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20-month-old waking with buzzing head

(11 Posts)
TheDormouse Tue 23-Aug-11 14:08:26

Can anyone offer me any tips on how to settle my 20-month-old DD? She has always been quite a good sleeper (lucky us), but recently she has been waking in the small hours, and just wants to talk, to point to everything in her room, to look at books... I think her head's buzzing as she's learning quite a lot of new words lately. She's had phases a bit like this before, but it's been a few weeks now and I'm worried a pattern is forming (though it's not every night).

If we put her back in her cot she screams blue murder, and if we bring her into our bed she just wants to play. So far we've found that we have to resort to letting her cry it out sooner or later - but she's ramping up the wailing to new levels every night, and whenever she screams 'MUMMY!' I'm finding it gut-wrenching! (As I'm sure are our neighbours.) Plus I'm pregnant, and being up at night is starting to take it out of me...

Does anyone have any tips - or do we just have to slog this one out? Should we be doing some kind of controlled crying? We'd be hugely grateful for any advice!

TheDormouse Wed 24-Aug-11 13:17:01


twinsister Wed 24-Aug-11 21:22:53

didn't want you to go unanswered but probably wont be huge amounts of help as we are in a similar situation!

Combination of things that have worked for us and things that I have read:

- don't get her out of the cot when you go in, give her a cuddle while she stands in the cot.
- don't engage in conversation just firmly say "it's sleepytime, Mama's sleeping, Daddys sleeping, XXX needs to go back to sleep" give her a reassuring hug then leave.
- do the same over and over....and over...and over. Til she gets the message that you're not going to do anything interesting with her in the middle of the night.
- then do the same the next night
- and the next, gradually moving so you're reassuring her from the doorway
- then have a huge row with your DH about whose turn it is to go in the next night
- try not to bring her into your bed as that's lots of fun
- don't do as my husband did and lie on the floor beside her cot to help her get back to sleep and eventually bring her down to lie beside you under the duvet on the rug as that is just the most exciting thing that's ever happened in the night and she will demand a repeat performance over and over
- make sure she's physically pooped at the end of the day. My DD (22 months) is so into talking and words and drawing etc at the moment that I have to really encourage her to run about, dance etc to tire her out physically as well as mentally

I think it's really normal at this stage but I know that's not helpful.

Sorry epic post! Hope some of it helps. And good luck!

TheDormouse Wed 24-Aug-11 22:28:24

Thanks twinsister - that made me smile! And it's helpful to see all this written down - kind of confirms what I know we should be doing, but I don't always see things so logically in the middle of the night...

Fingers crossed both our DDs sleep well tonight!

Tillyscoutsmum Wed 24-Aug-11 22:32:49

No advice here either. DS is also 20 months and also wakes in the middle of the night to "practice" his new found conversation skills (and indeed his climbing ones - but that's a different thread !).

I read somewhere that they have a huge developmental spurt sometime between 18-22 months (but hopefully not for all 4 months shock) and interrupted sleep is just part of it.

Its a phase. It'll pass <<repeat ad infinitum ideally whilst drinking wine>>

TheDormouse Fri 26-Aug-11 00:12:39

Thanks Tillyscoutsmum. Good to know we are in good company.
Sending you wine. Cheers!

TimeForCake Fri 26-Aug-11 13:16:19

Just joining the tinkers in the night gang! DS is 19 months and has also been waking up for a chat recently! I too am hoping it's developmental and a bit of teething as well. He's never been a great sleeper but has much improved, just hoping this passes quickly too. As has been said, it's not every night here either.

Can I just ask you all how long your DCs nap for during the day? I wondered whether this may contribute. I agree on the tiring them out physically though, shame this rain doesn't make it easy!

twinsister Fri 26-Aug-11 14:08:36

normally about two hours after lunch, sometimes more. But if anything she seems to be BETTER at night after a long daytime nap

TheDormouse Fri 26-Aug-11 21:23:52

Same here as twinsister. Am hoping to god that less daytime sleep is not the answer as I've come to love those long naps!

TheDormouse Fri 26-Aug-11 21:24:26

PS We've had a couple of good nights here, by the way. Hope that hasn't jinxed tonight...

ZhenXiang Fri 26-Aug-11 21:28:01

With my DD (2.3 years) drawing on her bare back with my finger never fails, she even half asks for it in her sleepy nightmare state and goes back to sleep in less than a minute.

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