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Gentle "sleep training" for 2.5 year old?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Here we are, back again.. Liam was a horrible sleeper as a baby (waking every 30-60 minutes each night) until nightweaned around 20 months and moved to his own bed.. he began sleeping MUCH better, only waking once or so a night, and went back to sleep easily for DH.


Fast forward a year, and his sleep has gotten worse and worse. Last night he went down at 6 (typically goes to bed between 6-7 and up for the day between 5-7 with no nap) was up at 8, 10 (at which point i brought him to my bed), 11:30 (at which point he said he wanted to get up and play and didn't come back to bed until midnight) and then several more less eventful times until he was up at 6 for the day. On a typical night, he is up 1-3 times and DH usually ends up going to sleep with him in his bed.


This wouldn't be nearly as bad if I didn't have a 4.5 month old who is waking every 1-3 hours, and DH goes out of town for work 1-2 nights a week. Last night I was on my own, so between the two of them I didn't get much sleep at ALL.


I need to be able to put Liam to bed and have him stay in his bed/room until morning. If he wakes up early, I can put toys in there for him to play with, but I can't keep doing this up and down and running around thing with 2 kids. DS2 cosleeps, but is a light sleeper and wakes up if I get up out of bed, and each time DS1 woke up he woke up too.


My thought was, get some sort of alarm clock for him, and tell him he has to stay in his room until the clock goes off (between 6:30-7 or so) and when he wakes at night, have DH go to his door (he has a gate on the outside of his room but his door does not close all the way) and verbally reassure him until he goes back to sleep.... Is this too much like CIO? does anyone have any other advice???

post #2 of 3
That sounds like a good plan to me.

For my kids at night (2 and 4) I am available for semi-asleep cuddles at night (they can come in my bed) but there is no talking or playing. If there is any of that then they go back to their own rooms. I also do my best not to sleep with them in their beds because I think it's important that they know that mommy and daddy sleep together. That said I sleep with my son when he's sick or has a bad dream. Maybe 1/month.

Talking during the day about nighttime rules has been helpful to us. Like this getting up and playing in the middle of the night? No way. At night we stay in bed. Cuddle if we feel lonely and sleep.
post #3 of 3

I may have suggested this to you before, or maybe it was to someone else with a similar issue. I can't remember :)


When my son was just over 2 we got him a KidSleep Clock




He got the idea really quickly, and the clock combined with a sticker chart for staying in bed all night worked really well. From then on he has been a champion sleeper and now at over 3-and-a-half will not get out of bed for the day until the sheep is up on his clock :)


Good luck!

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