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Advice on getting out of my toddler''s bed?

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metro

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DD USE to sleep in a crib, until she was about 2 yrs. old, at which time we moved into a new house. At the new house DD wanted nothing to do with her new room and I brought her to bed with DH and I - assuming she just need a few nights to acclimate to her new surroundings. I know, horrible, horrible mistake.

Fast forward 1.5 years later..


I’m still in bed with DD! Every night we sleep in her room on a full size bed. I haven''t slept in the same bed with my husband in ages! I’ve tired on several occasions to get DD to sleep on her own but it’s turn into a big hoopla with crying and yelling that she’s afraid of the dark and the "monsters" that lurk outside her window at night

are going to get her! It really does break our hearts to see her so scared and upset. I mean, who puts their child in a situation where they are scared, right? In order for DD to feel safe and to fall asleep, I have to be right next to her holding her hand.


I know..it''s horrible.


But now it''s time to get back into MY bed.


How do I do it? She''s gonna cry and pretty much freak out if I don''t sleep with her! She can easily get out of her bed, so I''m not even sure how to keep her there.


Anyone have any advice on suggestions for a smooth transition?
 

Dee*Jay

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Metro, I don''t have any good advice for you (although *I* would like some advice on how to get the damn Demon Dog out of *my* bed LOL!), but here is a timely article from last Sunday''s New York times that I think you''ll find interesting.

link
 

VegasAngel

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Hmm, havent got to this stage yet. Have you tried resting with her until she falls a sleep & then go into your bed? What about a routine of reading a story/having a snack then tucking her into bed. Does she have a nitelight? What about having her pick out a stuffed animal "friend" of sorts to sleep with?

Here are some tips from Dr Greene:
If your child is suffering from night time fears, give her tools that empower her to overcome her fears:
o Give her a flashlight to play with (especially during the day in a darkened room) to help overcome fear of the dark.
o Give her a spray bottle filled with "monster spray" so she can shoot the monsters if they come out.
o Record a tape of her favorite stories and songs that she can turn on whenever she is feeling alone or afraid (it is best if the recording is of your voice).
o Give her a stuffed animal as big as she is to sleep with.
o Ask her for suggestions.
Goodluck!
 

KristyDarling

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Can you go shopping together for a fun toddler bed together? Like a princess or fairy-theme or whatever you DD is into? While you're shopping for it, start telling her that this is her "big-girl" bed for her to sleep in all by herself. And that you'll be there with her each night until she falls asleep, and will stay with her until she can fall asleep on her own. And if you're worried about her getting out of bed/wandering at night, try installing a child-gate just inside her door. (we did the same thing with our son when he transitioned into a toddler bed) You could further help her by having a two-way monitor or walkie-talkie setup, so that if she wakes up and is scared, all she has to do is call for you and you can soothe her over the monitor. (or go to her room, if needed)

Don't feel bad about this at all. With bed-sharing being so popular these days, lots of parents are dealing with this. My cousin had her two kids sleep in her and her husband's bed until they were 5 and 3 years old. (how the 3 year old got conceived, I have no idea!) It was a year-long process for weaning them into their own beds, so don't except it to happen quickly. It will take time, of course.

Just start off the process by doing a lot of TALKING about the transition *before* you actually put her in her own bed. Talking about it over time normalizes it a bit more. Maybe there are even some books out there (check Amazon) on this topic that you could read together.

ETA: My son's preschool plays audio storybook CDs at naptime (on low volume), to help them fall asleep. Also, maybe you could pick out a cute night-light together.

Good luck!!!
 

Miranda

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My sister went through a bit of this with her DD. What finally worked was putting her to bed with the shirt my sis had been wearing all day. It had mommy''s familiar smell and she was happy with that. Good luck!
 

metro

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Dee*Jay - Thanks for the link! I really enjoyed the article!

VegasAngel - Yes, I''ve tried resting with her in bed until she falls asleep - problem with that is that I''m asleep before she is
My mornings start at 4:30am so I''m out before my head hits the pillow.

Typically, our routine before getting into bed is brushing teeth, potty then drink. Once in bed (lights-on) we do a little reading or practicing letters/number with flash cards. Then it''s lights-out and we watch about 10-15 minutes of one of her princess DVD movies until it''s night-night time. Then we both lay in bed and hold hands and cuddle until she''s alseep.

