a worried and sad mum to a 15mo

(85 Posts)
MikeTheShite Sat 28-Dec-13 08:33:27

hello,
I am desperately searching for advice regarding my 15mo dd. I am a single mum and so far she's been a delight.
I had her in a great routine of 12-2.30pm nap and 6-30-8am bedtime.
Lately however she's refused to go to bed and has been up at 4am. She was in a toddler bed perfectly but last night I had to drive her around our village to get her off, that was 8, up at four.
That however isn't what is worrying me most. Its the tantrums. She throws she hits and she bites, only me and no one else has witnessed it. She was awful Christmas day and she laid on the floor screaming for nearly a hour, banging her fists after being told no for throwing.
Yesterday in the car I picked her up from her Paternal grandparents who said she had been an angel and put her in the car for a two hour trip at her nap time.
She slept for twenty minutes and woke. she sat screaming everything I passed her she threw, she emptied milk all over the seat. She pulled the straps and twisted around to get out. I stopped three times in twenty minutes and ended up crying myself. my only option in the end was to drown her out.
I don't have family close by to take her my real break is naptimes, she sees her dad 48 hours a month. I'm full of cold and feel ill. I suffer with depression and axiety which I am medicated. im so embarrassed to write this and its taken a lot so please don't flame me. I apologise for the length of this, I just feel such a failure.

Sillybillybob Sat 28-Dec-13 08:37:30

You're not a failure!

It all sounds pretty normal to me - especially hour long tantrums after being told no.

I know you want her to keep her nap but perhaps you may need to think about dropping it as that could be affecting her night time sleep.

Hopefully someone wiser will be along in a minute but why would you be flamed for doing your best? It's a tough job this parenting lark x

RandomMess Sat 28-Dec-13 08:37:37

I would get her checked out at the drs in case it's something like ear ache which can be viral and last for over a week. Have you tried giving her pain relief before bed to see if it makes a difference?

If this behaviour has coincided with suddently not sleeping I would imagine it's because she is utterly exhausted.

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Sat 28-Dec-13 08:38:32

You are not a failure! I think she sounds like a normal 15 month old. smile

I think it is a really frustrating age because they want to be independent but they don't understand as much as a two year old or even an 18 month old.

My 15 month old has tantrums too. I cuddle her and if she is kicking or trying to bite I sometimes copy her which makes her laugh or put her in the buggy and push her round till she goes to sleep (it's usually when she's tired).

It's really hard work but sounds like you are doing a great job. flowers

MikeTheShite Sat 28-Dec-13 08:39:56

thank you for the replies the relief is immense. I will get her in the doctors too

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Sat 28-Dec-13 08:40:06

Aargh that was so clumsily worded! Obviously I don't kick or bite DD! I copy her noises etc. not the violence. blush

MikeTheShite Sat 28-Dec-13 08:42:04

Gunpowder its tempting grin

addictedtosugar Sat 28-Dec-13 08:44:39

Hey, sounds like you've hit a rough time.

Three things spring to mind - the tantrums sound like a version of the toddler tantrums. Not great, but she is trying to work out how the world works. My youngest is a year older, but we have just had 20 mins of trying to get his nappy back out of the bin, as he wants it back on. That has also involved lying on the floor kicking and thumping it. No throwing is perfectaly acceptable for you to say, and she needs to know. Not plea sent for you, but think you just have to ignore - I tend to go and do something in a different room, and look in every 5 mins - especially if it goes quiet!

Demon child after angelic visit to GP. Yep. Think the effort of being good is hard work, and mine are always horrible after a visit.

Sleep. Much as you love the nap time, is it worth cutting it a bit shorter, to see if that keeps her sleeping later in the morning? It sounds like a lot of sleep to me, but then neither of mine slept...... By 25 mths (so less than a year from where you are now), DS1 wasn't napping at all. Maybe try a week of 2 hr naps, and see what happens?

Sounds like your doing a good job. If you can with the tantrums, distract before they hit full strength - tickles sometimes work here. Otherwise, leave them to it, and have something ready to do when they snap out of it.

Hope you have a good day

RandomMess Sat 28-Dec-13 08:45:16

The tantrums tbh if she is safe and not in immediate danger I'd just walk off an wait until she's calmed down or try the cuddle approach - it depends on her personality which one she responds to best.

It is all down to frustration on their part with tiredness and hunger playing a part in making them trigger more easily.

prettykedi Sat 28-Dec-13 08:47:23

I know your only breaks are when she's asleep - it was the same for me - but I do think you might be expecting her to sleep a bit too much - I think about 12 or 13 hours in total in any 24 hours is about as much as they can manage, so if you can cut the midday nap down to 1 hour and then put her to bed at say 7 or 7.30 in the evening, then she'll sleep perhaps right through till 7 or 7.30 in the morning.

I remember having an awful battle when my child started not wanting the midday sleep. I really, really needed her to have it because I so needed the break, but she wasn't having it. So after a month or so of real battles, I gave up on the idea, and she slept much better at night when she didn't have the midday nap.

I don't imagine this is the answer to it all, but I think your dd is showing signs of not wanting that midday nap.

I am sure it will all be ok - most things with children are just a phase - at least this is what I always tell myself - and the phases only last a few months before the next challenge arrives!!

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Sat 28-Dec-13 08:47:29

Oh and my DD is also a delight for everyone else too and only has tantrums with me and occasionally DH.

