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2.5yo suddenly won't go to bed at night

(12 Posts)
weeblueberry Mon 16-Nov-15 20:13:35

She goes down at half seven and now just starts screaming and crying as soon as she's put down. She's been going down easily and awake and self settling for at least a year. It wouldn't be as big a problem but I'm quite often alone with her and her 7mo baby sister and I'm not sure how I'll deal with it once DP goes away on business. The old routine was to put toddler down at half seven and go feed the baby, putting her down. If the toddler starts screaming and wailing as soon as I leave the room the baby will never go to sleep. I'm not sure what to do??

Other info that is relevant - she's recently started toilet training so things have all changed in that regard. When we ask her what's wrong she just says she wants us to stay/read another story/go to the toilet. The last one is the hardest because we genuinely don't know if she needs to go or not so I'm finding it hard to ignore her. She also says she's scared the cat is in her room even though I'll show her him elsewhere in the house right before she goes to sleep.

Any ideas? She's never really done this and learned to self soothe quite easily. Even if the baby does fall asleep as she's wailing (it's a small house, she might not...) it means leaving her screaming and crying for twenty mins while the baby goes down.

Any help or advice would be appreciated at this point!

weeblueberry Mon 16-Nov-15 20:15:07

Just FYI the approach we're taking while we're both here is to go and gently reassure from outside the door every five/ten mins. Eventually she cries herself to sleep which kills me...sad

DearTeddyRobinson Mon 16-Nov-15 20:17:23

Does she still have a daytime nap? If so she may be telling you she's ready to drop it?

winchester1 Mon 16-Nov-15 20:18:19

Could you ask her to read while you feed the baby, start with 5 mins and build it up so she can last the 20min before your DP goes away?
Ours was a bit younger we taught him to do the shh sound when his sister was sleeping which stopped him screaming when we put them both to bed (same room so he could see her).

weeblueberry Mon 16-Nov-15 20:44:01

DearTeddy we're going to try that tomorrow I think. She went down immediately yesterday after not having a nap so it's the next course of action I think...

winchester another good option if all else fails... Thank you. smile

chocomochi Mon 16-Nov-15 20:51:28

Wondering whether nap time has anything to do with it. Both DDs started dropping their naps around 2.5 years old. When DD2 even had 20 mins in the day, so refused to sleep at night until at least 9pm! We even struggled through 4/5pm when she was cranky (no nap!) to make sure she was tired enough for 7pm sleep time. Good luck!

StubbleTurnips Mon 16-Nov-15 22:58:29

Is she scared of something?

we've started giving DD some good things to dream about as she goes to sleep to try and abate night terrors and going to sleep issues.

Jftbo74 Mon 16-Nov-15 23:01:54

No lunchtime nap if you want her to be sleepy at bedtime. They drop the lunchtime nap with age but it can take a while while they adjust to it

weeblueberry Tue 17-Nov-15 09:24:21

Thanks all. We temporarily dropped her nap about a month ago but she was getting really narky about lunchtime so we reinstated it. Think you're all right and it's going to have to be stopped.

She is scared of something - her imagination is properly developed now and she quite often makes up stories based on things she's seen or read so I understand she's getting anxious about that. She's also quite an anxious kid in general (my fault - I'm the same) but we're trying to get her to use mindfulness techniques to calm her down and it seems to work.

Really appreciate everyone's suggestions! Hoping tonight will be better.

Jw35 Tue 17-Nov-15 09:29:38

Apparently a daytime nap actually helps good sleeping at night. Some theory about if kids are overtired they're harder to get to sleep but I don't know..

Does she have any sad feelings about the new baby? Could the baby go to bed first?

I think I'd do this..snuggle up with them both in your bed, feeding the baby and reading to the toddler. When baby sleeps put her to bed then get toddler to understand she must be quiet. Take toddler to bed and sit next to her until she's asleep x

weeblueberry Tue 17-Nov-15 09:33:44

I don't think she has bad feelings about the baby. I swear she loves her sister more than she loves me!! She's always cuddling her and talking to her and makes her laugh more than anyone. I also try to split my time as evenly as possible now DD2 is a bit more independent and also try and have some time with just DD1.

Unfortunately DD1 doesn't understand the whole 'be quiet or DD2 will wake up'. Primarily because she wants her awake so she can play and talk to her! But in the early mornings when she's come into bed with us and DD2 is still asleep in the cot next to the bed, she's always woken by toddler being too loud. She doesn't quite understand whispering yet sadly!

In an ideal world I'd rather not sit with her until she's asleep. We tried this when we were teaching her to self soothe and I always ended up falling asleep in her room, meaning DP and I were lucky if we saw each other for an hour in the evening. I'm also not keen on her learning to go to sleep only if someone is there - in time DD2 will be in the room with her so maybe that will help then?

Loraline Tue 17-Nov-15 09:44:13

We've just come out the other side of a similar phase. Started when we got back from holiday and lasted about 8 weeks. Just seemed to be developmental. Suddenly anxious and wouldn't self settle during the night either. We just had to ride it out for a bit. He needed extra reassurance for a bit and it just went away. In retrospect may also have been linked to molars coming through. He wasn't ready to drop his nap either.

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