I really like the flashlight and spray bottle idea! I''m gonna have to try that!

KristyDarling - We tried a toddler bed but she wouldn''t stay in it. I thought that maybe a larger bed, like the kind Mommy and Daddy sleep would help her feel more comfortable, so we bought her a "big girl" full size princess bed! She LOVES her bed and her room, but is scared to be in her room alone. Even when she plays in her room, she demands that all the lights in the room are on because she''s afraid of the dark. And we do have 2 night lights in her room but they keep her up at night so I don''t use them.


Miranda - We tired this when she was around 2 yrs old. We put one of my nighties on her teady bear for her to sleep. Boy, she got angry with me putting MY clothing on HER baby bear
She cried until I took it off her teady.


Yes, I think this will be a slow and painful process. But, I guess she won''t be sleeping with me when she''s in high school, so I guess that''s some ray of hope, right


What do you guys think about this....we have to kitties that she adores and that love her! What if I let the kitties sleep with her in my place? I wonder if she''ll go for that? As much as I''m anti animals in the bed, I know she''d love to have them sleep next to her. I''m sure the kitties would be all up for some snuggle!
Hmmmmm.......I''m going to talk with her at dinner tonight about the kitty idea. Keeping my fingers crossed she''ll like that idea!


 

mrssalvo

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My kids go to sleep fine but still wake up from time to time in the night and come into our room so I''m still dealing with a version of this. I usually take them back into their bed and sit with them a few minutes and then back to my bed. it''s hard but i don''t want them coming in every night when they wake up if they know the payoff is sleeping with us so I''m usually exhausted from lack of sleep but I hope it will work itself out as they get bigger.

I guess I''d suggest a nice go to sleep CD, I play a piano only one that my girls go to sleep to every night. You might stay with her for a while but after she''s asleep go to your bed. if she wakes up and gets out, take her back and put her back it. it will be hard if she fights you and cry''s but you''re the parent and need to get in control. child know when they''ve got you and can manipulate you and that''s what you DD is doing. she has a bed and mommy and daddy have a bed and that''s where everyone should be sleeping. I love the idea of getting her some fun princess bedding or even a canopy or something that might make her want to sleep there. I use a night light too and that helps keep the scary monsters away
. i know it''s hard though....
 

biblobaggins23

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"Sleeping with your children or sitting with them ''til they fall asleep is a big no-no," says Jo Frost, ABC''s Supernanny and author of Supernanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children.http://www.oprah.com/tows/booksseen/200501/tows_book_20050121_jfrost.jhtml
"Children need to learn to fall asleep by themselves," she continues. "What starts out as a little bit of extra comfort soon turns into a big issue about control. And trust me, your children will put off going to bed just to have you by their side." Try her sleep separation technique so everyone can get a good night''s sleep.
Step One: Time for Bed
Take your child to their bedroom. Read a bedtime story, give them "kisses and cuddles" and tuck them in.

Step Two: Tough Love
Sit down on the floor or in a chair parallel to your child''s bed so he or she can see the side of your face. As hard as it may be, bow your head and ignore their efforts to talk to you. It is important not to engage your child with eye contact.
Step Three: Stay In Bed
If your child climbs out of bed, return them to bed with no eye contact.

Step Four: Distance Yourself
Each night, move further and further away from the crib or bed. This pattern gives your child a sense of security in their bedroom.
Supernanny Jo Frost says children stay up at night to get the attention from their parents that they missed out on during the day. "The key message here is," says Jo, "if you spend time with your child during the day you''re not neglecting him by putting this routine in place during the night."

source: oprah.com

i have seen jo use this technique on supernanny many times. and it works. you just cannot give into your child. you really have to be persistant and not give in....a lot of the parents get really really emotional using this technique, but their kids really benefit from it and it works really well!!! the parents and kids are ALOT happier!
 

