crying at bed time

Sia - posted on 08/04/2010 ( 24 moms have responded )

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My 18 month old who has been doing the same routine for bed now cries at bed time. I'm talking about full blown screaming and gagging cries. What do I do? At first I thought he was coming down with something, but now I think it's a phase. He has never slept in our room and only sleeps in his bed or play yard. Now it's hard getting him to sleep. What do I do?

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Amanda - posted on 08/05/2010

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We had a similar issue however at around 1am in the morning...every morning! Harrison would wake and just scream until he was given milk then within 2 - 3 minutes he would fall asleep. A nanny girlfriend advised that they are just trying to get attention and at this age a little tough love is needed. She told us we needed to offer water (eliminate that he was thirsty), check nappy (in case of a dirty one) then when we were sure he was well, hydrated and clean, shut the door, turn the monitor off and let him cry himself to sleep. It was really really hard at first however now he doesn't wake or if he does he will self settle within a couple of minutes. If he doesn't thhen we know that he needs something (usually a good burp).

I know this is slightly different to your little one as it is going to sleep time that you are having the issue but perhaps a similar approach is needed.

* using a regular scheduled bedtime (we send our boy to bed at 7.30pm)
* 1/2 sipply cup of warm milk in that 20 minutes before bed
* fresh nappy just before bed
* use the same bed routine as often as possible. Perhaps a short story when he is in his cot but only short as bed is sleep time. Even when they are throwing a wobbly because they know it is bedtime... doesn't matter mum is boss not toddler. You know that they are fed, warm, dry and healthy so BED to sleep.

I found this really hard to get my head around at first but the first couple of nights they can be very persisent with their crying. After 20 minutes or so if he is still crying, go in and don't give him any attention. Just make sure that he is ok and lie him back down (or try to) and walk out. All you are doing is letting him know that you are still around. Then leave him. Eventually they will go to sleep and the next night will be slightly easier. Eventually he will know that you don't give him attention at bedtime and he will just entertain himself until he falls asleep.

This is the approach we use and it is working great. We have the odd rough night but they are few and far between now. May be worth trying. Remember there has never been a case of bubs dying from crying. At this age they know that by crying they will get attention. You are the boss not bub. I wish you all of the strength and persaverance as this is a trying time but consistency and strength is how a routine is born. Good luck. x

Leslie - posted on 08/05/2010

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Its a phase... I think everyone goes through it. My son did this a bit younger (I think from bringing home another baby). He would scream when I was putting him to bed, I'd get him to fall asleep in the family room with me and put him in his crib when he was out, then if he woke up he would start screaming. From having him wake up in the middle of the night screaming and feeding a new baby countless times throughout the night, I started bringing him into our bed so I could get a bit more sleep. BAD IDEA!!! Now my son won't sleep anywhere but our bed, and it is killing us cause he moves so much and takes up the whole bed. Don't be dumb like me and give in. I know it's hard, but let him cry it out. Try reading to him while he's in his crib. Comfort him, but don't remove him from his bed.

GOOD LUCK!

Amanda - posted on 08/15/2010

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I had this issue with my twin daughters. They also are on the same bedtime routine everynight, and each at a different stage, would just scream and cry and stand in their crib until we came upstairs and picked them up. A few nights we would take them downstairs with us, and rock them back to sleep. But when we would take them back up to their crib, they would wake up and cry again. I thought they were cutting a new tooth or not feeling well, but after a few days of this I had to be tough. We let them cry it out. Its hard to sit there and listen to your baby scream and cry and all you can think is that they need you to comfort them. But it is just a stage, and as hard as it seems you have to be tough and let them cry it out. after a few days they were back to their normal sleeping habits. Good luck!! It will get better.

