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2yr old screaming herself sick every night as does not want to go to bed

(7 Posts)
feistywife Sat 02-Jul-11 18:59:22

Please, please help? At wits end as DH tries to settle distraught 2yr old DD this evening, have had to give up after she screamed herself sick at stage where she needed to get into PJs after bath. Have had this for last four nights. (And at lunchtime nap time also). Just does not want to go to bed no matter how rested or how tired. (Tried persevering with lunch nap and today doing without it in hopes might make a difference. IMO has made things worse- thanks DH!)

Is coincidental with having pushed herself over backwards in chair whilst sitting in Handysitt and getting horrible 2cm long, and quite deep cut on back of head which took two trips to A&E and much skin glue and steri stripping to hold wound closed. She was good as gold while there, but skipped her lunch nap that day and watched much Peppa Pig instead. This was Weds this week. That evening was tough but given the day she'd had, we weren't surprised. However, since then she's worked herself into epic state of screaming until she's sick every night. Tonight is worst ever- wants clothes back on as wants to go back downstairs. Simply doesn't want bed. The change has been so sudden it has to be related to injury and change of routine, but have no idea what to do- other than persevere.

Anyone else experienced this after a trauma? If so any advice? Do things just go back to normal eventually? She does eventually calm down, I think she exhausts herself. But awful to whole happening. DH and self feel like worst parents ever.

Tgger Sat 02-Jul-11 19:39:41

Awwwww, how old is she? Just 2 or nearer 3?

Was she fine at going to bed before? If so, I would be inclined under present circumstances to cut her a bit of slack for a few days. I know it's best to stick to the routine etc, but at certain times then reassurance is more necessary and it sounds like one of these times.

Can you think of a compromise that would be ok- rather than clothes on and back downstairs then a cuddle and a story for a little while? I know this goes against the grain of sticking to routine, but a short extra bit of reassurance before bed might do the trick? Hmmmmmmm- I can do this with my 2 and a half year old DD now- she understands limits- eg I got home late one day this week and she did come downstairs for half an hour for a cuddle with me as I hadn't seen her all day, but then she went back up to bed no probs (well one whinge) after the time was up.

Have you been sticking to all the normal stuff before nap/bedtime? At what stage does she start to work herself up?

I don't have any experience of after trauma, but maybe others do. Perhaps this is not the time to go all super-nanny- but I can see that you don't want a non-sleeper/screamer on your hands either. Hope someone else has some wise words!!! And you are not worst parents ever, just got a little person who is a bit more unsettled (understandably) than normal.

heather1 Sat 02-Jul-11 19:41:03

Hi, so sorry you are having a tough time. Can you talk to your health visitor on Monday for some suggestions?
I hate to say it but 2 year olds can be very wilful for no other reason than they want their own way - i have two boys ages 6 and 4. I still cannot believe how much hard work my youngest was on many occasions aged 2!
I would suggest staying with her when you put her to bed but dont interact with her until she sleeps. Maybe then over the course of a couple of days you could move further from the bed. Also if she starts to scream remind her of the possibility that she could be sick, and keep a bucket handy. If she is sick I would try to not react too much but just clean it up and then continue sitting with here until she sleeps. Good luck

feistywife Sat 02-Jul-11 20:33:14

Thanks both.
She turned 2yrs old yesterday!

In all fairness she has been increasingly wilful (good description) about both bed and nap times. Although on holiday (three weeks in Cornwall, got back a week ago- yet more change!) wasn't too bad about it- had very active days though.

Things seem to have suddenly massively escalated since bang on head. Going to call dr's on Mon just to talk over. HV here unfortunately of choc teapot variety.

We are sticklers for routine (not quite supernanny but close smile) and both she and older DS (4) have always slept pretty well.
The tantrum is triggered as soon as we head up the stairs though. Diverted a bit by bath, but as soon as gets out of bath goes into meltdown. Have been able to distract and divert on previous nights, and reduce intensity, but tonight was appalling. Ooover tired?!

Thinking about it, there had been lots of change and excitement in short space of time as she's bright as a button with recently acquired Peppa pig and postman Pat addictions- and new birthday toys. So I guess yes, could cut some slack. Just worried if I keep messing with routine things won't settle down- really do believe in them needing boundaries and that knowing what happens and when is helpful. Having said that, my DS (about to turn 4) is my only benchmark and a DD certainly seems to be a different kettle of fish entirely!

Thanks for listening. Just going to have to battle on and hope for the best and keep fingers crossed isn't more serious than a 2yr old hissy fit...

And I thought 4 yr old boys were a challenge!

Tgger Sat 02-Jul-11 21:50:50

Ah, just 2 probably needs stricter approach than 2.5- well mine did at that age. It does sound a bit like a bad combo of bang on the head- causing a bit of insecurity?- and then overstimulation as always happens after birthdays!!

I agree with the not giving the being sick too much attention. DD has done this a couple of times and it really shocked me to start with as DS (4.5) never did it. Easy to go into "omg you've been sick" mentality when really it's just part of the tantrum grin.

We are lucky that our routine so far has not been challenged (well not majorly!!!, touch wood, touch wood...) and DD fits in with DS, so if she kicks off at all we just carry on the routine, bath, pyjamas, story, brush teeth, bed and generally it's great- she can be screaming at any point in the routine but will have settled down as if it hadn't happened by brush teeth! I think a leap of faith that this will occur is needed- staying calm helps!

I have found with DD- who is also very wilful by the way!- that when she starts a new behaviour/wilfulness it takes me a while to catch up and be ahead of the game with her- ie take charge in a good way. So, maybe that could be part of it? Just tonight I had DD screaming at me "I want to do it" (get undressed for bath) followed by "help me!" followed by "I want to do it".......typical rather tired 2 year old behaviour grin.

Think they are SO much worse when tired, but it's hard to get it right at this age. DD doesn't nap anymore apart from the 2 days she is at nursery, so is generally whacked by (early) bedtime. Some days she copes well enough, others we have carnage but...so far calm bedtime.

Sorry for long post! Hope she settles down soon.

feistywife Sun 03-Jul-11 22:20:57

Tgger- just wanted to say thanks and FYI had much better night tonight, weirdly as she's now got chest infection and on anti-b's but that might help explain things. She also had massive lunchtime nap (after grumping for 20 mins!)

Had to really work for it tonight- distractions, props, even singing (poor soul) don't really know for sure what worked but thank !¥€%23?! it did grin

Tgger Mon 04-Jul-11 14:01:26

Hooray! Hope she's better soon.

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