Tantrums at bedtime - help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 04-05-2013, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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We need help and advice!

I recently weaned my 20 month old DD (about 3 weeks ago). She has always slept in a separate bed (in our room for the first 8 months then in her room 3 steps away in a crib since then) as co-sleeping is not something that would work for our family.


I nursed her to sleep every single night since the day she was born until she was weaned. Since we've weaned her, DH has been putting her to bed every night. He does bath, gets her in her pj's, reads her stories, then rocks her in the rocking chair until she's asleep. He then puts her in her crib and we're done. Sounds lovely, doesn't it?


It was - for the first week or so. Then we stayed at my Dad's for Easter and all he$$ broke loose since then.

She had an incredible tantrum and barely slept all night at my Dad's (mostly our fault - she had a terrible nap, then tons of excitement with seeing cousins and an easter egg hunt, etc. just before bedtime).


Since then, putting her to bed has been really tough every night even though she's back to her normal routine. DH still does the proper routine with bath, pj's, stories and rocking. She will be snoring in his arms and the second he stands up to put her in the crib she starts freaking out. It starts with "No! No! No!" and if he puts her down it's full on screeching and crying and jumping up and down. This goes on for at least 45 minutes.


We've never believed in CIO and will never do it, but the tantrums are just out of control. DH will often come down, exhausted and frustrated, and I will go up. She often settles down a little faster for me but she does the same thing with snoring and rocking and as soon as I stand up she cries. Eventually I will get it timed at the right part of her sleep cycle and can put her down. Once she's down, she sleeps through the night most nights or if she gets up it's only once and I can get her back down in 10 minutes or less.


We've tried just laying her down and rubbing her back, etc. but she's having such a tantrum she's doing the whole arched-back thing and screaming that she is just not settling down at all.


It's becoming incredibly frustrating and our biggest concern is that we don't want her to learn that if she has a tantrum then mommy or daddy will give her what she wants.


Any advice is greatly appreciated. I know it's early on in this process but DH and I both dread bedtime every night as it's so frustrating.


Thank you so much in advance - and sorry this is so long!!

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#2 of 3 Old 04-07-2013, 03:29 AM
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Around that age (18 months for us) DD became IMPOSSIBLE to transfer to her crib once asleep. We also don't cosleep in our room (DH has medical issues re sleep and our bed is very high off the ground) and DD has been in a crib since day one. We're still nursing so I'd nurse her down completely in the rocker, she would be limp and snoring but the second I stood up or put her in the crib, BAM! She was up. For a while a thick blanket under her helped. She was less aware of movement and didn't get the shock of a cold crib mattress on her back when I put her down. after a couple of weeks that stopped working completely but it may help your LO. What we ended up doing was to get her a double bed very low to the ground. After the bedtime routine I'd lay down with her and nurse her down and increasingly she's accepting snuggles instead of nursing until completely asleep. If you'd like to try, maybe you could put her crib mattress on the floor with some couch cushions or sleeping bag next to it for daddy or you and cuddle her until she's asleep. Then simply stand up and walk away. It's been a life saver for us! I hope it might help you as well.
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#3 of 3 Old 04-09-2013, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for this! We made her crib a little more comfy last night and it definitely seemed to help. I don't think she's quite ready to be out of a crib yet - I would probably wake up to her sitting in my rocker reading a book or something lol. She's a total bookworm. DH and I had a big talk last night about CIO and we both agreed that we are not willing to go that route. I think we've just had so much pressure from family and friends lately saying that we need to "just leave her" that it was getting to us. This really helped us find more gently solutions and we're going to keep going this route. We're expecting #2 around end of October so we definitely need to have some kind of stability with bedtime for DD so that we don't lose our minds when we have another one keeping us up all night.

Thank you so much again - this is really helpful and I'm glad we're not the only ones in this boat.

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