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Toddler sleep issues and your new baby: what would you do??

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
We are in a bit of a situation and I am looking for advice, especially for those of you who have already introduced a new baby to the house. Gracie is 19 months old. We have put her to bed and stayed with her every night of her entire life. She co-slept until 10 months old, and then we moved her into her own room because she is a super light sleeper and every little move in the bed was waking her up. The issue we have encountered now is that for some reason she will only let me put her to bed. For awhile dh was able to put her down with no problems at all. We have never let her cry to sleep, I nursed her to sleep until she weaned at 15 months, and we have patted or rubbed her to sleep since then. The last few weeks though she has started having an absolute fit if daddy tries to put her to bed. She cries and screams and carries on like she is being beaten or something! As soon as I come in and sit on the bed she is fine, usually asleep in minutes. We are trying to convince her to allow daddy to put her down because once there are two little ones, and one of them very dependant on me for nursing, I may not always be available for bedtime. I don't want her screaming herself to sleep, even with daddy in there. It's been really hard on both of them, and he has not succeeded in getting her down in almost a month. Last night we were trying to figure out what to do next. Will we just have to let her stay up until I can get to her every night? How have you encouraged your toddlers to sleep? I really, really wish she would just co-sleep with us, it would make things so much easier!! She has a real sensitivity to pretty much everything though, and has to have a very dark, quiet room with a fan running and one of those noise making machines on full-blast. Any outside noises wake her up. I so hope this next little guy is able to sleep through stuff!! I have no idea how we are going to tackle her nap too, I am home alone, and I guess that either he will have to sit with me and nurse while I pat her, or maybe he will already be asleep and I can sneak away with her to get her to bed. Thanks for any ideas!!
post #2 of 15
Absolutly no advice here, but I do understand your fears and frusterations! My dd is almost 2 1/2 and I still lay down with her every night. Very recently she has started not nursing to sleep at night because she was being not so nice to my "nummies" and I had to ask her to snuggle instead. (hitting, biting on purpose, pinching nonstop etc)

I am the only one who can put her down in my house as well. We've been trying for daddy to do it, but either he doesn't quite *feel like it* (dang I hate it when he says that) or she will not fall asleep. She can literally lay there next to someone for HOURS, even me... before she goes to sleep.

I'm kinda scared of what this new baby will bring to the plate as well. We co-sleep... but I don't see how thats always going to help. And my dd also loves to "switch" sides at night. Jumping from one side of me to the other. I'm thinking I might have to use a crib for this babe for safety.
post #3 of 15
Sounds like we are having a bit of the same issue. DS is 20 months.

DS co-slept until he weaned at 14 months..also a very light sleeper.
We moved him to his own room/twin bed at 15 months where he sleeps with a sound soother and outside his door more recently a humidfier. He has stages where he is doing great sleeping and being put to bed easily then bam it falls apart.
Until the past month or so only I was able to lay down with DS and rub his back/head to sleep but DF has of late been able to do it more and more.

On weekends I even make him do night duty a few times..he has very little patience though and even if I am not the one putting him back to sleep I am awake anyway...even with one or both of his in the room he can cry as though it is the end of the world some nights.
Our problem though is trying to wean him off of needing us to put him back to sleep every night as its getting rather rough since I am the only one who can do it most nights(DF drives a 18 wheeler and we all agree that his being well rested is important)
This though poses a problem as once we have a nurisng newborn in bed with us its not going to be easy for me to get up out of bed and put him back to sleep(what has been happening lately is I am soo tired I end up falling alseep with him and don't wake up until the morning)
Last night he was awake from 1am to 430am for what reason we have no idea..he is not allowed to play or get out of bed when this happens but he still will lay there wide awake for hours...
Sorry I can not be of much help but know that others are in the same shoes.
post #4 of 15
Can you both sit with her for a few days?
post #5 of 15
I nursed my dd to sleep until about 4 months ago, when she was 3.5 years old. Now one of us lays down with her and she falls asleep, then we move her into her own bed. Sometimes she comes back to our bed in the middle of the night which is fine, sometimes she stays all night in her bed.

I found out that she would go to sleep with dh, even when we used to nurse, by being gone at bedtime one night. I was a nervous wreck, but they did just fine. Now, she often prefers me, occasionally asks for dh first, but usually will go with the flow luckily. I would suggest seening if you can be out doing an errand, maybe grocery shopping, at her bedtime. With only the one parent as the option hopefully it would go smoothly. Then maybe she will remember how it isn't so bad when Daddy helps her go to sleep. I know if I am not home, it is never an issue for my dd - she accepts dh is the only choice.

I know with my dd, she also goes in streaks. Hopefully your dd will be fine again with your dh soon!

