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is it separation anxiety?

(8 Posts)
Mazzimaz2709 Fri 17-Jun-16 21:34:01

Hello, my wee girl has just turned 10 months and has never slept through the night (apart from ONE SINGLE occasion when she was 8 months she took her last bottle at 7.30pm and not a peep until 7am). We have had dietary/digestion issues that keep her awake at night with sore tummy and wind, causing her to wake several times and taking a while to settle back to sleep. Sometimes we bring her into bed with us and she settles better/quicker.

However, recently (in the last week) her wake ups and general movement in her cot have been different. She wakes suddenly screaming and crying quite hysterically, often I find her face down (often with dummy still in) crying into the mattress like she is really upset. She can be soothed just by patting her tummy or back, but unless I stay with my hand close by for at least 20 mins she just wakes again crying. A few nights ago this continued for around 2 hours of waking, soothing, settling and waking again. Last night however it lasted from 11.30pm until 5am!!! Basically nobody got any sleep and today as a result naps were impossible and she had a total meltdown when having her nappy changed or I tried to wipe her nose.

I mentioned to a friend today who initially thought "she was having me on, just wanting attention" but then when we chatted more she suggested that separation anxiety might have kicked in? During the day she does look for me when it's just the two of us and i leave the room, but when in a social situation like baby classes or play dates, she barely looks at me! She's not overly clingy in any situation and hates being cuddled... Would rather be down on the floor or even in her high chair.

Does this sound like separation anxiety? I would also add that her dad puts her to bed at night with very little protest and she goes down awake. We watch her on the monitor throughout the evening looking for the dummy when she stirs and puts it in her mouth, so I believe she can "self settle/smooth" when she wants to. I go back to work in 2 weeks and she has her first nursery settling in day on Monday.

Any advice on how to deal with this would be much appreciated! X

Mazzimaz2709 Sun 19-Jun-16 07:22:11


2 nights ago, she slept right through from 7-6.30 only stirring once for her dummy.

Last night however, she woke at 2am and stirred continuously until 4ish.

Is she having me on???

Mazzimaz2709 Tue 21-Jun-16 06:54:53

Hello again - does anyone have any advice? We're really stuck and verrrrrry tired! Back at work today and only had 3 hours sleep :-(

WalkThePlank0 Tue 21-Jun-16 07:04:20

Watching with interest but no real advice. I think in your shoes I might be tempted to try some controlled crying when she wakes at night. It could be that she can self soothe but chooses you instead. In any case I might wait a few weeks until you are both settled into your new routine as nursery and mummy at work are big changes. I forget but might it be the 10 month sleep regression?

Batteriesallgone Tue 21-Jun-16 07:07:39

She's 10m. Just cuddle her. She's not some manipulative genius. She just wants mum/dad. Bring her into bed with you.

You'll never look back and think 'Oooh I cuddled my baby too much'.

Icecappedpinetrees Tue 21-Jun-16 07:26:43

Teeth moving through?

Two pieces of different advice above - CC or comfort. It's up to you how you play it. You're the parent, you know best, there's no right or wrong approach.

CC could be quick (few nights of a sharp shock!) or comfort which will mean longer term commitment to being disturbed. But ask yourself this, does you wee one seem to be enjoying "having you on"? It must be as shit for her as it is for you!

You could go for sleep training or if she settles in with you then you could take a path of least resistance and just cuddle her when she wakes. She will sleep, you will sleep (albeit uncomfortably) and there will be considerably less stress and crying.

It will not last for long although it feels like forever. DS was a dreadful sleeper and needed a lot of nighttime reassurance as he grew (BF, cuddles, spells in bed with us etc etc) but he's now 2.5 and sleeps through. (8pm-6am) don't stress about making a rod for your back, habits change and can be broken when appropriate. She will be ready to sleep herself eventually but until then do what you need to do.

PeterandJudithSurname Tue 21-Jun-16 07:38:58

Separation anxiety is an entirely normal developmental stage and your dd is at a typical age for it to kick in. They are genuinely distressed and aren't having you on.
Some info here

Mazzimaz2709 Tue 21-Jun-16 19:57:05

Thank you all!! If I'm honest, I'm veering more towards the just cuddling her and bringing her into bed with us... I did this last night after an hour of trying to sooth her back to sleep in my arms before placin her back in the cot only for her to wake screaming again! She uses to sleep quite peacefully in our bed but when either one of us brings her through, she gets so excited at seeing the other one (clapping and kicking her legs) that she takes ages to calm down and thinks it's a game trying to wake us as we "pretend" to sleep! I also think the fact it gets so light again at about 3 and the birds are already awake...

At the moment I think you are right, new phase with me back to work and starting nursery that we might just go with it for now. It won't hurt to go to bed earlier myself so at least get a good 4-5 hours before she stirs at 2am. If I can set to her in the cot I'd prefer, it might just take a while.

Thank you all xxx

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