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Thread: Self-settling

  1. #1
    Melinda Guest

    Question Self-settling

    Just wondering.......

    Does anyone else have a toddler who at times loses the ability to self-settle?

    We go through prolonged stages of this with Jacob (as we are ATM). It's very tiring unfortunately! I have to rock/pat him to sleep every day and night and with an ever-growing tummy and bad back, it's becoming really hard work.....

    For those of you who HAVE had a toddler in this situation - has there been a magical age where it seems to have settled down?! LOL

    We had a terrible night last night where Jacob only slept for a total of just 5.5 hours. He didn't get to sleep until 9.30pm and woke at 1.00 am and stayed awake until 6 am, when he finally went back to sleep until 8 am (in our bed). Unfortunately we can't leave him in his cot when he wakes like that.......he starts off happy and contented to chat to himself, but once he realises that nobody is coming in, he starts to throw himself around the cot so that he hurts himself as he hits his head etc on the sides which results in crying and of course when he cries, we go in......



    I live in hope that one day I can share a comforted sleep success story with you all - it seems it must just be a little while in the making!

  2. #2

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    Mel, do you let him have any small toys in his cot? Or board books? Do you think if you read him a few cuddly stories before bed, then put him in his cot and let him "read" to himself for a while, that he would respond well?

    Does he have a night light?

    I was just thinking that then, when he wakes in the middle of the night, that a little "read" might be the thing that sends him back off again, by himself?

    Dunno........

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Mel.... I don't have any answers because we are going through it this week too. She shows tired signs, gets really over it and we go into get her to bed & can be there for up to 2 hours atm. She then sleeps for around 2-3 hours and is up for another hour or two and then 5 hours of sleep. So I have no answers but would love to hear some more...

    At the moment we go in and spend 30 minutes or so with her patting her and shhhhing and then we give her a kiss and say we will be back in a few minutes and go out for a short time & go back in and do the same thing. We "Give her a chance" to self-settle in case we are the reason she's not getting back to sleep... but so far this is taking hours.

  4. #4
    Melinda Guest

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    Lucy - yes, Jacob has a toy in his cot. It's a Winnie The Pooh and he loves it and will amuse himself with it for brief periods, although in the dead of the night that is hard as it's dark in his room. He doesn't have a night light - we've tried leaving the light on in his room previously whilst trying to settle him and it seems to have the opposite effect, in that he thinks it's time to be up....

    Christy - argh! Sorry to hear that you are doing it tough too. We try to give Jacob the chance to self-settle too, but it's simply not working. I know he sees DH as a 'play thing' (what a phrase LOL) so I am better at settling Jacob than what he is.

  5. #5
    Fire Fly Guest

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    DD used to self settle before the hip thing happened so it always a nightmare to get her to sleep. She is 3 1/2 now so not an issue. But with DS he self settles and ive noticed the difference with the both kids was routine.
    Do you have a routine in order that is the same every single night? With Dd its jarmies, warm milk, both read a book then bed. Kids like repitition so try setting up a night time ritual that its to stimulating.
    And with stimulation, are you over doing it which makes him more irratated. I noticed with DS in the car if i start trying to calm him and shooshing him he actually gets worse. But just a low soothing tune (same one all the time) does the trick.
    DD also used to need a night light like the others have suggested, because she would freak out. It stays on even now because its what she knows. All it is is a lamp with a sarong over it to dull the sharpness.
    Try to catch him before he gets over tired because all kids a hard to get down once over tired.
    Good luck with it all.

  6. #6
    Fire Fly Guest

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    Sorry ive make a few mistakes in my post but couldnt edit it.

    Low Stimulation, try a quiet tune, short and the same all the time. Even if he crys increase the volume a bit but not to loud just so he starts to listen to you.
    Night Light, not to bright, just his bedside lamp with cloth over the top. We have clips on top of ours to keep it off the light bulb. Its been like that for years with no probs.
    Routine for bed, bath maybe, jarmies, warm milk or B/F (whatever he has), read a short book, say ok its bedtime now (use your own words), give dad kiss and cuddle goodnight, off to bed. Keep it the same every night. Kids like reputition.

    All this has worked for my kids, it may or may not work for yours but its a very simple routine to do that is easy. Good luck with everything. Its very hard to start with but keep at it and it will be so worth it.

  7. #7
    angelfish Guest

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    Jacob is nearly 2 isn't he? George never self settled until he was 2 and that was only because we pushed him into it. We had just gone along assuming he'd learn to settle himself in his own time. But when I was 8 months pregnant with Milly I was shocked to realise that we were spending up to 4 hours each night trying to get George to sleep. No wonder I felt so exhausted all the time. So we made the decision to train him.

    We didn't want to ignore him or shut him in his room etc so we used the technique of putting him to bed, allowing him to either settle or come out, and just putting him straight back every time he left his room, with a few quiet words ("back to bed, sleep time now"). The first night was difficult (he came out 163 times before he went to sleep!) However by the end of a week he was happily going to sleep by himself and has done so ever since (he's now 3). We put him down at 7 and he stays in bed until we give him permission to come out at around 6am. The other things that helped were a regular routine starting about an hour and a half before bedtime, and letting him have some small choices (eg which soft toy he wants to sleep with, which story he'd like to have).

    So no, it wasn't a "magic" age-related thing, but it was something that worked, with no crying or distress, so you might like to consider it. But you'd need to move Jacob into a bed rather than the cot, because as you say you don't want him injuring himself.

  8. #8
    Melinda Guest

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    Kerrie - yes, we have always had an evening routine for Jacob which has been very successful for him (since about 9 months of age I guess it was actually) and we watch very carefully for tired signs.

    Isabel - thanks for sharing that about George. Yes, Jacob is actually 2 next month and we're hoping that by keeping up with our evening ritual and gentle soothing/reassurance that he will gradually re-learn to self-settle, but it's a tiring process in the meantime!

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    do you think it could be overtiredness? My daughter is doing 2-3 hours a night of being awake (in a row) and it's KILLING me. I think it's a vicious cycle. She is just getting so overtired that settling is becoming impossible, she doesn't sleep well in the day, then nights are stuffed. Sorry i can't help though. It's midnight, she's been awake 2 hours nad Im surfing the net looking for help...can't find any!!!
    I have tried everything. I go in and out patting, I even fed her before ( I never do that) and it didn't help. If I get her up she'd play!! I just think she's really frustrated at not being able to sleep. And our stupid neighbours are SO noisy!! better go sorry I couldn't be of any help! xo

  10. #10
    shampagne Guest

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    Hi there,
    Our DS turning 3 in Sept has started refusing to go to bed/sleep at night (the refusal of daytime naps started abt 6 months ago!). We take him in, let him choose one or two books (maximum) to read, he has a sippy cup with milk too. We then ask if he wants to talk about anything (usually Hi-5 poster on the wall), then say goodnight. If he gets up, he has silly excuses for not sleeping (eg thirsty, hungry but not knowing what he wants, and we know full well he's full!). He keeps asking us to stay with him but he doesn't sleep coz he gets distracted by us. In the end I say to him "if you stay in bed, under the doona and very still for 5 minutes, I'll come back and visit". And usually by that time he's drifted off to sleep by himself. Hope this helps,

    shampagne

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