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11 month old suddenly wide awake at night...

(20 Posts)
Aerial Sat 07-Sep-02 10:52:49

My 11 month old has always slept brilliantly (7/7.30 - 7/7.30, although in the last 6 weeks she has started waking at 6/6.30 and won't be put back to sleep), and we have basically followed Gina Ford's guidelines all along. Her routine has not been changed recently ie she still has a short morning sleep and a longer lunchtime sleep (max 2 1/2 hrs daytime sleep) and suddenly she is waking in the night, stands up in her cot, screams hysterically and when you pick her up is perfectly happy, wide awake and wants to play. If I try to put her down again she refuses, cries, fights to stand up again immediately, won't be comforted by her comforter (throws it away), just wants to be picked up and played with. She is absolutely fine in herself, I am sure she's not ill or uncomfortable. Once she has woken, I know she won't go down again for 2-3 hrs. I have ended up giving in and getting toys out some nights and other nights resorted to bringing her into our bed but I am very reluctant to make habits out of these responses.She continues to wake at 6/6.30, regardless of having been awake for hours in the night. I just can't understand where this sudden waking in the night/ aversion to the cot has arisen from. I am finding it really hard to deal with and desperately want to break the pattern. If anybody has any suggestions as to how I should approach this problem I would really love to hear from you!

Ghosty Sat 07-Sep-02 11:05:57

Being a 'Fordie' as some people put it, I just need to ask, how light or dark is her room? I swear by blackouts as my DS wakes up early if his room is too light. I always find the summer months a bit of a nightmare in that respect. Also, I think DS was ready to drop his morning sleep at about 11 months. It might help you if you think she will manage to get to lunchtime. When I first dropped his morning sleep I brought his lunchtime forward to 11.30am and he was ready for his nap at noon.

Hope that helps a bit.

Aerial Sat 07-Sep-02 14:07:00

Thanks so much for your suggestions. Actually I do make the room completely dark but I am unsure whether she is better in total darkness or with the nightlight on. I think she seems more stressed if she wakes and it is pitch dark - at least with the nightlight on she can see to reach for her comforter rabbit. Not sure if that might be putting into a lighter sleep or something though?? I will try dropping the morning sleep and bringing lunch forward as you suggest. Thanks again.

Tetley Sat 07-Sep-02 20:02:38

My ds isn't a gf baby, so I can't relate to that, but he's always gone through phases in what time he wakes up - mostly it does seem to be 6-6.30am, but we've had some phases of 5.30am (that one is a killer & luckily doesn't usually last more than a week)and sometimes it's 7-7.30am, which is lovely.
I've tried with and without blackouts, to little difference really. The only difference I seem to notice is that when the room is pitch black he tends to wake up & scream; whereas when it's lighter he'll wake up happier, and can then play with toys.

To me it just sounds like your dd has had enough sleep & wants to get on with the day. 6am isn't really night-time, and can be a lovely time of the morning (although I must admit I don't always feel like that about it!!)

Ghosty Sat 07-Sep-02 21:26:22

Ooops, when I said blackouts I forgot to mention that ds does have a nightlight (one of those plug in ones that just gives a gentle glow. I put it in a place so that he can't actually see the plug but he can see the glow if you know what I mean!) I also found that pitch black caused distress in the middle of the night.

However, broad daylight creeping around the curtains and in through the door is a different matter which is why blackouts are important to us.

Aerial Mon 09-Sep-02 11:24:32

Hmm, so maybe we'll stick with the nightlight. I agree it is a different type of light to the daylight round the edge of curtains. Interesting that you found that your baby finds pitch black distressing too.. And Tetley, thanks for your comments. I'm not sure if I explained in my original message that the night-time waking is anything from 10 pm to 4 am - for 2-3 hr stretches. I can live with her waking at 6 am, but not with her being wide awake in the middle of the night!

Ghosty Mon 09-Sep-02 11:40:51


I hate to say it (as some people can't bear it) but have you tried 'contolled crying' technique? It worked for us and you DON'T leave your baby crying all night!

manna Mon 09-Sep-02 14:00:09

I think you're doing a great job

LIZS Thu 12-Sep-02 19:52:57


You have my sympathies.

