Fatigued and Desperate

Amanda - posted on 10/30/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 13 months old and I was blessed with an excellent sleeper. Since day one she slept her nights and had two naps per day. All in her own crib in her own room. Suddenly something must have happened but I have no idea what; she began screaming every time I bring her to her crib. She absoluetly refuses to sleep in it and will only fall asleep in the car or in my arms. NEVER have we rocked or held her to sleep or bring her for a ride just to get her to fall asleep. Basically my question is why is this happening. I've seen her DR and she said it's a faze let her cry-it-out. So we tried but after hearing her scream for hours at a pitch she never has before and probably driving our upstairs neighbours insane. I gave up. After a few weeks of trying everything I can think of and everything moms around me sudgested I am out of ideas and out of energy. Any advice on something to try or just a reason why she is acting this way?

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Renae - posted on 10/30/2010

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This is an unusual situation. I have dealt with babies who put themselves to sleep but suddenly stop sleeping through, and more commonly babies who are helped to sleep who suddenly stop sleeping. But rarely a baby who suddenly starts screaming at being put in their crib when they have always slept well. The most obvious answer is usually reflux, but she is too old for that to start now.



Can you give me some more information, I need a clear picture here.



Firstly, I need you to determine if the scream she is doing is a distress cry. So next bedtime, can you please put her in the crib and let her cry for 5 minutes. Then after 5 minutes (because that is how long the intial distress cry usually lasts) listen carefully to her crying. You are listening for a pause. There should be a distinct silence or pause in the crying every 30-60 seconds, the pause should last about 5 seconds. The theory on cry interpretation is that if there are pauses then the baby is not in physical distress, if there are no pauses then the baby has some physical pain or discomfort (it can be anything from a dirty nappy to severe pain). This should help us determine whether there is a genuine physical reason for her crying.



You said that she goes to sleep on her own. Can you walk me through the last 15 minutes before she goes to bed right up until the point she goes to sleep. Both before when she was going to sleep well and now with the screaming, tell me exactly what is going on.



You said that you tried to let her cry it out but she cried for hours, did you go in the room at all while she was crying? Can you tell me exactly what happened while you were trying the CIO thing?



Exactly what else have you tried and what happened?



Once we get all the details on the table I'm sure something will emerge that will explain what's going on. Ordinarily I would tell you that this is just a sleep regression, it will last around 4 weeks and wait it out. But the fact that a baby who puts themselves to sleep is now screaming for hours is niggling at me, that isn't normal behaviour.

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Vegemite - posted on 11/02/2010

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just an idea do you have toys in his room? We took all the toys out of our son's room when he started this and we couldn't figure it out. We were playing in his room with toys and I got a stuffed toy for him and he started screaming like when i put him to bed so when the toy was gone so were his sleep problems. This toy had always been in his room, he's now 3 and to this day he still hates that toy. Poor little monkey

Ali - posted on 11/01/2010

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My 14 month old daughter is doing the same thing right now and she is awake all night. Its just a phase it will die down im sure!

Janette - posted on 11/01/2010

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My son (who is 20 mo old) just started this exact thing! I was reading your post thinking "thank goodness im not the only one!" He has always been great at going to sleep. I'd say its bed time and he would lay his head on my shoulder, give me a kiss, and i would lay him down with his blanket and out he would go! Now since last saturday he screams at the mention on going to sleep! Im completely out of ideas too! the only way i can get him to sleep... after hours of screaming.... is to have him sleep with me. which is so strange cuz he never slept with me before! The lack of sleep is killing me. we are thinking of having another but right now im not too excited about it. ;o( I might try the elevating his matress idea. Good luck... im right there with you!!!

Samantha - posted on 11/01/2010

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My two boys went through the same thing. I know hearing this does not help. I would let mine cry. If it helps sit in the room with your back to the crib. If she gets out or screams (the first time) put her back in the bed tell her you love her hug/kiss and then sit down with your back to her. the next time she gets out put her back in but don't talk to her and do it all over again. If she doesn't get out of her bed then just sit in the room with your back to her and don't talk to her. Each time you have to do this move closer and closer to the door. This way she can see you but you are not giving in.
Every time we give in that means we are going to have to work harder the next time we try. Hang in there and this to will pass.

Angela - posted on 11/01/2010

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Hi there :)

My 10 1/2 month old is doing exactly the same thing! He went from being a 12hour sleeper (8pm-8am) to fighting going to bed and screaming.
So I did the same as you - snuggle until he drifts off (about 10pm) ! or go for a walk/drive for daytime sleeps etc

After a week of thinking it's sleep regression, growing pains, teething etc I went to the doctor and he has water in his middle ear and thats why he would fall asleep upright on me (or in the car, buggy etc) and moving and then scream when he laid down flat. He had a slightly raised temperature but still in the normal range so I didn't think he was sick.
Now he's associating the cot with the pain.

