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At our wits end - please help

(4 Posts)
ataraxis Sat 21-Feb-09 21:51:13

DS2 (4) just will not go to sleep at night. However tired he is, he is up and down until he drops (around 10pm) or DH/I stay with him.

Nothing seems to work except one of us being with him, he says he is scared to sleep alone (monsters). We have tried rapid return (for weeks, he just carries on getting up), banning anything sugary/stimulating after 4pm, talking to him, night lights, teddies/comfort things.

This has been going on for months now (it may well be related to the birth of our 3rd DC @ 6 months ago, but he still gets loads of attention and 'him' time during the day). It has got to a stage when it is completely doing us in. Does anyone have any suggestions?

nnibnabs Sun 22-Feb-09 00:35:58

Hiya, sounds really terrible for you. I went through a stage of not going to sleep, but that was only for a few weeks, not months.
I found the best thing that worked for us was a reward chart that was based on bedtime routine. We made the chart together and he chose the stickers to go on it etc. He had to earn a sticker for different 'stages' - getting pyjamas on by hiself, having a wash and teeth brush, then he'd get a star for sitting nicely during his story and then for getting into bed and STAYING in bed. I used to really 'big up' the stay in bed star, he understood that if he got out then there was no way he was getting the star, which meant no prize (the prize was one of those foam filled stickers that are spongy, we went to the shop together to choose them.) Then at the end of the week as long as he spent every night in bed he got an extra nice treat, a magazine or small toy.
I found the most important part was the praise for getting every stage done and earning a sticker really helped, and also i would put him to bed, tell him I'd be back in 2 mins to check and actually go back after 2 mins, then to prolong the visits.
You say he has lots of 'him' time during the day, prehaps he needs 'him' time before bed too, where its half hour of attention especially for him only. Sorry if you already do this!
My one other saving grace was Badger Sleep Balm from the chemist. Put it on before he goes to sleep it works like a dream. I hope this is some help and I'm not teaching you to suck eggs!
I was very hmm about the sleep reward chart but it worked a treat from day 1.
HTH smile

nnibnabs Sun 22-Feb-09 00:37:11

That should read 'I went through a stage of DS not going to sleep'!

ches Sun 22-Feb-09 04:06:17

He's only four; why can't you stay with him until he goes to sleep and then when he's more settled, do gradual retreat?

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