Toddler sleep dilemma. Don't know what to do for the best.(12 Posts)
I'm at the end of my rope.
DD(2) was always a fantastic sleeper, going through from 7pm-7am pretty much from the word go. The only exception has always been when she was teething, then it would all go to pot for a while until the offending tooth popped through and order would be blissfully restored.
Well, her two year molars have been slowly struggling to come through for months now. They're still not all the way through. Since they started she's been waking up crying several times a night. Sometimes it starts just 2 hours after she goes to bed. Sometimes she sleeps for 5 hours or so but when she wakes the only way she will stop crying and go back to sleep is if we pick her up and give cuddles or bring her into our bed. If I try to just "ssshh" and pat her etc but not pick her up she gets really distressed and stands up in her cot crying and going "no mummy no! No!" Which of course then means she's fully awake and takes even longer to get back to sleep. So, most nights we end up bringing her in with us out of desperation. About three weeks ago we had three nights in a row where she miraculously slept through for 12 hours (it was heaven) but then it all went to shit again .
DH works long hours with a hellish commute and I work in a particularly stressful and potentially dangerous environment so sleep deprivation really takes it's toll, hence the caving in and letting her in with us.
I keep thinking about sleep training but if she's teething and genuinely in pain wouldn't it be cruel to leave her to cry? Would it even work? I don't know if I have the stomach for it (let alone the energy) but I don't think I can carry on like this for much longer. I'm not getting any younger and would have liked to be TTC no 2 by now but can't even contemplate coping with a newborn with DD not sleeping and ending up in our bed most nights.
So should I bite the bullet and sleep train and if so where the hell do I start? Or should I just hang in there and pray these bloody teeth come through soon and things will go back to how they were?
Sorry for the essay! Any advice much appreciated.
I'm not anti sleep training (I did it with DS1 when he was 9 months old) but I do think that sleep training a 2 year old would be pretty hellish. It's bad enough leaving them to cry, but ignoring them when they can call out for you would be much worse!
However, if you decide to go through with it I'd buy a book - it's easier when you have an exact plan to work to. I'm a bit out of date (my youngest is 6) but in my day it was Gina Ford (I think she's fallen out of favour now?) or there are gentler methods like the no cry sleep solution.
I do believe that if she's always been a great sleeper it will come back eventually if you hang in there. Does it matter if she ends up in your bed? Can you just all snooze together or is she a wriggly sleeper?
Thank you both for your replies.
We have tried calpol and nurofen but it didn't seem to make much difference at all. Maybe we should give it another go. I don't think it can do any harm anyway.
Seven, part of me thinks it doesn't matter if she ends up in with us and part of me is worried that the longer it goes on the more it will become a habit and will be a nightmare to break. Also we really do want another baby and I can't see how it would work with DD still in our bed. She does wriggle a fair bit and occasionally cry out in her sleep even when she's in with us which again makes me think that teeth are to blame as she seems uncomfortable and she wasn't a fidgety sleeper before. I hope you're right and she will just snap out of it as I really don't like the idea of leaving her to cry. I think the problem is that it's been going on for so long that I've started to lose hope and it feels like she's never going to sleep through again.
She's obviously waking for a reason so sleep training won't work. If you allow her into your bed whilst she's upset, it doesn't mean she will stay in your bed until she's at uni! We generally allow our LO to come in if they wake after we are asleep as we all get back to sleep straight away rather than us all being woken whilst trying to get them back to sleep. As for ttc, there are other places tha your bed!
Everything's a phase at this stage. I would let her sleep in your bed where she feels secure; it's not a bad habit if it's what she needs at the moment. Having tried sleep training once, I will never do it again.
I personally wouldn't sleep train if she's teething. It seems very unfair on her. Have you tried giving calpol before bed then using anbesol topically when she wakes?
I don't agree with sleep training anyway but in this case it would just be a complete waste of time.
Hopefully those teeth will come through soon and everything will work out. Definitely give nurafen if she wakes up crying and try bongella too x
Thank you all for your advice.
Jo, its not the TTC part that worries me it's when the new baby actually arrives! Although, I realised I'm probably getting ahead of myself there
I agree with you all. I've never liked the idea of sleep training and wouldn't even be contemplating it if I weren't exhausted after four months of rubbish sleep. I've just had so many people telling me I've "made a rod for my own back", that I'm "too soft" and that she can't possibly have been teething for this long so she must be waking out of habit...after a while you really start to question yourself.
Oops sorry! Well don't worry about something that will be 9m+ in the future!
Don't doubt yourself, just do what is right for you and your family.
If you start TTC now it will be at least 9m before a new baby comes along. A lot will change in 9m!
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