Night time separation anxiety.

Caroline - posted on 03/28/2010 ( 41 moms have responded )

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Hi there, my daughter just turned 10 months old on the 25th . and for a little over a week now, every night when I put her in her crib to sleep, she wakes up about 1 hr later crying! Shes ok when I hold her, and nurse her but then I put her back and a little bit later shes awake crying again, and that goes on all night long! Any tips? are anyone elses baby doing this as well, just wondering if maybe she would like to co-sleep with me and we both might get a better night sleep!

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Dawn - posted on 03/31/2010

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Mine sleeps great in his crib for naptimes and when I first put him down at nights. It's just from around 11pm after that sucks. He slept on his own until December in his pack n play in our room. We moved him to his own room in Jan. We have had very few STTN nights since then.

Jessica - posted on 04/01/2010

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Our 10 month daughter doesn't like to go to sleep if we are still awake at night so when we put our daughter to bed, we've had to wait till she is extremely tired (but not over tired - it's a fine line) then turn off all the lights, t.v or computer and pretend we are going to sleep. It works really well and she sleeps right through. If we don't she screams for 20 min.

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My son often waked up crying after 1 hour of sleep. I started using the Baby Whisperer method when he was 8 mo and worke really well for both of us. We both sleep better, once the first 4 days of training went on. Up to date, he sometimes wakes up complaining or even crying, but he is now able to put himself back to sleep, or we just need to shushhhhh him down, without having to pick him up. For us, it was worth investing the time at the beginning, it payed itself with interest in very short time.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/04/2010

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My daughter will only go to sleep if someone holds her to put her to bed. She usually wakes up as soon as you put her down. I really cant help you to much. Since it is not the same situation, but maybe music. I would try putting the shirt you wore that day in her crib with her. I know this sounds stupid but my child life professor who use to work in hospitals said this is what she requested when parents wanted to make their children feel comfortable and she says it works. Let me know if it works for you.

Kim - posted on 04/03/2010

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We sleep trained our DD. My husband and I swear by the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth. It has saved us many of painful nights. Our DD has always been an AWFUL sleeper, until we got this book. Of course we have had things throw up off like when she had an ear infection (we have that problem twice already). And she had to be trained again(it didn't take as long the 2nd or 3rd time around). Now she wants to go to sleep when my DH puts her down at night she is reaching for her crib!
Good luck!!

Kimberly - posted on 04/03/2010

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I have a question for the the moms who have done the "cry it out"method. What's the longest that your baby has cried until he/she fell asleep?

Schmoopy - posted on 04/03/2010

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Power through it and let her cry. Sounds cruel, I know. But I've been doing this dance with my 10-month old, too. After about a week, he's now sleeping a solid 11 hours a night! It's worth it in the short-term to have a good sleeper in the long-run. You'll both be happier.

Julie - posted on 04/02/2010

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Have you tried putting in a shirt or sweater that has your sent on it that has helped with all 5 of my kids and my 10 month old. It took a few days to work but now she gets up only once in the night. Good luck!

Ann-Marie - posted on 04/01/2010

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Don't panic. If you are co-sleeping, definitely don't panic. Noah is our 2nd and doing a very similar thing. However, unlike some parties advice I have received, I am not willing to let him "cry it out" when it is so distressing for him AND it wakes up the older child. And no - it is not "part of being in the family". I think this teaches the older child that they are merely secondary to a younger sibling.

Our kids are very close and empathetic to each other. I still cuddle Noah when he cries at night or during naps. And Seth helps out with calming him at times. In return, Noah is becoming far more confident with learning-with-play and seems much happier some of the other kids his age, who I know are being "control-cried" to sleep.

Good luck with the sleep!!

Heather - posted on 04/01/2010

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I have been struggling with this as well. After about an hour in his crib he wakes up. I rock him to sleep and put him back in his bed. The second time he wakes I am usually already asleep and am too tired to try to get him back to sleep so I bring him to my bed and nurse him. Some times he wakes up every hour to nurse and just drives me crazy!! My older two girls both co-slept with me and I never regretted it. They are 3 and 5 now and sleep in their beds just fine. They are still welcome to join me if they feel the need but most nights they dont. I wouldnt mind co-sleeping with my youngest so much if he was actually sleeping and not waking every hour to nurse.