Our dd ,just one, has been waking in the night for the past month or so, having slept through from 8 weeks when she discovered her thumb. We first attributed it to teething as she has 10 teeth already ( and has bitten into her thumb as a result) but recently she is more awake and wants to either be cuddled until she is asleep again or sits in our bed and plays, so I fear it has already become a habit. She won't even settle herself happily for a daytime nap at the moment.

I'm willing to sleep train but our lifestyle, living in an apartment block and having to sleep dd in our room every time we have visitors (at least once a month), is not really conducive to trying controlled crying. It is also horrible knowing that they are standing in their cots screaming until exhaustion causes them to collapse in heap! But perhaps we'll try when we have a clear week or so.

In the meantime I'll be interested to know what works.

Good luck


Aerial Sun 15-Sep-02 10:32:07

Lizs, poor you. It sounds such a similar problem. Actually, thankfully, my daughter has been a little bit better on the whole for the last week or so. She did wake last night but remained calm and did eventually drop back to sleep on her own. She has however got MUCH worse at getting off to sleep in the evening. Cries and cries, and as you say it is extremely hard to just abandon them standing up in their cots screaming hysterically. I think it might well be teething with ours as she is getting 2 through at the moment. Not sure though. Guess you just have to get through these phases and try not to establish new bad habits in the process (I will never give ours toys in the night, nor do we bring her into our bed, but that is personal choice). Good luck. Will think of you next time in the middle of the night!

ionesmum Sun 15-Sep-02 14:58:53

Hi, don't want to hijack this thread but our dd has been waking earlier. First of all it was 7 instead of 9 but now it's 4.30, and she wants to play - she's not distressed in any way. It took two hours before she'd go back to sleep and then she refused to go in her cot (beside the bed) so I ended up with her in with me and dh sent downstairs! She was the same at her morning nap - would only sleep on my chest! She's 7 mo and might be teething but doesn't seem distressed except when she gets really tired, but then that's always made her grizzly. I'd so appreciate any advice - obviously cc isn't an option because of our sleeping arrangements!

LIZS Sun 15-Sep-02 19:52:39


Funnily enough our dd also seems to have improved over last few days. It began to get better in middle of last week . My dh (who usually gets up in night to try and appease the cries first) was away for two nights. First night I was up and down five times, second night twice. I may have inadvertently heard her less than dh would as I am rather deaf on one side and tend to sleep on the hearing ear - hence the cries are more muffled and that probably delays my reaction. When she occasionally grizzled I decide to leave her and she resettled herself at least twice.

Since Friday she has been in our room due to guests and she only awoke when we went to bed and then resettled and slept through, although she woke at 7 -7.30 instead of eight. She is back in her own room tonight, has gone down quietly and fingers crossed for a peaceful night.

Thanks for your thoughts - it is nice to think you are not alone in this.


I don't know what time you settle your dd down but do bear in mind that she will start to need less naps during the day otherwise she will want less sleep at night. It might pay you to keep her up a little later, longer bath etc. Also how is the weaning going ? Perhaps she needs a more substantial food intake later in the day now.

We have tried to keep to a policy with both our children of not allowing them to have toys, light etc in the night to make it less interesting. You may also find that as the mornings get darker she will be less inclined to wake. Is she warm enough too as I have a feeling that this might also have contributed to our dd waking and not resettling herself.

Whatever her problem is it will most likely pass given time but perhaps the above will help in the meantime.

Hoping you both have a good nights soon,


ionesmum Sun 15-Sep-02 20:45:41

Hi, LizS, thanks for your reply. Dd only has her comfort toys (a dog and a soft dolly) in with her, when I leave her to play in her cot during the day I put toys in. I think I've worked out how much sleep she needs during the day to keep her awake through dinner, otherwise she gets grouchy and doesn't eat. As for weaning, I'm stuffing her all day long now! I ended up laying on the bed this afternoon so that dd could have her nap, I realise that I could be starting a bad habit but I'm just getting through each day as it comes. She is going to bed later tonight so perhaps that might help. Thank you so much for your good wishes, I hope that you have a good night's sleep too.

