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tantrum at bedtime, 12mo?

(10 Posts)
sillyworriedmama Sun 17-Jul-11 21:04:04

My DS has started throwing ENORMOUS tantrums at bedtime, which are wearing me down. I've never been one for letting him CIO and CC makes me feel a bit sick - I probably need to toughen up, but I'm getting a bit desperate. We're ending up with him up till 9-10pm every day and having to walk him round the block for 30-40mins to get him to go to sleep. I know its a tantrum because he stops crying the second we leave the nursery and do something else... have I made a rod for my own back by getting him out of bed when the screaming becomes unbearable? I have let him CIO before for more than an hour and he's just kept going. How long would you let a 12mo cry hysterically for? It's not like I pick him up at the first whimper. The longest we've left him screaming in bed for was 2.5 hours (we checked on him of course to try and soothe him/calm him down/check he wasn't ill or hurt). I literally feel like I need supernanny!!

It's a bit pathetic really I know. I think my ability to be a rational, tough cookie decreases in direct relation to how little personal space/sleep/calm and quiet time me and DH get...

ffried Sun 17-Jul-11 22:09:00

poor you! i kinda know how u feel, i had a habbit of letting my daughter fall asleep with me in my bed when we moved house then would move her into her room when she was in a deep sleep however i was aware this was not the right way to do it, did controlled crying one night lasted for ages but went in every 20mins next night was a bit better the third night not a bother!
however she is now 2/5 and have gotten into another bad habbit of lying down with her till she goes to sleep! it's also not ideal, but there r no tears and its actually quite lovely we talk a little and she goes to sleep and i just leave mabye try that? but under no circumstances take him out of the room! read him a story or sing a song, stay with him but in the room....good luck

MumToTheBoy Sun 17-Jul-11 22:19:11

I feel your pain, my ds is now 5 so its been a long time since we went through this but your post brought it all back! Do you have a routine at bedtime?

We started one at 4 months: bath, into bedroom, change into pyjamas, a few stories, a feed, lights out, soft music playing and then into bed. I used to wait til he was almost asleep before I put him in the cot. I was told at the time to put him in bed properly awake so he could self settle but he wouldn't do it and like your son would make himself hysterical. I found it easier to do it my way, as it took less time and he went to bed much happier.

Other more experienced people (I only have one ds) will probably come on and give different advice but I would say do what you need to do for now to make it as easy as possible, eg I used to rock him in my arms or sit in a chair and cuddle him til he was almost asleep before putting him in the cot. After a while, I was then able to place him in the cot and just rub his back, then a bit later I was able to just stand by the cot, then I sat in the chair, then I stood by the door, then outside the door! It took a while but he wasn't screaming and he stopped fighting bedtime.

I think the trick for us was once he had gone in the bedroom, he didn't come out of it again. It took time but he soon got used to it. If you bring him out of the room, ie to take him for a walk, then he will perk up again, and the cold air outside will certainly revive him!

I hope it gets better for you, like I said my ds is now 5 and since he was about 2 most nights he asks to go to bed.

Tryharder Mon 18-Jul-11 03:02:11

I tend to follow attachment parenting principles with my DCs so I am happy to cuddle/bf my DD (same age as your son) to sleep. I have 2 older children and followed the same principles with them and they go to bed by themselves now and have done from the age of 1.5 - 2 or so.

I am going to sound harsh but I think leaving a 12 month old baby to cry for 2.5 hours is borderline cruel. He's a baby - he can't talk or do anything for himself yet and you are expecting him to take himself off to bed like a much older child.

Why not lie down with him and cuddle him to sleep? My DD will drift off in 5 minutes if I lie with her. Maybe he has night terrors or is afraid of the dark, is scared of being alone or just wants his mummy to cuddle him to sleep. He has no way of articulating these fears to you or making himself understood other than crying for you. Please forget all that nonsense about rods on backs and do whatever it takes to get him to sleep happily and contentedly. How can it be good for anyone least of all a baby to cry yourself to sleep?

Your post is really. Please don't ignore your baby sad

monkoray Mon 18-Jul-11 06:54:10

Have you tried putting him down later. What time do you put him down now? We didn't put ds down until about 8.30 pm when he was 12 months. I think at about that age they start realizing that there is fun to be had down stairs so it makes out harder for them to go up stairs and sleep. If you keep him up a bit later he may be properly tired and genuinely want to go to bed.
My ds wouldn't fall asleep if I was in the room, he'd want to play so cuddling to sleep would never work.

sillyworriedmama Mon 18-Jul-11 09:02:03

I don't ignore my baby! That's the whole point of the thread tryharder and as I said, I don't agree with controlled crying or letting a baby cry it out. It's a tantrum, and its not always as simple as 'lying down with your baby' which, incidentally I have done frequently in an attempt to calm him, for thanks I get a full force scream in my face and walloped round the head instead. Has your child never had a tantrum? Lucky you.

Thanks for all the suggestions from everyone. DH and I have talked it through last night, and we're going to push back bedtime by half an hour, and extend the bedtime routine to include another half an hour of cuddles and extra stories with mummy or daddy. Hopefully if we give him the attention he gets from screaming a lot before he actually screams, then we'll get somewhere.

He definitely can self settle, in the day when you put him down for a nap he just rolls over and goes right to sleep. He is definitely tired, I think the tiredness contributes to the force of the tantrum actually. I have never ever cuddled him to sleep due to my disability, and the fact that I can't carry him for a long time, so I'm not about to start now. He weighs 23lb! mumtotheboy and ffried I'll definitely go back to basics with the whole frequently returning thing, and hope that if we just stick to NOT getting him back out of the cot after he's put down at night that he'll get the hang of it this week.

ffried Tue 19-Jul-11 21:37:22

good luck and stay strong! i didn't and it got me no where!

AngelDog Tue 19-Jul-11 23:22:13

Could be working on the 55 week developmental spurt which often causes a sleep regression around 12/13 months. More info here and here.

I agree with not worrying about rods & backs, although I can't suggest any good strategies as I bf my 18 m.o. to sleep.

If tiredness seems part of it, you could even try moving bedtime earlier to see if that helps.

sillyworriedmama Wed 20-Jul-11 23:14:40

bedtime is progressing - no screaming tonight - woo! however, it was 8.15 before he went down. The longer time with cuddles/stories/in the night garden on repeat seem to be working. He is way less upset about being in bed. But having said that, today was a nursery day so he was more tired than usual. Fingers crossed for the calm lasting!

sillyworriedmama Wed 20-Jul-11 23:15:18

ps thanks for your replies smile I hope you're getting lots of lovely sleep too!

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