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problems with 21 month old at bedtime!!

(7 Posts)
pinkprincess22 Fri 09-Sep-11 08:51:23

DD is 21 months and has always been a great sleeper, sleeping through from 8 weeks old.

She hit the 18 month sleep regression bang on 18 months and was awful for about 6 weeks, but we cracked it and she went back to normal.

However for the past 2 weeks she has been awful. She goes to bed just fine, kisses me, tells me she loves me etc. and sleeps soundly. But then come 3am (sometimes 6am, sometimes in between) she will wake up, run to the gate on her door and SCREAM. I was ill when she started all this, so I confess I took her into our bed each time lol. When she got into our bed, usually she would be awake tossing and turning for 1-2 hours. Sometimes she'd go to sleep straight away.

The past 2 nights she has been worse. We decided that sleeping in our bed was not an option as we feared she was getting into a habit (started wanting to nap there too). She now wakes more than once and is a nightmare to soothe.

On weds night, she woke at 1am and it took 90 mins of soothing, returning to my bed and being woke up again before I eeventually left her to cry it out for 5 mins at a time (CIO) which took 2 mins lol.

Last night she was worse. She woke at 3am, it took me 30 mins of soothing and CIO before she went back to bed. She has developed the clever little habit of throwing her beloved teddy across the landing, as she knows I will return it because she can't sleep without it. I kept returning it because when I left it for the whole 5 mins she was so much harder to soothe after. She then woke again at 4am, it took 10 mins to soothe her, and again at 4.25am. By this time I had been up for so long it took me an hour to go back to sleep. Cue one very tired mummy!

I have no idea why she is doing this. I gave her pain meds 30 mins before bed and again at 3am. I think they calmed her a bit at 3am. She seems fine if she is put to bed and I am there, she pats her pillow and says "na night mama" because she wants me to sleep with her. Then if I leave, she starts screaming again. I did think maybe sep anxiety, but she is absolutely fine at all other times and is fine when she initially goes to bed.

When she screams like this it is out of this world - she is so loud I worry what the neighbours are thinking! She screams like someone is killing her. I pick her up to soothe her and she asks to go in my bed. I say no and she tantrums like mad. Eventually I can soothe her and put her to bed but sometimes I have to let her CIO which can take forever.

Any ideas? Is this just tantrums or something else? She has a nightlight, drink, teddy - nothing has changed in her room.

Also, when she has a bad night like this, do I give her a longer nap the next day? Or just put her to bed a bit earlier?

Her current routine:

7.30am - up
11.00am - lunch
11.45am/12am - put to bed for nap, usually asleep by 12.15 or 12.30 if she babbles to herself
2pm - up, I usually have to wake her up
6pm - wind down time
7pm - up to bed, stories and cuddles, I leave the room about 7.10pm
7.15pm - usually asleep but sometimes babbles til 7.40pm

sorry this is so long!!

pinkprincess22 Fri 09-Sep-11 08:52:30

forgot to add, she is fine at naptimes, no waking. And when I say 90 mins of soothing and returning to my bed I mean ME going to my bed lol.

Octaviapink Fri 09-Sep-11 19:39:11

What are you giving her the pain medication for? If she's ill then that's probably why she's waking up in the night.

Octaviapink Fri 09-Sep-11 19:40:12

And sorry, why is it 'laugh out loud' that you left her to cry?

Tgger Fri 09-Sep-11 22:22:53

Is she teething? those last teeth are awful. It's tricky dealing with it. I was lucky DD was in cot still and we had been very firm with her sleep as she was so difficult as a baby- we'd go to her when she cried out, give her a cuddle but then put her back down and she'd go back to sleep within minutes (normally 1 or 2). The cuddle would be very brief indeed.

You do need to check if they are ill -yes meds if ill but not if not!!!- but if not then be firm.

Can you put her back in her cot?

Also they tend to wake a lot when they have developmental leaps, but again, be firm!!!!

Perhaps you should take her to the doctor just to check her over and then start your new regime (whatever that is..)

It is comforting to think to yourself "she is testing her boundaries" when they scream blue murder at night time. My DD would scream like this but if ignored would stop very quickly indeed, and luckily DS in the other room either didn't wake up or just ignored it and went back to sleep.

pinkprincess22 Sat 10-Sep-11 13:51:03

sorry when I put lol I was referring to the fact that within 2 mins she stopped, because she realised mummy wasnt coming to put her in my bed! So when I say lol, it's at how clever she is being not at her crying. I would never lol at leaving her to cry, I actually find that very very hard to do (so hard that 5 mins is more like 2-3) and feel like crying myself.

Pain meds for molars - her 2 yr molars are coming through, we suspected this was the cause

Iggly Sat 10-Sep-11 18:03:27

We're going through something similar with DS, 23 months.

I put him to bed earlier. I also nap a bit earlier in the day too and try and keep things boring in the day - more fresh air in the park etc than playgroups as helps him sleep better.

With night wakings we keep as dull as possible but sometimes takes ages! I hope it's a phase.

Does she watch tv or have sugar? Sometimes that can make things worse especially if tired already.

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