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Really need some advice-18 month old screaming for all sleeps.

(19 Posts)
Tickledyellow Sat 10-Nov-12 19:26:58

Whilst I would never describe DS as a good sleeper, he has, until a few days ago always gone down well for naps and night time sleeps in his cot. All that changed last week. Since then every day has been a battle to get him into his cot at bedtimes and nap times. He screams, clings to us either crying mama and dada. I guess this is part of separation anxiety and perhaps a mix of teething but I just don't know what to do. Controlled crying methods aren't working for us as this wakes DD and stresses everyone out more. The only thing that works is prolonged cuddling and repeated attempts to try and get him into his cot until he is exhausted, up to 2 hours after first attempt. Has anyone else been through this and will he just come through it naturally? Any other advice? We are desperate.

Nevercan Sat 10-Nov-12 20:14:38

What is his sleep like during the day? Is he perhaps ready to drop a nap so not really ready to go to bed perhaps?

Tickledyellow Sat 10-Nov-12 20:37:01

Thank you for replying Nevercan. we are still waiting for him to go to sleep right now after an hour and a half of crying. We go in and comfort him, cuddle etc after every few minutes.

He only takes one nap a day, usually about twelve ish and sleeps between one and two and a half hours. He has had one day with no nap so far about a week ago. I did wonder if he was ready to drop his nap and also wondered if perhaps he wasn't tired enough but surely 18 monts is too young to drop naps?!

vix206 Sun 11-Nov-12 07:45:56

We had this for around a week at 20 months. I'd say 18 months is (for most) too young to lose the nap. My DS just went through it as a phase, it lasted around a week and then he went back to normal again. I put it down to separation anxiety too.

Sorry no real advice but just so you know it's not just you!! grin

Tickledyellow Sun 11-Nov-12 10:59:03

Thank you vix so much. Holding on to the hope that it is a short phase. He woke at three last night and in the end just took him into bed with me. Hubby went to spare room. I know our life will return at some point in the future but very tough in mean time.

NorkilyChallenged Sun 11-Nov-12 11:02:20

We are going through the same this week - ds is nearly 18 months and previously was great at going to bed. It started with teething/cold but now last couple of days think it's more behaviour than illness.

I v much hope it is a phase. A shortlived phase

doradoo Sun 11-Nov-12 11:50:02

My DS1 did this at 18months and dropped his nap at that point - it meant he slept much better overnight as a result - but since 18mos he's not slept in the day unless ill or sometimes in the car - he's now 8.

Try him without a nap for a few days and see what happens.

Tickledyellow Sun 11-Nov-12 12:14:02

Thanks everyone. I keep coming back to see if anyone else has posted. We are exhausted images of our former selves coping with two small children! I am willing to try anything and, whilst I think 18 months is a little young, I will try DS without a nap for a few days. Surely anything is better than screaming or a few hours each evening! Thanks doradoo

Tickledyellow Sun 11-Nov-12 12:15:16

Meant to say hope everything ok for you too soonNorkily

Tickledyellow Sun 11-Nov-12 18:57:30

Well I did it. No nap for 18 month old DS today. I did feel cruel especially when he hit a real energy dip at 3 o clock ish, rubbing eyes etc. however he picked up again after dinner and played really well with DD until bed time. screaming! He went down like a dream, truly sleepy! I think he won't be able to manage every day with no nap...but maybe I will just ave to accept a much later bed time on these days. Hopefully this is a solution, although only first day....

bootus Sun 11-Nov-12 19:15:45

Hi tickled, I don't normally reply to posts but reading yours was like reading about me a couple of months ago so I just wanted to add my two pennies.

