sudden change in sleeping - help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 01-31-2003, 03:06 AM - Thread Starter
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My 18.5 month ds has always been an excellent night sleeper. Since he was 8-10 months old, the nighttime routine has always been the same: bathtime, pjs on, read a few books (he chooses), then we put him in his crib, turn off the lamp, and he goes to sleep for 10-11 hours. Even through bad teething times, a hospitalization episode, outpatient surgery, and vacations, he's always been able to resume the routine at home.

2 weeks ago, we took a 2 day trip, staying in a hotel at night. He cried and cried when we tried to put him to sleep, and eventually we had to hold him to sleep. After we got back home, he has fought bedtime mightily since then, despite the return to routine. The only way he'll sleep is in my lap or on my shoulder.

Afternoon naps had previously been a simple matter too... he knew that after lunch, some quiet play and a fresh diaper, it was time for his nap. Like bedtime now, he won't sleep unless he's being held.

We try singing to him or talking gently to him while one of us sits in the rocking chair and while he's in his crib, telling him that I would be there while he fell asleep, but that I would NOT pick him up. But he's pretty stubborn, and eventually, he gets so upset that I think he's beyond the ability to calm himself down, so I pick him up and he falls asleep on my lap/shoulder.

What's going on? Is this a phase? Should I let him cry it out? I miss our old routine, especially since I'm newly pregnant with #2 and am sooo tired these days.
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#2 of 2 Old 01-31-2003, 10:00 PM
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Maybe something scared him? My ds went through a phase where he was afraid of the bath. He was about 14 or 15 months old. It was just so out of the blue. We couldn't think of anything specifically that would spur on such a reaction. I read somewhere that toddlers sometimes have irrational reactions (irrational to us, the parents that is) to something seemingly insignificant and can remember it for a long time resulting in fear. Maybe he heard some scary noise while you stayed in the hotel and now he is scared of the dark??? Maybe he woke up and didn't feel/see his usual surroundings and felt insecure and scared??? My only suggestion is to take things slowly and be gentle. That's what we did with our ds and the bath. Your ds is probably scared(?) for some reason and needs some extra assurance and love to get him back to his usual self. Hang in there.
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