Working Moms

Clingy toddlers

I have a sort of odd question. 

Background: 

Myself: I work M-F leaving the house around 4:45a, and getting home about 2:30-3p. If I have to work over 50 hours I try to keep it to times when James (my son) is in bed for nap, or for the night.

 James: He's about 1 1/2 years old. He stays home with DH during the day. His routine is waking at about 8:30-9am, and bed time at 4:30-5p. He naps for an hour in the morning, and then for about 2 hours in the afternoon. 

The routine: I get home and I change out of my work clothes, if James is not having a snack he throws a fit/tantrum in the living room when he could follow me to the other end of the house. I actually rush to get changed so I can focus 100% on him until bedtime. We play, have dinner together, bath, bedtime book, and then he's asleep until the next day. We watch for his cues of being ready for bed and they almost always happen at the same time. I would love for him to stay up until 8 with me, but it just creates an overtired kiddo. 

*M--W are fine, I can put DS to bed with no issues. 
*T-F I for the last few months have had to call someone to my house (or have DH do it before he goes to work) to tuck the kiddo in (Specific green blanket, Mr Froggy, Paci) in order for him to go to sleep. If kiddo does not go down for them, the moment I walk into the room he is top-of-the-lung crying for hours, until someone else puts him down. 

*Saturday and Sunday Kiddo and I spend lots of time together and by the time we get to Monday, the cycle starts over. 

 Last night I think was my breaking point. I gave my brother vague instructions of which blanket to give him, handed him a paci and sent him in to lay down DS, pop the paci in, place the blanket over and walk out (same thing I had been doing for two hours, with screaming, crying. etc) and DS went right to sleep. 

 

Anyone have any thoughts, suggestions, experiences, etc that could help us with this? I dont mind him wanting to spend more time with me, and bedtime sucks, but I'd really like to be able to put him to bed every night of the week, not just Saturday through Wednesday.  


 
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Re: Clingy toddlers

  • honestly, this sounds kinda crazy on a few levels.  I've never heard of a 4:30 bed time, he can't even make it till 6?  Maybe that's part of the reason he's not going down, he's not actually tiered.  Around 1 1/2 is when DD started the terrible 2s phase, which was much better by the time she actually turned 2.  Maybe your DS is getting cranky for reasons other than he's tiered.  Infants also have the witching hour where they're just cranky from about 5-7, but not necessarily ready for bed.  I also think you need to stop giving into your son or you're going to create a monster.  If he wont go to sleep for you let him scream.  I'd do it for like 5-10 minutes, go in try again, if he keeps screaming leave again.  DD just turned 3 and only wants me all the time.  DH does bed time, if she give him a problem he leaves, after she realizes I'm not coming and she's not getting a book from anyone but daddy, she gets over it.  DS just is almost a year, if he doesn't go down I wait till hes really crying, not just fussing, then try rocking him to sleep, if he still won't go down, I just give him a little more bottle and by that time he's so tired he usually passes out.
  • From what you have written, the kid is only awake for 5 or 6 hours a day.  That makes no sense.

    I'd aim for a 7pm bedtime consistently.

    promised myself I'd retire when I turned gold, and yet here I am
  • I'm sorry, his bedtime is 4:30p? and he sleeps until 9a?! PLUS 3hrs of nap?

    Sounds like he's fighting sleep because he's not tired. I'd try pushing back bedtime and see where htat takes you. 



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  • How is he handling the naps? I'm confused. I think something needs to change with the naps and bedtime. Sometime between now and 22 months he may be switching to just one afternoon nap. I would also recommend the 7pm bedtime. Your DH may need to do more in the morning to keep him busy and stimulated because he may be ready to transition to just one nap after lunch.
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  • image ridesbuttons:
    From what you have written, the kid is only awake for 5 or 6 hours a day.nbsp; That makes no sense.I'd aim for a 7pm bedtime consistently.


    This. I've never heard of such an early bed time.

    What time is he actually going to sleep? I'd aim for whatever time that is
  • your baby is crying becasue he wants to play and not go to sleep.

     

    Crying doe snot always equal tired.  my goodness, shorten these naps!  Your toddler needs about 11-14 hours a night of sleep and he is getting 18 hours a day! that is NOT normal by ANY stretch of the imagination.

    why is your husband letting him sleep so much? Wake your baby up in the morning. something is not right here. I am so sad for your baby because he isnt getting hardly any time with either of his parents to play or learn he is just sleeping.  you are harming his development.

     

    to compare, my 11 month old sleeps 730p/8p to 530-6a.  Naps about 30 min-2 hours in morning and 1-2 in afternoon.

    edit: what cues are you looking at? I honestly think they are wrong. I would discuss this with your pedi and consider taking a child development course or parenting class.  many hospitals offer them.  there is no shame in not knowing what to do but use the resources available to make a better life for your child.  is he talking? walking? play with other kids?

    at 1.5 your baby only needs ONE nap 


    I also have a question, why are you calling people to get your child down?  why cant you find the green blanket or frog and spend quality alone time with him? 

