Is my toddler crying excessively or is this normal? At end of tether.

(16 Posts)
DomesticGoddess31 Sun 03-Feb-13 19:56:59

I've posted a few times over the last year and a half about my DD (now 19mths) and her poor sleep and level of screaming. I never imagined we'd not have moved on by now but here we are.

She had reflux as a baby and would scream and scream and scream. She grew out of the reflux but has always struggled to sleep, particularly during developmental leaps (which feels like most of the bloody time). Basically she gets over tired very easily during leaps or nap transitions and screams bloody murder. She's just coming out the other side of yet another nap transition and develoment leap (throw in a few new teeth as well) that started on Christmas day.

She's slept through maybe half a dozen times, ever. The sleep deprivation is tough to take but what me and DH are finding even tougher is the screaming.

We have endured at least one episode of her screaming every single day since her birth. She is loud. Really loud. She is impossible to settle when she is having a screaming episode. Being with her/leaving her/rocking her/putting her down etc etc, we have tried everything, EVERYTHING. Sometimes something will work but then it won't work again. I often have to just walk out of her room and leave her screaming.

The feelings of anger, guilt and distress for me and DH are a heck of alot to bear. We cope with it, together, but its a horrible part of parenting that I never in a million years imagined I would have to deal with.

I know we're just coming out of another particularly bad patch so feeling a bit battle weary but it never seems to settle for long enough for us to recouperate properly before bam we've hit the next bad patch.

Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to ask is there anyone else out there who has been through similar and have a happy ending to tell me? Will she stop screaming once she can communicate whats bothering her?

DomesticGoddess31 Sun 03-Feb-13 20:01:16

I should add, she is otherwise a delight, very very cuddly and loving and caring and funny and clever grin

Tolly81 Sun 03-Feb-13 21:43:31

Sorry haven't been in a similar situation but wanted to offer sympathy until someone more helpful comes along. And congratulate you on getting though it so far.

Blessyou Sun 03-Feb-13 21:47:37

Sounds awful for you all sad
What triggers the screaming?
Does she scream in the day and/or the night?
How do you know she has outgrown the reflux? Could it be silent reflux?
I have much sympathy. Mt pfb didn't sleep through at all until he was 18months which was hell, but then along came psb and he still doesn't sleep through at 29months!!

My sympathies, DS is 20mo and also a screamer but its not every day any more. He's started doing normal crying a lot more, which is a huge relief as the angry/anguished screaming is so hard to cope with. I guess he grew out of it a bit since he's been walking more. Likewise he doesn't talk yet.

Yy to reflux too. Have you been back to the docs about it tho, maybe it's still an issue?
Have you ever tried calling Cry-sis?

DomesticGoddess31 Mon 04-Feb-13 07:17:01

Thank you all for replying. I'm certain she no longer has reflux. At the moment she's screaming at bedtime. She's absolutely fine at naptime, goes down like a dream (bliss!) but come bedtime as soon as me or DH get to the last page of her story she starts crying. We bought a cool star projecting nightlight turtle thing to keep her company, and have moved her bedtime later as we worked out she wasn't tired enough due to her nap moving later. Its helped, a couple of nights just recently DH has actually left the room without her screaming, but we're still getting screaming if she doesn't drop off within 5 nanoseconds. DH has to go and sit with her till she falls asleep. If I go back in she just rolls around and then I'm stuck there as if I leave all hell breaks loose.

She's waking up 2 or 3 times during the night at the moment as well. DH can go and settle her quickly but if I go in, again, I'm stuck as she screams if I leave.

Its massively better than it has been.....when I think of the dark old days of her screaming like we were killing her for hours and hours in the middle of the night I wonder how me and DH are still sane......and I know in my heart that it will continue to get better, especially once she's talking in sentences and can tell us whats worrying her. I'm just ready for it to not be every day now!

DomesticGoddess31 Mon 04-Feb-13 07:22:33

ps no We never tried calling Cry-sis, I'd never heard of it till I read about it on MN actually yesterday. I had a read on their website and to be honest I'm not sure theres anything they could say that would help. We've been through the worst of it and know we are doing everything possible to cope with it.

