Author Topic: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!  (Read 1378 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Mamae

  • New & Learning The Ropes!
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 0
  • Posts: 10
  • Location:
Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« on: August 13, 2016, 03:25:44 am »
My LO is almost 28 months. She was sleep trained at 5 months old and has always slept well - always fell asleep on her own and STTN. The last couple months we have seen increasing bedtime and nap time battles, with her crying a bit and saying she was afraid of her crib. Then she started trying to climb out of her crib. She would always eventually give up and put herself to sleep, STTN still though, and wake up happy and rolling around until we got her. About 2 weeks ago, she had a NW at 2 a.m. (very rare for her), screaming for mommy and crying hard and then climbed out of the crib to go pound on her closed door for me to get her. Not sure if it was a night terror or not, but we were scared she was really going to get hurt if she started middle of the night climbing.

So, we converted to a toddler bed and it's been a couple weeks of torture for all! Overnight my awesome sleeper has disappeared. After the first week of zero naps (she usually naps for 1.5-2 hours every single day) and multiple NW and EW, she was super sleep deprived. We found the only way to get her and all in the house some sleep was if I laid down on the other side of her room on a bed we have there and stayed until she falls asleep in her toddler bed for every nap, bedtime and NW. DH works very late with a big commute so this has been hard since it's just me that needs to lay with her for sometimes 1-2 hrs until she sleeps, while I hope my 6 year old doesn't need me.

Our day now also starts between 5-6 a.m. with her waking up screaming for me (even if I am asleep across the room in the other bed - I've been so tired with the NWs that I just end up sleeping in the bed sometimes and she goes back to sleep when she realizes I am there). Also, when she won't stay in her bed, I have said "should I come back and check on you" and she jumps right back in her bed and says mommy stay. The threat of me leaving and then her knowing I am staying seems to at least keep her in the bed.

I am at a loss of what to do. I can't even attempt WI/WO as the minute I put her in the bed she runs right out and clings to my leg crying hysterically. Or she does a vice grip and won't let me put her in. GW seems impossible for the same reasons, plus we also have to keep the door closed (with toddler lock on the knob) as the noise carries terribly in our house and LO goes to bed earlier than her big sis.
She truly seems like she has a terrible bout of separation anxiety like I have never seen before, and the fact she can get out of bed is making it a million times worse. I have now created a sleep crutch and lost my great sleeper. I know I should stop staying in there with her, but she gets hysterical. I also know it's wishful thinking, but I was hoping that if this is a phase, by her always seeing me in her room she would eventually stop waking up looking for me in the night as she would trust I was around. So far no luck. I even thought about going back to the crib, but it's just too dangerous with the climbing and her night anxiety was starting even before the toddler bed. Sorry so long. I have no idea what to do.

Offline Haribo2012

  • Toddler Sleep
  • Moderator
  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 75
  • Posts: 4924
  • Location: England
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2016, 17:50:40 pm »
Hi there big hugs it's stressful when they suddenly change it up out of the blue.

My first had a phase of this and it required lots of deep breaths and consistency.

How about a bed guard for the bed if you don't want to go back to a crib? Personally I would just use GW and keep replacing her in bed little talking just something like shush now it's time for sleep mummy's here. Repeat repeat etc, sit next to the bed but not touching just using your voice. She may be afraid if the door is totally shut, developmental stuff going on may mean she's more aware of dark or being closed in as such, could you leave the door a jar? Mine won't sleep with door shut even at 4.5.

Can you force a nap by driving or walking? What time is BT?
It's soul destroying for you to lay in there for 2 hours (I'd fall asleep  ;))
Zoe


Offline Mamae

  • New & Learning The Ropes!
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 0
  • Posts: 10
  • Location:
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2016, 13:17:19 pm »
Thank you so much for your reply. Last night was the worst yet. Two days of skipped naps, took 1.5 hrs to still fall asleep despite early BT and 4 NWs for over an hour each.

