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24 mths sleeping - is this the correct thing to do or has anyone else got any better ideas?

(32 Posts)
DaddyCool Wed 29-Jun-05 10:22:25

DS is 24 mths. he used to sleep through the night but wake up very early. we tried to rectify this by trying controlled crying and this completely ruined everything and he hasn't been the same since.

our routine is as follows... I put him to bed about 7:30, I stand by the bed until he goes asleep for anything between 15 and 45 minutes (if i leave, he cries and won't go to sleep). He used to go to sleep on his own before the whole CC nightmare.

anyway, he usually wakes in the middle of the night and won't go back to sleep unless i go in with him. this was a pain at first but has just become habit and part of our nightly routine. I'm 'nighttime dad' and dw's 'daytime mum'.

The problem is, i've now got to start travelling with work. ds will only settle with me (because that's what he's used to) and dw just can't sleep in the same bed as him. she has sleep problems as it is let alone a squirming ds sleeping horizontally across the bed! (i can sleep on a bed of nails )

i must sort this out before my next trip so i'm thinking of...

when he wakes, just going into the room and standing there for as long as it takes before he goes back to sleep and just repeating this over and over again until morning. i'm hoping this will just get better and better until he sleeps through the night. sound good?

lilybird Wed 29-Jun-05 13:07:24

daddycool, we have the same problem,but the other way round! dd will not have dh in the night at all.
but i went out on saturday night,(which i'm still feeling the effects off!!) so dd had no choice but to put up with dh, i heard her shouting no daddy at 4am but dh was strong and just walked out until she realised that i wasn't going into her.
but i feel she plays on me, when i put her to bed as she messes around for ages before going to sleep and wants me to sit down on the floor by her bed, she does this in the night to, tells me to sit down! she has never slept through the night
and after 2.4 yrs i'm starting to suffer!
we were wondering about using a sticker chart, what do you think?
is your ds actually awake in the night?
think your idea sounds good, are you going to try it tonight?

DaddyCool Wed 29-Jun-05 13:13:36

sounds horrible.

ds wakes up in the night but he's kind of half asleep and whinging.

the sticker chart probably wouldn't work as he's not quite there with his development quite yet. how exactly does it work?

the sitting/standing in the room until the child went to sleep and doing this over and over again was the technique they seemed to use on that 'house of tiny terraways' show. it's gruelling but it seemed to work for the two little boys featured. i'm going to try it from tonight.

edam Wed 29-Jun-05 13:14:37

your plan sounds good to me - similar to the advice Dr Tanya hands out, I think. Hope it works...

Luckily ds is fairly good about actually sleeping but is often very difficult about going to sleep, if that makes sense. Very draining when you have to spend 20/30 minutes getting him off and then often ends up with him in a real state - I just have to walk off and leave him to it and then he drops off, but it's awful to leave him like that when he's upset. Must be stronger about being really calm and firm and not allowing him to sidetrack me into reading another story, kissing all his teddies ten times, etc. etc.... but easier said than done. Big respect to you for setting up your plan!

DaddyCool Wed 29-Jun-05 13:20:06

i reckon i'm half way there. when i settle him for bed i simply put him in his 'boy-bag' (sleeping bag thing with shoulder straps), kiss him good night and then i stand looking at the wall for about half an hour until he goes asleep. i sometimes put my hand on his arm to let him know i'm there. this seems to be exactly what dr. tanya does, i just need to discipline myself to do it at 3am.

bakedpotato Wed 29-Jun-05 13:25:28

DaddyCool, you won't want to hear this but say your plan for now works. What happens when/if DS wakes up and you're away? You say he will only settle for you. Unless he gets used to his mum settling him, your situation won't really have improved, will it?

Star charts are great. Talk and talk about them in advance with DS, get him to help draw them up, choose stickers etc. Say that if he goes to sleep on own without fuss, and sleeps the whole night without waking you up, he gets a star. Ham it up like mad. Tell him he's a really big boy now and this is what big boys do, they sleep all night on their own without a fuss. Ask grandparents/neighbours etc to ask him how it's going.

