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So I'm back, and wondering how you sleep train a 2 year old

(25 Posts)
Pinkjenny Wed 10-Jun-09 10:58:13

I won't bore you with the long version, but my 2yo dd has never slept through the night. The problem has just got bigger and bigger, and I have unfortunately, in my attempts for an easy life, probably made it worse over time.

So, our hideous routine currently goes like this:

7.45pm Bath
8.00pm Sit on my bed, drink bottle, watch Peppa Pig
8.20pm Dd starts demanding Mr Tumble, more Peppa Pig etc etc and eventually falls asleep, generally between 9 and 9.30pm.

Her bed is next to our bed blush, and I am now expecting dc2. So, how do I achieve the following:

a) get her to sleep earlier
b) not have the TV on
c) move her into her own (new and to be decorated) bedroom

All help gratefully appreciated. smile

Annya Wed 10-Jun-09 11:42:47

Could you start the whole thing earlier?

I too have a two year old who has never slept through the night, every time he woke he wanted a bottle, once, twice plus during the night. However when I finally tackled the issue earlier during the week I explained to him he was a big boy and wouldn't be having any more night bottles. It went surprisingly well so perhaps you could explain to your dd that after her bottle she can have one programme and bed or no programmes and bed. I guess any protest would have to be met with cc or some form of - don't know all the names.

Good luck.

Pinkjenny Wed 10-Jun-09 14:11:45

Annya - my worry about starting the whole thing earlier is ending up being upstairs with her for even longer than I am now. Although I suppose at some point it is all going to have to move forward.

I was hoping that would happen naturally when she dropped her daytime nap, but the problem with that is the lack of nighttime sleep means that she 'tops up' with her nap. I think if she was having the correct amount of nighttime sleep, she would comfortably drop it.

Last night I let her watch Peppa Pig and when it finished and she started asking for other shows, I just said no. She protested a bit, but went to sleep at 8.45pm. I had to drag her out of bed this morning at 7am, which seems so cruel.

Pinkjenny Wed 10-Jun-09 15:11:00

Do all your 2yos sleep? Or is there just no answer?

Pinkjenny Thu 11-Jun-09 09:38:41

Still hopeful...

geordieminx Thu 11-Jun-09 09:42:28

mine goes to bed at 6.45 no problems, but wakes at 5.30am so I would gladky swap with you just now.

fishie Thu 11-Jun-09 09:43:04

what time does she have to get up? how long does she naturally sleep (ds has never slept more than 10 hours in one go) does she still nap?

get rid of daytime sleeps. remove telly from bedroom, read stories instead. start moving bath forward by 15 mins a day until you reach your desired time.

Pinkjenny Thu 11-Jun-09 09:55:23

She has to get up at 7am two days a week for nursery, and pretty much she is up for the day by 8am at the weekend. As I said above, I think she only naps in the day to compensate for a shorter nighttime sleep. I think she naturally sleeps for about 11 hours.

Dumbledoresgirl Thu 11-Jun-09 09:59:30

I think I know the answer but I fear you won't like it. It involves being a lot firmer with her and not giving in to any delaying tactics. When it is bedtime, you need a short routine which you follow to the letter and then leave her alone.

Pinkjenny Thu 11-Jun-09 10:03:04

Dumbledoresgirl - OK, spell it out for me. Is it the rapid return thingie?

[feels depressed at having to finally deal with this]

fishie Thu 11-Jun-09 10:06:03

i had success with limited firmness. i just said "i will stay here until you are asleep but you must try to go to sleep otherwise i will go away and leave you to it". a couple of going aways and he got the message and no need for horrors.

but you can be even firmer if you want - just if you haven't been so far maybe it isn't your style.

TheProvincialLady Thu 11-Jun-09 10:07:55

You also need to talk to her a lot beforehand about what the new routine will be and why. Lots of praise and maybe even a reward or two?

geordieminx Thu 11-Jun-09 10:09:47

Agree with DD - by giving in to her and letting her control you, you are setting up a nightmare for the future, esp when no.2 arrives.

In our house -
6.00 upstairs for playtime while bath runs
6.30 out of bath, pj's on and downstairs for milk/supper if required. He gets to pick a couple of books, which we read, he then goes up to bed, usually 6.45/7.00. I give him a kiss good night, tell him what we are doing tomorrow then leave and shut the door - 9/10 times he is asleep in 5 mins.

Pinkjenny Thu 11-Jun-09 10:11:07

This also involves her moving to a new room, so if I do the whole, 'Oh wow, look at your big girl room!' nonsense, don't let her put TV on, and then just do what fishie does (which I usually end up doing now). OK, so then what about in the middle of the night?

Sometimes, in the middle of the night, she just wakes up and announces, "hand", which means she wants me to put my hand in her bed so she can hold it. So she will sleep in her own bed, but she is very aware that I am next to her.

geordieminx Thu 11-Jun-09 10:11:14

We dont have cbeebies after 5pm either ((((meanie emoticon)))))

geordieminx Thu 11-Jun-09 10:14:53

New teddy/doll to hold during the night?

puffylovett Thu 11-Jun-09 10:21:01

gentle withdrawal in the middle of the night ? ie 'No mummy will not hold your hand but I will sit here', gradually moving down the bed and out the door ? agree re dolly or comfortor. Feel for you having to tackle this, my previously great sleeper has started night waking again & I've no idea why ! so we do bed hopping anytime between 2 and 4 (he comes in with me, DP goes in his bed) blush

Pinkjenny Thu 11-Jun-09 10:25:36

I am such a wimp that if the new baby wasn't coming, I'd just leave things as they are, martyr that I am, and keep complaining to dh that I never get any time to do anything!

