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when your 2 year old will only be put to bed by Daddy and takes 1hr+ to settle??!!

(17 Posts)
inconceivableme Sun 09-Nov-14 20:35:37

Am at end of tether! Feeling extra sensitive about all this as I miscarried our 2nd IVF baby last week.

My son has never been able to self-settle to sleep. Either DH or I have always had to rock him, cuddle him or lie on the floor / bed with him, sometimes all of those in one bedtime. He also takes up to an hour from story finishing to being asleep, occasionally more. One of us has to be with him the whole time. We usually swap partway through the nightmare-that-is-bedtime but for the past month or so, he only wants his Dad to put him to bed. This isn't sustainable and also makes me feel a bit rejected - I'm extra hormonal after the miscarriage I know.

We've tried early bedtimes, later bedtimes, in between. We've tried comforter toys, white noise, soothing music etc.

He has active days so should be physically tired. We always read a few stories quietly with the lamp on but it's like he can't switch off. He gets hyper, talks constantly, wriggles, sings etc. He still naps for an hour or so at lunchtime and really seems to need the nap. Getting him asleep at naptime is not an issue - anytime, anyplace, anywhere!

Please help! Am tired and stressed.

Humansatnav Sun 09-Nov-14 20:40:17

Ask your health visitor if you can be referred to a sleep clinic in your area.
My nightmare sleeper is now 20 and at uni.
Sleep clinic saved my marriage/ sanity/ life.

inconceivableme Wed 12-Nov-14 21:29:25

Human - you've got me worried now. Will see what HV says about local sleep specialists though. Anything is worth a try.

The past couple of days he's not napped during the day as we're away on a short break and have been out and about a lot. He's played on the beach, an outdoor play area and indoor softplay today and is clearly tired. It's made zero difference to his bedtime unfortunately. We had quiet music playing while he got pjs on earlier and then just read stories quietly while he had milk. That was around 8pm. He then refused to let me hold / rock him to sleep and was calling for DH. DH went in and he still didn't settle so we sat him in the highchair while we ate dinner and he talked the whole time. It's 925 now and DH took him back into the bedroom 10 minutes ago and he's still talking constantly. He just doesn't know how to switch off! Surely this isn't normal, night after night?

yougotafastcar Thu 13-Nov-14 07:14:53

You have my sympathy, as you know from my thread I don't have much advice!

My DS will talk and talk when he has been told to do something he doesn't want to do. He tries to distract and delay us but having a conversation about something completely different! Do you think your DS is trying that at bed time? If so, then get DH to say nothing while he settles or just repeat "its bedtime DS. Goodnight" and be really boring.

Also, I find my DS thinks he's "won" if we give in and get him back up again, so when we try again he pulls out his best moves to try and get up again!

footyfan Thu 13-Nov-14 07:28:17

You have my sympathies. My DS was exactly like this at that age. He's 3 now.

You say you can't leave him, but don't say why. What does he do if you leave the room?

We decided for our own sanity that we had to let him get on with it. We read to him, stay for a cuddle for a couple of minutes and then leave. We close the door and put the monitor on (we open it again when we go to bed). At the beginning he often still took an hour to go to sleep (just chatting to himself, never crying), but we reduced our stress and got our evenings back!

Sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Hope you manage to sort this to reduce your stress thanks

inconceivableme Thu 13-Nov-14 07:42:20

Thanks footy. Sorry you had this issue too. Unfortunately, if we leave the room before he's asleep he cries, then screams. He may chat for a few seconds initially but then yells for us, currently just for his Dad (?!) and then descends into crying and screaming if we don't answer. If we go back in the room he won't stop crying unless picked up and cuddled. We've tried just sitting on the chair etc but it's no good.
He's just woken after going to sleep last night at 945pm after 'no' daytime nap, then woke at 3am and we brought him into our bed aa we're shattered and he flailed around from about 7am then woke properly at 730am asking to get up....! This is becoming unsustainable but I'm not sure I can face just letting him cry...

bouncinbean Thu 13-Nov-14 07:47:02

Mine is 18 months and showing signs of being like this. Also trying the being very dull and no responses approach with mixed success but keen to hear what others find works.
and very sorry to hear about your miscarriage...

footyfan Thu 13-Nov-14 07:48:18

That sounds hellish. Sorry I haven't got any words of wisdom. We were lucky that he was just chatting to himself, never crying. I've got no idea what we'd have done in that situation.

