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23m suddenly going from a great sleeper to complete freakout

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

so my twin are 23m and my boy has suddenly developed a huge sleeping issue, he has gone from a kids that for about the last 9 months or so has just happy laid down each nap and night after nursing in a chair and rolled over and went to sleep. maybe talks to himself a bit but other than that has always been amazingly low key and easy to sleep.

he moved into his own room with his twin sister at about 13 months, the move was slow and pretty easy, they have always been brought back in our room whenever they really wanted it and like i said he was surprisingly the one that on his own dropped each night waking one after another and now it is a rare thing.  he has had some night terror like behavior in the past, but this seems completely different than that.

 a few days ago there was a 180 degree change, he now throws a complete and intense fit and wants someone to stay in the room while he goes to sleep, not much more than that. siting a few feet away on a couch is fine, he settles super fast and is totally quiet. but hell comes the moment you want to leave the room, even 20 min later. it takes seemingly forever before he is in such a deep sleep that he does not notice you leaving.

once he is sleeping he seems to be sleeping fine, i assume he is dealing with the normal mini waking throughout the night great since I'm right next door and dont hear a peep.  he is waking and asking to come into my room a bit sooner than is normal for him, but since normal was after 10,11 or even 12 hours of sleep, a "bit earlier" is still amazing.


he has one nap a day since about 15 months and since going to one it has settled into a nice long 2-3 hours nap with great consistency. bedtime has been at 8pm for more than a year and is very consistent as is he bedtime routine, they ask (sign) for the first step if they are tired, and frankly its the best time of the day for all the family members.


and i am just int he 2nd week of night weening them. but i will repeat that my son had basically night weened himself last month by starting to sleep completely thru the night like 10-12 hours half the time, but at least 8 till 5 so that is amazing.  it is actually his sister that is both fighting the night weening and was the reason i am feeling the need to do it, she had become demanding and aggressive and i felt like it was holding her bad from a better sleep pattern. the night weening has gone smooth and before this strange change a few days ago i had seen both kids sleep from 8-5ish for most of a week (i nurse then starting at 6 and then have been bummed but ok with just cuddling before that)


they still nurse for a long time in the morning, before and after nap and before bed. i have just in the last few days cut out the mid evening nursing, but again it was only my girl that had been asking for that, he could kinda care less.

i still nurse on request if someone is upset or hurt, it does not happen much.



he has all his main teeth in and have been in for a while, i see no signs what so ever of his 2 year molars, though i have not ruled that out, but since he goes down so super easy if we are in the room, i dont think it is a physical cause.




so sorry that was so long, just wanted to give a good picture of their day.


the two questions are


1. what is causing this?

2. how do a help him thru it?





i side note since i think that the nursing and weening is going to be looked at as the cause by many. if it was my DD that this was happening to i would say that was it, but my son has been super laid back and gets his mommy fix thru cuddles way more than nursing, he of course gets quiet one on one cuddles nearly every time he wants them. one on one lap time has been a strong priority for me as a twin mom.

the reason i am taking these first weening steps is twofold, the night weening is to safe my health and sanity, i have hit a wall with lack of sleep and the twins that has become super unhealthily and is stopping me from being the mom i want to be for then during the day, it also was making me hate nursing any time because my dd was so aggressive and demanding, so these cut backs and limits were to save the nursing relationship in general, something that i feel strongly on maintaining.


the small cut backs in the day are in preparation for a time in the near future when i may be put on a medication that i may not want to nurse while it is in my system, it is a fast acting drug so i could take in the the morning after morning nursing and then have it out of my system before bedtime, only needing to drop the nap nursing. they had gone to bed a handful of time for dad without nursing, so i know that they can be eased into this as a choice to protect their health.  i just wanted to start it now so it was not sudden if it needs to happen in a few weeks.

post #2 of 10
If he began to night wean himself last month and he seemed comfortable and without any behavorial changes it may be better to follow his lead and not to push it. The last two weeks of proactively trying to night wean him may have pushed him beyond his limit......that coupled with reducing daytime nursing (due to med) may be too much for him right now and he may be needing your comfort more still in the night
Edited by Asiago - 12/1/12 at 1:14pm
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

thanks for responding


what was i was pointing out with all my rambling is that my "nightweening" intention has not changed his nusing at all, since he stopped waking to nurse at night and by the time he is up its usually nursing time. and he doesn't really ask to nurse in the late afternoon like his sister unless something is hurting him and in that case i certainly am happy to nurse.  

so basically unless he is weirded out by seeing his sister's nursing get cut back to pretty much match his natural schedule, i dont think that is it.


now since that is re only change that times up right , i am still open to looking at it, but it just doesn't seem like it. it also doesn't seem to fit because this is about initially falling sleep at that is when i still nurse just like always and does not seem to continue with any night wakings where i would be cutting back nursing if he did ask.


the meds i will probably be taking soon as a non negotiable must do thing, so some amount of weening is needed if i want ot spare him the drugs as well and i really do.



i will also say that we moved last month, but while they were a bit fussed up as the old house got packed and moved, they took to the new place right away and had literally no sleep issues in the month they have been living here, till 3 days ago. so i dont feel it is the move, they have also traveled a lot in their short life, have great travel cribs and have sleep like angels everywhere we go.

post #4 of 10

I would be inclined to say that it sounds like a developmental thing - perhaps separation anxiety?  Has he been different in his daytime behavior at all?  If he's going to sleep quickly with you in the room, I would say to try just sticking with it for a bit and see how it plays out.  It may just be a blip while he goes through something, and then he'll let you off the hook again :)


And I would never rule out molars.  You can never tell what those darned things are doing in there.  My daughter has been working on hers for half a year and they're STILL not through. 

