13 month old screaming at night

(8 Posts)
Sezzy19 Thu 06-May-21 07:56:03

Please help!
My breastfed DS was sleep trained from around 10 months and slept through each night. He hit 1 year and has 4 molars coming through and a cold and started waking up 1-2 times. I was told by the HV that when he's ill it's okay to feed him in the night. So I fed him. I regret this now. The molars are pretty much through now and his cold isn't so bad but he's still waking up screaming at least once a night and getting up early. When he wakes he stands up in his bed and scream cries and coughs and it's really alarming. If I leave him he doesn't go back to sleep on his own. He just cries harder.

I also feed him to sleep for naps on me. I know I shouldn't but if I put him in his cot he just cries for ages and my husband works from home so that makes it really difficult for him to have zoom calls with a baby screaming in the background.

His sleep schedule is roughly:
8-8.30pm sleep
Between 1-3am wake for 30-40 mins for a feed. I put him back down
5-5.30am awake
9am nap (1 hour to 1.5 hr)
2pm nap (1.5 hour to 2 hours)

I know he's going to bed a bit late but when I put him down before 8pm we usually have more night wakings or earlier mornings.

I've got in a rut and it's exhausting. I thought the night waking was behind us but it's worse now. ANY advice is welcome 🙂 TIA

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Thu 06-May-21 09:21:44

I think your routine is spot on, I wouldn't change it (inc bedtime at 8pm).

But naps really do need to be in the cot at this age. The long you leave it, the harder it will be to get baby napping in there.

You mention feeding to sleep at naptime, are you doing this at bedtime too, and putting baby down already asleep or nearly asleep?

If so, this is the same issue as napping really, it comes down to needing to teach baby to go to sleep on the cot, not in your arms.

Sezzy19 Thu 06-May-21 10:50:39

Hi, thanks so much for responding! He goes to sleep independently at night but I do feed him until he looks sleepy before putting him down. Some nights he cries a little bit but most nights he drifts off almost straight away.

For naps, I feed him to sleep on me. My HV said it was okay but I've been feeling a bit guilty about it as know he's probably too old to do that. I just don't know how to get him to sleep during the day in his cot without lots of screaming as my husband works from home and he finds it really hard to work when he's screaming. Any advice? Also are my naps too long? If I put him in his cot to nap, on the few occasions it's worked, he only sleeps for 30-40 mins max.
Thanks again for your help! 😁

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Thu 06-May-21 12:28:58

It is OK that he feeds to sleep in your arms and that is OK. What I meant was that if you planned to change this (ie wanted him daytime napping in the cot when older) then the longer you leave it the harder it will be. But if you're happy with naps in your arms long term, go with it. Nice opportunity to have a long sit down yourself, I say.

It's good he goes down independently at bedtime. This is a very common phase tgey go through when learning to pull to standing. It's actually a behaviour issue rather than a sleep issue.

So start putting him in the cot standing up, tap the mattress and tell him to lie down. You want him to lie down himself. Same at night wakes, give him a cuddle or whatnot if needed, but then in to the cot standing up, tap mattress and say "lie down".

To help with this do some instruction following games in the day. You may be surprised what he can do. Tell him to climb onto the sofa rather than lifting him up, ask him to bring you the ball/teddy/whatever. Give this to daddy. Then things like touch your nose/toes/fingers/legs etc. Lots of praise.

That works on allowing choice of movement in the cot (ie you don't lie him down, he lies down), but within firm boundaries (ie standing up in the cot is not what you want). Praise when he does. Bend close into the cot to settle him in there.

On from that, I would suggest you need to night wean. I would do it all in one go. Then the next day he should wake up very hungry and you can shift his calories to the daytime.

So you have to get him used to going to sleep without being fed. So at bedtime, do his bedtime feed at the start of bedtime routine not the end (say, before bath time not after). Then do all of his settling to sleep in the cot.

Fitforforty Thu 06-May-21 17:16:25

Is he having night terrors?

Sezzy19 Thu 06-May-21 20:27:34

I don't think it's night terrors but I can't be sure. I think it's more likely to be separation anxiety. He cries alot when I leave the room. I think his teeth are what wakes him atm but then he realises I'm gone and is crying for me. He calms down quite quickly if I come in quickly. The longer I leave it the more hysterical he gets and the harder it gets to calm him down. Which is part of the reason I no longer wait to see if he'll settle himself like he used to.

I'm happy to feed earlier but don't want to move it suddenly to before bath as I think that will be hard for him to adjust to.

I want to do the changes you've mentioned but think they need to happen gradually. So I think I might tonight feed him for a shorter time rather than suddenly cutting it out. And keep reducing it until I stop altogether. Do you think that could work?

My sister said I should wait until he's not teething to make any changes. What do you think?
Thanks again

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Fri 07-May-21 09:13:25

I want to do the changes you've mentioned but think they need to happen gradually. So I think I might tonight feed him for a shorter time rather than suddenly cutting it out. And keep reducing it until I stop altogether. Do you think that could work?

It depends what your expectations are. Obviously the gentle method is going to take much longer to stop night wakes. While ever feeding to sleep is happening, then you'll need to do this for all wake ups otherwise you're likely to get a lot of screaming.

It sounds like you are happy to go the gentle route, in which case when baby does wake up, just accept you need to feed and do it straight away, then you will all get better sleep.

My sister said I should wait until he's not teething to make any changes. What do you think?

You're not making any changes significant enough to be relevant here, so I wouldn't worry.

There is also the case that the big molars cut at around 18m-2y (The 12m are the pre molars) and that's even worse. Do in terms of teething, between 6m-2y there really isn't a "right time". You'll soon start the process if big molars pushing to the surface.


Sezzy19 Fri 07-May-21 09:40:34

Well last night he slept right through to 4.50am so that was better but I'm still really tired. I don't mind some controlled crying as I don't think I can carry on like this forever. If it gets better on its own that's fine but if it doesn't then it's hard for me to work. I also tried playing peekaboo with him in his cot yesterday and that went well so a good suggestion. Going to try working on getting him to lie down. 🙂

OP’s posts: |

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