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How do I leave him to sleep when he's ready? Ideas needed!

(4 Posts)
LaTristesse Sat 06-Aug-11 21:33:41

Has anyone got any suggestions as to how to improve DS's bedtime? (he's 17mo and his sleep has always been a source of frustration- still won't sleep through etc...) anyway...

He has a good pre-bed routine: bath, quiet play, book, twinkly music, milk, bed... at which point he sits up and starts playing with his bear. So far not a problem, I'd be happy to leave him chatting away if I could leave and know he'll eventually lie down and sleep. But I can't. If I back away from the cot bars even a couple of inches he stands up and screams, obv same if I leave the room. The screaming continues until I go back and lay him down again. (He can physically lie himself down, but it's like he forgets in his distress that this would be the best course of action!) I usually have to stay holding his hand, sometimes for up to an hour before he eventually drops off. This is all very well, but I have another on the way and I have to get this sorted before then, luckily I have several months to work something out...

So what do you think? Any ideas anyone?

LeoTheLateBloomer Sun 07-Aug-11 06:53:28

Have you come across the disappearing chair?

If he's not willing to sleep without you there this could be an option. My sister used it and it worked really well.

AchtungBaby Sun 07-Aug-11 13:22:05

As LeoTheLateBloomer has suggested, gradually moving your chair further and further away, then out of the room might work (I think this is also called gradual withdrawal).

Recently with DS (11 months), I began to leave the room for ~30secs (still saying 'Sleepy time' etc from the hall). At first, he would protest immediately, and then calm down when I went back in. Now, he's definitely happier for longer, and I'll stay outside (sometimes saying 'Sleepy time, sometimes not), usually until he protests. It's a work in progress smile, but I do feel like we're getting somewhere.

Good luck!

GingaNinja Tue 09-Aug-11 12:32:20

DD used to go to sleep on me then be put into the cot asleep; during the last 3 weeks I've done the gradual withdrawing thing, from practically in the cot rubbing her back, to handholding through the bars and have now got as far as sitting on her side of the bedroom door, her in her cot. She wasn't happy about this but that's where we've got to - it might work for you OP. It meant I was escaping downstairs then after about 30 mins or so. BUT....

BUT. That's only as far as I've got. The only time I've tried leaving the room she screamed herself sick. Literally. Which was nice. So I'm still sat there like a prune and in no hurry to use CC. DD is 26 months, still not sleeping well, in fact she's got worse again the last few nights so I'm not sure if she's coming down with something, whether there's some level of insecurity because Mummy won't let her sleep on me any more (guilt guilt), or if it's a developmental phase - she's now saying 'I help' instead of 'Lizzie help'. Has all her own teeth so she's not teething.

So if you go for it, good luck. Sorry not more helpful!

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