My DD is 22 months and while she has never gone to sleep before 9p, she is staying up very late. We started out co-sleeping and attempted to transition her to her own bed over a year ago, but she has yet to sleep through the night in her own bed, with the exception of a few random times.
Our attempted routine:
- We bathe her sometime between 8p-9p, then diaper and dress her.
- Then we give her a sippy cup of water with a splash of milk and try to get her to lay down in her own bed.
- Once we get her into her own bed, either DH or I lay down with her and read her a few books.
- Eventually, she gets sleepy and she snuggles into us to dose off.
- Then we sneak away to our bedroom.
- She usually wanders into our room around 1 or 2am, but DH and I are so exhausted from work that we just let her crawl into our bed.
- We don't sleep very good with her in our beds because she moves around so much and hangs on to us for dear life.
- We both wake up groggy and get ready for work.
- Then when I pick DD up from daycare, they report that she had a 2 hour nap.
On the weekends when DD is with us the whole time, I think she is just so excited to hang out with us that she doesn't want to nap. As of the last 3 weeks, DD won't fall asleep till nearly midnight. She is running around her room, jumping on the bed and having a grand ol' time.
DH and are exhausted and we kind of miss each other as there is never any downtime for the two of us to connect.
We don't know what to do. And everyone tells us how we need to get more sleep and so does she, but no one has answers. I would appreciate any tips, thoughts you might have. Thanks in advance to all.
Hmm. It sounds like the major problem on weekdays is that she sleeps in your bed and you don't sleep well. If you're not up for the challenge of moving her back to her own bed in the middle of the night, what about setting up a sleep space for her in your room? Maybe she's just not ready to sleep so far away from you yet. (FWIW, my 2.5 year old sleeps in a side-carred toddler bed and has never come even close to sleeping through the night :) )
On the weekends it sounds like she's just getting WAY overtired and overstimulated. If she's used to napping and she's not getting one, she probably needs to be heading to bed a lot earlier than usual. I would try starting her bedtime routine a maximum of 11 hours from the time she wakes up in the morning. If you can keep her from getting overtired, you'll likely have an easier time getting her to sleep. Also, if you can't get her to nap on the weekend, at least plan for some solid down time in the middle of the day. My daughter doesn't nap anymore, but we do about 45 minutes of quiet reading time followed by a show. A long drive might do the trick, too.
We are about a year ahead of you and I'm afraid I don't have any sage advice. My suggestions would be:
1. Try setting up a special bed for your DD in your room. Make it as cool as possible, what ever she likes (princess bed, car bed, etc) and make a big deal about it being hers.
2. Try eliminating a few common allergens from her diet for a few weeks. Even if she has no other symptoms, its possible she has a mild dairy or other intolerance. For our DS, he has a dairy issue and if he has too much milk or cheese, he will be up until 12 or 1 and just cannot settle down.
3. I know its not ideal, but take turns sleeping alone. One of you spend the night in her room with her while the other gets a good nights sleep in your own bed. That way, you are each getting a solid night every other night at least. After a few weeks of that, she might get used to waking up in her room, having you there, and falling back asleep. Or, you also might eventually fell well rested enough to try to bring her back into her bed at night.
4. Bribe her. Also not ideal I know, but my parents bribed me when I was 5 to stop coming in their room at night. Your DD is probably too young for this to work, but if she can understand it might.
Those are the things I can think of. Though to be perfectly honest, I really do believe that there are some kids who just don't sleep well or enough. Our DS is 3.5 and still sleeps with us all night, still night nurses, still wakes 2-4 times a night, and still has to sleep ON me. We have tried almost everything we can think of. I'm sadly to the point where I kind of want to sock the people who say "just make him sleep more." Unless you have actually had a child that won't sleep, you can't understand how exhausting and difficult it is. With our DS, I finally realized we would literally have to strap him to the bed to get him to stay (which obviously we won't do).
I know it works for some people, but suggestions like "baby gate" or quiet time never worked for us. DS simply climbed over any thing we put in front of his door. When I tried shutting the door, he climbed up on the dresser in his room and almost knocked it over, then opened the bathroom door and turned on the bath - ha.
I hope you find something that helps! I really, really hear you on missing your husband. Our DS has been up till 11 lately and we desperately need some together time in the evenings. We are irrationally excited about falling back for daylight savings because it will give us an "extra" hour.
When my kids end up in my bed in the middle of the night, I frequently just go and sleep in their bed! My 2.5 year-old has a twin bed, so it is comfy and big enough for me (not a toddler bed).
Amen to that!
DS ( 9/2010) and TTC #2