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Separation anxiety just at night? CantSleepWontSleep needs some support please!

(11 Posts)
CantSleepWontSleep Tue 07-Aug-07 21:40:34

DD, 18 months tomorrow, has never been a long sleeper, but for the last few months, as long as not teething, has gone off to sleep within a few minutes, and usually sleeps through.

On Saturday night she spent her first night without me, but was at MIL's house with dh, and slept in her travel cot, which she's always been fine with. She slept through without problem. Gave me the biggest cuddle ever when she returned home on Sunday morning.

Sunday night she slept at home in her normal cot, and was also fine.

Yesterday we came to stay at my parents for a few days. She took a while to settle off last night, but not too bad. She then woke at 3:30am and stayed awake til 5:45, when I finally got her to sleep in bed with me. I'm in a single up here, so there really isn't room for this, and I got very little sleep as a result.

Tonight, she took 1.25 hrs to go to sleep (only settled whilst I've been writing this).

Both last night and tonight she would settle absolutely fine when I was cuddling her, but as soon as I'd move to put her back down, she would cling to me with her legs, and then start screaming as soon as I lowered her into the cot.

She would call either mummmmmmmeeeeee or boooooobeeeeee (she's still breastfed, although doesn't normally have night feeds) in amongst her screaming.

It's all heartbreaking to listen to, and I can't think what can be causing it, or what else I can do to stop it.

Can separation anxiety happen only at night, and could it be triggered by this series of events? She is quite happy not to be with me during the day whilst we're up here, as she likes playing with my mum.

Frizbe Tue 07-Aug-07 21:43:46

{{{{Hugs}}} Hon, I seriously do think she's just growing up, but the teeth could be lobbed in as well if they're slightly erking her.....coupled with being in a new place, and probably the first time she notices its a new place......getting older!! if its any help anytime I've tried to leave the room today, dd2 has screamed for me and I've got to leave her with Gran and dd1 this coming weekend, think I may be legging it whilst she's not looking!

CantSleepWontSleep Tue 07-Aug-07 21:45:15

I don't think that teeth are a prob at the mo. Gave her some nurofen just in case, but it didn't seem to make any difference.

imaginaryfriend Tue 07-Aug-07 21:49:26

CSWS hello

I would imagine the most obvious thing is that she's away from home in a strange room. Plus she may have rather liked getting into bed with you the other night.

If it's still happening when you get home then maybe you could think of it as more of a problem. My dd was a fabulous sleeper from the word go but at around 15 months old she developed big fears about being left in her cot at bedtime and naptime. It took us about 3 months to resolve because we felt so awful about hearing her cry and call out 'hello mummy' over and over like a little robot (it still makes me feel awful to think about it now) so we went for every single 'soft option' first then eventually did a very mild form of cc which worked literally within 2 days.

Frizbe Tue 07-Aug-07 21:52:36

This may sound daft but you could try giving her a book to read before she drops off to sleep, I do it on the odd occasion, if dd2 is extra lively works for me...

VeniVidiVickiQV Tue 07-Aug-07 21:57:00

It could be a phase that has coincided with your staying at your mums.

IIRC DD went through a phase like this. We did the gradual withdrawal thing. Put her in bed, said "its night-night time", and then DP would say I'll be back in one minute to give you another cuddle. Which he followed through with. Then he said he'd be two minutes etc.

This would build up a trust, and we'd do this. We never took her out of her room, and we didnt bunk in with her.

But, I'm wondering whether this will fix itself as long as you keep doing the same thing that you have been doing.

CantSleepWontSleep Tue 07-Aug-07 21:57:18

Thanks if .
There's a big mark on my screen which has prevented me from reading that it took 3 months for you to resolve .
I did cc with her at about 8 months, but it's so much harder when they can speak! Am just praying that she doesn't wake again during the night and put us through it all over again.

Friz - she already has a book and a couple of cuddly toys in her bed with her. She ignores them, but they are in there at home, and I wanted to replicate that as closely as possible.

CantSleepWontSleep Tue 07-Aug-07 21:59:03

Ooh hello there QV . Would your dd scream for the minute or two that you were out of the room?

VeniVidiVickiQV Tue 07-Aug-07 22:06:26

She fussed quite a bit at first, but we could tell that it was fussing, rather than real distress. We wouldnt leave her long though.

We also found doing a verbal countdown towards bedtime would help.

Ie, from say 5pm onwards start saying "Right, we are going to have dinner, then watch some cbeebies, then have milk, then its bedtime"

Then when dinner came it would be "we are going to watch some cbeebies, then have milk, then its bedtime"

constant countdown and reassurance about what was going to happen helped dd. Mind you, she's a very sensitive sort.

I'm tempted to say "if all else fails, give her a donut" but i fear this may be of no use to you

imaginaryfriend Tue 07-Aug-07 22:10:25

CSWS it only took a ridiculous 3 months because we were so upset by her pitiful cries of 'hello mummy' which she repeated literally over and over interrupted now and then with some tears and sobs. It was a nightmare. Yes, much worse when they can speak. So we tried everything, pick up put down, gradual withdrawal etc. etc. but nothing at all worked. She would never co-sleep so that wasn't an option. In the end we did straightforward CC and as I said it worked within 2 days although I suspect dd herself was totally fed up with the situation by then!

CantSleepWontSleep Tue 07-Aug-07 22:10:29

lol at donut. I sense that only a Krispy Kreme would do .

Will try the countdown stuff tomorrow and see if that helps, thanks.

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