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Sleep Nightmare

(57 Posts)
Merry16 Mon 14-Mar-16 13:50:51

Does anyone have any good ideas or tips for my poor daughter and son-in-law to help them to get their 2 year old to sleep in his own bed? He will not settle in the evening without one of them being with him and then usually wakes about 11pm and refuses to sleep anywhere but their bed. He is then restless and kicks and butts them all night and they are so sleep deprived. Both are out to work and know they should be firmer and try and make him sleep in his own bed, but are so tired and know they have to work early the next day, so give in. He screams hysterically and makes himself sick with anxiety if they try to get him sleep in his own bed. My daughter is expecting another baby later this year and I am worried for her sanity! I try to help, but work myself, so it is difficult. Any ideas?

LullyDully Mon 14-Mar-16 15:55:10

This problem is usually tackled successfully on the tv programme s about the visiting nannies. Try to get one on YouTube perhaps. They always seem to make it work well. They do have to get him independent for their own survival.

Anya Mon 14-Mar-16 16:02:27

Weekends? Take a couple of days off? They have to stick with it and not give in.

rosesarered Mon 14-Mar-16 16:12:16

Door left open, night lights on,take him back to bed silently, no talking, tuck him up wait until he drops off ( holding your hand) then leave quietly.
this is a big problem these days, I know two couples with similar problems.It may take a long time, but you have to be consistent.Generally it is children with anxiety problems.

NanaandGrampy Mon 14-Mar-16 16:56:19

I struggle with a 2 year old refusing anything to be fair. The little one is unlikely to be making himself sick with anxiety as much as temper. Little ones are super good at knowing what buttons to push smile. This type of thing is basically about who is in charge smile

The solution is always consistancy which is easy to say after a good nights sleep and not so easy when all you want IS to get some sleep. No giving in , no nights off.

Old fashioned as it sounds its all about routine.

We have done the same thing for 3 of the 4 of ours ( now aged 9,6,4 and nearly 2).

Bedtime countdown, no iPads, no tv, quiet stories , cuddles etc. Into bed, one story, tuck in no fuss. Leave. 2 of our little ones have a nightlight , the other 2 doesn't.

Anyone wakes up and comes out of their rooms then they're taken back to bed, no eye contact ( nothing worth waking up for here ) , tucked back in, simple "night night". And we repeat that with no spoken words for as many times and as long as it takes.

The first 3 have been pretty quick learners. The littlest one has just come out of his bed so next week we'll start the same process with him. We NEVER take them into our bed unless they're ill. The moment you do that -its game over.

I really feel for your daughter but if they don't fix this now they'll be sharing their bed with 2 children pretty soon. I hope they find the way that works for them.

SusieB50 Mon 14-Mar-16 17:25:38

My DGD is four and spends every night with my DD and SiL from about 1am - next one due in 6 weeks! .She goes to sleep fine on her own but wakes up and wanders in to their room .They just got a bigger bed ( super King ) . I can't say too much as our DS (the youngest) did the same! He however was very strict with his twins and never allowed them in with them. But they have got each other for company I suppose. My daughter says it's natural to want to all sleep together and that DGD will grow out of it. I must admit our son did stop around aged 4 if I remember, but with the new babe expected I can't see it happening with DGD , they will need a super plus bed !

barbarafyles Mon 14-Mar-16 20:10:57

I went through this for 3 years with my daughter At age 1, I was so sleep deprived that I put her into a bed and got in with her if she woke. Not ideal, but at least we both got some sleep.
We never discovered what made he wake up, but the warmth and contact of some one beside her soon settled her down. Yes she grew out of it in time. No one said bringing up kids was easy, you just have to work out what's best for all of you.

Willow500 Mon 14-Mar-16 21:44:40

I think it's an age old problem. My youngest son slept with us for ages and my eldest granddaughter was a terrible sleeper. She never went to bed until she'd fallen asleep on the sofa and often ended up in bed with her mum while my son had to move into her bed. If she stayed with us she always slept with me. She's 18 now and has obviously grown out of it grin. I think the advice given here about consistency seems to be what works best and is the techniques used by Jo Frost the nanny.

Grannyknot Mon 14-Mar-16 21:56:08

merry poor sleep deprived parents. If you Google "baby sleep trainers" numerous websites come up. My friends with toddlers swear by these sleep trainers.

But perhaps your daughter is aware of them?

Here's just one example:

Many offer online help or "first time free" consultations.

Good luck.

Grannyknot Mon 14-Mar-16 21:57:54

Here's another example:

mumofmadboys Mon 14-Mar-16 22:16:09

We ended up with several children in our bed! We just decamped and went in their beds when our bed was overfull! They all grow out of it eventually. We have five children.