Last week we managed to at least nap for 4 days in a row and had one night where she slept 7:30 - 6 a.m. with no NW, but that was a fluke. Me also telling her to stay in the bed while laying in there is now not working as she says she wants to lay down with me.

BT with naps is usually around 7:45-8 p.m. (nap is 1-2:30/3 p.m.). Still taking 1-1.5 hrs to fall asleep, sometimes a bit less. If she doesn't nap I try for BT at 6:30/7:00 and there are always NWs. Day starts at 6 a.m. but with me going in I have managed to get her to sleep a bit longer (7/7:30).

I am losing hope after 3 wks of this. I don't know how she is functioning either. She is so tired and cranky. Her door open is way too loud and she runs out immediately (we have a living room below that you literally can hear anything from a footstep to a tv). Plus my 6 year old goes to bed much later and is very good about being quiet but any little noise travels. 

I also have no luck in forcing naps. LO never has napped ever in the car (which I know is crazy!!!) and she hates her stroller with walks at this point as she just wants to walk herself.  This is why I am such at a loss and so desperate. She was a perfect sleeper. Can't figure out what I am missing to help her.

Should I just wait it out and keep staying in there until I sense the SA getting better and then begin GW? We are going on vacation in a week too, with her in a portable crib and will all be sleeping in the same room. I can only imagine how that will complicate this all. :-[

Offline Haribo2012

  • Toddler Sleep
  • Moderator
  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 75
  • Posts: 4924
  • Location: England
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2016, 20:47:03 pm »
She just likes to keep you on your toes  ;)

Personally if your going away I'd ride it out until you get back if she's going to be in the room with you.

In the meantime if she doesn't nap try an 11.5 hour day if she does take a nap of 1.5 hours then a 13 hour day, she might of got into a bit of an UT/OT loop. I do remember this age with DS1 and having to drive or walk or get him to nod off on the sofa to have a little catch up but if not he went to bed st 5.45pm following a 6am WU.

You might not be missing anything Hun it could be she's have a developmental leap, her language may explode soon and then things may return to normal. Really it's just trying to keep OT at bay and riding out these leaps. If it's SA then just lots of mummy time, extra cuddles, extra stories at bedtime etc.

Does she understand BT? As in if you talk about how getting tired makes her grumpy and she needs sleep to make her happy and well etc. Could she have a teddy to tuck in so she is putting it to bed?

I remember feeling silly talking to DS toys in bed telling them to all sleep well and cuddle each other  :)
Zoe


Offline Mamae

  • New & Learning The Ropes!
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 0
  • Posts: 10
  • Location:
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2016, 10:59:04 am »
Thanks for the good advice. Today the day started at her 4:30 a.m. wake up. After in there for 2 hrs I have given up. I usually can get her back down for a little. This is by far the earliest and she fell asleep at 9:15 last night after almost 2 hr BT struggle. I just want to cry. She will be a mess today with 7 hrs sleep.

She does have a teddy as her lovey and I like the idea of engaging her with that more. We try to tuck him in but her favorite thing is to throw him out of bed so she can get out and get him. She's a smart one.

I will definitely attempt any major changes post vacation for sure. Just don't even know where to start.

Do nightlights make a difference? She never had one and room was always pitch black with blackout drapes with sound machine going. When the original SA started she asked for nightlights as she knows the top of her sound machine glows if turned on. She spent over an hour the first few nights crying for it so we tried it and she seemed to settle. I'm wondering if it's causing problems during the night though when she wakes and sees it on. It's very dim but light enough she can also notice I'm not in there. Wondering if anyone thinks this makes a difference?

Offline Haribo2012

  • Toddler Sleep
  • Moderator
  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 75
  • Posts: 4924
  • Location: England
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2016, 17:50:08 pm »
Oh no sorry to hear you had rough BT and WU, how's she been today did she nap?

Honestly it will pass and she will probably crash and do a long night if she refusing BT and naps.

