He's nearly 2 and he won't sleep without me there - help!(4 Posts)
Namechanged in case recognised and also just cos I want an anti-Daily Mail alt, the bastards.
My child is 21 months old. I've always got him to sleep by breastfeeding and then lying next to him until he falls asleep. Never had any success with anything else. This is no longer working well, as he often takes 45 mins or so to fall asleep and then wakes up after an hour or so, looks for me and screams when he can't find me.
He is at peak (I hope!) separation anxiety stage, happily plays on his own etc in the daytime as long as I'm in sight but not very tolerant of me going into a different room. I'm a SAHP and can't afford outside childcare, he won't be eligible for free hours until he's 2 and a half because of when his birthday falls so it's just the two of us nearly all day every day, and will be for a while yet.
We are co-sleeping on a big mattress on the floor of his room, which has a safety gate in the doorway and I've been leaving the door open when I sneak out once he's asleep. There's only me and him in the house, his dad moved out a few months ago although he still sees him almost every day.
I am really not keen on "Cry It Out" methods.
He knows lots of words and phrases including "wait" and "just going to the bathroom", but these don't help at night time and he doesn't have enough language yet to really understand explanations like I will come back in 5 minutes etc.
I'm frustrated and lonely, it's difficult to have people here after he's gone to bed because I end up spending most of the evening upstairs settling him, and naps are becoming just as difficult so I have to lie next to him for an hour or he doesn't nap - no chance to get anything done or have a break then either.
Help. WTF should I do?
Can I be straight-put honest with You, without pussy footing around?
At 2 years old, your toddlers sleep habits are likely to be set now until he can sleep without comfort (school age ususlly).
There are definately things you can do to help. For example establish a comforter toy in your place: "Can you look after mommy's teddy for me? It's extra special and needs lots of cuddles". But usually independant comfort mechanisms are in place already by now.
I honestly think you'd be better adjusting your expectations. Without crying sleep training methods that cause lots of distress, you might make some small positive changes but yours probably not likely to get away from cosleeping for a while yet.
How about finding better ways to cope? Could you make a sidecar cot? Removing one side off a cot and wedding it up to your bed means you and baby are off the floor and at least you are comfy in your bed.
I'd If its just you and DS without anyone else to worry about, why not move around his day to suit you better? If you don't like spending your evenings settling him, keep him up later and move his body clock accordingly. Its not like you have to be up for the school run or anything. So make life suit you.
Thank you, ok he's got a few teddies and things we can work on cuddling more during the day so I can try to divert him to those in the evenings. Won't work instantly but I can try it over some time.
I don't need to stop co-sleeping, it's just that he needs more sleep than I do (and I need to do some things without him there!), so he needs to sleep without me some of the time. I really can't spend four hours a day or so just lying next to him in the dark while he sleeps until he is school age!
We had a sidecar cot until he outgrew it at about 6 months, now we sleep on a big mattress on the floor in his room, which is fine for both of us.
Hopeful bump - any more suggestions anyone?
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