Really struggling with 18 month old and can't cope

(16 Posts)
Gab3478 Sun 20-Apr-14 19:51:13

Hello everyone

I'm just posting in here for a rant really as I don't have anyone else to talk to. I also want to see if anyone else's toddler is behaving like mine at this age.

I have a nearly 18 month old DD, and am really struggling at the moment. I have posted before about her nonexistent sleep, which is still awful. Currently we are going through stages of looooong night wakings screaming crying, me resettling, only to wake up 5 minutes later. I am totally beside myself with exhaustion.

However as well as the lack of sleep she has over the past couple of weeks turned into a clingy fussy whiny little girl. If I even so much as leave her side she screams blue murder. I have to carry her everywhere and if I dare do something like try and prepare a meal she will cling to my leg for dear life. She whines ALL day with me, like a 'mm mm mm' noise. I went back to work a few months ago part time and she stays with my parents in the week. They always report back what a joy she is, she is never like this with them and seems to be happy all day. What gives? Is this normal for this age? When does the constant whining and whinging stop?

I feel like the most awful person in the world that I a) clearly seem to be doing something wrong with parenting that she still doesn't sleep and is clearly so unhappy with me in the day and b) even worse I have turned into a horrible, miserable person. I snap at DH constantly, can barely raise a smile most days. I cry all the time thinking about all the babies suffering in the world and yet I'm complaining about being tired, I worry about the most stupid of things like what if something happens to me and DD has no mummy in future etc.

Like I say I'm sorry to rant on here, but a couple of my friends have lost children so I daren't talk to any of them and the rest don't have kids so not sure they would understand or want to hear. DH basically hates me at the moment so I can't open up to him.

AwfulMaureen Sun 20-Apr-14 20:04:43

You sound depressed. Those awful thoughts aren't "normal" and you can get some help to get rid of them. flowers Go to the GP and explain...they won't judge you at all...it's VERY normal to get down and anxious at periods in our lives.

StrangeGlue Sun 20-Apr-14 20:14:11

Hey you don't sound like a bad parent you sound like a saint. However, you sound a lot likewise before my pnd was diagnosed and I got pills.

Your folks don't look after her with zero hours sleep and are, I assume, both present with her - makes such a difference.

The whining is something they save for parents - hopefully it's just a stage!

Have you spoken to your gp about her sleep?

Bumpsadaisie Sun 20-Apr-14 20:22:51

It sounds like you're in a spiral and its hard to say which came first, clingy child, sad mum, fed up dad. It doesn't matter really.

You sound like you are mildly depressed, understandable, lots of people are when they have small children as it is such hard work! Mine are a bit older, I am in a bit of an overwhelmed phase myself at the mo - life is so busy, my eldest only four but at school with all the organising that entails, and my youngest is 2.5 and its like living with a (very cute) Roman Emperor.

First off, children have miserable phases when they are just, well, miserable. I remember 18 mths being grim with my second, I think he was cutting his first molars, sleep went to pot, intense separation anxiety. Don't take it as an indictment of your parenting that she is only miserable with you. If anything it shows the strength of her attachment to you. It means that you have succeeded in creating that bond with her, which is the primary goal of the first two years and the most important thing of all. It doesn't seem it but her protesting at separation from you is a sign things are well.

If she is miserable it is probably teeth and/or something developmental going on, she is probably about to get going on words, and whenever they are about to do anything new it can wreak havoc with sleep.

Little ones also have the most incredibly sensitive antennae and they pick up your mood like a Dyson. If you are miserable and down, she will be too.

Before they are two ish you just constantly cycle from good to bad phase, what with teething and developmental leaps. Its impossible to keep up and can be stressful. You're in a bad phase at the mo. But in three mths time, it will be summer, she will be closer to two, things are very likely to settle down until you hit the full on twos at about 30 mths .

If I were you I would see my GP to see if you could get some mild A-Ds short term. I would have a heart to heart with my other half, acknowledge that you are both feeling miserable and try and work out how to make things better and remember what brought you together in the first place.

And I would think about what is the best way to get through the day with a clingy child (for me it was going OUT, my two were much less whiny when out, perhaps because we were always together and they felt safe, and also stimulated and not bored).

Good luck. It will be better as she grows up. Its especially hard first time round (is she your first?) as you can't see the next stage coming up. But soon enough she will be trotting off to preschool with her book bag, potty trained, telling you jokes and being such fun. It's only a year or so away, try if you can to enjoy what good bits you find of this age as soon she will be much more independent, a really separate person. You might even feel wistful for how she was at this age! smile

Good luck.

DeadCert Sun 20-Apr-14 20:25:10

Oh, this was me with DS. Saved it all up for me, I clearly remember sitting at my Mum's dining table crying my eyes out and wailing "he hates me, he moans at me ALL day long and then is lovely for everyone else." She said "of course, he knows we're not his Mum, he thinks you can fix everything!"

Looking back, I was terribly sleep deprived and really depressed.

Best advice I can think of is, be kind to yourself, get out and about as much as you can, sleep with her in the day if you can - seriously, get in the bed with her and have a sleep. It's nice for bonding and she might settle a bit more, I bet she'll love it. Don't worry about "making a rod" and all that bollocks. She loves you so much and is counting on you for everything, it's bloody exhausting though.

Keep kind to yourself OP.

