My two year old is dependant on her dummy and bottle before bed, I also made the mistake when she was young to rock her to sleep, I now cant get her out of that habit…

shes started waking up to 12 times a night and for no real reason either – SOMETIMES she’ll want her bottle but most times she wants to just be rocked back to sleep.
How can I try and stop this or train her out of it?
Im one very tired mumma who works full time and Im at my wits ends. I just don’t know what to do anymore :(


Posted by ally, 6th April 2016


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  • We had trouble when our son was 2, i used to put 6 dummies in bed so he could always find one! Again as i said on other posts. Bribary! If you know bub is warm, fed etc then you just need to stand your ground. its hard it really is but now we have a little boy at 3 who sleeps!



  • Depending on how much you’ve tried and how over it you are, you could also look into a sleep consultant who would come out to your house and show you step by step how to settle your bub at night time. They can be costly but I found it useful to look at it as an investment. It cost us quite a bit of money but we had instant results with better sleep for everyone which made it easier for me to be functioning at work. Money well spent for us.



  • Oh I sympathise because my 19 month old wakes during the night too! I’ve only just started jight weaning and it’s going well. Have a plan and implant it slowly… So have a spot for her dummy and bottle and maybe put an extra one there. Then for the first 3-4 nights tell her she can get her dummy/bottle from the special spot and help direct her there. Then on the next few nights go in but don’t get it for her, firmly and gently tell her she can get her bottle/dummy. The. The next few nights try say it from just inside the door but don’t go fully into the room. Hopefully she starts getting it herself



  • All my kids had phases like this but eventually overcame them. It’s really hard when you’re going through it though. Good luck – if you try a new routine stick with it as it may not work right away.



  • This is so tough. All my kds had phases like this but grew out of them in a few months. Telling you to hang on isn’t much help, but it is possible this could happen.



  • Does she have a doll she likes? At bed time you could get her to do all the things you do for her to this doll making a special bed etc and let her know that she needs to make sure dolly doesn’t wake by seeing her awake so she needs to sleep also, it may just put her focus on not waking dolly and soothe her knowing dolly is right next to her and she has responsibility. Every child is different and I understand exactly how you feel, I have 2 girls and 2 boys sometimes anything is worth a try. Goodluck.



  • She needs to learn to ‘self-settle’. Change her routine and start cancelling out the bottle (change to a sippy cup before bed) so that she doesn’t associate the bottle with sleeping. I has pretty hard on my kids, if they were waking for no reason, I would wait for quite a while before going in to their room. Once I went in the room, I would not say anything other than “lay down, its night-time, go back to sleep” and then walk out….eventually they get the message.



  • My daughter was like that, her problem was when she was waking she was getting up and coming to our room making her even more awake. I slept with her all night for about a week and every time she woke up just settled her straight back down with minimum fuss and she just started sleeping through, now she is great :)



  • Make a new bedtime routine. Buy her a new drink cup (non-spill) Give her warm milk to drink as you read her a story. A kiss and a hug before the story helps as you read she should just fall asleep. Walk away. (make sure she has been to the toilet before she goes to the bedroom or a clean nappy)



  • I bought a scentsy and put a lavender bar in it. My daughter stopped waking during the night because of the lavender smell but if she did wake she could see around her room and went back to sleep unassisted



  • I don’t you can. if there meant to wake they will. My 2 year old has been since birth. I can’t find a reason except for night terrors when he wakes up screaming and wont let anyone console him.



  • I would definitely seek professional advice as there may also be separation anxiety involved. If she is going to childcare you may wish to find out how long she sleeps for and whether she goes to sleep on her own. Also check what she is being given to eat during the day. Or there could be something that is triggering to much alertness or energy when she should be tired enough to sleep all night. Is there any indication that she may have tummy discomfort at all? Is she drinking milk at night at all? Maybe she has developed a milk / dairy allergy.



  • Is there a child and youth health nurse / GP that you could see to ask about this? Waking so frequently might be teething or something else that is upsetting the child which they could help with. Maybe the child is napping too much during the day in childcare and just isn’t tired? Perhaps they are loosing their dummy and waking to try and find it (in which case a strap might help). While the child might have got into habits like being rocked to sleep this doesn’t explain the frequent waking. Even if the child self-settled I’d want to know why they wake so much and look at fixing that.


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