Our 9mth DS has suddenly started to wake up at 4.30am. We think that it's due to his sudden activity spurts in the day of walking, crawling, climbing and standing. He seems to have developed all these almost overnight and we have ruled out everything else. We are going in to check him every 20mins at the moment but this always makes him much worse. He can be crying before we check him but is hysterical after we've been in. I know that he needs the initial reassurance that we are here but it seems to be actually prolonging the crying. Should we leave him for longer periods before checking him or keep going with the 20mins? How do you cope with the guilt? Does anyone else have a baby who freaks with the checking or is it just our DS?
So stop checking on him, he can't come to any harm in a cot and you going into him is obviously winding him up because he thinks 'oh there you are. where the hell are you going now?'. He doesn't need the initial reassurance, he will be fine and learn to settle himself to sleep if you don't go in. It's called 'crying it out' and takes a couple of nights. Different children need different sleep training methods, sounds like yours needs cry it out.
Personally I think you are brave to leave him for 20 minutes, it is quite a long time. Our DS got worse when we checked him as well. Have you tried pick up put down (baby whisperer). We had limited success with it but found that by picking him up and giving a quick cuddle every 5 minutes, he went back off eventually and the hysterics eventually died down. Perhaps leaving him for the inital 20 minutes could be the problem?
20 min? wow - that's brave. We resorted to control crying, but did the 4, then 5, then 6, then 7, then 8 minute slots - at the end of each slot, we went in, lay him back down and stroked his head/back for no more than 3 minutes (not picking up out of cot) - then left the room and waited for the next time slot to expire before going back in - but all up, the CC did not last for longer than 45 minutes - after 45 minutes he got a big cuddle, and we started again - quite frankly, if it hadn't worked after 45 minutes, he was in such a state that he needed calming down
that approach took us two nights - the third night, and every night since has been great
we went according to Richard Ferber's book, which I can not recommend enough