desperate for my 2 1/2 y.o. to STTN before baby comes

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by elhardy26, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. elhardy26

    elhardy26 Well-Known Member

    One of my DD's has never been a good sleeper since birth... we've done CIO several times over the years but she seems to always revert to the same patterns.

    After going to sleep easily at 7:30pm, she predictably wakes up around 10 ish, around 1ish, and around 5-6 ish (with about an hour variance or so). She has STTN on some occassions but 99% of the time she wakes calling for me.

    I go in, and follow the advice to remain emotionless, I cover her up, pat her back and tell her it is night night time and leave. I'm in the room less than 1 minute and that is all it takes for her to go back to sleep. We always make excuses for her such as she's sick, or scared, or thirsty, but the bottom line is, she continues to wake up at a minimum of 1x per night, up to as many as 4x per night, in her average 12 hour nighttime sleep. She takes a 2 hr nap during the day, so it's not that she is over-tired.

    I am just at a loss for what to do. And to complicate things, I am 38 weeks pregnant, and after the baby is born I am afraid I won't be able to handle the loss of sleep of a newborn with the additional 2-3 night wakings from her. Her sister on the otherhand STTN in the crib next to hers 99% of the time.

    Are other 2 1/2 yr olds not STTN and what should I do?????

    Thanks for listening (ps. it is 1:45pm right now and she's screaming for me. she refuses to let my husband comfort her so I'm trying CIO for tonight because this baby may come any day now).
  2. Fran27

    Fran27 Well-Known Member

    CIO. But you need to stick to it. Get a goodnight lite or totclock and explain to her that it's night time and you won't come back before the clock turns yellow. And don't go back in. But you need to be 100% consistent. Yeah, she might revert back to this after a while, but if you go back in, you're just perpetuating the problem... I'm guessing that's why CIO hasn't worked for you.

    On a side note, if she's a light sleeper, she will probably wake up with the baby at night anyway... so I'd just go tuck her in or whatever at that time anyway.
  3. elhardy26

    elhardy26 Well-Known Member

    I know in theory that's what we should do, but it's hard to be consistent especially when it's winter and they get a lot of colds, you never know if she's crying b/c she can't breathe, or sometimes she's been coughing a lot, or may have a fever. They when they ARE sick, you have to start CIO all over again...

    on last night's note: she did CIO for 45 minutes, woke up her sister, talked to her to calm down and fell asleep. In the past, after 1 CIO she wouldn't wake up again that night, but what do you know, an hour and 1/2 later she woke up crying again... it's so frustrating.
  4. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Anytime you do something to change a behavior that behavior gets worse before it gets better. Everytime you give in and go to comfort her, even for a minute, you are reinforcing that when she cries she gets mommy. And, if you go in after letting her cry for a while, then she knows that is she cries longer/harder, mommy will still come and she gets what she wanted. You yourself said that you make excuses for her, and that doesn't help. You should know when they aren't feeling well before the night starts. You need to stick to your guns. Does she know her numbers? We got the boys a digital clock at that age and told them that unless the front number was a 7, they couldn't get up.

    It is frustrating, but you need to stick with it.
  5. JessiePlus2

    JessiePlus2 Well-Known Member

    I'll ditto Sharon. I do think that if you want to stop the nightwakings, you probably will need to do CIO. And I really think it would be better to do that now than when the baby is here. She is going to feel insecure when the baby comes and may use the nightwakings as an opportunity to get one-on-one time with you, cuddles, etc.

    I also think a valid alternative is to make DH handle all of her nightwakings and you handle all the new babies. You said she doesn't want DH, but that is not a choice she gets to make because the baby will need you (especially if you are breastfeeding). She may cry, but you will know that her loving daddy is with her.

    How does she fall asleep at night? Is she alone in her crib? I know with both my kids, if they fall asleep with me holding them or laying next to them, they will wake up in the middle of the night and cry out for me when they realize I'm not there anymore.

