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Is it possible for a 2 year old to have a bed/sleep phobia?

(63 Posts)
fizzbuzz Fri 12-Sep-08 17:49:35

sad Dd will not settle at night. This has been going on for about 3 1/2 months and is getting worse.

Last night she was screaming until 11.00pm. She was put to bed at 6.30 to give her time to settle hmm Four and a half hours later.....She is hysterical, I am shaking and dp is exhausted.

We have tried everything, calmly returning her to bed, wind down time, stories etc. She has a good bedtime routine, but this just seems to alert her to the fact she is going to bed.

As nothing seems to work, is it possible she has developed some sort of phobia about it all, and if so what on earth do we do?

We can't carry on like this, she is so tired she is hardly functioning. Medised works, but makes her really unbearable the next day

Can anyone advise or help, am dreading tonight. She is 2.2 btw, and has always been an awkward sleeper, as many threads on here will attest tosad

RubySlippers Fri 12-Sep-08 17:53:11

how does she nap or is that a silly question?

what do you do when she wakes?

what time does she wake in the morning?

ajm200 Fri 12-Sep-08 17:56:04

Has something frightened her to cause such a strong reaction?

You could try buying her a new dolly or teddy and telling her that it is a special teddy whose come to keep her company and look after her at night.

Does she have a nightlight? Have you tried using/removing one so see if she is scared of the dark.

I've managed to get DS at 20 months resettled in his own bed after a broken night and hysterics due to teething by telling him that I can hear teddy calling and teddy needs a cuddle so that he can go to sleep.. oddly enough it actually worked.

It amazes me what I'll try when desperate and what works.

ajm200 Fri 12-Sep-08 17:57:21

They don't have the best of memories at 2 so if something has frightened her and you can distract her, it will soon be forgotten.

fizzbuzz Fri 12-Sep-08 18:00:06

She naps OK, about 1 1/4, but am thinking of cutting it oiut, but think she may be just even tireder without it.

Nothing to my mind has frightened her. She has special cuddlies in bed and a nightlight, which is turned on and off according to her whim of the moment.

DP thinks we should make her rom extra special for her, but I think she doesn't want to be left on her own.....

ajm200 Fri 12-Sep-08 18:16:36

You could try making her room extra special or letting her chose a special friend to keep her company next time you are in town. Maybe a teddy that she gets to make and stuff herself at the teddybear factory or a nice teddy from Clintons. That way she might not feel she is on her own. My DS treats all of his teddies like they are real.

CoolYourJets Fri 12-Sep-08 18:20:37

What happens if you lie down with her?

fizzbuzz Fri 12-Sep-08 18:25:37

We have tried lying down with her, but she gets really giddy and hyper.

We have tried sitting in the room with her, but she keeps talikg and getting restless, rather than dropping off

ajm200 Fri 12-Sep-08 18:32:31

Sounds like she isn't tired enough. Maybe dropping her nap would be a good start.

My DS is so tired when he goes to bed that he tells us to go away if we disturb him when we tuck him in.

TinkerBellesMum Fri 12-Sep-08 18:33:32

I've had this for the last 4 weeks. She wakes at 3/4am and will only settle if we put her in with us, if she was in with us she doesn't wake and it doesn't matter where we are she does the same. Last two nights she's gone from being so asleep that I can change her pull ups without disturbing her to standing and hysterical the moment her back hits the bed.

Saw GP today and he's put her on an antihistamine they use as a premed. He thinks it's become a routine that we need to break. I wouldn't have tried it straight away but I've got to the point where I'm desperate (not sure how you've gotten so far!)

CoolYourJets Fri 12-Sep-08 18:33:53


I used to drone read my nightmare non sleeping older one to sleep about that age.

Rules were lying down/still/mute not fiddling about or I stopped reading and just siad lie down at intervals. If she kept it up I sat on the top of the stairs with a book/laptop and hissed lie down at the first wriggle.

I sometimes play dead next to my 2 yr old she faffs about for a wee while then settles down.

Huge sympathies it is hellish you feel like they are ruining your evening and get really cross then guilty.

fizzbuzz Fri 12-Sep-08 18:41:58

Have been to GP twice in the past about her awful sleep problems.

They are sympathetic but won't prescribe anything, although now she is older perhaps they would be different.

