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DD (2.8) taking up to 5 hours to settle at night. HELP!

(6 Posts)
pinotgrigio Wed 03-Aug-05 11:31:58

DD goes to bed at 7.30, we follow a set routine and always have done, quiet time from 6.30, books & cuddles and in bed, lights off at 7.30. I give a commentary of what we are doing, letting her know that after we are in jammies we will clean teeth etc, read 3 books, 2 books, last book then sleepy time etc.

She's started to refuse to settle, coming out of her room repeatedly, grinning and running around. I have tried everything - not interacting, saying "its sleep time" replacing her back in the bed for HOURS - it can go on until Midnight.

This happens whether she has a nap in the day nor not, and she will still wake up between 6 or 7am.

So far tonight she has been messing around for 2.5 hours, even though she was shattered at 6pm after a long day swimming and running in the park.

She's turned on all the lights, asked for pajamas on, pajamas off, more books, tissues, food & repeatedly asks for a cuddle. And now she's just taken off her nappy and is asking for a wee. She'll ask me to go in and cuddle her, but we'll lie down together and then she'll start to fidget and poke me after about 10 minutes. Eventually I'll have to lie with her at about 11:30pm and she'll fall asleep.

What on earth is going on? We have just moved to Australia, but she did this in Germany too.

AAAARRRRGGH. And now she's refusing to keep her nappy on.

TracyK Wed 03-Aug-05 11:37:53

could you put a stair gate on her doorway and when she cries for you - just ask her to get back into bed and that you'll come and see her in a minute and hope she forgets and goes to sleep.
How long ago did you move? maybe she's not settled yet and just a phase?
plus maybe she's too overstimulated? maybe wind down from 5pm?

pinotgrigio Wed 03-Aug-05 12:31:04

Thanks traceyK, I'll try a longer wind-down. She does seem a bit hyper, and it really shouldn't be the food, as she only has healthy stuff.

I have had to put something across the doorway, it was the only way to keep her in. Having her running, grinning across the living room to bounce cheekily on the sofa every 30 seconds was driving me nuts.

I wish I knew if it was because she's unsettled. I'm worried that if I indulge her now (ie I think she wants me to lie and hold her until she sleeps) it will be impossible to break. I don't want to be too firm though in case she's feeling insecure about the move.

Sigh. She's not showing any signs of trauma during the day though. God I wish I knew what to do!

ButtonMoon Wed 03-Aug-05 12:57:55

With DD we had got into habit of lying down with her to get to sleep which could take an hour some nights. We decided to do something about it. I think your bedtime routine sounds good , she knows exactly when sleep time is and is basically trying it on (just like my little darling used to do!!!!) just tell yourself that at her age she is old enough to understand this. We put DD to bed as normal then said "goodnight, time for bed now " and kept that as our phrase. then we went into our room and sat on the bed so she couldn't see us. The first few night we had a right game, screaming tantrums, any excuses to get out of bed, crying , asking for cuddles etc etc . It broke my heart seeing her in such a state BUT I perservered. The first feww nights I tried putting her back into bed but she would just get straight back out and follow me and it was killing my back. So after that we jsut completley ignored her and just repeated our phrase over and over again. She gave up in the end afetr about 2 hours and climbed into bed in a strop and zonked out for the count til the morning. I reckon it took about a week of this and then she realised that was the way it was going to be and gave up. She now sleeps much better although sometimes it can take her a while to get off to sleep, but most nights she has gone in about 10 mins. HTH Good luck x

pinotgrigio Thu 04-Aug-05 13:37:16

Thanks BM. Today I managed to find a nightlight, and popped it into her room. Then after 3 stories I lay with her for 10 minutes and she was out like a light at 7.30!

I've tried this before(although not with the nightlight) and she's just been bouncing around, so not sure why it worked tonight (hmm, maybe the fact that she hasn't slept for 2 weeks?!?). I'm not complaining though. I don't know what to do with myself!

We're moving into our permanent base here over the weekend, so hopefully her little life will be more settled.

Thanks for the advice, I'll persevere with her if she starts up again tomorrow.

pinotgrigio Thu 04-Aug-05 13:42:32

PS. I've now got the Button Moon theme song running around my head. Not sure if I'm pleased that it's replaced 'In my wellies' or not.

Button Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon. <caterwaul>

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