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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am not sure where to post this message, but I am so <b>desperate</b> for some advice on how to get our otherwise happy, healthy 12.5 month old son to stop waking up completely hysterical at 4:30am.<br>
Our son has been sleeping in his crib since 4 weeks old, and since then has been able to soothe himself to sleep at night (I always put him down awake and he would chatter to himself until he fell asleep).<br>
He starts the bedtime process (book, bath, song, nursing) around 7:30 and is usually in bed talking himself to sleep by 8pm. He’ll take about 5 minutes or less to fall asleep, it is very peaceful and he doesn’t fight us. He is happy to go to sleep in his crib with his lovey/stuffed animal.<br><br>
BUT THEN – 4:30 hits and BAM! he is up and miserable, screaming like a maniac. I don’t understand how or why he could be so upset.<br>
So we lie there listening to him for a few moments, exhausted, distraught parents, trying to decide what to do (even though it happens every day…) and I’m afraid we’ve started a terrible routine — Dad usually gets him and brings him into our bed.<br><br>
He will immediately calm down, nurse for a long time, and then sleep again. Usually he will sleep until 7. So he’ll get about 1.5 hours more sleep in our bed.<br>
We have tried to go in, calm him down quietly (lights off) but the sight of us makes him even more hysterical until we take him out of the crib.<br>
We have also tried to put him back in his crib after I feed him, but that only made him cry again…<br>
It seems the only way to get him to sleep (which I know that he needs) is to bring him into our bed.<br>
I wouldn't mind bringing him into our bed if he wasn't hysterical. I just want him to stop being hysterical, poor little guy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I'd love if he just slept like a "normal" baby until 6am.<br><br>
Does anyone have any advice regarding how to stop him from waking at 4:45, hysterical and obviously still tired?<br><br>
Thank you so much for any advice or insight. We are very tired....
 

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DD (21 mo) still sleeps primarily with DH and I. But sometimes we start her off in her own space. She still wakes up 1-2 times in the night, if she's in her bed, we usually go and get her, that's what she wants anyways.<br><br>
I'd say when he wakes up, go get him, comfort him and fall back asleep together. I don't know many 12.5 mo who actually sleep the whole night through. 5 straight hours is officially sleeping through the night for wee ones. Maybe he has nightmares or just wakes enough to realize he's alone and wants to be with you.<br><br>
Heck, I know of people who still have older toddlers joining them in bed in the very early hours of the morning sometimes.<br><br>
It's not a bad thing to be all snuggly together for a few hours in the am anyways.
 

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I think it's a normal growth phase. My DS (14.5 months) did the same thing right after he turned 12 months old and it lasted until 13.5 months. At the tail end of it I was getting worried about what going on and after a little research on the web I came across a few places discussing a major congitive development at 55 weeks old. This coincided exactly with when DS's sleeping issues started. It was only about a week later when it ended as quickly as it came on.<br><br>
Keep doing what you are doing to comfort your little one and it should pass soon!
 

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I don't have "normal" sleepers so I can't speak to that. But could he be having night terrors / bad dreams? Particularly if he's hysterical. I would try setting your alarm for 15 minutes before the usual time and watch quietly from a distance. Maybe that would shed some light on the underlying cause.<br><br>
eta: Regarding snuggling in the am, when we transitioned the kids into their own beds they could get up and come snuggle us "when the sun comes up", which can still be pretty early, lol! It was a handy way for them to differentiate night from early morning <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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If it's happening at the same time on a daily basis, I wonder if there's an outside factor that's disturbing him. Could there be a streetlight that turns off/on at that time and changes the lighting in his room? Or maybe even casts scary shadows? Or do you have a coffeepot that automatically turns on around that time every morning and it's just loud enough for him to hear?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, mamas! All good support/advice. I just went to brookstone to purchase a new white noise machine...so if it is something like a noise waking him, I'll try to drown it out with soothing nature sounds all night ... Also I'm going to make sure the curtains are really down so there's no light sneaking in.<br>
I really love our morning family bed... especially since I'll get some extra sleep that way ... and I love how cute and snuggly he is.<br>
I just hate the way he is waking up in his crib.<br>
I did some night terrors research - I think he could be having them, but I'm not sure... he is really UP and screaming, not crying in his sleep.<br>
It's more like something wakes him up (internal clock? external noise?) and then maybe it's separation anxiety or something that makes him go totally nuts.<br>
Whatever it is it is very upsetting.<br>
I hope it is an external noise that the sound machine will drown out. Fingers crossed!<br>
thanks again.
 

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It could be teething (MOLARS!) waking your DS up in such an unhappy state. Or he could be hungry, going from 7:30-4:30 is a long time for a little tummy to be empty. Also, I think you should feel very lucky to have a 12 mo who sleeps so well.. and on his own!<br><br>
I think you should just continue to bring him into your bed and nurse him when he wakes up and get the extra couple hours.
 

