My two-year old has always had trouble settling and sleeping through the night, but recently the problem seems to have become an awful lot worse. It all came to a head one night a few weeks ago after he woke at midnight and didn't drop off again till 4am, despite our best efforts with the "controlled crying" technique. That was when we knew we had to do something proactively, and soon.
After seeking advice from various different sources (including this forum), we opted to try Supernanny's "Stay in Bed" technique. She describes it in her book and there are various clips of it on the TV show (e.g. this clip~ 24 mins & 29mins ). She says it is the best approach for a child of his age.
Basically it involves making sure your child has eaten and drunk well and carrying out a calming bed-time routine, putting your child in bed and sitting in the room with them, sitting side-on and without making eye-contact. The first time he gets out, you say "It's bedtime." and put him back. The second time, you say "Bedtime". Any subsequent times, you say NOTHING- ignore the screams, the questions, the begging for food, drink, etc- just lift him up and put him back.
It's all very well. But I've been doing it for almost a week, and so far the number of times I have had to put him back to bed (in chronological order) have been: 40,23,21,4,8,18. Last night he woke at 3am and (despite me sitting silently in his room after he woke) would not settle till 5am.
On the TV show, the technique always works very quickly and effectively when done correctly. But as far as I can see, I have followed everything to the letter, and I certainly have not once said a word to him when I shouldn't. The only doubt I have is that sometimes I lie down, rather than sit when I come in after he's woken in the middle of the night (can you blame me?)- don't know if that's important.
Has anyone got any advice on what I may be doing wrong, or maybe just some encouragement that it can take a long time?
One last point- I know there are loads of contrasting techniques out there, and I'm sure each has its merits. But I'd really rather stick with this technique now I've started, rather than start trying another one. Simply because changing it is distressing and confusing for him.