Friday, 29 January 2016

SLEEP REGRESSION OR SEPARATION ANXIETY?


Which one is it? or is it a bit of both, I just can't decided!  Over the past few weeks we've had one unsettled night after another and a toddler who is testing the boundaries, playing up more than behaving and quite frankly driving me insane!


At the start of the year we spent some time in Aviemore with a few of our friends and their kiddies. It was lovely, however, it seems to have triggered these sleepless nights, which I can only assume is down to the fact that Oscar was sharing a room with us and was being disturbed when we came to bed.  It also became apparent during that trip that Oscar was becoming increasingly clingy, he would hang around my legs, whinge and moan whenever he saw me and constantly wanted attention.  It got so bad that on New Years day after he had gone to bed, I ended up having a mini mummy melt down, tears and all.  It was really getting to me, he would be absolutely fine with Ian (his dad), but the minute I appeared in the moaning the whinging would start.

He loves his daddy, but does he hate me?



I took to good old Google for some answers, and headed to the wonder years for some reassurance that he didn't hate me.  According to several sources this is sleep regression with a touch of separation anxiety!  Bloody sleep regression! At 18 months this is very common, it's also very common for them to experience separation anxiety at this age too.  At 18 months they are fully aware of what's going on and are super smart!  I know for sure my little man is smarter than I give him credit for.  Oscar knows that if he plays up that little bit extra with me it eventually breaks me down.  He knows that with Ian, it wont work, so he doesn't even try it.

A week past tuesday I took Oscar to his first swimming lesson, the first 5-10 minutes were a little intense.  I sat him on the side of the pool (the teacher holding him ever so slightly) and as I went to put my foot into the water he lost it!  Hysterically crying, reaching out for me, clinging on for dear life, it was heart wrenching, I couldn't believe how upset he was and it wasn't like I'd went anywhere, he could still see me.  The teacher immediately said "oh that's separation anxiety", I was a little taken a back by her comments.  He goes to nursery 3 times a week and has no issue with that nor has he an issue with being left, maybe thats because he knows the girls there, i'm not sure.

As I researched this further, I came across an article which made reference to the fact that our babies fell the safest when they are with those they love and trust, of course that makes sense, this also means that when they are tired, upset, had a bad day or simply just in a bad mood, they bring it out on  their nearest and dearest.  Again, that makes totally sense, I know that because we do that ourselves, as adults we express our upset and anger to those we trust the most.

Things have started getting easier again, but it's taken several weeks.  After all my research I feel much better about the whole thing.  It got me thinking, whether your a toddler or a fully fledged adult we all feel the same emotions, the only difference is that your toddler can't always express it in the right way.  If your going through this or experiencing something similar, then all I can say is hang in there, it'll pass and things will return to normal eventually!

Kirsty x

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