there - it sometimes lasted 90 minutes. Now of course he is asleep within 10 mins! It took about 3 nights of him crying (the longest was 20 minutes, then about 2 minutes each) plus he still doens't like it and pleads for me to stay in a very upsetting way. Once he knows I'm not going to give in, he settles immediately... I'm very glad to have got this done before he starts full-time school, as I think he is going to get seriously tired and messing around at bedtime would make things much worse.

However, you and your partner both have to be absolutely sure you want to do it, despite crying - I waited until I was away for a week with ds, with other mums to support me and pour me a glass of wine (PFB alert).

mumma2cjh Wed 27-Aug-08 09:43:33

I am going to chat about it on holiday with him in a gentle way - dont want him to make it a "fear thing". Then when we get back want to start either going straight down or moving away.

thanks for advice its a huge relief knowing its not just me

Ds is 4.1 and one of us always stays with him, we just read (our own books!) 'till he drops off.

I try and see it as a bit of 'me' time (I hardly ever get the chance to read otherwise) and enjoy watching him drift off.

I know he probably won't want us there for that much longer, and once he does't it's not something we will ever get to go back to.

Some 'phases' that they go through can seem a liitle irritating at the time, but you have to try and enjoy them, good and bad, because they grow up so quickly, and then you find yourself wishing them small again so you can cuddle them to sleep!

(Sorry if this sounds a bit pat, it's just how I feel about it, if that's any help.

NotSoRampantRabbit Wed 27-Aug-08 09:46:41

Agree with hazeyjane - if ds starts faffing and playing I leave the room. I go back in after a minute or so and he usually just gets on with the business of sleep.

Not sure how we got here tbh - used to read stories and leave him happily twiddling his fingers til he fell asleep.

If he gets very upset when you move away slowly, and you really want to stop, you may have to go for something a bit more sudden. Whenever we have done anything like this with DS it has required:

A hardened heart (PFB alert here too)
A large bottle of red wine
A steely adherence to the rules of Rapid Return
An ability to go to one's 'happy place' and close ears to the wailing

Usually takes no more than 3 or 4 nights, and has always worked.

pucca Wed 27-Aug-08 09:47:25

Oh, i did this with dd, i had to sit there until she went asleep, in the end it was really bugging me as she would take ages and would just be messing about and talking.

I think i did it by moving further and further out of the room, then sitting outside the room, then end of.

I didn't do this at all with ds, i learnt my lesson grin

mumma2cjh Wed 27-Aug-08 09:48:45

where the wild things were...............
Just hit home to me what you said - you are SO RIGHT, I really never looked at it like that, I immediately feel sooooo much better about this!

NotSoRampantRabbit Wed 27-Aug-08 09:50:14

Having said that, I am much happier just sitting there. Agree with WTWTW - if you can see it as a bit of time for you, and enjoy the time with DS, then you can carry on as you are. Also, I think if you are genuinely relaxed and not bothered about sitting there, they fall asleep more readily. Before I accepted my fate I think ds knew I was desperate to leave and so played up a lot more.

hazeyjane Wed 27-Aug-08 10:39:03

Mumma, if you haven't read the book i mentioned, then you must have a look at it, it reads very much along the lines of what Wherethewildthingsare says, she really says that you have to find solutions that works for you as a family, be it cosleeping etc, but gives some very gentle and bendy (!) suggestions if you feel it is getting out of hand. Whenever we have a bad night with dd1 (we have quite a lot!) I read some of this book, and it makes me feel a lot happier (especially because I'm a bit rubbish when it comes to toughness, controlled crying etc!)

Glad that helped mumma2cjh smile

They grow up so fast......

minorbird Wed 27-Aug-08 11:17:17

Hi there, my DD (3.5 years) used to be like this, often I'd be sat there for around a hour sometimes, whilst she tossed and turned. Eventually I got so fed up, I decided to be firm and use a tinsy bit of bribery by telling her what she would be doing tommorrow if she went to bed like a good girl. (Ie: park, grannies, playdate etc...) Works a treat. Although she still has to have the light on - which I switch off later. grin

scattyspice Wed 27-Aug-08 16:24:43

I am trying to tackle this too (moving from bed to doorway). My 2 share a room so if I don't stay they muck about and keep each other awake!

sarah293 Wed 27-Aug-08 16:27:12

Message withdrawn

scattyspice Wed 27-Aug-08 16:30:43

hmm riven, thats a difficult one.
Alot of my DDs sleep problems come from wearing splints at night (til she was 2) for talipes (club foot) that ment she couldn't turn over and came off if she kicked too much!

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