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Has our newborn broken our toddler's sleep?!

(5 Posts)
ExistentialistCat Fri 05-Nov-10 14:00:56

DD1 is 16 months old. Until recently, she slept for anywhere between 1 and 2 1/2 hours during the day and 12 hours at night, both with a minimum of fuss, give or take teething etc. It wasn't always so - we got there with help from a sleep clinic and much perseverance.

Cue DD2's arrival 6 weeks ago. Initially, all was fine. I could leave DD2 in a bouncer for the 10 minutes that it took to get DD1 off to sleep at nap times and bed times, or even do it with DD2 in a sling.

Then it all changed. Now DD1 won't go to sleep unless she is rocked and held. She screams blue murder otherwise and seems genuinely inconsolable.

On the one hand, I figure that this is a tricky time for DD1 and she doesn't have any other way of expressing it. On the other hand, this endless rocking is rather impractical and I'm really worried about it becoming a habit (this happened previously on holiday, and although we managed to rectify it back at home, it wasn't fun).

Another possibility that I'm wondering about is whether DD1 is moving towards dropping her nap (young as she is - she dropped her second nap at just 10 months), as she fights it so very hard and is really hard to settle at night when she has had a nap. She's missed her nap entirely a couple of times in the last week and, although she was clearly tired by the end of the day, she wasn't nightmareishly cranky or difficult to settle at bedtime.

So. Do I just keep rocking and do whatever it takes to get her to nap and to sleep at bedtime? Do I need to let her cry more so that she learns that this isn't the time to catch up on mummy cuddles? Or do I need to consider dropping her daytime nap altogether?

HeadFairy Fri 05-Nov-10 14:03:43

my ds dropped his daytime nap when dd was 6 weeks old (though he was older, 2.3). I guess a lot of it depends on how much you need that quiet time for yourself. Do you sleep in that time? I must admit I gave up trying to persuade ds to have his nap and just relished the fact that I could put him to bed so easily at night, and usually half an hour earlier too!

ExistentialistCat Sat 06-Nov-10 13:29:37


Just tried putting her down for her midday nap. Even though we were an hour late, she just sang and chirped at me. I'm going to experiment and see what happens over a few days if she doesn't have the nap at all. Wish me luck!

dycey Sun 07-Nov-10 06:02:52

Good luck! Watching w interest as sure we will head this direction soon

ExistentialistCat Sun 07-Nov-10 08:15:43

Well, that seemed to work for the first night. DD was pretty tired by late afternoon but not disintegrating, and she zonked out right away at bedtime and slept for 13 hours... We shall have to wait and see whether this is a sustainable pattern!

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