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Toddler sleep aids????......HELP!!

(10 Posts)
oldromantic Tue 04-Sep-12 20:53:07

Hi ladies - would be extremely grateful for any tips at all - am on my knees with exhaustion and cant see the wood for the trees - affecting everything now - work, marriage, relationship with children...

my dd is 21 months old and has slept all night 3 times in her life - currently a typical night looks like this - after a well embedded bedtime routine - bath, milk, cuddles, story, teeth she is tucked into bed and i have to sit with her til she falls asleep - sometimes for up to 2 hours - while she demands cuddles, lobs her dummy about, shouts, asks to get out, tells me to sit down etc etc....meanwhile my son is having to go to sleep in my bed as they share and he is exhausted - cant sleep with her noise - husband meanwhile huffing and puffing and stomping around downstairs....this bedtime battle only surfaced recently -going to bed nicely used to be the one thing she did do....

then night pattern - wakes up to 5 times a night - from 5 mins to 2 and half hours at a time - i am at the end of my tether - in the mini window of her finally falling asleep and me crashing out from exhaustion i am trying to manage house - mark a million books, plan next days lessons as i am always behind, make packed lunches etc etc etc

have tried - longer naps, later naps, shorter naps, earlier naps, putting children to bed together, making room darker, making colder etc etc etc etc - just dont know what to do me please

TickledOnion Tue 04-Sep-12 21:55:03

Sorry about your situation. It sounds awful.

I did had similar problems but on a much smaller scale with DD1. I decided to leave her awake in her bed at bedtime and then return her to bed every time she got up without any interaction. No talking or cuddles. Just pick her up and put her back. Over and over and over again. Ignored crying as long as I knew there was nothing physically wrong with her. Took 3 weeks to sort out.

Also, I found that changing naps, bedtimes, environment etc makes absolutely no difference. There is no magic combination of these things that will work. Sorry.

You will get lots more help (and sympathy) if you post in the Sleep topic.

Hpbp Wed 19-Sep-12 20:26:38

DS1 was the same until he was 23 months. My DH or myself had to stay in his bed until he fell asleep and would wake up several times at night, and stay awake for several hours... We have spent so many nights co sleeping. Andwe ended up buying a double bed for him and us so that we could get some sleep as we were both working ! It has finally stopped when he turned 3 but we had to work on it very hard, walking im back to his bed every single time he came to our bed, leaving our door open so that he could see us, leave a night light, found out a bedtime routine works and too much sleep during the day made him drift later at night, and not enough sleep during the day made him vey cranky around 5pm... Observe and try different things, one f them might work for a while and then you will need to be creative when it does not work anymore. Sorry there is no miracle solution.

boredbuthappy Thu 20-Sep-12 18:03:51

We took te taboo method of literally putting in bed and leaving the room until cried and fell asleep. This was after trying EVERYTHING under the sun including drugs we're not supposed to use (please don't judge). We only had to do this for 2 nigts and he had finally got the message. USUALLY he know just babbles himself to sleep. Occasionally have a 'test' evening by DS but we try never to cave because we knows what possibly lies beyond, unless of course he is poorly. He is 18 months old and had been an horrendous sleeper until recently. The better nigt sleep has also somehow regulated his naps too which I can't thank te gods for enough.

DontSayWhatSayPardon Thu 20-Sep-12 18:47:15

Hi there. Sympathies - sounds like a complete nightmare and respect to you for lasting as long as you have! We too went through similar but for a much shorter length of time. We are much less resilient than you and could only handle it for a couple of months before saying enough was enough and just leaving him to cry it out until he realised it was better to go to bed without a fuss. Only took a couple of nights really. Now he goes to bed ok (after a million stories, songs and trips to the loo - but I think that's fairly normal). Wakes occasionally in the night but goes straight back to sleep, unless he needs a wee. I honestly don't know anyone who has solved this problem without going down the controlled crying route. It's either that or be happy co sleeping until they get older and decide they want to sleep alone. Which some people are fine with I know. Good luck!

AdiVic Fri 05-Oct-12 11:33:49

You could be writing about my little cherub (ahem), she's slightly older, now 2.5 years old, but the probs started just after she was 2. She used to go to bed like a dream, we'd put her in her bed and kiss her good night and off we went. Then BOOOM! Horror child appeared. One night she kicked off and from there on in, she was horrendous. I read up on it, put messages on here, felt like I wanted to run away and hide from my sodding child. Someone suggested we do the 'place her back in bed and walk away until she gets the message' - We tried that one night 72 times, going up and down. I was 8 months pregnant and it nearly killed me. We too had to sit there and read, with her demanding strokes, cuddles etc. As soon as you stood up off she would go. She simply would not stay in bed, and would come straight downstairs, shouting and screaming like a child possessed.

One thing I do regret is putting her in her own bed at 2, and taking the cot away - with my 2nd, he'll stay in it till his feet poke out the end if need be.

In the end, after trying all these methods, none of which really worked I spoke to the health visitors - they suggested really sticking to the routine, which I did, but I cleaned her teeth and put pyjamas on downstairs - now, at 7 she goes up, gets pyjamas on, cleans teeth, straight to bed and has story and kiss goodnight. She also has a gloclock, which the health visitor suggested (not really worked for us as she couldnt' give a damn what it says), but she has improved and for a few weeks has been really good, although last night she tried it on, but luckily didn't get out of bed.

I think it might be a phase.

My husband didn't really help matters as after a while i discovered he was cuddling her to sleep as was his mother (who openly thinks I'm a cruel mother). I soon put stop to this, as he works away and I'm left dealing with them on my own.

It's totally knackering and I have shed many tears, it to took it's strain on our relationship - it's hard going, but I would say it will get better. Speak to the health visitor, it's a local person who can listen whilst you get it off your chest, and they might be able to suggest something.

One thing which REALLY annoyed me was when relatives/know it alls would say "Just dont' put up with it" or "I wouldn't have that" and so on, what can you do, as I'm sure knocking them unconscious to sleep is illegal. It will pass, hang on in there.

lolalotta Sun 21-Oct-12 06:49:59

Because you are staying in her room until she settles off at bedtime she expects you there when she wakes in the night too! I think this is the first thing that needs solving, she needs to learn to self settle at bedtime and the rest should follow. Are there any sleep clinics in your area? My HV put me in touch with one locally that wasting by the NHS and free, it saved me!!!!

lolalotta Sun 21-Oct-12 06:51:57

Wasting= was run

MerlotforOne Fri 02-Nov-12 22:04:17

My DS has just started sleeping through (more or less) at 3yrs old. He has previously settled well usually, although been through phases of up to 3 weeks of wanting company to settle (needing c.c. To fix), but would the wake repeatedly through the night and want reassurance and attention.

Someone recommended a Gro clock. I was sceptical but desperate, but it's actually worked - he likes pressing the button to make the sun turn into a star and has learned that he stays in bed until the sun comes back. It took about 3 weeks of training (might have been quicker but we went on hols nd that upset things). I think he probably still wakes at night but can use the clock to orientate himself and settles again knowing its not getting up time yet.

I wish I'd discovered this before - totally relate to the effect of exhaustion on life/ marriage/ relationships! Keep trying stuff and eventually something will work for you too!

RebeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 29-Nov-12 12:19:59

Hi there,

We are going to move this to our Sleep topic where we hope you get a better response.

Best wishes


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