    As an aside, we did CIO (with checking in on them at certain intervals) when my twins were 9 months old. We have not had to re-do CIO after they are sick. When they are sick, we go to them in the night and comfort them. Really anytime they wake at night and cry longer than a couple minutes, we go to them to see what's wrong because they don't cry like that unless something is going on. That is one of the advantages of doing CIO. If they cry now, I know they really do need me and are not doing it out of habit. When they wake up crying when they are sick or afraid or whatever, we usually end up sleeping with them (they are in full size beds) as we all get more sleep that way. Once they are better, they go back to STTN again.
  6. dtomecko

    dtomecko Well-Known Member

    I can somewhat relate to your situation in that I have a bad sleeper and a good sleeper too. I have found that others who haven't had a truely bad sleeper can't completely understand how brutal and upsetting it can be. It's easy to say do this or don't do that because that's what works for their relatively easy sleeper, and if it doesn't work you must be doing something wrong. (Easy to feel that way when you're sleep deprived!) I'm not saying this about the responses on here so far, because I think they've given good advice and I do agree with what they've said. But I just wanted to let you know I really get where you're coming from. And I, as I'm sure you, raised both kids the same - one just happens to be a really good (or normal) sleeper and the other is not!

    We have also had to do CIO with my son starting around 8 months old. We have gone through phase after phase of sleep problems with him from then until now. (And I find the older he is, the harder it is to do CIO - when you know they understand, they can talk and communicate well, so why can't they get it? There must be something really wrong, so I better go make sure!) It ALWAYS starts up again after an illness or anything out of the ordinary comes up. For him, a night waking habit will form in one night and it takes a long time to break it all over again. We do CIO every time to get him back on track, once we realize the new phase has no other cause than just being a habit. It does always work. It's just getting to the point of knowing it's time to do CIO again is the hard part (is he healthy enough, is he having bad dreams, does he really have to go potty or is he just saying that). He's also a really light sleeper, so I think that is part of it too, they're just easily woken more often. And I agree with the pp that said it always gets worse before it gets better.

    If I were you, I'd give it 3 nights starting now of CIO - (I don't know if you guys go in periodically to soothe, but I have never. I feel like that confuses them.) No excuses these next few nights, expect them to be awful, but then expect there to be improvement after. It may start all over again when the new baby comes, but then you'll just have to stick to your guns and do CIO all over again - which has to be so stressful when you're already sleep deprived and spreading yourself so thin between all the kids. I would also, like a pp mentioned, put your husband in charge of that. I really hope you can get it straightened out before the new baby comes!
    1 person likes this.
  7. betha

    betha Well-Known Member

    I second Denise's post. I won't repeat everything, but we have a good sleeper and a bad sleeper. If I only had our good sleeper, I would have thought we were amazing sleep trainers. Our DD, not so much! We have to sleep train again after every illness. Her temperment and sleep patterns are very different from her brother. It's feels awful to do CIO when she is screaming "momma, momma!!" She isn't articulate enough yet to reliably tell me if she is ill. I always have to wonder if she is really sick or starting to get sick, and I don't know it. sigh.

    On a side note, do you have a video monitor? I have a video monitor and use that to watch my DD when she is upset. It helps reassure me a bit to see her and know she is basically okay, even if she is upset.

    GL....I can relate.
  8. maybell

    maybell Well-Known Member

    good luck!! we've had some waking issues a month or so ago... UGH! anyway, ours used to take a great 3 hr nap, and then when ours started waking at night, we had to scale it back to a 2 hr nap... sometimes I let them sleep a little longer now, but for us the reduction of nap worked.

    though I saw that she takes a 2 hr nap... I wouldn't cut it by much... and I know some people think you shouldn't wake a sleeping baby, and that enough sleep during the day helps them get more sleep at night... but for us when we cut it just that little bit it worked.

    good luck with the CIO... I could never do it too long... seemed that they always had a leg stuck or coughing etc.!! I'd at least have to check on them once to make sure nothing was wrong.
  9. lianyla

    lianyla Well-Known Member

    Look at it this way- at least you'll be up anyway! :) That's a tough one, hopefully it will all workout in time :)
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