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help! why has my 2 year old suddenly got hysterical at bedtime ??

(7 Posts)
mingofen Mon 10-Jul-06 13:05:06

My 2 year old son has suddenly become hysterical at bedtime, screaming and crying when we put him in his cot - usually until he is sick. Although he has never been a great sleeper, he has always gone to bed really well.
Most nights he still has interrupted sleep, waking and crying for short bursts - but if we leave him he'll go off to sleep again on his own.
He's usually wide awake by around 5.30/6am so we've been bringing him into bed with us as it means he'll often doze/go back to sleep and we'll get another much needed hour in bed.

Does anyone have any idea why the early night routine has suddenly gone so haywire? With him getting hysterical and throwing up we can't leave him to fall asleep on his own but when we go in he just insists on going straight to our bed. We're having another baby soon, so I'm desperate to solve this asap. All suggestions appreciated.

MrsBigD Mon 10-Jul-06 17:07:09

mingofen, my heart goes out to you. This can be so disconcerting when they suddenly throw a 'wobbly'.

It is quite possible that he's getting 'anxious' because of the baby being due. It's amazing how much they do notice/understand at the age of 2.

Hope somebody comes along soon with some sound advice.

sandybee1 Wed 19-Jul-06 14:19:13

I've just seen your thread today and just wanted to let you know that i think it is just a phase that they go through at this age. My Ds went through it when he was 22 months and initially we just thought he was acting up and left him to cry it out(which usually worked a treat for him!!). But it just seemed to make him more anxious so in the end we were totally panicked and didn't know what to do so we ended up just letting him fall asleep with us downstairs and would put him in his bed once he was in a deep sleep. We had to put him in a bed at 19 mths as he was climbing out of the cot and injuring himself (a&e trips required!) so this didn't help the situation as he could get out. Eventually I got a grip on the situation and decided enough was enough so we just started putting him down in his bed and for the first week or so we stayed with him. For the first few nights he was still hysterical even with us there but slowly he learnt that we weren't going to go so there was nothing to be afraid of. We moved from sitting on the floor beside his bed to saying that "mummy is just poppng to the toilet , i'll be back in a minute" this worked because if he started to get really stressed I just went in and sat for a while and after 2 nights of this he was sleeping on his own!! We have had a few setbacks when we went on holiday and when he was ill but we just did the same routine - it only takes 2 or 3 nights to get him back in his routine now. It is a terrible phase and i really don't know why they do it - it think it may be separtaion anxiety - but they do grow out of it.

Sorry for the long post..hope it helps.

trixabell Thu 20-Jul-06 09:35:58

I was just about to post a message about my 20mth dd and her hysterical bedtime - but mingofen you have done it for me - my dd does exactly the same, she used to go to bed wonderfully - better for her dad than me, but the last two weeks she just cries when I put her to bed even though I am in the room with her - last night after 1 1/2hrs tring I put her back into the cot and closed the door- and she managed to climb out - she isn't a very good climber so she must have summoned superhuman strength to throw herself out of the cot!! interesting advice from sandybee1 - I hope it is a phase - I have also noticed that recently during the day she won't let me out of her sight - she also will hardly let her dad near her if I am there - so maybe it is the separation thing too!!

Anyway - your not alone!!

MaggieW Thu 20-Jul-06 20:41:54

My DS went through this at 2 and it was an awful time. Previously he'd gone to bed with no problem when suddenly he turned hysterical and we couldn't even get him up the stairs. He'd wake every hour through the night screaming and it was just awful. He couldn't tell us what the matter was other than he just didn't want to go to bed. In desperation after ten days of this we used the Christopher Green Toddler Taming method of keeping him in his room - it can seem pretty brutal - and you need to be strong-minded to do it (esp when you're so exhausted yourself) but it worked. After one night he went up to bed and was happy to go in, as long as we didn't shut the door. We were back to normal good sleep within a couple of nights. A week or so later he told me - and this still makes me so sad - that he was frightened of Father Christmas coming into his room (it was Christmas and someone had told him that is what would happen). I just wished he'd been able to explain that at the time as it would have made it so much easier to deal with. I wonder if someone has said something to your son about ghosts or monsters etc, as little minds can work overtime on the merest hint of something scarey.
It's a really hard thing to deal with - especially as they are so tired during the day (as are you) - when it becomes a vicious circle.

NancyH074 Mon 23-Nov-15 02:26:45

My 4 year-old daughter has always had, and still has, crying/tantrum episodes every single day. it’s humiliating. Bed time is so stressful EVERY DAY! And this is not the only time she is out of control.
I have tried it all; talking nicely, positive reinforcement, games, etc, etc., still, nothing works. We can't figure it out...we would appreciate your input...I'm all ears!!! Thanks!!

Jenniemele Mon 23-Nov-15 03:00:51

My baby is already 5 years old, but I can remember bedtime horror like it was yesterday. I had some advice from my mother; my favorite was time-outs...sparingly. Depending on the child, using a time-out occasionally, beginning at about the age of 18 months, may help her manage feelings better when she has a tantrum. A time-out can be helpful when your child's tantrum is especially intense and other techniques aren't working.
Also there are videos online on how to talk with your toddler correctly. Most of them are rubbish, but few are gold. I found this one helpful and this one is not bad too good luck!

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