Day 2 – Battle of Bedtime with my daughter

Where did my baby angel go? My perfect baby who slept through the night from 10 weeks old, my pride and joy who never cried, napped and everyone envied…..

Fast forward to a child who never naps, or rarely naps….now this isn’t a new thing really – Emmy got used to falling asleep in the car on School runs when I went back to work when she was 14 weeks old.  I couldn’t get her into a routine due to looking after 2 older children who had School/Nursery and clubs to attend.  This was never an issue really, she slept when she could and if she wanted to fall asleep on the sofa she would.

We moved her from her cot into a toddler bed at 19 months because she kept climbing out of it so it was the safest option and she loved it. She was asking to go to bed and more often than not stayed there most of the night or if she woke it was easy to get her back to sleep.

However since being in her bed she hasn’t been able to get herself to sleep, I have to stay with her until she is asleep.  We have a bath, brush teeth, have milk and a story every night, then it’s lights out and a cuddle – usually only taking around 10/15 minutes but it has been known to take an hour and a half.

I have tried all the other ways of putting her to bed to no avail.  I have tried:

  • Lights out and leaving the room to come downstairs
  • Putting her back into bed with no talking repeatedly
  • Sitting in the middle of her room with my back to her
  • Leaving her to cry

All have completely failed. When I come downstairs, she gets straight up and stands at her gate crying for Mummy.  Putting her back in bed with no talking resulted in me doing it over 50 times in one night.  Sitting in the room results in her climbing over me and me doing the putting her back into bed over 50 times yet again and leaving her to cry…..well it’s heartbreaking to be honest…I hated every minute of it and she doesn’t just fall asleep – she is stubborn and carried on until she is sick.

I have even tried combining the above, leaving her to cry for 15 minutes then putting her back into bed, also to no avail.  I don’t just try these things for 1 night either, I try then for over a week as it takes 3 nights to break a habit.

I’ve now decided that it’s easiest at the moment to stay with her until she is asleep and currently this is only taking 15 minutes at the most but my next battle has begun….keeping her in her bed!!

When she had Chicken Pox about 7/8 weeks ago she couldn’t get comfy at night as was really itchy and with me being pregnant, suffering from early tiredness and horrendous sickness it really knocked me out so she ended up in bed with me every night.  After a while this became a habit, a very bad habit which I was too exhausted to break.  Now I’m well into my second trimester and feeling much better and refreshed too I’m determined to break this habit.

We started with the battle of wills last night and I’ll admit it was tough. She was fast asleep by 7pm and by Midnight had woken 9 times.

Things only got worse, much worse…every 20 minutes she would wake up and come to her gate, teddy and dodo (Dummy) in hand crying and saying “Mummies bedroom, Please”, however I would not give in and out her back every single time, sometimes I was so tired I had fallen asleep on her bedroom floor only getting back into bed after I had got her back to sleep after the next wake up.  This continued ALL night with a total of 27 get ups. 

I’m hoping tonight, night 2 of operation stay in bed goes better than yesterday.  She was asleep at 7.15pm and so far at 9.40pm has been awake twice but was only sitting in bed crying, a quick kiss and laying her back down have worked.

Wish me luck as I need to get up for work at 6.30am in the morning but I’m determined that she must sleep in her bed again. 

Have you experienced this? What worked for you?

10 thoughts on “Day 2 – Battle of Bedtime with my daughter

  1. oh god honey i feel for you. Not had any experience myself. My daughter is still in her cot but dreading it happening. Hope it gets better for you. xxx

  2. I hope tonight is better!

    I haven't got any 'first hand' experience of this as although Lydia woke a fair bit as a baby, so far as a toddler things have been good.

    However, I've read good things about this book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Sleep-Fairy-Janie-Peterson/dp/0971440506/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338209020&sr=8-1 – Think it might be aimed at children a little older, but could still be worth a try? It's aimed at helping children who're getting out of bed in the night and has good reviews.

    Other than that… sounds like you're doing things 'right'… just keep on being consistent with putting her back into bed, keeping things calm, quiet and un-fun etc and hopefully she will gradually get the message that night is for sleep and getting out of bed is more hassle than it's worth! Fingers crossed.

    Sarah x

  3. Well Witt my daughter unfortunatly I tried every single one of those options you listed but the only thing that worked was putting her back making sure she was dry, watered and fed then left to it :(. I bought myself ear plugs and just continually left her to cry and eventually she would sleep next to her stair gate. After 1 week she realised and stopped waking but the falling asleep next to the stair gate continued. But last week she started sleeping next to her gate then waking in the night to self settle back to her bed.
    Imafraid in our household literally I had to listen to hours of screaming but with 7-9pm shifts ang myself do worn down the 4-6 hour screaming sessions over 3-5 days were well worth it as now els goes to bed 9-10 on her own and sleeps through most nights unless she's hungry. And it's been such a nicer experience during the day instead of grumpy non coop els as she's had plenty of sleep. Just stick at it you will get there 🙂

  4. My night goes get J to sleep by laying with him and cuddling him unless he has had that miracle nap during the day in which case he goes back downstairs until he's tired (10pm)…. meanwhile T has her milk with daddy until J is asleep or if lucky she falls asleep with daddy and if not I go in and cuddle her until she falls asleep as she has had a nap and won't go to sleep until after him. When Daddy is away it goes J on one side, T on the other side all in my bed until they both fall asleep and then I transfer them across to their own beds. I have no advice as apart from CC/CIO which I just won't do I/we have tried everything else and it's not worked so this is how we do it. When it changes and I have discovered the magic cure I will let you know!!!!

    1. Thanks Cerys. I'm too soft for CC too – I tried but ended up crying too much myself.
      I'm hoping this way works too and if I find a magic cure I'll let you know

  5. I feel your pain. Isabella had just over 2 weeks of this. The pick up and put down routine did work although I did speak to her and keep eye contact. I felt odd not looking or speaking to her? I found that by the time I started doing this I was more calm within myself and had far more patience and was less prone to just jumping into bed with her. She's 2. She will push me as far as she can but sometimes a bit of tough love is the only way :(. Good luck. thinking of you x

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