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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, lately, my two year old will not go to sleep. I have made sure she has an early nap. I do a routine -- dinner, wash hands/face/brush teeth, and a book (usually with Daddy while I get ready for bed). Then, I bring her to our bed and nurse her. But lately -- she is just teething. It is painful for me. Then she jumps up -- and gets out of bed saying she is hungry.

There has been quite a bit of turmoil lately between my husband and me. He has had some serious health issues and often is tired and not feeling well. It is too much for him to handle a tantruming daughter that just wants her daddy. He gets very cranky and very angry. Then I feel sick and then she has tantrums. It's a stressful time.

What would you do if your daughter got out of your bed, demanding to eat again and again? It's just too much for me -- I am really just so burned out and feel very numb. I know this is also part of her acting out! I really want her to just go to sleep so I can get up and exercise...but I want to make her happy and meet her needs. I don't know what to do!

I took your advise and had a break today.
 

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It is so hard when you are tired and everyone wants another part of you. What I have found works for me is to try to meet my needs before ds and dh need me to be their support, which usually happens when they are tired at the end of the day.
Easier said than done, obviously. Watching for opportunities and patterns helps me to find time throughout the day. At age 2, that is hard though. But, I have found that having a mother's helper come for a couple of hours 1-2x per week is worth it for my sanity. Trying to get 'me' time when everyone else is needing me, is a recipe for overwhelmed me!

What helps when we are already at that point is trying not to have an agenda of 'hurry up and go to sleep!'. My unsettled energy just winds our son up, and then dh gets wound up from the noise, and then I feel like I am trying to keep the peace, and I feel the pressure and just want to scream: Everyone CALM DOWN!
But, ummm....me amped up doesn't help anyone. So, I take some Rescue Remedy. I swear, I couldn't parent without it! And give some to ds and/or dh. And then we are all able to recenter because *I* am calmer.

I do know that ds needs some connecting time with dh before he can settle for the night. So, it is hard when dh comes home tired and it's late. They have been able to create a settling routine of watching a familiar video together. That takes less of everyone's energy and still they have a quiet time which is less demanding on dh. And I get some me time then.

We also keep a sippy cup at the bedside for thirst. And sometimes we do another snack and that engagement is the real need that gets met. And brush teeth again.

HTH, Pat
 

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Is she actually hungry? Do you incorporate snack time into before bedtime routine? We have to because my DS eats so little at dinner time that he usually is hungry again by 7 so I give him a snack and then get him ready for bed. That way, I can tell him during snack time that this is the time to eat and once he's in bed if he says he's hungry, I'm pretty sure he isn't and can tell him snack time is over, it's time for sleeping now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK -- I'll try the snacks and the other advise. Thanks!

What are good bedtime snacks -- to help her settle? I give her some Sleepytime tea -- but what about food?
 

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We do things like fruit and cheese, yogurt and pretzels, muffins. Nothing too fatty, but it should be more than just carbs so it sticks with them longer during the night (so hopefully they don't wake up starving in the middle of the night).
 

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Are you sure she still needs her nap? My DD gave up napping when she was 28 months (bad timing for me, newly pregnant
), but that's what our nights were like when she DID accidentally nap (in the car, usually). Even now, if she wakes up after 8 a.m., she physically cannot get herself to sleep until 9:30 or so, even when she's melting-down exhausted.

Maybe just letting her stay up until she reaches her next sleep window will elminiate the tantrums, and maybe your DH can be made to understand that she just misses him?

Bedtime is so hard.
 
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