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17 month old suddenly won't go to sleep on his own

(4 Posts)
mumofgeorge Wed 08-Jun-11 23:42:01

Hi,

I was after some advice... A couple of months ago our son (17 months old at the time) suddenly seemed to stop being able to go to sleep on his own in the evening. He'd been a great sleeper up until that point (12 hours/night, in bed for 7/7.30 pm, smilling and saying 'night night' as we left the room). It coincided with getting rid of his dummy, which he'd only ever had for sleep time, but we'd found out he didn't have at nursery. So we thought we'd try him without it at home too because we thought he didn't need it.

The first week or so we stayed with him to settle him, as he was a bit upset he didn't have his dummy. However, this has progressed to us still not being able to leave the room until he goes to sleep (if we do he screams and screams). We have tried controlled crying for a few days but he made himself sick, and to be honest, we really couldn't do it.

We've been staying with him (the first few nights close to his cot, then moving further away from the cot, to now sitting by the door, reassuring him we're still there), but it just seems a bit silly that he used to go to sleep fine, but now basically insists we're with him til he's asleep. It normally takes about 20 minutes, but some nights he can take over an hour-to an hour and a half to settle (it doesn't seem to correspond with how much sleep he's had during the day). He just seems to need reassuring we're still there. He mainly sleeps through, but sometimes still seems to need us to settle him back off during the night (normally resulting with either him in our bed or one of us on his bedroom floor).

Does anyone else have similar experience of this? It's been a couple of months now. I was hoping it was a phase, but am starting to think we've got him into a pattern of needing us to be there.

I've just re-read this - sorry it's such a ramble... Thanks in advance for any advice!

lazzaroo Thu 09-Jun-11 11:27:18

No real advice, just to say this happened to us too! The trigger seemed to be when we let the MiL put her to bed one time. They don't live nearby so don't see much of her and it was the first time. Cut a long story short my DD got ina right state. Cried until she was sick etc etc. I thought that because if that she didn't want me ot leave her but, like you, it's been about 6 weeks and she still doesn't want me to leave the room while she's going to sleep. Some nights I can get out whle she is very sleepy. Others I have to help her settle completely. We did CC a while ago which worked a treat but was very hard. I am reluctnat to try it again as I think she is teething at the moment, and I worry that I am letting her cry while she is in pain. I am still hoping it's a phase!! she is 18 months so similar in age.

cakesandale Thu 09-Jun-11 11:29:39

At about this age dd suddenly got scared of the dark. If they are sleeping in the dark now, I'd try a nightlight, it worked for us.

ShushBaby Thu 09-Jun-11 17:23:39

Interesting... Not exactly the same problem, but our dd is 16mo and, having slept for 11 hours or so without a peep for ages, has just this week started waking up in the evening and taking ages to settle. She'll settle as soon as we go in then pipe up again when we leave room. She sounds properly upset. And she's gone back to waking at 5.30am or earlier- a habit we thought she'd kicked. She still settles by herself at bedtime but her sleep is much more disturbed.

Is there some sort of sleep regression/separation anxiety at this age maybe? <clutches at straws>

Sorry I can't offer advice, tbh I'd love some myself. I don't know how to sleep train a toddler!

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