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Getting a 2 year old to sleep in a bed! please help!

(12 Posts)
Raindog Wed 04-Jul-07 13:22:55

My dd is 26 months and we have just moved her to a small bed as her cot is needed for her sister (5 months).

Up until 3 weeks ago she was a brilliant sleeper - went into her cot wide awake at 7.30pm, played quietly and then fell asleep until around 7am.

She was quite excited about her bed and was fine in it for a week, but the last 2 weeks have been appalling! She goes through the usual routine of bath, milk, stories etc and then as soon as we leave her room she's up out of bed and yelling at the door. Because I recently sang Baa baa black sheep for her until she fell asleep (she woke at about 3am) she now demands this at the top of her voice.

We've tried some kind of controlled crying but have to lock the bedroom door because she gets out of bed immediately. she's in a sleeping bag and has a cot rail so nothing stops her! I don't like locking the door, but otherwise she wouldn't even be in the room, and there are stairs just outside her bedroom. The other night she stayed yelling until after midnight with me or dh going in every 25 minutes or so. She stops yelling as soon as we go in and is happy to get back into bed by herself, but as soon as we make to leave she starts up with yelling again.

The last few nights we've given in after about an hour because I just don't think that her standing at the door and yelling is going to allow her to fall asleep. She could go on indefinitely!

Is there some kind of miracle solution, or should we return her cot and put dd2 in a travel cot for a few months? DD1 does seem to like the bed, she's not having nightmares, doesn't mind the dark, and hasn't had any other big changes recently. It just seems to be the fact she can get out of bed that's made her not able to sleep.

Any advice? Thank you!

hana Wed 04-Jul-07 13:25:15

you have my sympathies! We had to move dd2 out of her bed at about 2 for her younger sister who was 6month and well past being in the moses basket - was a disaster like yours. It has taken aobut 3 months for her to get used to sleeping in a bed, and just the novelty of being able to get out on her ouw, wander round, etc etc

if I had to do it again ( and I"m not!!!) I would have borrowed a second cot
not much help for you, but can you borrow one for a short time?

sandyballs Wed 04-Jul-07 13:26:21

Perhaps the locked door is upsetting her as well - how about trying a stair gate in the doorway so she can still see out and hear you but can't actually get out?

This is what we did with my DDs at that age. They did used to wander round the room and shout down the stairs but eventually settled and the novelty wore off after a while.

Raindog Wed 04-Jul-07 13:33:47

Thank you! We only resorted to the locked door because otherwise it would mean one of us standing outside for hours, taking her back to bed! She's up as soon as we walk towards the door so there's no time for her to settle at all.

We could try the stairgate I suppose. She's always slept with the door closed though so I think she'd find the noise disturbs her. And her door is next to our bedroom door where poor dd2 is - and she has to listen to enough yelling as it is. My dd1 is LOUD!

I may well make a few cot enquiries....!

It just seems like now we've moved her we should carry it through, but maybe that's not the answer. I need some evening though with dh where we don't have to sit in pained silence watching the clock! She's also waking up at 5.30am - grrrr!

MrsCellophane Wed 04-Jul-07 13:39:02

We have a gate across the door (as our DS room is also by the stairs).

He went thru' a phase of getting up and crying at the gate. We sat it out (after making sure he was ok) and he started falling asleep there.

However, he soon realised this had no benefit to him, and is now good as gold, staying in bed. <<fingers crossed>>

naughtystep Wed 04-Jul-07 13:41:18

Hi Raindog!

Have recently posted on this subject myself!

There doesn't seem to be any miracle solution (sob!) but the stairgate on the bedroom door seems to be something that a lot of mums use.

Other suggestions were making sure my DS was very tired. Does your DD still have nap during day? The only thing that seems to work for us is just making sure DS is so tired he just flakes out!

The times my DS does come downstairs, he has had a nap in the car and can keep going for hours just like your DD. This is when I have tried the "Supernanny" technique of just taking him straight back to bed without talking to him. It does feel a bit harsh though and I think you have to be prepared to keep doing this over and over before they get the message (it can send you a bit doolally though and is exhausting). I have totally failed with this as you need endless patience which is not my forte!



