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HELP putting my 2 year old son down at nap and nighttime

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

We practice attachment parenting and have co-slept from the beginning.  At naptime and bedtime, I still nurse DS to sleep. Naps are a breeze. DS falls asleep within 15 minutes. nighttimes are harder and I need help. currently (and what we have done for a long long time) is that we put our son down to sleep in his crib in his room (same place he naps) and then when we go to bed, I carry him into our room. (Queen bed with crib sidecarred to our bed.)


I'm soooooo struggling... as is our marriage.... when it is taking our son 3, 4, 5, hours to go to sleep. Sometimes he stays awake until we just bring him into our room and all go to sleep together. Lately, he has fallen asleep quickly, but nightly thunderstorms are waking him and keeping him up (even after the storm has subsided) for hours. 


We are not willing to do the Cry-it-out method. But we cannot continue this tag-teaming nighttime that leaves us both feeling frustrated and un-connected as weeks go by without my DP and I having any quality time. I'm sooooo jealous of the mamas I know who put their kids in their cribs and they go to sleep by themselves in mere minutes. We need help!!!


We are thinking about getting a big-boy bed for him but don't know if that will help or make things worse.  


PLEASE tell us what worked for you. 


thanks, Jules

post #2 of 7

So is the problem you're having when you put him down to sleep in his room or when you take him into your room?

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Sorry if I wasn't clear. The problem is nighttime, putting him down in his crib. It's not like this is something new.  But I guess we are searching for something new. 


How do other people who nursed their little ones down transition to other ways to putting them down. Or how to transition into putting him down awake and helping him to fall asleep on his own. 


thanks, Jules

post #4 of 7

I wish I had some more advice for you, but I don't really have any experience in this area.  We still almost always nurse DD to sleep and she is 27 months old now; she has also always slept in our bed.  There were times that were very hard, where she would not go down for hours.  During those difficult phases I just stopped putting her to bed on her own and we brought her to bed with us.  Otherwise I would spend my entire evening putting her to sleep, and then we would go to bed and never have time together.  It just wasn't worth it to keep the routine!


I did read a book, though, that suggested nursing your baby until right before he fell asleep, and then put him in his crib and stay with him.  If/when he fusses pick him back up and rock/cradle/sing/nurse/etc. him until he falls asleep.  Eventually they will be able to put themselves to sleep the first time without help.  But, again, that's just what I have heard.  Never actually tried it.


Also, just for encouragement... there have been many times I have thought to myself that it would be SO much easier to just let them "cry it out" and give up co-sleeping.  Sometimes it's just hard.  But I know that the attachment parenting model we have used these first couple of years has given me such a close bond with my daughter.  I don't know any of my friends who are as close to their two year old as I am to mine.  We are so in tune with each other, and I wouldn't give up that bond for all of the difficult evenings we've had!  Keep goin' Momma, you are doing great.

post #5 of 7

It seems he wants to be part of the family unit going to bed together. Perhaps just take him to bed with you and your partner. My son goes to bed when we go whether that is 9.30 or 11.30 and he sleeps in our bed. He has the freedom though to sleep in the morning. Does your child need to wake early? If that's the case perhaps he could fall asleep where ever you are in the house and then at bedtime carry him into your bed.

post #6 of 7

I have the same problem with my almost 27 year old. Well, almost, not quite. 


We've always shared a bed and she's nursed down for naps and night sleep. But these days, she'll nurse but nothing, when it comes to sleep. It's taking hours to make her fall asleep. I am so sleep deprived, it's not funny. As is my husband. AND DD. We've become a bunch of raging crazy individuals. Earlier, if she was sleepy enough, she would fall asleep in the stroller. Now, it takes an hour for even that, of she even falls asleep with that. I cannot get anything done at home. No, I am not aiming for any creative efforts or even dusting. Just washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen as far as hygiene needs, and washing and putting away clothes. And sweeping when the particles on the floor are getting to be too much. It is making me snap at little things. It is making DD wilful and wild.


I am trying to get her sleeping in her crib. She's always had it but almost never used it. I used to use it mainly as a safe place while I went for a shower and so on.


She's screaming her lungs out. She's speaking in full sentences and understands that she's expected to sleep absolutely well. I am going to her every 5 min or even less to give her a tight hug and to tell her that I have work and that I am working just in the next room. She's crying that she wants to go out and play. She told me that she was sleepy 5 hours ago, while she was strapped into her stroller to go to the park. I walked around for about a half hour to see if she'll sleep, nothing! And everything goes downhill. Now, she asked me to sit in the room. I am, and am playing her music but she won't sleep.


I am at the absolute end of all of the wits that there ever were. I am on the verge of doing something absolutely crazy out of desperation.


Anyone been in such a situation? All of this is just making keeping at her routines hard too because she won't go through with them without screaming like a banshee.


I will probably get a lot of hate mail for this, but I sometimes even get so enraged that I want to scream like a banshee or worse.


She won't be rocked (she won't lie down on us), she won't be nursed down, she won't be stroller-walked down, she won't be car-driven down, she won't sleep on her own.

post #7 of 7
Maybe the No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers book would help? Once I stopped nursing dd to sleep, it worked better to put her crib mattress on the floor and lay next to her. She'll climb all over us and eventually after we pretend to sleep (or actually doze off) she falls asleep. Gradually we have told her we forgot something and left for a few minutes. I'll be right back after I brush my teeth, put on PJ's ect. This got her used to being in her room alone. She now can fall asleep on her own some nights, but wants us to stay others.

Maybe a walk before bed would help him wind down. Nap is OK, so I wonder if a night light would help. My oldest likes a night light. My youngest only sleeps if it is pitch black in her room. Look at what he is eating right before bed. I personally can't have anything sweet at all after dinner. No vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, etc. desserts for me. No chocolate except in the morning.

And just keep reminding yourself that this is probably a passing phase.

Oh! I forgot to mention, my older dd did not sleep well at night until we put her in a big girl bed. She never had an issue staying in bed, and slept much better after we moved her. She hated that crib and hardly spent much time in there at all.
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