There’s nothing quite like sleep issues to push a tired mother to the edge! When an exhausted mum of two asked for advice on how to help her toddler stop fighting sleep, our community of very helpful parents came to the party with the type of practical and friendly advice that can only come with years of personal parenting experience.
Here’s the advice they had to offer to help both her and her daughter through this tough patch:
#HELP! I have just had a baby boy (10 days old) and now my 2 year old daughter is really fighting both her day nap and bedtime. She used to be such an amazing sleeper and was also great at self settling, but now she makes me or my husband sit with her until she falls asleep. This is fine now whilst my husband is off work, but when he goes back I’m not going to be able to in case my baby needs me. She is still in a cot and has toys she takes to bed with her. She seems scared if we go to leave and absolutely screams if we do leave. Please help!
Someone’s got a case of toddler FOMO
Your 2 year old is probably acting out to get your attention. I understand that we can’t be in two places at once as much as we would like too but maybe you need to look at how much time you are spending with her. You said ‘in case my baby needs me’, your other baby needs you too. – Amanda Potter
Ugh, we got this at 2, too. It SUCKED. Two year old sleep regression, often triggered by big life changes (i.e. new baby…)
Only thing we could do was provide extra cuddles and sit on the couch in her room til she was asleep. She was just super clingy and, like your girl, seemed scared. We couldn’t just leave her to cry it out because she seemed genuinely frightened. Just give her love and extra cuddles when you don’t have a baby on you, and she’ll get past it. It sucks though. – Pipi Lamb
It’s a mix of sibling jealousy and she’s honestly scared and doesn’t understand her new baby brother. Both of you need to spend some separate time with her her in there and try to explain things like, “I can play with you for a few minutes but because your little brother is so little, he can’t do things you do so he needs our help which doesn’t mean we don’t love you any less. We love both of you equally. You’re both special to us but since he’s a baby right now, crying is his only way to communicate”.
If she’s at that stage yet, let her try to help out, like handing the bottle to him. It’s gonna take her time to get use to him. Her sleeping schedule will eventually get back to normal. – Michelle Pyatt
Mummy’s Little Helper
I have a just-turned-3 daughter and a 12 day old baby boy. I find it easier to let her stay up during the day and she goes straight to bed at night time. Sometimes if she fights her day sleep I let her hop into our bed and watch some tv for “quiet” time.
I also let her be involved by her helping to get nappies and getting her to gently pat him on the back to burp after feeding. Even when I’m feeding she sometimes sits next to me and we watch a show together or play easy things.. – Tracey Gill
She’s been the centre of all your attention until 10 days ago, now this baby comes along and suddenly Mummy is too busy for her and everyone else is fussing over the baby too and she feels left behind in the chaos (that’s just how they see it). She still needs her mummy, she needs reassurance and she needs love. Involve her somehow. My 17 month old got quite bent out of shape when her baby sister came home … I found involving her was a MASSIVE game changer, even simple things like, “Do you think you can help Mummy?” And let her get a nappy for the baby when it’s change time. Let her hold bubby’s hand/foot while they feed. Get her a baby of her own. We got my first her own baby about 2 months before bub was born in preparation, and she would sit beside me and feed her bubby while I fed her little sister.
Good luck Mumma but remember you have two babies that need you now. The baby will actually be less maintenance than the 2 year old as his needs are much simpler than hers during this time. Most importantly, it does get easier. ? – Carissa Thompson
It’s a time of adjustment – for everyone
Cuddle her to bits, cuddle her to sleep, cuddle her again, hold her, let her sleep on the little fold-out lounge in the room with you. Whatever, let her feel safe, special, and that her family is there for her. – Trish Anne
Sounds like she is struggling to adjust to her new brother. That’s tough for all of you! Lots of reassurance and cuddles and try to make life for her as ‘normal’ as possible. It will pass! It took 2-3 weeks for my son to settle after his brother was born and it was quite upsetting at first but over time he adjusted. Good luck! – Sarah Pretorius
Until 10 days ago, you were hers. You met all her needs; now you are saying she isn’t as important as this new baby who needs you now. You need to take the time to help her transition to having a new baby, or things will only get worse. Fix this with love and attention. – Kelly Hardy
Time for a Big Girl’s Bed?
Maybe it’s time for a big bed, that way you could sit with her while you hold / feed baby. I used to just lay in my bed with my older daughter while I breastfed my baby. Then just transfer her to her bed when she was asleep.
People have this expectation that little kids should just go to bed in the dark in a room by themselves yet there’s some adults that can’t sleep when they’re partners aren’t in their bed ??♀️- Amelia Law
My little boy was the same when I had my second so somedays instead of a nap he’d have rest time (maybe watch a movie or just kids shows, or read books) also when my second boy was old enough my mum would mind him and I’d take my first out for a couple of hours to Gymboree (so he’d know that he was still very important to me and that I loved him just as much)
My little boy was also in a “big boy bed” since before he turned 2 which had helped with his sleep because he loved being a “big boy” – Clare Fisher
You can read all the helpful advice given, on the original Facebook post here:
#HELP! I have just had a baby boy (10 days old) and now my 2 year old daughter is really fighting both her day nap and…
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