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1 step forward 2 steps back with toddler bedtime...

(7 Posts)
Littlebagoflaughter Thu 30-Oct-14 19:07:50

DS is now 18months, up until 3 months ago he had been happily going to sleep by himself for naps and bedtime. Then he suddenly started screaming when I left him and since then I have had to be in the room while he goes to sleep. This is not a problem wtih naptime as he goes to sleep really quickly. However bedtime is a different issue, he used to take 10-20mins and I thought we had finally reached that point again with me just sitting in the room - I had been gradually moving towards the door and reached the point where I was right at the door and he was totally happy. But the past few nights we've gone back to it taking around an hour on average and DH has generally had to step in and stroke his back (I'm 37weeks pregnant and can't physically manage this anymore!) This is a recurring pattern and every time we make progress it gets bad again for no reason that I can see. As he sleeps through I would normally grin and bear it but I'm just starting to freak out a bit because of the impending arrival of baby number 2 - I have no idea how bedtime is going to work if I have a screaming newborn in the room with us! DH will not be able to be here all the time due to work. I'm as sure as I can be that he is ready for bed at that time, he has a peaceful bedtime routine...is there anything we can do?

Millie3030 Tue 04-Nov-14 09:17:45

Hi just came across this and wanted to say my DS is 16 months old and this started happening to us too.
I had read that the older they get the longer it takes them to wind down because their minds are so active. So what we have done is have a longer wind down before bed, if he has a bath we start it at 6/6:15 then take him to his room, with dim lights, get him dry/dressed, milk and a quiet story, then a cuddle and try and stretch this out for 45 mins.

Or the other thing I am also thinking is that my DS isn't as tired and maybe needs to be put to bed later, maybe 7:30. But I'm not sure! What naps does your DS have?

jazzandh Tue 04-Nov-14 09:22:06

DS2 is older now, but he would start to do this when bedtime needed pushing out or nap needed capping etc....

Littlebagoflaughter Thu 27-Nov-14 15:35:42

Sorry for the late response, the early arrival of ds2 means I've been a bit busy! Oh is now doing bedtime and ds1 is generally settling within 15mins so I don't think bedtime needs moving for now. Millie he has one nap usually 11am-1pm sometimes shorter sometimes longer, he seems to nap for as long as he needs so I don't think that is the issue either. He's now not sleeping through so that's a whole new issue!

blushingmare Fri 28-Nov-14 21:31:45

This happened to us - my DD was a bit older (21mo) and I was also in late stages of pregnancy.

We had always stayed with her to go to sleep, but she just started not falling asleep and it was taking 2 hours +!

You won't like this (I didn't), but in the end I just had to walk out and leave her to cry. It was horrible she screamed for about half a hour before falling asleep for two nights. I felt awful, having never left her to cry at all before.

HOWEVER, on night 3 she just settled down to sleep with no complaints and since then has been 100% happier at bedtimes and in her cot generally.

I wasn't happy about doing it, but I think she was old enough to cope with it and it doesn't seem to have done her any harm. And quite frankly as you say, with a new baby on the way, we really had no other option.

Littlebagoflaughter Mon 01-Dec-14 16:55:37

I'm glad you found a solution blushingmare. The crying it out approach doesn't work with ds, when he first started crying I did leave him as he would go to sleep quite quickly but he continued to cry every evening and started to whimper before I'd even put him down so I worried that he was getting negative associations with bedtime. I think we are just going to have to ride it out, luckily ds2 is super chilled so when I've had to do bedtime it's actually gone ok!

blushingmare Mon 01-Dec-14 19:16:12

Wouldn't say we found a solution - there's always something with sleep and bedtimes isn't there?! But yes, it did break the cycle of sitting with her.

Glad it's going well so far and congratulations on the arrival of your DS!

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