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its all going wrong - can anyone help?

(17 Posts)
frenchie05 Wed 20-Jul-05 13:38:18

Until about 2 weeks ago my 22 month old was a model child and a fantastic sleeper. Something has happened and he has started waking in the middle of the night, jumping out of his cot and having tantrums for up to 2 hours (because he wants to go downstairs). As this is meaning he is sleeping less he is also tantruming all day as well.
We have made his cot bed into a bed (as we were worried about him hurting himself) and have put a stair gate on his door so we can confine him to his room during his tantrums. He is now refusing to sleep on the bed and is sleeping on the floor and will not go to sleep when he is on his own in the room.

Just to make matters worse I am expecting a baby at any time and am therefore desperate to try and sort this out. Has anyone else had a similar problem? Does anyone have any advice?

hunkermunker Wed 20-Jul-05 13:40:41

Sounds like he might be worried about the new baby arriving. Can you spend lots of time during the day with him, giving him lots of cuddles?

Lua Wed 20-Jul-05 13:42:47

frenchie, you have my deepest sympathies!
Have not experienced the same, but my DD has become a tantrum machine all of a sudden and is so horrible!!

Is there anything that can be the explanation for the change? In my dd's case it was obviously the birth of #2. Thus, it seems to me that she is seeking attention. Thus, although I feel like strangling her I deep breathe and try to give her reassurances previous to the problems. Does your DS has a lovey of some sort, that you could ask him to put in bed? Could you do more fun things in bed before sleep time to lure him into bed and make the transition to bed time a bit easier?

SenoraPostrophe Wed 20-Jul-05 13:44:35

how is his talking? is it definately just because he wants to go downstairs, or could it be something else (eg he wants water or is scared of something?)

if it is just that he wants to go downstairs, I suggest you just shh him back to sleep or leave him to it (depending on your parenting preferences). On no account take him downstairs! It will stop - dd did this when ds was nearly due (because she was ill initially, then habit)

In the daytime, you need to get him to nap - eaither an earlier and longer midday nap, or an extra mid morning nap. This will hopefully kick start his regular sleeping pattern - he could be waking at night because he is so tired when he goes to bed.

SenoraPostrophe Wed 20-Jul-05 13:45:27

..also have you taken his temperature? could he be a bit ill?

Kittypickle Wed 20-Jul-05 13:47:14

As well as the other suggestions, I wonder whether he is assoicating his bed with when he has his tantrums - it might be worth putting him somewhere else for those for the moment.

frenchie05 Wed 20-Jul-05 13:49:18

We have started talking to him about the new baby arriving although I have assumed that he is too young to really understand what is going on?? He really likes my friends babies so I was hoping that was a positive thing..
We have put all his favourite things in the bed (his pillow, his two favourite teddies and his blanket)but he just puts them on the floor with him. Do you think its worth putting the cot sides back on?

frenchie05 Wed 20-Jul-05 13:53:45

I took him to the doctors last week and had his ears and throat checked out and they said it was fine (put it down to the hot weather and teeth). At that stage he was hardly eating although this has now gone back to normal.

There is no way we will take him downstairs as then the situation will just get worse. We have resorted to (trying) to leave him to just tantrum it out in his room (thats why we needed to put the stair gate on) but everything seems to just be going wrong - and its so unlike him!

Kittypickle Wed 20-Jul-05 13:55:59

Sorry, didn't mean take him downstairs to bed, I meant somewhere else for his tantrums. I think he is possibly associating his room with being distressed whilst he is tantruming, which is possibly why he doesn't want to go to sleep in there.

Kittypickle Wed 20-Jul-05 14:22:49

Apologies again, I see what you mean now. I was talking about day time tantrums, not night time ones IYSWIM

NotQuiteCockney Wed 20-Jul-05 14:26:17

Are you rocking or cuddling him to sleep? Unfortunately that may be (part of) why he's waking in the night - if you're there when he goes to sleep, he probably wakes a bit discombobulated when he finds you (or your DH) are not there.

