thread: Did this happen with your toddler?

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2007
    Gold Coast

    Did this happen with your toddler?

    DD has, for the past 6m at least, settled herself happily to sleep every night/day. I could kiss her goodnight and leave after stories, and wouldn't hear another peep.
    Now suddenly, literally overnight, she has started screaming blue murder as soon as I lift her into bed. She wants cuddles/more milk/my bed/more cuddles/another book, etc.
    I pretty sure it's a 'testing the limits' thing, but the problem is, I have never done controlled crying, and I don't really want to start now.
    She won't allow any form of 'in bed' comforting until she has gone through at least a half hour of screaming (it goes from a tantrum to genuinely upset) and even then won't settle for ages (tonight the whole thing was two hours long) I went from calm to firm to angry to furious to shut-down mode.
    So my questions are:
    Why is she doing it?
    What can I do other than leave her to cry (really not an option, but neither do I want to completely give in each time she wants out of her bed.)
    If it happened with your toddler, was it a phase or did it turn into a long-term behaviour?

    I think I'm starting to ramble a bit - probably some burst blood vessels in my brain - I'll leave it at that. Ta

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Add fionas on Facebook

    Apr 2007
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC

    A bit. Not as extreme but I did notice that she was resisting bed.

    But it could have been because we moved her to a new room. I think what I found was that I kind of took it for granted that she would know after she'd drunk her milk that it was time for sleep and promptly take her to bed. I think she resented being taken to bed when she wanted to carry on playing/hanging out with us and I think she's just at that age where she's kind of saying, "I know this has been my routine for months but the routine now sucks, let's have a different one."

    What seems to have made a bit of a difference is repeating to her, "have milk, then sleepies," so she has lots of time to get used to the idea.

    I used to let her play in her room for a bit before bed but I've gradually cut down on that playtime and read her a story while she's in bed instead.

    Good luck! I'm sure you'll find something that works.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Add krysalyss on Facebook

    Feb 2007
    on the move.....

    Yes - we go through periods of great sleep then really resisting sleep. When we are going through a bad period (like now! ha ha) I always think about where we could be going wrong. But then it seems to pass by itself. Ultimately you cant force someone else to sleep so I just try and tire him out beforehand. When he has his clingy phases sleep is a lot harder. Big hugs. You are not alone, and it probably has very little to do with anything you are doing.

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Sep 2006
    the mulberry bush

    i'm going to ask the obvious question and i know the answer will be yes, but do you have a bedtime routine, so she knows what to expect...??

    my 2 year old dd goes through this phase everynow and then, as i have a single bed in her room (for when she transitions from the cot) and when she is ill i would often sleep in it, so i think she got used to this and would cry and demand for me to stay with her and sleep in the 'tinkerbell bed' (tinkerbell themed doona)...

    anyways she still asks every night, but what i started saying to her was that mummy had to go and clean up and wash all the dishes and wash her milk bottle out (i'd make out that i had lots of important jobs to do so couldn't possibly sleep in the tinkerbell bed'.... at first she would scream blue murder but she now accepts it, very willingly, she knows that when she goes to bed (day and night) thats when mummy gets her jobs done....

    you could try gently talking to her while she drinks her milk and soothing her and talking to her about whats going to happen next "dd's going to drink all her milk, then get a big cuddle from mummy, then get aaaaalllll tucked up in bed and snuggy with teddy, and we're going to say ni-nights and then mummys going to do the cleaning up and i'll be back to check on you'......

    good luck i know they are all so different and hard to ignore when they sound so upset, a lot of the time they can be more furious than upset that they are not getting their own way.

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Nov 2006

    It sounds like she you have quite ao good routine so I would say it's just a stage! Not very helpful I know but honestly sometimes they just do things for NO GOOD REASON!!!

    About 2 weeks ago Mackenzie was waking every night 2-3 times and the only way to comfort her was cuddles in bed where she fell asleep with us but then proceeded to toss and turn (not a great night for us!). This went on for a week and then we just said "enough!". She cried it out for about an hour and that was it - back to normal 12 hour sleeps.

    We thought maybe teeth but no, we though unwell but no. My grilfriend told me that sometimes when kids are going through a change .ie learning to walk or a new skill of some sort then they are out of sorts for the week or so before that. No idea if there is any truth in it but hey! I'll go with it!

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2007
    Gold Coast

    Fionas - I think you're right. A couple of weeks ago, she had to get out of bed for some reason and noticed that mum and dad were having dinner. She's never seen that before and I assume she now wants in on the action that's going on after she's in bed.

    Thanks Krysalyss, she has had bad phases before, but this one is just a lot more extreme. I know it will pass, it's the 'getting through it now' bit that bothers me - lol.

    Emma, yes we do, and always have had, a bedtime routine that was working well. I have tried outlining what is coming next - she is old enough to understand - but still the screams start when I put her down. I have also tried telling her I will be back soon to give another kiss, but I haven't tried telling her I have a specific job to do, so I will give that a go.

    Jordie, I agree with your friend. I think there is a lot going on in her head atm - lots of new words. Hopefully she will get over it and back to normal...sooner would be much better than later!

    Thanks for taking the time to answer everyone. I am a lot calmer today and have decided to just do what I have to atm to make bedtime a happy time for us both.