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Can you survive toddlerhood?
Is it possible????


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#1 feralgreenthumbs

Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:26 AM

I am really struggling at the moment. Our little man is only 16months! and I'm just not coping. I'm terrified that if this is only the beginning of toddlerhood, how on earth will I survive the next few years!

I found the newborn - up to 1 stage lovely. Breezy, cruisy enjoyable. Now, I find I rarely enjoy my little boy. I know that a huge reason for this is that I don't get time to myself to recharge. We cosleep which means he wakes when I do, still wakes a few times for feeds overnight, and usually gets up within 5-10mins of me. He only sleeps 45 to 60 mins during the day which is when I do actually have down time, but he will usually only sleep in his little flip out couch on the living room floor and I spend the whole time praying he won't wake up whilst tip toeing around trying to get a small amount of housework done. He is currently doing the tantrum thing when even the smallest thing doesn't go his way. Doesn't like me doing anything not directly related to him (cooking, cleaning, tidying etc) Will only be comforted by me, not DP. You can't move in the house because of all the toys, I can't keep on top of cleaning, tidying, washing, cooking etc etc etc. I have constant headaches from the teeth clenching

We don't have a routine as such as we've never been good at that. Also I wonder if a routine works if you regularly have to mess with it - we have family dinner every week which goes til way past what a bedtime should be and then we have to drive home - he doesn't stay asleep on the move to bed. Plus I work 2 days which means it's so hard to get dinner early and into bed. (I'm so impressed by full time working parents - how the heck do you do it!!?)

I'm also struggling with discipline. Distraction has usually worked until now, but that's not as easy now, and because I'm so stressed, I'm finding myself yelling (never ever did when he was younger) which I hate - I'm sure our neighbours think I've gone feral sad.gif

I understand I'm just going through what everyone else with kids goes through, but I just wonder how have others survived this time. MIL seems to have never had these problems, my mum says I have to let him cry to sleep, so not alot of help there (although for my mental health, I'm considering some sort of controlled comforting).

So, does it get easier? Do you just get used to the crap? Are your senses just dulled over time so you don't realise how crap it all is? Should I just bunker down and hope for the best? (We were going to try for another baby later this year, but, seriously questioning this now sad.gif as I assume they won't be close enough to benefit from being little friends?).

How do you do it?

#2 SplashingRainbows

Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:45 AM

Sorry you're finding it so tough greenthumbs. Toddlers can be challenging - but delightful too!

I hope you don't mind me saying - but I think perhaps you need to look at changing some of your habits as they seem to have stopped working for you.

I find good routines give my toddler the best chance of success. As does decent sleep. Good food, good sleep, stimulating and physical activities, a nap an quiet time are crucial to my toddler.

I certainly don't watch the clock, but we do do breakfast, lunch, dinner, nap and bath at similar times each day. I also talk a lot about what we are doing, what's coming up next etc. My son can now tell me what the nighttime routine is. It gives him the best chance of success.

In my opinion (and I had a challenging sleeper) I think you need to do something about his night sleep and day sleep. If he is cranky and waking a lot, and you're stressed and "touched out" then it doesn't sound like its working for either of you. And it is really important to helping you all have a good day and good night.

Is your child at daycare while you work? Mine is so we follow their routines as home so that his day is consistent as possible. If you don't use daycare perhaps look at the tresillian routines for a guide.

We certainly do go out at night and break routine when it suits us to do so. The fall out usually occurs next day for us. I have also had to come to terms with the fact that while I have a toddler we need to consider his needs as well as ours, and his need to eat well and sleep well are more important than my want to catch up with people regularly at times that don't suit. Most people are very happy to work with us to find a time that suits everyone or we leave him with grandparents if its going to be a really late night.

Of course we go out at night for people's birthdays or special occasions, but if our friends and family just want to catch up then daytime works much better for us and we say just that. We will accommodate them in that way when they have young children too.


Something to think about anyway. You can enjoy this time - toddler laughs cuddles and kisses are just the best.

Edited by brighton14, 04 January 2013 - 07:48 AM.


#3 Jenferal

Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:49 AM

Ok, this is my 2 cents.