I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but will she go back to sleep at EW in your bed? We did this for a while as 4.30am was not my idea of WU and nothing else worked.

Have you tried lights on a timer or a sun clock? Some kids like night lights done it wakes up more, DS1 has a red light in his room with door open he's scared of everything at the moment but we did introduce the sun clock at this age to make him understand when we say good night and when we get up.
Zoe


Offline Mamae

  • New & Learning The Ropes!
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 0
  • Posts: 10
  • Location:
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2016, 19:53:48 pm »
She did nap, but she actually fought it for a good 40 mins! I put her down a little before 11 a.m. and she finally fell asleep at 11:30 after running all around her room, laying on the floor, asking for several diaper changes and saying "I do not like my bed..I don't want it". She only slept 1.5 hrs and I saw on the monitor she was about to settle (she gently bangs her head on the mattress when she is about to fall asleep and this has always been her self soothing), but instead popped up looking for me in the usual place I stay in while in her room. She then got up and cried at the door like crazy for me when she realized I wasn't there. I have so created a bad habit by staying until she sleeps, but don't know what else to do.  ???

Your words are quite helpful though. I just need to know this will pass...and not like when she is a teenager, but in the not so distant future! I guess I am so stunned by all this as we actually did very successful sleep training with her (not so with the 6 year old who still comes into our bed during the night at times) and she was such an amazing sleeper until last month! It just all uprooted overnight and the toddler bed made just ruined it all.

I might try laying down with her in the early morning if all else fails either in our guest room or my room if my husband and 6 year old aren't in the way. She has been asking and I'm so afraid to go down that slippery slope, but every day keeps getting worse. I was also thinking maybe it's time for a gro-clock. She may be way too intrigued by it though to sleep if I know her. I'm going to try to turn off the nightlight after she falls asleep and see what happens during the night tonight. Will aim for BT at 6:00 p.m. given nap was over at 1:00 p.m. and she is soooooo tired this afternoon.

Offline Haribo2012

  • Toddler Sleep
  • Moderator
  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 75
  • Posts: 4924
  • Location: England
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2016, 21:01:07 pm »
It does sometimes feel like these phases will never end. It's like sleeping through the night....my youngest just hasn't cracked it yet!

I'd try the sun clock it may work, give her something visual to understand. Maybe try the sleeping with her just to get past the OT then tackle sleep after your hols.

Bad habits can always be fixed and sometimes we have to do what we can to get through a rough patch  :)
Zoe


Offline Mamae

  • New & Learning The Ropes!
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 0
  • Posts: 10
  • Location:
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2016, 12:29:32 pm »
I so needed to hear that reassurance. Makes it easier when you APOP that you are actually doing the right thing at the moment. Thank you!

So last night she made it from 6:40 pm until 1 am. Sent DH in for once and she just wanted mommy. Cried harder but he calmed her and told her I would come later and he stayed. She eventually slept and repeated this at 3:30 too. DH snuck out at 5 am and she slept until 7:15!!!

I saw on the monitor at 6 am that she looked around and did resettle even though nobody was there. That's slightly promising.

Perhaps I need to send DH in more as maybe she will give up calling for me! I also guess  turning the nightlight off wasn't a factor but will continue to experiment.

Offline Haribo2012

  • Toddler Sleep
  • Moderator
  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 75
  • Posts: 4924
  • Location: England
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2016, 05:57:27 am »
I use it as a short term fix if I think SA is going on or developmental leaps then when DS is calmer as such I try and use talking and explaining what's going to happen ie no sleeping with mummy tonight and he generally gets it.

Oooh good night yes maybe send daddy in for a few times and then lots of praise from you in the morning.

Very promising she settled alone, how was last night?
Zoe


Offline Mamae

  • New & Learning The Ropes!
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 0
  • Posts: 10
  • Location:
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2016, 02:53:08 am »
Last night was okay. Fell asleep after an hour around 8:40 pm and then NW at 1. Sent DH in and she cried hard for me but went back to sleep relatively soon after. He stayed all night and she would check he was there at times but no crying. She slept until 7:30 which was glorious.

