We’ve set some really bad habits with our 2.5 yo that go all the way back to infanthood. She was a really colicky baby and so we never really sleep trained her because any sleep was good sleep. I let her sleep in our bed after a while because I was so exhausted that it was easier for night feedings, which then became a habit that we never really broke. It also meant that when she did sleep in her crib we would go to her/pick her up when she woke up crying because if we don’t it would end up waking up our older child (escalating quickly from waking up whimpers to full out screaming meltdown).
Fast forward to now... she starts every night in her bed, but inevitably wakes up crying at some point and doesn’t stop until someone comes to get her. She doesn’t get up to come to our room even though she’s able to, but even if we’re able to get her to go back to sleep in her bed she’ll wake up usually within 30-45 min later to repeat. Part of this I think is due to the fact that she’s also a hair twirler (specifically mom’s - aka my - hair) and uses that as a soothing mechanism to fall asleep, so when she begins to come out of sleep she’ll reach out to twirl hair and if there isn’t someone there (read:me) she wakes up and melts down. We’ve tried dolls with hair for her to twirl, shifting to a lovie or other blanket, and many other means with no success. As a result she ends up in our bed most nights.
I would really love to help teach her to go back to sleep on her own and sleep the whole night through (in her own bed). Do you have any guidance or ideas??