9 Month Old Tantrums Before Bed

Updated on June 28, 2007
R.Y. asks from Chicago, IL
7 answers

My son is 9.5 months old. He began falling asleep on his own at 8 weeks old. This past Thursday that all changed. He came down with a stomach virus and is also breaking through 5 teeth at once. He has cold symptoms and seems to be generally miserable. The first two nights were the worst, he was up every two hours. Ever since this started he has refused naps. He will not lay down in his bed. When I put him down he immediately starts screaming and stands at the side of the crib crying his hardest until one of us picks him up. If I hold him and rock him in the chair he falls asleep immediately. What happened? Why did he self sooth for so long and only now has it become a problem. Do I really have to let him cry? I tried and he cried for 20 minutes without stopping. He sounded like he was choking, and I couldn't handle it. He never cried otherwise and is generally a VERY good baby. HELP

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answers from Chicago on

When my son was teething, usually he would get an ear infection and/or swelling. We would prop him up on one of the foam triangle pillows (or you can prop one end of his mattress up) bc laying down flat would increase the pressure. Maybe its not tantrums but just plain uncomfortable and/or in pain. Try it out and see if it makes a difference. My son didn't display the usual signs of an ear infection during these times either so we didn't realize it until his drums ruptured.



answers from Chicago on

This is just my opinion and it might go against what other people think, but it works for our family.

Yikes - if he is getting over being sick and cutting a bunch of teeth, then I'm not surprised that he is having difficulty going to sleep. I know that when I'm sick or feeling badly, I really like to be a baby and let my husband take care of me. Knowing this, the one time my baby had a cold and when he had a fever after his 4-month shots, I decided that all 'formal training' was out the window. If he wanted to be held all day, he got it. If he needed to be rocked to sleep to go to bed, then so be it.

Fortunately, you should be able to tell the difference between him being sick/hurting and just simply not wanting to go to sleep. Personally I see no problem soothing him when he's feeling ill and hurt, but if it isn't that (and it were my kid) I'd let him cry it out (going in to check every 5 minutes with a pat on the head but not talking/picking up, etc.).

Good luck to you - I know these times can be really tough!



answers from Chicago on

I would take him to the doc. It sounds like he has an ear infection. With the cold, and the teeth and not being able to lay down, sounds like it could be an ear infection. I would take him to the doc just to be sure.



answers from Chicago on

Two words - ear infection. When little ones get so congested and have colds all the yucky stuff builds up. They are unable to blow their noses and those little suction things only work if you have a baby that holds real still for it. Lord knows my three hated it!! Call the doctor first thing tomorrow and get him checked out. If it is not an ear infection it could be a sinus infection. think about the pressure you get from one of those and imagine not being able to tell anyone what hurts. If it is an ear infection one thing that might help is a warm compress over the ear(dry rice in an old sock works great!! I got this from the hospital when I had my youngest)Microwave it for about 1 minute.
Good Luck.


answers from Chicago on

My first thought is also ear infection. From how you described it, sounds like he is crying from pain when he lays down in bed. Being held to fall asleep relieves pressure allowing him to fall asleep, but laying in the flat bed is just too much pressure on the ear to sleep. My second son has only had one or MAYBE two ear infections. When he got the infection, he would only sleep being held (makes for a LONG night), so I brought him in to the doctor and sure enough he had an ear infection. My first son got ear infections all the time, but they luckily didn't have an effect on his sleep like they did our second son. With our first we knew he had an infection when his temp went up, but our second son's temp never even went up with the infection. Each kid can handle it a little differently. But by how you described it, it sounds like an infection is likely, so I'd give him Tylenol or Motrin for tonight and see if that helps to ease the pain enough to sleep okay and then take him in to the doctor tomorrow. Best wishes to you guys! I hope you are all feeling better and more rested soon!



answers from Chicago on

My 10 1/2 month old has also started doing the same thing. We went to the Doctor and there was no sign of an ear infection. The doctor said that it is likely she is just more aware and able to express her feelings.

I am now starting a 'go to bed' routine. We will put her PJs on, brush her teeth, take a bath and read a book. This way, she will know that bedtime is approaching. I think from going from playtime to bedtime abruptly was causing her to get upset.

Good Luck!



answers from Chicago on

Could be an ear infection.

But it's not unusual that sleeping behaviors change. If it works to hold him-- then hold him! Don't let the poor baby cry. Sleep training is wrong. Your little one will learn to sleep on his own when he's ready. I don't know any 12 year olds that suddenly turned to mom and said "gee, I don't know how to go to sleep".

There is a recent Harvard Study that shows the dangers of crying it out on the developing brain. Increased rates of cortisol, etc.

Above any studies and advice you get from anyone-- TRUST YOUR GUT. If it feels wrong-- it IS wrong. You, as his mother, know him best of all.

No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley can be helpful but remember with all these books and methods-- your child hasn't read them.... they don't necessarily work for everyone.

Remember--- this too shall pass. One day you will miss those beautiful quiet moments of holding him and rocking him to sleep. Enjoy them

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