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How do you put your 18 month old down to sleep? Help needed

(19 Posts)
AuntieMaggie Sat 02-Jan-16 20:57:03

So DS has always fallen asleep on us and then we've carried him to bed (we bring him back downstairs after his bath and cuddle him in front of the tv) however he is becoming increasingly distracted by the lights/tv/everything around him so we need to try to put him to bed awake as he's also getting too heavy to carry.

The last few nights we've taken him upstairs and put him in his cot and I've sat on the floor reassuring him (mainly ssshing ) and he's gone through a period of standing up, crying then lying back down on his own before finally falling to sleep.

What do other people do when they put their little ones down at night?

I'm hoping eventually I can put him down and leave him but he gets in such a state when we've done that we end up having to take him back out of the cot to calm him down. He's always been one for going straight to screaming which is why we've ended up like this.

NeedsAMousekatool Sat 02-Jan-16 20:59:03

I'll watch this as I still breastfeed my almost 18 month old to sleep in a dark room then put her in her cot when she falls asleep, and I would very much like to wean her off the breast at some point ever!

Ragwort Sat 02-Jan-16 21:04:17

This won't help you but that is exactly why I never got into the habit of feeding/cuddling to sleep - it must be hard to do that for 18 months and then expect your DS to automatically learn to go to sleep on his own.

I just put my baby in his cot and he learned to self settle.

nearlyreadytopop Sat 02-Jan-16 21:31:10

DS1 - nightmare sleeper, cot hater, moved to big bed at 18 months so at least DH or I could lie with him until he fell asleep. He's 4 now and still a rubbish sleeper.
DS2 - Co sleeper until 6 months, transitioned to a cot perfectly. I'm still amazed that I can put him down in his cot for a nap and at night and he will toddle about for a while, sing a little, then fall asleep. He's now 18months and is a much better sleeper than his older brother.

NeedsAMousekatool Sat 02-Jan-16 21:32:40

So nearly the trick is to swap DD for a different child at bedtime? grin

Iguessyourestuckwithme Sat 02-Jan-16 21:35:03

Cuddles and story in bedroom. Put into cot, cover up (with teddies) and kiss goodnight. Occasionally sing the bedtime song and then lights off and out the room. Been the same since 6 months. Nap times are just into the cot and covered over; I quickly kiss her and say I'll see you soon , got jobs to do. Lights out and sleep.

DeckTheWallsWithLotsOfMolly Sat 02-Jan-16 21:58:55

Lie with him until he falls asleep. Eventually he will get older and not need you. It's nice that some people have babies that they can put down and walk away from with no fuss, but obviously you don't have one of these, so just don't fight it... Honestly, it's much easier when you go with the flow. (Or swap for a different child, as PP suggested!)

AuntieMaggie Sat 02-Jan-16 22:10:20

NeedsAMousekatool I feel for you - DS self weaned at 7 months and stopped going to sleep after a feed shortly after.

He sleeps well once hes gone to sleep and if he does wake up will normally settle himself back to sleep it's just that initial putting him down.

AuntieMaggie Sun 03-Jan-16 09:06:51

Thanks DeckTheWallsWithLotsOfMolly

I've lost count of the amount of people that have told me to put him down and leave him... most changed their mind when they saw the state he got in. Only crying when I sat on the floor next to the cot is an achievement! I've enjoyed cuddling him to sleep and will miss it but he's now staying awake til 10/11 pm doing that but I'm happy to sit with him if that's what he needs.

NeedsAMousekatool Sun 03-Jan-16 09:14:43

Could it be more of a napping issue? If I let DD sleep too long or too late in the daytime bedtime is hell. Also, she wouldn't fall asleep in front of the tv in a million years. Do you have a comfy armchair in his room so you could cuddle him down maybe with just a dim nightlight on?

DangerMouth Sun 03-Jan-16 11:08:02

I would keep him upstairs after his bath and cuddle him to sleep in his room. Pick a consistent routine that signals bed time and stick with it. Once he is falling asleep easily enough on you in his room then work on putting him down drowsy (my definition is when they're in a light sleep so they open their eyes when you put them down so they know where they are then go into a deeper sleep)

You're completely changing his routine so you're going to have to be patient with it!

nearlyreadytopop Sun 03-Jan-16 13:40:24

That's one way to do itgrin
We did a gradual reduction- lying beside him until he's asleep and then distancing ourselves gradually until we could sit in the chair beside him. We haven't got any further than that and for us it's ok.
Change one thing at a time and do it slowly.

FATEdestiny Sun 03-Jan-16 14:06:07

Search for a thread called "what worked for us" (if you put that into google followed by mumsnet it will come up). That is a version of gradual withdrawal for an older baby / young toddler. It would work for you but to save me going into a lot of detail, read the OP on that thread.

What do I do? Well my DD is 15 months and I just put her into the cot wide awake and she goes to sleep within 5 minutes or so without any crying or anything.

But I have got to that by following very gentle no-crying gradual withdrawal from newborn. It took until she was about 12 months old to get to the point we are at now.

Artandco Sun 03-Jan-16 14:18:06

Put him in bed, and read him stories with light dimmed. Don't let them see pictures though, the rule is they lay down with eyes closed whilst you read. If they keep sitting up you stop story, lay back down and remind them to close eyes and you can continue story. Read story with slightly dull voice. You should bore them to sleep after the first few nights of novelty.

We still do his with our most nights and they are 4-5 years. They can go to sleep without but like it. And we can leave with them awake as they are used to it but 75% of the time they are asleep but the time we finish a few chapters of a story now. ( perfected art of boring reading!).

We also always read them a book in living room with lights bright and pictures looked at before main bedtime so they do actually see the books pictures during the day

Artandco Sun 03-Jan-16 14:19:43

Can you also do a half way point by reading like I mentioned but having them in your bed whilst you do this so he can be close to you and semi cuddle to sleep. Move him later on when you go to bed

icklekid Sun 03-Jan-16 14:24:25

Ds is also 17 months night time is easy because he is shattered can just put him down and he falls asleep (with dummy and white noise ) naps are hit and miss normally involving stood next to him patting his back and shhhing whilst gradually retreating

CarrotCakeMuffins Sun 03-Jan-16 14:42:01

I can relate to your current method. I would keep him upstairs after his bath though and read stories / have milk / whatever you would normally do, then put him in the cot and stay with him if that's what works at the moment.

I did this with my DS, also 18m now, and after crashing round his cot etc, he would eventually settle and go to sleep. I also did sshhing, humming, singing.

We have now progressed in the last week to me putting him in the cot and leaving the room and after a little grumble, he is now mostly going to sleep on his own. If he proper cries, I go back to him until he calms down.

Good luck. You will get through this!

AuntieMaggie Sun 03-Jan-16 15:23:28

Thank you all... just interesting to see what others do and how the toddlers respond. Funny how different they all are...

AuntieMaggie Sun 03-Jan-16 15:45:21

FATEdestiny thank you that was interesting reading

I think continuing what we've done the past few nights and gradually retreating is the way to go. I try not to lie him back down as I noticed he thinks I'm going to pick him up and then gets upset when I put him down so I've been sitting next to the cot facing it telling him to lie down when he sits/stands up (which he does) and reassuring him/ssshing. I tried patting/stroking him and holding his hand but he angrily pushed me away! He eventually turned his back on me (charming) and went to sleep.

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