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Conflicting parental views on 16 month old waking every night and wanting out of his cot.... Help please

(12 Posts)
Paranoid1stTimer Sun 09-Aug-09 00:45:15

Ok... LO has not been sleeping too well of late. He is 16 months old and had JUST started to sleep through the night but over the last week or so, he had a cold then his last tooth started poking its way further through the gum and he was badly constipated. This meant he was up from 12am-3:30am for the last week. He slept through only one night.

Anyway, we were just about to head up to bed at 11pm n he started crying on the monitor. Went up to comfort him and he got REALLY upset, screaming and wailing. Changed his nappy and tried to get him back to sleep to no avail. OH took him back upstairs.

Hour late I hear LO still screaming and crying so I go up to give OH a break and take over so OH can go to bed since he has been working all day. OH is sitting by cot in the dark and LO is wailing and thrashing about in the cot. OH says he is just letting DS cry it out because there is nothing wrong with him and he is just forcing out the crying for attention so he can be rocked to sleep. Since LO was in a complete state and OH was dog tired OH went off to bed and I gave DS a cuddle n took him downstairs.

OH was very angry about this. He says I am spoiling LO and that he should just be left to cry it out or he will never learn to get to sleep on his own. I know what OH means but LO was in such a state he was gasping for air and his nose was totally streaming from all the crying. I have put him in his buggy with his blankie now having calmed him down where he was clinging to me, gave him some Calpol for his gums and Ashton Parsons. He is quietly cuddling blankie and watching Dreamy Journey so hopefully should be back to sleep soon ish so I can go to bed.

I just know I will get a hard time tomorrow from OH because I took DS out of cot and let him watch Dreamy Journey so OH thinks I am rewarding DS for his screaming and crying when he doesnt wanna stay in his cot.

I just want some advice on the situation as I am scared I am spoiling DS by treating him this way but I can't take it when he cries until he is gasping for breath and especially when he is teething or not feeling well.

I just cant seem to see the day when LO will just go to sleep and then sleep through or be able to settle in his cot with a little patting n shushing.

Then again, he is only 16 months so I keep thinking he is really still a baby and doesnt really understand that he should be trying to get back to sleep during the night...

Any advice? I am just worried I am completely in the wrong and spoiling LO but I hate it when he cries so hard...

Thank you.

Greensleeves Sun 09-Aug-09 00:52:15

Your OH is talking rubbish

you can't "spoil" a 16mo by responding to his needs, looking after him when he is in pain, cuddling and comforting him ffs

"cry it out" angry

I think you are doing the right things and your OH is being selfish and mean

SallyWag Sun 09-Aug-09 00:54:06

Listen.... it's YOUR CALL. You and OH need to agree on a strategy you are both comfortable with.

IMO you're both right-
(1) a baby crying for an hour, poss in pain from his teeth, should be picked up and the potential source of pain attended to
(2) there's NO POINT starting to let him CIO and then caving in - you are indeed rewarding him for the crying.

I would advise avoiding CIO for the time being, while he's teething, as this may be very painful for him and he may need regular calpol dosing - and use the time to discuss your options with your OH.

Personally I am opposed to CIO for my own (18mo) child, but I know many other parents are happy with it and for much younger babies too. That said, there are middle ways - controlled crying and "no-cry" (=more gradual!) ways of doing it.

Tanya Byron's book Your Child, Your Way is brilliant. I have found it very useful. Unlike many parenting books it does not try to tell you what to think, but presents you with a simple list of options and you choose whichever you are most comfortable with.

Your child WILL sleep through the night in his own time, whatever you do. But sleep training may make it happen sooner!

Greensleeves Sun 09-Aug-09 00:54:33

oh and Dentinox gel was the one that worked best for my little ones when teething

the heat and swelling when they teethe is awful, it must be horribly painful and he is just a little baby, he doesn't know why it hurts and he won't understand why Mummy isn't looking after him if he is left to "cry it out"

children don't learn to self-soothe by being neglected when they need comfort

kitkatqueen Sun 09-Aug-09 00:58:40

Personally I never take my children downstairs once they have been put to bed ( the only exceptions would be very ill child and me calling out of hours gp) so I wouldn't have done that however I also wouldn't have just left him to cry as hard as you are describing.

My 1st reaction was teething powder and calpol probably with some anbesol rubbed into his gums for good measure. I would then have sat with him in his darkened bedroom until he calmed down and then put him in his cot and sat down - pick up and put down routine from then, tv bright lights and cross parents will just stimulate him.

Its a compromise imo. He isn't getting rewarded by going downstairs and watching tv and he isn't screaming his eyes out in his cot.

Were there actual tears btw or was he really just angry?

The biggest issue that you really have here is conficting parenting styles. You need to have a united front and that means you are going to need to sit down with dp and talk about parenting aims, rules for ds, naughty step etc. because if your dc can play one of you off against the other you will lose.

