Toddler sleep!(4 Posts)
Hi, we've been lucky with DS1 and sleep where we've been able to put him down at 7pm ish and he's settled himself, taking anywhere from 5 mins to an hour but he was fine by himself.
But for the last couple of weeks he won't let me or DH leave the room until he's sound asleep! It's now 8.45 and I've been sitting here since 7.15. If I leave he shouts and screams.
He's got his music and little night light on which has 15 min cycles and will switch itself off.
Is it a phase? We also have DS2 who is 10 weeks old - would that be a cause of it? Thought we'd gotten away with any funny behaviour as he seemed fine for the first couple of months.
Thanks for any advice!
Oh, forgot to say he's just about to turn 2 years old.
I think it's a developmental thing: we've just had exactly the same and he'll be 2 next month. Thankfully for us it only lasted 4 or 5 nights but it included night wake ups requiring the same amount of sitting in his room... Hope it's soon over for you too: it's scary when a previously good sleeper forgets how to do it. In our case it was as if he couldn't switch his brain off.
7.15-8.45 is a massive wait.
Yes, it's probably triggered by the appearance of a new sibling and the upheaval that has bought to his world. It will pass, but there are ways to help him.
If I leave he...
This the the root cause of the problem.
Him needing some extra reassurance right now is understandable and you are doibg the right thing by giving that reassurance. But it should be taking 10 or 15 minutes max.
Your problem is likely to be down to trust. He needs your reassurance that you'll stay until asleep, but you keep sneaking out before he's asleep. So he is actively trying to stay awake because he doesn't trust you'll stay until he's asleep.
It's taking the length of time it takes for him to reach the point that he is so exhausted he cannot stay awake any longer. This is different to the time it would take to go to sleep when he's tired.
Rather than sneaking out, commit to staying with him until fully asleep (and then sneaking out). Once he trusts that you will stay, he should go to sleep more easily.
It's then at that point that you start making small changes to be less dependant on your presence.
- Face partially away from him, stay until asleep
- Face fully away from him, stay until asleep
- Face away from him, a step away from the cot, stay until asleep
- Face away from him, two steps away from the cot, stay until asleep
- Face away from him, stand at doorway, stay until asleep
- Start popping away from the doorway and coming back. Promise to stay upstairs until asleep.
- Promise to stay upstairs until asleep, looking door every 2 minutes.
- Promise to stay upstairs until asleep, looking door every 5 minutes.
- Promise to stay upstairs until asleep. Close door after 15 minutes
- Close door as you leave the room but promise to stay upstairs until asleep.
- Close door as you leave the room and leave him to it.
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