Sarah - posted on 04/01/2010

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My daughter is 10 mo and has never slept in my bed. She started sleeping thru the night at 5 wks. She slept in my room for the 1st 4mo I think then I moved her to her crib in her room. I slept much better with her in her room, I woke everytime she moved in my room. She has times when she doesn't sleep well when she is teething but I have found if I let her get herself back to sleep she will sleep the rest of the nite but if I go get her and rock her she wakes up several more times. I do not see how I could ever sleep with her, she is all over the place in her crib, I cannot sleep good with a baby or even my older daughter, I need my space. My bed is made for 2 people! I also will not sleep with her becuz I did that with my 1st and it has only been a couple of years that I didn't have her tryin to sleep with me and she is 11 now. Even if I didn't let her sleep with me she didn't want in her own bed, she would sleep on the couch. It's a personal preference for sure but I learned what I want and don't want from my 1st and now it has been much easier with this one as far as sleepin and other things too.

Emma - posted on 04/01/2010

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my son is 10 months old n from the day he was born would go in his bed from 8 til 11 wake up then i had 2 get him up for a bottle then he went bk 2 sleep but then wen i go 2 bed as we r in the same room he wakes up n wen he falls back 2 sleep wont go bk in his cot as he wakes as soon as i put him down n screams so i end up bringin him into my bed n he is there all nyt n he wakes up again every 2 hours for a bottle lol n then he wakes at between 4 n 6 then wont go bk 2 sleep at all... but i think i might try givin him food just b4 bed as he might wake up less tyms ( wishful thinkin lol) n try the thing wid givin him a t shirt of mine

Suzanne - posted on 04/01/2010

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My 10 month old will not sleep in her crib at all during the day and at night we have a very hard time getting her to stay in the crib. It is so frustrating because my husband and I can not get any sleep. Does any one have any ideas on how to break this night time behavior?

Gretchen - posted on 04/01/2010

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My daughter has been doing the same thing, at naps too. The very fact that so many of us are dealing with it encourages me that it IS normal! :) I've had some really sweet, encouraging moms give me helpful tips on separation anxiety, because I'm a new, first time mom, and I'm walking through unknown waters. :)

I have been trying to comfort my daughter without taking her out of her crib. She can pull up, so I lay her back down, pat her back, smooth her hair, talk or sing gently, play her lullaby CD, etc until she calms down and stops crying. Someone advised me not to be panicked, but look calm and happy and help convey that attitude to my baby (not always easy if you're already asleep!!). I'm new at this too, but it really has helped. She settled down holding my hand, and I slowly backed out the door, and she fell back asleep on her own. Last night she SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT again!! HOORAY! :) I'm sure it will come back, but I feel like I have a game plan.

Chrissy - posted on 03/31/2010

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My daughter is almost 11 months now and she has been sleeping through the night since about a month old, and also has a few naps a day too. She and her sister (5 years older) share a room and the only time the baby wakes up and cant really sleep is when she is teething. And sometimes she is not giving us any indication as to why she is crying. It doesn't sound like an "I hurt" or "Im hungry" etc cry. Or she doesnt grab at her mouth, she just wants her soother and to be held/ cuddled.

Could your daughter be teething, and just want the comfort?

Venetia - posted on 03/31/2010

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hi my son does that with me and as soon as i put him into my bed he is fine and just wakes up wwhen he needs a feed or nappy change. but i leave him till about 7.00am as i would like him to realise that i am in the room but just in different beds.

