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Well that was a total disaster (cot to bed)

(11 Posts)
Lovage Wed 03-Sep-08 21:16:34

Tried for 1st time to get DS (2) to sleep in a bed in his new room tonight. He loves the new bed (which has been there for weeks), clearly understood that he was going to sleep there tonight and seemed quite happy at the prospect beforehand. Total failure.

45 mins of hysterical crying unless he was loose in the roon, in which case just unhappy crying, escalating to hysterical crying after a short while. Whenever DP was in the room trying to persuade him to stay in bed or trying to hold him on his lap, he cried hysterically (DP always does his bedtime).

We are not prepared to leave him to cry for more than short periods (2 mins tops) when he is that upset. Grizzly, 'I'm really tired and am probably going to sleep if you leave me' is fine, and happens about one night in four anyway, but not when he's that upset.

DP tried to do 'just putting him back into bed without comment' but that made no break in the hysterical crying, and in fact made it worse.

In the end DP couldn't cope anymore so I brought DS downstairs for half an hour and we read a book and he drank some milk. Then DP took him back up to his cot in his old room. He's taken longer to settle, and more crying that usual, but I think he is finally asleep, an hour later than usual.

I can't physically lift and wrangle DS at the moment (baby due in 5 weeks and have some complications). And it was at the edge of what DP can physically do anyway, now DS is so strong and agile. DP is having a hard time emotionally anyway with other stuff and so is less able to cope with DS crying than usual. We can't do that again.

The only thing that might help I can think of is moving his cot into the new room, so that he gets used to the room first. But I don't really think that's the problem - he really likes the room and knows it well. And the nuclear option is buying another cot for the baby once they outgrow the Moses basket (which probably won't be til after Christmas anyway). But that won't help once he can climb out of the cot, which he's very close to doing anyway.

Anyone got any suggestions that aren't essentially 'keep putting him back' and 'leave him to cry'? We're a bit desperate here.

Dropdeadfred Wed 03-Sep-08 21:18:14

Do the sides come off his cot?

PestoMonster Wed 03-Sep-08 21:21:54

I don't know whether this will be of any use to you, but what we did was to get all dd1's soft toy animals to try out the new bed first. They couldn't wait to sleep there.... and dd1 wasn't allowed to sleep in tempting new bed and room until animals had fully tested the new bed.

After a couple of days of this, she was just itching to sleep there herself and when we finally allowed her to join them we never looked back.

This approach might also work for you, so I wish you luck smile

Lastyearsmodel Wed 03-Sep-08 21:24:05

Just had this with DD as DS needed to move into her room from ours.
She loved the room, bed, etc, had chosen her own duvet cover, taken toys/atuffed animals up there, etc, etc, but screamed the first night, and the second.
Eventually, we let her choose where she wanted to sleep. The 3rd night she was back in her cot, then the 4th day she napped in her 'big girl's bed' then that night back in the cot, etc, etc.
After about a week she was more or less happy in the big bed. She's got a rail on it, although she's never shown any sign of getting near the edge.
'Course it all coincides with just being 2... The easiest things can suddenly induce hysterics we're finding. Even now, a few weeks later, she still tries to climb into DS's cot if she sees him about to got for a sleep. Good luck! And at such a late stage of pregnancy, don't sweat it. You could always leave it and try again when the new baby really needs his old room.

Lovage Thu 04-Sep-08 12:11:45

Thanks. Will see if we can do anything similar with toys. We were offering him the choice of where to sleep and he kept saying 'new bed' but he didn't want to sleep in it or be left alone in the room with it. He wanted to play on it with us in the room!

I think the trouble is he never actually wants to go to bed, he'd always rather play. But in the cot he can't get out and he knows that so he settles for sleeping as second best. But in the bed he can get out and if you try and stop him doing so he hates it.

We're going to try cot in new room, as a transition period, and hope that helps, but I've a horrible feeling it won't.

PestoMonster Thu 04-Sep-08 12:17:19

Why don't you just let him go to bed in the new bed, with the toys (maybe after doing the toy thing that we did) and if he plays with them, then so what? At least he will be feeling happy and secure playing there and eventually will get tired and conk out. If you have to go and pop him back into the bed after he falls asleep playing, then so be it. But at least he will learn that the new bed with the toys is a good, fun, happy place to be.

No need to pile on the pressure about it only being a place to sleep in. I would think that by him choosing to be there with the toys, would be a very good starting point. I personally wouldn't take a step back with the cot. Emphasize that he's a big boy now and big boys have a big bed. Make him feel all grown-up and excited about it and you'll be half-way there.

I do hope you persevere. Don't want you to feel I'm nagging you, but don't want you to give up.

Lots of luck!

Donk Thu 04-Sep-08 12:42:57

Mind you the 'big boy' thing can backfire, I remember telling DS that he was a big boy now (and would be ok with a friend he knew, trusted and liked putting him to bed) but he collapsed in sobs on my knee saying 'not a big boy, little boy, little boy'

reikizen Thu 04-Sep-08 12:50:06

I'd just take the long view and think 'this too will pass'. Just do your best and keep trying and I bet it will simply sort itself out. If you have to bring him downstairs for a cuddle a few times so be it. It's a bit like dummies, toilet training etc, how many 15 year olds do you see it a cot? They all get there in the end.smileAnd there is never a magic solution, just trial and error and how did that happen?

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 04-Sep-08 12:53:05

Message withdrawn

iLoveIceCream Thu 04-Sep-08 13:00:52

My DS 21 months has also just been put into his "big boy's" bed. I never had any problems with him settling in his cot until the leg wedging incident (another story)so decided to take bars off his cot bed.

However, he would just get out the bed and mess around in his room so I've been waiting for him to fall asleep in my bed (easy as im a lone parent) then transfer him to his until he gets used to staying in it.

Its working well so far, he sleeps all night in it and doesnt come running through to me until about 7am.

Lovage Thu 04-Sep-08 14:52:08

Pestomonster - because he wasn't happy unless we were in the room with him. If we were there he was perfectly happy but not very clearly not going to go to sleep. If we left him and shut the door (he has slept behind a shut door for ages) he cried. Don't mind at all if he's not asleep, just want him not to be crying really hard. Don't worry, I don't feel nagged!

Sleeping on the floor would be fine, returning him multiple times would be fine if it didn't make him even more hysterical, falling asleep in our bed or cuddled up to one of us in his bed would be fine, bringing him downstairs would be fine if it made any difference to once he was upstairs again, but none of those things are happening or at all likely to happen.

The only alternative I can think of is making his bedtime ridiculously late so he falls asleep more easily, but I really don't want to do that for lots of reasons. Or doping him with Medised but I don't think that would be justifiable (now if only he'd suddenly get a heavy cold... Bad mummy). Even taking him for a drive, which does send him to sleep if he's tired, wouldn't help because he never transfers from the car without waking up, not even as a newborn.

Sorry, getting a bit hysterical myself! Deep breaths. This too will pass. Can always buy another cot/give him up for adoption.

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