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If you routinely lie down with toddler to get them to sleep, do they ever learn to self settle?

(27 Posts)
mojoawol Sat 24-Aug-13 20:47:01

I'm losing the plot with this a little. DS2 has double bed in his bedroom and, since sleep regression and for one reason or another, we have ended up lying down with him to get him to sleep. This can take over an hour, leaves little time to spend with other older DS, and because he obviously expects one of us to be there, when he wakes in the night alone, one of us has to get into bed with him.

Also, DH won't work with me on any sleep training so it seems we are stuck with this approach. So, my question is, how long will it take for a 2yo to teach himself to self soothe? If at all? Will we be doing this for years?

readyforthehills Sun 25-Aug-13 08:50:02

A 2year old won't have an inclination to change this one. Been there. Either you accept it or sort it with his father. Seriously the toddler will go nowhere and just get bigger.

readyforthehills Sun 25-Aug-13 08:52:29

And why would they? Mummy and daddy come in here! Share my bed! Cosy.

AllSWornOut Sun 25-Aug-13 09:09:00

Oh god, we're struggling with this at the moment luckily for me it's only DH he wants to snuggle with and he was the silly sod who started it in the first place

We've tried a few different strategies, most of which have not been successful, but last night DH gave him 5 minute warnings
*DS we'll snuggle for 5 minutes, then it's time for you to get into bed
*DS I'll lie next to you for 5 minutes and then I'm going to go out of the room

He was out quicker than usual but it might have been a fluke. Of course the 5 minutes are a bit flexible but the goal is to leave before he's totally asleep and then leave earlier bit by bit until we can just have a quick snuggle then bed and leave.

readyforthehills Sun 25-Aug-13 09:11:18

I really didn't mean to sound so flippant. I truly do know how exhausting it is. You have got to either get your partner to work with you or just accept your sleeping arrangements are different for a while. That is now your bed. Just sleep with the baby. Your older one can get in too. Read a book to him. Share the two of them in a bed and sleep. your husband is a grown man. I give you a month absolute max and you'll be smiling at your children in the morning again.

QuietNinjaTardis Sun 25-Aug-13 09:13:11

We had this problem. Gradual withdrawal worked for us. Ds is 3.7 ans settles fine now. Sometimes a bit difficult if he's woken with a nightmare or he's not well but I guess that would be the same for any child.

Twooter Sun 25-Aug-13 09:15:38

Can you get him used to just popping out to do something, and gradually extending the time out the room - once relaxed about this you may find he'll start to droop off in the meantime. My youngest goes to sleep really fast now, but invariably because I 'need to check something' and le ave the room, rather than a big 'goodnight, see you in the morning' type thing.

Not being smug though- still seem to wake up with her in my bed every morning.

CuriosityCola Sun 25-Aug-13 09:15:59

We have this and actually quite like it smile We read to ds until he nods off. Then at some point ds and teddy end up in our bed.

HappyAsEyeAm Sun 25-Aug-13 09:16:19

I want to give you some comfort, as we used to do this too. DS1 would only ever go to sleep with me next to him holding his hand through the bars of his cot. We gradually moved to me just laying next to him, and then to me sitting in the chair, and then to me sitting outside the door. I think he was three when he would just go to bed and self settle. I used to despair, but you can break the cycle without too many tears!

readyforthehills Sun 25-Aug-13 09:21:44

Alls is it in any way possible you could do the same thing? Seriously? Quit trying to sort them out while stressing yourself? I know exactly how you are feeling while he's not going over. Give in for now.

AllSWornOut Sun 25-Aug-13 09:23:24

Oh, yes, DH did the "just popping out" thing last night too, along with the 5 min warnings I mentioned above.

I will tell DH that there is hope happy as he's started to get pretty hacked off by it and he spoils what's left of the evening by grumbling about how much of it he's already lost with getting DC1 to sleep

readyforthehills Sun 25-Aug-13 09:24:22

Alls is it in any way possible you could do the same thing? Seriously? Quit trying to sort them out while stressing yourself? I know exactly how you are feeling while he's not going over. Give in for now.

AllSWornOut Sun 25-Aug-13 09:29:49

Well it's not me, it's DH and he doesn't want to spend all night sleeping on the floor (no bed big enough for an adult in the DC room). I don't really care what he does, I'm with you really on do whatever is easiest, but DH hates it and as he's the one who has to deal with it I've been supportive in trying to find solutions.