Pam - posted on 03/31/2010

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it must be a developmental phase because so is my baby, she's up and crying at night and she's getting new teeth, starting to walk, and forming new words. A lot to contend with, maybe this too shall pass and we just need to weather the storm. I'm sure we will be rewarded shortly with a long snooze because they must also be exhausted :-)

Rachel - posted on 03/31/2010

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my daughter has recently started doing the same thing...I didn't want to hear her lay there and yell so I picked her up and that resulted in her staying up until she couldnt hold her eyes open anymore; I tried letting her cry it out and it paid off - slept all the way until morning :-)

Colleen - posted on 03/31/2010

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I think it is a test to see what we will do. I do understand how exhausting it can be, but whatever method we decide to use will/can become the norm and if baby gets used to being held/nursed or taken to mommy and daddy's bed, we may have a hard time later breaking this routine/habit. I am (sometimes) guilty of picking my daughter up and cuddling her when she fusses and now that she is older I think she knows how to make it happen. At 3 months, she turned a corner and began sleeping 12 hours a night (she still does, but some nights it is more work). I used to just lay her in the crib and she would roll to her side and go right to sleep. Now that she is older (`11 mos) she can stand up...so if she isn't crying, I let her play for a bit and I either have to go in and lay her down again or she will do it herself. However, if the crying starts, I do just want to go straight in, but I try to listen to the type of cry, sometimes it is just a whimper and she is flopping over in her crib. Other times, it is totally a cry that needs attention. I try not to pick her up at first, but just go in and lay her down again and again until she gives up (sometimes I just pat her back and give her a toy and that is enough). It is all trial and error, so in no way am I judging anyone's methods to get peace and more sleep. I am not a great sleeper, so putting her in our bed only makes it worse for me because I constantly worry about squishing her or her waking and falling off the bed. I just think we all need to be aware that what works right now, may not work in another few weeks or month and the process begins again. So if we want them to sleep effectively in their own bed, then maybe the training should always be in their bedroom. Obviously there would be exceptions, like the baby is sick.
Babies are very smart and quick to learn what they can get us to do for them, so if we constantly react to them, they will figure it out, more often than not, it is us who are the issue. I think the only 2 things that I can further suggest that helped me...waiting longer each time before going into her room...if you have to pick up your baby only do it briefly& do not allow baby to fall asleep, but get close. Also I had to slowly work my way out of the room. I would make sure she was calm, pat back, hum, etc, then over the next couple of nights slowly ease off the amount of each until she no longer needed me to soothe her. It's an ongoing learning! I have also heard that it takes approximately 3 days to start to change a habit. Sorry if I sound like a know it all, but I am just like you, trying hard to make it right for everyone in the house and hopefully have a baby that can sleep anywhere any time and grow up without sleep issues. All the best!

LaToya - posted on 03/31/2010

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My daughter cries as soon as I'm out of her eyesight at night when she's sleepy so I try to make her bottle before putting her down at night and read to her in a rocking chair for about 20 minutes. Once she falls asleep I put her and the bottle in her crib. She usually wakes up in the middle of the night but if she can feel that bottle she'll drink it and drift back off to sleep. I'm a single mom who doesn't like the idea of spending the night being kicked and slapped in her sleep by a 10 month old so I'm GLAD we've found a system that works! But before this I would put her in bed w/ me and turn off all the lights until she fell asleep then I'd take her to her room. I don't like the cry it out method either but have to say that it does work. Eventually, she'd just wear herself out and sleep all night. Good luck!

Candise - posted on 03/31/2010

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If you want him to start sleeping in his own crib start introducing it at nap time and once he gets that down introduce it at bed times.

Dawn - posted on 03/31/2010

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April, your advice is all well and good, but there are some working moms that are going through this same thing that can't take naps during the day. I also can't go to bed early or take naps on the weekends because those are my only days to get things done. I meet my carpool at 6:30am (after getting up at 5am) and don't get home until 5:30pm. Then I have to make dinner, feed the baby, bathe him and get him to bed before I have to get his bottles and food ready for the next day at daycare. The weekends are the only times that I have to do housework or get some really good playtime in with my son. Co-sleeping is not going to make your kid stay in your bed until age 13. When my son is waking up every two hours throughout the night, the only way that I can get any sleep is to bring him into our bed after he wakes up the first time. CIO is not an option since our rooms are so close together. He starts to scream hysterically (he's teething) and even if I wanted to let him continue to scream, I would NEVER get any sleep.