I'd stop the co sleeping and the night feeding. I think a lack of sleep for both of you might be contributing to the problems. i know if I've had little sleep I'm REALLY short tempered with my 2yr old, which really isn't fair on her. She's just a kid, learning her way in the world.
Work on the sleep first. I'd do my best to get him to sleep in his cot (or your bed) for a decent day nap too if possible. i used to lie down with my DD at the same age(but she slept at night in her own bed/cot). I'd rest and she'd sleep. It was great!

Don't do housework when he's asleep, do it when he's awake. let him 'help' with it. sort pegs, hand you washing etc. involve him in stuff.
Clear out toys and junk you don't use. I bought some cheap woven boxes from the Asian shops(the old $2 shops where nothing is 2 bucks anymore lol) and put all the toys in there sorted into type. Cars in one, dinosaurs in another etc. Keep it all in one place if possible.
Get him to help tidy each night.

Discipline:I think he's too young for it, apart from distraction. What is he doing which is upsetting you? Can you block him off from things so he can't get into it?

Possibly get a cleaner 2 or 3 hours a week, get your husband to help out more.

My 2yr old is delightful! Trying, but so much fun now she's more interactive. I can't do much for her though, she has to do it ALL herself! that's what I struggle with, I'm used to doing things FOR her, I forget she's her own little person who wants to be independent and learn the ways of her world.


Good luck!


#4 wrena

Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:58 AM

Sounds like you desperately need a break for both yours and your son's sake. Is there any family around who can help? How supportive is your partner? I found 12-16 months really tough with lack of sleep (we also co-sleep and breastfed overnight at that age) and constant breastfeeding while our DD got her first molars. What I did was got up early (5.30) so that I had time for a run (me time) in the morning before my DP went to work, asked for help as much as possible, ate super healthily to keep my energy up and was as generally kind and gentle on myself as possible. I also tried to keep conscious of the fact that our DD was having a really tough time too and gave her as much love and tenderness as I could while being aware of my own limits and calling in whatever backup I could when I'd reached them. It's very normal for toddlers at that age to only want mum, but if you're not coping I think it is perfectly ok to leave your son to cry in the loving arms of his father while you find some calm.

That stage was tough for all of us, but personally I've found 18 months to two years the best age yet - and I loved the baby stage too. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

It sounds as though your son isn't getting anywhere enough sleep which would certainly explain the tantruming (much as I hate that word to describe a young toddler in distress). If you do want to go down the controlled comforting route, you may find the Aware Parenting or RIE approach to sleep more compatible with your needs. Best of luck! It does get easier.

Now at 2 my partner does all the bedtimes and night time parenting (which he loves) and I get evenings with my girlfriends and an hour of exercise a day. Yay! We've come such a long way without putting our LO's needs to the sidelines.

#5 Xiola

Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:58 AM

Routines make all the difference in the world and really suit most toddlers (and parents too).  Messing with it a little won't hurt at all especially if it's a weekly thing which makes it part of the routine.  As for early dinners on your working days, could you sometimes cook double on your non working day and have that meal ready to go in the freezer or something for your DS at least so he's still on track?

Getting your DS to sleep better at night will help his day sleeps too hopefully giving you a nice 2 hour or so window of down time.  It will take time to get this going but it will be worth it in the long run and consistency is the key whichever method you choose (i.e. controlled comforting etc).  

Also consider not feeding him at night.  He doesn't need it anymore as long as he's eating well in the day.  I've recently stopped feeding my DD (16 months) at night and it's made the world of difference to her sleep.  A few weeks ago I was feeding her to sleep and then she'd wake up every few hours wanting the same, sometimes not settling for 3 hours or so until I fed her again.  It was doing my head in!!!  I just started giving her her night time feed with a dim light on and gently talk to her the whole time.  Then we turn the light off together, have a cuddle and she sleeps through the night now for the most part (wakes sometimes for some water but straight back to sleep).  

You also need to get some time for yourself, even if it's just a walk or doing the groceries by yourself (I really loved this with DS1).  

I hope you get things sorted soon.  Toddlers are tricky but they're also so lovely too original.gif

#6 mummy2amelia

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:04 AM

The first thing that struck me is the sleeping.  He needs a decent nap.  I too put my DS in my bed and sleep/rest while he is asleep.  A 2 hour nap can do wonders for your patience!  

There is defiantly morning and afternoon tea no matter where/what we are doing.  They get so ratty without regular food.  

I find that my kids work better with a routine too.  Not set in stone and not to the minute.  They seem to like to know how their day will work.    Just knowing there will be regular food and a nap/rest time seems to do the trick.


