2.5 yo. Won't stop playing at sleep time!(10 Posts)
DD is a good sleeper for which I am thankful. My issue is that she can't settle herself down at nap time or bedtime.
She has had a good bedtime routine since 3 months old. Bath, story with milk and bed. Since taking the bars off her cotbed as soon as I leave the room she is up.
She will ask me to stay, which I do but she wants to play. If I ask her to close her eyes and lie quietly she does this for a few seconds then starts to giggle and make noise.
Some days she doesn't nap. It doesn't make any difference at bedtime whether she has or hasn't. Bedtime is 7pm.
...but can take her an hour or more to go off.
Was she sleeping well when I'm a cot? Could you go back to a cot?
Many people see the sides of the cot as a physical barrier only. They also provide emotional security and enforces boundaries some toddlers need intellectually.
The enclosed feeling of the bars helps toddler feel safe and secure. The emotional maturity to not need this develops over time.
Being physically enclosed in a small space helps the toddler to 'switch off' at bedtime. The intellectual development to understand this herself also comes with time.
So many parents only consider physical development - "she can climb out of the cot now, so time for a bed", without considering if baby is emotionally or intellectually ready.
Sounds like your baby isn't yet ready to understand she needs to switch off to go to sleep. If you don't have the cot bars to enforce that need to stay lying down and reduce stimulation, you need to recreate it yourself.
I would accept you need to stay with her to go to sleep. But don't play a nd don't accept play. You need to reduce stimulation as much as possible to teach her to switch off.
So lie her down and keep doing rapid return. Have a mantra, for example: "Slerp time now, we lie down quietly to sleep. Nan night" and keep reitterate it.
- don't let her get up. Any attempt to even sit up in bed gets you lying her back down and reitterating your expectations with the mantra
- don't accept any talking or play. Ignore and reitterate expectations with the mantra.
- any crying needs to be ignored (but you are there to reassure with patting, stroking, tickling etc) with iccassiona l reminders of the expectation by repeating the mantra.
Then be relentless and consistant, so night wake ups, bedtime and naptime all the same and without deviation. She will soon her it.
Or just put the cot sides back on for another few months. She'll nature emotionally and intellectually in ger own time. When she's ready, there should be none of this hassle when changing cot to bed.
What happens if you stay and read a story or two then tell her you just need to go and put the washing on/ feed the cat etc etc.
Is she ok with you leaving to do something rather than just leaving her?
Thanks for both of your answers. Sorry I couldn't log on and check earlier.
Tonight I tried to leave and fold the washing in the next room. This is tried and tested before and doesn't work! She is up and playing or 'reading'.
I'll see about putting the bars back on. You might have something there, Fate as tonight she put a large stuffed toy either side of her pillow and she wanted to hold hands.
She just as a hard time switching off and stilling her mind. Tonight (about 10 mins ago) I thought she was asleep so started to creep out and she whispered 'mummy, stop moving'!!!
I think she's asleep now. 2 hours after bedtime.
My DD was like this. We used to sit with her and read the same story over and over until she went to sleep. I can still recite Stickman word for word. It took a while but it was the only way she would switch off. She would stay in bed if we did this otherwise up and out coming to find us.
Now at 7 she still needs a story to go to sleep but accepts a cd rather than us. Some children just need something to focus on as their minds wind down.
I leave mine with an audiobook running, she's been in a cot bed since 14 months and never once got out. But her room is completely black apart from a small red plugin light so she wouldn't be able to play once I'm out of there anyway.
Ooh audiobooks. I like the sound of that. She definitely likes to off load her day to me and this seems to help her switch off, but it still takes an age!!
The in the night garden one is very calming
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