JCJD

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Sep 8, 2004
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Date: 3/7/2007 5:38:17 PM
Author: biblobaggins23
''Sleeping with your children or sitting with them ''til they fall asleep is a big no-no,'' says Jo Frost, ABC''s Supernanny and author of Supernanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children.http://www.oprah.com/tows/booksseen/200501/tows_book_20050121_jfrost.jhtml

''Children need to learn to fall asleep by themselves,'' she continues. ''What starts out as a little bit of extra comfort soon turns into a big issue about control. And trust me, your children will put off going to bed just to have you by their side.'' Try her sleep separation technique so everyone can get a good night''s sleep.

Step One: Time for Bed

Take your child to their bedroom. Read a bedtime story, give them ''kisses and cuddles'' and tuck them in.


Step Two: Tough Love

Sit down on the floor or in a chair parallel to your child''s bed so he or she can see the side of your face. As hard as it may be, bow your head and ignore their efforts to talk to you. It is important not to engage your child with eye contact.

Step Three: Stay In Bed

If your child climbs out of bed, return them to bed with no eye contact.


Step Four: Distance Yourself

Each night, move further and further away from the crib or bed. This pattern gives your child a sense of security in their bedroom.

Supernanny Jo Frost says children stay up at night to get the attention from their parents that they missed out on during the day. ''The key message here is,'' says Jo, ''if you spend time with your child during the day you''re not neglecting him by putting this routine in place during the night.''


source: oprah.com


i have seen jo use this technique on supernanny many times. and it works. you just cannot give into your child. you really have to be persistant and not give in....a lot of the parents get really really emotional using this technique, but their kids really benefit from it and it works really well!!! the parents and kids are ALOT happier!



I agree. This is absolutely a control issue. You need to reestablish your parental control with your daughter. Good luck!!!
 

Ellen

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Jan 13, 2006
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metro, I never had this particular problem, but I''ll throw out a problem I did have and the solution, which could be modified, can''t hurt to try anyway.

I had two little ones who were terrified of thunderstorms. This wasn''t good, especially living in the midwest. It did ocassionally cause them to show up in our bedroom in the middle of the night.... Nothing like waking from a sleep to see a shadowy figure hovered 3 inches from your face.


Anywho, I hated seeing them fear these, especially because I loved them. So one night a doozy hit, and I took both of them into my sons room that had a west window. We all piled on the bed looking out, and I explained what a storm was, and why there was such noise and flashing light with it. Honestly, we weren''t halfway through the storm and they were exclaiming how cool the lightening was, and wowing at the thunder. Mission accomplished!

What I''ve found is, sometimes we need to explain/show something, not just make a statement about a situation (i.e. there''s no reason to be affraid of the dark). So, what you could try is, to show her there''s nothing in the dark that isn''t there during the day.

Try turning off the lights one by one, and just sit there, til you''re finally in the dark. (this may take many nights, who knows) and talk about what''s different (nothing really, but it''s dark), etc.

Like I said, it can''t hurt to try. Best of luck!
 

eks6426

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 19, 2004
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I agree with Super Nanny. Your daughter needs to learn to go to sleep on her own. Music, flashlight, monster spray etc. are all good ways to "empower" her to deal with her fears herself. You are just going to have to deal with her being unhappy.

My son, now 10, had a similar issue. He wouldn''t sleep unless I stayed in the room, preferably in his bed, with him. Problem was I would fall asleep before he did. It got to be a pattern. I was exhausted all the time. I eventually wised up that he needed some tough love. I started playing the music..same CD every night for about a week while I was in the room. Then I told him he was going to go to sleep on his own but I would stay upstairs. Well, that didn''t work--he kept running back into my room. I''d take him back to his room and go through the bedtime speech again. It became a game to him. I finally took off his bedroom door and installed a screen door....the cheap would kind you can buy at Lowes for $15. I put a hook and eye on it so I could "lock" it from the outside. That ended his ability to run back into my room. He certainly did stand at the screen door and wail for awhile. Threw things at it etc. One thing that I found worked well was I''d tell him I was going to take a shower and then I''d go do it. The 10 minutes it took for me to take a shower usually resulted in him calming down. I think the water running and me not being visible helped. Eventually he got tired and laid down. Not always in his bed. Sometimes in a pile in front of the screen door. But he did eventually figure out that he wasn''t going to win and started sleeping in his bed. The screen door was helpful in the mornings when I wanted him to stay in his room rather than wander the house. Baby gates would accomplish the same thing, but my kid climbed over those easily.
 

metro

Brilliant_Rock
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782

Maybe the Supper Nanny can come to my house?


