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Tears before bedtime at 16 weeks

(12 Posts)
WineSpider Wed 05-Feb-14 19:40:28

16 week old DD has had a good bedtime routine in place since she was a month old and gradually over time we have been able to get her down around 6.30/7pm. Night wakenings are pretty variable but that's to be expected. She cries quite a lot in the day (no medical reason, has been checked for reflux - just a sensitive / touchy baby).

What I'm finding increasingly traumatic is the screaming that happens as we get her ready for bed. We have tried several variations of bath - bottle - bed to rule out it being caused by any feeding issues (she is FF) or overtired. She sleeps in a cot in her own room (has done since 9 weeks) and goes down very easily in this for naps during the day.

It seems to be very specifically to do with the evening, and happens regardless of what else has happened that day with naps and feeding. Does she think she's being abandoned (sob!)? She is inconsolable and gets more and more worked up until she exhausts herself. I feel so awful that she effectively cries herself to sleep every night. It seems to be getting worse day by day rather than better and it's really wearing me down.

Any ideas? Are we missing something obvious? Will she grow out of it? When?!

Thank you for reading.

SnottyNoses1 Wed 05-Feb-14 20:15:07

I have the same problem with my 15 month old daughter, she hates getting undressed or dressed. It's as if I'm torturing her. But please don't worry, she doesn't feel she's being abandoned. At only 16 weeks old, she doesn't understand the concept of being abandoned or sad. That's you thinking how you would feel if you were her.
On a practical note, is the room warm enough in this cold weather? (although not sure where you live.)
Otherwise, I would guess that she's tired. Kids tend to get really tired at that time just before bed. All 4 of my children have been the same. At the moment I'm finding my 15 month twins are tired around dinner just before bedtime but I just have to keep them going. It is a really difficult time of the day. You could try putting her to bed earlier.
You sound like you're doing well for a 16 week old. It's really difficult at the beginning.
Good luck smile

Lozzapops Wed 05-Feb-14 21:46:37

Are you me?! I could have written this post. My daughter is 15 weeks, and also a big crier during the day (doesn't like being out down, held in certain ways, left on her own for any length of time, etc). She has a good bedtime routine, is always in her cot by 7pm.

She adores her bath, and is full of smiles during this time, but the second she gets out the bath, it's like we're torturing her! We have done everything we can think of top stop this (warm room, warm towel/PJs, singing, cuddling, playing, shhh-ing). Doesn't seem to matter if she is hungry or not, although it is noticeably worse when she is really tired. She has a dummy, which soothes her quite well during the day, but she screams and cries so much after the bath, she can't keep the damn thing in her mouth!

I will be watching the thread with interest. I have almost resigned myself to the fact this will happen every night, but I hate thinking like that, and it does get me down sometimes.

Sorry I can't offer any advice (other than to perhaps try a dummy?!) but just know you're not alone in this!

SnottyNoses1 Thu 06-Feb-14 06:45:03

I think your best bet is to try distraction techniques. You'll probably find that they work sometimes but not always. So singing, teddies. I often th play and get them dressed whilst they're playing. She still protests. At only 15/16 weeks a rainmaker is a good idea. One of those toys that makes a noise when you turn it upside down...

WineSpider Thu 06-Feb-14 06:49:49

Thank you for your replies.

Yes she has a dummy - I was worried about her becoming too dependent on it (we often have to put it back in during the night) but feel she is too young to go cold turkey. And it's the only thing that will stop her crying in the day and get her off to sleep.

I know what you mean about crying so hard that it falls out, that definitely happens here!

I'm just at such a loss as to why she gets so hysterical in the evening - I'm confident she isn't overtired and am now aiming for a 6.30 bedtime rather than 7pm.

I really dread the evenings after a long day of crying (luckily DH is usually home by then so we can handle her together). And I'm so sad for her that she gets so distressed at what should be a nice, calming wind down to the end if the day.


Lozzapops Thu 06-Feb-14 09:06:13

I felt the same, I had a picture in my head of her having a lovely bath done by her dad, then I'd do her a nice baby massage before putting her to bed. Not a chance!! I feel like I'm the one who needs the massage by the end of the day!

We too were worried about dummy dependence, every now and then we talk about going cold turkey, but I just can't do it. It is the only thing to settle her during the day, and I think I would probably crack up without it. I feel terrible saying that though, as if it is more for my benefit than hers! As she gets older, I am finding it easier to distract her during the daytime, so perhaps not using the dummy quite so much, but when it comes to sleep, it is an absolute must, she won't go to sleep without it. Eeek. I keep telling myself "it's ok, you never see a grown woman with a dummy, it won't last forever!"

I like the idea of the rainmaker, will try that. One thing I have found to be quite distracting to her (if done early enough, it doesn't work by the time she's in full on meltdown) is to make a high pitched "elephant" noise (by blowing air through the lips, do you know what I mean?!). She looks completely baffled for a few seconds, which buys me time to try something else for the next distraction!

ChazzerChaser Thu 06-Feb-14 09:13:07

She's 16 weeks. She's tiny. Give her a cuddle. It's not long since she was inside you. Comfort is a human needs just like all the others. Listen to your instincts, they sound pretty spot on to me.

nibbysmum Thu 06-Feb-14 09:25:33

Has she always done this or is a recent thing? I ask because my baby boy does a similar thing the middle of the night. He's 18 weeks and this has happened since about 15 weeks. It improved earlier this week for a few nights and then he's started with it again. You have my sympathies cos it really upsets me too x

Alexandra6 Thu 06-Feb-14 11:39:20

My baby is 8 weeks and she does this in the evenings. I think has reflux as she fits the symptoms but we're trying to ride it out without meds. How was yours diagnosed as not having reflux just out of interest?

We're thinking about trying a bedtime routine at 7pm. I haven't been doing it so far as I just don't think it would work with the crying etc but also I'm worried she'll get her decent sleep done then and wake more when I'm asleep. Did you find that? Do you try and go to bed earlier?

Anyway I was just going to mention that last night mine was really crying before bed and I put her on her favourite jungle mat, just for a bit. It actually seemed to calm her down, then I tried a dummy on my lap and she fell asleep! I would have thought an activity before bed would have made her more overtired/distressed but then I wondered if it's worth trying that again when she's crying. What do you think? We still had to use a dummy though but ours always needs a dummy or boob to drift off. I'm hoping that will change over time.

WineSpider Thu 06-Feb-14 13:37:26

Looks like we'll have to try distraction and ride it out till she grows out of it.

If anyone finds anything that works please come back and share!

Alexandra - my GP was able to prescribe ranitidine and she's been on it for nearly a week now. We go back to GP after two weeks to see how she's doing. The reason I don't think her screaming is medical is that the meds don't seem to have made much difference thus far, and obviously I won't keep giving it to her if it's not working. I think I was ticking everything of the list of possibles and was hoping for a solution but I guess babies don't always work like that!

Rainbowisla Wed 12-Feb-14 20:20:53

I found the less you do the better. With my first I did bed, book, songs, fed and I think it made her exhausted! I now have moved bath time with these to during the day as they are not so keen on water and now I do dim room, put them in sleeping bag and feed. They go to bed much happier than my first at this age... Will extend the routine as they get older

Slongette Thu 13-Feb-14 06:44:40

Re the crying - have you tried cranial osteo? It could be she is uncomfortable?

Had a difficult birth with My DS (14 weeks) 2 sessions and it worked a dream....

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