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Almost 2yo's sleep has gone haywire. Does anyone have any strategies to get her sleeping through again?

(5 Posts)
AgentCandid Tue 11-Apr-17 21:23:17

DD is nearly two and her sleep has gone all wrong. She wasn't much of a sleeper for her first year, but after that she relented and for six sweet months we put an awake child down in the cot, left the room and returned in the morning. This is now a distant memory.

Since 18 months she's been waking in the night and crying until we go in. Over the course of a few colds and a chest infection, this has gradually deteriorated into her insisting on me or DP lying by her cot at bedtime with a hand stuck through the bars until she falls asleep, and repeating this for any night waking. The first night waking has also crept earlier and earlier so it's now a good night if she gets to midnight without a visit from one of us.

We end up sleeping on her bedroom floor and sticking a hand through the bars whenever necessary. It's driving us both mad and I'm pregnant so DP is having a lot of broken nights on the floor.

We have avoided using controlled crying until now but I'm not sure there's any other option. We did gradual retreat at 12 months and that worked well but it felt like she was ready to start sleeping through anyway IFSWIM. I'm not sure how it would go now she's so certain of what she wants.

DC2 isn't due until October so we have time to tackle this properly but we really want to get her sleeping well again.

Has anyone been through this and found a magic solution? Thanks for reading this essay!

FATEdestiny Tue 11-Apr-17 21:34:25

I would do a speeded up version of gradual withdrawal. So start off with informing her that you are not going to lie down but will stand by the cot, hold her hand, stay until asleep, then go.

Once she accepts this is what happens every time, start letting go of her hand when settled. Stay standing by the cot, stay until asleep and if upset, hold hand until settled but then always withdraw hand when calm.

Then start letting go on hand and stepping away from cot when calm. Still stay until asleep.

Then just lean into cot and hold hand to initially settle, step back and wait. If distressed step back to cot and firm hand on chest/back, but not holding hand. Withdraw and step away when settled.

Then settle quickly initially and retreat to doorway. Wait until asleep. Return and firm hand on chest/back if needed. Withdraw when settled.

Then wait outside four until asleep... and so on.

AgentCandid Tue 11-Apr-17 21:44:53

Thank you FATE. That approach is what my instinct tells me to do, despite DD's stubborn streak. I need to tell myself that it worked before and we can do it again. And the first time we went from full cosleeping, feeding to sleep multiple times a night to settling from awake in her own cot and staying there all night. Sorry, kind of rambling to myself now but your post is just what I needed to hear and it gives me a framework to small steps to tackle.

AgentCandid Thu 13-Apr-17 13:52:40

Just wanted to say thanks again, in case you see this. We've fast forwarded a bit and started to get her down to sleep while one of us sits in the chair by her cot. No hand holding at all. Fingers crossed this sticks. She's protested much less so far than I expected. We just repeat 'lie down please, it's time to sleep' and that seems to bore her to sleep.

FATEdestiny Thu 13-Apr-17 15:21:33

Fantastic news flowers

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