My 2 1/2 yo son had been having a r-e-a-l-l-y hard time getting to sleep since we stopped nursing in October. It took us about 3 months, but I was finally able to get him to bed around 8-8:30 without the nightmare sobbing / yelling / hitting / thrashing about scenarios that had become routine. Thanks to advice here, and in The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers by E Pantley!
But ---- we had a baby on March 7th and things have totally fallen apart since then. We KNEW that it would be hard for him b/c I was the one always putting him to sleep, and I had to lay with him for at least 30 mins before he fell asleep. My husband would try and sometimes it worked, but mostly he wanted me. We realize now we made a big mistake by not making this a priority, ie, getting to a place where daddy could get him to sleep. Or, better yet, getting to a place where we could tuck him in, kiss him goodnight, and he'd fall asleep by himself.
Now for the past 3 weeks bedtime has been a nightmare for him -- poor little guy! Our newborn has fussy time right smack in the middle of our son's bedtime, so I'm out of commission totally during bedtime. He sobs, cries, begs for mommy - sobbing "I want my mommy" over and over and over .... and can't get to sleep till after 10pm when he's just sooo exhausted. And usually by that point our newborn has settled down and I can bring baby into our son's bedroom while baby is nursing, lay down in bed, hold both children, and our son falls asleep clinging to me. I've tried laying with him while baby is nursing but baby is so fussy at this point that it is just too disruptive.
Do you have any advice about this?
Also we really would want our son to get to sleep on his own .... he's not afraid of the dark, but when we've tried in the past he always asks for me to come in and lay with him, hold him, sleep with him, etc.
We have tried: 1) leaving the room for a few minutes, coming back, then a few minutes more, then a few minutes more ..... but after 40 mins or so of this he asks for me to lay with him and then he falls asleep. 2) standing outside in the hallway with the door cracked open and coming in every other minute to say, "get back into bed honey" and put him back in bed. This will go on for another 40 minutes or so and then he asks for me to lay with him and quickly falls asleep. We have not tried either option for more than a few days at a time ....
Feeling sooo terrible and at a loss for what to do. It's so heartbreaking to hear him sobbing for me when I can't come to help him out. And he's not getting nearly enough sleep now, and of course my husband is burnt out with all the sobbing and hitting etc.