My son is 2.5 and the last month or so has become completely unglued at bedtime (other times too, but that's the worst). He is chronically overtired because he barely naps at daycare and he is not a kid who copes well when he's tired. So I understand WHY he melts down at bedtime but I am not sure how to approach him/handle it. Nothing is working.
We give him plenty of warnings/countdown timer to transition from activities (i.e., it's time to go upstairs now) and no matter what we do, he becomes completely hysterical. So we have to carry him while he is screaming, kicking, and actively trying to throw himself out of our arms up the stairs. And at that point, he's so worked up that he's out of control. It is basically impossible to calm him down. To change him into his overnight diaper, my husband basically has to hold him down while I change him and dodge the kicks, the whole time he is crying and screaming so hard. Every other bedtime transition is similar (i.e. after the last book, turning off the light, getting into bed, etc.).
I end every night in tears because it is just so demoralizing and I hate seeing him so upset. It feels like I've been in a physical fight every night and I feel so wrung out from all the crying and screaming. I hate that his night goes so badly.
I've read plenty of Janet Lansbury, etc. but honestly nothing helps because he's just exhausted. But I need a better way to cope with it and manage him. I had to do bedtime solo tonight and I am 31 weeks pregnant and it was a nightmare. I just sat on the floor with him and cried my eyes out because I can't physically manage him when he's like that. I feel like such a crappy mom that I can't even handle my own 2 year old.
I don't know what I am asking for - I guess any suggestions or anything that worked for you would be great. I am hoping this is a phase. Bedtime has always been rough but it's only been like this for the last few weeks. I am honestly terrified and dreading the new baby coming because I don't know how I can manage my 2 year old and a baby.'
Edited to add: we've had the same bedtime routine for forever and ever, nothing has changed, and bedtime is super early, like 6:30-6:45.