LIZS Mon 16-Sep-02 18:29:17


I don't think you will set up a bad habit. If she is teething then she may just want a bit of company to settle her. She wont be little enough to do this with for long so you may as well take time out to enjoy it while it lasts. It may be convenient for you to have her play in her cot during the day but do be careful that she maintains the distinction between it being somewhere to rest and somewhere to play. Otherwise sounds as if you have every thing covered.

As to our problem, we went straight back to square one last night. dh is getting frustrated that dd no longer settles easily on him in the night unless he walks around for ages and we had to leave her to cry in her cot until she was tired enough to settle back to sleep again. Tried the obvious, teething gel etc but not much would appease her !! Here's hoping for a better one tonight.

Sweet dreams all round,


ionesmum Mon 16-Sep-02 22:07:25

Oooh, best of luck Lizs. I try to let dd have a quiet play in her cot each day as she went through a phase of not liking it sO I want her to feel like it's a good place to be. Also when I'm in on my own I have to park her in there while I'm getting dressed etc!

Sweet dreams!

OuiOui Mon 23-Sep-02 13:02:36

I've only just caught onto this thread - what a coinceidence though. DD at almost 12 months olds is normally a dream baby. She goes to sleep anytime between 730 and 930, and settles straight away - she either falls asleep with the last bottle or if not she can go into her cot awake and will drop off by herself (dummy and doudou byt her side). Last night she went to sleep at 830 only to wake 1/2 hour later - and was totally awake. We kept putting her back in the cot after quiet time and she just started screaming and crying until I took her out again. We turned off all the lights and brough her into our bed and she just giggled and climbed all over us. Why has she started doing this? Is it just a phase? Any advice please?

PamT Mon 23-Sep-02 13:26:38

She hasn't eaten something that is disagreeing with her has she? Or has the heating started to come on and disturb her? Perhaps she is just going through a clingy phase and wants a bit more comfort. My dd climbs out of bed when she is too warm and sleeps on top, then screams when she realises that she is cold, its most annoying when she won't go back to sleep again then. You have my sympathy.

OuiOui Mon 23-Sep-02 13:45:44

No - it's not the heating thing and I did think whether it was food related. But the minute she was allowed out to play, she was happy. I think that she just wasn't tired. She had been out and about in pushcahair a lot yesterday - possibly she hadn't been crawling about as much and so wasn't as tired as usual? Possibly a clingy phase as we've been playing with her a lot more in the evenings (probably we should n't overexcite her but we both work and it's the only real time we spend with her)

OuiOui Wed 16-Oct-02 10:26:17

oh and here we go again :DD is now 1 year and is normally a dream baby. I'm repeating from my previous posting just to put it all into context - She goes to sleep anytime between 730 and 930, and settles straight away - she either falls asleep with the last bottle or if not she can go into her cot awake and will drop off by herself (dummy and doudou byt her side).Since Monday night she has screamed and thrashed about the minute I start to put her into the cot. We've never let her cry to sleep but this time I left her and within 30 second she was asleep. 1 hour later she woke crying for attention, and I went in to give her dummy but it just started all over again. So I went to find my JAygee babysoothe CD which I haven't used for 6 months and it seemed to settle her, she screamed again for 10 secs and then went back to sleep. That's 2 nights like this now. Why suddenly now when she's always been so good to settle? She woke several times in the night and was really grizzly but I didn't go to her as I knew she'd get hysterical again. Oh, what to do???

LIZS Fri 18-Oct-02 19:16:36

Just an update.

Subsequent to last posting visited dr re DD skin becoming very dry and scalp quite red. It coincided with a sudden change in weather (Autumn arrived!)but she had previously had cradle cap(see thread) which had changed and seemed to improve. However it turned out that she has now developed a form of eczema and that this would have irritated her intensely.

Anyway once we had treated this with appropriate creams she slept through and we have had few problems at night since. Just wanted to illustrate that it can still be something physical causing broken nights, even if not obvious.

Sweet dreams


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