Make a huge to-do of each small success. So, even if he wakes in the night, still reward him with sticker if he went off at bedtime without hullaballoo.

lilybird Wed 29-Jun-05 13:28:51

I was thinking of telling her that she will get a sticker in the morning if she goes to sleep by her self, see how that goes, then progress to awarding them on how well she sleeps in the night(but then she sometimes can't help waking up, just like us i suppose!) aaargh i don't know!
so, daddycool, when you go into ds's room do you just stand there, do you not say anything?

DaddyCool Wed 29-Jun-05 13:29:17

sounds good bakedpotato but like i said, he's not even talking yet and his development just isn't quite there.

sorry BP, i forgot to mention, dw is going to try as well. we'll take turns, as in the past it's only been me.

DaddyCool Wed 29-Jun-05 13:30:28

i don't say a thing. when i'm putting him to bed is simply look at the wall. i don't even make eye contact. apparently eye contact is the kiss of death! lol.

he just knows i'm there, that's all he needs.

lovecloud Wed 29-Jun-05 13:41:06


My dd was an angel sleeper and slept 12 hours from 12 weeks but then around 8 months would cry when put to bed I would have to lean over the cot and caress her heaf until she fell asleep. This lasted for a few months and then she went back to going off by herself.
She is now 28 mths approx and about a month ago suddenly start crying again and would demand myself or dh to sit on the ground next to her and tickle her hand until she fell asleep. If she caught us slipping out of the room she would go mad. This would happen also if she woke in the night. We dealt with it just like we did when she was 8 mths. Bath, read story in cot or lap, kiss put her down, first few nights, sit next to her but not tickle her hand just spoke or sang gentlt, next few nights, sat on a chair by the door and again sang or spoke, she was still comforted knowing we were there. Then I would put her down, kiss her and say mummy is just going to the toilet (dont say drink or dinner - this gives them opp to say theay want some too... )She would of course scream, I would leave a minute and then go back and do the same thing. She did eventually get bored, it is usually the parent who gives in first. They are so clever and will only give in after a long fight so persevere - YOU ARE DA BOSS!!!

bakedpotato Wed 29-Jun-05 13:43:46

think lovecloud's advice is spot on if you can't go down the sticker route yet
keep that one up your sleeve for later

lovecloud Wed 29-Jun-05 13:49:16

I sounded a bit harsh but trust me, two year olds are very stubborn and they know that you want to confort them. You have to be prepared to put up with the battle and it will be a battle, if you dont give in you will win. My little girl put up a great fight with her sleeping problem back then and I so nearly gave in but she gets her stubborness from me so I won in the end. It did cause a few tears and cold or burnt dinners trying to settle her and cook but I got there in the end. In the last few months, I have noticed how much more hard I need to be with her, if I was as soft as I was when she was one, I would be her slave.

DaddyCool Wed 29-Jun-05 13:51:51

sometimes i look down to see him smiling at me and it makes me laugh and then i screw up the whole thing! .

crunchie Wed 29-Jun-05 14:04:16

DC I am going to take a firm line here, your DS is loving teh control he has over you. IMHO You MUST stop staying with him until he sleeps as he will never get usd to it TBH I understand you found CC a nightmare, and it seemed to screa up things, however now her is a bit older is it worth taking a tougher line. Basically leaving the room for one minute to start with, then two minutes, then 3 etc. I know cc often suggest 5, but it is hard to hear your child screaming for that long. I would then do the same in the night, settle hime downa nd leave the room etc.

I am sure others will disagree, but I have always taken a tough stance on this one.