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It seems unlikely night terrors would happen at the same time every day. Ds is his hungriest around 4/5 in the morning.<br><br>
Is it possible he is waking up before that but you don't hear him until he's quite upset? Have you tried setting an alarm for yourself at 4:15 & going in to try to observe how he's actually waking (my ds sits bolt upright & immediately starts to scream every time he wakes up)?
 

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DD just started doing this too, at the same time! We thought it was triggered by the sprinklers going on, but that only happens three times a week. We don't have any other theories. I nurse her and put her back to bed, where she cries for about 2 minutes (seems like forever in the middle of the night, but I timed it) and falls back asleep until about 6-6:30.<br><br>
Unfortunately, she doesn't sleep well in our bed at all and thus neither do we. Last time I brought her in with us I woke up with her *on my head* and ready to fall out headfirst.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You know, this weekend I really started to think it is maybe all about teething. He is getting three incisors breaking through right now -- and i think his gums are swollen a bit where the molars are going to be... that plus the fact that he is probably hungry/thirsty by 5am. At least that's my current theory. Plus a sort of internal clock by now that is waking him up at the same-ish time each day. The white noise machine has done nothing to change the pattern, anyway.<br><br>
We are actually taking a family trip to California this week (we are in Boston) and I feel like the jet lag/crazy non-routine of the traveling might actually help in the end - break the pattern when we return. But we'll see. He's also learning how to walk. And talking up a storm. Crazy development happening.<br><br>
It is so nice to hear from you sweet mommies that he sounds like a good sleeper even with the super early wake up -- maybe I just know a lot of little ones locally who seem to sleep better and longer than our DS.<br><br>
(those darn teeth! you'd think we'd evolve a little better and figure some other way to get teeth - that just fall out 6 years later?!)
 

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I don't know, but I'm having a similar problem. On & off for the last several weeks DD, 18 months, has been waking up at some point in the middle of the night, screaming. It usually takes a while holding her to calm her down, but I can't put her back in her crib (like OP, she is really easy to put to sleep at 7:30, & has been sleeping in a crib since 9 months old). So, she comes into our bed, where normally she starts playing -- WIDE AWAKE. Last night this went on for 3 hours of me trying to get her to sleep again with her alternately laying down quietly and giggling hysterically and playing. Finally my husband was able to get her to go back into the crib, where she cried for about a minute before going back to sleep. This morning she was exhausted (me too!)<br><br>
I have no idea what to do. Saturday night I ended up bringing her downstairs, and she asked for food. She actually ate a decent amount, played a little, & went back to bed. Last night she asked for an apple in our bed. We aren't nursing anymore, but up until now she has been totally fine just getting a bottle in the middle of the night. Now she doesn't seem to want that so much. I really try to stuff her before bedtime, but maybe she really is hungry? Ugh, I don't know.<br><br>
FWIW I mentioned this to my Ped - I don't think this necessarily applies to anyone here, but she said that some kids can get into a pattern with night terrors where they wake up at the same time every night (esp if they have a consistent bedtime; same part of REM cycle, etc). She said that if that happens you can help to break it if you wake them up before it happens for a week or so.
 

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I have had experience with both night terrors and with what we ended up calling "night freak outs". My oldest DS had the night terrors....usually within 3 hours of initally falling asleep and he always was not really *awake*.He would wake up screaming but wouldn't focus on you (blank look in the eyes), usually looked terrified and would hit or struggle if you tried to pick him up or cuddle him. They lasted max 30 minutes and then he would be sound asleep again. (and we would be exhausted!!) Our middle guy had what we called night freak outs or night tantrums. He would also wake screaming but as soon as you got him out of his bed, he'd run around crying for 30 minutes. He was different as he was interacting with us through this and talking with us....eventually he outgrew this and went back to sleeping his usual 8 hours in a row <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I think the PPs who linked it with teething and growth have something there as this all happened when my middle DS was cutting molars and at about the same age.<br><br>
Have to say rozziemama that your LO is an incredible sleeper in my book!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> 8 hrs was the longest any of my three have done before 2! I hope your trip away will help reset the clock for your little guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, this morning he woke up at 4:25 and it was not hysterical - but just consistent whining/crying. We actually thought about leaving him but he was so persistent... Finally DH got him at 5-ish and brought him into our bed, where he giggled when he saw us, nursed for what *seemed* like an hour (probably 15 or 20 minutes??) and then DS and DH fell into a peaceful slumber until 7am.<br>
It seems like I'm the only one who doesn't sleep well in this arrangement. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br>
Teething, hungry, separation anxiety, learning to talk, walk, etc.<br>
a lot is happening at 13 months.<br>
We have an early morning flight tomorrow, maybe I'll go post somewhere else about my general anxieties around flying and jet lag! oy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br>
I'll let you know how it plays out when we're back and trying to settle into a new routine next week.<br>
Thanks mommas.
 
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