XP: I am at my witz end and I know its my fault...but please help! — The Bump
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XP: I am at my witz end and I know its my fault...but please help!

I still have to lay down with my 2.5 year old daughter for her to fall asleep and it usually lasts 30-40 minutes a nap or bedtime. She has always needed help going to sleep and I just never really did anything about it. I tried CIO and the ferber a couple of times when she was a baby but she would cry till she puked everytime. When she moved into her big girl bed, I was pregnant and tired and I just started laying with her. Needless to say, I now have a 9 month old also and I still lay with her. She fights me. The second I leave, she screams. She cries she is afraid and that she loves me and please dont leave. It is heartbreaking. She wont let my husband near her at bed time. It is becoming too much for me, especially with a 9 month old also. Plus, she really needs to be able to do this on her own for her own wellbeing. Does anyone have ANY suggestions? I am seriously afraid she will need her mommy to put her to sleep when she is 15. I know I created this and it is my fault, so please no flames..just suggestions.
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Re: XP: I am at my witz end and I know its my fault...but please help!

  • I started using a timer when I put my son (now 3 1/2) to sleep.  I would explain to him that I would lay with him for 5 minutes and then set the timer, once the timer went off, it was time for me to leave.

    For whatever reason, it worked.  I think part of it is because it isn't me telling him what to do, it is the timer.

    I did this for a few months, reducing the amount of minutes over time and now he goes to sleep on his own.

    Good luck!

  • Thank you.  I will try that!
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  • The timer idea is great, maybe you could start with your usual 30 mins and cut back 5 mins every few days or so then reward her for doing it by herself like a big girl. 

    Maybe reward with a new stuffed animal, new pillowcase, nighlight or fancy sheets?  Target has some really cute flannel sheets that are fun for kids.  Maybe a Glow Worm or something that would light up and keep her company?  I think you just need to approach it from the "you are a big girl" perspective and ease her into it with some bribes lol :)  I would ease into it and praise her little by little as she gets better. 

    You could also try to get your DH involved, maybe he could convince her how much fun he is at bedtime!  It would get her in a whole new routine which might help as well.  My DH puts our 3 year old to bed and they have a big routine: jammies, tooth brushing, story, songs and sleep.  She resisted him at first but eventually he won her over.  

    I totally understand where you are coming from, sometimes its easier to just not fight about it and the next thing you know you are stuck in a rut :)  GL! 

     

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  • DD is the same way, but since she is an only and I know she will outgrow it before I want her to (ti won't be when she's 15), I just embrase it. Why do you hate it? Are you just torn now that you have two LOs to care for? Can DH put the 9 month old to bed while you tend to the older daughter? What happens if you are out of the house at bedtime, say at the gym or a bookstore? WIll she let DH put her to bed then? Maybe try that for a few nights so she knows DH isn't that bad.

    Does she flail around and scream for those 30-40 minutes or is she quiet and still? DD knows I will leave if she's not still and quiet, which is what gets her to be good. It took a bunch of leaving the room before she knew how serious I was about it. She would cry for a couple minutes, but not get to the point of puking (she did the same with Ferber and CIO that your LO did). I come back in and ask if she's going to be still and quiet. Sometimes she says no and I leave again. I really won't be there with her unless she is serious about going to sleep.

    If I was to break it, I would try sitting on the edge of her bed to put her to bed for a few days, then sit in a chair next to her bed while holding her hand. A few days later sit in the chair, but not touch her. Then a few days later move the chair a third of the way to the door. A few days later, the chair closer to the door. Later outside the door. See how that goes.

    I have also said I need to use the bathroom and excused myself for 5 minutes at a time. Sometimes she is asleep when I get back because she trusts I will return and doesn't have a break down. Maybe you can try that and extend your "bathroom breaks" by a couple minutes every night.

    Does she have a lovie or something else to comfort her? What is your bedtime routine like? We do bath every other night, PJs, white noise machine, books, lights out, quiet singing, then sleep. She knows what is coming next. I think that really helps her unwind.

    GL. I get frustrated sometimes, but remind myself that I will have far more nights without her falling asleep in my arms than I will with her.

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  • Don't feel too bad, I was in the same situation 6 months ago - I had to be laying with her to get her to bed, and DH was not allowed to participate.  My biggest pieces of advice are - be consistent, and don't let it get frantic.  With DD, we had to listen to her cry - I can hear the difference between mad, and frantic, and if she got too worked up, it would lengthen the process. 

    I go in 1-3 times, and tell her she was OK, and give her a hug.  At first, the first time I would go in, I would tell her "I will lay with you for 3 minutes, and then I am going to go lay down," but now I don't give her that option, because she doesn't need it.  The last time I go in, I tell her I am not coming back in. 

    If she still gets upset (again, if her voice starts to get frantic, not just mad), I send DH in.  She gets aggrivated because she wants me, but DH tells her that Mommy is in bed, she is OK, and that she really needs to go to bed.  At first, it took a long time to get her to sleep, and often she cried herself out. 

