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  1. #1
    harvs's Avatar
    harvs is offline Winner 2014 - Spirit of BubHub Award
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    Default I admit defeat - toddler sleep tricks please!

    I had another horrific night with DS last night. He was awake for four hours, and cracked it if he was anywhere but on my head. We are staying at FOB'd house atm and only had a single bed, which DS ended up sleeping sprawled out in while I origami-ed myself into a corner.

    This now marks 11 weeks of overnight wakings ranging from an hour to five hours, hysteria if apart from me, and co-sleeping that begins around midnight. He literally won't settle unless he is pressed up against me somehow. He has randomly slept through twice in this time.

    Last night he nearly broke me. I can accept a stage of separation anxiety but I just have this sneaky voice in my head telling me it won't change. I am exHAUSted and dreading the rest of the school holidays. I have so much work to do and I just can't do it because of how tired I am.

    So, DS is two in eleven days. He sleeps well in the day (usually about two to three hours when at home, between 30-90 minutes at childcare). He usually goes down ok at night, except that since they moved him on to the mats at cc he usually needs someone sitting in his room with him because he has someone sitting with him at nap time.

    I won't do cry it out on any level, but I do tend to leave him if he is what I call squawking and there are no tears, he's just annoyed that I won't pick him up.

    I tell myself it's just a stage and truth be told I can cope with the co-sleeping - it's the awake time that is sapping all the life out of me. He will tell me if he wants some food or drink and that is only very occasionally overnight.

    Does anyone have any hints? Is this normal 2ish year old behaviour? Do I just have to suck it up a little while longer?

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    Oh dear. That sucks. My dd1 was horrible 16-20 mths. Just horrible. This is what we did. I made a safe room. Popped myself in the playpen with a mattress/pillow. Tried to sleep and if it got horrible I used ear plugs. I was heavily pregnant so couldnt handle her jumping on me. This was my compromise.

    The other option was to swaddle her in a cot sheet and then wrap my arms/legs around her and rock her to some calming music under a very fast fan. She would eventually exhaust herself to sleep.

    I would never leave my kids to cry themselves to sleep by themselves but I'm ok with them crying if I'm in the room with them.

    Tbh I'm a very gentle parent to babies but a hard nut to 2+yo. I refuse to interact with the kids overnight. I'm happy to bedshare but they must be quiet or I take them back to bed.

    wifey of hubby who is always away. mother of two girls who are always amusing.

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    My 2 yr old was just like that. To a tee. He is now 5 and still not a great sleeper, but it's easier now. I don't know what to say as I never found the solution I gave up trying to get him to sleep in the cot, and we coslept until 4.5 (when I was pregnant with his sister). I found when I put him down in my bed at the start of the night he was able to relax a little bit more. He must have felt more secure there. There was also the threat of going to the cot if he misbehaved.

    I hope it gets better for you, I really do. Years on end of sleep deprivation is just torture. I can see now that my son is older, he is really a very tactile and social boy. It makes sense to me now why he hated being alone at night times. It will never make sense to me why he wakes so often and doesn't appear to need much sleep, however!

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    - don't feed your DS (unless sick etc) or give him any attention or form of entertainment when he wakes at night. No DVDs, no eye contact, no lights on.
    - don't bring the day nap forward to compensate. Keep your DS up to the normal nap time even if it is a struggle. Put your DS down for the night at the normal time.
    (Putting him down earlier or giving entertainment will encourage continued night wakings).
    - don't let your DS sleep any later than 3pm if you want him in bed by 7.
    - don't change your sleeping arrangements through the night. If your DS is hopping into your bed at midnight then he is going to continue to wake at that time so he can hop in your bed.
    - ensure your DS has appropriate bedding is warm enough etc. cotton/bamboo bedding is preferred, polyester etc can lead to sweating
    - get rid of any negative sleep aids. Do not pat/use a dummy/play music to get your DS to sleep. Instead use comforter with your smell on it.

    Be consistent. Tough love can be hard in the beginning (eg a few nights of Wobblies if you make a stand about ds1 not coming into your bed) but if this is something you can do you will reap the rewards in the medium-long term. It can take up to a week for changes to take affect. Don't give up after 2-3 days

    Good luck
    Last edited by VicPark; 01-10-2014 at 09:55.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose&Aurelia;

    I would never leave my kids to cry themselves to sleep by themselves but I'm ok with them crying if I'm in the room with them.

    Tbh I'm a very gentle parent to babies but a hard nut to 2+yo. I refuse to interact with the kids overnight. I'm happy to bedshare but they must be quiet or I take them back to bed.

    wifey of hubby who is always away. mother of two girls who are always amusing.
    I endorse this. I am the biggest softy until 2 when I get tough. Or rather DH gets tough. We sleep in their room or let them sleep with us but they are allowed to cry if we are with them.

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    I have to agree with vic park, my son is almost three and is the epitome of "give an inch and will take a mile"! He will crack the poos for one or two nights and then be fine. I just have to be firm. We also do a sticker reward for staying in his bed all night. He will wake and ask to come to my bed and I just say no. I do pat him back to sleep though through the night - I'm kinda in the middle with my approach. I figure it works because he mostly sleeps through these days (barring sickness etc).

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  12. #7
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    Thanks everyone. I don't want to be one of THOSE people, but I honestly have tried all those things. I think because I read that separation anxiety peaks again around this age I've been trying to be sensitive to that so I've softened. And to be honest, I probably don't try for long enough. I can't for the life of me see how I am going to manage a week of no sleep while working as well and caring for DS on my own, but I suppose it can't get much worse than it is right now! I'll just have to try harder...

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    Quote Originally Posted by harvs View Post
    Thanks everyone. I don't want to be one of THOSE people, but I honestly have tried all those things. I think because I read that separation anxiety peaks again around this age I've been trying to be sensitive to that so I've softened. And to be honest, I probably don't try for long enough. I can't for the life of me see how I am going to manage a week of no sleep while working as well and caring for DS on my own, but I suppose it can't get much worse than it is right now! I'll just have to try harder...
    Pick a time when you are on leave from work and/or have someone over to help to crack down...

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    Subbing - going through some similar sleep challenges with my 19 mo at the moment!

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    Oh Harvs I'm right there with you my 1yo is exactly the same. She is in the habit of coming into my bed now and sleeping on my head.

    I contacted a sleep specialist I know and she suggested starting small, getting into a routine (an easy one, dinner, bath, book, bed) and removing all sleep aids wether it be a bottle, rocking, dummy etc.

    I can't handle the crying so this is where I'm starting. I'm going to sleep on her floor from tonight and see how we go.

    So I'm not a huge help, just wanted to send you massive hugs x also... I've just sent you a PM with a link

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