To ask you what to do because I can't cope with DD any more?(129 Posts)
Name changed for this.
I have a DD, 30 months. She has always been what would charitably be described as "high needs" but now she is just becoming unmanageable.
She has never slept through the night. On a good night, she might be up once and then provided she is given milk, she might go back to sleep. On a bad night, she can be up 3/4/5/6/7 times.
Last night, she woke up at 1am. I gave her some milk, which she drank. She then decided she wanted me to sleep in her room (for context - I never do this!). I told her I wasn't going to, because I was tired, and needed to go to bed. She then screamed/tantrummed from 1.30am - 3.30am. There was literally nothing I could do to placate her so after checking she didn't have a temperature, didn't have a wet/dirty nappy, and didn't need any more milk, I left her to it, checking regularly to make sure she was ok, and putting her back in her bed.
At 3.30am the neighbours banged on the wall
I took her downstairs and she continued to scream hysterically, not sure why, but presumably because I wasn't sitting in her room with her. Eventually she calmed down and I took her back upstairs and put her in bed. She chatted to herself for a bit and then went to sleep.
This morning she woke up at 7am, miserable and cross. She then had a further tantrum of epic proportions, screaming and crying, refusing to get dressed.
In the end (after 45 minutes of trying to get her clothes on, her kicking, screaming and ripping them off) I had to go out to pick something up from the shops, so had to force her into the pushchair, in her pyjamas, sockless, shoeless and coatless. She screamed for a further 45 minutes. People were staring at us in the street.
I have been in tears twice today because I just can't cope with this any more. I have an older child too and it isn't fair on him, and I am failing at work because I am so tired I can't cope with that either. It is causing friction between me and DH.
She is supposed to have been referred to the behaviour clinic but no one has been in touch. I called them this morning and they said they would call me back - they haven't. I am so desperate and I don't know how I can get help.
You're exhausted, so is she. Of course you feel awful. There are lots of different methods for your situation; maybe health visitor can help?
[youngminds.org] might be useful
As a one-off this sort of behaviour isn't massively unusual). What led to referral to the behaviour clinic?
My DS2 was similar at 18 months old. Slept for 20mins at a time. The most miserable (he was tired) child. I never went out with him as it was too hard work and I was too knackered to deal with judgey looks. Tantrums... Wow he's now 4 and still launches into them. I wasn't firm like you and let in our bed.
There will be a reason. It's just finding out why. Once we found out 2 things that were making his little life hell (food allergy and spine issue) then things turned a corner.
Is your HV any good ? Mine was excellent.
What about support from elsewhere like family?
Are you getting a break?
What about nursery or a CM 2 mornings a week for your sanity and see how she deals with that?
I really feel for you because it seems endless.
I so wish I was near because you sound like you need the biggest hug right now xx
You clearly need some support. Do you have anyone who you can talk to, family, friends, health visitor, doctor?
What did your DH do last night, whilst you had 2 hours + of "I'm overtired and hysterical"?
At this stage I wouldn't worry about being really strict. You all need sleep. If you have to sleep in her room or she sleeps in yours so be it. We used to do this. It just meant we were all fresher to deal with whatever the day held. Get an extra bed if needs be.
Once the tiredness was less we were able to tackle the sleep issue and it was quite easy in the end because by that stage our child was used to sleeping (although it helps if you have an extra bed so they're used to being in their bed alone).
Thank you all. The behaviour clinic is via the HV after her two year check. Last night was at the bad end of how she is, but she is often similar to this. Unfortunately as I said, no referral has come through and I can never speak to the right person when I call and they don't call me back.
Maybe I should go to my GP? I don't know what they will do to be honest. I will probably just cry if I do.
She is in childcare three days a week while I am at work. To be honest that just makes things worse anyway because whilst I get a few hours break from her, it makes her doubly demanding when I get back.
My poor DS gets zero attention because my life is taken up dealing with her.
