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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, hoping someone can offer me some advice for things I might not have tried.

DS is making my life pretty hard at his bedtimes lately.  I've been a soft touch with him all the time and let him get away with so much.  He moved out of his cot a number of months ago now and into his Thomas bed, which he hated (told me it was dangerous, new word at the time) anyway, I took the Thomas bed down and got him a new plain bed, which he also informed me was dangerous and he'd scream and cry and not stay in it. 

So this is where it gets worse, he moved into my bed.  Was fine and would go down ok for months until a week ago when he wont let me leave the room after giving him a kiss and cuddle.  I've done the reading a book, fine until I leave the room, singing lullabies, again fine until  I leave the room. Then he cries and screams at the top of the stairs at stair gate until I go back up to him again and put him in bed.  I don't leave him too long cos he gets really upset and does that really horrible crying where they are kind of doing really big deep breaths as well (don't know how to explain it, heartbreak crying). 

Anyway, because he wouldn't settle in my bed any longer I had nothing else to offer him(I know he wants to sleep on the sofa though, but not going there lol), so we're back to the Thomas bed, first time last night and I had to sleep in the other single bed that I kept up in his room, last night he ran around up there crying and screaming with me going up every few minutes putting him back in bed and not talking to him just for him to get straight back out again before I'd even reached the door of his room.  He eventually settled down at midnight with me sleeping in the bed next to him, I say midnight but guess I was asleep before him.  Tonight I didn't want him dictating my whole evening again so I laid down on the single bed while he went into Thomas bed, he fell asleep within minutes because he was so tired.  I left it about 20 mins before creeping out.  Within 10 mins he'd woken again and was screaming and crying for me, so up I trot again and lay down on the other bed, he falls asleep again after constantly watching I wasn't leaving him for about 20mins, then I go and run my bath.  As I'm running the bath he comes in and wont leave because I'm not in his room and gives a running commentary of what I'm doing  :eek:  ;D funny, but not when all you want to do is relax and unwind at the end of the day.

After that I go and lay down with him again and he falls asleep to wake up again after a few minutes to find me no longer there and he's crying.  As I've been typing this it has all gone quiet, but I had left him screaming for probably 15 or more minutes before that happened.  I'm going to have to check on him but don't want to wake him if he's fallen asleep.  Why do the stairs always creak when its sooooooooooo quiet, oh and I must oil that squeaky stairgate grrrrrrrrrrr.

Any advice would be gratefully received before I go stark raving bonkers and he ends up ratty all day through lack of sleep.  Its really getting me down after taking his sleeping for granted.

Thanks.
Zoe xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
went up to check on him because all gone quiet and he's in the bed that I would be sleeping in tonight and he's soundo  :) hopefully he'll stay that way til the morning, probably expects me to get in there with him.  Hopefully he'll stay asleep now, he did create a bit of havoc upstairs though, I had a pile of fresh tumble drying in my bedroom that I was going to hang when he was at nursery tomorrow and he'd thrown the lot on the floor hmmmmmmmmm, get even with mummy I think.
 

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Hi Zoe,

My DD is not quite 18 months so I can't claim to be experienced in this department. However, I did just happen to read on an Australian government health website about this yesterday.

It was saying that children up to age of 3-4 still suffer with flare ups of separation anxiety. Its sounds like a classic sep anx issue to me. They suggested sitting in a chair next to the child while they fall asleep and not leaving without telling them you are leaving. If they can't cope with that, you just stay with them until the worst of the flare up passes and they feel more safe. Then gradually over a period of days/couple of weeks move the chair further away until it is outside the door.

I do know that by the end of the day, much as we love our children, we have all had enough and want to be on our own for a few hours before we go to bed. However, I think you might just have to be patient with him and accept that you might have to give up all of your evenigs for the next couple of weeks to help him get over this fear of you leaving him and also of his Thomas bed. At the moment, every time he wakes up, you aren't there which is is just reinforcing his fears.

I read an article in a waiting room recently as well about an alternative to controlled crying for older children, but I'm not sure I can explain it properly....It was something along the lines of because they can understand what you are saying you keep telling them you will keep coming back up and checking on them until they fall asleep as long as they stay in their bed. It might need to be every 10 seconds to begin with, and you up it like controlled crying but BEFORE they get upset. You leave the door a jar and then when you come in you say 'You see, I am checking on you just as I promised'. You don't speak every time, just let them see you are there and keeping your promise. If they won't stay in their bed, then you can close the door and say 'If you don't stay in your bed, I close the door.' Eventually they get the message that to keep getting the reassurance they have to stay in their bed. No idea if it would work but might be worth a go.

Hope things get better soon

Sue
 

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We did the "I'll be back in 5 minutes" with J and it did work but you do need to make sure you go back. My dh said he'd be fine and I was silly going back as he was ok but, as far as I was concerned, I'd said I'd do something so I did it. If he'd gone to sleep great, but if he hadn't then I'd ask him if he was ok, give him a kiss and say I'll be back in another 10 minutes. I said things like "I'm going to see if Daddy is ok", or "I'll go and make sure M is quiet so you can sleep" so he knew I was doing something rather than just leaving him.

Chux xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for that help ladies.  I have been so weak this evening though and have told him he can sleep on the sofa  ^bigbad^  ^bigbad^  ^bigbad^ to me, because I know that is the worst thing I can do, but I needed a break from him screaming at me although 2 nights ago it wasn't quite so bad.

I think the idea of going in and checking him every few minutes and telling him I'm going to do that is a good idea if I can get him to stay in there in the first place.  I guess if I can't then I just put him back into bed and then say 5 mins again until it hopefully starts working.

I did do a few nights of staying with him till he fell asleep then leaving the room, but as soon as he woke up he was crying for me again to go and be with him and it did take the whole evening.  Maybe it really will take a couple of weeks and I need to persevere, but i'll make sure this time that I give it a good week or more if needed.

Thanks again for replying, I didn't think I was going to get any replies.

Zoe xx

 
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