It all started because we went on holiday and upset her routine. She was exactly the same last year, and it took about 5 months to get her back on track.

Am not bloody going anywhere next year.....

TinkerBellesMum Fri 12-Sep-08 18:47:48

Yeah, my GP showed me on the screen that it says not for "children under 2" so if you've not been since her birthday that could be why. There are two and I think they're OTC as well.

RubySlippers Fri 12-Sep-08 19:10:11

does she nap in her cot for her daytime naps?

fizzbuzz Fri 12-Sep-08 19:19:54

She naps in a bed. Goes down fine in the day. About an hour and a quarter.

But Tinkerbellesmum, is the sedative the same as in medised, because that sends her awful the next day, truly awful. So much that MIL who thinks ds walks on water, phoned when she was looking after her, begging us to take her away....

RubySlippers Fri 12-Sep-08 19:21:39

so how do you get her to sleep - is it just at night she needs you there?

can you replicate what you do at naptime for bedtime?

medised has an antihistamine in it ...

have you read about gradual withdrawal - this may suit your situation

TinkerBellesMum Fri 12-Sep-08 19:36:22

Medised is one of the two, I think, it's not the one I was given. It may be that she reacted to that one and wouldn't another.

fizzbuzz Fri 12-Sep-08 19:39:42

She just needs us at night. Out like a light in the day, no problem.

We,ve just been putting her back in bed every time, but she will not go to sleep. Sometimes (quite often sad) she gets hysterical. In and out all night until she eventually falls asleep about 9.30pm. Then she finally gets in with us about 1.30pm. Have given up trying to fight middle of the night battles, it was just never ending...

But we do want some time together as a couple, and it takes the whole evening to settle her, but worse than that she is so tired all the time.

Gradual withdrawal is a method we have considered, but her room is only little, so not a lot of space for withdrawing, you are either in it, or outside it! But am feeling this is the way to's all so distressing for everyone ATM.

Dp is sat on her bed ATM, but can hear her trying to chat to him, and him having none of it grin

fizzbuzz Fri 12-Sep-08 19:40:26

What's the other one and is it available over the counter?

TinkerBellesMum Fri 12-Sep-08 19:44:25

We were given Phenergan today, it is part of premed so don't know what effect it will have, obviously haven't used it yet so don't know how well it works, will report back tomorrow. Not sure if it's OTC but maybe worth asking, pharmacist should know about what's safe and has a sedative effect.

fizzbuzz Fri 12-Sep-08 19:52:17

Yes, phenergan is the one that tuns dd into grizzle monster from hell, irritable isn't the word!

beforesunrise Fri 12-Sep-08 19:59:22

hi, huge sympathies as my dd1 sounds very similar. no words of wisdom, although in response to your original question i am pretty sure now that she had a phobia of her cot, she just HATED the bars and although still hard to settle she became less hysterical once we moved her into a bed.

so... how about changing where she sleeps? a friend got a travel cot (tent like type, the camping ones) for her dd and she now always sleeps in there and loves it. perhaps one of those all in one beds for sleepovers? (i am thinking of something like, you could try and go shopping together and buy one she chooses?)

just an idea to break her routine...

good luck!

beforesunrise Fri 12-Sep-08 20:01:47

also maybe put on an audiobook? dd is currently lying in bed listening to charlie and lola (she still needs us to fall asleep but at least for a shorter time in the end)

fizzbuzz Fri 12-Sep-08 21:07:45

She has story cd's/lullabies every bedtime.

I think it is not so much a bed phobia, more a bedtime phobia, ie she can't bar to be seperated from me or dp.

Unfortunately ever since she was a baby, she has always got really giddy or hyper if we have tried to lie down with her, or even stay in the room with her. Have just tried it now, but she was climbing all over me, pulling at the buttons on my top, until I had to go and change it for a plain one, squealing with glee.

This has been going on for 2 hours, and she is totally hyper and giddy (ie overtired) I just despair of her

TinkerBellesMum Sat 13-Sep-08 12:23:43

Maybe it's a brand name as it's a generic bottle that they give for prescriptions. If you've only tried one it must be I guess. If you want to try an antihistamine have a chat with the pharmacist if you don't think the GP will help.

Tink slept with her dad last night, I went to my parents so I could have a full nights sleep. She slept through but always does when she's cosleeping. Going to try giving it earlier and maybe a little more than last night.

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