DeadCert Sun 20-Apr-14 20:27:09

Great post by bumpsadaisie, do what she says!

teacher54321 Sun 20-Apr-14 20:29:40

You poor thing, sounds terribly hard. I h

Bumpsadaisie Sun 20-Apr-14 20:30:40

PS Not getting sleep plays absolute havoc with everything. No wonder you are feeling down, and like you can't cope. If you put her in bed with you is she content?

My two were like this when they were at their most anxious. I slept with them for a period until they calmed down a bit. It was the only way anyone would have been able to function.

teacher54321 Sun 20-Apr-14 20:31:46

Oops-pressed send too soon! They always save their worst behaviour for us and crap sleep is the worst thing. Can you do anything to minimise impact? Set up a travel cot in the spare room and you sleep in there with her? I find that just physically having to get out of bed is hideous.

Fingers crossed things improve ASAP x

LittlePink Sun 20-Apr-14 20:55:37

My LO was exactly like you described at that age. Shes 22 mths now and although she has some bad weeks of constant whining, she seems to have turned a corner now her speech has developed in leaps and bounds over the last couple of weeks.

18 mths was a really hard time for us. Really hard. Theres a big sleep regression and my LO almost gave up naps completely for a time or only doing 20 mins all day and being grouchy and miserable, clingy, whingy. I couldn't do anything without her putting her arms up and clinging to me for dear life. Bedtimes were a disaster and a real battle to get her out of the bath, dressed and into her gro bag. It was exhausting and i felt depressed looking back on it now. The height of her separation anxiety hit around this time and it was so hard. Shes still not a breeze by any stretch of the imagination but its easier definitely as I can ask her to use her words and she can answer me in basic terms.

It does get easier I think but im only saying that because my LO is being lovely this week. If I was writing this post last week I would have been saying something very different lol!

Mrs2boys Mon 21-Apr-14 07:43:11

Really, honestly I felt exactly the same as you. It's worth noting that I suffer with depression on and off and I was depressed when DS2 was around 18 months but he sounds a lot like your daughter. He whined and moaned and was clingy and generally unhappy 95% of the time. He moaned and frowned, collapsed into tears so easily and I can relate to the leg clinging too! It drove me insane. He was just so unhappy and it was only making me spiral into depression. I need to give you hope though! He's 2 now and generally pretty lovely. He still flares up easily (don't all 2 yr olds??) but the endless whinging and whining has stopped. He smiles and speaks in sentences and is just a WHOLE lot nicer to be around. For us it improved as his language developed from around 21 months. Just to reassure you, DS1 was exactly the same until he was about 21-22 months and could talk too. He drove me demented as well! A lot of it is frustration for them. It will get better. Take care of yourself, whinging toddlers are extremely difficult to like!

Paloma12 Mon 21-Apr-14 07:48:37

I found 12-24 months the hardest stage with my first daughter, and lo and behold, it's the same with my second daughter. I just don't like this phase - love babes in arms and children from about 2.5 upwards. It does get easier.

TheWorldAccordingToJC Mon 21-Apr-14 07:51:51

I'd suggest that your husband has a part in all of how you're feeling.

why does he 'hate' you? what is he, a ten year old in a strop?

slightlyconfused85 Mon 21-Apr-14 12:40:54

My DD is 17,5 months. She was a grumpy baby and from 12 to about 15 months was really whiney and clingy although better than baby because she could walk. It got much, much better with the breakthrough of her molars and canines, a different child. Perhaps your DD is suffering with the big teeth?

. This week she had a tummy bug, and it set her right back. She has been moany and clingy. She is quite a good sleeper normally, and on the nights that she isn't the following day she is a complete horror (like today). I find sleep seriously affects her mood - often a day or two of a good nap at home in her cot (rather than car or pushchair) and a nice early bedtime will sort her out again. Today she was put down for her nap 1/2 an hour early because she was so unbearable.

I think a lot of toddlers of this age go through whiney phases, they are quite frustrated and definitely worse for their mummies. My DD's childminder, and her grandparents always say how completely perfect she is and never complains, eats everything etc. etc. It's not just you, hang on in there. Why does your DH hate you? That is neither helpful or supportive - perhaps ask him if he would help you with your whiney daughter - she is his too and it would give you a few minutes peace.

Gab3478 Mon 21-Apr-14 19:19:28

Firstly thanks all for support and advice. Just reading these has made me feel so much better.

This is going to sound stupid but I was actually diagnosed with PND by a wonderful GP I had a couple of months after DD was born. She gave me unbelievable support, however unfortunately left the practise and I had to see another doctor. He did some 'testing' and basically summarised a few months ago that I was past it and I came off my anti depressants. I was feeling loads better then, it hadn't occurred to me until now that perhaps it could be depression, it feels so different this time around. Maybe I'm linking my feelings to my DD behaviour when actually I'm the problem. Can PND 'come back'? I'm aware typing this I sound very stupid!

It seems like the whining etc is pretty common for this age so I guess I will ride through it, if I think back after every milestone she hits (crawling, walking etc) she becomes the most loveliest little girl, it's almost a relief of all the frustrations I guess when she achieves something. Her speech is coming on at an astonishing rate so again thank you to those that suggested these milestones may be causing it - I think when she can actually articulate what she needs it will be easier. I just wish someone would give me more patience, honestly having a limpet stuck to my leg all day really can be so trying and I do not deal with the clingyness well!

Thank you all so much again - I'm going to bookmark this and re read the comments whenever I feel really down. You have all been such a help x

StrangeGlue Wed 23-Apr-14 19:53:37

Hope you feel better soon!

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