10 month old screaming at night - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-12-2008, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all. I need some help here. My 10 month old daughter is screaming at bedtime. She has an older sister; 3 1/2 year's old; she eats well, she gets plenty of exercise, she's breastfed, she goes to bed around 6:30-7pm, she slept well through the night up until a couple months ago-I think it started with the teething. We have a set routine EVERY single night, it's the same exact thing: dinner, bath, books/singing, say good night to sibling and daddy, we sign that it's time to go to sleep, go to her room to rock and nurse and then lay down in the crib for sleep. She's started to stand on her own now so she can stand at her crib and she'll just scream and cry when I leave the room. A few weeks ago I would just go in and pick her up to nurse her and she'll fall asleep in my arms in the rocking chair while nursing. When I put her in the crib, she wakes up, gets up on her hands and knees and starts screaming and crying. It took her an hour two nights ago to put herself to sleep, tonight it took around 30 minutes. A week or so ago, she went down at the normal time but then woke up around 10pm and it took me three hours to get her to go back to sleep. I think that was a night I had sugar.(ice cream) I've since cut out sugar, she does not like a pacifier and she has a blankie but she does not use it. Her big sis has one, we think she likes her big sis's blankie better. I think cutting out the sugar has helped (i'll be posting another thread for some sugar free dessert recipes). I talked with my doctor about it and he said she's fine-as long as she's normal during the day, there's no psychological damage. I don't like letting her scream it out but I can't fall asleep in the rocking chair with her as I'm afraid of her falling out of my arms. We did co-sleep in the beginning for the first three months and then started the sleep training in the crib after that. I feel like a horrible mommy but I just want her to get a good night sleep and I want her to learn how to put herself to sleep on her own. If she wakes up in the middle of the night, I go to nurse her and she'll cry when I put her back in the crib but then she can put herself back to sleep (not on nights though that I had sugar) so I know she can do it. Anyway, if anyone has advice I'd appreciate it because it's very heart wrenching to me. Thank you!
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#2 of 8 Old 06-12-2008, 10:54 PM
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IMhO don't let her cry. Your doctor gave you very bad advice.:mad It is never okay for a baby to cry themself to sleep. It is CIO and CIO is NEVER ok. If you let your dc cry they will loose trust in you. Stay away from bopoks like Ferber Weisbluth and BAbywise. Check out the NO CRY SLEEP SOLUTION from Elizabeth Pantley. Lay down in bed with her. Can you co-sleep after that wake up then transfer her? We co-sleep so we have not had that issue. he wakes up boob- wakes up agian boob... It has worked well for us and we are going on twenty months. I have never let him cry and never will.

:CLC,Doula :Mama to 2
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#3 of 8 Old 06-12-2008, 10:55 PM
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Well, the first thing I'd try is to put her in bed with you again. And move her crib next to your bed. So once she's very asleep, then you can lay her in her crib. when she wakes, bring her into your bed. Repeat.

I'm convinced that they don't KNOW how to fall asleep on their own, and at 10 months that's awfully young to explain and expect them to understand things like relaxation and calm, and whatnot.

ETA: I agree with PP that CIO is leaving them to cry themselves to sleep. They don't understand why Mama only responds in the daytime. It's a breach of trust and unhealthy, IMO.

I think physical presence is the biggest comfort and that's what helps them sleep right now.

We're struggling with our 26 month old having issues falling asleep, and something that helped tonight was singing the same verse of one song over and over and over. So it was consistent and background noise and reassuring to her that mama was still there.

Is your LO walking yet? Is she crawling? Mobility milestones wreaked havoc on our LO's sleep, and letting her snuggle up next to me was a big help.

It's temporary. You don't have to "regress" to cosleeping permanently. But it sounds like she needs your presence right now.

Good luck, mama.

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#4 of 8 Old 06-12-2008, 11:02 PM
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When my son was that age I tried to get him to sleep in his crib. He did so for a while and then things changed and suddenly he hated it. We have gone through many different sleep scenarios but the only one I refused to do was letting him cry. Some babies can fuss a little and put themselves to sleep. Each childs needs are so different. Your baby is trying to tell you something and its your job as a parent to listen! Maybe she just needs more closeness or maybe she is teething. Parenting doesn't stop at bedtime. I know how hard it is to ignore the people who want you to CIO or say you are spoiling her but when she is truely ready she will just sleep. It happened for us and I NEVER thought he would sleep through the night, much less before he turned 2. We made it through those difficult months of growing and teething and he is now a good sleeper.

mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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#5 of 8 Old 06-12-2008, 11:10 PM
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I have to agree with everyone. I have a 9 month old and I still have to help him fall asleep. My dd was at least a year and a half before she could put herself to sleep regularly. She has always been a terrible sleeper and I thought she would never sleep through the night. I went to her every single time she has ever woken up crying and finally when she was 2 and a couple months, she just stopped crying when she would wake up (I can hear her stir and put herself back to sleep) and go back to sleep. It is just a milestone people push them to achieve earlier than they are ready.
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#6 of 8 Old 06-13-2008, 05:50 PM
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I recently looked into the idea of self-soothing because my mother keeps insinuating that I am harming my daughter by not training her to sleep alone. DD is 2 1/2 now and we've always co-slept. Here's what I found at Attachment Parenting International:

"An infant is not neurologically or developmentally capable of calming or soothing himself to sleep in a way that is healthy. The part of the brain that helps with self-soothing isn't well developed until the child is two and a half to three years of age. Until that time, a child depends on his parents to help him calm down and learn to regulate his intense feelings."


You should go read the whole page. Before I read this, I was beginning to notice that my daughter is beginning to stop nursing and turn over to go to sleep "on her own," whereas always before she needed to nurse until completely asleep. So, I do think there is something to this timing...Also read Dr. Sears about nighttime parenting. Babies that do "learn" to sleep on their own are actually learning resignation to the fact that no one is coming to help them. Someone else mentioned Elizabeth Pantley's book, The No Cry Sleep Solution. I thought that one was good too.

All babies are different. I guess its possible some babies just go to sleep, sleep all night. Sounds like yours needs you. Sleep training is some theory designed to make babies convenient to our modern world, instead of making the world a kind, gentle place for babies. Nighttime parenting is work, but its brief. If you can transform the way you think about it, that it can be a time for intimacy, quiet, and bonding you might feel better about the time it takes.
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#7 of 8 Old 06-13-2008, 05:57 PM
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Teething, separation anxiety, learning to stand, etc. will all affect sleeping habits.

What you're doing -- leaving your baby to cry it out -- feels heartwrenching to you because you know, in your gut, that it's the wrong choice.

Your child needs you to help her go to sleep right now, and she probably will for some time. You're not doing her a disservice by giving her that help anymore than you're doing her a disservice by helping her get dressed.

Eventually, when she's developmentally ready for it, she'll go to sleep on her own.
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#8 of 8 Old 06-16-2008, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all-thanks for the advice. The past few nights have been ok-she has gone down without crying and screaming-not sure what the difference was. But tonight was back to the same thing, however she is currently sleeping peacefully. I will check out everyone's recommendations. I just don't remember going through this with my first born as she sucked her thumb and had her blankie. My 10 month old used to suck her thumb but then gave it up for some reason. I definitely appreciate everyone looking at my issue and taking the time to respond. I know this won't last forever and I truly love my daughter(s) more than anything in the world so I will do what it takes to make sure she feels good about going to bed. Thank you again.
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