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Thread: PLEASE HELP! 23mth old

  1. #1

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    Default PLEASE HELP! 23mth old

    I really need some help from gentle parents. DS will just not sleep atm. When we put him to bed at night, if we leave the bedroom door open he will constantly come out for hours on end, if we close the door (which he used to be happy with) he screams hysterically at the door for hours one end ( we do go into him every couple of minutes).

    DH is of the beleif that we need to tough with him and just let him scream til he learns that we are not going to give in and he gives up and falls asleep from exhaustion....to me this ust sounds cruel and goes against all my instincts, i mean aren't we supposed to comfort our child when they are upset? But DH thinks that if we give injto him and let him sleep in our bed/room he will never sleep in his own room and he will never have a proper bedtime, he will just want to stay up all night.

    So, i am scared that if i let him have his own way and let him stay up later and sleep with us, will he turn into a horrible brat who has no rules or respect?

    DH has been on night shift the last week and up til a couple of nights ago i let DS sleep in bed with me. That meant that he stayed up too late but he went straight to sleep with me, however he got up at 7am and his behaviour was atrocious cause hes not been getting enough sleep.

    What on Earth can i do to get my well behaved boy back without leaving him to scream to sleep every night??????????????


  2. #2

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    have you tried the rapid return technique? im not sure though if that comes under gentle parenting

  3. #3

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    Elissa, I think that around the 2yo mark they have another separation anxiety peak. I know we have a similar thing with our 3 yo but not every night, just sometimes. Have you tried a comforter? Leaving a light on? Lying or sitting with him for a little while until he is sleepy? Do you do a bedtime story and cuddle and have a set night time routine?

    I have just finished reading Pinky Mackay's Toddler Tactics (which I highly recommend), and she says that at this age kids who are parented to sleep (ie staying with a child until they are settled etc) are more likely to be better sleepers down the track. It might be worth getting the book just to show your DH LOL! She also says that the bedtime story and cuddles helps the sleepy hormones kick in for the littlies.

    I do think you should follow your instincts on this, and know that by helping him gently fall asleep you are not doing any harm and he will one day be able to go to sleep by himself. GL, I hope it gets easier soon. In my experience it does go in cycles.

  4. #4

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    AJP - what is the rapid return technique??

    manta - Thankyou so much for the advice and understanding, i am just at my wits end atm. I keep telling myself that this is just a cycle and it will pass, but its hard to believe that atm! Thanks for lettting me know that 2yrs is a peak for seperation anxiety, it makes sense, he has been extremely clingy to me for a month or so now. He has 2 dummies plus a special cuddle toy, he has a night light, currently we have had a routine of pjs on, hop into bed and read a story together, have cuddles and kisses for a minute then i leave the room. I have tried sitting with him til he goes to sleep but he just jumps around and plays an ggigles. I have tried laying in his bed with him, same thing, he ends up giggling and playing. Have tried telling him i will come back to check, this works for about 3 lots of 5 mins then he plays up again. I guess what is frustrating me is that every gentle approach i take with him he takes advantage of and it never works,he ends up staying awake til late.....

  5. #5

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    I don't know if this will help at all given what you've said above - but I was doing the following with DS for awhile.

    He would put pj's on, say goodnight to Grandpa and the dog, have prayers with daddy and I, read stories, have a little bit of boobie, then he would get in his cot and lie down. I would then sit in the rocking chair at the end of the bed and read a book for pleasure (working my way through the Narnia chronicles) until he fell asleep - it would usually take about 15-20 minutes.

    But he has gone back to falling asleep on the boobie since he just stopped taking his day nap!

    Again, don't know if that will help at all but thought it was worth mentioning!

  6. #6

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    Went through similar problems with DD, but at a older age. Basically it took both of us working on it. If she mucked around, I would leave and DH would come in so she was not alone. DH came up with the idea of talking about Fairy land and for him to talk about Fairyland she had to lay still, close her eyes and not talk. She would eventually go off to sleep. Counting also worked if she was tired enough, we would start counting fairies, keeping it very slow and monotone. Drove us completely nuts, but it seemed to work and now we do not need to talk about Fairies. Is there something like that you could talk about?

    I also found it helps to just continue reading while she played around. It seemed if I tried to get her to stop playing by stopping reading or talking to her, she just played more. If I just ignored her and kept reading in a boring fashion she would eventually stop. She soon learnt that I only read for so long before the light went out, so if she wanted to enjoy the books or have a say in what was read she needed to either sit nicely on my lap or lay in bed.

    Experiment with different books, some are better than others for getting them to sleep. Lots of rhythm, rhyme and repetition seem to work well.

    She is still not fantastic with going to sleep, but it is so much better than what she was before.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
    she says that at this age kids who are parented to sleep (ie staying with a child until they are settled etc) are more likely to be better sleepers down the track.
    Couldn't agree more. I used to find it a chore but I've sat on the floor next to the cot/bed holding a hand and reading outloud from whatever magazine or book i was reading. SOmetimes I'd sing, sometimes I didn't. SOmetimes I used to just sit there and contemplate my navel.
    I didn't engage her directly but I was there so she could hear me. Eventually I didn't have to hold her hand, then I could say I'll be back in to check on you...and she'd be asleep.
    Archie's a very bright little boy Elissa, he will get the hang of it. He won't be precocious. You are doing a good job.
    DH said to me it was my fault last week when Darcy refused to sleep in her own bed. I told him rubbish. I don't care where she sleeps as long as she feels safe. Sometimes she sleeps on her fold out lounge next to our bed, sometimes we camp out in the walk in wardrobe on a mattress. In a few short years she won't want to know me. I'm not going to miss out because someone else thinks my kid isn't doing the 'right' thing.

  8. #8

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    lilprecious - thanks so much for taking the time to post and give me new ideas

    astrid - thankyou very much, you have certainly helped

    kim - big hugs. Thankyou, everything you said is how i feel too, especially your view that they are only little for so long. That is what i was trying to explain to DH last night, that soon enough he wont want to be seen with us let alone cuddle with us. I guess i have to just go with my own instincts, DH just makes me a bit paranoid that i am creating a brat and nobody wants a brat! poo poo to everyoe and their views from today onwards, thanks again

    Turns out Arch has come out in a red spotty rash all over his body this morning so maybe that has something to do with his recent night time difficulties.

    Last night i went with my instincts and let him fall asleep in our bed then put him into his bed. He ended up back in with us early this morning, he slept so well with us though and woke up in such a happy mood, thats all the proof i need that co-sleeping is not a bad thing!

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