Candise - posted on 03/31/2010

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Hi, my son is 10 mo also. He started this about 9mo. He would wake up exactly one hour after I put him to bed. I would let him cry it out, and if his cries became shrieking I would peep in and make sure he was okay. He eventually started going back to sleep on his own and then stopped waking up all together. He has always slept in his own room though, with the door closed.

Tiffany - posted on 03/31/2010

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The t-shirt is a great idea! DD's crib has been in our room since she was born, and I need to start *actually* using it.

Fipe - posted on 03/31/2010

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I don't believe in the cry it out method either. I have had 4 children and the cry method makes it hard on both of you. I wouldn't co sleep with them either because once you get in the habit it is hard to break. Also, where is the romance when you have a baby in bed with you. But, I am lucky enough to stay home right now so I can put up the fight but when I worked I didn't do as well. With my second son I used the shirt in with him. It helped alot. Remeber every child is different. My first son I just had to keep comforting him and putting him back. My third was a good sleeper. After he was born he slepts for 13 hours straight and has been like that ever since. My little girl has been a bigger challenge but I have a baby Tad the will play 6 minutes of night music. I lay her down and turn it on and that seems to do the trick. Unfortunatly it is going to be a trial and error kind of thing but don't worry it will be soon enough that they will not want you around at all so enjoy it when you have it.

Fipe - posted on 03/31/2010

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My daughter actually started to do that. I was frustrated because she kept waking up and seeming like she wanted to sleep with us. Found out the she was sick and her teeth were coming in. She just wanted the comfort of mom because she wasn't feeling well. Now that she is feeling better she will sleep in her crib.

Nikki - posted on 03/31/2010

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I forgot (she has just started teething the past few weeks so that's changed her sleeping habits) BUT before that (and last night luckily!) when she wakes I bring her to my bed, keeps us both cozy and warm, nurse her (she still nurses once a night most nights but not all, depends on how well she ate through the day), then once she's done I can usually move her right back into her crib! She's not "wide awake" when I lay her down which I know is the goal but it works for us and I think each family has to do what works for them. Then we both get our own space and sleep. My husband owns a dairy farm so is gone for about 15 hrs a day so napping isn't ever an option for me (plus I go back to work in a few wks and I know whey won't let me nap HA HA) so rather than spending hours up with her at night trying to force her into her crib, this is what works for us! Hope it helps! :)

Elizabeth - posted on 03/30/2010

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OH! one more idea that may help, Since the baby's used to sleeping with me, I put the over shirt i was wearing today into his crib. I got the idea from watching Grey's Anatomy a long time ago and forgot about it, my DH suggested it tonight. worked like a charm. He had started stirring, and when he could smell "me" next to him, he fell right to sleep.

Elizabeth - posted on 03/30/2010

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I have the same problem, but believe me don't co-sleep. In a matter of days my son got hooked, and it's so hard to break. And having his crib in our room doesn't make it easier either. You still get too exhausted to get up and down a million times. Sometimes i feel like an awful parent b/c i know that I'm ruining his sleeping habits by not teaching him to sleep in his own bed, but i get so tired i just nurse him laying in bed, and wake up several hours later. This is a problem i'm struggling with, but my problem is how to get him sleeping in his own crib all night. solving the problem of sleeping through the night with co-sleeping is just causing another problem and not necessarily solving the first one. If your little one is still hungry try putting baby rice into her bottle at night, it'll thicken it up and should satisfy her longer.

April - posted on 03/30/2010

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Kate brings up a good point as well, it could be any of those things. My son wakes up cuz he's hungry or hurting from teeth or lately he's been sick and can't breath very well. Last night I barely got 4hours sleep due to him getting frustrated when he couldn't breath through his nose. Like Kate said, try things just to make sure it's not something else.

