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Separation Anxiety - 2.5 year old

(8 Posts)
PotDog Sun 13-Mar-05 13:58:29

Hello fellow weary but doting parents. After a much envied 2.5 years of our little treasure sleeping 11 hrs per night she has just developed the jitters. We think it's separation anxiety and started out of the blue with an announcement of not wanting to go to bed. This bit is not dreadful to deal with (an additional 30 mins spent at her doorway until she goes off) it's the nighttime waking that is proving tricky. When comforted, which is immediate as soon as she sees we are there, she nods off quickly but wakes again 20 mins later and we end up getting in her bed in the early hours. We're sure this does not bode well for the future! When she does wake she jumps out of bed in search of us and is so upset that we know that any controlled crying (which we mastered successfully when she was 4 months old) would have her in fits and throwing up! Mum is suggesting putting a camp bed in her room so that she at least does not become dependant on the nighttime contact, but I fear those consequences too. So how long typically does this take until they get their confidence back? Any do’s & don’ts will be much appreciated.

justamom Sun 13-Mar-05 20:36:00

good gracious let me know when you find out!! my little DS is like a leach!!! i love him dealy and really don't mind but in the near future i believe it may be a problem...he is with me all day, i put him to sleep at night won't let anyone els..i have to sing him to sleep and pat his back..if i go in one room he right there, daycare is not an options he cry almost all day so we have stopped that after he cryed so much he ended up in the hospital with asthma...i am a security blanket for him..instead of a doll he has me. i have made my bed now i feel that he will suffer if i change what i have two almost everymorning he will call me from his room so pittiful' "moooommmeeee" until i come get him..i lay him in bed and he scoots next to me to cuddle and he falls a sleep..we are like two "p"s in a podd....but ....................i plan on starting back school in about 6 months and i don't think it is going to happen because i feel he may fall if you have any advice on how to break my lil angel's heart...say it gently so he won't hear..

ionesmum Sun 13-Mar-05 20:49:23

My dd1 was like this from birth. I finally cracked it just after dd2 was born when dd1 was two. I did 'gradual withdrawl' - so for a few nights I lay with her to sleep. Then I sat on the bed, then beside the bed until sh efell asleep, then by th edoor of her room, then finally outside. Now I just kiss her goodnight and go. She does sometimes call out in the night. We give her a drink the first time, and let her go to the loo, but after that she gets told it's bedtime and that's all.

One thing that really helped was using a particular cd of music at bedtime. Now if I play it in the night she goes off to sleep quite happily. The other was a favourite cuddly toy. I managed to convince her that I needed her to look after Maisy Mouse for me in her bed. We've decorated her room in posters of her favourite characters too, and out one of those palstic photo thingies that takes about twenty photos on he rdoor - when she gets upset she loves looking at all her loved ones and pics of herself playing.

This method took ten days max to work. Now she goes through nearly every night.

ionesmum Sun 13-Mar-05 20:51:05

justamom, how old is your ds?

justamom Mon 14-Mar-05 01:12:13

ds is 21 months. he is like i said my leach, he is right next to me on the floor as i type this...had to laugh. but what do you do in the middle of the night? i could stand there and pat him on the back we have tried that until we "think" he is sleeping...HA HA i tried to walk away he starts to cry.....and i have tried as long as thirty minutes....lil booger is pretty darn hard headed..

ionesmum Mon 14-Mar-05 11:06:34

I think that some little ones are just made that way! My dd wouldn't go to sleep on her own until she was two and two months. When she was 17 mo we moved her to a large matress on the floor in her room, which she preferred to her cot. Then if (sorry, when) she got upset in the night I'd go and sleep on it with her. A couple of months before dd2 came we put the matress on a low bed, then as I say it was when dd2 was six weeks old that we sorted it. When she was 21 mo I'd never have believed it possible, but she was ready at 26 mo and it worked like a dream. Now she goes to pre-school with barely a backward glance for mummy! IMHO it's best to go with your child's personality and wait for them to move at their own pace, as you set yourself up for fewer problems later on.

It's not easy though, my dd2 seems to think sh ecan only sleep if attached to my boob. As she has a fine set on teeth now that's not funny!

psychomum5 Mon 14-Mar-05 11:17:12

Have no advice as such, as it seems to be a normal phase they go thro, and mine is currently in the thick of!

My DS2 is 2.7yrs, adn is a classic velcro baby. Has to be with mummy ALL the time, and lo betide any one who tries to remove him. He will settle at night better at the moment, but it has taken months of being patient to get him to, but we now have another prob' Every time I wake in the morning, he is there, having snuck in during the night. Sometimes he even crawls in and then on top of my face, so waking me thro lack of breath

I am lucky in one sense tho...I know it won't be forever tho. Out of my five...all but the first went thro this, and by the time they each started school, so they grew out of it. Not that I am making light of it...far from it. The amount of tears I have shed would fill an ocean, but I do know that they do stop, and the only thing to do is relax about it and go with the flow. You will suddenly realise it is getting easer again, and wonder what changed!!

handlemecarefully Mon 14-Mar-05 11:36:14

My 2.7 dd started insisting on mummy's bed about 2 or 3 weeks ago. Suddenly would wake in the early hours and insist on coming in with us. I stated a star chart last week - she got a sticker and some chocolate if she stayed in her own bed, and after 3 stickers (3 good nights) a present like a new book or dvd. She didn't respond to the incentives for the first 3 nights, but by the 4th night (having missed out on the rewards for the previous 3 days) she complied and has done so for 5 nights in total now.

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