So far the warnings and "popping out" seem to have the best success rate, after an admittedly short trial period (he's done the popping out a few times now, 5 min warnings was the first time last night).

And DC1 can't sleep in our bed as we're currently co-sleeping with a young baby.

bronya Sun 25-Aug-13 09:29:50

We cuddle 1yo DS to sleep, yet he does self settle in the night to his musical cot thingy. Started it when bf no longer worked to settle him - played the cot thingy as we cuddled him to sleep every time, so he came to associate it with falling asleep. It comes on when he moves a lot/cries in the night, and he only needs re-settling by me now if he is in pain (teething) or I've accidentally turned it off. He gets VERY cross if he cries and it doesn't come on!!

Parmarella Sun 25-Aug-13 09:29:54

It is very dedicated parenting, wow

They will obviously grow out of it

Can understand the husband's point of view too though, as I drew the line there as well, and decided my kids just had to learn to sleep alone. If I had not done that, I would still have my 8 yr old in bed ( i do it when he is poorly or DH traveling and DS loves it as hates sleeping alone).

Some kids grow out of it though, kids are different. Could you do a reward system for every night he sleeps alone?

readyforthehills Sun 25-Aug-13 10:22:47

All's I feel for you. The only thing I can say is it will eventually pass. Also if you can buy a bigger bed for your eldest's room! Sleep is so underrated.

Parmarella ALL kids grow out of it. Unless you know something I don't and we're all still co sleeping. When you're delirious with tiredness you do what works.

readyforthehills Sun 25-Aug-13 10:24:34

Sorry just read your post fully.

mojoawol Sun 25-Aug-13 20:32:02

If I try leaving the room before he's asleep, he immediately gets out of bed to follow me. I would try it, but I just don't have any faith that it will work. He's only just turned 2. If I wait a bit longer so he understands more, and can use things like rewards as well as gradual retreat, is that likely to work better?
Quite like the idea of having other DS in bed with us for stories etc, but wonder if they will all just keep each other awake longer.

AmIGoingMad Tue 27-Aug-13 06:19:52

We're having the same issue. Hoping to try some things out this week- will let you know what and how they go.

SleepyFish Tue 27-Aug-13 07:10:30

Gradual retreat does work but you have to do it properly. I cuddled ds/sat by his bed for 2.6years until I did gradual retreat. It worked in 4 nights and he's self settled every single night since then and that was over 2 years ago.

Mutley77 Tue 27-Aug-13 07:25:54

Our DS has always struggled to self-settle - he generally fed to sleep as a baby...

At age 4 I am still doing the "I'm going to start the dinner now, I'll come back soon" - sometimes he calls me, sometimes he doesn't - if he calls I call back and say I'll come soon. I always go back but it does depend what I'm doing how quickly and he is usually asleep! He does prefer it if I sit next to him and stroke his hand until he falls asleep but I only do that if he's upset or particularly tired or something as I have totally lost patience (esp now I have a baby to sort out as well as an 8 year old who does really need some one to one time, but doesn't demand it!)

applecharlotte Tue 27-Aug-13 07:30:47

I did this with DS. We had a spare bed in his room and I just browsed mumsnet whilst he fell asleep . I liked the quiet time and he liked the comfort.

Had a couple of raised eyebrows from family members but didn't really care I much preferred it to any sort of sleep training. At 20 months he started settling, I could pop him in his cot and walk out and have done for the last year.

I know your son is now 2yo but I wanted to say that at some point they are just ready. It's really how much of a problem it is for you that you need to weigh up.

BranchingOut Tue 27-Aug-13 21:20:43

I did this and managed to transition this to self settling using gradual retreat.

I posted a detailed explanation of how I did this on a recent thread, search my username and it will come up.

BranchingOut Tue 27-Aug-13 21:51:52

It was called 'my 2yo boy goes to bed very late'

LillianGish Tue 27-Aug-13 22:07:37

Well it won't last forever, as a previous poster has already pointed out, but it might last for a long time - I know of an eight-year-old who won't go to sleep unless her mum is with her and while she was very pro co-sleeping for the first few years her enthusiasm is starting wane. I would say - looking at my poor wiped out friend - that the sooner you tackle it the better. Gradual retreat might seem like a bit of an effort when you are feeling totally wiped out, but if you want a child who self settles (and it sounds as if you do) you need to act.

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