Sleeping Problems - Any Suggestions (LONG) — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Sleeping Problems - Any Suggestions (LONG)

DS is just over a year old. We finally were able to get him sleeping 8 hours straight throughout the night in November. He was successfully doing that until I took him on vacation to CA 2 weeks ago.

Now, he will go to bed a night, but wake up several (ie. 5-6) times a night. He just screams and screams until I go into his room and put him back to a laying position and tell him goodnight and then walk out of the room.

If I don't go into his room, he continues to scream and cry.

How do I get him to a point where he can soothe himself at night if he wakes up?

I think what might hurt his sleep schedule is that he sleeps about 30-40 minutes in the car on the commute home from daycare (which is near my job). So from 445-515 or 520 he's sleeping. And then we put him to bed between 8 and 830pm.

As for total time he gets of sleep a day (Including naps) is about 12-13 hours (commuting naps, 1 45-min morning nap and a 2-hr afternoon nap).

I just don't know how to get his resolved and my DH and I really need the sleep at night without the constant night wakings. Also, I just feel terrible that he wakes up and the first thing he does is scream and cry - I almost feel like he's just scared.

We leave the room slightly lit so it's not completely dark and have his music playing (and it plays throughout the night).

If you have suggetions, please let me know. I'll try anything at this point.

TIA!

Re: Sleeping Problems - Any Suggestions (LONG)

  • DS uses a pacifier to soothe himself.  I know some don't like to use pacis, but it works for us.  Most of the time, when he wakes in the middle of the night, he can find his paci and put it back in his mouth and fall back to sleep. 
  • does he fall asleep on his own? or does he fall asleep in your arms and you then put him down asleep? if that's the case, then you need to teach him to fall asleep on his own so that when he wakes up he knows how to fall back asleep on his own.

    I'd recommend checking out Dr. Ferber's book from the library. 

    But, I have to say, at 14mo old, DD still sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night and is not able to fall back asleep. Since I want to sleep (need to!), I end up taking her to bed and we co-sleep the rest of the night. But that is not what I'd recommend, it just what I have to do to get some sleep some nights.

  • I should had mentioned earlier that he does have a pacifier and uses it at night.

    I do put him down when he is awake. I lay him down, put the blanket on him and tell him i love him and good night.

    sometimes he cries for a few (like 1-2) minutes and other times he is fast asleep.

    I know that taking him away from home on vacation for that week would mess up his schedule, but for him to be waking up as many as 8 times (that was one horrible night!) now is crazy. Before vacation he woke up only 1 time a night.

    I was just doing some internet searches on this and found that it could be his molars coming in. Which I have noticed recently....wonder if Tylenol will do the trick??

  • I know that even 1 day/night off-routine can affect DD for days. and yes, it could be teething, you can try to give him a little tylenol at bedtime and see if that helps.
  • Is he drooling like crazy?  Could be molars.  I'd try Tylenol and if that doesn't work, Motrin (the only thing that works for my son).

    Also, he may need more total sleep.  If you are off for a few days over the new year, then I would get him to stop the late afternoon car-nap, then put him down earlier for bed (I think the average at that age is 11-12 hours at night).  If my son is over-tired, he is much more likely to wait up in the  middle of the night, have trouble falling asleep, or both.

  • Another idea to keep him awake on the way home is to get some kind of toy that will engage him a lot (my son loves the VTech phone - lights, sounds, etc.) and secure it to his car seat with a sippy cup strap or string.
  • I agree with pp that he may need more sleep overall...can you try putting him down earlier? also, instead of music, maybe try plain white noise...that might be more soothing. sorry you're having to deal with this, I hope the little guy settles down for you soon!
  • If you think its teething you can try tylenol, but I have found motrin and teething tablets at bedtime work best for my son. For us I have also noticed if he goes to bed too late, or seems overall extra tired at bedtime, he's more likely to wake up during the night and get up earlier than usual. I think at this age they sleep about 11-12 hours at night, plus naps during the day, but I'm not positive.
  • my DD can only sleep well when it's completely dark in the room, not even a night light. And no sounds, the only thing on in her room is the humidifier and it's not very loud.
  • Good point about the white noise.  I wonder if music is more stimulating to an older child.  We still use white noise with DS.
  • Do you have the Fisher Price Aquarium?  My DD (9 months) turns it on in the middle of the night when she wakes up and it soothes her right back to sleep.  I find the music eerie - probably because it enters my dreams - but if it helps her sleep without waking me up, I am AOK with it.
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