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Absolutely desperate, please help...

(8 Posts)
bean612 Mon 10-Oct-11 22:57:53

DD is nearly 3 and although always an early waker, for the past 6 months or so has slept through the night with only the odd exception, and the wakings were never prolonged or stressful.

For the past 6 weeks, though, she has suddenly started waking at night, and in the past 2 weeks, she wakes every night, at least once, furious - screaming, lashing out, refusing to go to back to bed. She pulls my hair, hits me, tries to bite me, screams so loud my ears ring. Sometimes at the same time she's clinging to me and won't let go.

It's horrible, makes me cry, and I have no idea why she's doing it. She does have tantrums in the day, but at least then I usually know why, and it's daylight so it's bearable. In the dead of night, when I'm half asleep, and being physically and verbally assaulted, it makes me feel like I'm going mad. I can't bear it. I don't know what to do.

thisisyesterday Mon 10-Oct-11 23:04:18

it could be night terrors...?
they can seem as though they are awake although they aren't really... have a google

is it around the same time each night?

bean612 Mon 10-Oct-11 23:11:14

Thanks tiy. Yep, I have googled night terrors but not sure they fit as she's pretty articulate and her responses to what I ask her generally make sense (between the screaming). Also, they happen at different times of the night. And I don't think the clinginess fits with night terrors, as far as I understand them (think when kids are having nt they push you away).

She has dropped her nap most days recently, so is she just very overtired? She has a newish 'big girl bed', but initially she was sleeping okay in it, and she has slept fine (if still waking early) in a single bed both on holiday and at the in-laws during this period. Is it possible that it's her bed? She is also obsessed with the story of Little Red Riding Hood at the moment - is she having nightmares about being eaten by wolves? I'm racking my brains, I wish she could tell me...

bean612 Tue 11-Oct-11 13:31:23

Bump. Anyone? Last night she screamed so loud my ears were ringing, kicked, pulled my hair so hard I thought she was going to pull it out. When I told her she was hurting me she just said 'I WANT to hurt you. I WANT to be naughty.' I tried to ask her what was wrong, she replied 'Nothing! I'm not ANYTHING.' In the past she has said similar things - during daytime tantrums - like 'I'm nothing! Nobody loves me'. I know she's not even 3 and she can't mean it or know what she's saying - she's just angry. But when she says stuff like that it breaks my heart.

bean612 Tue 11-Oct-11 17:41:03

Bumpety bump. I'm dreading this evening. Please tell me I'm not alone!

thisisyesterday Tue 11-Oct-11 18:01:12

hmm i wonder if something is hurting/scaring her?
if she wakes tonight then go and comfort her. if she starts hurting you then either hold her on your lap, but facing away from you, or put her back on her bed but sit nearby and just say "dd, i am here if you need a hug but you do NOT hurt me"

before bed maybe give her some calpol, make sure she has had a drink and that there is nothing making her too hot/cold that might be wakin her

bean612 Wed 12-Oct-11 21:22:55

Thanks for checking in again, tiy - and sorry for disappearing, have a work deadline and things are a bit frantic (not helped by being brain dead from sleeplessness wink)

Yes, I did wonder about her being scared - I asked her 2 nights ago when she was flipping out and she just shouted 'No, nothing!' - impossible to get any sense out of her. I should ask her in the daytime too. She did, once she had calmed down and was starting to drift off to sleep again, start muttering about wolves, foxes and bears in the woods (one of her current fixation, the Red Riding Hood thing), and I suddenly thought about how many of her current favourite books are about wolves eating people and witches, foxes, etc. If you think about it, an astonishing number of kids' books are on this subject. Also we have foxes in our garden which she's a bit obsessed by at the moment. Anyway, I've decided to ban all 'scary' books for a while and see if that helps.

Last night she didn't wake up till 3.50am, but that was probably because she didn't go to sleep till nearly 9pm, running about and generally protesting. At 3.50 I KNEW she would fight being put back in her own bed like a demon, so I let her come in with me, and she conked out till 7.30. Which would be fine, except I can't sleep with her in the bed - too anxious and she's very fidgety.

As for the 'you do NOT hurt me' - I do say that, but her response is simply 'I WANT to hurt you', at which point she will often actually pursue me across the room to hit me/pull my hair. I make sure she always has a drink of water by the bed, have experimented with different sleepwear to make sure she's not too hot or cold... Haven't tried Calpol though. Maybe she's ill? She' being a right pesky minx about eating at the moment, too. And she's going through a spell of HATING being in the car. Sigh. It's bloomin' tough.

lilysma Thu 13-Oct-11 10:26:30

Sorry, this sounds tough. Are you sure it isn't night terrors? My DD (now 5) had these from about 3 and is very articulate and can hold a conversation but never remembered it in the morning. She wakes screaming and sitting bold upright (or appears to be awake). If I try to cuddle her she fights me off but she will cling to me (liking to be held very tightly) and will go back to sleep very easily IF removed from her room and brought into bed with me. If I don't remove her from her room she is very difficult to comfort and will lash out. After about half an hour she'll go back into her own bed (again apparently awake but I'm not sure how far this is the case). I can't sleep with her either! It wasn't always at the same time each night but generally in the first half of the night, hence i am pretty sure it is night terrors. Does your DC remember the episodes in the morning?

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