I think yesterday we saw the worst of Cate’s cold. She was basically having one continuous asthma attack all day long, poor kiddo. We were giving her the maximum amount of albuterol that we could, and she was still miserable. She seems a lot better today; she’s still a little wheezy, but she’s been playing and laughing and acting more like her normal self.
There’s something I want to ask you guys, just to see if there’s any knowledge out there that can help: has anyone ever experienced toddler panic attacks? That appears to be what we’re dealing with in regards to Cate’s sleeping issues. If I walk anywhere close to her crib while I’m holding her, she starts whimpering and shaking, and she clamps onto me as if her life depends on it. I used to be able to put her down while she was still awake, turn on her CD and leave the room, and she didn’t make even a peep of objection. Now, she can be all the way asleep, but when I move her to her crib, if she wakes up enough to realize that she’s in the crib, she will force herself to wake up all the way and WIG. OUT.
I don’t know how to describe it, this goes way beyond normal crying or a standard-issue tantrum. She shakes with terror, she tries to climb the rails of her crib and she howls like she’s scared to death. It tears my heart out, I can’t stand to listen to it. A coupe of times we’ve tried to let her cry it out, but either Dave or I always cave and end up going to get her. (I do realize that going to get her totally defeats the purpose, because all we’re doing is teaching her that if she screams long enough, Mommy or Daddy will eventually come get her, but I challenge you to come sit in my house and try to listen to that screaming for more than 10 minutes.)
Stuff I’ve tried: I’ve made sure that a good portion of her toys are in her room, and we spend a fair amount of time in there playing, trying to get her more comfortable in her new room. Also, she has a nightlight and an air filter for white noise, same as she had at the old house.
I’ve noticed that this doesn’t only apply to her crib. She’s also now terrified of the vacuum cleaner, which is a new development. (And seriously, she’s never had any traumatic encounters with the vacuum, so I can’t imagine where this came from.) The other night we got the vacuum out, and she started shaking and saying, “all done! all done!!” over and over, before I had even plugged the thing in. When she realized I was the one who was going to use the vacuum, she reached for Dave and basically tried to climb up him. She’s like one of the cats.
We met with a new pediatrician on Thursday, and when I mentioned this, he kind of brushed me off with the “yeah, all kids are different, takes them different amounts of time to adjust to new environments, blah blah blah”. I don’t think he really “got” how bad it is.
It’s upsetting to me because she’s always been a very cautious child, the type who needs to think something over for a while before she’ll decide to try it. But she seems to have gone from cautious to outright fearful, and it kills me because I feel like this is our fault for uprooting her world and causing all of this insecurity. Of course, there isn’t anything we can do about it now. I suppose I’m just wishing that we had made this move a year ago, before she was quite so aware of her environment. But I don’t really know where to go from here, so if any of y’all have any advice, let me have it.