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Hysterical toddler at bedtime, any advice please?

(15 Posts)
Pointlessfan Tue 22-Dec-15 19:06:59

DD is 21 months. She has always gone to sleep no problem at 7pm, wakes around 6.30 am and naps for about 2 hours after lunch.
On Sunday night I put her to bed, she settled but woke about 40 mins later and didn't settle until about 11pm. Same thing last night except she kept going until 1 am, eventually fell asleep on DH and woke around 4 am.
Have tried Calpol in case she is teething but it's made no difference and she's fine in the day.
Have tried leaving the landing light on, didn't work either.
Tried leaving her but she just screamed for 2 hours and then was sick.
We don't know what else to try but we are all exhausted, I feel terrible for the neighbours and DD is getting more and more upset.
Any advice welcome please!

timelytess Tue 22-Dec-15 19:09:19

You left her to scream for two hours? No wonder she's finding bedtime traumatic!

Think about it from her point of view. What would you like Mummy to do, if you were that little helpless toddler in the dark (usually) in a room on your own?

Pointlessfan Tue 22-Dec-15 19:12:56

It might not have been that long, maybe an hour. I've never left her to cry before but nothing else was working.
We've never had problems before so have no strategies really.
Tonight she didn't even try to go to sleep, just stood up and started crying the second she was put in her cot.

RNBrie Tue 22-Dec-15 19:14:37

Habe you tried cutting back her nap? Maybe just an hour? And getting her up no later than around 2.30? She might just not be that tired....

Seeyounearertime Tue 22-Dec-15 19:29:01

I find it hard sometimes when my DD who is 2.6yo now won't sleep.
I found that all I needed to do was change my thinking.

Instead of thinking DD won't sleep, think DD can't sleep.
If I tried going to bed right now I'd lie there, toss nd turn and get annoyed before getting up again and going back to bed when I was tired. Imagine being too small to be able to do that and instead you cry but noone listens.

Now we have a routine, I like routine.
6pm till 7pm Bedtime hour on cbeebies.
7.00pm - 7.30pm music on youtube.
7.30-7.45 change into PJs and teeth
7.45 - 8.00ish bed and stories.
She normally gets up aroind 8.00am and now has no naps in the day but up until about 3 months ago she was napping.

Pointlessfan Tue 22-Dec-15 19:41:10

Thanks, we've had a good routine for ages, it's just gone wrong this week. I like the idea of thinking that she can't sleep though.
I just went and rubbed her back until she fell asleep standing up! She's asleep now, hope it last

ChinaSorrows Tue 22-Dec-15 20:00:05

At 21 months, how much speech or communication does she have?
Can she tell you what's wrong if she's calmer?

Pointlessfan Tue 22-Dec-15 20:17:21

She can say a lot of individual words but tends to answer yes to every question. Last night I went through asking her if her teeth/tummy/ears hurt, if she was frightened and lots of other things and she said yes to every question!

WineSpider Tue 22-Dec-15 20:24:09

Hungry. We have had this with our 2 year old DD a few times and it always catches up by surprise. She will guzzle a banana then go straight back to sleep. Worth a try.

Pointlessfan Tue 22-Dec-15 20:27:54

That's interesting. Last night she didn't want much tea but she has eaten like a horse today!

Pointlessfan Wed 23-Dec-15 07:14:25

Last night she cried when she went to bed. I sat with her until she fell asleep and she dozed off in about ten minutes. She slept until about 10 then woke up with a soiled nappy which hasn't happened since she was a baby.
After changing her again I sat with her to get her to sleep. She went to sleep quickly but sat up every time I left the room. This went on until one when DH said he'd sleep on her floor. Think he eventually got her to sleep about 2.
This is clearly unsustainable, we are both off work this week but can't go on like this. I feel like it's ruining Christmas as we are all so tired and DH and I haven't had an evening together yet.
I wish I could figure out why she has suddenly started getting upset at bedtime, we've had the same bedtime routine for ages and she has always gone to bed happily.

Seeyounearertime Wed 23-Dec-15 11:21:24

Have you read:
www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/sleep-problems-in-children.aspx

Also there was Channel 4s Bedtime Live program. I don't know how useful that would be though, might be worth a watch.

Pointlessfan Wed 23-Dec-15 11:54:36

Thank you. She's even screaming now I've put her down for her nap, this is new! She is absolutely exhausted, almost fell asleep eating her lunch, wanted to go upstairs and in her sleeping bag but is now upset again.

MazzleDazzle Wed 23-Dec-15 12:38:18

Has she had an unsettled week? I know my two have and it's knocked their sleep pattern.

Too many parties, pantos etc.

Children do like to keep us on our toes don't they?

I hope it settles down again soon. Your body gets used to sleep and it's rotten going back to sleepless nights. One night of broke sleep is a struggle for me now!

Pointlessfan Wed 23-Dec-15 12:41:53

Thanks mazzle. We've tried hard to keep to nap time and bed time but I suppose there has been a lot going on. Nursery said she was frightened of Santa at the party last week. Since everyone we've seen since has asked if Santa is coming I did wonder if that is what she's worried about.

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