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Would I be justified in calling a sleep consultant?

(9 Posts)
ElektraPlektra Sun 13-Nov-16 13:55:38

I am really struggling with DS 1's sleep at the moment. He is in bed at 8.30 pm, we leave him to go to sleep on his own, but he usually cries so we keep popping in and out of the room. It often takes him 40 minutes to drop off. He wakes nearly every night and we have tried leaving the room after checking everything is OK, but he'll cry for around an hour and seeing as it's every night, we've given in and now one of us goes directly in to sleep with him. I just don't know what to do with him anymore, he clearly doesn't want to sleep on his own, but there isn't room for his cot in our room and co-sleeping was an absolute nightmare. This has been going on for about six months. We now also have a newborn baby which makes it all even harder. Is this just normal sleep for a 2 yo and do I need to suck it up? Or would I be justified in calling a sleep consultant and would they be able to help me? Or does anyone on here have any ideas ?
He goes down like a dream for naps by the way, no tears and he's asleep within 10 minutes.

PilkoPumpPants Sun 13-Nov-16 13:59:02

How long ago did he turn 2? Just wondering if his closer to 3 or just turned 2.

ElektraPlektra Sun 13-Nov-16 14:05:22

He has just turned two.

VeryPunny Sun 13-Nov-16 14:13:50

FWIW, I don't think they are worth the money. DD was/is a total nightmare sleeper, and it's only now at over three and a half that she will sleep in her own bed all night long. Best case scenario previously was she would start in her own bed and come into our bed with varying degrees of upset. DH moved into the spare room and I stayed in our bedroom for my sanity as I couldn't get any sleep with both DH snoring and DD coming in. She fundamentally just doesn't like sleeping alone and it was much easier once we just accepted it. No amount of dummies (point blank refused), comforters, gradual retreat worked - we still hold her hand to get to sleep but she usually drops off very quickly. Didn't try cry it out. Got better once we told her that she could come into our beds whenever she liked as long as she was quiet.

DS is nearly two (19 month gap) has slept through solidly from 6 months. Put him in his cot, kiss goodnight, go back in 12 hours later. Yes he has a dummy, but he's just a different character. Both breastfed, both parented the same way.

You have my sympathy - the first year with two of them damn near killed us.

PilkoPumpPants Sun 13-Nov-16 14:15:52

Ah ok. If he was older I'd say try to have a talk with him but I don't think it would work for a just turned 2yr old.

Tbh I don't think a sleep consultant could do much as it sounds like he has separation anxiety and not an actual problem sleeping. The other problem is someone ends up getting in bed with him every night. That needs to be stopped before a sleep consultant can get involved.

I know it's absolutely exhausting but don't get in bed with him otherwise it's prolonging the whole thing.

Take him to a shop(or look online with him) and let him pick out a special bed time teddy, I'd suggest one of the microwave teddys that smell of lavander. Warm it up for him when its time to go to sleep and again when he wakes up in the night. The warmth should help settle him quicker. Make a big chart with him(I use cereal boxes cut in half) and section it into days of the week. If he settles himself give him a sticker to put on. Explain if he gets one everyday that week he can have a special treat. Explain this a lot to him throughout the day so he remembers. Also make sure you tell him nobody can sleep with him anymore. Maybe tell him it's giving you both a bad back as there isn't enough room. Explain this a lot throughout the day as well so it's not a shock at bedtime.

Try this for a while and see if it improves. Explaining what is happening is the best thing to do and stick to what you say.

Oly5 Sun 13-Nov-16 14:18:25

I would ride it out and it will improve. Babies and kids don't sleep well, though ours are much better now they are 4 and 2.5

ElektraPlektra Sun 13-Nov-16 14:29:57

the first year with two of them damn near killed us.

This is what we're feeling like - glad it's not just us being wimps!

Pilko - I know sleeping in his room is part of the problem. And I feel bad about leaving him to go to sleep on his own in the evening, but then going in to sleep with him during the night. It's such a mixed message. The lavender teddy is a very good idea, I'll definitely try that. I have one that I never use actually. I will try the chart, don't know if that's not too complicated for him though - he has speech delay and isn't speaking at all yet.

PilkoPumpPants Sun 13-Nov-16 16:12:51

My dd had no speech at that age either but they all want a big shiny stick to put on something they've made with mum or dadwink.

I hope it improves soon, no sleep is

VeryPunny Sun 13-Nov-16 20:30:02

If you do use a sleep consultant, I would ask about their long term success rates - very easy for sleep to improve for a month or so, but I think four months down the line things might look different.

Our DD was very articulate at two, but didn't give two hoots about sticker charts - either a sticker wasn't compensation for not being with us, or the morning was too far away for her to wait for a sticker. However, last month at 3 and a half, we did a sticker chart and bribed with a trip to soft play for four nights in her own bed out of seven and it worked a treat (she sometimes still calls out for us but now stays put)

To be honest letting her come into our bed was far and away the best option but because I was cosleeping with DS when he arrived, I was uncomfortable having both of them in the bed.

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