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Past few weeks now Mia who will be 4 in December, hasn't been settling at all for me. Every night when i put the kids to bed it takes roughly 1-6 hours to settle her. It feels like she is 10 months old all over again. She keeps asking me to sleep with her because apparently her Nain (grandmother) sleeps with her (until she falls asleep) when she goes to her Dads on the weekends. Well i really do not want to go back into that again. I got her out of it , and i will get her out of it again. I find it very hard and very heartbreaking.
Here are just a few tips and advice -
1. First time the child comes out of bed, tell them 'Back to bed now' and take them back. Repeat it for 2-3 times. Then if they carry on coming out of bed, just pick them up and carry them to bed - but do not say anything to them. It is very hard! But worth it.
2. Do NOT give in.
3. If they use excuses - do not let them get their own way , carry on with number 1.
4. Don't let it stop you doing anything. Carry on what ever you were doing.
5. Don't give up, they will give up and it will be so worth it in the end.
6. Be calm! It will only get worse if you raise your voice and show you are stressed (i have learnt this!)
As most parents know when their children are tired such as their behaviour change and can be very demanding or over active. I think it is quite important a child has a routine before bed. This is a simple easy routine (most parents do) -
Bath them (calms them down before settling)
Clean nappy (if they wear nappies)
Clean their teeth.
Read a story book.
Kiss and say good night, love you.
Comfort blanket or teddy and/or juice.
Some parents might not have a problem with their kids wanting to sleep in the same bed as you, but might not know why their child doesn't settle -
Try and dress your child in pyjamas appropriate for the weather. For example if it is cold - Onesie , Feelced material pyjamas, All in one. Long sleeved top & long length trousers with socks.
If it is warm/hot - Maybe just a vest, nighty for girls. Shorts and t-shirt.
Maybe they need a little bit of light into their room? We put the landing light on, Elliw doesn't mind the dark but Mia likes a little light in, and doesn't like her door closed.
Does your child wake up at night?
Do they wake up in the middle of the night for you? Does it worry you where they might go when they are sleeping? I did! Especially that Mia isn't in a cot anymore, and in a single bed. Mia has woken up in the middle of the night over 2 years for me so i know she won't go downstairs, but if you're very worried, put a gate on the stairs. and leave the landing light on so they know where they are going. Get a monitor too hear sounds. Any little sound my girls make, i wake up straight away!
Does your child wake up at night? Does your child have trouble settling?