Luckygirl Mon 14-Mar-16 22:20:25

Our children slept in their own rooms from about 6 months - and were settled in bed/cot then left to go to sleep.

Several of my DGC (some of school age) still have someone stay with them till they drop off - it seems to be what they do now.

Nelliemoser Mon 14-Mar-16 23:12:24

I thought Jo Frost was very good the way she worked.

Luckygirl I wish my DD had put them straight down to sleep in their own cots. DGS2 is still waking up lots of time at night for a feed and he is 11mnths. DD always seemed to feel he will get lonely if he is put to get himself to sleep. Making rods for your own back comes to mind.

However I have refrained from saying so to my daughter but my co-granny and I have shared some mutterings about this.

All babies are different I suppose I was just lucky with mine

Synonymous Tue 15-Mar-16 06:48:55

Little ones only understand what they are taught. Whilst they know what they themselves want they have to be taught what is acceptable in the life of the family and what the rules are. If no one takes the trouble to teach them the children will never learn and the adults get all the 'benefits' that come with that.
I am often amused to hear how many children who don't sleep at home are really good at sleeping at Granny's! grin

BBbevan Tue 15-Mar-16 06:59:04

Exactly Synonymous.wink

Anya Tue 15-Mar-16 07:09:45

Synonymous my SiL once joked 'do you drug our children?'because his boys neven wake up/get up in the night on their weekly sleepover hmm

Synonymous Tue 15-Mar-16 07:12:30

This Granny is very firm and is not a pushover! grin

We haven't got to our time in life without learning a thing or two!

Anya Tue 15-Mar-16 07:21:19

Exactly Syn and that's why it's a pleasure to have the GC to sleep over - we get out sleep too.

Now if anyone has an idea how to stop them waking at 6.00am...........

mumofmadboys Tue 15-Mar-16 07:22:16

Breast feeding, although it has numerous benefits, tends to add to sleep problems as babies snack more and breast milk is digested more quickly than bottled milk so babies are hungrier earlier.

obieone Tue 15-Mar-16 07:24:07

Quite Synonymous.
Merry16. In your op you say "and know they should be firmer". There you go.

Imperfect27 Tue 15-Mar-16 07:27:21

Like others posting here, I think routine and consistency are key. I had four children, one of whom was an anxious little fellow, but none of them ever had problems sleeping at night and all of them slept well in their own rooms from an early age.

Like NanaandGrampy we had a wind down zone routine. This always ended with stories and cuddles before being tucked in. We never had problems with children getting up at night; maybe this is because they were very active in the day, we walked a lot and they played out in the garden a great deal too so they were physically tired. I do wonder if some of today's children are simply not exercised enough and that this can add to bad sleep.

With so many young children using ipads and the like, I do think it is important to have a 'no screen' wind down zone from 1 hour before bed too.

tiggypiro Tue 15-Mar-16 08:30:07

I agree with everything said about routines and no screen time etc. The other thing which DD has found useful with her two is playing a cd of nursery rhyme type music quietly. It is the same one every night and acts as a 'sleep trigger' and I doubt either of them ever hears the end of it.
As for DS and his brood (I don't see them often) one of them did try it on with me but the putting back into bed with no eye contact and nothing said took quite a few times the first night but succeeded in 3 nights. At home he had been allowed to fall asleep on the sofa and then put into bed - sod that for a bowl of cherries in Granny's house !!

f77ms Tue 15-Mar-16 08:47:50

My first three slept well in their own beds but number 4 , who I knew would be the last , used to get into our bed in the early hours and we didn`t put him back . It is all to do with early training and if you miss that `window` then you just have put put up with it .
It is exhausting keep putting them back into their own beds I know but it is the only way and it may be too late for your daughter to start now .
One good thing is he won`t be doing it forever but probably when he stops the expected baby will be unless the Mum and Dad start as the would like to go on !

Grannyknot Tue 15-Mar-16 08:55:36

tiggy that's also a good idea. My DIL has a youtube video for my 20 month old grandson and as soon as it starts playing I see his eyes glaze over (when I'm putting him to bed - so he gets the same lullabies at granny's house too).

mumofmadboys - I love my sleep and would never have coped with "musical beds". To my shame blush it was (and still is) a family joke that I never woke up when the children called, so they would wake their dad instead.

I'm just a very sound sleeper and when I say I am going to sleep, I do just that. Can't say that I managed it during their teenage years - I would wait in a "twilight zone" state for the squeak of the gate, often that would be in the early hours of the morning.

Merry16 Tue 15-Mar-16 10:30:57

Thank you everyone for all your advise. I know being firm and consistent is the answer, and it is up to my daughter and son-in-law to see it through. They have tried in the past, and then failed because he has been ill or they are so tired. But I will put all your ideas to them and I know they will be grateful.