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How to calm my 3 yo?

(9 Posts)
latrucha Wed 22-Dec-10 14:58:49

Can you help me find a way of helping my nearly three year old to sleep?

Our situation is this: Dh and I, nearly 3yo DD, DS 5 months old.

DS sleeps in a cot next to me. He is bf and wakes several times a night. For various reasons DH sleeps downstairs on his own. DD sleeps on her own in her room.

DD was a very bad sleeper as a baby, but sleep imprved dramatically when she was put in her room at 19 months. She's been a 12-hour a night kid pretty much since then.

She was fine when DS arrived for the first month or so. Then she started waking once she realised he slept next to me. One of the reasons Dh sleeps downstairs is so that she won't think she's the only one on her own. We got her out of that pretty quickly by DH making repeated visits to her room when she woke but not taking her out of her bed.

At the beginning of November, DD, DS and I had to go to my Dad's house to help nurse him in the final stages of cancer. He died on the 19th. We were all in one room and her sleeping was appalling, whether she came in to bed with me or stayed in her cot (I tried her staying in for two weeks and in my bed for the last week). DS slept in his cot but came into bed for feedings, which she saw.

We came home and we dealt with night wakings as usual.

Then DS and I went alone to the funeral for three nights. Since we came back her sleeping has been appalling.

Things we have tried:

For the first while I went in, sang her usual bedtime song and settled her. This seemed to make her wake more.

I the tried going in every few minutes when she woke. This has not worked this time and she seems increasingly distressed by it.

We dropped her nap for about a month. It made no difference or worse.

I tried getting her out of the house all day, either with me or at nursery. No improvement.

The night before last we tried DH sleeping in her room. She hated it. Not to be repeated.

Last night she went in to DHs bed and hated it.

I would have her in my bed, but when we tried this at my Dad's she was worst of all.

What on earth can we try now? We are all pretty much at the end of our tether. It's been nearly two months now. Last night she was awake for four hours, plus other wakings.

latrucha Wed 22-Dec-10 20:26:35

We have tried a reward chart too.

latrucha Wed 22-Dec-10 20:38:16


fifitot Wed 22-Dec-10 20:47:50

At 3 she really needs to be doing as she is told IMO. I do sympathise though as my DD who is 4 was a terrible sleeper and still gets up really early.

I kept the stairgate on the room which I know is controversial but at least it stopped her wandering around into our room and dangerously near the stairs in the early hours. I also have used a Gro clock to try and get her to stay in bed in the mornings.

I wouldn't bother with reward charts but use something similar such as every night she stays in her own bed she gets a marble or something in a jar and then when there are 10 she gets to choose a treat. I found this, which is basically bribery, worked better than stickers and a chart. we had to keep at it though.

She is obviously put out that your new baby is with you. We had this too - she got over it eventually.

Sorry I know it's not that helpful but it will pass eventually when things settle down - you have had an unsettled few weeks by the sounds of things.

Good luck with it all.

latrucha Wed 22-Dec-10 20:49:11

It does help. Thanks for your response.

latrucha Wed 22-Dec-10 21:22:13

I like, 'She'll get used to it.' I find it so easy to be hyper-responsive to her every whim.

I was thinking of a bunny clock because at the moment she doesn't really know when she can get up. She just calls, and sometimes I say it's time to sleep and sometimes I say she can get up (when it's morning) But as both times are dark, it's difficult for her to tell.

Damn expensive though.

emskaboo Wed 22-Dec-10 21:36:07

We're here at the moment too, I have no advice but lots of empathy!

latrucha Wed 22-Dec-10 21:40:13

It's just dreadful, isn't it.

I hope you're not squabbling with your OH as much as I am. He's just had a go at me because I've said I'm going to take charge of all the night wakings FGS.

minimoonumbertwo Sun 02-Jan-11 20:49:55

LaT I've just read your posts on the postnatal thread, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad.

No help really just sympathy, we are having a similar problem with ds1, 3.2, he is just in & out of bed all night. Really not sure how to approach it as I do think he is genuinely scared in his room so don't want to be too harsh. HOWEVER, we can't carry on like this and I kind of think we are going to end up with a stairgate on the door situation.

We are going to get a night clock too, there's a nice one with 12 stars on which slowly disappear then the sun comes out. Oh also we're going to get a cd player for his room - do you have one?

Sorry, really no help at all but we are in same boat!!

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