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Cycles of screaming self to sleep at 14 months old - normal??

(8 Posts)
Sikorsky27 Mon 10-Aug-09 20:01:27

(previously posted under Behaviour but just realised there is a Sleep topic!)

Just feel better to know I'm not alone on this one! Or am I??

DS is 14 months old and generally a very happy content boy. Wasn't at the start - for the first 3 months LOTS of crying (colic and reflux) - but generally a good boy now. Doesn't go through the night - only on the very odd occasion. We have to put dummy in during night at least once or twice. This is on a good night, but will sleep with one or two of our visits, from 7.15pm to 7.00am.

However, every few weeks we have several nights of him screaming himself to sleep. We have tried soothing, picking up, rocking, chair routine etc etc but seems to make him more angry, or, he stops and tries to engage you by talking or grabbing at you. Plus he is freakishly strong and when I sit with him in the chair to calm him he throws himself about I can hardly hold him. So we tend to leave him in cot to sort himself out, going in regularly to check he's not sat / stood up, lost dummy, comforter etc.

He takes over 45 mins to an hour to give in. Is this normal? It is full blown screaming too.

Why do we have lovely bedtimes some weeks and then 5 or 6 nights of this?? (this week it has coincided with MMR jab, but normally there is no obvious reason).

Been a bad one tonight and hate leaving him to cry himself to sleep, but nothing else seems to work. We do the same routine religiously every night too. "Night Garden", then bath, then bottle, then bed, so there is nothing different I can think of.

Help! Thanks

bigchris Mon 10-Aug-09 20:04:28

is it 45 - 60 minutes of constant screaming?

does he have a night light?

we've just discovered 2.11 dd is scared of the dark blush

hayleybop Mon 10-Aug-09 20:18:00

My DD was really ill from the MMR Jab, not funny...she came out in spots, temperature, very ill lil thing..bless.

ches Tue 11-Aug-09 04:13:02

It sounds like teething pain to me. Teeth hurt as moving through the jaw, apparently worse than when moving through the gum, though that hurts too. That's why the pain comes and goes, lasting a few days at a time.

DS is a late teether, so his molars didn't start to make themselves known until he was nearly 18 months, but then it was 6 months of as you describe, inability to fall asleep/constant waking at night unless medicated (ibuprofen, paracetamol didn't help) intermittently. My rule was if he'd woken 3 times before I went to bed, he got dosed up with ibuprofen. (Can you say terrible sleeper? That waking twice before I went to bed was "normal?") During those 6 months his four molars and 4 canines came through. He's 2.5 next week and getting his back molars. That's been going on a good 3 months already and they still aren't even budding on his gums yet.

Sikorsky27 Tue 11-Aug-09 10:13:15

Thanks guys. The screaming is on and off for 45-60 mins. Sometimes he stops himself, and sounds like he is going off, then he'll start again. As it is on and off (gaps of a 1-2 mins) I do leave him, as nothing else works. The more we go in the angrier he gets or more awake he becomes!

He's had a really bad reaction to MMR this week - temp of 39.9 for two days and terrible rash head to toe, so I guess he is just trying to get back on track after this. However, normally I think it is teething. I agree, it must be the moving around stage - as nothing appears for weeks around these episodes! Can't wait for the molars Ches!!

Medicine doesn't always help either unfortunately. The e-numbers in Calpol make him more wired, so now have to have colour and sugar free paracetamol or ibuprofen.

Thanks for suggestions and advice - much appreciated. x

TheLemur Wed 12-Aug-09 11:51:56

It sounds to me like he is overtired

My son (2 next week) does this sometimes - he is so over-stimulated/over-tired that screaming himself to sleep is all that works for him. Any interference from me just winds him up and makes him scream for longer. He does the small gaps too... do you find the gaps get longer the nearer to sleeping he is?

The only solutions I've found are putting him to bed earlier so he can catch up on his sleep or dosing him up on a drowsy medicine such as Calpol nighttime (I know, I know, bad mum)

The screaming fits are getting less and less often as he gets older just to give you some encouragement that it won't last forever!

Sikorsky27 Mon 17-Aug-09 12:20:28

Thanks TheLemur - not heard of Calpol nighttime. Worth knowing about!

TheLemur Wed 19-Aug-09 12:03:43

Sikorsky27 just to let you know, I think they've recently changed Calpol night to be for the over 2's (and now possibly for the over 6's)

I think the issue being that the paracetamol is mixed with a (drowse inducing) anti-histamine and lots of people were overdosing their kids to get them to sleep not realising that they were giving them way too much paracetamol which is obviously very dangerous

I personally think if you are responsible and always give the smallest dose then it's OK but just to make you aware as you might get a grilling from the pharmacist if you say your DC is under 6

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