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2 yo suddenly incapable of self-settling (and I need my husband back/dinner)

(8 Posts)
DitaVonCheese Mon 13-Dec-10 21:06:14

What is going on? Until a couple of weeks ago, DD was brilliant at going off to sleep by herself. We'd do dinner/bath/book then turn off one light, leave a dim one on, and she'd read to herself for a bit and then just go to sleep.

Suddenly she just will not go to sleep without DH being there. He is up there now waiting for her to drop off and I am starving (suspect he is too). If he tries to go then she becomes completely hysterical - we're very definitely of the no-cry persuasion, plus she's recently started making herself sick when she cries a lot, so we're slightly held hostage by that anyway.

Tonight we've tried shunting everything forward a bit in case she was overtired but no difference except her being a lot calmer during the bath/nappy section of the evening. She had a good nap, about 90 min, from 1.30-3 pm.

She did start pre-school about a month ago but has settled in really well - now asks to go on days when she isn't due to. Can't think of anything else which might have disrupted her though she has been generally more stroppy/tantrummy of late (assumed it was the terrible twos kicking in).

Is this just developmental or is there something we can do? I can hear DH whimpering on the baby monitor

MummyStressedtoMax Tue 14-Dec-10 00:25:23

Hi Dita, reading your message has just saved my sanity - in the nicest possible way!! DH & I were beginning to think it was only us experiencing this!!

DS is 2yrs 3mths & has always been a great sleeper. He went into a big bed from the cot aged 1yr & has slept virtually perfectly in it ever since... until about 2mths ago & now is going for it big time confused! We think he had a bad dream (although we don't know what he could possibly have nightmares about??) as he woke in the middle of the night back at the start of this in a terrible state, shaking & crying & calling for mummy & daddy & ever since has refused point blank to go into his bed. We found initially that putting him down in his buggy with a favourite dvd (bad i know but it helped!) & all his usual comforters helped & he would sleep through quite happily in his room, so we know its nothing in the room that's the issue. However, for the past 10days absolutely nothing but falling asleep with mummy or daddy will help & the minute you try to move away from him he wakes in such a state that it takes forever to calm him again. We have tried everything we can think of, including making up the spare bed with DS choosing his fave bedding & calling it the "magic sleepytime bed" & are now at that stage where we just don't know what else to do. It is now 5 past midnight, I had been in the bedroom with him since 7:30 (usual bedtime) & now DH has had to go in to take over as I'm completely frazzled. We, the same as you obviously have no time together, even to just sit & have a glass of wine would be nice!!!

Aside from this sleep issue DS is otherwise an extremely happy, confident child so having real difficulty understanding why this is happening??

Can anybody please offer any advice to an exhausted mummy who is now feeling utterly useless??!!

Dita, really hope your situation improves asap, at least I hope it may help knowing you're not alone in it !! Good luck! x

MummyStressedtoMax Tue 14-Dec-10 00:39:43

Oh wonderful.... all had gone quiet so went in to check on DS & both he & DH are asleep now - typical or what?! Great.. so much for a glass of wine together think I'll just have his as well as mine...!!

nubbins Tue 14-Dec-10 10:33:12

We solved the problem with my DD when she was 2.6 by moving her bed so she could see out of the door and pottering around upstairs and going in and out of her room giving lots of praise when she stayed put. It didn't take too long to have an effect. Now we just tuck her in and go downstairs.

I know how you feel, my dh spent many evening asleep on her floor before i insisted i wanted him back.

good luck!

DitaVonCheese Tue 14-Dec-10 12:09:34

Hello stressedmummy - it is nice to know we're not alone but sorry you're going through this too!

DH eventually came down at about half nine, extremely stressed. I've offered to do tonight's settling (usually don't do it because I'm still bfing and if I'm there she just wants to nurse) and dreading it slightly. Ended up looking at hypnosis CDs online last night!

Thanks Nubbins. Think I'm going to try some pottering this evening as well as a kind of version of PUPD (not that I've ever tried it before but will see how it goes). Or just take a really good book ...

DitaVonCheese Tue 14-Dec-10 18:45:29

Hmm ... Apparently the secret is for her to fight sleep all day while being looked after by granny and fail to nap despite being beyond tired, then have dinner at 5, pjs on at quarter past, into the car by half past and asleep by 5.40. Still asleep now but I'm terrified she's going to wake up in 90 minutes raring to go!

Not sure I can replicate this every day ...

DitaVonCheese Tue 14-Dec-10 19:24:04

That was wildly over-optimistic ... She was awake by 6.55. Asleep now ... for another 20 min.

bepi01 Wed 15-Dec-10 11:58:16

`Hum, I've just posted this very subject as my 2 year old will not go to sleep until 9.30. Nice to know I'm not the only one. Is there a solution? I would say we've done controlled crying and it works in this situation, but it doesn't. Good luck! My theory is be strong, it will pass and we will be onto the next challenge. I wonder if it's anything to do with napping. Maybe it's time to reduce day time naps??!!

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