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Can't get 19mo to sleep on her own. Still cuddling her to sleep. I know I've made a rod for my own back but how do I fix it?

(10 Posts)
RamblingRosa Mon 18-May-09 11:25:50

DD howls and gets herself in a real state if I try to put her in her cot at bedtime. The only way I can get her to sleep is by cuddling her to sleep in my bed and then moving her to her cot once she's asleep. I know you're not meant to do that but I don't know what else to do.

It used to work ok as she'd fall asleep in about 10mins but recently it's taken as long as 2hrs with a lot of mucking around from DD.

Annoyingly she'll happily go to her cot and go to sleep for DP. It's just me that she's really clingy with and gets distraught if I try to leave her.

Any thoughts?

Overmydeadbody Mon 18-May-09 11:30:12

I don't know if you're 'not meant to do that', I'd say if it works for you, and you do't mind doing it, then there is nothing wrong with cuddling her to sleep.

I did this with DS, probably till he was at least 4.5 (although in his own 'big' bed after the age of two) and it was story time, read books together, then cuddle him to sleep. It never took long and whoever was putting him to bed could do this to get him to sleep.


Perhaps it is taking longer now because she's worried you will leave her, ao it fighting sleep iuswim?

notyummy Mon 18-May-09 11:46:08

Havent had this exact problem myself, but I do know quite a few people who have similar issues, and they recommended the 'controlled withdrawal'...I think thats what its called (although sounds like a rubbish method of contraception to me wink)

The idea is that the first night you sit right beside the bed holding her hand rather than cuddling; the next you stroke the back of her hand; the next you just rest your hand on her leg; then no touching; then moving away from the bed night by night until you are not in the room.

francagoestohollywood Mon 18-May-09 12:00:01

We had similar problems with ds when he was around that age. I second the "controlled withdrawal" only, it lasted quite a while...

Can't your dh do bedtime? Dh weaned ds off his habit of falling asleep holding my hand (it took him at least one hr to fall asleep, I was pg and found sitting by the cot quite uncomfy by then)

RamblingRosa Mon 18-May-09 15:21:51

Thanks for the ideas. LOL at controlled withdrawal as method of contraception grin.

DP can do bedtimes sometimes but he's often out in the evenings.

Overmydeadbody, I'd always taken your view that if I'm happy doing it (and of course I love cuddling her so in some ways it's something I really look forward to at the end of the day) there's nothing wrong with it. But sometimes it just feels really tiring there. I'm lying there thinking "I'm missing Eastenders, I'm starving, I'm knackered, I've still got to do some ironing for tomorrow, cook dinner, make some phone calls etc before I can go to bed myself". There have been times when I've taken her to bed at 7pm and haven't got her to sleep until 9pm. By which time I'm ready for bed myself!

Might give the controlled withdrawal a go. How long does it take to work?

francagoestohollywood Mon 18-May-09 16:12:09

RR, I remember feeling the same too "I need to do this and that" etc.

I think the process took longer than a week. We sorted out a new bedtime routine, but I'm pretty sure (it was yrs ago!) that it was dh who got ds used not to hold hands before falling asleep.

ches Tue 19-May-09 05:09:14

Do what you need to to get through the present and worry about the future when it arrives. The older they get, the easier habits are to undo. Right now she's in a bit of a late separation anxiety stage (which will pass around her second birthday) hence a dream for her dad and a right cow for you. Her communication - both understanding and ability to be understood - are burgeoning and her grasp of sequences/processes is becoming very well developed. Whatever habit you get into you will be able to undo easier and easier the older she gets because she'll be able to understand "next Mummy is going to... and then..." and she will recognize a new routine quickly when it is established.

RamblingRosa Tue 19-May-09 09:55:37

Her separation anxiety kicked in at 4 months and it's never gone away. She's incredibly clingy with me. She's really bright and chatty and generally quite sociable but she's a real mummy's girl and howls when she's separated from me.
I'm woken up every night to hear whimpers of "mummy cuddle" from DD's room. I'm too much of a softy to ignore her!

Pinkjenny Thu 18-Jun-09 09:25:26

RamblingRosa - did you try this method? Did it work? I have the same problem and am pg with number 2, so frantically searching for answers.

RamblingRosa Thu 18-Jun-09 10:52:20

Hi Pinkjenny,

I've bought the Toddler No Cry Sleep Solution but I'm still reading it (haven't tried any of the tips). TBH, I feel like I've tried most of the things it suggests. It's all common sense stuff like making sure the room's dark etc.

We had about a week of DP putting her to bed in her cot (successfully) but inevitably there are nights where he's not around and I have to do bedtime and then we're back to square one.

Sorry, no solution yet! I'll keep you posted though.

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