DaddyCool Wed 29-Jun-05 14:19:43

your approach does make sense crunchie but what do you make of Dr. Tanya's technique though?

and i find you a bit sweet. i think its all that honeycombe stuff in the middle of you that does it. you kind of make my teeth tingle a little from the sugar.

crunchie Wed 29-Jun-05 19:47:43

I am a bit of a cow when it comes to my sleep I'm afraid. I have been known to send my kids back to their rooms at 7am even though we get up at 7.20 - 7.30!! I have always been lucky with kids that sleep well usually, although dd2 (aged 4) trys to take the mick and wakes up 2 or 3 times a night sometimes.

I haven't seen dr Tanyas methods so can't advise.

BTW I am so NOT sweet, you really don't know me

lilybird Thu 30-Jun-05 09:24:21

well daddycool, how did it go? did your plan work?

DaddyCool Thu 30-Jun-05 10:53:06

worked well last night. DS woke once at 2am. before, i would have gone in with him and slept until 5:30/6:00 but i just went in, said everything is ok and stood by the bed until he went off to sleep. we woke within a very short period of time after i sneaked out, about 5 mins. he did this 3 or 4 times and each time i just went in stood by his bed, gave him a touch on his shoulder and told him to go back to sleep.

he was settled again after about 45 mins after we initally woke and he slept until 6am. not bad really. i'll have to see what tonight brings.

Papillon Thu 30-Jun-05 11:08:16

Glad to hear you are not continuing with CC as I think I remember a thread from you awhile back and you weren´t too keen on it.

It might have been a shock for him to go from quite a hands on approach to CC at his age. I think what you are doing sounds good and hope things improve in your night lives by each passing day.

DaddyCool Thu 30-Jun-05 11:32:45

yes, papillon. that was a desperate thread. he's gotten much better and he's regained trust but it's taken a very long time. just goes to show, not every kid is the same and CC doesn't always work on every child (which seems to be the majority opinion).

crunchie Thu 30-Jun-05 11:34:26

Well done DC It is hard work and I admire you doing it, I guess tomorrow night is your DW turn CC doesn't work for everyone and if DrT's methods do the trick then good on you. I am a slave to my sleep, so went for the tough option which worked for us. If I tried to stay in the room my dd's would NEVER have gone to sleep

DaddyCool Thu 30-Jun-05 11:38:04

oh absolutely crunchie. CC seems to work brilliantly for most kids and my initial assumption was that it would just automatically work... but he ho.

i've also changed alot with my sleep. i'm hardened now. i don't really need as much sleep as i used to and i don't mind getting up early anymore (i was such a wuss before ds was born!!)

crunchie Thu 30-Jun-05 11:41:38

Well I admire you, my dh never got up ONCE in the night for my 2 girls Well actually once I think, but turned on so many lights and made so much noise it was easier doing it myself He was good at other things, just not night times

Lua Thu 30-Jun-05 11:54:33

DC, we had the same problem as you... DD (2,5 yrs)was a great sleeper but in prep for #2 we decided to try to put her to sleep on her own and use CC. Well, we initially got a mess on our hands... I insisted for a while but she was just crying more and more. WE did a half back-up, that sounds like you are planning.
We started by DP read a book, than turn light off and told her a story and sit in her room (not withher!)for 15 min. quiet. If she was still awake by then, he would give her a kiss of goodnight and would stand right outside the door. So he would go back in and reassure her he was just outside, to call him id=f she needed him. That way she was relaxed instead of crying. It took a while but eventually he doesn't have to stay in anymore and doesn't need to stay right outside the door either. Most of the days she is asleep by the end of the told story. If not she would call him back only once very blue moon.
Good luck!

Papillon Fri 01-Jul-05 09:27:26

Remembered something that you might like to try. Does your ds sleep with a favourite soft toy? If he does then before bed time keep saying... (ds name) goes to sleep, bear goes to sleep. Put the idea in your sons mind that when he wakes he can cuddle his bear to sleep. When (ds name) wakes, bear and ds go sleepy sleepy. Or something to that effect.

This idea came from Dr Sears whose philosohies on sleep I like. I can´t find the bear comforter idea again on his site again but here is a link to his place.


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