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Help! My previously beautifully sleep trained ds (3) will no longer go to sleep on his own.

(15 Posts)
DangerQuakeRhinoSnake Sun 17-Jul-16 21:47:47

For the last couple of weeks his sleep pattern has been seriously messed up and I cannot get it back to normal. He had a late night one night, followed by a lie in, and has started napping in the day again (in the car - I think the warm weather isn't helping in this respect). He had been a wonderful self settler for more than two years so we're really struggling, especially as we have a 3 month old to look after too.

I can keep him in his room with a stair gate but he just stands there screaming, crying, yelling my name. It's awful sad

His bedtime is 8pm usually but now it's gone 9pm before he goes, even if we sit with him so no evening left for us.

Sleep training a 6-9 month old seems so easy compared with what I have to deal with now. Guessing the same rules no longer apply!

All suggestions gratefully received.

bobby81 Mon 18-Jul-16 13:19:54

He could be unsettled because of the baby & looking for some more attention.
Both of my kids were great sleepers as babies but when they reached an age where they realised they could get out of bed & walk downstairs it became much more difficult!
I would move his bedtime to 7 o'clock if that's possible for you then even if it takes a while you should still have some evening time for yourself.
I can't bear my kids crying & screaming so I still spend time holding the youngests hand while she settles to sleep (she is 5!)
Is your partner around at bedtimes? It's always so much easier if you have some support especially with having a baby as well.
Hope it gets easier for you soon x

poocatcherchampion Mon 18-Jul-16 13:20:38

Cut out the nap??

bobby81 Mon 18-Jul-16 13:28:15

Not sure!! Depends what time it is. The thing is you don't want him to be over tired at bedtime because it could make him more upset.
I think at that age my kids would nap some days but not others. I've always found that a consistent bedtime (where possible!) is important though.
Does he have a bedtime routine - supper, bath, story etc.?
Sorry I'm probably not much use but wanted to reply because I feel for you having been through it myself!

DangerQuakeRhinoSnake Tue 19-Jul-16 05:33:46

Thank you all. I appreciate the advice (and sympathy!) Yes I suspect insecurity around the new baby has something to do with it. She's had some health issues so our focus has been on her more than we would have liked really. In that sense I am even more reluctant to struggle with leaving him at bedtime. Maybe in the short term we should give him the extra time at bedtime without a fight?

The heat at the moment is really not helping! His room is like an oven. Hoping to source a fan today.

The nap is something I can't do anything about as he drops off in the car even on the shortest of journeys. If I wake him he gets a terrible temper and so I'm reluctant to when it's just me and the children. The nap can be any time, sometimes before lunch even. He seems tired even in the mornings. He's under a dietitian and on iron supplements don't know if that's relevant?

Yes I do have a partner to help in the evenings. Thankfully, as this is when baby dd is at her fussiest too.

Yes, earlier bedtime sounds like a plan. DP's new job finishes earlier so it's definitely something we can do (we used to struggle to fit everything in). I brought bedtime forward last night but it still took around two hours to get him to sleep.

DangerQuakeRhinoSnake Tue 19-Jul-16 05:36:30

Sorry Bobby missed your last question. Yes he does have a routine, although we don't bath him every night, usually every other night. His routine hasn't changed in all the time we've had him, just seems that one late night has really stuffed things up. Grrr!

icklekid Tue 19-Jul-16 05:43:23

I think the heat will definitely not be helping. I would be temped to do gradual withdrawl so start off sitting by his bed, then on floor where he can see you, then doorway, outside door etc... I think with new baby he does need the attention. Try and mininise nap so tired by bed time- also if he takes 2h but starts at 7 much more reasonable than 2h starting at 9! Good luck op- hope your dd is ok health wise and know how hard a fussy newborn can be especially in the eve!

puglife15 Wed 20-Jul-16 08:50:30

You need to drop the nap. Do you need to go in the car? If it's not essential just avoid it for a while. Mine wakes up in a dreadful mood too if he falls asleep longer than 5 mins in the car, but nothing cuddles and 10 mins of TV or book reading doesn't usually sort. I'd also try to give him some 1 on 1 time before bed even just 5 minutes with baby safe in another room. Also, start bedtime early, like 6pm, and give yourself an hour to do your routine. Trying to rush just hypes my 3 year old up.

My eldest us struggling terribly with having a sibling, it's bloody hard work so I do sympathise.

puglife15 Wed 20-Jul-16 08:52:30

Oh and one of us will lie down with him for 5-10 mins in his bed for a cuddle with lights off.

puglife15 Wed 20-Jul-16 08:55:00

Personally I'd not do the stair gate either. He is feeling really insecure, unsure if you still love him, he's testing this out through his actions - and I don't think the stair gate will give him a positive message.

PalaceGirl Wed 20-Jul-16 08:59:28

Perhaps you could put the baby and your son in the same room together some feels more secure?

DangerQuakeRhinoSnake Wed 20-Jul-16 20:31:56

Thank you for your messages. He's just gone to sleep and this is the earliest in a while so I'm pleased. We didn't go out at all today in the car so he didn't nap! Also started bedtime routine earlier so we're getting there. I still had to wait in the room with him till he fell asleep (can't believe i have to do this now after so long leaving him awake singing or chattering to his toys). He actually climbed onto my lap and put a pillow over himself in 31 degree heat!! Needless to say I moved him back onto the bed quicksmart.

I daren't put baby in his room Palace. Let's just say she's not his favourite person right now. Besides, she's in with us while she's small, especially with the health issues she has (nothing too serious we hope Ickle, thanks for asking, but having to keep an eye on her).

He gets plenty of one on one time Pug. Either dp or I will spend time with him while he's in the bath and he usually gets two stories.

Thanks for all the tips!

puglife15 Thu 21-Jul-16 03:26:16

No way put baby in same room! Not until youngest is maybe 18 months. You shouldn't leave a baby alone with a child younger than 5 or 6 at all. (Not directed at you OP)

Sounds like tonight went better Danger, keep at it...

DangerQuakeRhinoSnake Fri 22-Jul-16 23:37:56

Health visitor today suggested gradual withdrawal method so giving that a go. We did controlled crying at around 6-9 months old which worked really well so hoping he responds to this too. Seemed to go OK tonight but he just woke up apparently having nightmares about me leaving him confused more mummy guilt here! Seems to be a lot of similar threads about this issue at the moment. There was a full moon the other night was there not??

Jv79 Sun 24-Jul-16 20:25:29

Hi, we are going through exactly the same with our 3yo (although we do not have a baby as well), she used to be so good at going to bed but is just a nightmare atm!! 😱. We have re introduced sticker charts, which are sometimes successful, other times they really do not help!!
Hope your method works for you. X

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