Sarah - posted on 08/13/2010

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i currently have the same problem and it happens every night, so me and my husband went out and bought those musical fish tanks that go on the side of the crib (even though my daughter is 19 months) and when we put her to bed we tell her she is going to sing with the fishys and night night time...and she falls right to sleep

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Vanessa - posted on 08/27/2012

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OMG! My 19 month old baby girl was sleeping perfectly! I would make her a bottle and she would be so happy and take it from me and WANT me to put her down in her crib so that she can drink it and fall asleep... all of a sudden since last Thursday - she began crying hysterical!! She doesnt want me to put her in her crib! she prefers laying her in her playpen - she wont cry and sleep there... lately, ive given her the bottle in my arms then rock her until she passes out and gently lay her in her crib once shes completely knocked out... but its soo time consuming and work! when i was used to just putting her down and be done in 1 min.... now it consumes at least about an hr of teh night to go through this routine! i hope this phase passes soooooon!!!!!

User - posted on 07/28/2011

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Make sure he is dry and full. Put him down at the same time everynight and once he is down do not go back in know matter how hard it is. We put a radio in the to easy listening music. Elevator music or light jazz. No singing or loud rock and roll. Good Luck.

Jacqulyn - posted on 08/24/2010

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LOL i guess i feel blessed. kaleb goes to bed fairly late cause i like to sleep in and hes not typically an early bird anyways so we put him to bed when he starts getting tired he never cried at night and started a few weeks ago but he only cries for a min or two. i think this is the age when their imagination starts to really become a part of who they are and maybe they imagine things in the dark. we went to my moms for a week out of town and he wouldnt sleep unless i was in the room or the night light was on. some kids are more prone to being afraid of the dark. i was for years and luckily kaleb only cries for a min or two before zonking out. and i think its usually cause he doesnt get to see my boyfriend during the day and wants to spend as much time with him as possible. he knows we're staying up and hes not...i think they just like to be part of the action. especially those kids who go to bed early working parents come home see their kids for an hour or two before their carted off to bed. probably just some need to spend as much time with you as possible.

Jennifer - posted on 08/18/2010

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your all lucky that your kids are still in the crib, mine climbed out of hers at 12 months and fell right on her head that i tore the crib down and now she is in a toddler bed... mine is going thorugh the same phase, i read her a story, make sure she has a dry diaper, and turn on her movie for her, but now she kicks me in the stomach and head butts me and screams like crazy!!! since she is in her toddler bed and my room is right next door to hers, i shut her bedroom door and she screams for awhile and finally passes out after about an hour... thats the only choice i had to do....

Camille - posted on 08/18/2010

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Mine goes through this phase from time to time and I want to rip my hair out. All you can really do is remind yourself that it won't matter in the long run and he'll grow up soon enough. Then you'll forget all about the crying and miss when he was little!

Belle - posted on 08/15/2010

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What! You mean this is a phase! I don't think so. Consider yourself lucky. My son has been doing this for a long time. Only recently has he been accepting it peacefully, but not without many nights of letting him cry it out before.

Kim - posted on 08/15/2010

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My son is doing the same thing! He used to be so easy and want to go to bed with the same nightly routine. Now he screams and cries. I have just started rocking him again for a little while. I lay him down and rub his back and tell him its time to go. I come back if he really freaks out but rub his back I dont pick him up aghain. Im not sure of what else to do but I wanted to let you know you are not alone.

Shannon - posted on 08/14/2010

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I agree, it's a phase too. My son is the same age and he has always been a good sleeper and on a schedule always slept through the except for the first 2 months, but after that has been a very good about bed time and sleeping through the night. But, two months ago he went through a phase like that where he would scream bloody murder every time I would lay him down to go to sleep. This lasted a good few weeks, but he got over it. No baby is the same though, so how the both of you get through it is something you two kinda have to figure out on your own. I'm old fashioned and just let my son cry him self to sleep, but maybe that's not what you want to do. I would not worry too much though, it will be over in a month or so hopefully.

Jennifer - posted on 08/14/2010

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My son just turned 19 months, and he just started doing this because I started babysitting a friends 12 month old daughter in our home. It is a cry for attention, so I just make sure I make a little extra time for him before bed when she is at the house, and he is fine.

