13 month old won't sleep :( Separation Anxiety? HELP!!!!

Stephanie - posted on 03/25/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Let me start off by saying that my daughter has been a GREAT sleeper since she was about 2.5 months old she started sleeping through the night. She started off sleeping in a bassinet and then after she started sleeping through the night more often, she slept in her own room in her crib. There were times here and there where she'd have a rough patch, maybe a week or so that she didn't sleep great....but NOTHING like whats been happening lately. For almost three weeks now my lil one has been waking up DOZENS of times a night....sometimes as bad as every15-30min. At first we thought it was because she wasn't feeling well because she had a viral rash, but that rash has been long gone and she's still sleeping horribly. Then we thought it may be separation anxiety. Before the chaos broke out, we had decided to try and stop rocking her to sleep....we tried to lay her down in her crib and stand at the end of her crib until she'd fall asleep....slowly making our way closer to the door. Well it completely backfired. She hated it and my mother in law finally convinced me that it would be better to just let her cry it out without being in the room. If I was in the room with her, all she wanted me to do was pick her up. I tried for an HOUR to just keep laying her down and she'd pop right back up and cry. So, RELUCTANTLY, I let her cry it out for a nap which took 45 min., and then that night it took 30 min. I thought maybe it's working and although it was torture, that it was the right thing to do.....UNTIL, the next day I tried the same thing for her nap again and she cried for about 20 min., fell asleep for 20 min., woke up and screamed for 40 min. and vomited everywhere. I decided then that maybe this wasn't the best time to do this, maybe she wasn't ready? So that night I went to rock her to sleep like normal and decided that instead of rocking her to sleep completely, I'd just rock her until she was dosing off and then lay her down. Well, that worked well....but ever since that night she hasn't slept through the night TO SAY THE LEAST!!! Like I've said, it's been right at 3 weeks.....some nights she'll sleep really well at first, not waking up for a 3-4 hours and then other nights she'll wake up 45 min. after laying her down. Some nights when I go into her room and tell her to lay down and go "night night" , she does so with absolutely no trouble; while other nights I have spent almost 2 hours in her room trying to get her to sleep again. I'm trying my hardest NOT to rock her after laying her down the first time. I have NEVER put her in bed with us before.....but unfortunately there have been some nights where we just can't take it anymore and HAVE to get sleep somehow. I have a gut feeling that it's separation anxiety because a lot of the times when she wakes up and I'm still standing in her room, I notice the first thing she does when she wakes is IMMEDIATELY look around for me. If she doesn't see me she freaks out and screams....if she does see me she'll lay back down and close her eyes. She has also started showing signs of separation anxiety during the day....it's become harder and harder for me to get tasks done since she hates it when I leave the room without her. She used to be very social, VERY good with strangers....now she cries and cries. I've tried researching separation anxiety on the net to find ways to help alleviate her stress, but nothing seems to be helping. We have noticed, the last couple of days, that her gums are really swollen near the back (but not quite far enough back to be her molars).....so now we're wondering if teething is causing the problems and her pain is causing her anxiety??? BASICALLY....I am on here BEGGING for ANY advice/help. I am pretty much open to anything at this point!!! I'm exhausted and now I'm beginning to get sick with a soar throat and slight fever. SOMETHING has to change and soon....I'm loosing my mind :( Things weren't even this bad when she was a new born! At least then I knew I could get about 3 hours of sleep in between feedings.....now I'm LUCKY to get 2-3 hours of sleep at a time. AGAIN, if you have ANY advice please let me know!!! My poor lil girl is exhausted and has developed laryngitis because of the constant screaming :( HELP!!!!

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5 Comments

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Stefanie - posted on 04/12/2010

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There is a book called "the no cry sleep solution" by Elizabeth pantley it is very informative and helpful. In the process of finishing it up and start doing the program with my 13month old! Good luck.....hope that helped.

Chelsey - posted on 04/05/2010

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we had the same problem with our daughter libertie.... we found out that she has ear infections.. and my husband would rock her to sleep and then we would put a shirt from each one of us that smelled like us and put it in the crib so she could hang on to it and it took a couple night to get used to it but she started sleeping longer and longer in her crib where she would sleep all night and we have only had i think maybe 4 night she didn't sleep throw the night since then and that was about 3 months ago....

Tarah - posted on 03/26/2010

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Well some sleep is a good thing!!!! Let me know how it works out and i wish the best for your little girl and you.

Stephanie - posted on 03/26/2010

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THANKS SO MUCH!!! I will definitely try the sippy cup with water and hopefully that'll help a bit. I have been putting orajel on her gums right before we read her her bedtime story and I had to put more on her gums at about 5 this morning when she woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep. I really like the idea or letting her brush it on herself....I think she'd like that a lot. Last night DID go MUCH better, but I don't want to get excited yet :) She woke up at 12 ish and went right back to sleep and then didn't wake me up again until almost 515am. After that I couldn't get her to go to sleep on her own and stay asleep, so I thought maybe she was really not feeling well so after 30-45 min., I gave in and rocked her. She went to sleep and unfortunately so did I! I HATE falling asleep with her in my arms in the rocking chair, but I am EXHAUSTED! I woke up about 645a and put her back in her crib. She woke up this morning at 8a. So last night was definitely a well need break from it all! There have definitely been times where I have wanted to let her cry it out like you mentioned, but with her having laryngitis I feel awful letting her cry for too long. BUT, when her voice clears up, that's definitely something we'll have to do from time to time. Thanks again for your help!!!

Tarah - posted on 03/26/2010

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I had a similer problem with my son. It did turn out to be his teeth and gums that were bothering him. It is hard to say however all the time what is wrong. In my case what i did was i put a sippy up in his crib at night. When he wakes up he is normally looking for something to chew on in the night and after he chews for like 10 minutes he puts himself back to sleep. I dont want to say 100 % that will work. it seems like she wants to be held and rocked and there isnt anything wrong with that. I normally rock my son and read him a book if he is just not wanting to go back t bed and i let him know that mommy is here and that big boys leep in their own bed. I have been very blessed where my son has slept in his own room since a week old and has slept thru the night. Some times when the sippy cups of water doesnt work i do give a little bit of warm milk to help rock him. another trick that i have picked up is at night when i brush his teeth i let him help and when he is holding the tooth brush it is after i have them brushed and i put orajel on the tooth brush to numb his gums for the night. some nights it works great some nights not so much. One of the best things that I have learned however is it is just a matter of letting him know that mommy is here and that i wont let anything bad happen to him.



I wont say that the crying out method is always best but there are some nights where enough is enough and i have to let him cry it out. He normally gets tired after about 25 to 30 minutes but one night it took 90 minutes I would go in and talk to him but i never pick him back up be he knows when it is bed time it is just a matter of he wants to sleep in my room. I will also sit there and if it is nap time i put a few soft toys in the crib so he can play if he feels he wants to do that. i will also sit there and read a story to him from the rocking chair and again let him know that mommy is there but i stay strong and i dont pick him up. - Dont worry it is very hard to not pick him up and comfort him but he has learned that mommy is always close by and that he needs his sleep since we are on the go all the time, from playing to going shopping. Let me know if this helps you at all but i have a feeling she is going to get better soon and you both will get a little of that much needed rest back.

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