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Help with 2 year old sleep... please!

edited Sep 27, 2019 12:17PM in Toddler
Hello everyone,

This is my first post. I realise the website is made for mums but hopefully you'll make room for a dad.

We have an absolutely wonderful two year old daughter who is a delight during the day, come night time however sleep has always been a real struggle. 

For the first year and a half of little one's life she was almost always with mum and became really attached to her (vs. me I mean). Since a few months ago however I no longer work full time, mum and I both work part time and take care of little one for half of the week each almost. It took us all some time to adjust but during the day now we have a great time and she loves spending time with either of us, and will have her nap with me and the works.

Night time sleep little one is attached to mum and will not leave her at all. She won't even let me touch her at night. The only way I can get her to sleep is by taking her out in the car and driving around until she sleeps. During the night she will cry continuously until mum puts her in our bed next to us and she is physically stuck to her all through the night.

With mum working this has been very difficult as it means she has to spend the night before work waking up, comforting little one, and with little one trying to sleep on top of her all night she wakes up shattered. 

We've tried sleep routines, baths, tiring her out, omitting naps, and controlled crying albeit half heatedly. We keep getting conflicting advice and I just don't know what to do to help solve this. I am well and truly stuck and would appreciate any help, I see mum struggling and it breaks my heart that all I'm doing is watch =(



  • Hey 
    I don’t have experience of this as fortunately my little boy has always liked his own bed (our issue is more him getting up at the crack of dawn everyday!). But I didn’t want to read and not reply. 

    Have you changed your daughters bed to a toddler bed rather than a cot yet? If not you could maybe make a big thing of how she is now a big girl and can have her own big girl bed, let her pick out some new bedding etc? 
    Or have you tried offering reward for staying in bed all night? 
    At 2 they should start to understand the concept of reward for action so you may be able to offer a reward and then if she still gets mummy up then she won’t get that reward, and you’ll have to stay strong on no reward no matter how upset she gets. Then offer it again the next night? 

    No idea if you’ve tried those or if they’ll work, but I really hope you find something that works soon! 
  • My son is 2 and a half and we went through the same thing with him. I was always the one to put him to bed and to get up with him if he woke at night. Didn't really bother me. But I'm due our second child in Dec, and know it won't be possible to be the only one to put him to bed etc, when the second child arrives.

    My husband gets along great with our son, but all hell would brebr loose when he would try to put him to bed on his own. Like your daughter, my son would freak out if Daddy even touched him at bed time, he only wanted mummy. 

    What worked for us was the two of us would put him to bed, so he got used to daddy being there at night time. Then my husband started to put him to bed on his own, and would tell a white lie, that mummy was gone to work, to stop him from looking for me.  

    My husband can now put him to bed with no fuss and settle him at night with no fuss. It didn't take long for our soon to get used to this.

    I still put him to bed most nights, but our son is now fine with daddy doing it too. 

    Hope you find something that works for you.
  • edited Sep 30, 2019 10:10AM

    Post deleted by MadeForMums. 
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  • There is a lady called Cheshire Baby Whisperer (not to be confused with the baby whisperer who’s written all of the books!) and she advocates a “sensory” sleep approach. Basically you make their room into something similar to sensory rooms at soft play places, and use distraction to get them to stop being upset. She has a website and a book- worth a google.
  • Thank you all for your suggestions, I'm going to have a go at each and feed back what happens!

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