I suspect the coming baby is part of the problem - I certainly found myself very impatient with my DS1 when DS2 was due. But if you are willing to be tough, I'd recommend controlled crying or something in that line - get him used to going to sleep on his own. It will be hard, and you will have a couple of even worse nights, but it will (almost certainly) solve the problem.

SenoraPostrophe Wed 20-Jul-05 16:17:33

yes - I don't think it's that he knows about the baby, but he could be picking up on extra tension from you or something.

I would put the cots sides back on - keep everything familiar as much as possible for him. And try to get him to sleep a bit more in the day.

matnanplus Wed 20-Jul-05 17:09:59

Could he go somewhere other than his room for daytime tantrums, else he will link his bedroom with upset, ie a naughty step/chair.

Do you, when he is having a strop leave him for 2 mins [1min/1yr] and then go and talk to him?

Children often are willing to stop but with no intervention then frighten themselves with the lack of control they feel and so the tantrum feeds itself.
Tho his verbal language maybe limited his comprehension of language exceeds this level.

Could he be involved with the preparations for the baby, the babies bed for example, he may think the baby is going in his bed?

Does it matter if he chooses to sleep on the floor?
Leave the sides off the cot so he can easily re-enter the bed should he wish to.
Have you stayed with him in the past till he was asleep?
If not can you 'visit' him when he is in his room at night and upset, to provide comfort and to reinforce the 'time for sleep' message?

Do you have a set bedtime routine?
Could you read stories at that time that are about love, good behaviour, being a big brother, sleep?

matnanplus Wed 20-Jul-05 17:13:56

Could he go somewhere other than his room for daytime tantrums, else he will link his bedroom with upset, ie a naughty step/chair.

Do you, when he is having a strop leave him for 2 mins [1min/1yr] and then go and talk to him?

Children often are willing to stop but with no intervention then frighten themselves with the lack of control they feel and so the tantrum feeds itself.
Tho his verbal language maybe limited his comprehension of language exceeds this level.

Could he be involved with the preparations for the baby, the babies bed for example, he may think the baby is going in his bed?

Does it matter if he chooses to sleep on the floor?
Leave the sides off the cot so he can easily re-enter the bed should he wish to.
Have you stayed with him in the past till he was asleep?
If not can you 'visit' him when he is in his room at night and upset, to provide comfort and to reinforce the 'time for sleep' message?

Do you have a set bedtime routine?
Could you read stories at that time that are about love, good behaviour, being a big brother, sleep?

frenchie05 Wed 20-Jul-05 21:26:23

His day time tantrums are always downstairs as we have always tried to keep his bedroom for sleep time only.
In the past he has been such a good sleeper that we have very rarely stayed in his room until he drops off and never rocked him to sleep etc This is what is so strange that we have never had any problems before (apart from occasional nights when he has had a cold/ been teething). I had changed his bed time routinue slightly by trying to give him his milk before bath time but surely this can't be causing the night waking?
Tonight we have put the sides back on the cot and am wondering what will happen - as he is in his grobag I am hoping this will prevent him from volting over the side??!!

SenoraPostrophe Thu 21-Jul-05 14:29:28

how did it go, frenchie?

frenchie05 Fri 22-Jul-05 13:27:59

The last 2 nights have been a success and he has taken to sleeping back in his cot. He has woken and cried very briefly in the night (for less than 30 seconds) so not long enough for us to have to go in to him. Because he is getting his sleep at night the tantrums during the day are much less frequent as well - hurrah!
A couple of my friends have also said that they have been having similar trouble with their kids so maybe there is a virus going round, the hot weather has affected them, or maybe its just as they start to get closer to their second birthdays - who knows. I think that we probably shouldn't have taken the cot down (maybe it frightened him) but we were more worried about him hurting himself.
Thank you everyone for your help though. Having had 2 half decent sleeps I feel a bit stronger now to deal with a new born whenever it should choose to arrive!!!

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