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2.5 Year Old and not staying in his own room - Help!

(11 Posts)
CumbrianExile Mon 06-Feb-17 09:16:12


Just after some advise if anyone has any.

My DS is almost 2y6m, and since the start of January has pretty much refused to spend the night in his own room.

He was always the perfect sleeper, through night from 6 weeks old, own room at 6 months with no issues, sides of the cot at 2 year old, again no issues. We had the odd night of early wake up/middle of the night wake up, but generally he was fine. (I was probably a bit gloaty about it tbh - getting bitten for that right now!)

He had what I thought was a nightmare at the start of Jan, and we brought him in our bed as a one off (couple of these before and always gone back in his own bed fine afterwards) and this was the start.

Now he won't go up to bed at night anymore. This is fine, we stop all playing at 7.30 and he falls asleep on me or DH and we take him upstairs. I can live with this. But without fail, between 1-3 am he will wake up and just expect to come in our bed. Usually we give in but I hate sleeping with him (I toss and turn, as does he, I haven't slept properly for 30 nights) and I really want to break this habit.

We have tried
- A nightlight
- Sitting in his room til he falls back to sleep - two hours last night, every time I moved he sat upright, I eventually gave up at 3 am.
- Moving back to his own room once he is asleep, but he seems to sense we are staying awake to do this and fights longer.
- Just ignoring his cries but we live in a middle terrace and he can be quite loud

Any ideas?

As we think it is separation anxiety - my DH new suggestion is getting him an air bed for our room, but I think this may just prolong the agony. But to be honest, I am ready to try anything right now to get my bed back!

NapQueen Mon 06-Feb-17 09:19:04

If he is falling asleep on you at night then when he wakes he can't get himself back to sleep without doing so on you and dh.

You need to work on getting him into bed awake and falling asleep without you there. So I'd suggest a gradual retreat.

1 - into bed awake and falling asleep with you or dh next to him
2 - into bed awake and falling asleep with you or dh sat by the door
3 - into bed awake and falling asleep with you and dh outside the room
4 - into bed awake and falling asleep without you there.

Imo you can't tackle the middle of the night waking without sorting the falling asleep on you problem first.

GinIsIn Mon 06-Feb-17 09:31:30

My DSis had this with my nephew - by letting him always fall asleep on you, I think you've trained him not to sleep without you, unfortunately.

I think if you work on how he gets to sleep in the first place that will get you off to a good start? Proper bedtime routine- bath, story in bed, then telling him it's sleep time - then as napqueen has said, gradual retreat. And if he wakes up in the night you need to take him back to his room. It'll be rubbish at first, but short term pain for long term gain!

CumbrianExile Mon 06-Feb-17 09:55:34

See, I can cope with the falling asleep on me in the evenings, but it does make sense that this is why he can't get back over when he wakes.

Might be easier to do that too. He always used to go up fine, even asked to go earlier on days where he was tired.

God I wish I had gloated less at the perfect sleeping through the night baby I used to have sad

CumbrianExile Mon 06-Feb-17 09:56:11

Sorry, forgot to say thanks for the advice flowers

CumbrianExile Tue 07-Feb-17 20:12:17

God our neighbours are gonna hate us! We are giving the going to sleep in his own bed a go. 30 minutes non stop crying so far. He is upstairs with DH, I am downstairs trying not to cry sad

Frazzled2207 Tue 07-Feb-17 20:42:41

Keep at it, it's worth it. We let ds cry it out when he was 2, it was 4 very difficult nights (we literally put a gate on the door and left him sad) but he's been really good and broadly sleeping through since, is now nearly 4.

CumbrianExile Wed 08-Feb-17 07:01:54

Thanks Frazzled. Took 90 minutes before he fell asleep, but he stayed in his own bed all night and we all feel much better about it.
Lots of praise for DS this morning, before we build up to tackle it all again tonight!

CumbrianExile Mon 13-Feb-17 19:30:55

I would just like to thank you for the advise on this thread. We started the routine NapQueen suggested and we are now having full nights sleeps grin and we are not having to sit in his room since last night, he is going down ok.


munchkinmable Mon 13-Feb-17 20:38:02

I'm not sure letting him cry for so long will make him associate bed with calm/secure thoughts. I'd be tempted to get new bedding, let him choose, maybe a new bedtime story book and try to implement a solid routine back into it

CumbrianExile Mon 13-Feb-17 20:53:24

First night, DH took him up and sat with him in his room soothing him to sleep. Took 90 minutes.
Second night, I did the same, took 60 minutes.
Third and fourth night, 30 minutes.
Last two nights, took him up, laid him in bed and left the room, no tears from DS, tonight a little babbling and now silence. We do check on him frequently til we go to bed, about 5 minutes ago he was snoring away.
We didn't let him cry alone, but we didn't encourage too much comfort, rewarding with hugs/pats when he got into bed. Either way, its worked for us and we are now all muddling along much happier than we were this time last week.

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