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help, please help - 16 mo hysterical at bedtime never had this before

(9 Posts)
greenandpleasant Mon 15-Sep-08 19:31:25

this is the 6th night in a row that my 16mo ds has been refusing to go to sleep in his cot. he is normally brilliant at bedtime, we have a routine and he is usually down at 7 and asleep by 7.15, rarely any tears or fuss. Last few days he has become hysterical when I put him into his cot. As soon as I pick him up he stops crying. Just to get him to sleep the last few nights I have put him on the bed, he's gone off to sleep perfectly happily and 30 mins later when he's fast asleep I've moved him into his cot. But tonight I really want to sort this out and he has spent the last 30mins crying to the point of hysteria - though he stops instantly when I come in and starts the instant he goes back in his cot or I make him lie down, which I have done twice so far. I am typing this to the background noise of his miserable sobbing and crying. sad

He's not ill, hot, teething or anything else obvious. I feel awful for leaving him to cry but I want my compliant happy bedtime baby back! and the sleeping on the bed routine is not one I'm prepared to make permanent.

any ideas why this is happening and what I can do to sort it out please?

emskaboo Mon 15-Sep-08 19:55:23

My ds is only 9 months so no experience, but just looked in the Andrea Grace book (we've currently doing gradual withdrawal with ds to try and get him to self settle) and she says this is common at this age and can be because the child's imagination is developing and scary things are popping into their head.

She suggests staying with the child and patting, stroking etc whilst they stay in their cot until they go to sleep, basically gradual withdrawl stuff.


pinata Mon 15-Sep-08 20:15:28

my DD has done this recently, screaming as soon as i leave the room at night, following months of great settling herself. she's younger, but one thing i found helps is giving her her milk and then a little head rub so she goes off in my arms, and then when sparko put her in her cot.

thatsnotmyname Tue 16-Sep-08 11:06:36

I was about to start a thread on this too!! DD (23mths)was perfect up until March this year, then overnight, would not go into cot, left her to scream, but got so hysterical she puked everywhere - every time we tried she got worse. Now she snuggles with daddy on the sofa with milk, but she is still pushing us, now she has managed to escape the cot, our bedroom for settling down, she got her own way with the cuddles, but now she is pushing a bit more. No matter how strict I am, (I don't give in to anything with her) I am at my wits end, things are getting worse and DH is not is consistent as me. However, if DH works late, I can get her to settle down with a cuddle and milk and she is asleep by 7pm!!?? Me and DH are losing our closeness as DD is there getting all the attention! She is obvisouly not getting enough sleep as she has gone from a lovely little thing to a teenager overnight!!

greenandpleasant Tue 16-Sep-08 11:17:24

thatsnotmyname, this is what I fear ... giving in each night then it gets pushed more and more until you are losing your evening time. and yes, the later sleep doesn't make any difference to when ds wakes up! so he is tired earlier in the morning. arrghhh.

Last night in the end I just left ds to cry it out, I felt so awful as I've never just left him - but pick up put down, shushing, soothing etc was not working and I know that he had to get over this soon-ish as we've already started the new habit of going to sleep on the bed. he cried for 35mins in total and then went to sleep without any intervention from me. he's done the puking thing before too but I thought I was just going to have to take that risk otherwise I will always be rushing in to pick him up and not letting him get off to sleep or get over the fact that he has got to go to bed! (that sounds harsh, I'm not a horrible mummy really).

I think I am going to put his bedtime back by about 15 mins so he gets a little more story time and cuddles and see what happens tonight. can't bear it if this goes on, it's horrible having unhappy toddler screaming in his room but I'm a lone parent and need to have a bit of time off at the end of the day!

thatsnotmyname, perhaps you need to start again on a bedtime routine, make sure DH is signed up and consisten and involve him in the whole bedtime thing, or get him to do milk and bath and bed on his own with her whenever possible - sounds like your DD wants time with Daddy perhaps and that's why she's pushing.

lilysmummy2007 Wed 17-Sep-08 07:19:56

early terrible tows syndrome perhaps, smae story in my house, my 17mo dd has not decided if i leave her for 10 seconds at night means im never coming back, dp works nghts and sleeps all flippin day so no help from him, she is great during the day, its striclty at night, will be trying different routine starting this weekend, some one recommended controlled crying but i think thats cruel so am taking a different approach by cutting out one nap, she has 2 during the day as she get up really early, earlier dinner and bath and some playtime to let her tire. will see how it goes.

lilysmummy2007 Wed 17-Sep-08 07:21:59

twos even!

Shylily Thu 25-Sep-08 22:14:14

My son did this for a few nights at about that age (he's now 22 months). It was very sudden as he's always loved going to bed. I responded as you did the first few nights then I started doing a 'controlled crying' type thing. I started with 1minute and built up 1 minute at a time although they usually say do 5 minutes. As I'd never had to do it before I didn't want him to be even more hysterical than he was as it must be very upsetting and frightening for them to be so out of control. I'd go in, lie him down without talking and go back out. It only took 3 nights and it stopped. Good luck.

Marmalade53 Fri 26-Sep-08 11:59:56


I'm new to this site so Hello!

My ds is 15 months and has been very good at going to bed for the last few months - until the last week. He will now scream and get hysterical until we go in and calm him down. The only thing that has changed is that it has got darker at bedtime.

last night when I put him down I left his bedroom door slightly ajar and he went to sleep without a sound!

It might have been a coincidence but also might help someone else x

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