#7 ScarfaceClaw

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:14 AM

Agree that you should get rid of/store/ sell some of the toys. They don't need a lot of stuff. My 19 month old has a few books and a small basket of stuff, which makes it easy to clear away of an evening.
Whats DH doing in all of this? Mine does the bulk of the house work and cooking, which means I can get some down time, and just hang out with my toddler, or go to the gym etc.
When you are working it can be hard to allocate time for you, as you can get swept up in all the household stuff.

I'm all for co-sleeping if it's working for you, but it doesn't sound like it's going that well at the moment. MAybe look into gentle ways of transitioning into a cot (can be in your room if feasible) might help with days sleeps too. My DS will sleep 3 hours in the day if I let him, and around 11 hours at night, unbroken, so I think your DS is probably not getting enough sleep, which has a compounding effect.

I do think personality has an effect, DS is an affable independent soul who will happily spend his day laughing and dragging his monkey from room to room. Means I'm not being touched a lot of the day, and am not having to hover constantly. Some days it seems is all I need to do for him is hygiene and food prep and the occasional BF.

Good luck, I don't think parenting a toddler should suck as much as you are experiencing.

#8 Roobear

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:16 AM

I really seem to be struggling with toddlerhood as well.

Both DD and now DS so far have been very easy to care for as babies but it is the high pitch screaming tantrums, the constant whinging which completely does my head in. This started all at 15 months with DD and we are still going but the things that have helped are daycare 1 day a week, we have just started time outs which helps us both, getting out the house which keep the whinging at bay and picking my battles. If she is happy and can't inflict serious harm on herself I let her keep doing what she is doing.

Hang in there OP! This too shall pass original.gif

Edited by Roobear, 04 January 2013 - 08:16 AM.


#9 Steggles

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:16 AM

Add 2 x 3 year olds and you have my life! I so get the cosleeping and feeding through the night - I am thinking of trying Dr Jay Gordons night weaning. It is gentle (I will not consider any form of CC/CIO). I'm just too tired to contemplate it at the moment lol.

You need to get out though - can your husband watch your DS while you go out to the shops or a movie? I find that if I say goodbye to DD3 and she knows I am not there, she is ok.

Also, if you are constantly feeling down/overwhelmed and can't cope, please have a chat to your GP. I suffer from PND which seems to come along later (ie after 6 months). My hormones just seem to need levelling.

You are a good Mum, please do ask for help though!!!

#10 winkywonkeydonkey

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:48 AM


It is tough OP, but you will be alright. original.gif Once you get more sleep you will feel better.

1year - 2 years has been tough here too. We had similar issues with sleeping and night feeding. Its really tough. Things are better now she is weaned and sleeping through some nights and can play with her brother and by herself.

dont forget time out for yourself every week

#11 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:51 AM

I think lots of people have said lots of useful things so I won't repeat much.
My special interest is baby sleep, and the one thing I can suggest from all the research I've done is that your child is not getting anywhere enough sleep! At 16 months, most children need 11-12 hours at night, and then about 2 hours during the day. At 16 months, most well rested toddlers are just starting to drop their second nap (usually their morning nap) and are moving from 1 hour in the morning and 2 hours from about midday to just the afternoon nap. I suspect your child is probably chronically sleep deprived. And unlike adults who naturally sleep more as they get more tired, babies/toddlers/preschoolers actually sleep less. 'Sleep begets sleep' in this age group.
You will get lots of people coming in and saying 'my kid dropped their nap at 1', or '45 min a day was always fine for my child'. Unfortunately, this is probably taking advice from other people whose children probably also had sleep issues, and as sleep issues are ubiquitous, you'll find lots of people telling you that your child is sleeping enough. The reality is that he isn't, and this will be having a huge impact on his ability to learn, cope with emotions, develop language skills etc as well as various biological effects including hormone regulation, fat and insulin regulation etc. Just as a lack of sleep has significant effects on adults, toddlers are the same. Families I've known who have had sleep 'interventions' with their emotionally labile toddler (lots of tantrums, as you describe) have noted significantly improved behaviour with improved sleep. So I would be cautious about anyone who tells you 'my child did this so your child is probably fine' - I would rather take advice from the experts on this matter.
Children also don't 'outgrow' sleep issues - a sleep deprived toddler turns into a poorly sleeping sleep deprived preschooler - and the older they get the more obstinate they are.
There are a million ways to improve sleep. The Internet is full of resources, there are sleep schools, books, and every Austalian city has sleep nannies, but the commonality to all these approaches is a set routine for sleep time and re-settling.
I think good sleep is achievable within any parenting philosophy - whether you are a co-sleeping, or one who wants their child in a cot in another room, so I also don't think you should listen to anyone who says co-sleeping is the root of all problems; it's not. My suggestion would be to try and gather information, read broadly, and come up with a solution that works for you. If you don't have the time or inclination for that, a sleep nanny can sort you out in three days (and no, none that I know allow babies to cry by themselves in a room). If you're in Vic I can PM you the name of one, but it is about $1200.

