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Help!! Daughter screaming for an hour in bed

Posted by jmb7 (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 13, 08 at 22:22

When I put my 2 and a half year old to bed we read stories and sing songs and then i let her look at books. And then she screams and yells and cries, sometimes for just ten minutes but sometimes its as long as an hour. she knows that if she yells, that I will close her door, which she hates. But that doesnt help. i have also tried taking her books away and turning off her light if she doesnt stop. The weird thing is that she has not even once, gotten out of her bed, (thank god) but the screaming is unbearable and it stresses me out to no end. I am a single mom so i have to deal with this all by myself. When she stays at her dads she doesnt do it as bad and she is also much more whiny with me than anyone else.
Any ideas besides earplugs?? I should also mention that I completely ignore her and never answer her so i dont know why she just hasnt given up yet. She had always cried herself to sleep, since she was born and I cant handle it anymore!!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help!! Daughter screaming for an hour in bed

I think part of it may be the age and a control issue. My 2 and a half year old will do the same thing and my older daughter was about the same age when she had the same problem. One thing I found was that if they took an extra long nap, they weren't ready for bed at 8 so we would just keep them up until they were tired. I don't have any advice just that this too shall pass LOL


RE: Help!! Daughter screaming for an hour in bed


I think bed time needs to be a lovely, quite time, that children look forward to. It seems to me that your DD bedtime is partly pleasant (books etc), but then it turns ugly with her hyping up and screaming the house down. I can understand how this can really upset you.

Why do you think she is crying like that ?

Is she much sleep has she had during the day ?

Try a night light, or a low light in her bedroom, a pretty one, that she will love, and make a pleasant fuss about it all. Call it a fairy light, perhaps. I would also leave the door open...she is so little, and just wants to be reassured that her mum is close by.

Does she have any bears or dolls to cuddle in the bed ? A special one...encourage that.

By ignoring her, maybe she thinks you have gone...imagine how that must feel, for her. Perhaps if you go back in, just briefly to reassure her, don't say anything. Just cover her up, and say good night.

Hope my suggestions is it all going ?

All the best to you Jocelyn, I am sure your little one will be fine.


RE: Help!! Daughter screaming for an hour in bed

Is this because she is not done reading(looking)at the books? Maybe an incentive to get NEW books would be every night she stops reading AFTER being given a 5 MIN. warning and goes to sleep peacefully, the next day she can go to the nearest W-mart and pick out a new book. Start everyday as a boost then after a week of doing well, tell her now that she knows how to go to sleep calmly, if she continues her good behavior she will get to pick a new book once a week. Might be expensive for a month but worth it if books mean that much to her! If not find something that will motivate her. For my son it was Dinosaurs or stickers.

RE: Help!! Daughter screaming for an hour in bed

Another thought I had, you could go and buy some new sheets and pillow slip, something she can pick out herself, or give her a limited choice. What's her favourite colour ?

Pumpkinmom's book idea is great. It's that reward for good behavior system.

I hope things are restful for you now.


RE: Help!! Daughter screaming for an hour in bed

My son is exactly 24 months. Our bedtime situation was similar to this too. He hated his crib and would scream until he vomited (the guilt over that was more than I could handle!!) so we got him a "big boy bed" but he wouldn't stay in it so we put up the pack n play for him to sleep in. And bedtime was a nightmare until we figured out how to make it more fun.

First, we learned that he responds best when you make a game out of it. We read books and we tell him he gets to choose three books then it's time for bed. Giving him time limits for something works for us. For example if he swimming, he will throw a screaming fit if I say okay time to go and pluck him out of the pool. But if I say "we have to get out soon" then give him 5 more minutes then say "Okay time to get out" he's fine. So when we get to the 3rd book I say one more then it's time for bed and he's fine (sometimes we read the same book 3 times). We also make a big production out of giving hugs and kisses. Then I explain "if you get out of your big boy bed we're going to move you to the pack n play" and every night he gets out of his big boy bed (with a big grin) so I make him help me move his pillow and blanket to the pack n play. He always runs off again before we're done so I go after him with the "fee fi fo fum" scoop him up one last hug and kiss for Daddy then he usually goes to bed without another peep. It's the same every night and we all look forward to it. However, some nights it seems harder for him to settle down but I've found that if I give him about 10 minutes then go back in hold him close and rock him like a baby and sing talk softly into his ear telling him I love him and it's time to go to sleep (for about 5 minutes) then he settles right down.

The only time this has failed is when it turns out he's getting sick. He's prone to getting ear infections, poor baby.

RE: Help!! Daughter screaming for an hour in bed

We were having a similar problem with our 2 1/2 year old. She stopped napping along time ago and despite early rising (7-7:30) and structured bedtime routine, she would cry the minute I left the room and stand at the baby gate screaming for me sometimes pushing her bedtime from 8 until going on 10. It was maddening.

I started awarding her stickers in the morning that we would put on her calendar for every night she went to bed like a "big girl". We told her if she could get to the end of the month she could get a reward (a big girl bed and new sheets etc.).

So far, so good. She asks about the stickers in the morning and enjoys tracking her progress. When she has a rough night we remind her to look at the calender and see how close she is to the reward. Most of the time it works.

Also, I will stand outside her door, out of view, and giver her reassuring words like, "stay in bed" and "you're doing great" for the first 5-10 minutes after tucking her in to bed.

Good luck.

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