I just wanted a bit of sympathy really and some friendly mums to tell me to hang on in there and that it won't be like this forever. Think thats what I'm getting here smile

Sunshine200 Mon 04-Feb-13 07:51:25

Hi
I feel your pain. My dd is now 16 months, also had silent reflux so I know what that's like. Can't say if it's normal or not my my dd always cries before sleeping, at naps and night time, very rarely sleeps through the night. I took her to a sleep clunic just the other day for advice, itay be worth talking to your health visitor about this.
She is also a huge tantrum thrower during the day. Do you think it could be habit? They are so used to being rocked and held all the time (through the reflux), that now they expect it all the time? That's what my doctor once suggested to me.

Sunshine200 Mon 04-Feb-13 07:52:40

Sorry for all the typos, trying to type in I phone with dd climbing on me!

Hi Domestic, we're going through something similar. DS (19mo) doesn't scream as such but does everything else that you mentioned. Nothing has worked for us yet, but after letting him go to bed when he wanted last night, after a MN suggestion (9.30 shock) he still woke up 3 times for 30 mins each time, then was up for the day at 6am. So today we're starting a fresh - we're being strict, no nap, 7.30 bedtime, no milk through the night and CC. We need to regain control because its making us all grumpy in the day too. I want to try this for a couple if weeks and see if it makes a difference.
Sunshine what did the clinic say?

Sorry to hijack btw, just realised my post was quite long! Also everything we're intending to do might sound a bit harsh but having tried each element separately I bloody hope together they will work.

DomesticGoddess31 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:59:40

Thanks for the sympathy Sunshine and TGT, and sorry you're going through a yough time too sad. It is comforting to know we are not alone however.

Sunshine, did the sleep clinic have any useful advice?
I don't buy into your drs habit idea. Who screams blue murder every day out of habit? I always hated hearing that babies scream sometimes 'just because' too. Thats not at all helpful when you have to deal with it and you desperately need to see a light at the end of the dark dark tunnel. Also my DD has always changed what comforts her regularly so it can't be a habit. Think its just the way she is, maybe she's ultra sensitive or something. Who knows!

TGT, if its of any comfort, we just had 2 months of her waking in the night for anything up to 3 hours, so know you're pain. Thats stopped now thank goodness and although she's still waking 2/3 times during the night she is going back to sleep. She has come out of it the other side with a different routine, later nap 11:45ish instead of 10:30) and a later bedtime. Oh and she was super hungry, we've found giving her cereal before bed helped too. She's sayi and lots of new words now. I would say your DS maybe going through a development leap too and you just need to ride it out and it will settle.

Thanks Domestic, I think you're right about the developmental thing. When I wrote my plan earlier I was very tired and have since woken up a bit and actually I think I was being a bit harsh. I'm definitely going for a standard bedtime and sticking to it and going to try no milk during the night. DS is so chatty these days I forget sometimes that he is still so little. MN is a great though for helping with perspective.
Here's hoping for a good night all round smile

DomesticGoddess31 Mon 04-Feb-13 19:23:38

The magic of mumsnet.....just put her down for bed and she is asleep. NO crying or screaming whatsoever. All day! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!! smile

I remember that feeling, it was like dropping a 10stone rucksack off my shoulders, the relief!!
Fingers crossed for a good night for you.

Sunshine200 Tue 05-Feb-13 07:22:57

Clinic didn't say anything ground breaking but still glad I went as she gave me a couple of little tips. I was already doing the basics but the added tips were:
Stop giving her water when she wakes at night - she doesn't need it and will now be expecting it.
Don't talk to her at all when I go in, just shhh (but I can stroke her).
Leave her for as long as I can when she first wakes (not hours but maybe 5 mins) as she may self settle more.
Read her a book in her room before bed (her bedtime routine was all down stairs before)

Results:
It's only been a week today so too early to tell but in the last week I've only had to go down on 3 occasions which is an improvement. Not giving her water isn't a problem, and just leaving her that minute longer after she wakes seems to work too. It unfortunately hasn't stopped her waking in the first place yet!

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