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Is this 'normal' 2 year old behaviour? - I'm at my wits end :(

(14 Posts)
mom2daisypie Sat 23-Jan-16 19:43:14

Hi,
I'm really hoping for some advice. We have 2 daughters, the eldest is 4 in April and our youngest in 2 in a couple of weeks. The problems are with the (soon to be) 2 year old.
She is INCREDIBLY dependant on me (Mummy) at times, but not all the time. She happily stays with grandparents 3 days a week while I work, it only seems when I'm around that there are problems. She will scream "mummy mummy" uncontrollably if she is being expected to do something she doesn't like (get in the car seat, the bug, pout on her PJ's, eat tea, have a bath you name it!) she gets so upset if I don't pick her up and hug her that sometimes she vomits sad
Bedtime is an issue currently and she will call out for me and sob and scream for a good 20 mins each night, when she has always been a wonderful sleeper and used to love snuggling down in her cot. She's like a different child!

I've read about separation anxiety and the terrible 2's (tantrums etc) but these are so extreme. My Husband has been shocked lately when he's witnessed some of it at weekends. You literally can do nothing with her and ignoring it doesn't seem to work either (as I say she just reaches the point of vomiting!).

She also has a HUGE fear of the bath at the moment, and when we mention nit she says she feels sick and screams blue murder if/when we try to encourage her to bathe. We've tried everything but nothing works. She has also started to smack her older sister when she doesn't get her own way, which we address immediately and make her apologise for, but it's starting to affect her (the elder daughter) - she can't settle at night most nights due to hearing her sister screaming and they are both waking during the night often.

It's a million miles away from how things were 6 months ago when we seemed to have cracked it.

I guess I'm just looking for ideas on jus how bad 'normal' 2 year old tantrums and separation anxiety can be, as we didn't have anything like this with our first daughter.

Thank you in advance! x

mom2daisypie Sat 23-Jan-16 19:44:56

Sorry for the typos by the way...typing stressed is never good! smile

Sunflower1985 Sat 23-Jan-16 19:55:14

I can only speak to my experience. I have a 2.5 yo who tantrums. Lays on the floor and screams if he doesn't get his way. Usually in shops. If I don't do bedtime he screams and won't settle. He doesn't get sick, though, but throws things and crashes about.
No advice, ask me in a few years hmm

Swirlingasong Sat 23-Jan-16 20:41:12

I knew a little girl who would turn purple and make herself faint with tantrums at that age, which was quite extreme. If she needs a cuddle to calm down, that's fine as long as you remain firm on what she has to do.

My dd developed a huge bath fear at some point too. Obviously we still washed her and hair washing became almost impossible. We let her have her way and stopped trying to bath her at the normal time but explained that she did still need to wash (though kept it to the minimum as they don't actually need washing that much) so then we'd either wash her with a flannel at the sink at a time she was more relaxed or I'd just let her play in the shower with me (she loved having new things to play with in there so I saved up old plastic pots and bottles, squirts things from soap were great) and then I just stealthily managed to wash her hair as part of a game. It did mean I ended up showering at very odd times of day! After a while it just passed and bathing became fine again.

I think being fine without you and then not leaving you alone when you're there is totally normal at this age.

How's her language? I noticed with both mine that tantrums went through bad patches just before their language increased. Giving them simple timelines of what was going to happen helped so, we're going to read the story, then get dressed, then go to the park etc and also remembering to explain why I wanted them to do things which is something I was particularly bad at with a four year old and a two year old as i could get so stressed trying to get one do something while trying to prevent the havoc the other was causing....

mom2daisypie Mon 25-Jan-16 11:26:23

Thank you both smile
It's a relief just to hear someone else say it seems 'normal' lol.
As for her language, yes actually its REALLY coming on in huge leaps lately. She strings together sentences of about 5 or 6 words "I wanna know what that is" and "I don't like that anymore" things like that so quite possibly there could be a link.

I've tried buying Peppa pig toys for the bath as she's obsessed with Peppa, trying a daytime shower instead and a few other 'ploys' but as soon as she hears the water running she starts sobbing and tells me she's scared and feels sick. I wish I knew what had suddenly caused it. I know she hasn't slipped or had anything happen like water in her eyes as I'd remember the incident I think. Who knows, maybe it will just go back to normal. At the moment either my Husband or I have to get in the bath and hold/restrain her while the other very quickly washes her which isn't ideal as she obviously gets upset and tries to climb out but we manage it once a week and as soon as she's out she's ok again. I just hope we're not making the problem worse by 'forcing' her to wash, but then again she has to as gets nappy rash otherwise.

