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Oh cr*p, it's all gone terribly wrong - where do I start?

(11 Posts)
drjane Tue 14-Oct-08 10:32:24

Following a bout of teething followed by illness followed by a holiday and then more illness, my 1yo DS's sleep habits have become nightmarish.

He will only go down at night once completely asleep (I rock and sing to him), and he then wakes up at a random time (2am last night, 12.30am the night before) and the only way to get him to settle again is for me to take him into the spare room with me and let him flop about until he falls asleep, usually lying over me. He then wakes up frequently and I have to rub his back until he goes back to sleep. It never used to be like this - I was so careful teaching him to self-settle and he was pretty much sleeping through before this He's also got super-clingy with me, and won't even be comforted by DH at night (he screams blue murder when I try and hand him over).

As if this weren't bad enough, I'm going on a work trip next week from Mon-Fri and DH is in charge. So something drastic needs to be done before then - help!

ElmMum Tue 14-Oct-08 16:44:52

My DD is only 4.5 months, so I've no idea about 1 year-olds. Just bumping for you, in case someone else can help. Good luck smile

keels26 Tue 14-Oct-08 19:17:43

Am having similar probs with my 11 mth old. She also has got out of her sleep pattern and wakes up 2/3 times a night. Am trying to follow the "letting them go to sleep by themselves so that when they wake up they can get themselves back to sleep" trick but without much success! Might work for you though!

Thankyouandgoodnight Tue 14-Oct-08 22:14:08

If you're sure he's well and not a bit poorly / teeth or anything, then if it was me, I would bite the bullet and do either shout it out / pick up put down or whatever technique you're comfy with. Basically so he knows that it's being bored awake, or sleep.

ches Wed 15-Oct-08 05:00:39

Does he have all his teeth? Molars are just awful. I'm talking shrieking like a banshee at bedtime and waking up every half hour awful for us. Also sounds like he might be going through separation anxiety. Fortunately if you're gone and he knows you're gone, SA shouldn't be a problem. (It's when they know you're in the next room that it's a problem.)

threetinytots Wed 15-Oct-08 05:10:41

I'm up with my 1 yo at the moment. This is the third time tonight and we have been doing this for about a fortnight now. So have no constructive advice for you, but lots of sympathy!

If it continues any longer and I don't think anything is causing it then I am going to try the pick up, put down method to hopefully remind her of previous good sleeping habits.

throckenholt Wed 15-Oct-08 07:40:05

can you try putting him to bed earlier tonight - maybe spend a long time reading him stories with the light down low. Then tell him it is sleep time. Sit on the other side of the room and every time he says anything just say quietly time to go to sleep.

I did this with mine at that sort of age - and it maybe takes a few days - but they do get back into their routine again.

drjane Thu 16-Oct-08 13:15:49

Well, I was pretty sure he wasn't ill or teething (well, not teething any more than usual ;)) so I decided to bite the bullet and go for controlled crying, Richard Ferber style, which has worked well with him in the past.

I started two nights ago, and it started out pretty well. He screamed, shouted and banged on his cot like mad for 30 minutes or so the first night at bedtime and then slept right through until 5.30am - bingo! I did his naps the same way yesterday, and last night he cried/shouted for 10 minutes before going to sleep at bedtime. However, he then woke up at 12.30am absolutely beside himself - I carried on going in and out but he seemed really upset, much more than the day before and was seeming to fall asleep and then waking up again a few minutes later. I ended up giving him some Neurofen and giving him a cuddle for a few minutes before putting him back down. He complained a bit more after that, and then finally fell asleep at about 2am before getting up at 5.40am

So I'm knackered and completely at a loss as to what to do tonight. I guess I should give the sleep training one more night to have an effect, and then abandon it if he seems to be getting more upset again. I'm pretty sure it's not teething this time because he's showing no symptoms of it during the day. Could it be separation anxiety? I've heard it's hard to get then to self-settle when they're experiencing SA - does anyone else have any experience of this? He is more clingy than usual, but he goes to his nanny fine 3 days a week...?

drjane Thu 16-Oct-08 20:06:38

Just put him down for the night and he'd fallen asleep within 10 seconds! Fingers crossed for a good night...

Anifrangapani Thu 16-Oct-08 20:10:04

Ear plugs and wine got me through wink

As for your Dh..... you aren't in earshot. Just think how much you will be appreciated when you get back.

sorry not very constructive

meandmyjoe Sat 18-Oct-08 20:43:54

My ds went through this, I think it was separation anxiety especially as he became really clingy like your ds in the day. He would wake up about 4 times a night and not want to be put down.

Hate to say it but there is no quick fix. I just used to cuddle him back to sleep and then if I was very luck I could pop him back down and very carefully sneak out but the slightest noise and he'd scream to be cuddled again.

In the end I realised he had to be able to go to sleep alone knowing that I wasn't in the room or else every time he woke up he needed me with him again as he was scared I'd just vanished and abandoned him.

I introduced a comfort blanket. Just kept gving it to him to hold whilst I cuddled him and fed him, read to him and put him in bed with it. At first I made sure it smelt of me. He gradually got attached to it as he cried one morning when he couldn't find the blanket in his cot, then I thought I could hopefully leave the room with him just holding the blanket and he finally wanted it for comfort.

It didn't work the first night and he cried for me again so I picked him up and gave him the blanket again.

The next night I left and he whinged a bit but I didn't need to go back into him. The bext night he just laid there and went to sleep. He now goes to sleep fiddling with the blanket and rarely cries in the night unless he's ill/ teething. It took bloody weeks to get him attached to the blanket though but deffinitely well worth it as if he stirs in the night he just reaches for it and goes back to sleep rather than standing up screaming for me.

It also worked for naps so he eventually around his 1st birthday didn't need to be rocked or fed to sleep for the first time ever he went to sleep in the day without crying.

Sorry this is a long post!!!

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