My 20 mo old suddenly went through an awful sleep phase, it started at 17 mo and went on until quite recently. Screaming at naps and bedtime, very distressed, which led to night wakings and early rising. I tried dropping the nap but it led to earlier wakings (as I had been warned it might). CC wasn't working, he would be hysterical an hour later, waking older ds and then be even more distressed at the next sleep time (and I'm not against cc either). In the end he was so upset every time anything to do with sleep was mentioned we decided to move him into a toddler bed and change his sleep 'associations'...there was lots of "wow, big boy bed" and praise and we got a groclock too (which we are working with). We have been taking it softly, softly and hovering around upstairs where he can hear us at bedtimes and just trying to alleviate the anxiety and it is working, sleeping through more than not and even though the early wakings can be a bit hit and miss he is DEFINITELY much much happier in his bed.

Tickledyellow Sun 11-Nov-12 19:47:38

Thank you for replying bootus. Wow! I actually said to DH today was it time for a bed... Like the idea of new sleep associations. Does your DS nap now during the day? In his bed or in a pushchair? Is bedtime a bit later as a result? And does he nap every day or just occasionally? Sorry, so many questions! I have no family nearby and find Mumsnet can be a lifeline in difficult times.
Also agree with controlled crying. I know it works really well for some but just too stressful for us as a family.

bootus Sun 11-Nov-12 22:36:20

Yes, he is napping again and in his bed quite happily (though I often transfer from the car as he drops off when picking his db up from nursery). Sometimes its for less than I think he needs, and of course the downside of the bed is he can get out of it and appear at the door with a big grin on his face smile. Bedtime is anywhere between 7.30 and 8, whereas before he was down without fail by half 7. He is happy to go to bed now though, we looked like right idiots whooping about "WHAT a big boy" he is, "just like big brother" etc etc, you get the picture but it DID work and he talks about his bed a lot to gps/friends/people on the street and it's like looking at a different child compared to a month ago.

Tickledyellow Mon 12-Nov-12 08:06:10

Well DS woke at half past two in the morning and came into bed with me for the rest of the night. Not ideal... He has also woken up grumpy and I feel he is overtired. Tempted to try a nap today again, maybe in pushchair to avoid screaming and then see how tonight goes. DH away again with work but will have serious discussion about big boy bed when he returns!

Tickledyellow Mon 12-Nov-12 08:06:43

Big boy bed for DS rather than DH that is....!!

jesstar Tue 13-Nov-12 09:09:29

How are you getting on? Just wanted to say we are in the same boat here. 3 nights of screaming at bedtime, she seems really scared and I don't really know what to do. She seems to be ok for naps, but come bedtime, she just wants to be held by me. I'm hoping it's just a phase, as I don't really know if I can cope with this much more. It's taking forever to get her to sleep, and she's waking up in the night crying for me so also bringing her into bed, but I can't sleep with her in bed with me! I tried to leave her to cry the 2nd night but she really wasn't settling and couldn't hear her in so much pain!

vix206 Tue 13-Nov-12 09:11:12

How did it go? If you definitely feel like he's ready to drop his nap maybe do the 1 day on/1 day off thing for a bit. And on days he's not napping give him some calm, quiet time when he would normally be napping.

My DS is 27 months and can't function without his nap. He's also very prone to overtiredness so I have to admit I am very strict on his daily nap!!wink

Tickledyellow Tue 13-Nov-12 19:27:13

Hi all. Update on DS, gorgeous pickle that he is....! Well yesterday he had no nap but he was exhausted by half four, lying on the kitchen floor screaming. I really feel this can't be right for him. So he went to bed early, by half six but did cry for half an hour. I went into him and comforted but tried not to pick him up. He was not as distressed as previous nights but was clearly overtired so finding it hard to settle... But he did eventually go to sleep. Phew! And he slept through the night in his cot. Another phew! But, as Bootus said, it was an eArlier wake up, half five. So he fell asleep in his pushchair today at lunchtime and slept for an hour. DH is currently putting him to bed so will update in a bit. Decided to do really long wind down with loads of stories to really relax him as worried I have been rushing it with older DD to put to bed too. However she is used to the idea (just!) that even though DS is younger, he sometimes goes to bed after her...

Tickledyellow Tue 13-Nov-12 19:30:53

Meant to say, I tried to give him a nap yesterday but gave up after an hour and a half trying to get him into his cot...

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