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Toddler Sleeping Problems...Need Advice (UPDATE #2 in BLUE)

 My DD is two years old. She has been getting up a couple of times every night and comes into my bedroom because she wants to cuddle. Her pediatrician told me to show her tough love by closing DD's door at night and keep the baby monitor on. I feel like that if I do that and DD starts crying she won't trust me as her parent. I've heard the horror stories and haven't heard many success stories. What should I do? Waking up at least two to five times a night is starting to take it's toll on me. I don't mind cuddling with her but I'd like for her to put herself to sleep. I put music on for her at night and  put her night light on. I am at a loss for anything else I can do to help her stay in her bed/room. Any adice will be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I am a first time mom.


UPDATE: Hello ladies. Thank you so much for your advice. Last night was a challenge for me but I got through it. I walked DD into her room when it was bedtime and she got into her bed without a problem. She cuddled with her blanket and favorite baby doll, I hugged and kissed her good night and told her our usual little love words that we do everynight. I put on her Jewel lullaby CD and closed her door. She was fine for about five minutes and then she started to cry. She called my name but I didn't get up. I let her be for about five minutes and when she was quiet for ten minutes I listened for any noise by her door and opened it and she was fast asleep. She slept until 3 this morning when she came into my bedroom. (DF opened her door in the middle of the night and forgot to close it) I got up with her and put back her bed, I rubbed her back and sang to her and she went back to sleep so I left and closed her door again. Last night was a long night. She kept getting up and crying. I know the first night was going to be rough. Hoping for a better night tonight.


UPDATE #2: Well tonight was very hard. DD screamed her head off for ten straight minutes. I had to stop myself a couple of times withing those ten minutes from going in there. I finally gave in and tried to get to her calm herself down. All she wanted to lay on my arm. (She still likes skin to skin) I almost cried, I got really choked up tonight. Thank god DF was here with me because I couldn't guarantee that I would have been as strong as I was tonight without him. Anyone have any advice on how to kick the skin to skin? I didn't think she'd still be into at two years old. I don't mind it but it seems like that's the only way she will fall asleep. Wish me luck on tonight in hopes that she doesn't wake up a lot in the middle of the night.

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by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Replies (11-17):
by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 9:01 PM

trust has nothing to do with crying at bedtime; it is built on the things you do with her, following through with promises you made to her, being there for her when she hurts herself, knowing that you are there for her, making her feel safe all the time.

kids will give bedtime issues.  she's waking up because you allow her to come into your room.  i once read somewhere that when kids want to do something, they will wake up and do it (or wake early).  at some subconsious level, they know that sometime during the night, they can cuddle with you (because you let them) so they wake up and do this.  and really, who doesn't want to cuddle with mommy and daddy?

your pedi is correct; if you want to teach her to sleep through the night without waking up, she needs to unlearn that habit of waking to cuddle.  what you can do - a more gentle approach - is to keep walking her back to her bed at night.  do not engage her. do not turn the lights on.  just be quiet, tuck her in and go back to bed.  basically, you have to be so super boring that she'll eventually learn that getting up gets her nothing.  you'll have to do this a billion times for a few nights but in the end, she'll get it.

a quicker but harsher method is what your doc suggested.  it's harder but this will not break her trust in you.  you are encouraging healthy sleep habits (sleepign through the night) so it'll be hard at first but she'll evnetually learn.

good luck

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 9:47 PM

I think it is a habbit you want to break before it gets bad, but I don't think shutting her door and ignoring her will help. If it were me I would get up, when she shows up at your bed, and walk her back to her bed and explain to her she sleeps in her bed and mommy has her own bed. And calm her down. Then the next few times keep taking her back to bed without saying anything to her. It will probably be exhausting for a while, but probably better than haivng her in your bed and keeping you up on a long term basis.

by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 9:17 AM

My youngest is 3 and still having sleep issues. I wish I had some advice for you.
by Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 9:20 AM
I sort of have the same problem. My almost 2 year old wakes up and refuses to go back to sleep. I've tried rocking, cuddling, putting her in our bed, everything! Good luck
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by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 9:22 AM
I'm going thru something similar. Its been going on for months now. Some nights she wakes up a few times. She used to sleep until 730. Now most days she wants to get out of bed at 4...along with sometimes waking up earlier like between the hrs of midnight and 3 am. Ugh it sucks cuz I have a 3 week old baby so I'm already sleep deprived. We make her go back to bed she does kno how to fall asleep on her on but once she wakes up at 4 she pretty much whines in her room until 6 then she hears dh up getting ready for work so she screams dada. Ugh. She shares a room with her sister I feel bad for her because I know they are both overtired but her older sister goes to school and I hate sending her when I know she was kept awake by a whiny 2 yo.

U just gotta keep taking her back to bed tell her its night time do not get out of bed until morning. Keep doing it until she gets it.
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by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Sorry last night was rough, but it sounds like there is some progress.

by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 11:35 AM

The first few nights ARE rough, but she will get the hang of it.  In a month or two, you are goign to wonder why you didn't do this sooner :) 

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