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18m sleep regression?

(11 Posts)
crapaud Tue 12-Jan-16 10:17:20


My DS has reliably been settling himself to sleep from 12-18 months by chatting/singing to himself in his cot in the dark on his own for about 20 minutes, then sleeps through the night. It's been wonderful!

For the past 4 nights however, he screams for 1.5-2 hours before eventually crashing out. He is teething at the moment, but isn't in pain we don't think, as he's medicated, and when we do give in and get him up he just wants to play and is fine. The first 2 nights we brought him downstairs to play after an hour and then he went to bed fine after about 20 minutes of playing but we don't want to make this a habit.

What do we do? Put him to bed at normal time with the normal routine, or earlier, or later? Get him up (which is the only thing which stops the screaming) or leave as he will eventually crash out? We've tried staying in the same room while he screams, both interacting with him (cuddles etc) and ignoring him. We've tried one parent and both parents going in. Nothing seems to make a difference apart from getting out of the cot and (preferably) out of his room.

The only saving grace is that once he's asleep, he stays asleep till morning, so I know I've got it better than some people!

Thanks in advance for any tips!

FATEdestiny Wed 13-Jan-16 13:49:19

There has got to be something wrong if he was previously sleeping well. He does know how to go to sleep on his own - so it's not that.

I know of times I have had a pain that has not been touched by medication - that the dull ache continues even after paracetomal etc. Could that be the case, and that when you are there he is distracted from the pain in his teeth, but it doesn't go away?

Alternatively, is he telling you that he is having too much daytime sleep? If you are on 2 naps a day, it might be worth trying the change to 1 nap. Also monitor wake-up time for daytime naps. The later he wakes up, the later he will be ready for bed at night.

crapaud Wed 13-Jan-16 16:13:27

I guess he could be in pain, we're doing ibuprofen half an hour before bed and then anbesol just before putting him in the cot. He's been on 1 1.5-2h nap since 14 months, he screamed for half an hour before this on Saturday too but apparently settles well for his nap at nursery. Last night I attempted to tire him out by walking to the shops and back (he's only been walking for about a month) and put him to bed 15 mins later than usual, this appeared to work as he only cried a tired cry for 15 mins and then slept till morning. Maybe he just needs more physical activity?

The only other thing we could think of was that he's hungry when he goes to bed as he's given up eating since Sunday, but this started on Thursday so not sure it's related. He refuses most food but is still his happy self during the day!

FATEdestiny Wed 13-Jan-16 17:10:24

So this has been going on for 4 nights, not long term.
You know he is teething
He's been off his food
He's not sleeping well

That all sounds like the quite usual child is not feeling very well and needs extra comfort.

There's no regression. Nothing needs to change, it is just a case of getting through it. For approximately the next 5 years you will probably have these occasional blips when child is poorly or whatnot. It just happens. When he's better, it'll go back to normal. Just part of parenting, the lack of sleep doesn't stop completely when they are no longer babies.

FATEdestiny Wed 13-Jan-16 17:13:11

I just realised I didn't give any practical help in my last post. How to deal with a child who's off-colour like this? More cuddles, more tolerance, extra reassurance. I usually allow a few days in Mummy & Daddy's bed when it's really bad. Plenty of fluids and rest. Fresh air. Cuddles on the sofa. Keeping warm.

crapaud Wed 13-Jan-16 17:56:54

Thanks :-) I guess I was put off him feeling poorly by the happiness during the day and the sleeping all night once actually asleep! I feel like a crap parent now, not realising there was more to it. He's drinking loads so not concerned about lack of food. He ate more today so is hopefully on the mend.

Thanks for your replies, I appreciate it.

crapaud Fri 15-Jan-16 15:01:19

Just to update, the nursery told me they have hand foot and mouth in the room yesterday. I thought he'd had it as he had the typical blisters on hands and feet about 2 months ago, but nothing in the mouth. Maybe he got a different strain of it this time, resulting in a sore mouth and throat. Anyway, he seems to be feeling better bar a high temperature last night for a few hours.

nannyplumislostinspace Fri 15-Jan-16 15:07:01

My little boy has just been through this. We think it was 18 month sleep regression/ separation anxiety coupled with hand foot and mouth!

nannyplumislostinspace Fri 15-Jan-16 15:07:35

I should have said he's 19 months now and just coming out of this phase.

FATEdestiny Fri 15-Jan-16 15:08:25

I didn't mean to make you feel like a crap parent sad. Sorry flowers

I hope he's feeling better soon. My DD has a sore throat and croaky voice at the moment, there are loads of bugs around.

BiffleRoo Sat 16-Jan-16 06:41:02

We are going through 18 month sleep regression here but have opposite to you. He will settle as normal until around 2200 then awake all through the night with screaming until around 4am when nothing at all will settle him and we have to get him up. He has also started refusing his daytime nap a lot of the time.

Doesn't make any difference if he does/doesn't sleep during the day or what time he goes to bed. Just need to ride the storm I guess.

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