2 1/2 year old sleep issues...(10 Posts)
My DD has generally been a great sleeper - we've had a few blips when she was 10 months and then again when she was 18 months and we used the gradual method of sitting by the cot for 3 nights then in the middle of the room, then by the door and then outside the room - this has always been effective for her and when we've got to the door part she's pretty much been very ready for the next time of settling without us. However We went on holiday over Mother's Day weekend in a caravan and the first night she slept great. The nights after this and since then she has not. We did the method again as it's always worked in the past but when we got to the point where we weren't in sight she got very upset to the point where she made herself sick and kept screaming "mummy, daddy will sit with you" we didn't know what else to do so after talking with friends and family we thought she may be ready for a bed - so we bought all new peppa bedding (she chose and was very excited!!) and two nights ago she went in her bed (it's a cot bed so just took the sides off!) the first night she cried and said mummy sit with me, so I did as I thought it was new and hopefully once she sees it's the same she'll be ok. That night she was up and out of bed 9 times and each time obviously I had to go back to sitting at the door. Last night when I put her down, I shut the gate on her bedroom door and moved out of sight, with the plan to take her back to bed silently each time she got out, she got out 8 times in a short space of time and each time I took her back but then she refused to go into bed and went all stiff when I tried to lay her down, she was crying so much she was sick and got herself in such a state begging me to sit with her. So I gave in, but we decided to start the gradual thing again so I say in the middle of the room: last night she was up and out of bed crying for us 6 times. Myself and my husband are shattered, she's not shattered as she's not getting enough sleep and I've run out of ideas - does anyone have any?
I'm almost convinced to put the sides back on the cot and put her back in there, try the gradual method from there again and try and crack the sleep before the bed but I don't know if going backwards will be awful for her?!
Thanks in advance xxx
I would move back to the cot. Since its only been a couple of days, that shouldn't be a problem.
The transition from cot to bed, if done at a time when baby is developmentally ready, is a positive change. You shouldn't be exoectibg it to be difficult to manage and backwards steps. If you wait until she is ready for a bed, it will be an exciting but calm transition towards being a "big girl".
So if we rewind back to after mothers day when doing Gradual Withdrawal:
when we got to the point where we weren't in sight she got very upset to the point where she made herself sick and kept screaming "mummy, daddy will sit with you"
All that means is you were doing you withdrawing too fast for her. Not that she would never sleep alone in her bed, just that she wasn't yet ready to settle without you in sight.
I would have taken a step or two backwards in GW at that point:
- If she's not ready for you to be out of sight, wait at the doorway.
- Then wait just outside the doorway but in sight.
- Then tell her quietly that you are quickly pop to do something (put a washing in basket for example - just 20 seconds or so out of sight) but straight back to waiting and make sure she sees you come back and wait.
- Then pop away (20s ish) quickly a couple of times. Tell her what's happening so she knows you'll be straight back. Make sure she sees you come back then wait.
- then do something that takes longer, put washing away or clean bathroom for example. Tell her you are doing this. Tell her you'll keep popping back. Wait by the door if she's upset, busy yourself upstairs if not.
- Then then get to the point you promise to stay upstairs while she goes to sleep. She also needs to trust you'll step back the GW if she's upset and needs you. But for consistency you will withdraw again when she is settled.
Thank you so much for your comment and advice, I think I just wanted to hear that it's ok to go back to the cot, I worried about confusing her all the more!
I also worry that I'm giving in to her, my mum says that a lot. I've never been able to do controlled crying and if she gets really upset I always go back a step as I can't bare her feeling sad or that I'm not there for her so it's so lovely (and refreshing) to have someone tell me it's ok to listen to her!! Friends and family made me feel so silly when they found out that when she got so upset I moved back to the door so she wasn't upset anymore!!
Thank you xx
I would say you'll have a lot more hassle and difficulty sticking with the bed, compared to going back to the cot.
It's not been very long any way, so she'll quickly get over this week's sleeping arrangements being different to normal. It's no different to a holiday in that way. It may take a bit of effort to get her back to normal, but certainly not undo-able.
I also worry that I'm giving in to her
Without wishing to sound harsh, giving your child enough reassurance and showing compassion to their upset is not a bad thing. This does not mean "giving in to her". It just means caring.
Yes, there are "just shut the door and leave her to scream until she learns" methods you could use. You won't be judged going for these methods with a 2 year old, lots of people do.
It's just another method to achieve the same outcome.
So if you want to go down the harder-hearted leave her to scream until she accepts your bedtime rules method, do that.
If you want to go the gentler and kinder route of helping her learn the bedtime rules with help and support, then do that without feeling negative about it.
Our 2.5 year old has never been a terrible sleeper but she does go through 'needier' periods. I just sit in the room with her til she sleeps. She's in a single bed so I park myself on the end. Sometimes it only takes 10mins. Others it can take about 45, if it was consistently like this I would try to change it but it tends to not be for long periods. I guess what I mean is if she wants you there then I don't think there's any harm in being there
This is always what our little girl has been like lornathewizzard, whenever she's had little blips in her sleep we've just gone back to being with her and lots of cuddles if she wanted them but this just seems very different and doesn't appear to be getting any better, hopefully it will soon!! I've just put the cot back up, and will be going back to what we know works for her and not listening to family members advice for now, bless them.
Thank you FATEdestiny - the cots back up now, thank you for your advice and help. It's my mum who's always commenting that I'm giving in to her, she says it so often that sometimes through sleep deprivation and me being an emotional wotsit at the minute I worry I'm doing her a dis-service when I do really know that I'm not, and our method of being there when she needs us is what's best for her (and us!!) I can't do the harsher methods, it's not for me xx
Exactly as lornathewizzard said, my 2y6m old took until 12 months before she could be put down in the cot awake and I'd leave, but since then she is a great sleeper.
However, we occassionally have "needer" periods. Mostly I just put her in the cot, leave and shut the door. But sometimes I sit in her room for a bit or sit just outside her room but in view.
Likewise wake ups in the night. They don't happen very often, maybe 1 or 2 nights every few months. But I don't have the energy to be sitting in her room over night when she wakes. Neither do I want her in my bed. But I do know she needs me. So I have a travel cot (with a folded up double duvet as a comfier matress) that gets put up in my bedroom if she is up on the night. She goes in there and I don't hear another peep from her until morning - she just wants to be close to me, then she's settled.
The following night she's usually back to normal, so it's not habit forming to always give enough reassurance. In fact it's more likely to result in a toddler settled and content enough to usually sleep well alone.
So similar, my little one wouldn't settle in bed on her own until maybe 13 or 14 months, then she did so I know they're only small blips for her as she does amazing usually, and like you guys I just have always given what she needs, but didn't think of the travel cot in our room idea - thats a great idea, thank you!! She's usually really settled and content, this has just been a little different bless her, now the cots back up and we go back to what normally works for her hopefully that will reassure her xx
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