Any theories on why my 15 month old has suddenly started refusing cot

(4 Posts)
Brown76 Mon 28-Sep-15 13:43:26

If anyone has any theories/thoughts I'd love to hear them.

I have a 15-month old DS, we room-share with him. We've had our ups and downs with sleep but he's puzzling me with his latest phase.

About 2-3 weeks ago he would go down for naps and to bed and mostly I could just put him down awake with his dummy and he would happily be left and go to sleep. Other times, I would get him drowsy with cuddles/singing and then he would happily be placed in the cot. Occasionally it would be harder going, but generally things were getting quite good (famous last words).

For the last week he has refused to be left awake in his cot. I have to stay with him for up to an hour in physical contact (i.e. lying in bed with him, cuddling or soothing in the cot).

He was absolutely knackered an almost asleep in his pushchair, but as soon as we went upstairs for the nap he got a second wind! After 45 minutes of trying everything I could I gave up and left him to yell for 15 minutes - then he fell asleep.

Leaving him to cry feels OTT given he is generally an okay sleeper and presumably can sleep well again, and I'm usually happy to spend the time soothing him but am feeling really frustrated now with not being able to leave the room without tears.

Any ideas about why he might have had this change of attitude with regards to bed? Have you been through this, and any ides on how to deal with it?

FATEdestiny Mon 28-Sep-15 20:41:50

This could be separation anxiety.

I would try gradual retreat. He needs to trust that you will be there for him when he goes to sleep, so I would stay with him right until he is asleep (no sneaking out as soon as he is settled) but with a view that the aim i to being able to put him down then leave.

So in gradual steps, something like

- Staying with him, in physical contact, until asleep
- Staying with him, until asleep. Physical contact when fussing, removing hand when settled.
- Lying on other side of your bed until asleep. Go to him whenever he fusses, back to other side of bed when settled. Stay until asleep (he needs to trust you'll do this, so don't sneak out until he's asleep)
- Lying on other side of bed with back to him. But go to him if needed. Stay until asleep
- Sit up on other side of bed, but go to him if needed.
- Have a thing you need to quickly do (then come back) when first putting him down. I did putting dirty clothes in hall, so quick out and back in. Then stay sat on bed until asleep.
- Have a couple of things that you go in and out of the room for, but keep door open as he goes to sleep, stay upstairs and keep going back in.
- Eventually aim that you put him down to sleep, leave door open, mill around upstairs for a bit as he goes to sleep.

Brown76 Wed 30-Sep-15 12:17:09

Thanks FATEdestiny. I wondered about Separation Anxiety, but thought it happened at a younger age. I've been doing the gradual type approach, so I guess its back to the first step again for us!

Lilipot15 Thu 01-Oct-15 13:37:19

Mine did this for a while, a couple of weeks I think. Then it passed! Think we did a bit of hand holding through the cot, putting her dummy bunnies back to bed in the morning ready for the next sleep, showing her she had her own duvet and pillow etc.

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