My toddler is very clingy and losing it at bedtime..

Ghostheart83 - posted on 12/17/2016 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hello, I need help. I have a toddler who will be 3 in January, and she was going to bed just fine, taking naps just fine, then as of 4 days ago, something happened where she was suddenly freaking out when we went near her room one night, so we gave in and let her sleep with us (My bf and i who is Dad).. By letting her sleep with us was a nightmare, where she was getting up several times a night and whining.. We decided that cannot happen again.. so then the second night and so forth I decided I'd sit by her till she fell asleep in her room, then leave quietly.. She would start to panic the second night but fell asleep as i had my hand on her stomach lightly tapping.. third night she wouldn't go to bed at all, stayed awake and this time fought me to get out of bed and run around her room and then i felt trapped knowing if I left she'd start the screaming and crying.. I thought it was a fear of the dark, but they way she can run around in the dark, i ruled that one out.. Last night, I stayed by her side, gave her some melatonin to help her and she went to bed and i left quietly.. but the truth is that I'm so stressed out and she is like stuck on me, very clingy and loses it when i put her down.. I have a baby who is going on 9 months and no matter what i do, she loses it... I have no choice.. I thought by sitting by her side at night was a good thing till I realized that she's going to get so used to it and I'm going to be VERY STUCK!! I've been picking my brain on what could have scared her.. A spirit? the neighbor being too loud (who is known to growl loudly).. but she is stuck to me during the day and never wants me to let her go till she decides she wants to go... so it looks to be Separation Anxiety? She was this independent toddler and now suddenly clingy.. I love her to death but I hate that she wont let me do much of anything without a huge melt down.. I am so overwhelmed and now feeling anxiety myself because I'm trying to dodge her triggers, but I also feel trapped like my toddler won and me as mom have lost power by giving into what she wants...

I want to cut her off from sitting by her every night. I need her to go back to where she was when we had our every night routine and morning routines, so today her nap time was a CIO for an hour and then she fell asleep.. I feel so guilty about it but like I said I'm a mom of two here and my bf is at work till late hours.. Am I wrong for letting her cry it out? I was reading that what I have been doing can lead her to feel abandoned when she wakes up to find me gone and may connect it to think 'if i sleep, mom will leave me'.. Also read that I should be as happy as I can be before her bed time, talk to her about bed time and try my best to reassure her that I will be back in the morning.. Is there any advise any of you can give me? I feel so lost... I'm crying everyday, not sleeping very much, and it's stopping other things, even cutting my person time out which i didn't have much of to begin with... Sigh... so tonight but earlier than her actual bedtime, I'm going to have to do it again.. I hate this.. it's such an emotional thing for really the both of us i think..

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Snow - posted on 01/01/2017

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Have you asked her why she doesn't want to go to bed, or why she is crying? Do you think it might just be a manipulative tantrums to get out of bed or to get you to allow her to sleep with you? Nightmares maybe? Try having a talk with her about what's bothering her and see if you can figure out the root of her distress.

CIO is never easy, but I'm a strong believer in it when it comes to manipulative bedtime behaviour. If you think the tantrum is manipulative in nature, then CIO is probably the best reaction. I'd choose a length of time to leave her cry (something you are comfortable with). When the time is up, go in and sing her a song, talk to her, or rub her back (whatever you think would be most comforting without picking her up), then leave and do it again. I wouldn't stay for more than a couple minutes when you go in. You can also start with a shorter period between check-ins, then increase the duration gradually.

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