She also napped today but I was stuck in the room for her to fall asleep and it took her 40 mins. Slept 1.5 hrs.  This evening I know she was exhausted with a hot, busy afternoon outside. Still took her over an hour to fall asleep with me in the room but she didn't pull the usual shenanigans and just banged her head the whole time remaining in her bed, peaking to see if I was there at times. Didn't fall asleep until 9:15 pm which is rather late!

It sort of seems her A time needs to be at least 6 hrs or even more. She's certainly not ready to drop her nap though so sort of feels like we are stuck in that tough spot before they can actually drop with the UT/OT loop.

We'll see how tonight goes. She's still very anxious when she wakes and realizes she's alone. Will keep riding it out and vacation starts soon for a week so will continue to see where we are once home.

Offline Haribo2012

  • Toddler Sleep
  • Moderator
  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 75
  • Posts: 4924
  • Location: England
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2016, 08:25:06 am »
Nap dropping is the pits, all I can say is that we pretty much offered normal nap at 1pm ish if it didn't happen we did quiet time or I made the sofa comfy popped tv on and we cuddled...sometimes he'd drop off but if not he was chilling, then took a walk or drive around 3pm to see if he would nod off and if he did allowed 20 mins just to get him to bed. Keep your day short so then the OT won't make SA worse.

Try to enjoy the vacation and worry about sleep when you get back  :-*
Zoe


Offline Mamae

  • New & Learning The Ropes!
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 0
  • Posts: 10
  • Location:
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2016, 19:50:28 pm »
Thank you very much! I'm sure I'll have an update once back from our trip! Really appreciate all of your wonderful suggestions.

Offline Haribo2012

  • Toddler Sleep
  • Moderator
  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 75
  • Posts: 4924
  • Location: England
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2016, 20:03:48 pm »
Have fun, you never know it might just be the solution x
Zoe


Offline Mamae

  • New & Learning The Ropes!
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 0
  • Posts: 10
  • Location:
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2016, 01:48:12 am »
Well, I'm back. It's been a few weeks and here is the update. After sleeping in the same room on vacation, it went better than expected, but either DH or I still had to be in the room for her to fall asleep every time. She was in a crib for our trip and tried to climb out endlessly, but with one of us there we kept her safe. Every night took 30-60 mins for her to fall asleep. Good news is she slept through most nights and if she woke we just said we are right here and she immediately went back to sleep.

Fast forward 3 weeks and she has at least stopped waking up all night long. If she does have a NW, one of us goes in and lays down in the extra bed in her room and she goes immediately back to her toddler bed and actually goes back to sleep fairly quickly. She also seems to have cut down the EWs or if she does have one we can go in and usually get her back to sleep. However, BT and NT require one of us to be with her still for sometimes over an hour.

When it's me at sleep times, she now wants me to be right next to her bed and pulls all kinds of stall tactics - need another diaper change, change my pjs, I pooped, etc. When it's DH, she at least stays in her bed and allows him to stay in the extra bed across the room. Still takes 45 mins to an hour to sleep, but much less shenanigans. I feel like my presence is too much of a temptation and much harder for her to settle, however she screams and cries in massive distress if I even try to move away from her and I am no longer even able to stay in the spare bed across the room.

I tried to start WI/WO this past week but it's been a horrible fail. I can't even walk out as she screams and clings or throws herself against the door so I cannot leave. The times I have exited she sounds like she will break down the door. If DH is home he ends up switching with me and saying mommy had to go do something and will be back later. She gets in her bed and usually settles while he lays in the spare bed. He usually gets home late or travels so I've been lucky with him here lately but that usually won't be the case.