I have propped the mattress at head end up with a phone book so its on a slight lean and we still had a little battle last night but he slept right through and has just woken up (9am here)

He is a lot happier this morning thank goodness!
Long may this continue .... :)

All the best xxx

Amanda - posted on 11/01/2010

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Before: Usually we would have quite time and she would drink a bottle of milk while sitting on my lap and watching a short video on televison(your baby can read). And then she woud say 'night-night' to who ever was around and I would lay her in bed with a soother and leave the room. She would sometimes whine for a short time(no longer than 2-3 minutes) and either start playing with her glow bug or fall straight asleep depending on if she'd had her afternoon nap. We've been doing this since she was 3 months old.

When screaming started: It was the same routine the only difference was when I'd begin to carry her into her room she would start trying to get out of my arms and began screaming. Still I set her down in her bed telling her she would be alright and that it was time for night-nights. I'd then proced to leave the room.

When it first started I waited a 5 minutes went in checked on her then laid her down again while she continued to scream then stand back up. Then I waited 10 minutes, went back in and did the same. Then 15, then twenty. This is when I called my mom. She said she's fine, probably just over tierd let her CIO. I tried but it broke my heart and after 3 hours total I gave in, got her up and we cuddled on the couch untill she was relaxed and she seemed to be starting to fall asleep. I brought her back into her room and she started crying again, I put her down told her it was time for bed and left. This time I didn't re-enter her room. She screamed for about 10 minutes then stopped what seemed like suddenly. I peeked in on her to see thats she had fallen asleep and finally looked peaceful.

The next few days I tried letting her CIO again but I knew something wasn't right. She'd never been a screamer and I didn't feel it was normal. So again after a few hours I'd get her up snuggle quitely on the couch so she could relax and then put her back into bed as she began to show signs of falling asleep. She would still cry when I brought her back into her room and put her in bed but as I said earlier it only was for a few minutes and she would crash.

We are still having the same problem but rather than letting her scream for 3 hours after 30 minutes I get her up and do the quiet snuggle on the couch. It usually goes soemthing like this. I pick her up and she pushes me away and hits me - she has also never hit before. I put her down on the floor beside her bed and allow her to first calm herself. She throws herself to the ground and screams for a good 2 minutes then gets up and walks to the living room where she repeats this. Then she gets up and looks at me like, "Mommy why are you not reacting to this?" and comes in for a hug. Then she will sit with me and relax. I make small conversation with her and sing her lullabies. (Until she shows signs of sleep and I put her back down.)

So far this is working for us but it's not just at bed time, it's also when she wakes for a nappy change during the night and at nap times.

Tonight I will listen for her cry and post the results. Thanks for all of your help.

Maura - posted on 11/01/2010

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I would consider getting a new bed or moving the location of hers. Also try turning mattress upside down. Another idea is to bring her to the bed in the daytime to touch it and play and see how she reacts.

Rebecca - posted on 10/30/2010

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If it's nothing physical that you can tell that's causing the problem, could it be possible she's associating her crib with a nightmare or something that happen to her during a dream? Might sound ridiculous, but maybe she's thinking that the crib will make her experience something else frightening like a nightmare. Maybe try putting the crib in a different part of the room, to get a different perspective of her nursery? If that's out of the question, have you ever tried co-sleeping? She might like that better than sleeping on her own for right now.

Amanda - posted on 10/30/2010

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Since birth she has had a music CD playing in her room. Last night I brought her to lay in my bed with me for the first time ever and she did relax for a little bit but then thought it was play time. So it seems she wont sleep with me since she's never known it before. I'm sure it's possible she's teething but its a different cry from when she was teething at 4-5 mos and she doesn't seem to have any pain in or around her mouth nor do I see any teeth comming close to cutting. Oh well, tonight was better (SO FAR) she went to bed with out a fight after nearly an hour of screaming in bed then some cuddle time on the couch.

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the only thing i can come up with is teething.. now my boys i let cio at 4-5 mos, then they slept awesome.. there were times i knew they wer teething that it was harder for them to sleep through so i would do a dose of tylenol an hour b4 bed when teething.. then if they woke i i would go up and just pat them on the back bc i knew they were a little discomforted at that point or if the timing was right another does of tylenol.. try it it might work

Erica - posted on 10/30/2010

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My daughter did the same thing around 13 months. I had to take her for drives to get her to take 1 nap! (Caroline ditched her 2nd nap at 8 months) Have you tried soothing music or white noise? Both were life savers for us! we now have a cd player in her room where she cannot reach it. we play an instrumental cd with lullaby's and she's out in 5 mins! We let it play all night because it helps cancel out any noise we make in our tiny house!

I know letting her cry it out breaks your heart but it's either do that or take her for a drive! Caroline out grew it in a month or so. Good luck!!!!

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