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2yo suddenly scared of the changing mat/laying on her back...?!

(12 Posts)
JParkson Mon 10-Dec-12 17:13:56

Has anyone had experience of the following?

My 2.2yo DD1 has seemed to suddenly have developed a major fear of my changing mat (on a small chest of drawers, about 90cm tall) and/or lying on her back.

She seemed fine on Friday. DH and I went out to dinner, leaving her, DS (9), and DD2 (17 weeks) with my 2 brothers (both in their 20s). They are competent babysitters, having helped me/us out on previous occasions. I've asked them and DS whether DD1 may have slipped on the changing mat, or possibly fallen off, but nothing untoward seems to have happened. (I checked with DS, as he is very good at blurting out any hiccups which might've occurred)

Saturday, I was away most of the day, so DD1 and DS were with DH, and it was while she was with DH that we became aware of her fears.

I first saw it last night (Sunday), as I was in and out for most of yesterday too.

She seems to be ok when I lie her on the mat, but as soon as I strip her off to change her nappy, her eyes widen, she gets shakey, and flails about trying to find something to hold onto. She turns away from the edge of the mat and tries to hug the wall. She's crying and babbling incoherently (she has a reasonable vocabulary, and can usually make herself understood). I try talking to her, to reassure her that nothing will happen to her, I won't let her fall. I've tried distraction with a toy or my phone, but she'll only respond for a few seconds before slipping back into panic mode. confused <-- worried

It's worst when she's on the changing mat, but this morning, when I laid her on my bed to get her dressed, she seemed to panic again, and clutched at the duvet which was bunched up to one side of her. Once she was dressed, she refused to be put on the floor as well hmm

Today, she woke up half-way through her nap time, seemingly petrified as well. You could see she was shattered, but she point-blank refused to go back to bed.

Now, about an hour ago, she did a dirty nappy, and I've just had to wrestle/cajole/soothe her through the whole process, and this time she was wailing 'bu-byes' (our word for bed time/bed) between scared gasps and sobs. I asked if she wanted to go to bed and she nodded, but once I got her dressed again, and tried to put her on the floor, (just to see what she would do) she wailed and refused let go of me. Again, I asked her if she wanted to go for a sleep, and she shook her head (I'm not really surprised, as it's not her normal sleep time).

It's really odd! She's happy enough everywhere else in the house, in her high-chair, climbing on the sofa (once she's calmed down), even climbing up and down the stairs (which pretty much wipes out DH's theory that it's vertigo).

Could it be linked to the stinking head-cold which we all seem to have been hit by over the weekend?? (doubtful!)

Please tell me if you have any experience of this, whether you've managed to come out the other end still able to use the changing mat, and/or any tips/ideas I can try with her apart from what I'm using so far (calm, soothing voice, occasional distraction)

niceupthedance Mon 10-Dec-12 19:01:42

Could it be ear ache or maybe a strange 'underwater' sensation when lying down, due to the head cold? That'd be my first guess.

FivesGoldNorks Mon 10-Dec-12 19:03:54

Can you change her on the floor? Have you tried sitting her on a potty?

SolomanDaisy Mon 10-Dec-12 19:07:15

It sounds to me like she's had a dream about falling/rolling?

JesusInTheCabbageVan Mon 10-Dec-12 19:10:29

My DS (1yo) has hated lying on his back for a few months now. I use a pillow on the changing mat so he's semi-propped up, and on other occasions when he absolutely has to be laid flat (e.g. getting into snow suit) I find that reciting Macca Pacca's rhyme at top speed, on a loop, with an eerie fixed grin tends to unnerve soothe him enough to enable me to do whatever needs doing.

Kiwiinkits Mon 10-Dec-12 21:35:17

Time to potty train?

littleducks Mon 10-Dec-12 21:39:59

DS was like this once, I thought it might be something related to his ears. I took him to the dr and he had an ear infection and needed ABs.

KatoPotatoHoHo Mon 10-Dec-12 21:46:19

Standing up nappy changes are far far easier! Get her to help by holding the 'tabs' potty train when you're both ready.

CecilyP Tue 11-Dec-12 12:36:48

I am not really surprised that your DD is scared of having her nappy changed on top of a chest of drawers. It is not really recommended for a more mobile baby, so would be quite precarious for a lively toddler. Your first paragraph, in fact, confirms that you are aware of the potential risks. Can you not change her on the floor, perhaps even replace the nappy with pull-ups.

MarianForrester Tue 11-Dec-12 12:51:40

Pull ups and change standing up would be my suggestions too.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 11-Dec-12 12:57:53

I read once that ear infections can hurt all t more when lying down. Is it just nappy changing, or any lying down which is the issue. If it's any lying down get her ears checked.

LittlePandaBear Tue 11-Dec-12 21:56:52

My DD (just 2) sometimes gets annoyed at nappy changing time if the light's on, I think it can shine right in her face if she's staring at the ceiling! She's a good communicator so can tell me to turn the light off (as long as I have enough light from the window to get the job done!).

Agree about changing her on the floor though at her age.

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