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How to deal with toddlers bedtime and general seperation anxiety?!

(6 Posts)
SleepForTheWeek Wed 14-Jun-17 21:01:55

DD is 2.7 and sleep has always been a HUGE issue but it is manageable and tolerable now - mainly.

Her DD and I take turn about putting her to bed and have done for the last year, as she was so dependent on me. It was tough to begin with but ended up working out really well. We stay with her till she falls asleep after a story and song and we both enjoy this time of the day, she usually comes in with us at some point during the night but settles quickly and again, me and and DH are both happy with this arrangement.

I'm current (over)due DC2 and have been on maternity leave for a month. Previous to this I worked 3 full days a week and her DGM looked after her, they are incredibly close and it was great. Since being on ML DD has become incredibly clingy - she's always been a mummy's girl but never as bad as this.

I assume it's because she's rarely away from me now, but could also be because she senses the change in the air with the imminent arrival of DC2. On top of this she has started nursery (2 afternoons a week) a few weeks ago and has also recently potty trained. I'm aware this is a lot of change in a short period of time for such a small person. She is quite sensitive and often tells me how much she misses me/gets sad without me etc.

Bedtimes with her DD have become a total car crash. She screams and kicks out (which is really unlike her', it takes her ages to settle, and she's generally miserable with it. DH is so laid back and calm but even he is losing his temper with her at bedtime. I know if I went up there she would be out like a light in no time, with a smile on her face, but i'm not going to be able to do that every night with a newborn in tow too so don't want to start.

It's heartbreaking hearing her so upset upstairs, I dread leaving her during the day even with her DGM (who was previously always her preference!!) as she clings to my ankles and gets so upset.

I want to deal with this in the most sensitive way possible, she's not being bad and i've tried offering her incentives for being good at bedtime for her DD etc but her emotions just take over.

Sorry for the loooooong post but wanted to give the whole picture.

Any advice gratefully received.

SleepForTheWeek Fri 16-Jun-17 19:05:59


arbrighton Fri 16-Jun-17 21:13:25

Have you tried posting in sleep as well?

Can't help as only just about to have my first but don't want you to go unread

SleepForTheWeek Fri 16-Jun-17 21:27:49

Thanks - will do that smile

wheresthel1ght Fri 16-Jun-17 21:46:16

All bar the dc2 I could be you! Dd is 4 in a few weeks and we still have weeks like this.

I am not sure what the answer is to be honest. I can tell you it is hell and it won't get better over night. We have done a few things that have helped but whether they will help your dd is another matter!

I don't bath her and then put her straight to bed. Dd has always struggled with the immediacy of the separation. Soww bath and change and then have cuddles and maybe some quiet TV or a puzzle before story and bed

Binned any yellow nightlight. We swapped to a gro light as it glows blue

Let her pick a big girl duvet set, maybe a character she likes.

Don't force things like bottle removal or dummy removal

Does she have a favourite toy or blanket? Make sure it is always with her, get duplicates if you can! Make sure you get her to collect them on the way to bed so she starts to associate them with bed and safety.

Try to get her into audio books, we have a cd player in dad's room and put the Julia Donaldson books on when she gets really bad

I moved some toys into her room and started playing up there with her so she associated her room with fun instead of fear and being alone.

One thing it took us ages to learn was not to make it a conflict or a battle of will. If it starts to escalate then break all the rules and fetch her out of bed, take her down stairs or to your room. Let her calm down them give it another 5 or so minutes and then try putting her down again . Sometimes u find dd just gets stuck in that hysterical setting and can't break it. Remove the situation and then try again.

Hope some of it helps!

wheresthel1ght Fri 16-Jun-17 21:47:25

Sorry there were Paragraphs but the bloody app is removing again

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