I talked to DD yesterday about the issue. I told her that she''s almost 4yrs. old, a big girl, and that big girls don''t sleep with their mommy. Her reply, "I always want to sleep with you, Mommy!"


I asked her if she would like it if the kitties slept with her instead of me and she could keep them warm and they could cuddle with her. She seemed to like the idea but then was quick to bring her fear of the dark and monsters. I told her she could sleep with the light on if that would help. She said okay. (Score for Mommy!)


But when bedtime rolled around DD wasn’t down for the new plan. She wasn’t in bed 5 minutes before she was up looking for me, asking me to come to bed. I was so tired last night - I caved after about 10 minutes of begging.


DH suggests we give it more of an effort this weekend so we won''t suffer so much at the office.


In the meantime, I''m taking note of all your good suggestions! Please keep them coming!

I especially like the shower idea! Gonna try that one Friday night!
 

NYCsparkle

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i baby sat a kid a few years back and he used to sleep with his parents until they put him in his room and locked a screen door from the outside...he yelled and begged..screamed and threw things, but after 3 days he went to bed on his own. i''m not up to that part of parenting yet,my son is 7 months old and thank god sleeps in his own crib all night long...when does the afraid of monsters thing start?
 

VegasAngel

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Yeah, My daughter just turned one & I should probably print this out & keep a copy for myself because I bet I will have to deal with this. Sometimes Yvette wakes up in the middle of the night. Most of the time she goes back to sleep but I can tell when she isnt going to anytime soon. SO, when she doesnt I get her & bring her to our bed, I tell myself I will wait until she falls back a sleep & then put her back into her bed, well I wind up falling a sleep & there she is 7am. We used to co sleep & if we had a king size bed she would probably still be in our bed every night. I dont mind but of course my husband does.
 

metro

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Before DD was born, we decided not to co-sleep, and she was in a basinet by the bed for a good while. I put in her crib at about 8 months - and I slept in a twin bed in the same room to make feedings easiers, as she was still getting up 3X a night. She did very well in her crib and soon I moved back into the bed with DH when she was about a year old.

We moved when she was about 2 years old and that''s when the whole mess started - when we moved and changed her environment. I should have put her back in her crib after a day or two in the new house - but....

The whole "monster" thing started about a year ago. DH always buys her Disney or Pixar DVD''s and he picked-up Monsters, Inc., hoping she''d enjoy it. She loved the movie, but has been scared of monsters ever since.
 

eks6426

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Date: 3/8/2007 11:59:20 AM
Author: NYCsparkle
i baby sat a kid a few years back and he used to sleep with his parents until they put him in his room and locked a screen door from the outside...he yelled and begged..screamed and threw things, but after 3 days he went to bed on his own. i''m not up to that part of parenting yet,my son is 7 months old and thank god sleeps in his own crib all night long...when does the afraid of monsters thing start?
Yep, this is the hard part of parenting. Expect that there will be some heavy resistance from your DD. Expect her to scream and yell. Everytime you give in you are reinforcing her yelling. Stay strong. Take the shower :) Turn up the stereo whatever it takes. Also, I wouldn''t ask her how she felt about doing these things. I''d tell her what she is going to do because if you ask kids generally don''t want to change.

The screen door allows her to see out so she doesn''t feel abandoned but contains her in her room.

On the monsters, when my son was 3 we developed a routine with a "magic wand" to get rid of the monsters. He would shake the wand at all the corners and I "chanted a spell". He believed it worked. Took maybe 2 minutes each night but then he was sure his room was "monster free." Kids at this age are really into make believe/fantasy...they don''t know the difference. Sso you can "make believe getting rid of the monsters" and it should work. Good luck.
 