#12 Blossom73

Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:06 AM

So sorry you are having such a tough time. Definitely ask for help from family/DH/friends. My DS also has tantrums, but I think of these as normal toddler things (but occasionally lose my mind too)

I would really suggest (as others have) you look at implementing some routines for your toddler. When we went away to ILs for Christmas and the routines were slightly different, I noticed a change in behavior for DS - he was clingy, and had a harder time settling for sleeps as it was a different environment. Having routines that are predictable make toddlers feel safe, and help define their world. Here's an example of what a day looks like for us (I work FT, and DS is starting at Day Care 5 days per week so this is days when we have been home):

6 am - DS up for the day
Brekkie
Dressed for the day
8:30 - 9 am Park or playgroup or walk including snack time
11:30 am Lunch
12:30 - Nap ( usually for 1.5 - 2 hours)
2-2:30 Snack
3 onwards - outside play
5:30 - Prepare dinner while DS plays or helps (has his own pot etc)
6:00 family dinner (if DH is not home DS and I eat)
6:30 Bath/Shower, Teeth, Dressed for Bed, stories
7:00 Bed.

We have also invested in a fortnightly cleaner which is the best money we have ever spent. We also do online grocery shopping, so those burdens are taken away.

You may also wish to think about hosting family dinner at your house or making it a weekend lunch - the toddler years wont last forever, but routine helps!

#13 Soontobegran

Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:10 AM

Heaps of great advice here OP.
I think if it is working for you then keep it up, if it isn't then give something else a try.

Your little one is not getting enough sleep. At 16 months 40 minutes day time sleep is not sufficient and tired toddlers are cranky toddlers who for some reason fight what they need more than anything.
Have you considered a period of time at a sleep school? There are several around who do not utilise CC or CIO in their program.
I have a couple of grandchildren who have never looked back after a third party stepped in and helped their parents watch for tired signals.They have gone from BF all night and half hour catnapping during the day with exhausted parents whose health was shattered by this to regular day sleeps and 10-12 hours a night.
Having said that I did not take heed of my own advice when mine were little. We had a baby and at least two of our toddlers in our bed all night but it did work somewhat for some time for me because they did sleep there and we could also sleep (albeit with a baby attached to my breast all night)

I think 16 months is too young for discipline, they say it is wasted on an under 18 month old but rather we should use distraction and redirecting their attention.

Lots of luck, it does get better, sooner than you think you'll be struggling to get them out of bed.

#14 melaine

Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:17 AM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 04/01/2013, 10:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So who are the 'experts'?  I would say a mother with past experience is an expert.

The second part is rubbish too.  Complete and utter rubbish.

Some kids do thrive on less sleep, some need more.  Just like adults.  My first didn't do well on less sleep, but remained stubborn about it.  My second also slept less than the 'norm' and thrives.


Agreed that some kids thrive on less sleep, but some don't thrive but are really stubborn about it.

I had one of them and once we got him sleeping more his personality changed dramatically. Add to that the fact that we weren't sleep deprived and it made a huge difference to our life. We used some controlled comforting type techniques but never let him 'cry himself to sleep', but there were lots of other little tips we got while at sleep school that made a difference even before starting the controlled comforting.

I'm not a routine kind of person, and my kids had days with just DH, just me, both of us, grandparents, childcare but routine helped THEM (I still find it a struggle!) and once it's established then it can stop some of the battle for control. (I'm talking a rough routine of when you eat and sleep, and what you do before sleep - not any kind of SOS minute by minute schedule!).



