21-mo old freaked out about sleeping??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 05-04-2012, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Mamas,


What is going on with my 21 month old DD? Last night she cried every time we tried to put her to be for almost 3 hours. I finally gave up and went to sleep with her (DH and I are both sick, so tried to avoid it), but as soon as I put her down beside me, she began jumping around, talking, yelling words, laughing, head butting my ribs, etc. I got mad, talked to her some about it (I think she understands somewhat but not great obviously) and put her back in the crib finally when she would not stop. More hysterics. Waited a few minutes, then got her in the bed with me again, lots of coaching. Same antics!! By 1:00 after much crying, we fell asleep with her in the crib and me on the bed next to her holding her hand through the crib. Periodically she would wake up and cry that my hand wasnt' holding hers and only fell asleep when I held it again.


She is teething, but I gave her every manner of medicine I could think of. Don't think she is otherwise sick. Obviously we've had teething issues with sleep before, but never this problem of her refusing to sleep WITH US also?!?!?! She has been an average sleeper generally and a good natured baby. Could there be something else?


The prior two nights she had a hard time going down but nothing like that. Putting her for her nap just now she screamed and screamed and I confess, I let her cry. greensad.gif We have so many health and mental health issues right now, I don't have anything left. Help! Any thoughts appreciated!

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#2 of 4 Old 05-06-2012, 09:38 AM
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Kind of going through the same thing, so going to post my question here and hopefully both of us will get some advice.  :)


My daughter (14mo) all of a sudden is refusing her crib.  She won't nap or stay asleep at night. We stay in there and pat her til she goes to sleep. Last night we finally brought her in our bed. If I let her cry (which I am against) she just stands in the crib and cries (tried it for 1 min, 5 min, and 10 min). We also tried a night light. It has been going on for 3 days/nights. Not sure if we should keep soothing her, bring back her pacifier (which we took away a month ago), or let her sleep with us (still doesn't solve the nap issue or initial falling asleep at night.) Anyways, any help/advice is appreciated. Thanks!

REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif Trying to be the best mom I can be to my two wonderful daughtersenergy.gifbabygirl.gif  selectivevax.gifgoorganic.jpg

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#3 of 4 Old 05-06-2012, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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well, I tried again with holding her hand while I lay in the bed next to the crib. She cried briefly (1 minute) - a pissed off cry, but clearly she knew I was there. Then she fell asleep. In her 2 hour nap she awoke 2 other times and needed to feel my hand. so this is what I'm planning to do for naps and night time for a while. It's not great because I'm coughing a lot and keep waking her up, and I am quite sick and need a better night's sleep - but not sure what else to do. DH was up with her the last 2 nights and same problem - every time he tried to sleep with her in the bed she played, jumped, talked and laughed. This way I figure,  she'll cry - she might be mad, she might be sad, but she will not feel abandoned, because she'll know I'm there.


we had a major thing like you described around 15 months, the difference being that that time (and younger) she would of course sleep with us in the bed in those instances, unlike now, and then we could wean her back into her crib.


I do suspect that this is something related to attachment and separation. Would love to hear from anyone who has a suggestion! Good luck mama!

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#4 of 4 Old 05-06-2012, 06:19 PM
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My daughter went through something very similar at about your daughter's age.  She was having all-out tantrums multiple times per night, and there really was nothing I could do to soothe her.  We usually DID hold hands while she fell asleep, but during these fits there was always something not right about how I was holding her hand and it would set her off even more, so, in the end, all I could do was lie there next to her and wait it out.  It was awful.  In our case, after about a week of this I took her to the ped and found out that she had her first ever ear infection.  Her sleep slowly improved as she went through the antibiotics.  I should have suspected, since I had a sinus infection myself and we'd both been through a month of near-constant colds.  Anyway, the hand-holding thing...it worked for us for a while, but then she started to kind of abuse it by demanding it all the time, which it seems like your little one is doing, too.  At first, when she was sick, she truly did need that comfort; then she just really liked it.  In the end I had to start saying no, which was NOT popular, but mommy needs sleep too! 


Really, I'm not sure if the ear infection caused the period of night-time tantrums, or if it was something like you suspect - testing boundaries, attachment, separation.  If it IS about that, I think crying may be the only solution - provided that you are there for loving support as they go through this hard time.  Perhaps it's a time for them to learn that we're there for them, but they can't demand the impossible of us.  Keep us posted on how things are going.  I hope it gets better for you soon.

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