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Getting toddler to sleep without me being in room

My son will be 2 next month and is a nightmare when it comes to sleeping. We were on holiday so relaxed his routine a wee bit and he is now not tired until 9pm. If we try putting him to bed before that he just screams. Also when we put him to bed one of us has to stay in the room and pat him until he drifts off. This can sometimes take an hour!! He is then usually up atleast 2 or 3 times a night for juice and again we need to sit until he falls back asleep. Every morning he wakes at 6am which means he is only getting about 9 hours sleep at night so is a nightmare the next day as hes exhausted. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • Did this just happen after your holiday or did you have problems before?
  • not much advice but just wanted to say we relaxed our routine after a few days away and the last few nights my son (29 months) has not been going to bed til 8.30 / 9 and will happily lie awake chattering to himself for a good hour. Last night I went to bed at 9.45 and he had only just gone to sleep having gone to bed til 8.30. We'd even taken him out after dinner to play football and made him chase the ball hoping it would tire him out. He doesnt need us to be in the same room but will read books and talk to himself, and he does normally sleep all night then and wake up between 6 and 7 but he used to be fairly good at going down so I'm really hoping it'll pass soon.

    He's in nursery today so hoping he'll be tired enough to go down at a decent time! We're considering stopping his naps, but he didn't have one on Saturday and he was so grumpy and then fell asleep sat up on the sofa around 5 and was even grumpier when I woke him up!

    does your lo still have a daytime nap? My HV told me some toddlers need one till they're 3 and others drop it quite young!
  • No we've always had problems with getting him to sleep and trying to get him to sleep through the night. I sometimes take him into bed with me and he does sleep longer in the morning but me and my partner don't get any sleep as he kicks and hogs the bed so that's pretty pointless.

    I've read alot about the controlled crying, just don't know how i'd feel if he cried for ages one night.
  • He does still sleep through the day as when he doesn't have atleast an hour he's so tired and crabby!!

    I'd be happy putting him to bed and leaving him if he was quiet and talked away to himself but he screams the place down and we are in a four in a block flats with very thin walls so would feel bad on my neighbours. And i start university in September so i really want him in a routine for going to bed earlier so i can then get uni work done.

    My son goes to nursery 3 days a week and he never sleeps properly there so is a complete nightmare when hes at home.
  • Hi,

    My DD is also 2 next month and also likes me in the room when she goes to sleep. She takes ages to relax in bed at night, she plays and makes me sing songs for up to an hour. It was getting to the point where I'd be in her room until 8.30 every night.

    I realised that she didnt mind too much if I said to her I just need to get the washing out of the machine/ put daddys dinner in the oven and I'll be back in a minute so I have started sitting with her for 10 mins then I make an excuse to leave and leave her for 10-15 mins or until she starts shouting for me then pop back for 5 mins, make an excuse again, and just come and go until shes ready to go to sleep. Sometimes she wants me in the room when she drops off but often she just falls asleep while waiting for me to come back. My plan is just to try and increase the time Im out of the room until shes used to it. I know it will take alot longer than CC but I was never comfortable doing that - I'm a wimp!

    Any way, the point of my waffle is maybe he would be more accepting of you saying youre just going for a few minutes rather than trying to get him to accept you want him to go to sleep by himself.
  • This sounds like a form of controlled crying, and if it works for you, then keep doing it. I've tried controlled crying but find it very hard to do, so feel lucky that my LO is quite happy to chatter to himself for a while.

    Roddie, we also live in an apartment building and also worry that our neighbours are going to get annoyed, but then my neighbour stands at his window, right next to our bedroom window at 11pm / midnight and talks on the phone often putting them on speakerphone, I don't worry so much about him anymore!

    When mine was younger and went through bad stages of not sleeping, I would sit in his room but with my back to him and not look at him but he could see me so was quiet. Then I'd gradually move closer to the door. It worked quite well as he knew I was still nearby. Sometimes though he would cry if I tried to move out too quickly but I do still try this sometimes if he's being particularly difficult or had his routine upset. Might be worth a try?
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