Mara

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hehe i don't have a child but we have a dog and sometimes i feel like the 'tactics' we take to employ her to do what we want to are very similar to child-rearing. it's very easy to give into the sweet puppy dog (literally in our case) face with sad eyes...or when your darling child is standing here crying for you i imagine it's even harder. but i am a total tough love parent. i am the disciplinarian in our household. my husband is going to totally be the caver who gives in...i have already seen it happen with just our dog! i almost am afraid to have a child, haah. but my husband has seen how my tough love tactics DO work with our dog...even though while i am employing them he is skeptical...but now he is a believer. he just doesn't have it in him though to be a hard-ass...hehe. god forbid we have a daughter as she WILL be daddys girl for sure.

anyway i was going to say that i have seen super nanny and her tactics DO work on the show. YES you will have to put up with your daughter crying, screaming, throwing things, whatever...it surely won't be pretty. but do not shy away from the confrontation. take the control back, you are the ADULT. it always personally drives me a little nuts when parents cave into their children's whims, you see it SO often out in the malls and stores and friends houses. parents just do not want the confrontation or the drama and many times they are exhausted and tired and just want things to be peaceful and happy with their family, so they do whatever the child wants.

i am just not like that. in fact if someone is trying to look hangdog or trying to gain my pity, it makes me even more recalcitrant about giving in. i am pretty stubborn myself. lol. like when my dog is trying to give me her woe is me look, it just actually solidifies my resolve to get her to do what i want...and she always does!


so good luck, i think you guys will probably have to work at this for some time, and you should probably steel yourself for some sleepless and stressful nights with lots of drama. but if you are really committed to doing it, it will work. you may have to suffer a bit to get there and so will your child because you guys are in this position...but in the end you can do it and it will be better for all.

oh and that screen door idea i think is fabulous!! that way the child doesn't feel totally locked in or isolated...yet they cannot get out of the room. eventually they will tire and fall asleep. and eventually they will get what the 'new plan' is.
 

butterfly 17

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We sort of had this problem with our 18 month old and sort of still have it.

Up until she was a year old, she slept in the room with us. She would sleep in the playpen by our bed and we would sleep in our bed. Then I told my husband that she really needs to start sleep in her own crib and my husband was hesitant to do this, so one night when I was off, I just picked her up, awake, and put her in her crib and told her to go to sleep.

Well, she cried and cried like there was no tomorrow and I called my friend about it and she said, "Ain''t no baby ever cried itself to death."

She cried for about 4 hours straight that night and I finally was about to give up and get her when she suddenly stopped.

My husband and I thought something happened to her but there she was, asleep in the crib and she stayed that way until 7 am.

The next night, she wimpered a little, but went right to sleep.

So, she was good like this for a few months, but then in December, she got sick and she was having fevers and vomitting, etc. so she decided to just put her back in our room until she was better.

After she was better, we got one of those cheap Dora couch sleepers from Toys r us and put in next to our 6 yr. old''s bed and she would sleep there until the morning. We would turn the lights off except the night light, tell her good night and go to sleep and close the door. She never cried or got up and tried to open the door.

Since we just moved in February, we moved the Dora couch to our room at the foot of the bed and she just sleeps there at night.
We still haven''t moved the couch to her sister''s room b/c it''s close to the stairs and I am afraid she will wake up early one morning and decide to roam around when we are all asleep.

I would just tell your daughter that she is a big girl now and she has to sleep in her own bed and leave it at that. She will cry in the beginning, but after two days, she will get the idea that mom is not going to come to get her anymore.
 

Cehrabehra

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best advice - set a date, let the kid know, rip the bandaid off... no matter how much whining complaining crying you have to endure, set your feet and don''t look back. Be the more stubborn one. Demand a win in your corner and don''t take no for an answer!!
 

AGBF

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You won''t be sleeping with her when she goes to college. Relax. And, yes, I have been there. My (very wise) father gave me the aforementioned advice when I was in the thick of it and he was quite right :).

Deb
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/9/2007 8:42:24 PM
Author: AGBF


You won''t be sleeping with her when she goes to college. Relax. And, yes, I have been there. My (very wise) father gave me the aforementioned advice when I was in the thick of it and he was quite right :).

Deb
I follow this advice about most everything... but my aunt followed this thinking and had to kick my cousin out of the bed in junior high and he had to go to therapy over it!!! Um - I know this is an extreme case, but sometimes the mama tigers have to nip at their young to wean!!
 
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