Elizabeth - posted on 08/12/2010

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I'm going through the same thing with my 19 month old and it's wearing me out. I've been letting her watch Nick Jr until she falls asleep....it's so much better than the gagging screams that she does until she pukes. I know it's not the PERFECT thing to do, but it does keep her happy until she falls asleep.

Erin - posted on 08/12/2010

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My daughter has done this since I stopped rocking her to sleep. Lately I've altered bedtime routine by putting her in the crib after story and prayers. Then I give her a book, turn on the hall light, prop open the door, turn off her light and sit in the rocking chair and sing her bedtime song. As I sing she looks at her book, then I walk out. If she notices she cries for about 5-10 minutes, but it is better than the choking cries!

Catherine - posted on 08/12/2010

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Donna i really wouldnt suggest to let him scream it out as they do say that its ok for a girl but very bad for a boy! it can cause boys to recieve lumps and make them very ill!! just thought id let you no Xxx

Catherine - posted on 08/12/2010

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He Sia. My daughter is 19months old. and hasnt gone throu that for a long time. but what i did was put her down and read her a story! just make sure he knows that its time for bed :) Good Luck xx

Amanda - posted on 08/12/2010

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My son does the same thing. It used to be really bad, he would do it for at least an hour to 2 hours. All i did was go in there tell him eveything is ok pat him on his back make sure he was clean and walk out. Now i take the kids outside around 6:30- 7 pm let them runwild, bring them in around 8 give them a snack a bath and then shortly after they're asleep. My son still cries when i first put him in his bed but only for about 5 or 10 minutes. Hope everything works out! I know it's hard but it will get better!

Donna - posted on 08/12/2010

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We are having the same problem. My doctor told me to let him scream it out, but now he has started climbing out of his crib. I've been letting him sleep in our bed, which I know is a bad idea, but I just don't know what to do.

Deandra - posted on 08/10/2010

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Now im not trying to rub it is but My 18 month old son has never done that because i made it a fun thing..it took me a while to get him to want to go to bed..i know he loves having his cup of milk when he goes to bed so when i make his cup i make him give everyone hugs and kisses night night at first he wouldnt give me hugs and kisses so i just sat on the kitchen floor holding his cup and telling him to give me kisses until he finally did, now when im heating his cup i count down the second along with the microwave and he gets a kick out of it, he runs straight to bed pulls his cribs open i say he strong and he crawls into bed and puts his hands out for his cup...im not sayin this will work for your son but its worth a shot you've got to get their attention and show them that night night time is good...even if you read him a story or just show him pictures and leave him the book he might go to sleep..any other toys would prolly be a bad idea cuz they will just play with them a book they cant really play with...hope my advise helps =)

Deborah - posted on 08/10/2010

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oh wow, I thought it was just us going thru this..so comforting to read these posts. This "phase" started last week right after he got his 18 month check up shots. I thought maybe he wasn't feeling well..but now it seems like it's just a normal phase for this age group..hopefully a short one!

Jennifer - posted on 08/10/2010

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my daughter has started doing this this summer. It's not every night...I hope it is a short lived phase.

Courtney - posted on 08/08/2010

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my son does the same thing. i try to let him cry it out but the one night he cried for almost 2 hrs. i went in 3 times and he laid down while i was standing there but as soon as i left he was up and crying. he ended up in bed with me. i know that's not what your suppose to do but i'm a single mom and i have to work in the am. everyone says its just a phase. he did it all last week except for wed.

Tiffany - posted on 08/07/2010

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One of my twins went through this stage just a few weeks ago, it was really hard because we had just moved into a new house so I felt bad for letting her cry it out, but I knew if I went in there and comforted her forever she would get used to that. So I went cold turkey on it and just let her cry it out. I mean she would scream so loud and gag herself, it was horrible I felt so bad. It did take me a little longer for her to quit, it was like a week but it definitally did the trick. Just whatever you do stick with it no matter what!!!

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