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What can I do to stop my two year old getting so upset at sleeping on her own?

(18 Posts)
gingerninja Wed 27-Aug-08 16:02:43

I've always taken a softly softly approach and until a month ago was co-sleeping with my DD when she woke in the night. Laying with her to go to sleep and joining her in her bed when she woke.

This stopped working for us. She was getting harder and harder to settle, sometimes it'd take me an hour to get her to sleep despite her being exhausted and during the night I was awake more than asleep with her fidgetting and sleeping litterally underneath me.

I'm also preg with DC2 so I'm exhausted and need some zzzzz's so we embarked on a tough course of action and put her to bed with the normal routine and leaving the room rather than laying with her. Everytime she got out of bed would pick her up and lay her back down with minimal fuss. Obviously she was devastated at being left and I'm not enjoying the tears either but i thought it'd get better. Immediately she started sleeping through however it's the going to bed thing I'm still struggling with.

Almost 4 weeks later it's still not great. We've had a couple of nights where she's gone to sleep without a whimper but most nights we have tears ranging from a minute or two of protest to a full on screaming fit that might last half an hour or more and require us to go in repeatedly. Last night she was hysterical. She knows we're outside the door and she can get in and out of bed so it's not like she thinks she's been abandoned.

I'm loathed to go back to where we were but I don't like her going to sleep so upset. Any advice? I tried a sticker chart which has some success but not when she's that upset.

gingerninja Wed 27-Aug-08 16:03:03

Ooh it's a long one, sorry!

ajm200 Wed 27-Aug-08 16:06:58

How about sitting along side her bed for night or two until she drops off, then gradually moving your chair towards the door until you can escape.

crokky Wed 27-Aug-08 16:08:45

Can you put her bed in your room? Perhaps keep her awake an extra half hour?

ajm200 Wed 27-Aug-08 16:09:09

Should have said, move the chair towards the door slowly over a few nights. Saw something like this on one of the parenting programmes.

Never had to go through this as I was keep to co-sleep when breastfeeding but didn't know how to get DS into his own bed at a later date so just went down the crib then cot route instead

gingerninja Wed 27-Aug-08 16:26:24

ajm that would be a possibility but she seems to get more upset if we're in the room and not cuddling her. She has always been a very physically demanding child and needs to hold hands, cuddle to sleep.

I might talk to DH about trying that if she's not settled by the end of the week though.

Crokky the timing thing makes no difference. She didn't settle until 8.45 last night and was still up for the day at 5.10. She never sleeps long enough! I don't want her in our room tbh hence why I would co-sleep in her room. It's not really the through the night thing, she seems to be doing that. It's just the going to bed.

ajm200 Wed 27-Aug-08 16:28:51

Has she got a favourite teddy that you could carry around up your jumper for a few hours so that it has your mummy smell on it? Would she find that a comfort? You haven't mentioned how old she is.

gingerninja Wed 27-Aug-08 16:29:10

meant to say, one other reason we had to stop laying with her to sleep is that she'd wake frequently in the night and because we/ I wasn't there, she'd cry until I came. This was still happening two or three times a night and now (because we're not there when she goes to sleep) it isn't.

gingerninja Wed 27-Aug-08 16:30:24

It's in the title I say she's two. wink

Yes, she has a teddy and a dolly which she loves. We put dolly to bed first and then she's supposed to follow suit hmm

ajm200 Wed 27-Aug-08 16:36:34

Sorry pregnancy brain strikes again! Doh wink

lizandlulu Wed 27-Aug-08 16:56:28

i have this same problem although not as bad. i have to sit with her till she goes to sleep and it doesnt work every night. i asked for advice on here and got a few suggestions.
have you tried letting her choose some new bedding, and a night light type thing. is she scared of her bedroom? is that why she doesnt want to go to sleep in there?
i have been asking my dd why she doesnt want to go to sleep and getting an answer is like getting blood out of a stone.
dd still wakes in the night most nights and comes into our bed which i can cope with for the time being, but i do perfer her to actually go to sleep in her bed at a reasonable hour!

gingerninja Wed 27-Aug-08 20:01:42

lizandlulu, thanks, no she's not frightened. We play in her room a lot and she has a double bed which we all get into in the morning and have cuddles and stories. In fact we spend quite a lot of time in there because she wakes so early hmm. I think she's a bit young to 'get' bed linen tbh. Plus she likes her blanket. For us it's simply because she wants us to lay with her, she says lay down mummy and when I don't gets upset.

Tonight she went to bed with hardly a whisper, she got out of bed twice, just to check I was there I think but she was fine. So I feel quite relieved. It seems worse when her daddy puts her to bed. She adores him so when he gets up and leaves I think she feels rejected. So, looks like I'll be doing it for the time being!

Thanks for all that have posted

Spoo Wed 27-Aug-08 20:05:36

Keep going ginger. Its not easy but you will benefit in the long term esp if no.2 is on the way.

gagarin Wed 27-Aug-08 20:10:33

You say she is upset - but you are describing a furious cross child who doesn't cope well with not having everything her way.

This is horrid for you and her - but so normal for someone her age. And you'll see a lot more of it when dc2 comes along.

But she's growing up and changing everyday so things will get better - eventually!

Hope all the bedtimes continue to go well smile

gingerninja Wed 27-Aug-08 20:10:35

Thanks Spoo, She is sleeping better on the whole which she needed to, she was a terrible, terrible sleeper before. Wish she'd wake a little later though but I suppose you can't have everything!

lizandlulu Wed 27-Aug-08 20:10:56

well done, i think you just have to persevere with what you are doing. keep trying to not get in bed with her. i wnet down that route of 'let her get in our bed just this once', it doesnt stop at that and i wish that i had been stronger and kept taing her back to her bed.

gingerninja Wed 27-Aug-08 20:12:22

I think there is some truth in that gagarin. wink

suiledonn Thu 28-Aug-08 15:18:55

Hi gingerninja, thank you for this thread. It has given me the confidence to try and get dd to sleep on her own. I could have written your post myself. DD is 27 months and I am pregnant with no.2 (29 weeks). We have always co-slept and she is a very cuddly child also. I have often said to dh that if she could sleep under me she would as she needs to be that close to me. I have to lie down with her to get her to sleep although she does go off easily most nights. We tried her in her own room before but she would wake up several times in the night calling for me and I would have to get in with her to settle her back to sleep again. She has a single bed so I as got farther into my pregnancy it got less and less comfortable. In the end we gave up and she came back in with me and now dh ends up sleeping most nights in her room as she disturbs him to much at night. It's just not working for us anymore so I am going to move her back to her own room and will keep an eye on this thread to see how you are getting on. Best of luck.

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