    My little girl is growing up! (born 12/09) Little brother is here! (born 5/2012) .  Missing our sweet baby lost in December 2013.  Thank you Lord for my precious family!
  • That is the most insane sleep schedule I've heard of in my entire life.
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  • eyenigheyenigh
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    I think at that age, he really needs to be up more than 5 or 6 hours a day. This sounds more like a newborn schedule but, even then, a bit extreme. Is he really sleeping through the night from 4:30 p.m. until 9 a.m. consistently? Plus naps? I'd actually consider talking to the pediatrician about this because that definitely more sleep than I've ever heard of for a child of that age. 
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  • shannmshannm
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    Wake him up at 7 am.  Keep him up until after lunch.  Put him down for an afternoon nap around 12-1.  Let him sleep 2-3 hours.  Then put him to bed at 7pm. 

    You do not need to have other people to come to your house to put your child to bed. 


  • Too much sleep

    He should be awake 77 or 88 give or take with a 2ish hour nap after lunch

    Your DH needs to keep him active in the morning outside preferably bring him home for lunch and then nap. Wake around 3 more fun/playing and start to wind it down around 5 and then dinner bath and bed.
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  • I have to ditto pps. Your Lo isn't awake long enough. Even when Ds had a really early bedtime, like 5ish, he was waking up at 5 am. Now, Ds sleeps 6 to 6 most days, with a nap midday of a few hours.
    And having someone come to your house to put your kid to sleep is ridiculous and avoiding the issue completely.
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  • thedashthedash
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    Wait this doesn't make any sense. OP, please come back and explain this sleep schedule. I imagine your LO would be really hungry if he really was sleeping from 4:30 to 9 the next morning. Does he get up during the night?
    DS: 2/17/11          DD: 9/4/13
  • image MagickalNarwhal:
    That is the most insane sleep schedule I've heard of in my entire life.

    yep... Absolutely

     

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  • image FarmBoysWife:

    His routine is waking at about 8:30-9am, and bed time at 4:30-5p. He naps for an hour in the morning, and then for about 2 hours in the afternoon. 

    Is this for real?  There's not a typo in there?  If this is really his schedule, I'd be seriously concerned about health issues.  I can't imagine a healthy 18 month old could really sleep that much. I'm not surprised he's screaming for hours at bedtime... he's probably not ready to fall asleep until at least 7 or 8. 

    OP, can you come back and clarify?

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  • Sorry! I figured that it would be a while before I got a reply. 

    1) about 3 weeks ago I had to take DS to the pediatricians and I asked about the sleep. I am/was concerned about how much he sleeps- its a lot of sleep. I never even slept that much as a teenager. Yes, 5-6 hours is about all he's awake. Pedi said that developmentally he was on track and he wasn't concerned- but its something we are bringing up again at his next appointment. . We have tried structuring the naps differently, but if we move them later James will go into his room grab his blanket and lay on it, on the floor. 

    2) He is ready to fall asleep at 4:30, again- face rubbing, going into his room and laying down, he acts as though he is done for the day. When he's put down and not in the frenzy late in the week he's asleep in 10-15 min. 

    3) DS does not get up during the night. He's been STTN since about 4 months old (on his own- DH and I didnt do CIO or anything) 

    4) DH and DS do go outside, and they walk to a nearby park, my grandmothers house to visit, DS is very active during the day- now more than during the winter. He is outside and playing every day (unless we've had rain) 

    Lastly- I never said crying= tired. The crying starts after I walk into the room and try and put him down. The crying starts when DH takes him from my arms after we've done our routine and puts him to bed. I agree calling someone to the house is ridiculous. I agree the sleep schedule is insane. Tired for my child is this: Rubbing of face and eyes, his balance gets off, he pulls out anything soft to lay down on, and then he just gets cranky. When we see these signs we put him to bed, we also try and wake him up early which just makes for a pissy kid for the rest of the day. 

    Please dont put me on the fryer- I'm just looking for ideas because in all my years of child care I've never experienced this. 

    (and I have to run again!)  


     
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  • MKDeeMKDee
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    Honestly, I would push the pedi on the sleep issue. That schedule seems very unusual for a 1.5 yearold. As for the clingyness, you may need to leave the room and let him cry for some period of time. Try letting him cry for 5 to 10 minutes, then go back in, don't touch him, just talk to him to let him know you're there, then leave again. It may take hours at first, but it will get better, UNLESS there's an underlying issue, which you should rule out with a pedi first. I suggest taking a sleep log with you the next time you go to the doctor with specific times for nighttime sleep, naps and periods of crying before bed. Good luck, mama! My kids went through clingy periods at 18 months or so, and we had to do some form of cry it out with both of them as toddlers, after previously having no sleep issues. It generally took us 3 to 5 nights to get them back on track, once we made it clear when bedtime began by actually leaving their rooms, even if they were crying. It's tough, but it will get better.

