Adaptable Toddler Turned Demon

H is usually one of the most laid back, adaptable toddlers I have ever known.  Everyone comments on his nature and a line that is often said to us is "He is so laid back he is horizontal".  Whether it be keeping him up late, going away for one night or four, changed his routine through switching childcare providers or jobs, he has always adapted well and on returning home after going away, settled back into his original routine with amazing ease.In the last five weeks we have moved twice and stayed at my Aunt's for five nights over Christmas and my sister's for New Year's Eve.  Even for someone as adaptable as H, that seems to have been a step too far.

A very happy H.
A very happy H.

The child I have now, I no longer recognise, at least not when it comes to bed time and he seems to have turned into some sort of demon.

Until just before Christmas, he would ask to go to bed around 7 pm, maybe 7.30 pm, take himself to bed when we would then tuck him in and say goodnight with a kiss and cuddle.  He'd stay there until around 5-6 am (though it was slowly getting later), cuddling up to us until around 7-7.30 am.

Now, 7 pm will arrive and it has been bringing us false hope.  Yes, H will still ask to go to bed.  Yes, he will still ask us to tuck him him, give him a kiss and say goodnight.  All good?  Well no, actually.  Within about 30 seconds (if indeed that!) he will hope out of bed and wander on through, handing back Ernie (his cuddly elephant he won't sleep without) and his dummy.  Then promptly start playing.  So, because he took himself to bed, the husband decides he can stay up for a bit longer.  20 minutes pass and we decide, actually that's enough now and inform H he is going to bed.

All hell breaks loose.  Screams of "Noooo!" which I am sure can be heard in Outer Mongolia.  Wails of "Mamma go night night!".  And in between the wails and sobs the puppy dog eyes come out.

Mid bed-time tantrum.
Mid bed-time tantrum.

Two nights in the last week we have had him being sick whilst screaming.  He has never been sick through crying before and only twice through illness (once a couple of weeks ago, previously at 8 months old).  During these episodes, we promptly cleaned H up, changed his PJs and sent him back to bed.

I make it sound like we have been dealing with it together, as a team when really I mean Daddy dealt with it the last two nights.  I had to walk out as I could feel myself getting upset and wanting to give in to H's demands.  After all, he usually isn't much trouble at all, he has just had an awful lot to deal with at such a young age in such a short period of time.

Usual bed time tricks won't work, we are currently in an open plan living/bedroom space.  The bedroom space does actually have two doors.  However, we have had to cover up one of them as he can open it, which leads into the hall which leads to the front door, that he can open.  The other door isn't really a door but more like the dividing doors you get between living/dining areas.  Again, handles in easy reach and doors easy to open.  There is no where to put a stair gate either.

I very much hope that H will settle down again soon.  I understand why he is acting up in this way.  I understand him feeling insecure.  I just don't like it very much and it makes me feel wholly inadequate as a mother.

How does your toddler adapt to change?  Is there anything I can do to help settle him back down?

9 thoughts on “Adaptable Toddler Turned Demon

  1. Sarah

    You know the issues we have had and the only advice I had is to roll with it and find a way that suits you all, even if other people look down their disapproving noses at it - they aren't the ones living with hours of daily bedtime tantrums after all, so they don't get to have an opinion. For us, trying to force the bed issue wasn't helping anyone, least of all Amy, who would get dreadfully upset. It went beyond normal toddler tantrums, we are talking rages of Exorcist proportions and she coul easily keep it up for 4+ hours. She started falling asleep on the sofa and we would move her when she was asleep - that way everyone got a pleasant evening. That was two years ago and she is *just* starting to accept going to sleep in her own bed. She still falls asleep on the sofa more often than her bed at the moment, but it's not going to be forever.

    Reply
    1. mummyglitzer

      Post author

      Yes, I've actually been thinking of you the last few nights after we have gone through it, though he hasn't kept it up for quite as long. I laid with him tonight but he still just wanted to get up and run around. D and I want to take different approaches which I think we really need to sit down and work out. Either way, like you said it isn't going to be forever!

      Reply
    1. mummyglitzer

      Post author

      Generally we do dinner, TV (so no running around etc), bath, milk, teeth, story. It's just so sudden. And even if I do lie down with him, he still wants to get up.

      Reply
  2. Kara Guppy

    My best advice is stick to a routine and he will soon come round. I think all children have got out of routine over the Xmas period (mine certainly have) and I am having similar fights with mine!
    H is nearly 3 isn't he?? At around that age they also get a testosterone surge which completely changes their personality, he may be starting to show that change - Isaac was more boisterous, pushed a lot of boundarys and my buttons - worth checking out!!
    Good luck with the routine and can highly recommend @childcareisfun for advice for getting them back into a routine xx

    Reply
    1. mummyglitzer

      Post author

      Yes H will be 3 in May, he is definitely pushing boundaries more and straying into that "Threenager" stage. Already this morning (having only got up 1.5 hours ago) he has gone from my placid little boy playing with his toys and just switched in tantrum mode and just as quickly back again. I tried looking at Fi's site but it doesn't load for me. 🙁

      Reply
  3. E is the antichrist, she has always been *the* worst sleeper. My other four were angels, like your H they would just go with the flow and they were great, E not so much. She is my payback for the other four I think! x
    Mama Owl recently posted..Baked Bean Lasagne [#Recipe]My Profile

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge