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Why won’t she go to sleep????!!!!’

(28 Posts)
Xansaf Thu 07-Nov-19 20:23:35

I am at my wits end with my daughter. She’s 2 1/2 and for weeks, I have had literally no evening because she will not go to sleep. I can’t remember the last time I even ate dinner.

She doesn’t nap and hasn’t done since she was 19 months old. She has a set bedtime routine of bath, stories and cuddle and is always in bed for the stories around half sevenish but then when lights go out she’s wriggling, messing about, chatting. It’s worth saying at this point she needs one of us in with her to go to sleep. We tried and failed with sleep training her as a baby after a truly horrendous experience with a charlatan sleep consultant. But it’s never been a problem until now. I just don’t understand why she won’t go to sleep. We’ve tried getting her up early and even that’s not helped, she was up at 6:45 this morning and she’s still awake now. Surely this is not normal.

HuloBeraal Thu 07-Nov-19 20:25:17

What happens if you leave her to it and walk out? She can chat but you are not going to listen to it.

Xansaf Thu 07-Nov-19 20:28:24

She absolutely screams the place down, hysterical crying.

HuloBeraal Thu 07-Nov-19 20:38:36

She’s old enough to get it then. I would let her be hysterical for 5 mins. And say if you chat I am going to do some ‘jobs’ and walk out. Give it 1-2 mins, come back and say ‘do you want me to stay?’ And if she says yes, then say ‘you have to go to sleep. No chatting. No talking. You lie in bed quietly.’ If she starts it up, you walk out. I know this sounds harsh, but it sounds like she is ridiculously over tired, unable to switch off and has you guys wrapped around her finger over bedtime. I have a 2.9 year old and an older child. DS1 did need someone with him to fall asleep till he was 3 but he would just lie there staring into space, not messing about. DS2 I can stay for 5 mins and then walk out usually.
I wouldn’t attempt this tonight btw. In the light of the day, explain what is going to happen at bedtime, and follow through. And don’t engage, argue. You can hug, put her back in bed and say, ‘if you don’t lie down quietly, I will have to leave.’ That’s it. Don’t engage in the inevitable toddler negotiation.

Some of this also depends on her day time behaviour. Do you feel like she gets her own way? DS1 was v well behaved so I didn’t mind indulging him at bedtime because I knew he was a little sensitive. DS2 who is the same age as your daughter is a bit of a button pusher so I have had to be MUCH firmer about bedtimes.

Xansaf Thu 07-Nov-19 21:02:36

She’s absolutely fine during the day. Just nighttime she’s completely incapable of falling asleep. Right now my OH is in with her. She’s actually being completely silent but every time he tries to leave she starts crying and saying “daddy” It’s like she genuinely can’t fall asleep.

NeedAnExpert Thu 07-Nov-19 21:04:37

Pretty sure there’s a language leap at 2.5. Her brain is working too hard to switch off.

Xansaf Thu 07-Nov-19 21:09:49

Hulo - forgot to also say I will try what you’ve suggested and I thank you for it. We were planning to start working on getting her to sleep without us using what I think is called the fading technique. But that was when she was going to sleep ok.

Xansaf Thu 07-Nov-19 21:11:16

NEA - bloody hell if her language leaps anymore it’ll be like she’s swallowed a dictionary confused

Orangedaisy Thu 07-Nov-19 21:13:37

We used to eat with DDs at 5 or as soon as possible after work so we were sustained for bedtime shenanigans. It just made the whole thing more bearable when we weren’t hungry too.

mumao Thu 07-Nov-19 21:21:30

Is she in complete darkness? My dd was like this then she finally told me she was scared and wanted a light on.

I leave a low light lamp on while she falls asleep (night light wasn't cutting it) then hall light on and door ajar after she has fallen asleep.

In the end she said she was scared of the dark but took a while to articulate it!

HuloBeraal Thu 07-Nov-19 21:28:13

If she’s silent then I would just sit with her. And over time work on a form of gradual retreat. With both of my kids I have been happy to sit with them as long as they are not messing about.

PlasticPatty Thu 07-Nov-19 21:31:42

Are you leaving her to sleep alone at that age? She's very young.

expatinspain Thu 07-Nov-19 21:35:04

plasticpatty Most children sleep alone at that age.

Xansaf Thu 07-Nov-19 21:36:19

She’s 2 1/2 years not months - that’s not young to be in her own bed.

expatinspain Thu 07-Nov-19 21:38:26

Have you tried kids relaxation CDs. My DD used to love falling asleep to them and also music. She's always needed a blacked out room. If there's light she won't sleep, but in darkness will go straight to sleep. Well, not now, as she's 10 and is a pain about going to sleep, but she used to.

IfWishesWereFishes Thu 07-Nov-19 21:42:49

My daughter likes low-level music on from that age; maybe that would be enough of a distraction so she didn't feel alone in her room?

Mammajay Thu 07-Nov-19 21:43:37

When my daughter was that age I told her that this was the time of year that Father Christmas' elves were out looking to check that children were in their beds going to sleep. It worked. Good luck with your little one.

Xansaf Thu 07-Nov-19 21:44:28

I haven’t actually. I’ve heard of them but thought it would actually excite her rather than encourage sleep. She does seem to be better in the dark too so we used to black out her windows in summer but now obviously don’t need to. She has a gro-egg but we don’t put that on until she’s asleep.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Thu 07-Nov-19 21:51:31

We had a similar little pickle.
We tried gradual retreat, so sitting by her bed for her to go to sleep, then sitting near the door, then sitting in the doorway, then Hall, then top of stairs...
Each position for a few nights. If she was poorly we often had to sit with her again for a bit. But she did get used to it.

She was pretty shit. She's nearly 5 now and we leave her after a story etc but she aaaaalways wants us to stay, I just say No I have to go now, then she sometimes calls us from the top of the stairs.... It's frustrating but I'd always go to her and comfort her, she was a clingy baby and this is the last stages of her getting out of that.

Good luck!

mynameisigglepiggle Thu 07-Nov-19 22:39:54

What time is bedtime? My little boy is similar age and if he's overtired he takes ages to settle. I find tired to quickly fall asleep is a very small window!

HuloBeraal Thu 07-Nov-19 23:22:15

Also around this age we used go for a walk after dinner. Come back and start the bedtime routine. Absolutely no television or screen for a good 90 mins before bed. Some kids take longer to switch off.

RaspberryBubblegum Thu 07-Nov-19 23:41:00

Would a white noise machine help? I'm a terrible sleeper but since buying one for baby I've actually found it works for me! 😁

expatinspain Fri 08-Nov-19 08:10:39

Try the Christine Kerr meditation and relaxation CD's for kids. They're on Amazon. They were the ones I used to use. She also used to sleep to Warren G's Regulate album and Massive Attack 😂

PrincessHoneysuckle Fri 08-Nov-19 08:17:38

We've always done kiss,say goodnight and leave.Ds is 5.5 yrs now and just goes to sleep.Seems harsh but they are in bed to sleep and it works.The less faffing the better.

Xansaf Wed 13-Nov-19 15:18:30

Hi everyone sorry I’ve not been online for a few days.

So we’ve done a couple of things, we are waking her up at the same time on a morning which seems to be helping and I think we found the other root cause... we told nursery straight out that we absolutely FORBID naps. Turns out they’ve been putting her down with the other kids because that’s easier for them! So that has totally been messing up her routine.

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