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What am I supposed to do when my 14 month old is screaming and he won't go to sleep!?

(10 Posts)
Flingmoo Fri 14-Aug-15 20:37:27

He's overtired right now I think. Sometimes he wakes up in the night and won't settle due to teething, tummy ache, whatever. But usually he's pretty good and sleeps through. He cant fall asleep with me present these days, he has to go to sleep on his own otherwise he is too distracted. So no shush pat at this point, and definitely no co-sleeping as he'd hate it.

What am I supposed to do on the occasions when he doesn't settle? Just get him up again? Sleep train? Let him scream for a bit? Me being there comforting him does not get him to sleep, so I just don't know what to do sad

PotteringAlong Fri 14-Aug-15 20:38:32

Feed him?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Fri 14-Aug-15 20:39:26

In times like these when nothing helps, I stick ds in the buggy in the bedroom and in the dark push him back and forth til he gpes to sleep.

Flingmoo Fri 14-Aug-15 20:43:56

Could try giving him some milk or snack I guess. He gave up breastfeeding of his own accord on his 1st birthday sad so it's cows milk now.

CityDweller Fri 14-Aug-15 20:45:46

When DD went through phases of doing this I'd just go in at increasingly longer intervals (e.g. 2 minutes, then 3 minutes, etc). I'd just go in and try to settle her as much as possible - keep it quick and short. Usually max it would take was about 5 goes before she calmed and fell asleep.

I have no idea if this was 'sleep training' as such as she was generally a good sleeper.

Flingmoo Fri 14-Aug-15 20:54:31

Thanks. I just feel so helpless, especially when we're totally exhausted in the middle of the night. It would be okay if we had a game plan or knew that we're dealing with it the right way. But we're just flailing around not knowing what to do and just getting more frustrated. I have been doing the interval thing that CityDweller mentions but not sure if that's the right thing to do or not?

Again, I'd say about 90% of the time he sleeps through the night or just wakes up once for a few sips of water then goes back to sleep. So at least it's not every night, like the newborn stage, so I should be grateful really. But now I'm back at work the bad nights just feel so much more disruptive, and at least as a newborn he'd fall asleep on me or feed to sleep. I hate feeling so helpless not having any strategy to deal with this.

CityDweller Fri 14-Aug-15 21:02:56

Yeah, it's a tough one. You have my sympathies. I have no idea what's 'right', but I think a consistent strategy helps a lot.

Flingmoo Fri 14-Aug-15 21:09:06

Thanks, I'm glad to hear it. How old is your DD now, is she past the toddler stage then?

I'm drawn to the interval thing because I know he won't sleep in my presence so he needs space and time to settle himself. But at the same time it's hard to hear him upset without going to comfort him.

I really want to have a consistent strategy so maybe I will stick with that in future. Just for my own sanity so I can feel like I'm doing something. He did settle down just now after leaving him for 3, then 5, then 10 minutes and finally giving him a few sips of milk, must admit i did cave in and read him the bedtime story (Old Mcdonald finger puppet book, takes about 30 seconds) all over again.

CityDweller Sat 15-Aug-15 10:34:03

She's 28 months now. She actually slept through quite early (8 mo), but in the intervening period we've had some acute bouts of it going tits up, usually around things like travelling or other events that have unsettled her. However, for us they were usually around falling asleep bedtime, rather than her waking during night.

We've used different tactics at different times, but used it consistently. The last few bouts I did the interval thing and it works - and I didn't feel too bad as I was going in to comfort her regularly.

I tended just to trust my instinct as to what she needed to settle. At a young age it was cuddles/ bf/ singing, as she got older she needed/wanted less hands-on intervention as, like yours, it would often distract her.

coveredinsnot Sun 16-Aug-15 18:18:59

"caving in" is a tricky one as what you're doing then is reinforcing a pattern of prolonged waking / attempts to keep you engaged. When my son self weaned I realised he was actually hungry at night so we started a new routine of cuddles, stories and snacks in bed (apple, yoghurt and milk) which he still does 6 years later! The food seems to help him settle and get through the night. Might be worth trying to top up his milk/food levels before sleep. And definitely don't reinforce prolonged attempts to stay awake although I know how hard this is!

Is he crying when you leave him?

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