I'm basically here to vent, so I apologize in advance. My daughter is now 3 years, 3 months and I have been struggling with her sleep since the day she was born. Starting in the hospital, she would cry and cry if she were put down, so she slept with me in the bed during the three days and nights I was there, and this continued on after that point. She would wake multiple times through the night to nurse until about two years when I weaned her and got her into her own bed. She continued to wake in the night, but it was for the most part tolerable. What has been the most challenging, throughout her life and during recent times, has been getting her to fall asleep at night. It is so difficult! Take tonight for example, she was obviously tired and ready to sleep, but once we got up there she fought sleep for two hours! It's the most frustrating thing I have experienced. If she were there by herself doing this it would be one thing, but she needs me or my husband there with her to fall asleep. It used to be that on days that she would not nap she would fall asleep within minutes, but something happened over the last two months and this is no longer the case. She didn't nap today and took two hours, and fell asleep at 9:00. She used to fall asleep between 7:30 and 8:00 when she didn't nap. My husband and I had planned to watch a movie tonight (which never happens), thinking she would be to sleep early, but nope. On nights where she has napped she hasn't been falling asleep until 10:00! I'm ready to sleep at 9:00.
Bottom line, I am so sick of this. I have no time to myself in the evening, and it's driving me nuts. Lying there with her for two hours is maddening! My husband puts her to sleep once in awhile, but not nearly enough. He does wake up with her in the night though, which is extremely helpful. I have a one-year old that sleeps with me and wakes at least once in the night too.
Soon we are moving to a new house and I am hoping that we can start a new routine there and try and get her to fall asleep on her own. I can't imagine it happening, but I know I have felt that way about every new change before it happened.
My daughter was like this when she was between 3 and 4. I don't really remember when it ended, actually, but after she was weaned, she would still need hours of me lying with her. We did stories, played lullabies as she went to sleep, I would try to leave while she was sleepy but not always sound asleep. I'd sometimes go off to brush my teeth and get ready for bed, telling her I would return. Sometimes that worked, and she'd be asleep when I got back. And then sometimes she'd deliberately stay awake. I think when she realized I wasn't coming back, that would happen, and she'd come find me. I think eventually I just gave her a time limit of 3 to 5 songs, and told her I was leaving. And then my younger one started sleeping with her, and it wasn't an issue when they were together.
Melatonin. Some kids just don't produce enough. Even after weaning my DS would lay there forever and just not fall asleep. We would lay with him starting at 9pm and he usually fell asleep around 10-11pm. It was torture! I decided to try 1 mg of liquid melatonin and he was out 20 minutes later. It saved my sanity! He only rarely needs it now at 4 and is overall a really good sleeper compared to the hellish first 2 years. Thankfully his little bro is a great sleeper but I wouldn't hesitate to use it again if needed.
OMG I came here to write a similar post. My son turn 3 in November, and while never a "good" sleeper, I found ways to make it bearable...until now. Now he's overtired and fighting sleep and cranky and miserable and so am I. I also have a 3 month old, and I seriously feel like a crazy person right now!! Sorry no advice, just - I'm there with you now.
I thought this might be one of my old posts.
Sleepless in America was a real live saver for us. We finally got our days right and the nights took care of themselves. Within just a few weeks, my sleep-fighter and night-waker was going to sleep willingly and sleeping through the night. Not all of it was useful to us, but a lot of it was.
I'm here looking for advice for a similar problem too! Our 2 year old needs one of us to sleep with. If we leave she knows it within 20 minutes and wakes crying. She has been a poor sleeper since birth really. Had night terrors as a baby. Her 4 year old sister is out within 10 minutes normally. Now she is slowly getting better but there are nights like last night where she can fight sleep for 2 hours. Running, wiggling, crying, hitting herself in the head- whatever it takes. Books, massage or singing do nothing. Chiropractic has not helped. I'm normally against giving melatonin to kids but am ready to try it. We want to get the girls sleeping in a bunk bed but can't until the little one is calmer at night. I've loved co-sleeping with the girls but do miss my relationship with my spouse!
Three year olds are TOUGH. I didn't know - everyone always talks about 2 year olds...
But I've been here on these night-time boards since my son was a newborn and yep now he's three. I was here just recently venting about how he my husband is being psychologically beat down by him! But we have made progress and I didn't update that thread so I'll do it here.
My husband just decided enough was enough. He would not lie with my son for hours to get him to go sleep anymore. It was literally one night he just said "I'm not doing this". And that night he put my son back in bed dozens of times, and stood by the door to his room. I don't know how many times it was, or exactly how long it took. Hours though. There was screaming. And crying. Lots of it. It was horrible. And the next night was the same. I think it was bad for about 4 or 5 days. Then it took less time and fewer times putting him back in bed. He just kept at it.
That was a couple of months ago. Now we do our bedtime routine- bath, book, put his music and night light on, give him some stuffed animals and say goodnight. We have an IP cam so we watch what goes on in there. He often still comes out of his room and we just bring him back and tell him to stay in bed. He will play with his animals and roll around on his bed. He will also still sometimes cry a little and want to lie down with daddy. But we've had a lot of really awesome nights where he just lies down and passes out happily. Something we NEVER EVER EVER thought would happen. We still shake our heads in wonderment because it is so amazing.
But anyway- so it's not perfect yet. Like I said, some nights he will get out of bed a half dozen times or scream and cry a bit. But we don't lie with him for hours. We have our evenings back. It's wonderful- it just took a few weeks and some dedication and tenacity.
(My son still wakes in the middle of the night and my husband still often goes in to sleep with him at that point. That's the next thing we will work on! But we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.)
Now I just have to work on getting my 5 month old to sleep more than half an hour at a time.