advice please - 2.5yrs wont sleep alone

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heaven1 | 00:04 Fri 17th Apr 2009 | Parenting
4 Answers
Hi please advice, my nephew is 2.5yrs, his mum is having real trouble getting him to sleep alone at night. she has made the mistake of sleeping in bed with him for ages and now she has decided he should sleep in his own bed (in his own room) she is having a nightmare with it!!!

It starts by him having stories and settling down, then as soon as mum leaves the room, he gets up and cries and shouts "mummy" over the babygate. She goes and settles him - leaving bigger time gaps in-between, eventually he goes to sleep but then wakes up a couple of hours later and does the same thing.

Last night he did this 10 times, my sister was so shattered, she eventually gave up and got in bed with him.

Now again tonight, she is back to square one!



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What a pity that she gave up when she did (though I can totally understand why) because it just means that next time she attempts it he will stick it out longer, remembering how she gave in eventually the last time.
Mum needs to prepare herself for a long night of just gently but quietly laying him back down in his bed and leaving again, she may have to do it 20 times or more before he eventually drops off to sleep, if he wakes up a few hours later then start the process again, it could go on for 3 or 4 nights but you'll find that the times you have to go in and lie him back down will get less and less until he eventually gets the hang of getting himself off to sleep and will sleep through the night. The first time he does it you must make a big fuss of the fact that he slept in his own bed all night, like a big boy. It seems daunting I know, the thought of going through those few nights of very little sleep but he will get the message and its better than having him in your bed for the next several years. Good Luck anyway and remember that you're not being cruel or an uncaring parent, you're simply letting your child develop the art of falling asleep in his own bed under his own steam. Especially after the usual routine of bath and bedtime story.
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Thankyou for your reply, I havent spoken to my sister yet today.
But I can imagine it is really hard for her, but like you said she will have to "stick it out" and not give in!
I agree with lizzydrippin's advice, but I would take it even one step further. If your nephew can't get out of his room, I would just let him cry at the gate and ignore him. When his mom repeatedly goes and puts him back to bed, he may not be getting his way completely, but he is getting attention. This method may sound harsh, but I guarantee it will work faster. We had to use this method with our daughter when she was 3. She feeds on any attention, even if it's negative. So she could do the "get out of bed and be put back into bed" thing all night long. We finally closed the door and ignored her, and after two nights, she got the idea. She still cries a little at night just because she doesn't like to go to bed while we stay up. She does not want to miss anything. But she goes to sleep pretty quickly. Good luck!
I am so glad you posted this question, as I was about to post the same one. My son is also 2,5 and I am having exactly the same problem.

I have set aside this week to "sleep train" him and I know I am going to be shattered as I work full time and am a single mom, but it has to be done. He used to be a good sleeper, and now the wheels have fallen off....

Thanks for the advice!

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