Good luck!

cba Wed 04-Jul-07 13:41:19

I would put her back in the cot. ds1 was 2.6yr when moved to a bed, only because i was bf ds2 one night and he jumped out on me. He had climbed out of the cot really quietly and sneaked downstairs, then he kept doing it for about two hours.

ds2 was two months of three before we moved him.

dd is 25 month and i have no intention of putting her in a bed yet. She has a single bed in her room next to her cot and lays in it through the day so it is not alien to her. But she will be in cot till three if she is happyy.

Use the travel cot for a few more months.

Rantmum Wed 04-Jul-07 13:44:32

When ds did this I had to say quite sternly "go to bed!!" a few times and use the controlled crying method as he was simply testing the new boundaries that the new found freedom gave him. As with most parenting things I think the most important thing is to choose how you are going to deal with it and be consistent with it. If after a few days it is not working, then try something new. We just kept putting ds back in his bed. We started with "time for bed" with a kiss, then just a kiss, then silence about 10 times. By then frustration got the better of me and I put in bed and said very crossly "GO TO SLEEP!" and although he then cried he did actually sleep and we haven't had that problem again. Best of luck with whatever you do!

clarinsgirl Wed 04-Jul-07 13:51:55

We're going through a similar thing with our DS (27mo) at the moment, except he was going through a bad spell of not sleeping in his cot before we moved him.

We haven't solved it completely yet but we've adopted the following:
1. Usual bath, story, milk, song routine.
2. Put in bed and 1 of us stays upstairs (out of sight).
3. Each time he gets out of bed we just put him straight back. First couple of times saying 'night, night', then not saying anything.

First night this took from 7.30 to 9.30, second night 7.30 to 8.30 and last night there was only half an hour of getting up. we have a stair gate across the landing but he can get out of his room.

Even the first night was better than the cot as he would often mess around and shout until 11pm if we didn't let him cuddle up with us downstairs (where he would sleep ).

I'm hoping that he's getting the message that there is no point getting up, he needs to stay in bed.

He used to be great but had a chest infection over Christmas and slept with us. We failed to get him back in his cot, hence the attempts with the bed.

Raindog Wed 04-Jul-07 14:05:48

Thank you for all the advice!

DD1 still has a sleep in the day - usually for an hour or so at about 1pm (though she's getting tired earlier because of waking earlier). She can be unbearable without a daytime sleep so I don't want to ditch this. She also sleeps at nursery 3 times a week at a similar time so Ive tried to keep the same routine.

Okay, Im going to try the stairgate across her door. Do we leave her for a set time before going to get her back to bed, or do we stand nearby and order her back into bed so she knows we are just outside?

I can't believe our brilliant sleeper has disappeared

MrsFish Wed 04-Jul-07 14:17:11

Hi Raindog. I put ds into a bed on his second birthday (start of June)as we have another on the way and I wanted a few months to get him sorted before baby arrived. He started off brilliantly aswell, is also very good at bedtimes, he doesn't tend to get out again (but I suppose there is time yet! Its the mornings, he used to wake up and occupy himself in his cot quietly until we went to get him at about 7.30, now he is waking at 6ish and was coming straight into our room. I bought a gate last weekend and put it on his room, he still wakes up early but at least he can't wander around, but he has started shouting for us. I have put some toys in his room and if he keeps calling I just go into him and say that it is too early to get up, but if he is awake he can play quietly till we come and get him. Its taken a week but I think it is starting to sink in.

I reckon its the same if you have problems in the evening... stick to your guns and do the same thing every night, she should get the message sooner or later. I may be reverting back to this thread if ds starts to play up at bedtime too

Good Luck

LoveMyGirls Wed 04-Jul-07 14:29:35

Do what you feel comfortable with, if you feel better standing outside then do it (i wouldn't as i think it would encourage her to come to you, its harder to ignore when you can see them)

Personally I would go up a few times (perhaps lie on my bed watching tv or reading so i dont have to go upstairs all the time) and do the go bk to bed love you type thing after a few times a i would be firm and say bedtime now then i would just ignore. We did this with dd1 and she was very strong willed we tried putting a tape of tweenies on which kept her in bed but meant that everytime it went off we had to go and put it back on after a few days we decided it was a crap idea so then i started being harder with her and ignoring then she climbed the gate and covered herself in pooh. i cleaned her up and put her back in bed i jsut kept on until she stopped it, it took 2 weeks for her to realise i meant it. That was when she was about 2 and a half she is now almost 8 and has never given me problems with bedtime ever.

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