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Previously perfect sleeper now goes bananas at bedtime

(6 Posts)
sleeplessness Wed 05-Jan-11 19:51:59

Bit of background, our son turned 1 in November.
He's been a model sleeper since 6 weeks old, going down without much fuss and sleeping through the night, though he does use a dummy to get off to sleep.

He's fit and healthy and not currently teething as far as I can tell. During the day he's a jolly happy little boy who loves to play, socialise and eat. Daytime naps are carried off without any fuss.

Bedtime routine is bath and into pyjamas, lights on low in living room while he has his bedtime feed while watching quiet kids tv, then carried off to bed around 7:15pm.
Has been this way for months and has always worked a treat, with him happily waving goodnight when taken off to bed.

However, out of nowhere he's started going beserk as soon as we put him in his cot to sleep.
He will scream, stand up and rattle the bars and quite litteraly spit his dummy out.
The only thing that settles him is to be picked up out of his cot and held. As soon as you try to put him back down he will instantaneously begin screaming again.
It can take up to 3 hours of screaming and resettling him before he will fall asleep, usually while being held.
If he wakes in the night, the whole process starts again.

Has come as a bit of an exhausting shock to me and the otherhalf.
Expected a few hiccups during the transition from baby to toddler, but nothing like this.

Any help greatly appreciated!

SmethwickBelle Wed 05-Jan-11 20:43:47

My DS2 was 1 in November too but the difference being he's always been a lousy sleeper, so I may not be the best person to give advice. confused

I notice he gets a lot more frustrated these days if someone (normally his brother) grabs the toy he wants or if I take something away from him (delicious marbles/coins - did I mention I have a 3 year old magpie?). I think they're getting a stronger sense of self and the fact that the world is not always as they want it to be.

If my DS was having a brand new freak out at bedtime I'd possibly humour him and cuddle him lots for a few days to see if this is just plain and simple insecurity for some reason - maybe something spooked him.

If it didn't pass, I'd take a few leaves out of the controlled crying book, as long as he's fed, dry, warm and not ill leave him to cry it out, popping in to re-settle but not picking him up or talking unless perhaps to say "its bedtime darling, back to sleep" and not offering any stimulation/feeds/moving about between cot and your bed etc... unless I feel it was needed.

Hope its just a little phase he's going to fly out of.

3littlefrogs Wed 05-Jan-11 20:47:33

Get his ears checked. At this age,earache is often not noticeable when upright, but excrutiating when horizontal.

He may be overtired - so try starting bed time earlier.


sleeplessness Wed 05-Jan-11 20:58:52

Don't think it's his ears as his daytime naps are fine, plus on occasions where we've given up and had him in bed with us he lays down and sleeps fine.

Tried moving him forward for bedtime, but still same tantrums.

I think it's a seperation issue has he gets shirty and upset at times during the day - he'll be playing happily on the floor of the living room, but as soon as you leave the room he'll start crying, crawl after you, bang on the baby gate etc.

Sassles Wed 05-Jan-11 21:21:08

This sounds exactly like my son at 8 months.

I think it is separation anxiety too. Not sure what to do either. Guess ride it out and hope it is over quickly!!

minxofmancunia Wed 05-Jan-11 21:32:25

My 15m old ds has been doing just this for the last 2 nights, I'm assuming it's something developmental possibly separation anxiety. it's come as a shock to us too!

It's definitely overtired whingeing so am taking cc approac and going in at set intervals to stroke him and and say sleepy time but not picking him up. Taking approx 20mins to get him to settle but it does mean leaving him. Sounds harsh but don't want him to become reliant on cuddles/rocking etc to get from wake to sleep.

I've put +++++ effort into my dcs sleep habits and don't want the good work to go out of the window!

Good Luck! smile

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