Good luck

SallyWag Sun 09-Aug-09 01:00:11

Some mums give both calpol and baby ibuprofen (can't remember brand name) at the same time for teething. For some babies, ibuprofen is the only thing that seems to help with the teething pain as it has anti-inflammatory effects whereas calpol doesn't (officially) do this.

chalat Sun 09-Aug-09 01:10:47

Poor LO and Poor you.......personally I cannot bear the idea of letting a baby cry it out, you'd need a heart of stone to go down that road and evidently your heart is made of softer stuff.

When mine woke at night, usually they just stirred, continued to breastfeed (extended nursing and co-sleeping in this household) - but I was always very boring company in the night as I went back to work after ds1 and ds2 and was selfemployed by the time we had dd - so if they woke, it was low lights, minimal murmurming and no conversation. It worked for us, maybe we were just fortunate they all went along with our ways of doing things. My dh worked and still works long hours so tbh it was pretty pointless expecting him to be much help at night anyway. Another good reason that I stuck with breastfeeding as I'd only have had more work to do in preparing feeds and all that entails.

You have my sympathy with the difference in opinion. ds2 is now a father himself and his ex-p has similar views to your OH. When our dgs is here overnight, he ends up in his father's bed which his mother would not allow. wonder if she has read some wretched childcare book which suggested such ways?? <<<ponders with a wry grin>>>

Chin up. Follow your heart. smile

skybright Sun 09-Aug-09 01:12:38

Hi Paranoid,i have a similar situation in that my 18 month son has never been a great sleeper,we have always had to rub his belly or sooth him in some way for him to go to sleep and about four out of seven nights he ends up in bed with us.

Your little boy is not very well and i personally would find it heart breaking to know that your DP could have soothed and comforted him but was just sitting there. Your DS must have been a bit confused and upset as to why he was not comforting him.

It does not even sound like any method of control crying which athough i have never used with any of my children i do understand it has it's place for some people.

I don't think that you can spoil a child by giving them lots of love,comfort and affection,some kids sleep well,some not and most will grow out of it and sleep fine at three or so,when they have much more of an ability to understand that you are not far away and they can phsically come and get you if they need to.

My eldest child was very similar to my youngest with her sleep habits and she did grow out of it by around three.

It is a very hard one if you and your OH disagree and i am lucky in the fact that my OH is much more of a softtouch than even i am.

If i was in your situation i could not hold my thoughts and would have to know that we were both going to deal with the situation in the same way or TBH i would find it very hard to relax on nights out etc.

Good luck ,i hope he understands and changes him mind.

kitkatqueen Sun 09-Aug-09 01:27:41

Sallywag, you are absolutley right, some mums do give both meds together and at one point it was reccomended by hcp's gps etc, however the new guidelines say to only give children one type of medication in the course of a day and then give another type if you can't give further doses.

I don't know the reasoning behind the new guidelines but was given chapter and verse on the new rule by a paediatric nurse recently when all 3 dc had chicken pox and I was having trouble controlling ds's temp.

I told her that if they are going to change the rules they should let parents know - get it printed on the bottle or something instead of being cross when we do it unknowingly.

Paranoid1stTimer Sun 09-Aug-09 01:49:53

Thanks very much for the advice. Its good to know I am not just spoiling him. OH seems to think he isnt really a baby anymore as he is getting so big and more independent by the day. He can ask for some things to a certain degree during the day so I suppose OH maybe thinks DS is just playing up n understands that he should be sleeping at night.

Anyway, I also think since OH works such long hours, sometimes a crying baby wanting cuddled and rocked or just crying when you dont know what is wrong is really draining and maybe he just hoped that putting him in his cot and letting him cry would mean he would get bored and go to sleep.

I shouldnt be taking him back down and letting him watch any tv - you are right. I just am sooooo tired and fed up with the constant night wakings that I am not sticking to any sort of routine and basically the easiest thing to do is to let him watch some quiet tv to keep him calm.

I really have to work out a strategy and stick to it I guess. Thanks for the book suggestion. I have the No Cry Sleep Solution but it isn't really much advice rather than a few suggestions and you can decide how to work it yourself....

I guess I am just looking for someone to wave a magic wand and make him a great sleeper through the night so I dont go mad with sleep depravation. Thanks for helping

kitkatqueen Sun 09-Aug-09 02:02:18

If it any consolation at al we all do stuff when we are knackered that we wouldn't "plan" to do if we weren't sleep deprived.

I can easily spiel off exactly what I would do in your situation purely because I have had to do it so many times - my dc are now 5 3 and 20 mnths and even my youngest now goes down every night after a story, a drink of milk and then is laid in the cot with teddy and blown a kiss. Thats it, but its taken a long time to get him to this point, my other 2 were exactly the same.

Everyone chooses the getting to sleep routine/method that sits best with them. Work out your routine and stick with it for a week, you'll be surprised by the results. Good luck!

xlinknz Thu 15-Oct-09 01:40:57

Sounds familiar here is my post on a similar topic http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/parenting/808256-My-16-month-old-keeps-waking-leave-him-to-cry

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