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DS 19 months is waking in the night for hours on end - help!!

(10 Posts)
nondomesticgoddess Mon 19-Oct-09 14:21:15

Sorry - this is long! I tried to include details so you can see what I've tried already...

DS has always been a brilliant sleeper - I'm now getting payback for any smugness I might have felt!

On Friday, he woke up around 1.30am really crying and calling out for me. I went in and picked him up and immediately he calmed down. But as soon as I started to put him in his cot he started clawing me and screaming out again. Picked him up, right as rain, put him back, more screaming. In the end, I brought him into bed with us. At first he lay quite happily (although not asleep) but after about half an hour he was chatting and poking our faces. i took him back to his cot, lay him down and he started crying again. In the end we did some controlled crying (5 mins then 7 mins) and he settled. By this point I had been awake for 2 hours.

The next day he woke up a little later but not much. After lunch, I put him down for his nap and he cried almost immediately. I decided to do more controlled crying as it seemed to work the night before (5 mins, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17). Every time I went in he was standing up. I'd pick him up, he'd immediately calm down. As soon as he went near his cot, more tears. By 3pm he still wasn't asleep and by then I thought it was getting too late for him to sleep without affecting the evening (and I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere anyway) so I got him up.

He then went to sleep fine on saturday and slept through to the morning (he cried out briefly at one point but immediately settled himself back to sleep).

Last night he woke up at 11.20. To cut a long story short, dh ended up sleeping on the floor in his room for a couple of hours, I then took over (he woke up crying when dh left) for several more hours. As a result we have one tired crotchety family!

At least he does seem to have settled for his nap today....

Has anyone experienced this? What did you do??

As I said, he has always slept so well I am completely stuck. He sucks on a muslin so he has that comfort. He seems to be suffering from massive separation anxiety. (He can be a bit like that in the day time too - crying when I leave the room).


tinierclanger Mon 19-Oct-09 14:33:09

Can't speak from smug experience as DS has never been a great sleeper! but if you think he is suffering from massive separation anxiety can't you just roll with it for now? If he will sleep with one of you in his room just do it for a bit and then see if he gets back to normal a few days later. DS has been like this on and off with naps but it seems to pass after a couple of weeks.

WonderBundlesMommy Mon 19-Oct-09 18:51:18

Sounds exactly like what we just went through with DS, who has also been a great sleeper from about 4m (now 17m).

After two days of this, and thinking it was the separation anxiety (as he does cry if I leave the room during the day), I figured out that he was giving up his nap. Neither DH or myself napped as a child at all and it just occurred to me that maybe he was frustrated at being put in his crib when he is simply not tired. He now has no daytime nap and sleeps beautifully at night again. The first couple of days without nap were cranky evenings, but now he is totally adjusted and doesn't want his nap at all - on the same bedtime schedule exactly.

Just thought I'd pass this on in case it helps you - I was wracking my brains in those long nights and horrible naptimes trying to figure it out and this solved the problem instantly....

nondomesticgoddess Tue 20-Oct-09 14:33:28

Phew - he slept through last night. But was it just becasue he was so exhasuted from the previous night? Let's see what tonight brings...

Wonder - I did have that thought, but he normally naps for 2 to 3 hours during the day, settles at 7pm and wakes around 7.30am. I would have thought that one of those things would be a struggle if he didn't need the nap anymore.

Broms Tue 20-Oct-09 14:58:06

Sorry butting in on this thread but I am also wondering about dropping all daytime sleep - my ds wakes early - 5am ish at the moment - and sometimes in the night and can be hard to settle.

I have always obsessively wanted/thought he needed a sleep at lunchtime - its getting harder and harder to get him to go down and I end up walking the streets to get him to sleep - should I just forget it and let him tell me if he's tired.

He managed 3 days last week without daytime sleep - but he was painful from 4pm - however didn't make huge difference on early mornings but maybe 3 days wasn't enough. He's 22 months old. Just slightly worried that 9/10 hours a night isn't enough sleep in a day for any toddler.

WonderBundlesMommy Tue 20-Oct-09 16:58:59

Yep, DS napped for 2 hours every day and slept 12 hours at night, solid. I was expecting that eventually he'd nap less during the day or gradually sleep less at night when he was ready to give up his naps. But apparently it happened overnight! I also wasn't ready for it to happen so soon, still figuring out how to get certain things done without the daytime nap. However, we are so happy he's back to his normal nightime sleep pattern!

Glad you had a good night, fingers crossed for you tonight.

WonderBundlesMommy Tue 20-Oct-09 17:44:46

Broms - don't think 3 days would be enough to adjust? I remember reading that these adjustments normally take 10 days to 2 weeks? Not sure where I read that though...hmm

Maybe your DS will sleep longer at night once adjusted to not having nap?

mathanxiety Tue 20-Oct-09 18:24:00

You could have a "quiet time' during the day instead of a nap if he seems a bit tired. Giving up naps can mean falling asleep in your dinner sometimes, and some days he'll possibly still nap.

Broms Wed 21-Oct-09 05:56:10

Nondomesticgoddess - how did you get on last night?

4.23am start this end (but he did sleep through til that time) so definitely taking the advice of "quiet time" - thanks for that. And agree anything you try should last for a couple of weeks so 3 days wasn't enough but by then he was desperate for a nap as not adjusted the night time - so not easy getting the balance right...!

nondomesticgoddess Wed 21-Oct-09 14:00:23

Well, we had another good night - 6.50pm until 7.30am. It was so nice to be woken up by dh's alarm and not 'Muuuummmmmeeeeeeeee!' He slept perfectly yesterday nap time and seems to be fine again today.

Maybe it was a blip but I am not holding out too much hope yet.

During the day he continues to yell every time I'm out of sight. I can cope with that when I've had a good night's sleep! wink

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