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DS won't go to bed for daddy - help!

(7 Posts)
MrsBumblebee Wed 23-Jul-08 21:44:01

DS is 10 months. I've always usually been the one to put him to bed at night, though DH does it every couple of weeks or so with no problems. Over the last few weeks, though, DS has absolutely refused to do the bedtime routine (bottle, story, bed) with his daddy - he screams hysterically until I come to take over. If I come in to calm him down and then leave him with daddy again, the screaming resumes. This evening we tried it again, and he screamed so much he was sick everywhere. The minute I took over, he was fine.

Generally, daddy's very popular with DS at the moment - lots of big smiles and chatting. But it just seems to be something about bedtime. He's been more clingy generally lately, with signs of separation anxiety, but is quite happy to be left alone with his daddy at other times of day.

I really don't know what to do sad. I don't want to get into a long-term situation where only I can put DS to bed. DH thinks we should try cold turkey and just refuse for me to take over if he screams, but there's no way I'm going to leave him to get that distressed, and in any case it seems pointless because I don't think he was ever going to calm down the way he was tonight. Is this just a phase that I have to wait for to pass, or is there something I can do? Has anyone else been through this?

Jojay Wed 23-Jul-08 21:50:59

My ds goes through phases of this sort of thing - sometimes only I will do, sometimes only Daddy will do grin. Sometimes it's not about bedtime, it's about reading a book or having a bath.

I'm afraid I get tough and leave Daddy to sort it out - it usually only lasts a night or two and the second night is never as bad.

My ds is a bit older though - 20 mths - and DH is very hands on and has him on his own for one day a week while I work, so they are very used to each other. I can see this may be harder for babies / dads who don't see as much of each other.

But in our house there's no reason why DS shouldn't let DH put him to bed. I've got number 2 on the way and I don't want to end up with one wanting a breast feed ( which Daddy really can't help with ) and a toddler who won't go to bed without me.

So I'm afraid we try to nip this one in the bud asap.

cba Wed 23-Jul-08 21:51:38

i have three children and i was always the one who put them to bed. I would let dh get on with it to be honest. If you cant take the screaming go out.

My two eldest boys now still wont settle for dad if i am in the house and they are 7 and 5, they will go to bed for him but they still want the last person to tuck them in and kiss them to be me.

dd on the other hand is fine with dh as we have been firmer from the start.

Jojay Wed 23-Jul-08 21:54:44

Agree about the going out part.

They'll often settle better if you are completely out of the way for a day or two, and they know that Mummy isn't an option. ( I don't mean a whole day, just the bedtime bit. Go for a walk round the block or something.)

MrsBumblebee Thu 24-Jul-08 13:32:44

Yes, maybe you're right. Perhaps it would help if I let DH do the bath bit on his own as well (we usually always do that together). I'm off to an evening wedding reception in a few weeks, and I have to leave before bedtime, so one way or another we're going to have to get it sorted out by then hmm.

fluffyanimal Thu 24-Jul-08 13:40:20

This will pass. But it's up to you to decide whether you force the issue or whether you let it happen in the child's own time.

When my ds was 1, he and I had to go live with my parents for some weeks while we had major building work on our house. During that time, ds completely got out of the habit of having my dh put him to bed, and after that would get upset if dh tried.

Ds is now 2 and lately I have had to go out a few times before his bedtime. The first time, dh just kept him downstairs quietly until he fell asleep on the sofa and when I came home I carried him up to bed. The second time, because I was going to be back much later, dh had to put him to bed properly. He was all nervy and worried but ds just breezily said "Bye bye Mummy" and carried on reading stories as I left the house, and all was well, despite our fears.

I think if you are both very anxious about it, your son will pick up on the tension and this won't help. The best bet is to leave the house and let your ds know you are leaving the house, because if he thinks you are there, he will call for you.
Good luck!

heavenstobetsy Thu 24-Jul-08 13:44:54

We have just had a similar thing with our 11 mnth old DD. We found the best way to deal with it was for my DP to do the whole bedtime routine and me to stay out of the way. If I helped with the bath or came to say good night before DP put her down she got het up but if I left the two of them to it (which I confess I found hard if I heard a grizzle!) then it was fine and now we are back to DD accepting either of us

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