Hopefully someone else will be along soon! Good luck.

IAmAPaleontologist Thu 13-Nov-14 07:58:30

How old is he? Apologies if o have missed that bit.

ds2 is/was a pain in the bum for sleep, he just didn't switch off until late. We swung between relaxing about it and going with the flow and stressing which frankly just made it worse. He is 2.8 now and until a month or so ago was not going to bed until anywhere between 8.30 (very early) and 10. We honestly found the best thing for us was to do bedtime routine, ds1 and dd would go to bed then tidy up, we'd encourage ds2 to sit on the sofa with a blanket and we'd make life boring and just do bits and bobs and generally ignore him. he'd eventually drop off, sometimes with some yelling but much easier than actively trying to get him to bed. Now he had completely dropped his nap and he falls asleep at 7 during story time.

bouncinbean Thu 13-Nov-14 08:01:16

We are also trying giving her two choices - be quiet in her cot and hope she does eventually tire out or lie still if she wants to be cuddled. She can do 1 or the other but not cry and be noisy. It's worked a couple of times but not always as she just ends up crying and asking for daddy.
I used to have low lighting but now also finding a bit more success with completely dark. I think she's realising when it's dark mummy will no longer play or engage in any chat other than 'bedtime now'

bouncinbean Thu 13-Nov-14 08:05:09

Oh and in our house daddy never goes - we realised it's not that she wants daddy, she just wanted the other person because if he did go in it wouldn't be too long before she wanted mummy so even though it's draining it's one persons job for the night and the other person's job to pour a glass of wine or beer...

inconceivableme Thu 13-Nov-14 08:17:33

footy - it's draining! if he just chatted or read books etc I'd have no problems leaving him to get to sleep by himself but I can't stand to let him cry.

Paleontologist - he's 2.2. Many times recently we've just brought him downstairs to sit in the highchair reading a book while he eat and he does that and eventually falls asleep around 930. The lack of adult time \ late bedtime I could deal with if he then slept through, or vice versa. I could also deal with him giving up
the daytime nap (which replaces some evening time to get chores done) if it meant he slept earlier and better, but he doesn't. And I just refuse to believe that he's getting enough sleep though - we certainly aren't and he's never been a 'good' sleeper since he was born.

bounceinbean - weirdly your nickname is the same as one of DS' favourite nursery songs... Hope you have more luck getting your DD to sleep before she turns 2.

inconceivableme Thu 13-Nov-14 08:20:01

bounceinbean - that sounds tough. We want to share bedtime duties, not least because I want either DH or I to be able to do bedtime alone if the other isn't around for an evening, which does sometimes happen.

CountingThePennies Thu 13-Nov-14 08:25:36

I would do a bedtime story, say night etc then go out the room.

If he cries, then he cries.

Every 10 mins i would pop my head round the door and say its bedtime, night night etc then leave straightaway.

I think your pandering him tbh and thats why he does it. He knows you will stay with him for hours on end.

Hes ruling the roost. Your the adult

inconceivableme Thu 13-Nov-14 09:07:37

Counting - I understand what you're saying but there's crying and crying. If he was just grizzling a bit I'd manage to leave him but he screams and bawls, gets red in face and soaked with tears. Going in and patting / saying goodnight doesn't placate him and he gets even more upset when we next leave the room. We've tried this literally a handful of times previously and I can't see how him getting so distressed will get him to sleep.

CountingThePennies Thu 13-Nov-14 09:41:21

He will eventually tire himself out from the crying.

If he gets more upset each time you go in then its best not to keep going in.

He will learn that bedtime is bedtime and not a time to keep your parents messing about as long as possible.

I know its hard listening to him scream but it will be beneficial in time to teach him

StillaChocoholic Mon 17-Nov-14 19:46:29

I'm having this problem with my 19 month old. It's been going on for 3 months and just feels like sooo much longer. I'm knackered and so fed up of it.
Tonight I've sat in there as long as I can bare and then left when I felt like I was going to snap because he seemed like he was going to sleep then sat up and started chatting. As soon as he hears me go downstairs he starts crying and screaming so DH usually ends up going up.
We have tried letting him cry himself to sleep but it's so horrible to listen to him so upset we can't actually do it.
I'm tempted to try letting him stay up because I'm so tired of this routine of him not sleeping and me being so close to snapping at him.

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