So I am wondering how to break this cycle and what to do. I think she is out of her SA phase. She has started daycare 3 days a week but it's been a couple weeks and she actually seems much better with the SA than a month ago when she was home all days with me. GW with me in the room seems to be way too stimulating, yet she needs my presence. Should I stick to the WI\WO and see what happens after the initial tantrum? As mentioned she was initially sleep trained when she was 4-5 mos and was falling asleep on her own up until about 2 mos ago. Just don't know how best to remove us as the sleep props this last 2 months now that she is mobile in the toddler bed.

Offline Haribo2012

  • Toddler Sleep
  • Moderator
  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 75
  • Posts: 4924
  • Location: England
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2016, 19:02:46 pm »
Hi hope the vacation was good?

Personally I don't get on with wi/wo my DS1 used to go bananas so I stool with GW. Maybe you could talk to her at bedtime and say mummy will sit in the doorway if you stay in bed and sit so she can see your arm or part of your body!? I used to sit with my legs poking in the doorway.

After a while I progressed to outside the door then the top step of stairs, then saying I'm just going to the toilet and go then go back to top step so he could see me if he got up. Eventually to being at the bottom of the stairs allegedly folding washing  ;) so I could just shout up to reassure if need be.

How good is she with understanding you communication wise?
Zoe


Offline Mamae

  • New & Learning The Ropes!
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 0
  • Posts: 10
  • Location:
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2016, 03:39:23 am »
The vacation was actually very nice. Thanks for asking.  :)

She is quite good at understanding me and speaks very very well for her age. She is very strong willed and when things aren't as she likes them she will let you know.

Tonight I had a "serious" chat in the evening about how Mommy is going to sit back across the room on the spare bed as I had done before and how daddy does. She definitely understood and cried hard when I did so. Then she absolutely clung to me and said she needs me to hold her. She kept saying she wanted me to lie on the floor with her.

I said mommy will help you and then I will go outside the door and be right back if you can't follow these directions. Sure enough she ran full speed behind me as I tried to exit and went bezerk when I left. I talked to her through the door and came back and the same thing continued. Eventually DH bailed me out after an hour of me trying to sit in the room with her yelling at me to lay down and her saying she hates her bed. She also would sit on my lap and say I needed to hold her.  :-[

I agree the WI/wo gets them crazy, but I don't know what else to resort to as I literally cannot even start GW as she is so stirred up with me in the room and not doing what she wants. Perhaps I am not handling it correctly as I am not sure what to do when she lays on my lap or screams and cries to sit in a certain spot. Ignoring her seems to make her so crazy and also seems confusing as Mommy won't help. So far I have tried to remind her over and over Mommy is not going to do anything but sit and then only way to stop it and try again is to leave for a brief minute. I was hoping she would know I mean business if I exit (I still talk to her thru the door and don't leave her to cry hysterically). Are there certain tactics to handle such behavior when in the room doing GW?

Offline Haribo2012

  • Toddler Sleep
  • Moderator
  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 75
  • Posts: 4924
  • Location: England
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2016, 06:26:48 am »
Could you lay next to cot and then in a couple of days move further away? It's so hard I remember literally getting a numb bum from sitting in the place for so long.

If she gets worked up is prob give her a little cuddle then out back in bed and say sleepy times now or your phrase, mummy is here but it's time to sleep.
Zoe


Offline Mamae

  • New & Learning The Ropes!
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 0
  • Posts: 10
  • Location:
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2016, 16:10:44 pm »
Thank you for the advice. I will try starting closer tonight and see what happens. My biggest problem is literally putting her back in the bed as she won't physically do it and just jumps out and clings immediately if I can actually get her to let go! I guess I will just keep trying to put her in over and over. It's like a little clinging monkey that cries. Poor thing. I know this is hard for her and I am so trying not to get frustrated but just don't know how to help her best.

Offline Haribo2012

  • Toddler Sleep
  • Moderator
  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 75
  • Posts: 4924
  • Location: England
Re: Separation anxiety + toddler bed and lost my great sleeper!
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2016, 17:29:57 pm »
Maybe put her in then hold her hand for a couple of days x
Zoe