How to get my 2 1/2 year old to go to sleep at night without needing mama in the room?

[deleted account] ( 6 moms have responded )

Hi. I wonder if anyone can advise. My son is 2 1/2 and recently went through a 7 week period of waking constantly during the night due to fears of 'monsters, wolves and shadows.' He needed me (not daddy) to go in and reassure him that I was there and nothing was wrong. Anyway, he suddenly came right and started sleeping through the night again - actually better than ever - so you can imagine my delight, but the issue since then (for a month now) has been that he won't go off to slepp on his own at night and needs me (again, not daddy) to lie down in the floor next to his cot (still in a cot) and stay there, sometimes holding his hand, until he finally goes to sleep, which can take up to an hour (he is usually quiet during htis time). As soon as I move or try to make my escape he calls out 'no mama, lie down on floor please.' In comparison to waking at night, this one is easier to handle however I am aware that I could be making a rod for my own back etc and it would be nice to have some time to ourselves in the evening again. Before the night fears episode began he always went off to sleep happily on his own. Can anyone help with this one? Much obliged if you can.


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Leila - posted on 08/12/2010




hi there wanted to ask Katy Genc a question why is your daughter sleeping with you in the first place?Because when you start doing that at her young age she is use to it so, every night take her into her room and keeping doing it and untill she gets use to it. doing the same routine will help her and she will no that cause your being serious.

Alyn - posted on 08/10/2010




Katy- I have tried the approach that worked for you already, it was fine when she was in her crib (though she would cream and cry ro 2 hours!! Now that sheis in the toddler bed, she just gets up. Usually after and hour of marching her back to bed I would give up and she was in our bed. THAT had to stop, some nights my 6 year old would come in too in the middle of the night! Kind size bed is really small with 4 people in it--lol. The only way I can get her to stay in her bed is to be in the room. I have one of those safety covers for the door knob now (on the inside). Haven't left and shut her door yet, will try that soon. I want to take care of this before I potty train--one thing at a time!

I am happy you have your evenings back!


Denise - posted on 08/09/2010




Hi Katy my daughter who is nearly 2&half was still in her cot until a one month ago. We decided it was time to change her cot into the bed as we are taking her on her first holiday in september & wanted her be familar with lying in a single bed. up until we put her into the bed she was falling asleep on the living floor which was not good. Bedtime rountine now consists of her going to bed anytime between 7.30-8.30, we read her stories and then we say goodnight and give her lots of hugs & kisses and say to her that we will see her in the morning and maybe mention any plans that her & granny will do (her granny looks after her during the day). so bascially we are giving her love & assurance. Now me & my husband take turns to lie on the floor until she falls asleep as she didnt want us to leave her. I say goodnight and lie with my back to her and just ignore her is she starts talking. i think if you dont respond then they will gradually fall asleep. This is working for me at the minute but im hoping that in next couple of weeks or maybe when we come back from holidays i can start to leave her to fall asleep by herself. I will keep u posted on how this goes & hope this post has helped.

[deleted account]

Thank you Hannah. You gave me the push I needed to do what I knew needed to be done. Tonight I told Emre that 'no mummy wasn't going to lie on the floor but I will just be in the living room' and left the room saying good night and I love you. He was naturally not happy with this turn of events and was crying out pretty loudly, so I gave it about 5 mins and went back in to reassure and then did this again about 5 mins after that, at which time after he'd had some water and lay down he said quite firmly 'go, go now mama please.' So, I went and he has been asleep now for over half an hour now, so it seems to have worked and all together took 15 mins which I am thrilled about and most importantly did not require any lying on the floor on my part :-) so very happy. Hopefully he will be less upset tomorrow and we will soon be into a nice routine again. Thank you again. This site is awesome. Good luck with your wee challenge, Alyn. I hope something will work for you soon. Maybe give this approach a go. I Know from past experience of sleeping problems that once you've bitten the bullet and left them to cry a little the first night and survived it gets easier. Fingers crossed I won't be choking on those words tomorrow night ......

Alyn - posted on 08/08/2010




I am not sure how much help I will be....I am on the floor of my daughters room until she falls asleep now--its has been almost 3 weeks now. I don't know why, she says it is "scary" but that is it. I have put a cd player in her room and she listens to soft music and I leave the table light on. Once I started that, I was able to leave the room without her hearing me. I am also almost out the door, I have been slowly moving away from her toddler bed. Hopefully I will make it to the hall!!
I had a friend who's son was afraid of monsters in his room, they used a water bottle filled with a special mixture that would get rid of the monsters (aka, water). They would spray where ever the monsters were. It worked for them.
Good luck, I am waiting to get my evenings back as well.

Hannah - posted on 08/08/2010




my daughter was the same but i just left her on her own put the hall way light on and told her it was bed time and big girls sleep on there own. As i walked out of her room i talked to her till i got to bottom of the stairs where i said night love u. she called out a few times but eventually fell asleep i am still doing the with her now just to reassure her but if that's wot it take sot get her to sleep on her own in room at night im happy to do it. give it ago u never know it might work. let me know wot happens

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