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How to manage the really bad melt downs

(8 Posts)
LittlePink Wed 30-Jul-14 13:38:36

My 2 yr old DD has just had a 45 minute horrendous tantrum. We were going with the usual routine, lunch, upstairs for nappy change around 12.15, quick story in her bed, little sing song and that's her for 1.5 hrs. She settles herself off to sleep quite happily. Usually.

Today though, straight after lunch she decided no to nap and wanted to go into the living room for a story so I said ok that's fine, one story then its up to bed. Did that. No that wasn't good enough, want c beebies on. I said no way its bed time. She was clearly tired with red eyes and rubbing them. She said she wanted carrying upstairs which I did to keep the peace as she was starting to throw a wobbler. Got upstairs and all hell broke loose for 45 minutes. Ive never seen anything like it. It was quite dangerous for me being 18 wks pregnant with her kicking and throwing herself around. Her tantrums have been getting worse recently but this topped the lot.

I tried asking her gently whats wrong and offering cuddles, moving onto we cant go to the fayre later if you don't go to bed, onto me threatening time out/naughty corner etc (which just made things 10 times worse), I tried walking away and leaving her to it in the hope she would calm down on her own. None of it worked until I asked was she sore, did her mouth hurt (why didn't I think of this before!), to which she sobbed yes so I got her some calpol which she seemed to like but then she became inconsolable again and wouldn't let me go sobbing cuddle cuddle. In the end she fell asleep in my arms through sheer exhaustion and still sobbing in her sleep. I managed to get her into bed eventually and shes still there now fast asleep.

I just don't feel like I know what to do when she melts down like that. To begin with she wont accept cuddles, shes too wild for that. Then at some point during the tantrum she decides to stick to me like glue and wont let me out of her sight. I know its all part and parcel of the temper tantrums but just wondered how others handle it as I feel like im all over the place trying to get her to calm down with no strategy for dealing with them effectively. Help!!

LittlePink Wed 30-Jul-14 13:41:59

I actually feel like I could just cry. I hate seeing her so distressed and inconsolable like that and feel like a failure in dealing with her well.

Gen35 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:03:55

I think you did very well in fact and tried several things that may have worked on other days. Dd just used to throw a tantrum like this over not getting her own way at this age, as long as you stay calm it's best to ride it out. Sometimes nothing worked! I'd have popped her in her cot and left her to it for a few minutes if she can't climb out yet.

WhatTheHellDoWeCallThisBaby Wed 30-Jul-14 15:29:23

Never bother with "if you don't stop this then we won't be able to go to X later", it's totally futile in the middle of a tantrum! Otherwise just wait it out, if you say anything use a calm voice. You can try and make the space/room as danger-free as possible, and just be there for calming cuddles at the end. (I'm not saying you should be utterly indulgent and namby-pamby about it, and if it continues as a regular thing then you could consider other approaches, but if it's only occasional then what's the point in both of you getting worked up?)

AnotherMonkey Wed 30-Jul-14 21:37:29

It's horrible when that happens.

Both of mine became a bit more hit and miss with sleep at this age, most annoyingly at the moment, sometimes DD refuses point blank to nap at her usual time because everything else is just too interesting, then falls asleep on me/the sofa/the floor at around 4pm.

I've started putting DD in her pushchair for her nap instead as she's more likely to go off with a bit of rocking, with DS it was the car. This got us through that awkward sleep stage and might help if that was the cause?

As for the tantrums, do whatever feels right and sit it out! It's not easy though and no fun at all when you are also pregnant. brew cake

Rumandcokeplease Wed 30-Jul-14 22:08:57

It's a difficult one, when my 22 month old started having tantrums at nap time (when she was clearly tired) I just have up trying to get her to have one, it just wasn't worth the hassle! She ended up going to be bed at 5.30pm for a while (and slept until 7am!) so it wasn't too much of a problem!

Gen35 Thu 31-Jul-14 08:14:18

I was going to say that too, dd stopped napping at 2 and a 1/4 and i found putting her to bed earlier worked better too as she didn't struggle at the end of the day. See if you get this tantrum every day or it's just intermittent.

toomuchtooold Thu 31-Jul-14 08:29:50

I think once they get annoyed sometimes you just need to let them ride it out, just let them carry in until the rage has subsided and can get in and offer a cuddle or water or whatever and they'll accept it. Oddly enough one of mine (who has done the most spectacular rages since 15m, still going strong at 27m) us often calmed by the offer if Ashton and Parsons teething granules. And she has all her baby teeth in already!

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