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

yeah dad and i were thinking it may be some kind os separation anxiety, could this come on that fast without a apparent trigger?


nothing has really changed with his days, im a SAHM and it just me and the twins. we started a traditional nursery school program in the beginning of september, i go with them till Jan.  they clap and get thrilled the moment they realize where they are going in the morning. we do it 2 mornings a week for just a short hour and a half. they absolutely love it and have had zero issues there. since i have two, DS regularly takes it upon himself to sit on the teachers lap durning circle time and is anything but clingy the rest of the time. they both can and do pile on me whenever they want to, they are very good and sharing a lap.

his general mood when it is awake has been very normal for him, he is a emotional and cuddly boy, wears his heart on his sleeve and tells you when it gets bumped. but nothing out of sorts for him.

i rarely leave then with anyone but dad, they have been babysat just a handful of time a and always by their Aunt or by my mom when we stay with her in the summer, every time i hear how sweet and lovely they are to care for. last month they had (out of necessity) their first and only drop off play date with a boy they have been playing with since they were 3 months old, they had a blast and could hardly be bothered with me when i came back.


one day at day care in their lives, just maybe 3 weeks ago, for less than 2 hours. again they had a blast and the place could not stop raving about how amazing it was that this was their first day care experience.


So i guess what I'm saying is that its so hard for me to wrap my head around that it could be some sort of separation anxiety, since they dont get separated that often and seem to be totally fine with it when they do.


maybe its some other kind of anxiety? i feel so helpless

i just sat for 30 min in his room tonight to no avail, he still freaked out when i left, we put them down early thinking maybe he has just been over tired. Dad is up there now, so glad we have a long couch in the kids room since the move. Dad slept up there thru most of the nap today too. Im sure glad its the weekend, i dont know what i am going to do if i dont have nap times and evening to care for myself and prep for the next day of toddler time.



we talked tonight and agree that if this is just stage and specially because he is really asking for very little, just our presence, that we will of course be there for him. i never even left the room tonight after nursing, hoping to head it off before it started thinking that might end it sooner.


we'll do what we need to do for him, i just want to understand what he is going thru.


yeah i never rule out  the teeth, i have help my twins get 29 of them in the last 16 months and i have 11 to go, tiny terrible teeth are a constant in our lives

post #6 of 10
My DD is 20 months old so a bit younger but I wanted to chime in. She's had a few cycles of pretty intense separation anxiety and it never really coincided with anything triggering that I could identify. Like you I'm a SAHM and she is my only (so far; I'm expecting in July). My MIL watched her three times. My mom watched her maybe 15 times. Both of those figures are over the course of her whole life. She's never had a babysitter, never been to daycare and I leave her with DH maybe twice a month. For heaven's sake, I even leave the bathroom door open lol. She has me well over 99% of her waking time. Separation anxiety still ebbs and flows though. At its worst, I basically have to carry her around all day. Usually what I do notice is that she is at her clingiest right at the cusp of a major developmental leap - physical or intellectual. It's like she knows things are changing as she is growing and she is worried about our relationship and whether I will still be there for her when she can do more things for herself. I don't know if I'm making sense to you but I certainly get a vibe from DD that feels like "things are changing and I'm scared". Anyways, all that was meant to say that I would bet he is going through a separation anxiety phase brought on by his development and is nervous about how things will be. If at all possible, I would give him your reassuring presence for now and revisit the issue if it hasn't improved in a couple of weeks.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

thanks for your input


whats strange here is that he is a super independent little kid, both my twins are, they play with each other and blow me off for an hour easily (I'm nearby of course, but it can be the next room) my DD on the other hand has had weeks here and there of a more classic separation anxiety where she needed mom all day all the time and now happens to be in a daddy phase where she asks for him all day till he gets home and then lavishes attention on him, prefers he carry her to bed and the like.


i guess i just thought that is it was about separation, i would notice some of it during the day.  


if i didn't know better i would think he was afraid to fall asleep without us there? he is not in a room alone, his sister is there and yeah they dont like to be separated one bit, so being together does mean something to them clearly. he's not asking to be picked up or taken out of the room at all, but i can see on the video monitor that when left alone during this issue, he does try very hard to climb out of bed, something he has absolutely never done before. super bummed about that, been so lucky and felt so good that climbing out of the crib was something we never had to fuss with.


btw dh did manage to get him deeply asleep and sneak out finally tonight at he has been fast asleep for 2.5 hours, not a peep

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

well whatever it is (seems like a run of the mill anxiety) he's getting thru it. for the past week i have been slowly going from sleeping on the couch in his room while he falls asleep to sitting outside the door for a few minutes. i now just need to remind him that i'm right nearby and i can hear him if he needs me. this seems to have worked very well, he is very excepting of the explanation that i am nearby even if he cant see me. he has checked a few times to see if i can hear him and always respond very fast (just checking in thru the door) and he seems very satisfied.


he has woken in the middle of the night a few times and i have just let him cuddle with me in bed, he is so sweet to sleep with. i have almost never gotten to cuddle with just him as his sister is much faster to want into the family bed. so the chance to curl up with him when he doesn't have a cold (usually the only reason he sleeps with us) is a silver lining to the issue


I'm glad that it seems like i handled it right and clearly it was just some normal little hiccup in his developmental l process.  Days have been good  and the slow weening has stayed on track, he does not seem the lightest bit concerned with it.

post #9 of 10
Im so happy to hear that he's coming out of it. There may be more bumps along the road but I'm sure he will weather them fine since you respond with the attention and closeness he needs. Great to hear he's gone back to his independent ways joy.gif
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

thanks, yeah i really value his independence and like to find a way to cuddle his young little heart and protect him that still cultivates that 

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