#15 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:28 AM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 04/01/2013, 10:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So who are the 'experts'?  I would say a mother with past experience is an expert.

The second part is rubbish too.  Complete and utter rubbish.

Some kids do thrive on less sleep, some need more.  Just like adults.  My first didn't do well on less sleep, but remained stubborn about it.  My second also slept less than the 'norm' and thrives.


I'm sorry but I would consider a paediatric sleep specialist who has studied sleep and behaviour in hundreds or thousands of kids more of an expert than any mother, no matter how many kids she has. There is actually an enormous body of evidence on this matter, looking at cortisol levels, insulin levels, ability to learn new thins etc on kids gettin varying amounts of sleep. While it may seem that these numbers are pulled out of the air, they're not. And paediatric sleep needs follow a pretty narrow bell curve. Even the 1% outliers actually need nearly as much sleep as the mean.
The journal 'Paediatrics' published a piece last year about how sleep recommendations have changed over the years - in 1897, toddlers were expected to sleep 16 hours straight at night! Like everything it is a changing field, which has been improved by better methods of research.
Now, any individual can respond to recommendations in one of two ways. The first is "my child is different and I reject those recommendations, yay me, I'm an awesome parent". The other is "if 99.999% of kids appear to need this much sleep, then it's likely my child is in the 99.999% and so I'll acknowledge I have a problem and try to fix it". I think there is a role for both. If your children, Madame Catty, were delightful, well behaved, ate well, learnt well, and otherwise a joy to behold with less sleep, then perhaps you ARE the exception to the rule. But in this instance, where a mother is reporting that she is struggling to cope with her child's lack of sleep and tantrums, it's likely that her child is NOT in the minority. And in this case, advice from you that your kids were the same as hers is actually entirely unhelpful.
It's also a case of how much less than the norm. If your child sleeps 1.5 hours instead of 2 in the day and thrives, that's clearly fine. But if a child is sleeping over an hour less than the recommendations and both mother and child seem to be struggling, then that is a big problem.
I suggested not listening to other mothers because there is little more heartbreaking than a mothers group full of mums and kids all struggling with no sleep because everyone is mutually reinforcing the notion that their kids just happen to be different to the norm.
All recommendations aside, I'd never suggest doing something that ain't broken. I don't think there is a role for grabbing mums off the street, asking them to keep sleep logs, and berating them for not gettin their child to sleep enough, if there is no self-identified issue. But if there is an issue, then there is no benefit in telling a mum "oh don't worry, my (also sleep deprived) child was the same". Especially when the solution is usually not very hard.

ETA - I also don't think the 'just as some adults need less sleep' argument flies either. The bell curve for 'optimum' sleep for adults is also pretty narrow. Just because you can function with less sleep (just as a toddler can) doesn't mean you can't function better with an amount of sleep closer to the recommendations (and in studies, people who insist they need less sleep than others actually naturally sleep longer when allowed to, and perform significantly better on cognitive tests). As parents, we try and 'optimize' our kids lives in so many areas - why wouldn't we also want to optimize their sleeping to harness better cognitive and health outcomes?

Edited by AntiBourgeoisie, 04 January 2013 - 09:39 AM.


#16 Soontobegran

Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:44 AM

I actually agree that advice on these types of things is not always best when it comes from other mothers.
We all have such differing experiences that there is no 'expert', we are only expert on our own children's behaviour. From my experience I say that children do have different needs for sleep but also different behaviours according to what they do and don't have and IME my poor sleeping children, those who seemed to be ok on less sleep weren't really. They did crash later, it took 5 years for our DD4 to hit the wall but that she did with a thug and we hit it with her. Hindsight is wonderful, I would do things differently nowdays.

As I said in my PP, a non involved third party is often what is needed.
Lots of luck, I do have empathy for you OP.

#17 Ninja Lemur

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:07 AM

I found that stage difficult too.

I had a loose routine but one of my major goals each was to exhaust them with physical activity in the morning so they would have a good solid nap.

We offered healthy food at regular intervals and had clear going to sleeep routines.  Otherwise we went with the flow.

I presume at that age they are wired to do thing independently and anything that gets in the way of that makes them angry and frustrated.  Of course they don't often have the skills or language needed to succeed and they have little control over their emotions.  

It does get better.



