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4yo bedtime destroyed by newborn - how do I ride it out?

(5 Posts)
StetsonsAreCool Mon 12-Jan-15 20:07:29

Presumably 'this too shall pass', but I could do with some tips to help it pass with my sanity intact...

DD is 4.7 and has always been a fantastic sleeper , happy to go to bed, falls asleep no issues. Occasional minor blips, but right again within a couple of days. She goes to bed at 7pm, usually asleep with 30mibs of being left , and has to be woken up at 7am for school.

DS arrived 3 weeks ago. Everything was great during Christmas break, but since she's gone back to school it's all gone downhill in tiny increments - the result being last night not going to sleep until gone 9pm, and tonight hasn't stopped crying since her bedtime story finished.

Her issues are: she doesn't want to be on her own, with a small dose of being (suddenly) scared of the dark.

The dark thing is easier to tackle - will make a monster repelling spray with water and glitter, and make sure she's got a baseball bat torch handy.

But she says that me and Daddy and the baby are downstairs together and she's all on her own. What do I say to that? How do I explain it? She's right, and I completely understand why she'd feel like that, but I don't know how to fix it.

The protracted bedtimes can't continue, she's exhausted which makes her more emotional and irrational, so I want to help her before it spirals out of control.

Domino51 Tue 13-Jan-15 18:51:05

Hi, Unless you all went to bed together, she was upstairs while you and daddy were downstairs before the baby was born, so this could possible be simply her insecurity about her place in the family. I would suggest you apply the usual things, lots of cuddles reassurance etc so she doesn't feel 'pushed out' because of the baby. Be firm at bedtime and stick to what ever your routine was before the birth. You may have to apply some of Supernanny's techniques, I have used them with my middle child and they do work. Consistancy is the key coupled with not allowing maternal guilt to cloud your judgement.

StetsonsAreCool Tue 13-Jan-15 19:23:02

Thank you, you're right, she always was up there alone - possibly she accepted it before as 'children upstairs, grown ups downstairs', it's only now that the baby is downstairs that she's questioning it.

Trying very hard to stick to normal bedtime routine, but the sobbing and fear are making it so hard! We're trying a Whatever Works approach , but this is leading to drawn out bedtimes so we need to get strict again perhaps.

What sort of supernanny techniques? The only ones I can think of are for sleep refusers, rather than being upset at being on their own confused

3littlefrogs Tue 13-Jan-15 19:31:57

Story/music CDs? Mine loved these at that age.
I used to read a bedtime story in their room while feeding DC3.

With the 2 eldest (2 years apart), I used to try to put them both to bed at the same time, even if the baby was up again after DS1 was asleep.

DH was rarely at home so I had to just work through it on my own. It is a phase and it will pass. I think making her room cosy and very much her own space is very important.

Domino51 Tue 13-Jan-15 19:54:42

The one that I can remember for not wanting to be alone, you put her to bed as normal, and then you or daddy who ever is doing bedtime sits in the room with her. BUT you must not talk to her or look at her. After a couple of nights you move further away from her, and then again a couple of nights later you move a bit further. It may take several days to work through, but eventually you end up being on the landing!

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