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Toddler screams and cries at bedtime when parent leaves

Posted by Karen Faulkner on
separation anxiety, toddler screaming at bedtime, developmental leap, toddler sleep, online sleep program, Nurture Sleep Program

Why does my toddler scream and cry at bedtime when I leave?

Hi Karen

I hope you had a great Christmas & a wonderful New Year!

As you know, we implemented your schedule and made changes to the kids
diet and they are mostly sleeping through the night - which is

Isaac goes down really easy and without much fuss of an evening, but
Chloe SCREAMS and screams for about an hour. We moved further and
further away from her cot, but have never been able to leave the room.
This wasn’t always the case, as she used to go down in about
15minutes, but for the past two weeks, she’s screamed until 8pm. We
are really unsure what to do and generally lie in the room until she
is done, but have started letting her cry for 45minutes, coming our
for 10minutes and then going back in. I don’t know if it’s because of
sheer exhaustion or because we’ve gone back in that she seems to
settle again.

Do you have any advice? We have now left Manly, been to Berry for a
week, tonight is a serviced apartment, then the gold coast tomorrow.
Again, Isaac is fine with the change.

They are now 19months, 16.5corrected, eat really really well
throughout the day and are generally sleeping through the night.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Karen,

Hello Liz,

Yes, I did thanks, hope you did too.

This is very normal and typical separation anxiety. It doesn't affect every child and will go away. However, it needs managing properly to stop this escalation. She now knows she is a separate individual so once you leave the room she feels abandoned. Have a read of these blogs.

Eventually, you will be able to leave the room and not have to sit on the chair to help her get to sleep. However, doing the chair thing in the room will help her emotional intelligence as a teenager and adult.
Please don't lay on the floor - you've moved in. It's important to sit on a chair. Please don't do the in and out thing. It will make her stressed and feel abandoned. And that's not a nice feeling at bedtime. Some kids don't cope with change and holidays and Chloe sounds like one of these.

Kind regards, Karen X

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