HELP! Change in Sleep Behavior at 21 months! — The Bump
Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

HELP! Change in Sleep Behavior at 21 months!

Hi all, I am hoping you can help me.  We have a little guy, who is just over 21 months...he was never the best sleeper as he took longer than his sister to sleep through the night, but for the last year, he's been perfect...the ONLY time he has sleep issues is when he has ear infections (which HAVE become chronic and we have an appt. soon with a Pediatric ENT...).  However, for the last week or so, bedtime has been A HORROR.  we give him his milk before bed, as always, read a book/rock him/talk to him, like normal. but when we go to stand up to put him in his crib, he screams like bloody murder!  It's AWFUL!  he immediately stands up (which he never had done before), calls out for me, and just SCREAMS/CRIES...he ONLY stops when me/my husband lie on the floor HOLDING his hand through the bars of his crib!  I don't understand...PLUS, he wakes up a few times during the night if he sees we are not there!  I know it could be separation anxiety, night terrors, or even another ear infection (though, he just finished medication for one!)...I just don't know WHAT it could be, but also, HOW to fix it...I am aware of the 'cry it out' method, etc, etc., but seriously, he would cry to the point of losing his voice for over an hour if we allowed it...I just really need some possible insight or way of dealing with this change in sleep patterns so he/AND WE can sleep through the night soundly AGAIN!  please!  thank you kindly:)

Re: HELP! Change in Sleep Behavior at 21 months!

  • Are you SURE he would cry for an hour? How long have you actually let him cry when you leave the room?

    My daughter is 19 months old and has started doing this. My son, who is now 4, did the exact same thing at this age so I knew what to expect!

    It's a phase, like everything else with kids. Most likely separation anxiety. Sleep is the one thing with kids that is always changing but hang in there because this will pass.

    The longest I've left my 19 month old crying after I've left the room at bedtime is about 15 minutes. It's off an on crying too. She will lay down, stand up, call for me, lay down again and then finally fall asleep. I'm a sucker and I've been going in and holding her but I know that I'm only delaying things and if I just stayed out this phase would pass quicker. But she's my baby and my last kid so things are a little harder this time around for me :)

    Consistency is key. Hang in there.

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  • Mine is almost 20 months but for a long time he would lay down and go right to sleep without problem. In the last couple of months he started crying (not every night, but many) when I lay him down. Some nights he'll stand right back up crying and reaching for me and other times hell completely cling to me as I try to lay him down. On the nights he's really bad I walk and sing him a song for a minute or so until he calms and then just lay him down and walk out even if he starts crying again. Other times if he's standing I'll just give him another hug and kiss, say goodnight and walk out. He'll cry after I leave the room on the bad nights but he always stops within about 15 minutes. If it lasts much longer I will check on him, calm him with the same measures and leave the room again. 

    TTC 9/2013

    BFP#1: 9/28/2013, EDD 5/28/13, MC confirmed 10/15/13, D&C 10/17/13

    BFP#2: 1/10/2014, EDD 9/19/2014


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