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'It's just a stage...nothing lasts.' Really?!

(16 Posts)
Snapdrag0n Thu 20-Oct-16 16:53:07

My 2.4 year old has been waking a couple of times a night since DS2 arrived 5 months ago. He has gone through stages of sleeping through the night, and spent many months as a 7-7 sleeper.

However we have gone through many different approaches on how best to handle the nights that can turn into weeks and now months of disturbed sleep. Sometimes I question whether the many approaches we use have just made an assortment of rods for our backs or have we just done what needs to be done to manage the situation at the time.

I guess my question is, does 'nothing last' does 'everything pass' is it 'just a stage' or does one thing pass just to be replaced by something else?!

Are we creating 'bad habits' that need to be broken when we co-sleep or give milk in the night etc etc or are we just dealing with a situation that in time will pass on it's own regardless of how we handle it?!

Batteriesallgone Thu 20-Oct-16 16:59:48

I'm not sure anyone actually knows and I'm almos certain all you'll get here is opinion grin

Have you heard of the infant sleep information source? Pretty credible website (NHS govt and universities collaboration I think) looking at the research that exists

53rdAndBird Thu 20-Oct-16 17:09:58

Pretty sure they won't be co-sleeping or wanting to breastfeed to sleep when they're teenagers. So yeah, it all passes eventually grin

Although I was a terrible sleeper as a baby/toddler, and still don't need much sleep as an adult, so some things are just inbuilt I reckon. (Mind you I also don't need my mum to settle me back in when I do wake these days!)

Snapdrag0n Thu 20-Oct-16 17:17:57

Hahah, god I hope not wink I think I did cast my eye over that research when DS1 had his first stint of night waking! But yes, I'm interested to hear others opinions. I think that we are made to feel that if our children don't sleep it is because something has gone wrong and needs fixing, I'm not sure what I think (in my sleep deprived state) anymore! I guess I am leaning towards what you say 53rdAndBird. Alot of it's inbuilt and maybe rods and backs don't apply!

InsaneDame Thu 20-Oct-16 17:44:41

We just have rules in place for night time so the kids know exactly what to expect i.e we don't do different things every night. The rules are basically - everyone stays in their own bed/room all night (unless toilet needed but then straight back to bed). No getting up before 6.30am. No drinks/food during the night bar a sip of water at bedtime. No conversations. No singing. No lights on. No staying in anyone's room.

We have always responded to our children when they call out - it's usually to find a lost teddy or to be tucked in but it is literally a quick in then back out job. I do believe everything passes in time but I also believe you can speed that 'passing' process up by implementing certain boundaries so everyone knows where they stand and what is expected.

InsaneDame Thu 20-Oct-16 17:46:53

The no singing rule is a parent singing to DC after bedtime - the kids can (and do!) sing quietly to themselves if they want.

Snapdrag0n Thu 20-Oct-16 18:04:54

That sounds like a good set of boundaries InsaneDame, can I ask how old you're children are? I think we are still in the 'work in progress' stage of DD1 understanding nightime rules!

FATEdestiny Thu 20-Oct-16 20:51:26

With the exception of when a child is poorly, I do loosen the rules when a child is ill, I have similar boundaries with my children

My youngest is 2y1m and she accepts the boundaries. She's not really old enough for the in-depth explanation that a 4 or 5 year old might need, but she mostly just blindly accepts 'The Rules' because it's all she has known since being about 12m old.

DocMcFanjo Thu 20-Oct-16 21:50:38

Great set of rules InsaneDame. I might just pinch that concept.

Batteriesallgone Thu 20-Oct-16 22:50:19

I am gradually introducing nighttime rules to 20m old dd. I believe they are pointless before 12m, have limited use before 18m, and become crucial somewhere between the 2-3yr mark. Currently she still comes in my bed if she wakes at night, but there is now no playing or being awake at night. Nighttime is for sleeping or lying quietly. No lights on. No getting up before 5am.

Can't remember at what age DS 'got it' but reliably from just over 3 he was sleeping through in own room.

For me it is important my kids can come in to me at night if they need to because I have horrible memories of nightmares and just getting a quick hug then being left scared and alone in the dark. Most kids tend to be happy in their own room eventually anyway from what I can tell from friends and family.

InsaneDame Fri 21-Oct-16 08:08:53

Glad my rules went down well! My boys are 7yrs old and 2.5yrs. Like Fate neither of them have questioned it as that is all they have known. The older one has been discussing recently that sometimes he thinks about getting up to find a toy to play with in bed but I nipped that idea in the bud by explaining when we put him to bed we expect him to sleep or lie quietly to give his body a rest as this is important to keep him strong and healthy. He is quite happy to accept that. (He did say straight after thinking about getting a toy he falls asleep so I think it's just a testing boundaries comment!) Good luck everyone!

Snapdrag0n Fri 21-Oct-16 10:28:11

We do have some nighttime rules, DD1 isn't wandering around aimlessly throughout the night and knows not to leave his bed and not to start playing, talking, wanting lights on etc, and he is pretty good with that. The problem is that when he calls for us in the night the only thing that will settle him is for one of us to lie or even sleep by his bed (we have a mattress on the floor). This seems quite a hard one to break and quite a hard rule to explain, 'you have to sleep in your bed without one of us in the room' if we don't stay and settle and leave he will often cry again a few minutes later and continue until we just give up and go to sleep by his side...I suppose the key is to not give up but with a young DD2 needing to be fed too, it is hard not to just choose sleep and hope that things really are 'just a stage' and that regardless of what I do DD2 will one day (soon) understand he's ok alone and no longer need us there....

Batteriesallgone Fri 21-Oct-16 11:17:29

Personally I can't abide leaving children alone until they're ready. As I say I have horrible memories of it. Humans are social creatures, being alone for 8/9/10 hours at a time is a crazy concept.

Will they share a room soon? You might find that sorts out the waking as he won't be alone.

pitterpatterrain Fri 21-Oct-16 11:25:49

I would say it is often a phase. DD has recently had a couple of weeks waking for milk, before that a couple of weeks of wanting to join us in bed.

Both now finished and rejected (now she wants to stay in her bed, no waking for milk) so not sure what the trigger was but seems to have passed.

I would have stronger rules but find things often ride out within a week or so. Although sleeping on a mattress in the same room, I think that would have to get nipped in the bud as I am heavily pregnant and like my bed grin - although probably our solution to something like that may have been us bringing her into bed with us vs us sleeping in with her.

Snapdrag0n Fri 21-Oct-16 11:52:05

Yes, **Batteriesallgone the plan will be for them both to share a room, hopefully relatively soon and I think you're right and should (fingers crossed) nip it in the bud. I agree that I wouldn't want to leave DD1 alone when upset as I can relate to that feeling too, I just wish they felt secure enough to sleep alone confused We did try the bringing into bed with us **pitterpatterrain but what with the wriggling and diagonal sleeping, moving to the mat on the floor was the better option! Although completely agree, would not be ideal when pregnant smile

pitterpatterrain Fri 21-Oct-16 15:06:50

Yes yes the wriggling and snoring can be a problem!

I have ended up in the spare room with DH (who sleeps like a log) waking up wondering how I turned into DD in the middle of the night! grin

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