2 year old screaming and whinging at night - how to stop?

(6 Posts)
SayCoolNowSayWhip Fri 23-Aug-13 19:32:47

2 yo DD (nearly 3) is having problems going down at night. We have a good bedtime routine, the timing of which is dependent on whether she has had a nap. Generally we start routine (bath, stories, bed etc) about 6.30 - 7, aiming for in bed by 7 - 7.30.

She definitely goes down better if she hasn't had a nap during the day - but will have been grumpy and overtired all afternoon, and generally wakes up early (before 6) due to over tiredness.

Kind of lost as to what to do. 5 month DS is currently in our room, which is the other side of the house, but needs to be moved into his own room as he has outgrown his Moses. His room is right next to DD's with very thin wall separating them - she will keep him awake with her screaming and shouting.

Currently we are going in once to reassure her, sing a song and sometimes lie down with her for a few minutes, then leaving her unless she gets really really worked up.

Any ideas on how best to handle this? Sorry it's so long.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Sat 24-Aug-13 08:32:42

Perhaps a reward chart with stars/prizes for settling down quietly? It also sounds as if you're not totallt consistent in what you do, which coulld be fueling things - I.e. she's not sure exactly what's going to happen so kicks off in order to find out. For instance you say you sometimes lie down with her, but not always.

I also wondered about you not going back "unless she gets really worked up" - if she's always screaming and shouting is that not being really worked up?

3yo DD had a patch of this recently. I think she'd just gotten herself into the habit of waking after a bit of a regression and a bug, and kept waking for silly reasons (my duvet isn't straight!!), and screaming till we went in. We stopped talking to her when we went in, just lifted her to sitting, gave her a big cuddle, laid her back down and left (unless she was asking for the toilet or more water). We also did a reward chart, 4 boxes, then 6, 8 and 10, with a treat at the end of each. One sticker for each night that she didn't wake anyone up. I was very impressed with how quickly she got it, and dropped the bad habits.

Good luck OP.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Sat 24-Aug-13 09:11:32

You're right about the inconsistency - it's so difficult though when DS kicks off as well, so they're both screaming and I have to make the decision about which one to go to.

I can't lie down with her if DS is screaming - I need to go to him as he is 4 months and only just learning to self settle.

What I mean about really worked up is her properly crying / screaming as opposed to just fake whinging.

Have tried reward / sticker chart previously and it didn't work, but will try that again.

Thanks for the replies.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Sat 24-Aug-13 10:33:45

Hi - it is really hard, many sympathies. We have DS 11wks as well as DD3.10 but currently I am feeding DS to sleep while DH sorts out DD. In time though we will have to sort a sustainable routine that one of us can do on our own (gulp).

I think if there's something like lying down with her that you can't do consistently it might be best not to do it at all.

Mrsmango's approach is quite like what we did for DD about 18 months ago - took a while but worked in the end and she's a brill sleeper now.

Is your OH around at all in the evenings to help? If not in the week perhaps aim to do a blitz on putting DD back to bed very consistently one weekend when he is around.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Sat 24-Aug-13 12:16:56

Yes you're so right - if we can't be consistent then we shouldn't do it at all.

DH is around in the evenings if not working late, and is generally very good at sorting DD while I settle DS, but a lot of the time she is crying 'Mummy Mummy' and won't be soothed by him. So I end up going in to her after DS is sorted. I'm realising this is not the best plan!

Thanks again for the replies. Nice to know I'm not the only one! Hope yours gets sorted soon smile

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