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Set firm boundaries or go gently gently ?

(8 Posts)
TheWorstWitch Thu 16-Jul-09 09:04:27

Our DD is 2 and we've been lucky in that she has slept through the night since a baby.
Recently she has been firstly not wanting to go to bed even when tired, then waking up early even when she's gone to bed at 9pm, now it's waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to / not wanting to sleep for two or three hours.

We managed to solve the not wanting to go to bed problem very simply one night when I went out and DH put her to bed. He's more firm with her and when she got out of bed and left her room, he just put her back in (no crying involved).
So, now DD goes to bed at about 7.30pm and she falls asleep either immediately or whenever she's tired.

Then, she either wakes in middle of the night or wakes early (3.58am was the night before last). Usually, she'll come into our room and I'll put her back in bed but she won't sleep just muck around for 3 hours or until we get up.
However last night, she refused to go back unto bed and started crying to come in with us. As a compromise, I stayed in her room for 2 hours, eventually got into bed with her until she fell asleep. Then, slipped off back into our own bed only for DD to start crying for me again. Gave up and brought her into our bed for her to start mucking around again. So, we warned her that if she wasn't going to try and sleep, we would put her back into her own bed, which is what we did despite a huge tantrum and tears for 5 minutes until she fell asleep.
Despite all this, DD still woke up at 6.50am this morning - I'm not saying this is too early for us, but it's too early for her as she's only had 8 hours sleep in total. I'm worried that depsite seeming all bright eyed and bushy tailed, she is exhausted.

Upshot of this is that DH and I need a plan. Some RL Mums have talked about rapid return and controlled crying as most effective and as being the kindest way to deal with the situation in the long term.
I'm not against controlled crying as DD is old enough to understand, but am unsure because DD has gone through lots of changes recently, such as returning home from a holiday where we co-slept, going from cot to bed, starting with a new childminder who now picks her up from nursery instead of me.
DH says we need to be clear with our boundaries despite these changes and go with the tough love approach. And, I'm just a bit confused. Although the tough love approach worked in solving the problem of her going to bed at a decent hour, I'm just not sure ...

Would love to hear what other parents would do in this situation - controlled crying? Stay with her until she falls asleep? Bring her into bed with us?

Sorry for long post and TIA for any advice smile

TheWorstWitch Thu 16-Jul-09 19:29:33


ches Fri 17-Jul-09 03:38:13

Is she getting her 2yr molars? That would explain the night waking, inability to fall asleep again, wanting comfort, etc. Generally children respond well to consistent boundaries. I don't think that setting the boundaries you want to stick to would be harmful, but they may not solve anything if she's teething.

Catitainahatita Fri 17-Jul-09 04:32:44

I wonder if she is showing that she is upset by the changes you mention in the daytime? is she more clingy than normal?

If so I could be strongly tempted to cosleep with her for a couple more weeks while she gets used to the childminder and then, move her back to her own room with a great fan-fare and celebration of what a big girl she is now that she has her own proper big girl bed. Perhaps she could she put her dollies to sleep in it for a couple of nights before the big move as a pratice run iyswim. Perhaps (if you can run to it) she could also get to pick some new big girl pyjamas to wear?

Then perhaps you might be more sold on the tough love option from then on.

Catitainahatita Fri 17-Jul-09 04:33:09

Sorry "if so I would"

SittingBull Fri 17-Jul-09 05:56:15

Message withdrawn

TheWorstWitch Fri 17-Jul-09 08:55:43

Thanks for all these ideas. We all love co-sleeping, but the problem is DD never settles in our bed as she gets a bit excited and starts wanting to play.
Hadn't thought of the sleeping on the mattress option ... think I might give that a go.

Sittingbull - how long did it take before your children learned to put themselves back to sleep again with you next to them?

SittingBull Fri 17-Jul-09 21:08:33

Message withdrawn

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