Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sleeping Woes

Sleep. It is essential to keep the human body functioning, it's lovely on a rainy Saturday, and it is something neither I nor my 1 year old has seen much of lately. After our recent trip to the South his sleep started going down the crapper. It started with night wakings becoming more frequent, and sometimes lasting from 10:30pm to 3:30am with no break. It quickly progressed to waking and immediately screaming his head off, and finally came to affect all areas involving sleep. Naps are a battle, going to sleep for bed is a battle, waking at night and going back to sleep is a battle - it feels like World War III has descended on my house!

The first suggestions I got involved separation anxiety. This makes sense because separation anxiety onset usually happens sometime between 12 and 18 months. My "baby" is currently 7 days away from being 18 months, so the timing is right. This is what BabyCenter says about night-time seperation anxiety.

How should we handle nighttime separation anxiety?

Your baby's fear of being separated from you at night is very real for him, so you'll want to do your best to keep the hours preceding bedtime as nurturing and peaceful (and fun) as possible. In addition:

• Spend some extra cuddle time with your baby before bed by reading, snuggling, and softly singing together.

• If your baby cries for you after you've put him to bed, it's fine to go to him — both to reassure him and to reassure yourself that he's okay. But make your visits "brief and boring," and he'll learn to fall back to sleep without a lot of help from you. Eventually, he'll be able to fall asleep on his own."

While this makes sense, thus far it hasn't worked. I rock my boy until he is sleeping or almost asleep, lay him down, and, inevitably, he stirs, wakes up when he reliazes I am leaving, and then proceeds to scream his handsom little head off. Once the crying ensues I have tried going back in at 5, 10, and 15 minute intervals with little or no success. I've tried just plain ole CIO (cry-it-out), but honestly I've only been able to do this at most for 30 minutes at a time. And I have tried picking him back up and rocking him all over again. That just created a vicious cycle.

So what am I to do? At first I thought nothing had changed in his sleep envirnment, and then I remember that after our trip I never gave him back his pillow - I had switched it out for an extra. So I gave that back to him. It seemed to help the first time I layed him down with it, but he is at present upstairs in his crib, whining/crying/screaming off and on, and has been doing so for, oh, about an hour now.

HELP!! Any advice is appreciated!
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The Dreamer said...

PLEASE let me know if you find something that works - we've got the SAME problem!!

Thrifty and Chic Mom said...

First off I personally am against CIO so here is what I did, it is more work but a gentler transition for kids with sleep separation issues. We moved the mattress to the floor and I laid with my daughter for a week or so until she was easily drifting off this way. Then we moved to sitting beside her bed and then eventually moved to the other side of the room. We did not move to a next step until she was comfortable with the current one. This allowed us to remove ourselves slowly and their were no tears and issues beyond the initial minimal pleading for old ways. I hope that helps just remember each child is different and you know your child best. Do what feels right for you!

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