    Edited to fix mobile formatting issues.
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  • Check his iron levels?
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  • I would also push the pediatrician on the sleep issues.  If he says it's fine, I'd get a second opinion, and a third if necessary.  I just don't see how what you are describing can be normal. I know there is a wide range of normal, but your son falls so far outside of it that I'd be seriously concerned.

    Has he had blood work done?  I'd get a full blood workup, a metabolic panel, iron levels...the works.

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  • thedashthedash
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    Ha sorry we all freaked out!

    I agree with pushing your pedi on how much he's sleeping. I've done tons of reading on sleep because DS has always been tough in that regard. The schedule your DS is keeping seems very unusual.

    Sadly I can't help too much with him clinging to you. DS only goes to sleep for three people in the world me, his nanny, and my SIL who often babysits. He won't do it for DH and I'm worried about correcting this before the new baby comes in September.

    Have you read a few books? I found reading Ferber's book and then the No Cry Sleep Solution to be very interesting. They are surprisingly similar and we developed a hybrid of the two that works for us.
    DS: 2/17/11          DD: 9/4/13
  • Just for your reference:

    My 18 month old has been on this schedule for several months now:

    wake up 7 am

    nap 12 - 2 or so

    Bedtime 7 pm

    I think you'll find most toddlers to be on a similar schedule.

    Obviously, you should do what works for you, but this schedule doesn't seem to be working for you. If I were you, I'd try to get your kid on a schedule that you want, (ie keep him up until 6:30 or 7) and you may have to kind of force it at first... maybe keep him up until 5:30 the first night, 6:30 the next night, etc.  If he's seriously so drowsy and lethargic that he can't stay awake, I'd talk to the pediatrician about it again. 

  • How do you handle the top of the lung screaming for hours when you try putting him down?what have you tried? Books? Getting him back up? Watching a movie on the couch? Bath? Why is Thursday and Friday an issue? Is it because you are tired after the long week? How is your schedule different on the weekends? Have you tried cosleeping? Is there a way to adjust your schedule or use PTO to see what might be happening? Sorry for all the questions and you don't really have to answer them to me, but just if it isn't working then change it up. Also ditto pp on getting the pedi involved again and reading some sleep books.
  • I would push the pedi a lot on the sleep issue. Honestly I would also seek a second opinion. It is absolutely not normal to only be awake for 5-6 hours a day at 16 months. The pedi saying they weren't concerned would be a red flag to me about that pedi. 

    Being developmentally on track and only being awake for 6 hours a day are most likely not related. If he is suffering from an underlying cause that is making him Rip Van Winkle it could easily have nothing to do with his development.

     

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  • Yeah, that's a lot of sleep.  Our 2.5 yr old goes down at 6:00 and I think that's really early, but the same thing as yours, he's a mess if he doesn't.  :)  He gets up at 5:00am though for the day.  I agree with pps that maybe you should try to cut out one nap a day for now.  I would also agree with asking your pedi to run iron levels to see if he's anemic and test sugar levels, as excessive sleepiness can also be a sign of diabetes.

    Other than that, the clinginess is pretty normal I think.  He's just going through a phase of separation anxiety.  We used the "Sleep Lady Shuffle" method for DS1 and that worked pretty well.  You sit by them until they fall asleep for a week or so.  Then you move to a chair in the room.  Move the chair closer to the door after a few days.  Move the chair outside the door after a few more days.  Eventually, ditch the sitting in there.  It takes time and patience, but it was worth it to be able to eventually walk out without a meltdown.  He was about the same age as yours when we had to do that.  You might make sure that everyone that puts him down follows the exact same routine though and that the same person follows through from bath - on.  Like, if you are on the one tucking him in, it might be helpful if you were also the one to do the entire nighttime routine - bath, pjs, teeth, book, bed - instead of just popping in to tuck him in.  You might already do that.  It's late and I already forgot the whole original post. :)

     

     

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  • image shannm:

    Wake him up at 7 am.  Keep him up until after lunch.  Put him down for an afternoon nap around 12-1.  Let him sleep 2-3 hours.  Then put him to bed at 7pm. 

    You do not need to have other people to come to your house to put your child to bed. 

    THIS!  Your schedule seems pretty crazy to meet, it needs a lot if tweaking!

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  • You need a new pediatrician and a consult with a child sleep specialist.

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  • Nicb13Nicb13
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    Why can't you put him to bed every night of the week? How come only Wed-Sat? Are you working out of your house at night as well as during the day? I'm so confused by this post!

    As far as the clinginess goes, sounds like he doesn't see you all that often so he's probably dying for your attention and that's why he's doing this.

     

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