9 answers

13 Month Old Crying Hysterically at Bedtime

HI! Just wondering if any of you have advice for my husband and I. Our son is 13 months old. He has been taking one nap for the past 8 weeks. I put him in for his nap, he plays quietly in the crib, and then goes to sleep. I finished breastfeeding 6 weeks ago. Since then, my husband has been putting our son to sleep. (The few times that I have tried, it takes close to 2 hours.)We have a routine that usually works. For the past few nights, our son has been crying hysterically when placed in the crib. We have tried going in after 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. We have learned that our son gets himself so worked up that he eventually throws up and it takes so long to calm him down. Luckily, once he is asleep, he will sleep until the morning. Does anyone know what my son is thinking to be crying like this? Also why doesn't it happen during naps? I'll take any advice you have for me!! THANKS!!!

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So What Happened?™

Thanks so much for the advice. I know how busy moms are, so I appreciate you taking the time to help me. We have been there when he is overtired, so we now that is not fun for anyone. I like the idea of letting him play with his books quietly and then we can watch for signs of him being tired. Now when we read to him before bed, he can barely sit still to hear an entire story. I'll keep you updated!

Featured Answers

One thing that I can think of: is it daylight when he takes a nap? Maybe try leaving a small lamp or night light on till he goes to sleep. Maybe that is why he is having a hard time at night. My son is a very good sleeper, but sometimes he doesn't want to go to bed so I'll leave his light on or the hall way light on till he falls to sleep. He will play in his crib for a while then goes right to sleep. Or maybe try some music. That worked for my oldest son. They make lots of great and cheap cd's for babies. I hope that helps.

More Answers

S.,

Have you ruled out any reason why he could be upset at night, i.e. GI pain (what was known as colic, or perhaps a dairy or gluten intolerance)or perhaps a brewing ear infection?

If so, he is probably just wanting you at this time. My husband and I did not have our children cry and scream at bedtime. We read stories, said our prayers and would stay with the children until they fell asleep. It may not work for everyone, but it sure worked for us and we have 4 children.

I hope you find a solution that will be painless for you all!

1 mom found this helpful

Maybe try a little earlier bedtime. If he is overly tired, he will fight going to bed more.

Good luck.

My only thought is that maybe he should still be having 2 naps and is therefore overtired and resistant at bedtime. It was my impression that most kids need 2 naps until 14-15 months. You can certainly give it a try. If that doesn't work or isn't an option, you might try moving his bedtime earlier for the same reason...

I recommend Dr Ferber's book on sleep issues. It is fantastic. My son also threw up when we tried to get him to sleep and stay in his bed. This happened when he was 18 months. My other son we "Ferberized" at five months and have not had a problem since. He is almost three now. The book teaches you a routine that is short, simple and works. You will have your problem solved in one week or less. Your bedtime routine should be twenty minutes or so. Two hours is exhausting for all! Good luck to you, I have been there!

Hi S.

I just wanted to add to the other Mom's input, I agree with it all BTW. I did versions of CIO with both of my kids, my daughter who is 13 months now went through a really rough sleeping spot around 9 months old and I found that she became more and more hysterical when I checked on her, so I had to stop going in. It was hard on me, but easier on her. You may want to think about that with your son. Good Luck.

One thing that I can think of: is it daylight when he takes a nap? Maybe try leaving a small lamp or night light on till he goes to sleep. Maybe that is why he is having a hard time at night. My son is a very good sleeper, but sometimes he doesn't want to go to bed so I'll leave his light on or the hall way light on till he falls to sleep. He will play in his crib for a while then goes right to sleep. Or maybe try some music. That worked for my oldest son. They make lots of great and cheap cd's for babies. I hope that helps.

Most likely this is a stage that will pass. It could be teething (teething is worse at night, so that explains why he is OK at nap time). Have you tried involving him in quiet play in his room before his bed? With our 12-month-old, we find that he goes down a lot easier until we let him play with his books on his bookshelf until we start seeing the eye-rubbing, ear-flicking, etc that accompanies sleepiness. Hope this helps!

S.,
I can relate. I think at that age they are really getting to explore the world--walking, talking, etc and they really resist sleep. I agree with the mom who suggested an additional nap and if that is not possible, an earlier bedtime routine and bedtime. Strangely, when kids are really exhausted, it's harder for the to get to sleep. My son is 5 and this is still true!
Have you tried a soft classical music CD on continuous play in his room? Black out shades? White noise? Those may help to calm him.
Try to keep your interaction with him to a minimum when you do the 5 min checks. The first time just say "Time to sleep. Night night." after the first time or two, don't say anything to him, just rub his back, etc. Don't pick him up.
I know this is very upsetting for us as moms but he will get the routine eventually. Hang in there!

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