June 07, 2008,
M.W. asks from Meridian, ID on June 05, 2008
8 Month Old Crying When I Put Her in bed..this Is New
My 8 month old has started to cry and scream when I put her in her crib for bed. She used to lay there and watch her mobile or singing seahorse and I may have to go in and restart them, but she would go to sleep shortly thereafter without me around. Well all that has changed in the last week. Now she may be asleep when I initially put her in the crib from falling asleep during nursing or be completely awake when I put her in the crib and she cries when I walk away and gets to the point of screaming and won't stop until I stay with her. I know that she is going through seperation anxiety right now as well, according to signs and symptoms I have read from baby.com and it's the age for it as well. I go in and check on her and make sure she is OK and gives her binky back and whatnot, but she won't stop the scream thing...she eventually falls asleep, with me there of coarse and for a good hour does the uhuhhhh sound after having a fit while she is asleep. I can't even get her to sleep in her crib for afternoon naps, unless she is already asleep when I put her in there. She takes power naps, not too many though...her sleep schedule is good. I would like to get her to take longer naps though.
I don't do things differently, everything is the same as usual for bedtime. We have a routine, so it's not as if there is something new happening. I know that I need to let her fall asleep on her own for both of our own good...especially since I don't want her completely dependent on me to be there for her to go to sleep. We are not fans of the "cry it out" method, so I go to her and talk to her and stroke her hair. I try not to take her out of her crib most of the time, sometimes I do if she gets really upset. She does fall asleep in her crib eventually. She is teething as well, she already has her 2 bottom teeth and working on more.
She sleeps all night and has since 8 weeks old. In the morning, I nurse her and then we go back to bed in my bed for a nap. I have no issues with this, I enjoy sleeping with her in my bed. My hubby and I used to have her in our bed always and we stopped that at 5 months old. So now, it's just morning nap. Her crib is in our room...I wouldn't have that any other way either. We did all of the same things with our son, who is now 8 years old. When he was 2 we put him in his own room with no problem. We plan the same with our daughter.
Sorry so long, but I wanted to give the setting and how we do things. Any suggestions on what else I can do to get my daughter to bed without having me there? It breaks both my and my hubby's hearts to hear her scream for a long time...we go and check on her and are trying to do the right thing for her.
R.S. answers from Washington DC on June 07, 2008
I think is called separation anxiety and apparently your baby is starting to experiment it. I read that you should talk to her and let her know that you will be back to check on her later and leave her there. Come back (I guess three minutes later) and tell her the same thing. It is just to reasure her that you are always coming back. I hope that does not happen to me. Good luck!!!
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B.W. answers from Washington DC on June 06, 2008
If you have ruled out anything physical it is very likely it is just separation anxiety. This is a very common age to start missing mom and dad. If you are not fans of the cry it out method, then you are really doing all you can. I would just suggest music or white noise. Something for her to listen to or be preoccupied with while alone in the crib. Another thing is if you don't have a set routine like reading a book & bath this might help. Sorry. Know it will get better. My only true suggestion is to avoid bringing her to bed or rocking to sleep. This will only cause problems later on. I know as I have two problem sleepers. One was definately because of giving in and bringing her to bed to keep the older one asleep. Finally at 18 months the only thing that worked for us was cry it out! Also not a huge fan, but it has worked wonders. And it isn't let them cry till they fall asleep. You do go in and can talk to them at scheduled intervals that get longer each day. Hope it gets better!
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C.O. answers from Washington DC on June 06, 2008
Hello! Please thank your husband for me for his service and sacrifices! I appreciate what he is doing (and you too!) I know it's not easy all the time being a military wife.
The only thing I can think of for your daughters problem is that something happened that she remembers - perhaps a spider bite?
However, separation anxiety does have the same symptoms and unfortunately, I didn't have this problem with any of my kids. Is it possible for you to rearrange her room to help her out?
Again - thanks for your service to our country! VERY much appreciated.
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J.W. answers from Richmond on June 06, 2008
This is exactly what happened to me and at exactly the same age. It has taken a lot to get my daughter to sleep in her crib again and I still can't get her to fall asleep on her own and she'll be 11 months on Monday. I really don't have any advice, just wanted you to know you're not alone...made me feel much better reading this post. I was sure I was doing something wrong.
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R.H. answers from Norfolk on June 07, 2008
Well the first thing i want to say it children are different even in the same family. Just because you are doing worked with your son doesn't mean its going to work for your daughter. What i think one of two things happened either you do the same thing every night but one day you left the room and she made a noise and you came back. Children are quick you see changes even if they are suddle. She went OH I don't like to be alone and look she came back when i yelled so now she does it every night and you come back every time. OR her bed time needs to be changed. I would suggest moving her bedtime either a 1/2 hr earlier or later. It should be at about 7:30pm now If it's later than that i would suggest moving it 1/2 earlier each week to get it closer to the right time. Amazingly children will be inconsolable if they are over tired. or if they are not tired yet they will want company because they aren't tired yet and want company until they are. Good luck
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S.A. answers from Washington DC on June 06, 2008
Same thing happened to my 8 month old son. He was a wonderful sleeper his whole life. All we would do is lay him in his crib, give him kiss goodnight, leave the room and would fall calmly put himself to sleep. Now for about the past 2 weeks he has been pretty upset when set in his crib. For a while it looked like he was hungry (thirsty) and a bottle really helped him calm down. Now we have adjusted his meal times to help him not be hungry at night.
