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19 month old suddenly hates cot and wakes every night

(8 Posts)
taylor01pe Sat 07-Oct-17 20:17:22

Sleepy parents here...

Our 19month old girl has slept through every night since she was 2months old but about 10 days ago she started refusing to go down in her cot. She becomes hysterical and screams the place down! We haven't changed her routine in any way.

She eventually falls asleep on us and we are able to put her down but every single night she wakes up between 12am and 4am and refuses to go back down. She wont settle again and we end up sleeping with her in another room or on the sofa.

It's got to the point where she will not even go upstairs at night time and cries as soon as we take her out of the bath.

Has anyone experienced anything similar? We can manage by getting her to sleep on us but don't want to form bad habits with a baby that has been self=settling for a long time! Any suggestions welcome...

FATEdestiny Sat 07-Oct-17 20:21:30

Is she overtired? This sounds like the behaviour or an overtired toddler. What is her daytime sleep like?

When she was sleeping well up until a couple of weeks ago, how did she go from awake to asleep at bedtime? What about naptime in the day?

Could she be ill or teething?

taylor01pe Sun 08-Oct-17 10:10:18

Hi. Nope she's not overtired - still sleeping 1 to 2 hours during the day, albeit not in her cot recently! Car or pram are the only way for a daytime nap as she will stubbornly stay awake...

She may be teething but there's no obvious signs like usual.

We're tempted to try some controlled crying tonight - 5mins, then 7 then 10.

Has anyone tried controlled crying with a 19month old??

FATEdestiny Sun 08-Oct-17 12:37:36

19 months is not an unreasonable age to do controlled crying. I assume your little one does have a usual comforting mechanism to get to sleep on her own? So it's not like you are leaving her with no means to feel comforted on her own.

The only thing to watch for at this age is ability to get out the cot.

She is too young for a bed, still needs a cot for a long time yet. But depending on her height and physical ability, there comes a time when baby can bend at the waist over the side of the cot, shift centre of balance and be launched head-first over the cot side.

Most children this age don't cot climb to be michevious, but more out of frustration. If you leave her alone crying, she's likely to get very, very angry and frustrated at not being able to communicate with you. As such, this anger and frustration could Weller her doing things she wouldn't normally do when calm, like launching herself towards the door (and you).

Once you get to the age/size when that is likely to happen, controlled crying becomes counter-productive. It creates more problems than it solves.

I'm your position I would make going to slerp sleep in the cot non negotiable. I'd do that by investing some time (and a bucket load of patience) and kerp kept on repeatedly lying her back down in the cot over and over and over again, until she gets that this is what is happening and while you are staying to comfort her, lying down in the cot to go to sleep is not optional or negotiable - it WILL happen regardless of how long it takes.

thundernlightning Thu 12-Oct-17 15:52:27

Going through almost exactly the same thing here, taylor01pe

In our case, we just moved house, and I think that might be what's triggered it. New bedroom, so everything is strange. It's been going on for almost two weeks now.

I don't have a great deal of advice, but something we did was make a bed on the floor where I can cuddle my DS for a few hours till he gets sleepy and I can put him into his cot again. At least this means I can doze while my energetic DS is squirming around, not sleeping :/

Good luck! I really hope it passes quickly for both of us.

thundernlightning Thu 12-Oct-17 15:55:37

Oh, I forgot to add! We worked quite hard to make the night time routine fun again, too. We added bubbles to the bath (which he's allowed to do himself) and got some new bath things (he loves bath books), and we spent time decorating his new bedroom, reading quietly in there, and cuddling there. We also got him a nightlight that we let him turn on when we go in for bedtime. That really seems to have helped make things less stressful for everyone involved.

Now if only we could solve the waking-up-at-God-awful-o-clock problem.

KTD27 Tue 17-Oct-17 12:09:41

Oh I could have written your exact post - have you found anything which has helped?! My 19 month old DS is exactly the same. Great sleeper self soothed and suddenly hates being in his cot and has to sleep on me. Nightmare for nursery tomorrow!!!

taylor01pe Tue 17-Oct-17 12:38:33

Hi all and thanks for the replies and advice.

Yes, we finally cracked it over the weekend. I think she originally woke up in the middle of the night because of either nightmares or teething (more likely). She then started to associate her cot/nursery with a bad nights sleep and refused to use it.

We assumed it was sore teeth and decided to tackle this first by giving her calpol when she woke up the middle of the night (just a 3ml dose to settle her). After 3 nights she just stopped waking up and slept through with no more calpol.

Once we had that bit cracked we still had to find a way get her to settle in the cot without falling asleep on us first. Controlled crying worked a treat using the following method:

Relaxing bath and story before bed.
Tell her she’s going to sleep in her cot in a gentle but authoritative tone.
Put her down with some reassuring comments.
Leave her to cry for 5 mins then cuddle, reasssure and put back down.
Leave her to cry for 8 mins and repeat.
Keep adding a little more time on until she falls asleep naturally.
In total the first night took an hour or so.

This worked for us and after 3 nights she was back to usual and self settling and sleeping through without calpol or cuddles. Although I have to admit it was hard leaving her to cry for so long the first night! The second night it was 45 mins and then the third about 15. She actually fell asleep standing against the side of her cot one night!!

It’s amazing just how much they understand at this age and it definitely helped telling her up front that she would be sleeping in the cot.

Anyway good luck to you all!

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