August 22, 2010,
P.K. asks from Baton Rouge, LA on June 26, 2008
Bedtime Separation Anxiety
My 11 month old daughter has gone to sleep on her own and slept through the night most of the time since she was 3 months old. However, in the last couple of months she has developed pretty intense separation anxiety. So far we've managed it pretty successfully during the day, but bedtime remains a problem. The pediatrician tells us to let her cry, which works, but only after and hour or more of hysterical screaming. We did that for weeks, but it didn't seem to change the pattern. Lately I've started to go into the room to let her know that we haven't gone anywhere. She calms down almost instantly when I go to her. I almost never pick her up, but do rub her back and talk to her. The instant I leave, she cries again. Any advice out there?
B.H. answers from Oklahoma City on June 26, 2008
I wouldn't go back in. If you know she is tired, put her in there and shut the door, and say good night thru the door. What I do for my 14 month old and 3 yr old is play some white noise. I used to use the radio, but the DJ's in the morning would wake the baby at 6 am. Ugh. So I got one of those pretend aquariums at Big Lots that you can plug in and either put on the wall or put on a dresser. You can have it just as a night light or have the background noise too. My 14 month old fusses when I put him to bed but minutes later he is sound asleep.
1 mom found this helpful
E.H. answers from New Orleans on June 27, 2008
my advice is to just let her cry it out and keep the door closed. this is what worked for me. maybe try putting a sound box, that plays soft sounds, that might calm her a bit faster. good luck and good night.
1 mom found this helpful
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J.S. answers from Enid on June 27, 2008
i have a 7 year old, 3 year old, and 7 month old. anytime any of them have a hard time going to sleep or wake up in the night upset they move straight into our bed. we have a full size antique iron bed that was my great grandma's so i can't part with it to get a bigger bed, so sometimes it's a little cramped for sleeping, but they need to know that we are there for them and i, personally, would NEVER shut their bedroom door and let them scream and cry. by doing this, my kids rarely come into our bed, they are secure in knowing if they needed to, they could. this is just a phase for you, i've been through it, your child is only little for a short period of time, trust me, no matter what anyone says, she will outgrow this, just give her the extra time she needs with you. it's a big, scary world out there so in your home she needs to feel safe and secure, not scared and abandoned.
T.L. answers from Birmingham on June 28, 2008
Fire your pediatrician. Your child doesn't understand why it's so important for her to sleep alone - you don't, do you? Right now, she needs you. She is going through a very normal stage, and if you give her the comfort and security she needs, then when she's ready, she'll be able to separate from you. Be aware that, now, because of the fear and hysterical screaming that has already occurred, her return to a secure state of mind will probably take longer than if you'd been given permission to follow your instincts and go to her when she first needed you to. This stage will not last forever. But if, at any time your child gets more clingy, you set aside more snuggle time and give her attention, she will become MORE secure, not more dependent. By what authority do I speak, you ask? I have 4 children, including 2 teenagers (ages 16, 15, 12, and 7). They are very secure, and awesome people to be around. I invested heavily in them when they were little, and they are far less high-maintenance than other kids who were taught to be "independent" before they were ready.
D.B. answers from New Orleans on June 27, 2008
Try some soft, made-for-babies, meditation music to comfort her into a restful relaxed sleep. Or there is also the music that offers nature sounds, like rain, frogs, crickets, etc. My little ones enjoyed the rain and thunderstorms cassette at bedtime. Occasionally they'd listen to the soft meditation music and relaxed instantly with this as well. I can say to this day, and they are all over 25 yrs old, they love the sound of the rain and thunderstorms!
I also sang to my babies when they were under the age of 1 to 1 1/2 yrs old. I sang and patted their tiny booties as they lay on their tummies with head turned to where they could see me standing there next to the crib. They feel of my hand on their tiny bodies, plus the sound of my voice, and just knowing I was there was comforting enough to put them to sleep. You have to have patience. If you go in a rush a little pat and then leave, they will always wake and scream again. Give them time to trust that you are protecting them. Feeling secure in your presence is not too much ask, especially when as a mom you remember they lived inside of you for 9 mths feeling completely protected and close to you.,
enjoy these moments when your little one wants to have you near. when 12 yrs of age hits, they won't want you within a 5 foot vicinity! lol...
A.C. answers from Lawton on June 27, 2008
Why fight it she is only going to be little once, snuggle her get her back to sleep go back to bed. They all almost are sleeping on their own by the age of 5 anyway. So enjoy her needing you while you can and stop fighting it. I am a mom of soon to be 4 and gave up on children sleeping throught he night a long time ago. My two oldest started to sleep all by themselves around the age of 4 now I wish I could snuggle more,lol. If hubby gets mad tell him to snuggle too he might enjoy it more than he thinks. Good luck some battles are not worth fighting..
oh ps I did try furber and any other sleep methood out there becasue i neeed sleep sooo bad nothign worked except to just let them sleep with me so we bought a biger bed,haha.
K.M. answers from Oklahoma City on June 27, 2008
My daughter did that too. I allowed her to sleep with me (which sometimes I wish I didn't). It was hard to break. My husband worked the night shift then so it was easier. It is hard the first time listening to your child cry herself to sleep. My daughter did not want anything to sleep with like a security blanket. She is 4 now and still crys sometimes. My son however has a pillow, a blanket, and his elmo :-) to sleep with. Stay strong and stick to your routine. I have to rub my daughter's back sometimes too. Just keep loving on her while she will let you. Good Luck.
A.C. answers from Oklahoma City on June 27, 2008
give your baby what she needs, time and you. you wan't regret it.