April - posted on 03/30/2010

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Sleep as much as possible on the weekends, lol. I don't takes naps most days and I'm usually up til about 11o'clock. I just deal with it,that's our job. Moms don't get sick days, holidays, breaks, we're underpaid and over worked but it's our job non the less. And I kinda have 3 kids cuz my Fiance is like a big kid too! lol When I'm not making the baby food or changing diapers I'm making him food or doing the laundry or cleaning. My other daughter is 9, almost 10, and has ADHD so I don't get a break at all. When she comes home she's bouncing off the walls and has trouble getting to sleep at night due to her meds so very rarely do I get to sleep early. If you get cranky hopefully you have an understanding hubby, boyfriend or friend that you can take it out on or just pamper yourself every chance you get.

Kate - posted on 03/30/2010

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Are you certain that the crying is from separation anxiety and not something else? My daughter is also 10 and a half months and she also has spans of nights in a row where she gets up frequently; however, she has slept in her own crib in her own room from day one so that is unlikely to be the problem for her anyway. There is a lot going on at this time. They are getting more teeth which can be painful. They are learning all sorts of new developmental things like cruising and walking. they are starting to formulate their first words. They are starting to move away from pureed food to more solid finger foods. The weather is changing with the seasons, maybe the room or the pajamas are now too hot. It may be that your child is upset for another reason and moving her into bed with you comforts her but doesn't actually address the real source of distress. I know it can be very hard to pinpoint exactly what causes them distress with so much going on; however, I would suggest trying to see if it really is separation anxiety before bringing her back to bed with you if you are trying to prevent or move away from co-sleeping. The good news is, once we discover what the problem is and address it, she usually goes right back to sleeping well.

Nikki - posted on 03/30/2010

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What do you do if you can't nap through the day or go to bed earlier though and you're getting very tired and cranky? lol And getting a very tired cranky baby on hands.

[deleted account]

I agree with April. Don't give in. You'll pay for it later. I give my daughter porridge mixed with formula and fruit at night and she only wakes up 30 min later because she's thirsty so will give her as much water as she wants and gone she is. You'll bite your a... when you start getting them used to it. You won't have a sleepless night until they are I don't know what age.

April - posted on 03/30/2010

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All of you need to get out of the babit of co-sleeping! I know a lady that used to co-sleep with her daughter and at the age of 13, her daughter still would not sleep in her own bed. My son isn't nursing anymore but does wake up quite a few times a night, I comfort him and get him back to sleep and back in HIS OWN bed. Yeah, I get up a lot at night but I just take naps during the day or go to bed early to make up for the sleep I lost. I also found that if he stays up later and eats before bed (like a regular meal not a bottle), he sleeps so much better and wakes up fewer times. And for you moms that don't like the idea of letting the child cry it out, theres nothing wrong with them doing that. It doesn't hurt them and the way I do it is I let him cry until I know he's worked up fairly well and then I go in there and rock him and he falls asleep, a deep sleep, really quick cuz he knows moms got him and everythings better and safe now. The child doesn't hate you or blame you, it's teaching them to comfort them selves to sleep or back to sleep so you don't have to get up at night.

Mindy - posted on 03/30/2010

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My son is a co-sleeper and I can not break him from it I am trying he has a full out panic attack when I put him in the crib because he is alone I am considering put his crib into my room!

Nikki - posted on 03/30/2010

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Sounds like my daughter too and I'm so glad to hear others get tired or lazy and bring them to bed!! It's true, we all sleep better!! But everyone else tells me get her out of the habit NOW or you'll pay, and what about when baby #2 comes along, etc... But I refuse to do cry it out, Ferber method makes her super mad and I find it hard, and Baby Whisper method (pick up put down) helped but of course takes hours and time and at night, I am not up for it! I did it for a few nights but got so tired I resorted back to my bed, which Im sure is very confusing for my daughter. How old are your babies that are still co sleeping? My daughter is 10.5 mos.

Kayla - posted on 03/29/2010

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haha I have the same problem!! He goes down fine when I nurse him but once he wakes up alone he crys. We co-slept for so long hes not used to it. And Im honestly to lazy to work on it all night, after the second time he wakes up I normally bring him back to my bed. Sorry Im no help, but good luck anyway!!

Danielle - posted on 03/29/2010

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sounds like my daughter atm, still working on it so i cant give any hints but she does come into bed with us when she wakes up once or twice

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