Author Topic: How to teach 3 year old to sleep without soother/pacifier  (Read 777 times)

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Offline Jbyrne3

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How to teach 3 year old to sleep without soother/pacifier
« on: August 11, 2016, 12:14:58 pm »
Last week my three year old sold announced that he didn’t want his soother anymore and threw it out the window- which sounds like a dream right? No! The reason we were so reluctant to even focus too much on him giving it up was because he was always an awful sleeper. We’ll that’s nothing compared with now.

Last March we moved him from a child-minder to a crčche as we didn’t think that he was getting enough stimulation and following this his bed time was around 7.30/8.00. Prior to this it was 9.30/10.00 before he would sleep. We suspected that she was putting him down for a nap during the day.

So for 4-5 months he was sleeping great (the odd bad night where he wouldn’t go to bed for us and particularly when we took the side off his cot) but in general he wouldn’t even see 9 O’ Clock.

Last night he didn’t go to sleep until 11.00 pm!!!!!! But its not like it’s a one off,. Since Sunday his bed time (or time he falls asleep) have been like this:

Sunday 11.00 (and only after he got in to bed with us)
Monday (9.30)
Tuesday (9.30)
Wednesday 11.00 (and only after I squeezed in to bed with him)

I might add that despite being kept nice and busy at crčche we also now have to spend 2-3 hours outside after crčche/work trying to tie him out. 

Nothing has changed with his routine. He goes up stairs (these days at around 9 – no point even trying earlier) has a bath (not all the time) uses the toilet, cleans his teeth, PJs, story in bed with milk in a cup and then kisses, light out.. MAYHAM!!!

I know that he needs to learn to settle without that cursed “dodu” but how do I do that? The best I can come up with is the plan for this evening which is to go swimming in the evening (and every evening until eternity) so he’s so tired that he goes right asleep thereby learning how to sleep. I don’t want to get him in the habit of me being in bed with him or him with us but Im seriously considering it!!!!

I’ve read horror stories online from Mums with kids that took 4-5 months to learn to sleep after dodus. I wish I could be one of those parents that takes these things in their strides, but you can cut the air with a knife at night in our house. We are usually such a nice happy house but this is taking its toll on us all. DS is just tired and cranky. DH is inside on his own in the evening  making dinner, cleaning etc as Im outside with DS trying to tire him out and Im just shattered. I have to be up at 5.30 every morning and in order to get the things I need to do in the evening its later and later by the time I go to bed. I got 5 hours sleep last night!

Please help!!!! Anything….

Offline jessmum46

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Re: How to teach 3 year old to sleep without soother/pacifier
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2016, 13:20:52 pm »
Hugs, sounds exhausting! 

How are you managing to settle him to sleep currently?  Do you need to stay with him?  Is he asking for the soother? 

Also, could you please tell us what time he is usually awake in the mornings?  I wonder if perhaps he rather than being not tired is actually very overtired and hyped up at bedtime (particularly after a few late nights) and that is making this even tougher?

Will look out for your reply :)


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Offline Jbyrne3

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Re: How to teach 3 year old to sleep without soother/pacifier
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2016, 15:31:24 pm »
Hi Katherine

I'd never even considered that and it makes senses. He's up at 7.30-7.45 every day. DH has to reluctantly wake him to take him to crčche.

At the moment, yes we do stay in the room with him. DH sits in an armchair beside his bed.

No he doesn't look for the soother, but in his sleep I can hear him sucking as if it were still in his mouth

Offline jessmum46

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Re: How to teach 3 year old to sleep without soother/pacifier
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2016, 18:33:48 pm »
I would definitely say to bring bedtime earlier.  Not quite sure how far past 3 he is but even my early nap-dropping quite low sleep needs DD was doing a 12h day at this age, possibly even a bit shorter at times.  The fact he needs to be woken every morning suggests he needs more sleep than he is currently getting.  I would perhaps consider bringing bedtime right back to 7pm for a while to allow for some catch up while he gets used to not having the soother. 

Before he gave up the soother would you usually sit with him at bedtime while he went to sleep?  Or could he be left in his room alone to settle himself?  May just affect how I'd suggest to approach bedtime resistance :)
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Offline Jbyrne3

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Re: How to teach 3 year old to sleep without soother/pacifier
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2016, 08:08:43 am »
Katherine, thanks so much for your assistance. You've no idea how much it means to us.

We are definitely going to follow your suggestion this evening and try to get him up to bed earlier. We brought him up at 8.45 last night and there was obviously resistance but he finally got to sleep at 9.45. Which is an hour earlier than the previous night!! Doesn't really feel like it was a win though!!!  He was saying all evening that he was tired and even when he was in bed. We asked him why he wasn't going to sleep if he was tired and he said that it was too hard.

Regarding your question as to whether we were in the room with him with the soother. it depended. What we tried to do was put him down (around 8) and I'd say that I had to go outside to tidy up and let him hear me outside the door until he feel asleep and then if he occasionally didn't sleep or got up then we would stay with him. When I think about it.. those times seem like a dream now!!!

Offline Jbyrne3

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Re: How to teach 3 year old to sleep without soother/pacifier
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2016, 08:04:57 am »
So by way of an update we have started putting DS up earlier so over the weekend it was 8.00 and still it was taking him 2 hours to fall asleep. Around 10 each night. He keeps saying that he doesn’t know how to fall asleep.  I don’t think that it’s a tired/over tired issue, I think that without that “dodi” he doesn’t know how to self settle. Anyone have any ideas what to do?

If I ever get time to think about number two, they will be a “dodi” free baby.. that’s for sure!!

Offline Scottishmummy

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Re: How to teach 3 year old to sleep without soother/pacifier
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2016, 06:59:11 am »
Hi!

Have you tried talking him through how to go to sleep? At 3 his language should be good enough to understand this.

My DS can self settle but sometimes gets wired at BT or upset in night and won't go back to sleep. We talk him through softly, slowly and gently...

"Lie down
Cuddle catty (his favourite soft toy)
Close your eyes
Big breaths
Sleepy time"

And repeat until he is relaxing then we get quieter and fade out & leave the room.

If you try this you might need to do it until he is asleep at first but could then fade out sooner as he gets the hang of it until you can just say it once or twice and then leave room for him to self settle.

Also- does he have anything to replace the dummy? Favourite soft toy etc? That might help too?
"Touchy/Spirited" DS


"Textbook" DD