desjester's picture

19 month old sleep

Hi, first time poster on here..... was hoping to resolve problem without asking for assistance, but ive reached the end of my and my wifes rope.

I married into becoming a father to a 19 month old little girl (real father not in picture, never seen her) who calls me daddy and all things considered i am her dad. While im not sure this is relevant, i felt the need to share all the details of whats going on.

Lily (our daughter) loves me and seeks my attention just as often as she does her mother except for bedtime. Here in lies the problem.

Lily will only go to sleep if she is on her mother on the recliner we own and sometimes in our bed if she can be on mommy and im not in the bed with her.

We can sometimes "trick" her to sleeping for 15-30 minutes in her own bed if mommy lays down next to her for awhile, but its never for an extended period of time. Lily will scream and ball her head until she gets what she wants.

We have in the past not let her tantrums get to us and not give in and just wait for the tantrum like crying to stop but it can go on for hours and she ends up giving herself dry heeves so we give in because we dont want her to hurt herself. She will keep tryin to climb all over her mom till she gives in. Im not at all desired at bedtime, in fact she crys harder if i even go near her.

We have tried separating ourselves from her and her tantrums by using a babygate on her room and putting her to bed hoping that her not being able to see us will deter her hopes that crying will break us but she is just as vigilant and ends up in dry heeves and we crack. Also now she has perfected the skill of climbing the babygate so it really has no detering power anymore.

If we take her even near ANY bed she starts balling her head off. We have tried different beds trying a twin bed in place of her toddler bed but to no avail.

My wife and I are desperate for sleep. Im a truck driver so most of the nights im not there so my ability to contribute is diminished.

Ive read how consistency is the key for bedtimes. Well this all started the night after lily was in the hospital for bein bound up and had to get an enema. The doc says this is no longer an issue but the few night afterwards mommy babied her and started the sleeping on the recliner trend that she now so much hates to do.
We are trying to be consistent however we cant implement a starting course that we can repeat every night. At different times will she decide that she wants to sleep, even if we give up ahead of time and she sleeps with mommy on the recliner.

Ive read how transition objects and such help with changing her habits but dont see how much we can do. we let her fall asleep on mommy then put her in bed but if it works (which it usually doesnt and she wakes up in a fit) it is only for a few hours tops.

Please help us. 3 cranky people need you! lol

Any advice is appreciated.

jprice_85's picture

my advice is CONSISTENY, just like you said. No one wants to hear their kids cry, but have a peace knowing that nothing in the world is wrong with her. try letting her fall asleep on her mom, and then put her in her bed. when she wakes up screaming, dont bother her or go in the room. let her cry. she will QUICKLY, if you stay firm, get that you are not comming to get her anymore and that she needs to fall back to sleep. once she is doing that, try putting her in her bed at her bedtime while she is still awake so that she can practice falling asleep on her own. BUT PLEASE BE CONSISTANT

desjester's picture

That sounds nice, but we have done this. If we close the door to her room she gets scared and the babygate doesnt stop her at all anymore. No matter how tired she seems to be she will ball her little head off until she starts to dry heeve and hurt herself. And as parents neither of us are ok with hurting her whether that involves actively or passively hurting her.
Id love to start consistency, but i cant repeat something we cant get started.

mayamay's picture

I think you spend the next three weeks in a reset period. You and your wife have been teaching her something that you did not want her to learn. You have taught her that if she gets upset enough to dry heave, she will get her way. If you start trying to be firm now, she will just escalate her behavior until she once again gets her way. This is how you teach children to beat their heads against a wall until their faces are bloody, to bite their lips and cheeks until they are raw, and to cry themselves sick.

For the next three weeks, the little darling gets to sleep with mommy without anybody making a fuss. After that, you can teach her how to sleep in her own bed, but first you must interrupt the power struggle that is between you.