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Need advice on screaming girl!


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  #1  
November 6th, 2006, 06:24 PM
Sunshine412's Avatar Veteran
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My 17 month old won't stop screaming and I don't know why! She had several teeth come in lately, but she didn't even act this bad for that. She is screaming all the time now, and acting horrible. She has always been such a good baby, so this is really throwing me off. I have tried time outs, and I have tried spending extra time with her, but nothing seems to be working.

She has also been in a toddler bed for almost four months now with no problems until the last few weeks. Now she will get out of bed in the middle of the night, and knock on the door to her room until I come get her. I don't know what to do to get her to sleep through the night again, and I am so tired from constantly being up with her at night. I feel like I can't take anymore or I will lose it. I need a break so badly, but my husband works so hard, and has been really stressed out lately so I don't want to burden him with anything else.

We haven't had any major changes to our lives or schedules or anything, so I know her acting bad isn't from an environment change.

I would really really appreciate any advice anyone can give me on these three things:

1) Getting her to act better and stop screaming
2) Getting her to sleep through the night again
3) How to stay sane until numbers one and two take place!

Thank you for any help, I know I desperately need it!
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  #2  
November 6th, 2006, 07:55 PM
christianmommato3's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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(((HUGS)))

I know when my kids were that age, they started waking up again through the night...
the only advice I have is to take her to the doctor
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  #3  
November 6th, 2006, 08:11 PM
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I know Ayden went through a screaming phase, and it lasted for a short period of time. They are going through a time at that age where they are testing their limits and they are exploring more and getting frustrated more because there is so much they would like to say but just cannot do it. With Ayden I started to teach him some basics of sign language to help him out with the frustration levels, and it worked! He not only picked up really fast on signing, but he loved it and within a week of us signing it he was speaking it....Quite often they are just screaming to see what will happen too, and they are establishing who is boss. If she is not in need of anything that you can see, she is not being hurt, and you are close by let her scream. It will not hurt her. If anything it is going to teach her that temper tantrums do not pay off. If you cater to every tantrum all the way through and beg her to quit screaming you are paying her off. She is getting exactly what she wants. Quite often it is power and control struggles. Also tell her to use her words, or ask her to show you or however she communicates with you, not scream. Reinforce it. It will take some time but that is all I have for you on that. It is just constistancy and reminding yourself that every child goes through a phase, and she will go through this too.

Switching her to a toddler bed may not be as a big of an environmental change to you as it is to her. Toddlers have to have everything the same and any change could set them off. What I would do is when she gets up and knocks on the door, go to her and do not speak to her, lay her down in bed, kiss her and walk away. Otherwise, what works for my son, is I go to him and firmly tell him that it is bed time, he is to go to sleep and tell him I will not be speaking with him for the rest of the nite. I then if I have to will go back to him and lay him down silently up to 3 times and then he knows he will be punished for getting up after that. We generally don't have to get to the silent part, he generally listens to me now. He is 2 and a half. But it took a lil while to get him to comply with me. Don't explain a whole lot, or get wordy, kids will get lost.

I would recommend that you pick up the Happiest Toddler on the Block. I am not sure who writes it, but it is a good book. It explains how to talk to and treat toddlers on thier level. lol, it compares them to cavemen, but it makes sense.....

And remember most of all, even when you are ready to scream, this will pass soon. She is developing a personality, and even Jesus threw a fit here and there as a child I am sure. You are going to look at her when she is 15 years old and smile thinking back to know and wish you could come back to 17 months old. Have fun and cherish this time. Give yourself timeouts when you need them, and deep breathes.
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  #4  
November 7th, 2006, 07:02 AM
babydust's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I'm sorry you are going through this. My daughter is 17 months also. We just got over what you are explaining. She started sleeping through the night at 6 months and around 15 months or so she started waking up. I had such a hard time getting her back to sleep. Then in September when she got up she would not go back to sleep. I finally had to bring her downstairs for her to play for a hour or two. She then would go back to sleep. Since about last week she has been sleeping through the night.
If she isn't getting enough sleep that could cause her to be upset and be screaming all the time. My dd is like that.
Why did you change her to a toddler bed? My dd is still in her crib. I couldn't imagine her going to a toddler bed now. I know my SIL waited until my nephews were 2 to switch. Do you think that might be causing some stress on her? Change for a child (any change) is huge.
I would love her and know that this will pass. I know its hard right now. I thought I would lose my mind. I will be praying for you and you dd. Take care!
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  #5  
November 7th, 2006, 12:29 PM
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She could just be trying something new out. But I would also take her to the doctors, just to rule out an ear infection (or the like). But I have seen the sweetest children turn into little monsters because of an earache, so I would definetly want to rule that out.
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  #6  
November 7th, 2006, 02:07 PM
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1) Getting her to act better and stop screaming
I agree with taking her to the DR. just to rule out ear infection. Those can be nasty and symptomless sometimes. Your Dr. might also have some advice for you too.

2) Getting her to sleep through the night again
My son sleeps with us now. He always slept through the night. Turned 2, went to a toddler bed, slept great for a couple months, then started coming into our room. We struggled until we realized... What is the big deal?? We love him, we all sleep ok (it took a little getting used to), but we love it and it is fine for now. He is only little once and I love waking up in the night to see his little face near mine.

3) How to stay sane until numbers one and two take place!
Hopefully this is a short phase for her and she just needs to scream for a while. Have you tried ignoring her? When my son throws a fit, I taught him to go in his room to do it because I don't want to hear it. It totally worked.


I hope some of this helps. The Happiest Toddler on The Block is by Dr. Harvey Karp. You may try to order a used one from Barnes&Noble.com.

Good luck!!!!
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  #7  
November 7th, 2006, 07:34 PM
Sunshine412's Avatar Veteran
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Thank you all so much! There's some really helpful advice, and today was actually much better than any other day these past few weeks. I know that part of the problem is my exhaustion, so when she woke up this morning, I layed down in her room (she wouldn't go back to sleep) while she played with her toys and I was able to sleep for almost a full hour extra! I really appreciate everyone's help, and I am feeling so much better! Especially when some of you mentioned that the same thing happened to you, because I was starting to think that I'm turning into a horrible parent for her to be acting like this, so it is nice to know that it's normal!

A couple of you asked why I put her in a toddler bed at such a young age. The reason I put her in her toddler bed so young is because she was climbing everywhere, including up the steps, on the coffee table, into the fireplace, out of the bathtub, etc, (I couldn't take my eyes off of her for two seconds!) and I was worried that she'd try to climb out of her crib in the middle of the night and hurt herself. The toddler bed is much lower to the floor, so at least when she climbs out of that, she doesn't get hurt!

Again, thank you for all of your help, I really appreciate it! And, if anyone has any more advice or tips for me, please share!
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  #8  
November 8th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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Hang in there and maybe try to take some time for yourself. Get someone to watch her even for an hour so you can get some space.
Get your hair cut, go to the mall, go for a walk.
Even for a little while, it really helps.
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