#18 lilmissmars

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:10 AM

There is already a lot if advice here so I'm going to keep it short and sweet...

yes you can survive toddlerhood! I've survived two rounds of it, first with a hideous sleeper/ tantrum thrower, then with a calmer easier better sleeper. I'm about to head into toddlerhood with my third and I'm just going to take things as they go.

One thing I agree on is the sleep issues you have described really need some fixing. My first co slept with us till about 3 1/2 and I didn't have a proper night sleep at all in that time.

Both of my girls have co slept but only until it wasn't helping with sleep anymore (7-8 months) once they were in their own rooms and beds both of us had more sleep and I was able to deal with everything so much better.

Best of luck. There is some really good advice here.

#19 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:29 AM

QUOTE (soontobegran @ 04/01/2013, 10:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I actually agree that advice on these types of things is not always best when it comes from other mothers.
We all have such differing experiences that there is no 'expert', we are only expert on our own children's behaviour.


The thing I will totally concede is that mothers are often a really valuable resource in terms of giving 'tips' about HOW to get your child to sleep. In terms of 'how much' sleep, I'd go with the sleep specialists, but in terms of method, an experienced mum with a variety of differently tempered children is a huge resource. My first child 'cried down' beautifully and until about 2 always needed a bit of a cry/sook to sleep. He was never left alone to cry, but even with us sitting beside him and patting, he always cried to sleep. My second child has never ever 'cries down'. Once he's crying, there is no option but to pick him up and comfort him, take him out of the room, give him a drink or water, and start again. He rarely cries though, an we have not had an issue with him 'learning' that crying=attention.
I don't think there is any one method or book that works for every child (just like there is no one diet that works for every person). So while I think virtually all kids need a ballpark amount of similar amount of sleep, I do think how you g about putting then to bed has to be individually tailored, and mum 'experts' are great for giving lots of varied tips that you can sort through and work out what works for you and your child.


#20 Natttmumm

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:41 AM

16 months is a hard age but I also found it tough for quite a while e.g. 3.5 yrs.
Sorry to say that.
I found routine routine routine to help me cope. E.g we didn't do late dinners often as they. Don't cope the next day. This is just what I did and still do im not saying its the right way or the only way. It may not worK for you.
We have a routine that goes like this.
BreakfastPlaytime - go outif you want toMorning teaPlaytime - go out if you want toLunchSleep - in own bed alone
Wake up watch tv for a bit
Afternoon - go to park or walk etc
DinnerBathTv or books
Bed - always by 8 in own bed at that age with comfort if needed.
Waking over night - we resettled with out feeds after about 12 months except if it got to 4 am I found milk was needed or they stayed awake
We didn't take them out at night unless we had to. Routine is restrictive but I found all hell breaks loose without it. My eldest is 5 and still follows the same kind of routine. I often wish we could just go out at night but I find by 8 they are cranky and tantrums begin.
As for discipline I found nothing except distraction works at that age. A fIrm no and distract is the best I found. Time out didn't work for us until around 2.5yrs. I did find well rested and a full tummy meant less tantrums

#21 50ftqueenie

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:51 AM

Can I just say, welcome to EB AntiBourgeoisie. Your kind of calm, sensible advice is very much needed in EB sleep threads

Edited by 50ftqueenie, 04 January 2013 - 10:53 AM.


#22 Domestic Goddess

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:52 AM

Yes it will pass. They are developing their own little personalities now. Be very very careful with how you react towards him. His brain will act like a sponge and will soak in all the negative and positive attitude around and it will shape his personality for life.

As a sole parent, I was struggling to keep up with the housework and all that as well. I found a local playgroup when DS was 6 months old and other mums would take turns to keep an eye on him and other kids while other parents had a cuppa and a chat with one another.

Also, I started DS 1 day a week in family daycare at 13 months. Yes, it was hard in the first week or 2. He was crying and sooking and angry, etc.
But after the first 2 weeks, he got used to it and he knew I would come and pick him up later in the day.

That 1 day a week gave me the chance to do the cleaning and shopping without having a toddler attached to my leg 24/7.
When he was 18 months old, I increased it to 2 days a week. I had 1 day to do all the cleaning, washing, shopping and appointments and 1 day ME-time.

So yeah, I would strongly suggest a playgroup or daycare to give you that short mental break.

As to routine, you can give Karitane or Tresillian a call or even go and see your CHN and gets some advice on how to get into a routine. Karitane and Tresillian are NSW based, but I know other states have similar organizations.

