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GD playing up at bedtime

(23 Posts)
ChrisCross Tue 19-Sep-17 10:39:59

My 18 month old GD has started playing up at bed time with my son and DiL - screaming for up to 3 hours. They say they try to calm her but as soon as they leave the room she starts screaming again.
She went down fine for me and her other granny a couple it times recently.
I have offered to pick her up from nursery for a couple of days in a row and put her to bed to try and break the pattern.
I wonder how long they should let her scream before going back Into the room. I know it's stressful to listen to but.... any advice I don't want to appear to be telling them what they should do - it might not work anyway but I do recall allowing my kids to pretty well cry themselves to sleep occasionally when they were acting up and I knew there was nothing actually wrong. I would sit at the top of the stairs in tears listening to it though!

paddyann Tue 19-Sep-17 12:53:09

I never let mine cry themselves to sleep ,I think its cruel.They're babies they dont know if when you walk out the door that you will come back.I always sat with mine and read to them ,we played soothing music ,had a lavender spray for the bedlinen. It doesn't last forever so a wee bit of patience goes a long way

paddyann Tue 19-Sep-17 12:53:35

they're BABIES ..flaming keyboard

MissAdventure Tue 19-Sep-17 12:56:31

My daughter never played up at bedtime. It wasn't allowed or encouraged. If I ever heard the patter of tiny feet I was in there like a shot, guiding her back into bed.

loopyloo Tue 19-Sep-17 13:04:40

Perhaps a graduated plan . Like wait for 15 mins then go in and sit with her then 20 mins then 25 and so on. Does she go to sleep when someone sits with her?
Also is she sleeping too much during the daytime? Does she have a little night light?

ninathenana Tue 19-Sep-17 13:22:58

What loopy said

MissAdventure Tue 19-Sep-17 13:26:34

That is the kind of thing supernanny does, and it seems to work pretty quickly, if the parents can bring themselves to stick to it.

Nonnie Tue 19-Sep-17 13:41:43

The current method is, I believe called 'controlled crying' It seems to me that parents don't realise that their child understand what is said to them long before they can say the things themselves.

Many children do this either out of insecurity or simply wanting to play.

Although we think everyone knows it might be just as well to spell it out.

Have a bedtime routine which includes a quiet time before getting ready for bed, Read a story and then tell the child it is time to sleep now and not playtime. Then the hard bit for the parents starts. Leave your child to cry for 5 minutes then go in and check they are dry or whatever and tell them it is time to sleep and not to play. Leave them for 10 minutes and do the same, each time adding another 5 mins.

DS took ages to work up to this and I warned him it could take a week to sink in so be prepared and preferably start on a Friday night. He did, left the child for 5 minutes and then eventually went back because there was no sound. Child was in the corner of his cot fast asleep and they never had a problem after that with that child.

They didn't learn, I think number two still goes into his parent's' bed at the age of 5!

yggdrasil Tue 19-Sep-17 15:29:28

My daughter did the same at that age. But it is usually clear whether this is a distress cry, or a cry of annoyance at it being bedtime. I too listened to her cry for 3/4 hour the fisrt time I didn't go to her, and yes I was in tears outside. The second night she kept it up for 10 minutes before she went to sleep, The third night was a token protest, and it never happened again

Nonnie Tue 19-Sep-17 16:16:38

I think there are times when small children need to understand who are the adults! So often these days parents try to reason with toddlers who are far too young to reason with.

petra Tue 19-Sep-17 20:43:35

Don't ask me. I couldn't bear to let my own daughter cry and with the grandchildren it was worse. I can't bear to hear any child cry.
I know the theory works, but I just couldn't do it.

lemongrove Tue 19-Sep-17 21:07:51

A nightlight, an open door, a calm bedtime routine including bath with lavender bubbles, a warm milky drink and they should be asleep before you finish the bedtime story.Hopefully.😬

nightowl Tue 19-Sep-17 21:31:04

A routine is fine and helpful. Crying to sleep, well I'm not at all sure that's helpful. It seems to me that all it does is train babies that however much they cry no one will come. A bit like that old NSPCC advert. Children learn to trust by having adults who can be trusted.

Nonnie Wed 20-Sep-17 10:24:11

Nightowl I don't think anyone is suggesting you just leave a child to cry. My suggestion is that you leave them for 5 minutes and go back and explain why they have to stay in their bed. I have yet to meet anyone who has done the whole bedtime routine followed by explaining to the child and then going back after 5 minutes, then 10 minutes etc and said it didn't work. It is not heartlessly leaving a child alone, it is explaining to them why they have to go to bed and giving reassurance. Just one part of helping them grow up responsibly and not little monsters ruling the roost.

Violetfloss Wed 20-Sep-17 12:28:45

We used to sit with both of ours untill they fell asleep.
18 months for me is still a baby so I don't mind cuddling to sleep or holding their hand.

Once they get to an age when they understand we would wait in our room, then go downstairs...then say 'im downstairs if you need me'

I think sleepless nights and disturbed sleep just goes hand in hand with parenting.

FarNorth Wed 20-Sep-17 13:35:26

Nonnie the controlled crying method seems to be what I did.
Not sure I left it as long as 5 minutes to start with, though, but I did gradually increase the time before I went back, and went back anyway even if crying had stopped so the child knew that they weren't being left.

nightowl Wed 20-Sep-17 14:24:40

I accept they are different approaches Nonnie but there has been mention of letting children 'cry themselves to sleep'. It gives me shivers.

trisher Wed 20-Sep-17 14:41:03

I couldn't do it either. I know the theory and I know it sometimes works but I can't bear the sound of a child crying. I usually sat and sang songs then moved away a bit and crept out if child was quiet but they only had to whimper and I was back. I was the same with the GCs and when they woke in the night. I once took a pillow and blanket and curled up for a bit next to GSs cot as he seemed to sense when I reached the door

Nonnie Wed 20-Sep-17 15:05:11

I wouldn't leave a distressed child alone at any time but I'm also mindful that giving in to their every whim is very bad for them. Just like with meals, give it to them, if they don't eat it let them see you throw it in the bin then don't feed them until the next meal. Never known it to fail. Never make a fuss about food and have your own list of things you would never offer again if they didn't like it first time - cheese, liver etc. The really fussy eaters I know are the result of parents coaxing and cajoling until they eventually give the child its favourite food.

Mouse Wed 20-Sep-17 16:19:59

I don't agree that fussy eaters are always the fault of the parents giving in. My 6 year old Gd will not eat meat other than the occasional slice of ham. Nor does she eat ice cream or cake. But she does eat fruit and vegetables and will chose them over sweets sometimes. Her mother has tried everything but she has always refused meat.

Lupatria Wed 20-Sep-17 16:44:01

i never had a problem getting my children to go to sleep.
we had a music box attached to the crib/cot/bed and once they were in bed after the story the string of the music box was pulled and that was that.
we left a nightlight for both of them - a low wattage bulb - and that, together with the music box meant that they went off to sleep quickly - no crying at all.

FarNorth Wed 20-Sep-17 16:59:25

That doesn't sound like fussy eating, Mouse. It sounds like genuine dislike of a few foods.

Deedaa Wed 20-Sep-17 17:10:11

I think the received wisdom is to go back in and tuck the child in again without talking or making eye contact and just be really, really boring until the child gives up and falls asleep