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Teaching my son to go to sleep on his own

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  • Teaching my son to go to sleep on his own

    Hello, and TIA for any insight you can offer! We have been having a tough time with our 2.5 y.o. little boy lately. He slowly transitioned into his own bed and had been sleeping just fine there. Over the last few weeks he has not been going to sleep when I tuck him in, either for naps or bedtime. Even if I lay there with him, he just lays awake, twirls my hair, talks to me, plays, etc. , but will not settle himself. If I get up to leave he starts whining, which escalates and turns into a fit.

    We had better luck with DH putting him to bed, we think because he is less attached to him than me. Our son has no problem if Dad leaves the room! This was successful for a couple of weeks. But it just seems that unless he is drop-dead tired, he will not go to sleep; with or without us there next to him. It's only after we've attempted for a couple of hours to settle him, and he's had a sufficient fit & cried a bit (in arms, not CIO) that he will fall asleep (with me & only me in the room).

    If he wakes in the night, it's also hard to settle him then too. My husband gets so angry with him for putting up such a fuss and not going back to sleep, so I've been the one to attend to him in the night, but I have to admit I'm running out of patience as well.

    If more info about our situation would be helpful, just let me know, I tired not to write a novel! Thanks for helping us sort this out and find a way through this challenging age/ stage!

  • #2
    could you describe what your nighttime routine looks like before putting him in bed?
    what time are you tryin to get him to sleep?
    what time does he wake in the morn?
    how long does he nap?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
      could you describe what your nighttime routine looks like before putting him in bed?
      what time are you tryin to get him to sleep?
      what time does he wake in the morn?
      how long does he nap?
      We brush teeth, sometimes do bath, read books in bed together, then snuggles with a song & back rub. It all takes about 1/2 hour, longer if we do a bath first.

      This happens between 7-7:30 pm

      Wakes around 6:30/ 7:00 am

      He'll nap for 2+ hours if we let him, but we wake him after an hour so that he'll be tired at bedtime

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      • #4
        Any chance that he may be losing his nap and not needing quite so much sleep?

        Also, has there been any unusual events in his life lately?

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        • #5
          No, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary going on lately, although I did consider a growth spurt. Maybe more of an emotional/ mental one as I do notice a little more cognition & language skills.

          And yes, that thought about the naps did cross my mind, and I thought, "Ack, not yet!" But maybe that is what it is!

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          • #6
            My son lost his nap at 2 1/2 so I wouldn't be surprised. What you describe sounds just that he is not tired at that time.
            Give him a little flexibility to see where he naturally feels sleepy at night.

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            • #7
              It's funny, I never felt "abnormal" with our situation, but it helps me feel better to know that just one other person's child also gave up naps at this age, so thank you for that! Suddenly I feel a little relief. I think it's because my friends' kids all seemed to nap until age 4 or 5 and here I am struggling, thinking that he must need more sleep.

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              • #8
                My daughter is 2 1/2 and seems to have given up napping. She is soooo tired by 6:00 at night that I wonder if she really ought to be sleeping. But so many people I have talked to say that their children gave up napping at this age. She does go to sleep very easily at night this way, but she had no issues going to sleep at night before this.

                Here is an idea that worked GREAT for us when she was approaching two and I wanted her to fall asleep on her own. I laid down with her as usual and when we were done with our routine and ready for sleep I told her I had to go get something- usually laundry. I left just for a minute and came back. Each night I left for increasingly long time until she was so comfortable with me leaving, because she knew I would come back, that she went to sleep while I was gone. Now when she is ready to sleep she tells me to go get the laundry and falls asleep. I always do check back on her and every now and then she'll ask if I am going to check on her. This worked because I never made a big deal about leaving her- it was always just oh I'm going to get something- I'll be right back. Also, it works in the middle of the night without fail once she got used to it at bedtime, and it did work at naptime when she was napping.

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