Best wishes,
post #6 of 15
I too have a 19 month old dd and am trying to wrap my head around what I'm going to do once baby comes! Daddy's fine for bedtime though so I only need to worry about nap. I've been meaning to try and stop laying with her but I find myself needing that nap more than she does! My plan is to sit in the same room with her and gently keep telling her it's night-night time while I read a book or something(easy for me to say it...now will I actually do it?)
If I do this then by the time baby comes at least if he's nursing or something she will be used to me not laying with her but just being in the room.
Anyway, I still think this worry is better than worrying that you're harming your child's sense of security by making them sleep by themselves. Things always have a way of working out...some take longer than others... it just depends how much energy we have to put towards the cause.
post #7 of 15
I'll tell you what we do here and have done for 5 yrs! We all go into my room with our books. The nursling nurses and I read to the others. Just recently my 7 yr old will rest with us for a bit then go into his own bed. The other two fall asleep in our bed. We move the 5 yr old when we come to bed and the 2.5 yr old gets moved as well. ds3 has asked for his own bed so most nights he stays put, but sometimes he wants back in. Both are fine with us. I expect that wehn the new one comes he will want back in for a bit. We use a guard rail and put newborn between me and guardrail and older child between dh and myself. Ds3 still nurses to sleep, but not every night which is nice. He really doesn't want anyone but me to put him to sleep. I am just not going to worry about what to do while I am having the baby. I figure I will be gone 1 night max and dh can handle anything for 1 night!! They have to go to sleep eventually....and there's always the car as a last resort! Truly the new baby at bedtime has never been a problem. Flexibility is key!
post #8 of 15
So do you read stories and your dc fall asleep while you read them? I'm just trying to understand. I could read a million books and it wouldn't put dd2 to sleep.
post #9 of 15
Sorry, usually the yougest falls asleep either nursing or lately while reading (this is a very new thing for ds3...to fall asleep while we are reading). We read for about 30min and then we all just lie down together until ds2 and 3 are asleep. ds1 is 7 so he can and does prefer to go to sleep by himself (another new thing for us!). I have done this routine since ds2 came along and it really has always just worked for us. Does this make sense? Let me know if I need to clarify some more......preggo brain is rampant over here.
post #10 of 15
Ah I understand now. Well, I wish that would work for us.. but like I said, my dd could stay awake for hours. Long after I had fallen asleep with the book on my face, she'd be still awake. Unfortunatly for me, if I even close my eyes while she's awake she gets MAD. I have to silently lay there with her wrapped up in my arms and wait her out. Some nights its 15 minutes. Other nights its HOURS.
post #11 of 15
Oh that sounds so not fun! I am really hoping #4 goes along with our bedtime ritual! If s/he doesn't I am sunk as dh is rarely home for bed.
post #12 of 15
My DS went thru this, where he only wanted me to put him to bed (he's 20 months old). Eventually he became Ok with daddy putting him to bed, but there are still some times when he insists on me.
Right now, this is what we do: DS comes and lays down with me in our bed and we snuggle (he recently stopped nursing, so now it's just snuggling), and then when my DH comes to bed, he puts DS to bed. Sometimes DS still awake and DH cuddle with us for a while, other times we're both crashed. It's just easier for DH to pick him up out of bed than it is for me since I'm so big now, so he takes him to bed.
Once the baby is here, I assume things will stay pretty much the same, except we'll have one more little person snuggled up in our bed.

Can you just let your DD hang out in your bed for a while, and when the baby takes a break from nursing, you take her to her bed? That's what I plan on doing on nights when my Dh might not be around. Although if this little one likes to cluster feed as much as my DS did, my DS might be waiting around for awhile!
post #13 of 15
Ya know, I usually reply to just about everything...but I have been purposely avoiding this one We have our own funky toddler sleep situation going on rightnow and I'm a little (okay,a lot) nervous about what's goign to happen in a few weeks when a new one ishere. We've been trying tow ork on this for months agoo to little or no avail. So instead of sharing our crappy tale, I'll just offer good luck wishes to everyone out there!

Namaste, Tara
post #14 of 15
We have already been through this once (with DD1 and DD2), and this babe will be about the same age difference from DD2 (she's 22 months).

Someone said above the key is flexibility, and I find that SO true.

DS goes to bed on his own (reads to himself), DD1 gets a story or two, cuddles and then lays down to sleep (she's the easy one), and DD2 goes to bed when she's sleepy, usually DH lays down with her, sometimes I do, sometimes I nurse her to bed. She falls asleep in our bed and we move her into the crib (though we are putting together a "room" for her now in case she wants to sleep in DD1's old toddler bed (it took my first daughter about a year to transition to that))

Some nights I was nursing DD2 while DD1 went to bed, some nights I helped DD1 go to bed, and some nights (when it took hours) Dh would read to DS while holding the new babe, and then go chill out with her while DD1 fell asleep. If DD2 needed me while I was putting her sister to bed, he'd just change places.

There are sometimes tears, but they adjust, and it is not CIO, there is someone loving and caring holding them and being with them (which IMHO teaches them how to be sad and deal with it well).

Hope that helps some-
We must remember our anxiety is at time unfounded and really does us no good. (though we all have those moments)
Good luck!
post #15 of 15
Originally Posted by kellywhalen
We must remember our anxiety is at time unfounded and really does us no good. (though we all have those moments)
I think I need to cut out this little piece of wisdom and paste it on my fridge.
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