    Within a week, it got better, and now, she accepts the fact that Mommy will only come back once per night.  I could cut that visit out, but she keeps telling me that she is scared, and I tell her to snuggle one of the stuffed animals in her bed, and he will protect her from the "bad dreams". 

    I know how hard it is, but if you stay consistent, it will get better.  I never thought I wouldn't dread bedtime, but eventually she figured it out.

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  • P had some good ideas, and also maybe a sticker chart would work...

     

  • the timer idea is a good one.

    i'd get her (maybe let her pick out) a special bed time "toy" or doll/animal that she can sleep with - maybe one that lights up - and let her know that mommy will lay for 5 minutes- and then she will snuggle with XYZ to fall asleep.

    explain it before bed time... during the day - and then again before bed, etc... so it's not a shock.

    and then do it- and don't give in if she cries. period.

  • What about things to make bedtime more fun?

    Like the mobi nightlight that turns off after 15 minutes, or we have a twilight ladybug.  Or pillow pets or something like that?

    I hear you, we didn't have it that bad bu DD would wake up about 1/2way through the night and so most mornings I ended up waking up in her room, until about 2.5.

  • Thank you so much everyone for your suggestions!  They all sound wonderful and I am going to give everything a try until something works. 
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  • i could have written this post myself about a year ago when my DS was 2.5

    i used to do the exact same thing with the same results with Ferber when he was younger.

    What I did was started laying on his floor. I would put a blanket over my head and text friends or go on the internet with my phone just so I could at least do something productive LOL

    after about 6 months of this once he turned 3 I just started saying, mommy has to go and clean the kitchen. i'll come upstairs in about 2 min. I would always go up in a few min. most times he was asleep, but sometimes he was awake. if he was awake, i'd just say, hey, i'm back... now i have to go clean the living room. i'll be back in 2 min. and then i'd go back in about 5 min and he was always asleep. this is what worked for us and now after we read books, I tell him a story, and then he asks if i can lay with him for a minute I am able to kiss him on the head and say goodnight.

    I too have another LO that is 20 months younger than DS so i know the stress. 

     good luck to you :) i always tell myself, what is 3 years of laying with my child to go to bed. pretty soon we'll be begging for cuddles :) 

  • We rocked DD to SLEEP until we switched to a toddler bed.  Oh, I loved it and miss it sometimes, but I knew she needed to be able to go to sleep on her own. 
    This is what totally saved us.  And they are on the clearance aisle at our walmart for $7

    http://www.amazon.com/HAO-KAI-LAN-LANTERN-NIGHT-LIGHT/dp/B002M0A2WM

    It plays music for three minutes and then stays lit for ten minutes.  We stay during the music and then go after we re-start the music.  It's been a dream. 

  • We used to lay down with DD too. We did it from the time she moved into her own bed at 16mo until a few months before DS was born, so she was a little over 2yr.

    We had a pretty good rountine, so most of it we kept. But after reading books we stopped laying down and would just sit next to her. She didn't like it, wanted us to lay down, but we just kept saying no, that I couldn't lay down, but I would stay with her. She held onto my arm like it was a teddy bear. Eventually, over a couple weeks she got used to it and was ok with it. So then I had her just hold my hand. couple more weeks. just sit by the bed. That was the hard one and we often ended up holding hands again...

    After being stuck at that point for a while, I finally had had enough. I was hugely pregnant and one night when DH wasn't there, I just couldn't face it.

    So I told DD, in very specific detail, what we were going to do that night. And then repeated it throughout the evening. After dinner we are going to watch Caillou and drink milk, then we are going to brush teeth, go potty, get pajamas on, read 3 books, mama will turn out the lights and sing 1 song, give you a kiss and then you will stay in your bed and mama has to go to her own bed.

    And after every step we talked about what was coming next. In detail, the whole list. every step. over and over and over again.

    When it came time for me to leave... she was fine with it. I was completely bowled over. She had NEVER stayed awake in bed without one of there or without crying. But with very few exceptions it has worked pretty much every night since then.

    - Jena
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  • You're not alone.  My ds also puked every time I tried Ferber or CIO.  It was awful and I gave up and let him sleep with us and I lay down with him until he fell asleep. He turned 3 last week and I also had a new baby so I decided to do something about it.

    I like the egg timer thing.  I just pointed to the clock and told ds when it turned to X time, I was leaving.  I shortened it each night.  I'm down to about 1 minute and then I leave.  A few times I told him point blank I would put him in bed but I couldn't stay.  Sometimes he would stay in bed, sometimes he would climb out and find me.  Overall, while not perfect, it does work - it just takes time.

    3 IUI's and 2 IVF's later- Brady arrived. Born at 36 weeks after PUPPS and pre-e/HELLP.
    IUI- BFN IVF #1 -BFP! Allie is our 2nd IVF baby. Born at 36 1/2 weeks after pre-e again
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