Another thing she seems incredibly reluctant to do is acknowledge the potty. Her sister was suing the potty just after her 2nd birthday and always seemed keen to try things, so I suppose we were expecting the same, but of course all children are different. We leave the potty around for her to put dolls or teddies on but she doesn't, and if I say "do you think you might do a wee wee one day on the potty?" she says "No, I don't like it". I'm sure it will all come together in time...blody hard work until then though!

Iwantakitchen Mon 25-Jan-16 12:00:28

One thing I remember doing to get rid of the fear of bath was to fill up a washing bowl and put some baby liquid soap in it and let DS play with toys, I would sit him in the empty bath and let him play with the water in the bowl and within no time the water was on him and I managed to give him a semi-wash. They do grow out of it. The only thing I can suggest about the tantrums is to try and find what triggers it, and try and distract. At bedtime, could you say to her that you will come back in two minutes and giver her another kiss/sing her another song if she is quiet and stays in bed? It might take many returns back in the bedroom but it might help with giving her security that you will come back in two minutes.

Swirlingasong Mon 25-Jan-16 12:15:46

I wouldn't worry about the potty, she's still very little, just leave it for a bit and then try again. My dd wouldn't try at all til she was over three. No problems since, she is just the type who needs to make up her own mind to do something and the more you try to encourage her the more she resists.

Crumpet1 Mon 25-Jan-16 12:22:15

Yep toddlers are hard work, and it doesn't get any easier at 3 unfortunately.
My ds had different problems at that age but still very hard work. I took to treating him like a dog, eg really fussing over the positive things he did and doing baby steps towards what I wanted him to be doing.
Try and think outside the box for ways you can ease her anxiety. Like iwant said, things like a washing up bowl in the bath is a good idea to get her used to sitting in the bath. Once she is used to that you put a few centimetres of water in and so on.
Good luck op.

Iwantakitchen Mon 25-Jan-16 12:23:36

The thing is also about how you ask the question. If you say 'would you like to try the potty' will not work with a strong willed child, as she will try to control the situation by either saying yes or no, in this case it's a predictable no. But if you say 'let's go to the shop, you can choose a pink Peppa Pig potty or a yellow Thomas the Tank engine potty' then she will take control by probably saying 'I want the peppa pig one'.

Eastie77 Mon 25-Jan-16 14:49:25

Watching with interest. DD (2.5) descends into hysteria whenever we try to wash her hair and will also not sit down in the bath. She is happy enough under the (handheld) shower as long as the water does not go anywhere near her face and she also hates the water touching her upper bodyconfused.

Sorry OP I have no advice, just gatecrashing the thread in the hope of also picking up some useful info!

DarkDarkNight Mon 25-Jan-16 16:29:58

My son went through a fear of the bath, it came out of nowhere and went just as fast. After trying at first to just put a tiny bit of water in, bathing with him, running the bath and just getting him to stand in it I just gave up on it for a while. I didn't see the point in upsetting him and making the problem worse.

He had top and tail washes for a while and then to reintroduce it I ran a bath and used that water to wash him, next time I stood him in it at the end, next time I put him in the bath but didn't wash hair... Just baby steps. He is back to loving the bath, I think it is a common phase.

Following for ideas on what to do when he hits, I have no clue!

mom2daisypie Tue 26-Jan-16 09:17:48

Thanks all! I think I will try putting her in the bath with no water to start with and let her play with toys in there, so that she see's the bath isn't a scary place, then progress to the suggestion of a bowl with soapy water and toys, thank you!
Today so far has been better. She got in the buggy without fuss to take her sister to pre-school and seems a bit more agreeable...but then it is only 9.20am lol!
Thank you again everyone for the support xxx

Floowho Tue 26-Jan-16 17:06:38

Will she go swimming? Perhaps you could do role play bathing a doll. Try and make water pleasurable with lots of play, she could choose special bubbles for the bath.

mom2daisypie Wed 27-Jan-16 10:58:32

thank you I'll try that. We have been swimming occasionally as a family and while she's always cautious (clings to either me or my Husband) she does go in - but in honesty the last time we went was about 6 months ago. I tried registering her for the toddler swim classes at our local primary school but was told theres a 2 year waiting list!
I think its a good idea though so will try. I like the role play idea too.

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