Sleeping! Help

Why is it so hard to get a child into a good sleep pattern and then so easy to break it?

Baba has always slept through the night, I know before you all start screaming at me, from about 3 months. But it is the getting the sleep thing that has been the hardest to crack.

We have had a routine with him from an early age, he has a bath, goes down has his milk and then up to bed for a story. That is fine the next part is the problem.

If he falls asleep while listening to a story, fine he will be out till at least 6am. However if he is still awake after the story ends all hell breaks loose. He does not like to be left alone. When we first started doing this we tried every technique in the book. At first nothing worked. But then we noticed that we could sit in the room with our back to him and he didn’t mind. Gradually oh so gradually and so quietly we would manage to move across the room, until we got to the point were we could get up from reading and go and stand by the door. Yeah victory for mummy and daddy.

Then one evening, Mr L just walked out after story time and Baba didn’t flinch or move. We heard him play around and he just dropped off to sleep. This all happened about 16 months old. Since then he has been a dream. He potters about and just goes to sleep and has not been bothered about us leaving him after his story.

Then we went away!

Obviously everything was different then, and he had no routine, he fell asleep when he fell asleep and ended up sleeping in bed with one of us for the night. As we were in a caravan and the child’s room was bunk beds, both right next to the window that Baba thought was amazing, in the day time I hasten to add. He never got to experience the room in the evening we were too worried about what he would do. So he got used to sleeping with us, and falling asleep around us.

We stupidly thought we got away with it, because since we have been back he has slept fine every night and gone off to sleep fine… I think he was actually just very tired. Tonight not so, so we have paid.

He kicked off tonight, not majorly but enough.

He was not asleep by the time the story ended, and I was not allowed to leave. Even walking to the door resulted in a breakdown of serious degrees, so I ended up sitting on the floor by his bed with my back to him, after I had to cuddle him to calm him down. Now I don’t know whether that was right or wrong, but it was the only thing that worked tonight. I am now sitting here dreading that I have mad a rod for my own back. What if this now takes weeks to break? How bad will I feel? Have we completely lost the routine that we had? Will we ever get it back?

Do any of you have any advice on this?

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. missielizzieb
    Oct 01, 2010 @ 20:40:17

    Aw I feel for you. Its a terrible thing to deal with.

    We had awful problems with our daughter. She slept like a dream from very very tiny til 5mths, then she got her first tooth and everything changed. We barely had a nights sleep until she was just over 2 years old. The thing is, we knew she could because if she stayed with Granny she’d sleep through no bother.

    We tried all sorts and in the end (against my wishes) had to do controlled crying. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do and it tore me in two. But it worked. And it worked very quickly too.

    But, each time there was a change in routine – if she was poorly, teething or we were on holiday we were back to square one and hard to start all over again. We used controlled crying again, and although it took longer than the first time, it did work. Thankfully at 2 1/2 she does sleep through.

    Its a hard technique to do, but if you’ve tried everything else… By the way, my advice: get daddy to take control! Dads somehow seem more able to detatch if that’s the right word, and stay calm in the face of a red-faced, bawling toddler whos screaming so hard they’re nearly sick.

    Hope you get it sorted hun xx


  2. The Moiderer
    Oct 01, 2010 @ 21:00:58

    I think it is a bit soon to panic. It also sounds like you have worked this one out before so I suggest you just follow the same routine again if you do have a problem . It probably won’t take as long this time.


  3. Winnie
    Oct 03, 2010 @ 16:54:39

    Hmmm. My kids are all your age now, but the thing with kids is you are deluding yourself if you think a routine will mean the same reaction everytime. ANYTHING can screw it up and not just obvious things like holidays. They could be having a growth spurt or getting a cold. Maybe you are getting a cold and there is a subtle difference in your behaviour. Relax, follow your gut and you’ll be fine.


  4. Emma
    Oct 03, 2010 @ 22:11:49

    I would be the worst person to give advice as im still giving into the child who wants milk at silly o’clock sometimes twice a night! He however goes down straight away whenever we put it to bed and I think I would have that then him sleeping all through the night.. if you know what I mean? Would be nice if he could do both though! Hope Baba has gone down better since you wrote the post! 🙂 x


    • andthenallithoughtaboutwasyou
      Oct 03, 2010 @ 22:17:29

      Well last night he fell asleep on Daddy so that didn’t really count! But he did go a little better tonight. It really doesn’t help that he isn’t 100% so I think that that is the problem at the moment. You see we have never had the whole wanting a drink in the night he stopped having milk in the night at 3months old. Would have some before bed which was about 10pm and then would sleep through till next morning! So I have no experience of that really xx


  5. Beckicklesie
    Oct 04, 2010 @ 14:16:03

    Argh! I hate going away for this very reason. It’s just a nightmare. I get no sleep even if I feel tired and Kidder is just cranky the whole time because he is in a strange place and I assume he doesn’t feel safe without being near us.

    We get back home and it’s ruined!

    I don’t know what to suggest. I’m one of those bad parents, I leave Kidder to cry for a good 15 minutes before I worry. He’s normally gone to sleep in 5 to 10 minutes. After two nights he doesn’t cry. He knows he can have my attention and he knows I’m here. I don’t respond to bad behaviour in the day, so I’m not doing it in the night either.

    As long as I know he’s safe, dry, not ill etc. there’s no problem.

    Becca x


    • andthenallithoughtaboutwasyou
      Oct 04, 2010 @ 14:21:08

      Oh I am so with you on that, hate changing our routine it just leads to nightmares like this. He has been much better, and a few minutes ago he went to sleep soundly while listening to a story so hopefully we are coming back out of it! xx


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