I also will let him crawl around on the floor for about 15-20 more minutes until he truly becomes tired enough to bypass fussing and go straight to sleep.
Also I started cuddling with him in the rocking chair in his dark bedroom for about 15 minutes before bed. I've never had to do that before. It's nice to snuggle with him, but I do hope that he doesn't become dependent on it because I will not always have the time to rock him.
Those are what I have tried recently, and I hope these ideas will help.
He doesn't cry anymore when I leave the bedroom after doing these things.
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D.S. answers from Norfolk on June 06, 2008
Here are some web sites that make you give the answers to what you need to know.
I would suggest that you find a support group for moms for various educational and supportive help throughout your parenting years.
www.kidspriorityone.org or ###-###-####
I am sure the Army has a resource listing for parent support groups and parent education classes.
Good luck. Hope this helps. D.
M.R. answers from Roanoke on June 06, 2008
A classic sign of ear infection is when put in a laying down position, they are fussy or cry.
If not medical, then I'd suggest a white noise CD, and I'd also make bedtime routine a little longer, perhaps add a bath every night.
S.W. answers from Norfolk on June 06, 2008
Don't have any real specific advice other than if she's crying she must want/need something. Follow your gut instinct and don't worry about spoiling her, its impossible to do at this tender young age. You can try www.askdrsears.com for great advice.
S.C. answers from Norfolk on June 06, 2008
You make an interesting comment "this is new." I have found that to be true with each of my children. Parenting does not fit into a neatly packaged program nor book. There are no regularly scheduled breaks, lunch hour, and clock out time. I am not saying that you should not make arrangements for time to relax and have adult time but when you leave your children it should be with someone who will continue to meet their needs. It sounds like your daughter has a need that needs to be met. She could be teething, or just want extra mommy time. I am not a fan of the cry it out thing. It is hard on the child and hard on the parent. You will probably get her settled a lot faster if you just pick her back up and hold her. I know that when I am upset I don't want to be told by my husband that he knows I had dinner and that I have not soiled myself so he will come check on me every few minutes but I must learn to self soothe. If as adults we would find that absurd why do we try to do the same thing to our children. They have needs beyond what we can understand and sometimes beyond what we can comfort. Just last night my 5 mo. cried for a good 30min. I think she is teething and she was tired. I held her and tried to comfort her. Even if I can't immediately comfort her she is still getting the message that I care and am trying to understand and help. I would worry less about keeping a perfect routine. Some babies need more sleep than others. Every baby is different. That is part of the joy of parenting. You must figure out what this child needs and nurture them. You do not have a "bad baby " if she does not follow the book plan any more than you are a "bad mommy" if you follow your heart and comfort your child.
S.M. answers from Washington DC on June 05, 2008
Check for teeth or get her ears looked at to make sure she doesn't have an infection. It is that sleeping and whining at the same time that makes it sound like she is in pain. Maybe try Tylenol to see if she sleeps better - would be a good indication if there is discomfort. She totally sounds like my daughter with an ear infection. She would be fine all day, even for naps, no fever, and then at night, that is exactly how she would act.
Otherwise, I would say she is getting smart - she is more mature and knows how to get you to be with her. You need to make a decision about how much crying you are willing to let her do as you teach her to self-soothe - I am by no means a fan of "cry it out" but this is a good age to start seeing how she will do on her own for a few minutes at a time.
I would also suggest geting rid of the pacifier - I think she is geting too old for it, and it is starting to interfere with her soothing - that is she needs you to put it back when it falls out. That is not soothing, that is using a pacifer.
As an experienced mom, you know that it is often one step forward two steps back and so on. You had a great sleeper, but she is trying something new. So you are back to sqaure one. I would work on establishing a new routine for her and yourself - maybe a story and rocking until she is really groggy, then put her down. After that don't pick her up, just sooth with words, etc. Consider adjusting her bedtime later or her afternoon nap earlier so she is more tired, at least until you get her sleeping better. Or conversely, put her down earlier - maybe she is overtired? I know that is not much help, but you may need to switch things up a bit until you figure out what works. good luck!
PS - I wasn't suggesting "Don't ever pick her up" I absolutely think she needs to be comforted and held, but I would just give rher lots of opportunities to calm herself down. I find with my baby that, sometimes, being held by me is a little over-stimulating and putting her down can actually make her calmer. So do what works for you, but please don't think I was suggesting you let her lay tehir and scream for 30 minutes.
G.M. answers from Cumberland on June 06, 2008
I had the same problem with my baby. I finally just let her sleep with us until she was old enough for the toddler bed. When she was old enough she got her own room I let her choose the decorating theme. I had to read to her then until she fell asleep.
I think it is the bars on the crib that was intimidating to her.
A.P. answers from Washington DC on June 06, 2008
I had the same sort of thing happen when my son was about 6 or 7 months old. I had moved back home with my mom for a few months while my husband was away with the military and he had his crib in my room. In the morning after he would wake up in his crib I would bring him to my bed and we would cuddle and go back to sleep. After about a month or two of doing this he only wanted to sleep with me in my bed. Before we moved to my moms he always slept on his own but I ruined that by taking him to bed with me in the morning. He ended up sleeping in our bed after that unil he was about 18 months old and it was very hard getting him into his own bed. This could be whats happening to you. Good luck to you and your family.