They obviously feel extremely secure with us and know we will still love them even when they are being ghastly. wink

Poor you. I have a 14 month old and it's so hard. Plus you're doing it on your own, I don't think I could!!!
My DD has two naps one for about 45 mins in the am then a bit later in the afternoon for about 1 1/2 hours. Maybe it's too long in the afternoon? She also has toddler tantrums. Sometimes I manage to distract her but other times I just have to walk away!! I think turning up the volume was the only option!
Sounds normal but u are doing a great job!!

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Sat 28-Dec-13 08:49:23

Mike grin grin

Knit2togtbl Sat 28-Dec-13 08:52:50

Re the tantrums my philosophy was "if the audience has left the room there's no one for the actor to play to play to" so i would make sure he was safe then walk away.
hang in there- it will pass.

MikeTheShite Sat 28-Dec-13 08:53:36

thank you everyone. will try the nap. The problem is she used to go and get in bed on her own as she loves sleep.
The other issue is I cant actually cope with her being up until seven I don't think sad

Could she be having teeth trouble? DS is 20m and has been extra tantrumy/fractious lately, and it has coincided with two of his molars cutting through.
I really feel for you - DS is also extremely, er, 'strong-minded', and when having a particularly epic tantrum, he bashes his head against the floor. Ended up with a big bruise and a lump when he did it on a stone floor the other day sad
I wish I could offer more helpful advice. We went through a bad bedtime phase at the same sort of age - it would take me an hour and a half to get him to sleep (and that was usually only because I had 'given in' and climbed into his cotbed with him) and I would regularly end up in tears. However now as a general rule, he goes to bed like a dream. I hope this is a phase which is over soon for you too thanks

catchingzeds Sat 28-Dec-13 08:57:18

Sympathy from me hmm
We have a 16 month old DS and has been having the same tantrums for the last month. I know how draining they are. Our eldest never went through this stage so it has been a shock! We've had guests the last few days and he had been an angel, this morning has been constant shouting and laying on the floor screaming.

Sleep wise we're struggling too, DS still wakes 2-3 times a night. I think the secret is getting them to drop off by themselves. We had sussed this but teething has messed it all up again.

I know I've not been very helpful but thought it might be comforting to know that others are experiencing the same problems. It must be very hard doing it by yourself, I in been in tears a few times too and I have DH to help. Be kind to yourself and keep reminding yourself it won't be like this forever.

Doctorbrownbear Sat 28-Dec-13 09:00:34

I would take her to the doctors. Have you checked her teeth etc. MyDD has episodes of bad sleep but there is normally something that becomes apparent that has been bothering her. If not remember its a phase and probably won't last. My DD has had weeks of early wakig then suddenly will sleep like an angel.

JingleJohnsJulie Sat 28-Dec-13 09:05:27

Their sleep cycles are 45 minutes so rather than drop the nap, I'd aim for a 1.5 hour nap after lunch. If she won't go in her cot, could you take her to bed with you and both have a nap or take her out in her buggy? There are some good tips herefsmile

Agree that it could be worth getting her ears, throat and tummy checked at the doctors.

It might be worth teaching her a few signs, mine knew a few and although they did tantrum, it wasn't often, the signing really seemed to help. You should be able to get a book on it from your library. Agree too about ignoring tantrums. Dr Sears has some good tips too.

If you are away from family, do you get out much in the day to, playgroups, children's centre etc? Have you tried taking her swimming? Mine always fell asleep on the way home fsmile

MikeTheShite Sat 28-Dec-13 09:09:35

I cannot thank you enough for the replies.
Julie we do music groups twice a week at the family centre and go swimming once. I have to for my sanity.

JingleJohnsJulie Sat 28-Dec-13 09:21:14

Think I only went to the groups to keep me sane too! Not a single op aren't but DH works long hours and the days can be very long with a toddler can't they.

MikeTheShite Sat 28-Dec-13 09:41:02

We have a dog so have to walk him too but she will not sit in a pram. She's not walking yet but I have to take the trike everywhere its hell.
That is the one thing the paternal side have seen, the buggy issue

MikeTheShite Sat 28-Dec-13 09:47:17

also would you put her back in a cot. she's been doing fantastic in a bed but now I don't know. There is a stairgate on her door and previous mornings id hand her milk in bed and leave the gate undone for her to come into me

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 28-Dec-13 10:27:19

I agree about the sleep expectations; I would keep the nap but have it be 1.5 hours, and bed at 7. Make sure she gets lots of exercise in the day, and lots of fresh air, as this does wonders.
Also, do get her ears etc checked out, as earache can often be to blame for this kind of thing.
I think at this age, ds slept for about 1.5 hours after lunch, and then 7pm until 6 am at night.
He dropped his nap totally at 2 (the bugger) and I remember that feeling of "nooooo!" when that happened, as it was my time to tidy up, or lie on the sofa, or talk on the phone, and I didn't know how I was going to make it thru the day! The thing is, with children change is the only constant. You have to adapt to their changing needs. Maybe she needs more physical exercise, maybe her diet needs tweaking. Try different things and you may hit on the problem.
And you are not a failure! It's fucking hard raising a small child all alone!

MikeTheShite Sat 28-Dec-13 10:52:55

you've all been so kind thank you. its amazing what kind words can do

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