She has just started to develop a bit of an attachment to one of her teddies, so I guess she can have that. Am I right to get her new bedroom all done up for her first? Dh thinks this is a delaying tactic. Dc2 not due until December.

Dumbledoresgirl Thu 11-Jun-09 10:25:58

Well, I mean what everyone else has said here, moreorless. You need to establish gradually a routine that suits you. Mine used to have a bath followed by a drink of milk (and chocolate if they had been good). Then they brushed their teeth, went to bed and that was it. I had to sometimes go back up to them if they weren't getting off to sleep, but I certainly didn't sit around with them waiting for them to go to sleep. Leastways, I did with my eldest when he was a baby but it led to such trouble - ie when he woke in the night he expected me to sit with him, holding his hand until he went back to sleep again, so there I would be, in the middle of the night, sitting by his cot, with my hand through the bars, desperate to get back to bed. It was a nightmare, hence I learnt to be a lot firmer with my other children.

So you need to establish whatever routine suits you: maybe bath, drink, 2 stories and then off you go. Only go back if she seems really distressed. I don't think sitting with her is a good idea because imagine if someone sat with you when you went to bed. Would you go straight to sleep or would you talk to them? I would certainly talk to them most nights!

Another thing my children liked (still do like sometimes) is to have a CD playing very quietly in the room. This might work for your dd. It means there is noise in the room with her, but not visual stimuation that keeps her eyes open and her mind awake. Have the CD on very low - I used to put the volume so low you had to be lying still to hear it - and with any luck she will be asleep before it has ended.

I don't know about moving rooms as mine have always had their own room. I think that might be quite difficult to achieve at the same time as trying to get her to accept a new bedtime routine. Maybe concentrate on one at a time.

BTW, my eldest child, who needed me to go to sleep, and who would wake in the night, stopped having these problems when my second child was born. Overnight. Literally. And my second, third and fourth children did not have the same problems (I presume because I worked out and stuck to a routine). So maybe the end is in sight for you too!

Pinkjenny Thu 11-Jun-09 10:29:33

Don't worry Dumbledoresgirl, I have definitely learnt my lesson, and dc2 will have no such bedtime priviledges! I hear you with regard to two changes at once. Maybe tonight I'll not put the TV on and just read stories, slowly slowly catchy monkey.

Dumbledoresgirl Thu 11-Jun-09 10:30:51

Oh yes I agree with the teddy idea. My youngest, when he was about 4, went through a phase of waking in the night, having had a bad dream I think, and coming in to my room. Sometimes he got a cuddle in bed before being put back into his own, but the thing that really seemed to work was showing him his favourite teddy and saying "Look here is X, he is going to take care of you, give him a cuddle and go back to sleep". I know it seems daft that a child can accept that a toy will look after him, but it seemed to work for my child. Worth a try?

andirobo Thu 11-Jun-09 13:11:30

Hi PJ - congrats BTW!

We are having limited sucess with DS - he will now go to sleep on his own in his own room, I usualy sit in the chair for 5 mins max, and then go to 'do a job' downstairs - usually away 5 - 10 mins. He can hear me doing my job, and then I pop back up for a few mins and tell him how good he has been. I then go and do another 'job' - like getting DH's tea ready if he is in late. I then pop back up and more often than not he is asleep.

You have two things to sort out - the bedtime routine so she sleeps all night and the move to a new room.

I would try the move to a new room first - as that may be the bigger trauma for her, as she is used to being next to you. When she sleeps in her bed, does she lie independantly of you or snuggle up to you? If she lies independantly then she doesnt need you to sleep, but just likes the reassurance when waking in the night. Is her new room ready for her, and has she been involved in 'choosing' the stuff? If she has ownership of it - as in picked her own lampshade or bedcover, etc, then she may be more for it. I guess you have 6 months to sort this out, and her moving out of your room needs to be a distinct event from the birth of a new baby, else she will feel pushed out.

Good luck with it all - again I agree that small slow steps will be the way to acheving the solution - DS is not perfect now, as still wakes in the night but will settle bak within 5 mins - and you know how bad he used to be!

puffylovett Thu 11-Jun-09 23:08:05

I don't think the new room is a delay tactic. It makes sense to involve her in every step of the decorating process, even getting her to choose stickers or a border and help put it up, or paint a mural. All the while telling her about how it's her big girls room and soon she's going to be sleeping in it - so it's a gradual affirmation in her mind.

I sit with my LO sometimes (2 or 3 nights out of 7 at the mo, usually less) but I make sure if I sit on the chair next to his bed, I don't look at him or acknowledge him, and face away from him at all times. He's usually asleep in mins. Different things work for different familes, you just need to cherry pick out of all this advice and do what suits you best I think. It'll be a hard thing for you too don't forget, you're saying goodbye to your baby girl and mentally preparing yourself for new baby, so make this time special for you both..

Pinkjenny Fri 12-Jun-09 10:42:42

Thanks puffylovett <sob>

mummy247 Fri 12-Jun-09 17:47:44

I had this prob with dd wen she was 18 months

I had to sit back at watch my partner in action as i could take no more

reluctantly I put her in a big bed in her own room with baby gate on door and sat out side when we put her to bed she got 1 video and after that she fell asleep it took me a good 4 weeks to get her settled but it worked I think in the beginin i gave in to easyly but if you stand ur ground and be patient it will work

good luck

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