I have a 1 1/2 year old and a five year old. They share a room and I am finding it increasingly difficult to get the little one to sleep. I have tried the controlled crying thing but she gets so upset sometimes that she coughs and then vomits, which I would rather avoid. She used to fall asleep with her bottle but now - with any daytime sleep at all, even only half an hour - is wide awake and far less ready for bed than her big sister! The challenge then is putting her down in her cot awake and getting her to stay there until she falls asleep. She instantly starts screaming and while we try to do the controlled crying thing, due to concern about vomit and her poor big sister trying to get to sleep, we end up taking her out of the cot and bringing her downstairs. Despite muted lighting and more warm milk it can take up to 21.00 for her to fall asleep. Should I try sitting next to her bed and gradually moving further away (read this suggestion on Boots MD website) over a number of nights? Any other ideas?
Yes we tried the gradual retreat method with all the DS and it works well, even though it takes a while. I bought the book 'teach your child to sleep' by The Millpond CLinic and it really helped my sleep deprived mind work out what to do. I stopped day time sleeps with both DS2 and DS3 at about 18 months as it prevented them going to sleep at a reasonable hour and when you have older ones you really want them to go to bed early!
We put DS3 (2yrs) to bed at about 6.30 / 7pm and one of us focuses on getting him to sleep whilst the other one does all the homework / reading / more grown up activities with DS1 and DS2. DS2 (4yrs) then goes up at about 7 / 7.30pm and DS1 (6yrs) who DS2 shares a bedroom with goes to bed at about 7.30pm / 8pm. DS2 has to be fully asleep before DS1 goes to bed or all hell is let loose.