Discipline: I watched the 1, 2, 3 Magic DVD at playgroup. I liked it that much that I bought the DVD and gave it to my parents to watch so they can use the same discipline techniques when he stays over there.
I started this particular technique when he was 18 months old. Some people start at 2 years and some people start earlier. It differs for each child. Some kids are open to it at an earlier age and some kids are better to wait until they're 2.

I can send a copy of the DVD to you if you want? It is basically just counting to 3. with 10 seconds in between the counts to give the child a chance to react. Make sure you don't talk during the counting. Just simple "1........2........3....... you're in time out now" and you put them in their room for 1 minute. It's 1 minute per year. So 2yo, 2 minutes, 3yo 3 minutes, etc.

The trick is to stay calm and collective and not to raise your voice. Get a little timer and when the timer goes off they know they can come out. Don't explain afterwards what they have done wrong. They know very well why they are in time out. Just go and continue what you were doing before time out and forget the child's bad behaviour a minute ago.

This technique is not a punishment one though. It is to stop obnoxious behaviour like continuous winging or tantrumming.

#23 Kay1

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:55 AM

It does sound like you are doing it tough. Things really do get easier when they can talk and you can explain things to them a bit more.

I did pretty much exactly what Nattmum did. I have always been pretty routine with bedtimes and never co slept (my kids never settled that way anyway). My kids would nap in their beds in the afternoon and were in bed by 7pm. That gave me a chunk of time to recharge. I know it seems like you can't get there from where you are now but you can. You may need help though. I would go to sleep school if I were you.

What's best for your child is not for you to put yourself second constantly to the point that you become resentful of them. You wouldn't let him have Macdonalds every day no matter how much he cried because you know its not good for him. I would suggest you look at sleep the same way. Get some advice and help to get there in a way that you are comfortable with.

FWIW my boys are 3 years apart and they are inseparable. They literally play together all day every day when they are not at school/preschool and rarely fight.

Hang in there, there's no doubt its hard at that age but it can be easier.

#24 Alpha_Chook

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:57 AM

I'll emphasise what everyone else has said. ROUTINE.....ROUTINE and more ROUTINE. Eamon thrives on it. Our world doesn't revolve around it, obivously certain days are different , like weekends etc. but the basics are still there. You need to find something that works for you. eg. Eamon doesn't like breakfast straight away in the morning, he likes to chill with me on the lounge for a bit. If I try and rush this he will say to me "Cuddles mummy". Structured activities work too.....we go to gymbaroo once a week and swimming once a week....he goes to daycare three days a week one day is a home day where I can get a heap of house stuff done. Through the week the basics get done but nothing that takes too long. I'm not sure if you let your toddler watch TV but I have stopped Eamon watching it and he has been a lot better behaved.....less hyperactive, not as noisy and generally calmer. For discipline we take away his favourite thing, obviously that varies depending on the day but at the moment it is is trains...three warnings and the train gets taken for a set period of time, something they can relate to like "till daddy comes home" or "till after dinner" or (if at the end of the day) "till you wake up in the morning". That seems to be working wonders at the moment. After 5pm he is only allowed water or milk, no juice. Same as dinner, not too late and not too big, he has big lunches at daycare anyways. If I want him to do something he doesn't like, such as getting a haircut etc. I will talk to him about it first and offer a reward for the end if he has been good. That is working well too. If he stays with mummy when we are at the shops then once mummy has finished doing what needs doing he will get a reward, like a play in the play area, or a ride on one of those $2 stupid rides. We try not to use food as rewards as it creates bad habits for later on...that said, he won't get ice cream after dinner if he has been naughty....we don't make a deal of it though.

So basically.....routine, rewards, find his "currrency" and do what you say you are going to. If you say you are going to take away something for being naughty then do it r they will learn its nit going to happen. Also don't under estimate their ability to remember.....I've had to stop saying to Eamon "later" for things I don't want him doing....because soon after he will ask again then say "but you said later"

#25 noonehere

Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:09 AM

i would be looking at getting him into his own bed. either in his room or yours.

i would stop the feeds and replace with water and one before bed.

i found with DD sleep feeds more sleep, when she started sleeping through is when she started sleeping four hours during the day.

best of luck, this to shall pass original.gif




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