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Bedtime struggles soo depressed

(7 Posts)
Doneinagain Fri 28-Sep-12 20:19:20

Please someone out there come and hold my hand. My almost three year old has become increasingly difficult to settle at night.

Background, she has a younger sibling aged 13 months who she adores and the baby always goes down in her own room with amazing ease. The toddler has always had the same bedtime routine, we read our books kiss goodnight and leave. She's started screaming and crying that she wants me, not to close the door, to sit at the top of the stairs, or just sit with her for five mins.

I have tried all if the above things at one time or another including a star chart which worked for a while for a period of at least a week but each time she reverts to the disruptive behaviour often waking her sister up. If I leave her she comes out of her room screaming waking her sister. If I go in to calm her and comfort her in could take up to an hour before she goes to sleep. Tonight I came back to put her into her bed and she banged he head on the headboard.

I am soo tired of ending my day like this every night. I just don't know how to get past this. The only thing that seems to work is a threat to close the door which I know scares her and I'm immediately flooded with guilt for resorting to threats. I lose my temper, I am hissing at he not to wake he sister and when she banged here head tonight I just wanted to die. Please don't flame me she is my first child and I'm trying to do the right thing but I just don't know what that is anymore.

Sorry for the long post didn't want to drop feed.

Doneinagain Fri 28-Sep-12 20:20:22

Sorry for the typos too stupid ipad

mmira Fri 28-Sep-12 20:46:30

Oh, dear I really feel for you. I can only imagine how you must feel and what you must be going through. I wish I WAS there to hold your hand and offer my shoulder but I hope this would help too. Unfortunately there is no formula for these kinds of situations. Every child is different, every parent is too and also the circumstances, so your action will be different as well. I have three kids a lot older than your and I had all sorts of experiences with them, mostly however, they were good sleepers and I was forever grateful for that.

However, I have some friends who had struggled or are still struggling with their kids at sleep time. I would say that consistency is the key. Try to have a routine for her going to bed, e.g., to go at the same time, to do the same things prior to going and then when you think is time to turn the lights off and go just do it. I know this is hard but try not to give in. Guilt is our biggest enemy, we often worry that we are not giving our kids enough and stuff. Try not to feel guilty. Establish routine and stick with it. No going back, sleeping with her for a few minutes more, siting outside of the room until she falls aslepp, or on the floor by her bed (like a lot of people do). Every time you give in and do what she asks you to do you are going back to square on.

As for the baby. Is there any chance that for the time being you put your toddler to bed first so that the baby is still awake and would not be bothered if your older one is screaming? It would help if your husband or someone else is around to help. I hope that this is just a fase and it will soon get better.

MrsDandBaby Fri 28-Sep-12 20:47:32

not sure i can help at all but my DD had this not long after she turned 3. we also have a 1 year old so had the same issue of waking him up.

it lasted a couple of months and then she seemed to just stop pretty much by herself. a lot of the time you could see she was really tired but she didn't seem to be able to switch off enough to go to sleep.

we tried our best to tire her out in the day ( i assume your DD is not still napping?). we found leaving story tapes on in her room sometimes helped, and my fall back (if i really needed her to go to sleep because we were gong out etc) was counting! would count slowly to 100 while she had her eyes shut - would help her switch off enough to relax enough to go to sleep. worked a lot of the time.

hope it's just a phase for your DD too - horrible while it lasts, but you will get your evenings back in the end!

mmira Fri 28-Sep-12 20:48:30

Oh, dear I really feel for you. I can only imagine how you must feel and what you must be going through. I wish I WAS there to hold your hand and offer my shoulder but I hope this would help too. Unfortunately there is no formula for these kinds of situations. Every child is different, every parent is too and also the circumstances, so your action will be different as well. I have three kids a lot older than your and I had all sorts of experiences with them, mostly however, they were good sleepers and I was forever grateful for that.

However, I have some friends who had struggled or are still struggling with their kids at sleep time. I would say that consistency is the key. Try to have a routine for her going to bed, e.g., to go at the same time, to do the same things prior to going and then when you think is time to turn the lights off and go just do it. I know this is hard but try not to give in. Guilt is our biggest enemy, we often worry that we are not giving our kids enough and stuff. Try not to feel guilty. Establish routine and stick with it. No going back, sleeping with her for a few minutes more, siting outside of the room until she falls aslepp, or on the floor by her bed (like a lot of people do). Every time you give in and do what she asks you to do you are going back to square on.

As for the baby. Is there any chance that for the time being you put your toddler to bed first so that the baby is still awake and would not be bothered if your older one is screaming? It would help if your husband or someone else is around to help. I hope that this is just a fase and it will soon get better.

mmira Fri 28-Sep-12 20:50:20

So sorry posted twice by mistake. My computer seemed frozen for a moment and I refreshed it and click submit again. Do not know how to delete a copy.

Doneinagain Fri 28-Sep-12 21:06:06

Oh thank you so much for coming on to help just knowing someone has read how I feel seems to help. Mmira you're right by giving in to her demands it does feel like I'm going back to square one but am trying EVERY approach both good cop and bad. Still thank you for the support I too hope it will pass.

MrsDandBaby it's soo strange how we all go through the same things. I too have tried the story tapes and still put them on now and most nights they work a treat. She ditched her dummy of her own accord about three months now and I wonder if it's a reaction to that although she never asks for them back. She also seems to act up whenever her dad is home in time for bedtime. Whether its a reaction to wanting to spend more time with him I don't know but she does go down a little better when he misses bedtime.

I will definetly try the counting down....it does seem that no matter how tired she is she too just can't switch off.

Thank you both again for not making me feel alonesmile

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