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to ask for bedtime help from those who've battled?

11 replies

flippingBell · 15/07/2015 21:29

Dd, our fourth, is close to breaking me! I've always been a laid back parent, but with clear rules but dd shows no sign of bowing to any instruction at all.

Bedtime, at nearly three, involves hysterical screaming for a few hours in he own bed until we give up in the early hours and she joins me. I've tried techniques, mainlyconsistent expectations but she never cracked. Controlled crying was a no due to the level of her fight, her cot has serious dents from the headbutting and scratching when she was left a few times, she would injure herself before winding down.

I try now, in an adult bed, to sit at end calmly through the rage. It involves around ten mi ties of preventing her actually hitting or biting me or running off, then up to an hour of wild screaming then a period of glaring. It does impact on the other dc. I sit at the end so I'm out of reach but nearby. Progress is minimal, less actual hitting and no injury risk but still pretty unbearable.

She generally is wilful, where the others responded to love and boundaries easily she does not bend. She is speech delayed so I appreciate it is partly frustration, we use some makaton, but she still squeals an point for things a lot, fly in off in a rage if not given. She is also incredibly loving and adored by all in between this, she just cannot take direction well. She's hi too, some motor delay, generally immature and very little language to work with so verbal explanation is quite futile.

Can I ask for ideas for a way forward for bedtime from those who've got through it. My others I admit now we're very very easy. I really love her, but for her own good and other dc we need to at least tone it down. I don't think anyone in rl understands how after three standard issue children that we are really the place we are, I'm otherwise a happy mum and I know the hv saw me as such. I'm not bloody superwoman though!! I need sleep. I could cry over it.

So far I've tried:
Sheer bloody minded consistency, over an over calmly putting her back
New bedding
Room sharing
Staying nearby
Stroking ( the worst, she hits)
Reading/ dining (screams over)
Lots of love/ cuddles and special time to associAte with bedtime
hiding in the garden

OP posts:

todayisayesterdaystomorrow · 15/07/2015 22:19

Hi, sorry you are having a hard time. What does work at bedtime?? If it's you laying down with her, can you do this to build up her confidence untill you can gradually move further away. I have 5 dc, the last/youngest is 3 and had dreadful separation anxiety (tantrums!!) at bedtime. To maintain harmony I worked with what she wanted and gradually weaned things back. I think it sounds like she is very frustrated and needs to control something, ie you.


todayisayesterdaystomorrow · 15/07/2015 22:22

Forgot to say all the " training " did was her angry. I need my sleep and I co slept with every one because it worked.


wheresthelight · 15/07/2015 22:33

i have nothing to offer but sympathy becuase my dd (23 months) has broken me.

she is currently in the buggy in the hallway and i have resorted to just letting her scream while i sit in the lounge (5 ft away) and cry becuase there is nothing wrong with her she just doesn't want to be in bed and none of the techniques work with her...if one more person suggest gina bloody ford i might just get arrested for battering them with her bloody books


Hotpotpie · 15/07/2015 22:40

Can your health visitor help? I struggled for a long time with my daughter but not to that extent. Current agreement is lamp on, four books, whichever teddy she wants, a small bottle of water and it's ok to sing for ten mins Hmm


todayisayesterdaystomorrow · 15/07/2015 22:43

I'm not suggesting gf then!!!
I think sometimes as mums we move away from our instinct to "experts"and it has been helpful and unfulfilling, for me. The people who boast two nights of cc and she slept through probably had babies that would have slept through anyway.
I'm no push over, id say I'm instinctive because my parents were shit. What do think your child wants, not what do you want them to do. In the short term to get some rest and head space to work things out this angle has worked for me.
Sorry you are both upset, I've been there, it's tiring and awful, but it will pass. Best wishes.


DisappointedOne · 15/07/2015 23:25

Why are you resisting bringing her in with you?


Fatmomma99 · 15/07/2015 23:30

I was going to say "what do you think your child wants" but todayis said it first.

Is this separation anxiety?

I don't think I can post any more or give advice until I know this.


BlackeyedSusan · 15/07/2015 23:35

well. I co-slept with ds (asd, delayed speech) when he was having a tough time as we all got more sleep that way.

he was scared of somthing in the room that he could not verbalise. (turned out it was a mark on the ceiling.)

I would lay down with him then when he was asleep would creep out. I think at that stage he was still in the cot in the room then he grtaduated into my bed from the start and slept better. he still occasionally sleeps on the sofa bed as he prefers the company when droppping off.

I guess it depends on what you want as the end result. if you want her to go to sleep, without the trauma, are you prepared to compromise on the where and how you settle her.

it seems that you want her to go to sleep without too much fuss,
in her own bed,
on her own?

three bits, which do you prefer? work on that first.

if all else fails, use gina ford, a good whack to your head will put you out your misery and stop you hearing the fuss


WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant · 16/07/2015 00:16

Keep with a simple, consistent routine.
Bath time wakes my dd, so she gets a bath in the mornings, unless we have a disaster...
Warm milk can help.
My dd will not sleep,anywhere without my old t-shirt. It smells of me. She has always had it as a comfortor.
At nearly 3, she can manage a reward chart.
Keep it simple, 2 days of not being a banshee, and you get an ice cream.
If she is afraid of something, look on ebay for 'monster spray'. It is a squirty bottle, filled with glittery water. Get dd to help you chose one.
I assume they still sell it... If not, make your own!


Happy36 · 16/07/2015 00:42

I would stick to your first method sheer bloody minded consistency, over and over calmly putting her back . Any time that you stop doing this, she will get the message that persistence will result in success for her so you must make sure that you do not give in, or anyone else that puts her to bed. Good luck.

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