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Toddler waking for reassurance.... Any ideas?

(13 Posts)
Queendedede Fri 13-Nov-15 12:28:21

18 mo wakes around 3 - 4 times a night, has slept through around 4 times his entire life and the last time that happened was 5 months ago. All it usually takes is me going in, tucking him in then walking out again and be goes back to sleep but wakes a couple of hours later for the same thing. What could I do to stop this? I can't do CC as he doesn't continue crying after I've checked him once (usually!). I don't like the idea of just completely ignoring him, just in case he needs something more. He has obviously come to rely on me turning up multiple times at night to reassure him. Will it maybe get better with time?

FATEdestiny Fri 13-Nov-15 13:39:24

Does he go to sleep alone? ie without you in the room?

If not, then maybe start working on that. The aim is that going to sleep at bedtime is the same as going back to sleep if he wakes in the night.

So as well as him being alone when he goes from fully awake to asleep at bedtime, if his bedroom door will be closed during the night, then close it at bedtime too. If the light is left on at bedtime, you'll need to leave it on all night. And so on. Get him used to always going from awake to asleep in the same environment and without your help.

Queendedede Fri 13-Nov-15 17:33:40

He goes the bed wide awake, says goodnight and I shut the door. He goes straight to sleep like a dream at bedtime, I don't hear a peep after I shut the door.... He just can't seem to stay asleep! The HV can't understand why he isn't sleeping for longer stretches when he goes to bed and settles himself so well at bedtime.

Queendedede Fri 13-Nov-15 17:34:39

Sorry, didn't make it very clear, he is left on his own at bedtime with door shut.

MERLYPUSSEDOFF Fri 13-Nov-15 22:46:48

Would he take to sleeping with 'Mummy's special bear?' We had this with DT1 (part of the reason I moved DT2 out the room). Special Bear now stays with him and helps him to go back to sleep. Bear is leant out to DT2 if he is ill or sometimes comes in with me if I have back ache. He's a very special bear grin and good at his job.

Queendedede Sat 14-Nov-15 08:32:29

Might be worth a try, not sure if he is a bit young for that concept yet? He has a toy owl which he takes to bed but he isn't very attached and it really doesn't cut the mustard during the night. TBH, his night time behaviour is just an extension of daytime - he is very clingy and wants to be with me always! I will remind him if this when he is a teenager.....

flanjabelle Sat 14-Nov-15 08:36:09

Dd did this until we moved her into a bed. is he in a bed yet? I think she wasn't actually comfortable in the cot anymore so was waking. once we moved her into a single bed it dropped down to occasionally waking once in the night, but mostly sleeping through.

VeryPunny Sat 14-Nov-15 08:39:09

My DD is like this (she is 2.5). It doesn't help that she gets wakened by her younger brother too.

I have given up trying to sort of and she comes into bed with us.I have said she can do what she likes as long as it's quiet and she doesn't bring her entire stuffed toy army.

There's no rhyme or reason to it and she will grow out of it eventually. It's less disruptive for us when she just appears in bed!

MERLYPUSSEDOFF Sat 14-Nov-15 10:36:56

If you give him YOUR toy and spin some story that when you were little this bear helped you, it may work better. My son now asks for my bear as opposed to his normal cuddly when he is feeling ill. DT1 has him in his room, at the bottom of the bed, but doesn't cuddle him unless he is ill. DT2 will borrow him occasionally. They have suggested I take him to cub camp in case any of the cubs are homesick.
I think if you try with a different toy, with his own back story it may seem a bit more special?

PurpleTreeFrog Mon 16-Nov-15 13:09:40

Hi there. I've got exactly the same issue. My son is the same age and usually goes to sleep perfectly at bedtime then wakes up anywhere from 1 to 4 times a night. Just going in and giving him a sip of water or a pat on the bum or tucking him back in, sends hum straight back to sleep. He had a cuddly bunny he is very attached to and it definitely helps him drift off but it doesn't prevent the night waking.

The difficult thing is that it's hard to 'sleep train' when the easiest solution is to just quickly pop in and settle them down when it only takes a few seconds. With mine, if you wait too long before going in he becomes much harder to settle. But overall your sleep becomes very fragmented, being woken up at least once every night. I wish there was an obvious solution.

MERLYPUSSEDOFF Unfortunately 18 months is still too young for your suggestion of a special toy with a backstory. He would not understand it in the slightest.

Queendedede Mon 16-Nov-15 13:27:11

Glad it's not just me! Sometimes I can ignore him as I can tell he isn't quite awake and he will go back to sleep but it doesn't mean he will sleep for longer just because he managed to settle himself. All the advice I get is to ignore him and let him get on with it and he will stop within a week.... But like you said, it's hard to do that when you know all it will take is a few seconds then you can go back to sleeping again. I wish mine would only wake once but twice is the minimum amount he wakes, three times is our usual and four times+ on a bad night!

Last night was a bad night...... The longest stretch he did was 3hrs (2.30am until 5.30am) but the night before he slept 7pm until 2am.. It's the erratic-ness of it as well, I don't know what causes a bad night or a good night. I did notice today that his back molars seem to be pushing under his gum, so maybe this is throwing a spanned into the works too.

Queendedede Mon 16-Nov-15 13:32:21

That is he slept 7 - 2 before first wake up, he didn't get up for the day at 2am! I think he woke 3 times between 2am and 6am, when he got up for the day.... Just making up for 'treating' us with the long stretch at the beginning of the night!

ToastMakesMeHappy Mon 16-Nov-15 13:51:36

I am going through this at the moment too! I was completely against leaving DD (18 months) to 'cry it out' but it has actually worked. All I was doing was going in and giving her comforter back to her a few times a night, she wasn't even awake properly, just crying a little.
So the first night, I turned the monitor off as I can hear her through the wall if she cries loud enough. She cried a few times but quickly settled herself. I only count to 60 in my head, she has usually stopped by the time I get to 30. If she is ill or does a really upset cry, I will still go in to her as I don't agree with letting them cry themselves into a state.

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