June 30, 2010,
D.B. asks from Lake Mary, FL on June 28, 2010
Almost 8 Month Old Cries Hard at Bedtime
Recently my 8 month old has started screaming crying whenenver I go to put him in his bed. He has learned how to pull up on the side of the crib and he will just stand there and scream. This could go on for over an hour. I usually go in and pick him up when he starts to sound hysterical. He has been teething too, which may be part of the problem. He even does this at naptimes too. I feel like I spend half the day trying to put him to sleep. He wasn't ever this bad until recently. Sometimes I could even put him to bed and he would go to sleep without a peep. I took him to the dr. and nothing is wrong. He is not sick and no ear infection. I feel like he hates his bed!! Any advice would be appreciated!!
So What Happened?™
Thanks for your responses! It's nice to know that this is normal for this age and that nothing is wrong. Just to clarify- I don't leave him in his crib for an hour to cry. I go in often and hug him while in his crib, turn on his rainforest toy, mobile, and pick him up when he cries too hard. sometimes I take him out of his crib for a while and just try again later. I am not worried about my mothering skills. I have a three year old also and I go back and forth between rooms at bedtime reading stories to one while trying to soothe the other! I like the peek a boo idea in the crib though!
K.H. answers from Tampa on June 29, 2010
I would hate my bed too if left to cry for an hour! Although we shouldn't run it every time they cry, I would be more mindful of his needs. Perhaps he needs a little more reinforcement before bed time. Start with gaining trust in the bed again. Put him in the crib at different times of the day and play peek-a-boo with him and tickle him. Then add some toys for him to enjoy playing while in the crib so he can feel the crib is a positive place rather than a place of exile. When you put him to sleep you may sing him a lullaby or a little prayer and then let him know you are right next door and will see him bright and early in the morning. He cries again, after 15min. come back in and reassure him that you are there for him and instead of picking him up hug him in the crib and rub his back and repeat if needed. If he is teething.....give him a little tylenol to see if it helps his discomfort and they have all natural teething pill which taste great and helps numb the gumbs. Good luck!
R.C. answers from Sarasota on June 29, 2010
My daughter did this at exactly eight months--I couldnt' believe it! She just had so much she wanted to do/learn that she couldn't stand givign up and sleeping. As soon as she learned to walk (about 11 months) she went back to normal. We kept up a really good bedtime routine (bath, stories, nursing) and sometimes I would do the thing where you pat them for a little, then stop, then back up a step and so on until you back up to the door. And it actually helped making her bedtime earlier--she went to bed better if she wasn't as worn out, so we did 7pm bedtime.
Remember that sleep is SO important for them. He doesn't hate his bed, he just needs to learn to let go. And these phases do pass! Good luck!
S.S. answers from Miami on June 29, 2010
This is normal/typical of this age. They are going through separation anxiety and hates the thought of not seeing you. This too shall pass. Give him a deep massage before going to sleep. This will activate calming chemicals to his brain and although he will still cry, he will calm down faster and get to sleep. You can also try an epsom salts bath, adding about a cup to the bathwater of a big tub. Make a routine of books and singing and then night night so he knows what is coming next. Some kids always cry at bedtime/naptime and others are easier. I wouldn't let it interfere with your boundaries that you are setting.
T.O. answers from Jacksonville on June 29, 2010
Teething time is hard when i know my baby is teething i give her some tynelol a bit before bed. Also, the teething swabs really work. I am going throu the whole crying hysterial when i put my youngest to bed. She is 10 months and has had a bad case of diarrea and when she is getting a new tooth her sleep is affected. It will get better. Try a pacificer at nite
T.A. answers from Toledo on June 28, 2010
My daughter pulled this around the same age. For her, it was from teething. We would always try to put her to bed, and when she got hysterical, we would get her up and let her sit with us for a bit and watch tv and then put her back to bed. It lasted a couple of weeks and then she was fine after she got that round of teeth. Unfortunately it happened again around 12 months, when she went through another round of teething. Good luck!!
P.M. answers from Portland on June 28, 2010
It may not be so much hating his bed as wanting to be with the big people. Some little guys like to fall asleep in a bouncy seat, right in the middle of the action. Or if he's not too big and heavy yet, you might try wearing him around the house and let him nap on you. There are some good wraps available for this.
If he hasn't started trying to walk yet, he may be on the verge. It seems that babies get too stimulated to sleep well when they're entering a new stage of development. Make sure he's getting lots of physical movement during the day, and do your best to see than he takes regular naps, since overtired babies sleep less, not more.
And teething could definitely be enough to keep him awake. Have you tried Tylenol half an hour before bed?
J.K. answers from Gainesville on June 30, 2010
If he's teething he's likely in pain, and lying down makes his mouth throb. Standing up relieves the pain, at least a bit, so that's part of the problem. Give him some Motrin (it lasts for 8 hours; Tylenol only 4) or Tylenol (actually we use the store brand and for some reason it seems that CVS works better than Publix, or maybe I got a lemon bottle) about half an hour before bed and that should help.
Also, at about this age my son's nap schedule changed, and instead of being ready for a nap at 10 am he started going down at 11 am. So you can consider that too. Now he's 13 months and shifting again, I think perhaps he's shifting to one nap instead of two naps. So this could also be going on.
Although my daughter loved to be rocked and held to sleep, my son will not sleep in those conditions. He must be alone. So we have to let him cry it out, and what I do is have a timer. Every 20 minutes I check on him to make sure he's got Nona, his leg isn't stuck in the crib, he's not wet, etc. I pick 20 minutes because it's what I can stand; it's arbitrary. Pick your time and use a timer; it really helps me be calm about it and not fret.
Massage also really does help my son calm down. I have to give him at least 20 minutes of alone in the crib time even after our quiet read books and sing songs night routine (I have a 3.5 year old daughter) to let him wind down. He's just wailing, he's not hysterical. If he does get screechy hysterical, I go in. But the deal is that for him, I have to let him cry for 20 minutes at least before massage will calm him down instead of stimulate him. But massage is wonderful for getting him to drift off if timed right. It really does work for him, and massaging their neck and jaw is particularly helpful during teething.