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Toddler bedtime is a nightmare, and baby due in 9 weeks...(1 Post)
I'm posting for some impartial, experienced advice because I'm starting to dread the arrival of my newborn and the impact it's going to have on my already limited sleep...
My toddler DS (2.6) has never been a great sleeper, and at the minute bedtime is really hard work. I'm worried that something I'm doing is exacerbating this, and keen to move towards fixing it before the baby comes.
- DS takes ages to settle, cries and carries on in the cot, I have to stay with him and it often takes over an hour, until 8.30pm or later. I can't seem to get him to calm down at nights - we do bath/shower, teeth, then he usually then goes mad playing on my bed, don't know how to avoid this. Then stories in his room, water, lights off, cuddle for 5/10 minutes, then in the cot. I try to leave, or pop in and out sometimes - he always ends up shouting for me until I sit with him. I feel like he's got me wrapped around his little finger a bit, but at the same time, we've just moved house and he's just moved nursery, so these are huge changes for him, plus the baby on the way. I feel like he needs me... But it also feels a bit unsustainable.
- DS is often up in the night, any time from midnight. I bring him in my bed - seems like a bad idea, but I just wanted to get the most sleep I could and I used to spend over an hour trying to settle him in his cot. He goes back down, but i don't get a lot of sleep after this point. I can't imagine this being very good when the baby is born!
- He wakes up very early some days, like 5/5.30am. He still needs a nap, as he's a wreck without it, but the nap is creeping later in the day. I'm keeping it shorter, up before 3pm (2.30 if possible).
- DH has never been that involved in bedtime, so DS doesn't really accept him. I know this is a bad way to parent - borne of exclusively breastfeeding, difficulty bonding/possible PND for DH, uneven parenting split during my mat leave that's just kind of carried on. So he knows he'll have to get more involved, but DS is quite resistant.
Sorry, this is a huge post. I just want to invite any comment on the way I do things, or any experience people have of toddler/newborn nights and how to cope... Thanks in advance!