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23 months sudden fear of bedtime- experiences

(4 Posts)
Mummyk1982 Wed 02-Mar-16 08:59:06

Hi all,
My wonderful sleeper has decided at 23 months that she really doesn't like bedtime anymore. It's trickled in to nap time too but it seems less of an issue.
I think the cause of her upset is separation anxiety (she asks where mummy and daddy have gone between her sobs, asks to come downstairs etc). We're a week in and tonstartbwith I let her fall asleep on me downstairs as she's seemed really distressed- she fell asleep quite well and transferred to cot fine. I didn't want to start creating this 'crutch' so we went back to normal bedtime routine- a couple of nights she's ended up back down with us and fallen asleep fine, other nights it's been like she's taking the p&@? So I have insisted on her going to bed- she's cried a bit but after a few minutes just lays with her bunnies and falls asleep fine.
Last night was different- she got upset part way through storytime, covered her face with her hands and was sobbing. I put her to bed in the interest of consistency but she did seem quite upset even though she stopped crying after 7-8 mins and fell asleep.
We have a video monitor so I watch her all the time- sometimes it's a tantrum, other times it doesn't appear to be.
I have also tried a nightlight but that seems to distress her more.
I've read that at this age, upset about bed time stems from a genuine fear,and as I said I think hers is separation rather than the dark etc. I've also read that not tending to this fear can make it worse and lead to nightmares. I've tried sitting in her room with her when she's in her cot but it seems to upset her even more.
I need to be consistent in whatever I decide to do- my heart says let her fall asleep on me, my head says I'm just creating another problems which will be difficult to move away from in the long term.
What I'm curious to know is, if you have gone through this and let you toddler fall asleep on you, was it difficult to move away from that practice (and how long did it take), and if you went down the road of not doing that, his did you manage the situation?
Thanks in advance!

cornishglos Mon 07-Mar-16 05:56:36

I didn't let him sleep on me. I was very firm
I stayed with him ans told him I was there as long as he wanted but he had to be calm. The hysterics stopped then.

schmalex Mon 07-Mar-16 06:04:11

I had this recently with my nearly 2yo. It only lasted a couple of weeks and then he went back to going to bed happily. I just kept popping back and reassuring but didn't let him fall asleep on me.

josie25 Mon 07-Mar-16 06:17:29

I've been through it too. Perfect sleeper who has always self settled turned into a hysterical nightmare at being left alone at bedtime!

Rest assured it only lasted a few weeks and now he's back to normal - it must be one of those phases a lot of kids go through.

I didn't let him stay downstairs, I still put him to bed as normal but stayed with him in his room for longer than I would normally. I, or DH, would stay by the side of his bed and chat calmly to him until he was really chilled out. We also let him take a torch to bed which seemed to help.

I'm normally really strict at bedtime (it's always been books downstairs, into room, kisses, lights off and walk away) so it went against everything i'd ever done but I persevered for a couple of weeks and then he went back to going to bed by himself fine.

Good luck!

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