If DH goes near her at night, she just goes ballistic. She loves him in the day though
The thing is, I can sort of cope with being up in the night - like I said, she has never slept through. What I can't deal with is 45 minutes of kicking and screaming about getting dressed and then people staring at us in the street because she is inappropriately dressed for the weather and screaming her head off. I just feel humiliated
Fuck what everyone else thinks for a start. You have enough to deal with without worrying about appearances. You might get judgey looks but fuck em, what right do they have to make your life harder?
What's her talking like?
Are there some easy warm clothes she will wear? Like jogging suits. Soft quilted coat? At least they should be easier to put on. Can you dress her in front of the TV for distraction?
Go and see your Dr and cry. You need a release. They might push the clinic to see why you have not got seen yet.
Don't swamp yourself with guilt. I felt I was neglecting my DS1 too, we scheduled a "me-chat" night on a Friday. I'd get in my PJ s at his bedtime, get into bed with him and we would talk about him and his week and any worries. It was special to us both.
Thanks you all <cries more> <tries to get a grip>
There are some really helpful suggestions to use.
She is actually quite articulate. And she is also quite empathetic - when she saw me crying after 45 minutes of the getting dressed battle she brought me a teddy "make you feel better mummy"
The problem is she likes everything her way - the main tension with getting dressed, I think, is that she wants to wear particular things and these aren't now weather appropriate (she usually wants to wear a thin pair of leggings and a Peppa pig t-shirt - nothing can go on top of this, so that Peppa is hidden so it's really not warm enough)
It sounds ridiculous but I feel I can't cave in on some of these things for an easy life, or where does it stop?
Clothes are a very common issue at that age. How would she respond to you having a special day together to say byebye to summer clothes and to go shopping together for new winter clothes?
What else in her behaviour is problematic?
Poor you. She sounds massively tired, as well as everything else I'm sure you are too! Could you be referred to / pay for a sleep clinic? I went to Andrea grace and she was wonderful but it is £250.
Could you take her to a shop and let her pick apt weather things ( with you offering choice but her making a decision). That might help the clothing battle.
Her intelligence could be an issue. She might be frustrated at her inability when it's all going off in her head.
Does an overkill of praise help?
And think about your battles, which will you let go of and which are essential to win. It's not giving in, it can often mean the child will take a "no" if they feel they have control of some battles.they see it as fair.
Could you do little things like organise her clothes the night before, so that she already knows what she will be wearing? Or buying her a few pairs of fleecy Peppa pj's so she gets Peppa clothes but they're appropriate?
How would you feel about allowing her to put Peppa stickers on her welly boots or one on the outside of her coat?
I used to use this technique with a little girl I looked after, she was a nightmare to get to wear coats, so if she put on her coat she got a sticker to pop on the outside. You can buy sheets of the stickers in the pound shop so it's not mega expensive.
I have no advice about the sleeping, sorry. A reward chart maybe?
Blimey poor you. Sounds awful.
Im sorry I don't have any advice. She sounds quite bright, mine didn't have it in them to get one over on me when they were still so little.
Im certain its nothing to do with you. Good luck
Long sleeved vest underneath the Peppa t-shirt maybe? And tights under leggings?
Mine was / is a madam for tantrums especially about clothes and dd2 was a nightmare sleeper
My 2 tips:
Just have her on your bed or get a bed in hers. It's not worth the angst she'll sleep alone eventually. Have you tried it?
Don't argue / force you won't win and she'll wind you like clockwork. Tell her she's wearing x. If she kicks off then say "ok stay in then bye".
Walk out and shut the door.
Go back 2 minutes later. Countdown to leaving again. Always worked on DD1 may seem mean but less so than screaming at her after 45 minutes of tantrum.
only a short term solution I know- but would something like this help?
(just for going out in the cold- My DS2 was very similar especially with sleeping up until the age of three and literally broke me mentally-I really do empathise x)
There are Peppa pig coats in Sainsbury's at the moment. Sorry I can't add anything more helpful, but I thought of it when you said that Peppa has to be visible
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