- 1 Post By lickthelid
18month old help please!!!
I everyone I know this is totally off topic but I need some help, my little boy is 18 month old and for some reason in the last week he has taken to waking every night around 3.30am. When he wakes he is very upset and cannot calm down. His nappy is never full, he has access to a drink. Now he stays out at his dads 2 nights a week and when he is there he's perfect?! I just don't know what to do aside snuggle with him in my bed or his as it's the only thing that calms him (totally wrong I know) if anyone had any advice id be very grateful xx
I have a three year old that has gone through similar phases. This advice won't be the most popular but at 3am its a case if WHATEVER it takes to get through. The fact he doesn't do it at his dads suggests its an attention thing but he is also entering the time where little ones can have night terrors and so it's really important not to ignore it. My little one is half delirious when she does it and I find if I sit there in her room and ignore it she carries on for a couple of minutes but because she can see me sitting there she eventually settles and crashes back out like it was all in her sleep.
I used to handle it by curling up under a blanket on her floor so she knew I was there. We then bought her a small double bed with the idea that I would get in with her rather than her coming in with us. This has happened but rarely and she has such a sense of it being her big girls bed that she won't let me in!! The best I manage is to curl up on the end of it and freeze!!
I would then sneak out after she had gone back to sleep. Even now that happens sometimes. Its a phase and he will grow out of it. It may be days or it may be weeks but he will forget about it and you will get to sleep. Until the next thing. ...
If you have to deal with it by having him in with you then so be it. If he is always put down in his own bed and if you can manage to move him whilst asleep so he wakes up in his own bed the he is less likely to become a habitual bed hopper. If not then try and be in with him until he settles.
At his dads he shares a bed, at mine he's in his own bed in his own room? Do you think he wakes up abruptly and expects someone to be there. He's such a good boy in every other aspect (aside the slapping phase he also seems to have donned) I sat with him last night but when I'm there he just wants to play. I leave and he screams. I have no issue playing with him but at 3.30am I don't want it to become a habit...understandably. I have given in on occasion and put him in with me but he still doesn't go to sleep. He wants to play. I just don't know what to do??? I understand the night terror business I've looked it up. But I just think it's something else. x
You have kind of answered it. At his dads he shares a bed. With you he doesn't...unless he creates a fuss. He wakes up and there is no-one there and the quickest and easiest way to get you in there is to kick off. They learn so fast at that age. It's really hard but you need to semi adopt the controlled cry. Not fully you understand, I don't personally think that at 18 months controlled crying will work for a child that is going to sleep and then waking up and staying awake.
I stand by what I said, make yourself boring. Be there but refuse to play. Don't chat or interact just reinforce that its time for sleep and that you will stay until he is back asleep. It's going to be a b1tch for you because you would have to stand by your word but pretty fast he will realise you are not prepared to play and will give up.
Kids are tenacious, they learn habits and how to manipulate their parents very early on. I say pick your battles dependant upon what matters most to you. If sleep matters the most short term then pop him in your bed but this is then being reinforced by his dad so you may set yourself up for problems in that arena later. All kids are different and what worked for mine may not for yours so try a few things and see how you go.
I wish you luck and believe me I feel your pain!! X
I think making myself boring is the best advice yet. I can't do controlled crying...as soon as the "sob" arrives I'm done for, I give in. The one time I did controlled crying I sat on my bed sobbing because I felt like such a bad parent.
Thank you for all your advice!!! It's a relief when you finally realise there could be an end (long haul I know) xxx
Oh but that's what I meant by controlled crying but a mild form. I meant just the boring bit. Be there but refuse to be fun and play. I don't really advocate leaving them crying and like I said it may work at a young age for those that can't settle initially but I can't really see it working for a child that wakes in the night and that's when I would be worried about night terrors etc.
The boring thing works for us. My 3 nearly 4 year old still gets read to sleep at night. She has never been a self soother. I still end up going in some nights but like I posted above. I just sit or lie on the end of her bed. I'm not perfect by any stretch and sometimes things go wrong and I get ratty (partic if its been a few nights on the trot) and I have been known to kick my husband out of bed to accommodate madam but overall it works!
Keep us posted on how you go we are here to chat x
Thank you! I'll keep you posted xxx
Do you stay with him when he goes to sleep initially? If he's used to someone being there when he goes to sleep that's what he is going to need to get back to sleep.
You say you can't do the controlled crying which can understand but it's deciding what you would rather, a short period of controlled crying or getting into bed etc with him until he's ready for it to stop which could be a long time!
If he has to share a bed/room at his dad's that complicates it a bit more.
There aren't necessarily wrongs or rights it's doing what's best overall for you and little one x
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I don't agree with controlled crying, but its not me who has to live with it. As 'lickthelid' has already said, he is used to sharing a bed and when he is staying at yours he misses the company so to speak. I wouldn't share the bed with him if I was you, because once you have done it in his little mind he is saying 'oohh if I cry mummy will put me in her bed and as I have already had some sleep, I can play with mummy'.
What I did when my daughter was at that age, was make a point of letting him know you are there by his bed, don't talk to him, instead hush him saying that will be ok or quietly hum a lullaby until he goes to sleep. The next night do the same thing again, but move a little away from his bed. Repeat until you get outside his door. This habit should break as he knows he will not get his own way.
But it is entirely up to you we don't have to live with the crying.
((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))) to you, we all know what its like to be sleep deprived
The thing is how can 2 nights at his dads affect his 5 nights with me?? Every thing everyone is saying is making perfect sense.
He goes to sleep absolutely no problems, we have a bath, get his pjs on in his room, he climbs into bed, snuggles down, chooses to drink his milk or not, sucks his fingers or his dummy and goes to sleep with me not in the room....sleeps perfect untill 3.30. Then all hell breaks loose. He knows I'm not there when he goes to sleep and is fine with it... Xxx
When he wakes does he have his dummy/bottle?
He has a drink available and he will route around for his dummy. He never has a drink though xx
Kids aren't rational. There may be no actual "reason". This is very much a case of treat the symptoms not the cause. It will go as quick as it came on. I always tell myself that she won't be doing it at 18....ha. I hope.
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