Author Topic: 25 month old suddenly demanding mom to stay with him until he falls asleep  (Read 210 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Olga_W

  • New & Learning The Ropes
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 26
  • Location: Chicago
Hello, I would like to ask some advice regarding handling my DS1 sudden separation anxiety at bedtime. I am not 100 % sure what really triggered it but I see it is getting worse. I think it may have been triggered by my reaction to his general behavior. He has a 4 month old brother  (he is cutting his first teeth now and needs little more attention) so I try to give him as much love and hugs as possible to avoid jealousy, but sometimes it is just to much of his whining for no apparent reason that puts me through the edge and I react strongly. At nap time he is in general ok, sometimes he will whine when I leave but soon will start playing in his crib and eventually will go to sleep. He sort of started refusing bedtime and  I kind of need to push him to go to sleep. But recent nights it got worse, he wants me to sit with him and if I try to leave the room he will start whining but not crying. The crying will come if I go back and try to leave again. Each time I would go back and leave he would get more hysterical. Last night I tucked him in, sit for a little bit as usual, gave him his cup and eventually left. He started whining immediately but it was just whining, it continued on and of for over 30 min, than it turned into more whining and sort of crying and eventually he woke up his brother and I was forced to go in. I had to stay in until he fall asleep because if I would leave he would completely wake up DS2  :(. If my husband goes in and calms him down he will go to sleep immediately but my husband is often still at work in the evening.
I need the evenings back as this is the only time I can do some chores or relax so I want to ask which training method you thing would be the most appropriate considering above behavior: WI/WO or GW?

Offline Katet

  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 605
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 14282
  • Sydney Australia
  • Location: Sydney
To be honest it's not a bedtime problem per se more an age/ sibling issue. At the end of the day is when our body has the most stress in it. At bedtime all the things we were distracted from can be remembered and the skill of relaxation is important.

The age gap between your 2 is the same as mine and it was when the baby was about 4mo that my eldest also struggled. They work out that baby gets attention when they cry, so toddler sees it works and copies. At this age it's about getting needs met. All attention is not equal and what we think of as attention eg love and hugs may have less currency than other things, so it's really valuable to look at what they find of value not what we see as value. My eldest loved me joining in play my youngest was more physical cuddling... To this day as teens my eldest talks more my youngest. wants cuddling when they have a problem. What I'm saying is look at what he wants to do when you are feeding the baby or changing a nappy as that's probably what fills his cup.

Secondly do you have a bedtime routine that is focused on him or is it shared with the baby. I found DS1 needed stories read to him at bedtime and we also we needed to communicate what happened at bedtime very clearly and that Mum would keep coming back to visit. Not based around the noise he made but because I was showing that I did regularly check even when he was asleep.

In many ways rather than responding to the noise, you make a pattern that he sees a ritual of you being there for him when he's happy not just when he's upset.
Also hard as it is learning to relax with your children and leaving chores is a good skill for parenting.
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

Offline Olga_W

  • New & Learning The Ropes
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 26
  • Location: Chicago
Yes, we do have a separate bedtime ritual. DS2 goes to sleep and than I take care of DS1, evening snack, bath, story and than off to sleep. It is usually about an hour. I guess he did figure out that crying gets attention as it is with his younger brother. I try to meet his needs because I can see that he needs that attention; however, recent days it has been difficult because the can switch fron happy to upset in matter of seconds and often I just canít figure out what is happening. I guess it is the terrible twos and that phase makes it double as hard.

Offline Katet

  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 605
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 14282
  • Sydney Australia
  • Location: Sydney
I think terrible twos is no where near as bad as people make out. At 2 toddlers understand loads more than they can speak. A lot of the time they get stuck with their own expectations and then get upset when we as parents take them down another path. I found that often the Mum's around me who struggled the most were the ones who communicated the least as to what was happening. I would talk all the time about what was happening. Say things like bedtime. Mummy will help you brush your teeth, then we will... Then when we got home the next thing I'd give that step and the next one. So when I actually had them lying in bed I'd then explain I would pay their back for a minute, then I would need to go to the toilet, after I went I'd come back and check. Etc. I basically left very little for them to guess. If something changed I'd show empathy that it didn't happen as planned and comfort etc. Lots of communication on things like 'you find it hard when Mummy leaves the room, she will come back and check on you," Mummy needs to clean up the kitchen so she can go to bed too"
I also tried never to say "you are ok' because I honestly think if they felt they were ok they wouldn't be upset. So more Mummy is here will a cuddle help you feel better.
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

Offline Olga_W

  • New & Learning The Ropes
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 26
  • Location: Chicago
That is sort of what I meant by saying terrible twos. The problem with child expectations and lack of good communication skills and of course they intense display of emotions :). People call it terrible twos but is just a normal part of child development. The better we can communicate with them the faster it will pass. I am the same way as you, I tell my son what we are going to do next. For example: we are going to get dressed, now we are going to make breakfast, etc.
So the next night after I wrote the post I tried the WI/WO and it worked perfectly. It took about 45 min of me going back to him and walking out but he calmed down and went to sleep. The next night we had no issue at all. I think he just needed to be reassured that I am always there for him. Well.. I am glad that it worked out and now I now how to better approach future issues if they arise.