17 answers

My 14 Month Old Cries Every Time He Wakes Up

Every time my son wakes up, he cries. It can be first thing in the morning or even nap times. He sleeps in his crib in his own bedroom and I can hear him on the baby monitor. I hear stories about how mom's think it is cute how their kids at this age wake up and play for a while, but my son automatically starts crying. Once I pick him up, he is fine though. I don't understand why he cries instead of waking up and babbling or something. Is it time for a toddler bed where he can get out of the bed when he wakes up? That may not be the answer at this age and it's not like he can say "hey, I'm awake now" but how can I get him to wake up and not cry for me to come and get him?

What can I do next?

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I've cared for a few hundred children, probably close to 300 or more if I include part-timers and drop-ins through the years. I believe this is just a personality thing. You might be able to influence him over time by refusing to go get him until he stops crying. That seems harsh and it does force him eventually to entertain himself. But this is a decision that must be made carefully. First you have to give him things he can do. Toys that make noise and start easy that are hung on the crib helps. Music in the room helps and especially anything that starts from something he's doing. Lots of people don't believe in having any toys in the crib. I think millions of people have had toys in their cribs for hundreds of years so it really can't be all bad. But you have to choose toys that will NOT fall apart.

There is no way that it would work to start doing this and then stop because you can't stand his crying. So don't start unless you can follow through.

S.

1 mom found this helpful

My son who is also 14 months old started doing this recently, not all the time but most of the time. I think it's a couple things, one is the room to dark? I put a might light in his room and that helps. Also, my son is getting his back molars, so I think that wakes him up and since he is in pain he just cries and wants to be held. Most of the time I give him his Nuk that he has dropped and that satisfy's him and he will sleep through the rest of the night. Along with the teething he has a runny nose and he will wake up if his nose is stuffy, so then I just clear it out and that helps as well. It's just a phase though....hopefully.

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I've cared for a few hundred children, probably close to 300 or more if I include part-timers and drop-ins through the years. I believe this is just a personality thing. You might be able to influence him over time by refusing to go get him until he stops crying. That seems harsh and it does force him eventually to entertain himself. But this is a decision that must be made carefully. First you have to give him things he can do. Toys that make noise and start easy that are hung on the crib helps. Music in the room helps and especially anything that starts from something he's doing. Lots of people don't believe in having any toys in the crib. I think millions of people have had toys in their cribs for hundreds of years so it really can't be all bad. But you have to choose toys that will NOT fall apart.

There is no way that it would work to start doing this and then stop because you can't stand his crying. So don't start unless you can follow through.

S.

1 mom found this helpful

It's a personality issue.
My son did that too. I couldn't understand it. He would start crying even before his eyes were open. I used to think "What in the world is there to cry about when you aren't even fully awake yet ?" I longed for him to wake up happy, like his sisters, but that wasn't in the cards for us, and I learned to understand him instead of wishing for something that was not going to happen.
As he grew, I learned things about his personality. He was and still is a serious, and thoughtful type personality. He also has tactile issues. He hates the feel of certain types of materials, and he hates wet clothing (babies wake up with wet diapers !). All of these things (and more) go into the mix to make up a kid who cries as he is waking.
It does seem that it got better when he finally grew into a toddler bed. He was able to get up and come to me when he woke up, so I could get the wet diaper off him, or put him on the potty as he got older and woke up dry. He was able to start right in playing rather than being trapped in the crib until I noticed he was awake. And as he got old enough to use his words, he could tell me he didn't like the feel of his sheets, so I switched to flannel sheets.
Many of these issues are still part of his personality today at 24 years old. Turns out he is above average intelligence, and this causes some impatience with the world around him.

So, it's personality, and as he grows, the two of you will find ways to help him get along in the world and not be so cranky. Hang in there, Mom. You probably have a very intelligent little guy there.

You said it yourself: his crying is saying "hey I'm awake and come and get me right now. I want to go play, eat, have my diaper changed and be loved by you. I don't like being in here by myself."

With that being said, do you put him in his crib already asleep or does he fall asleep in his crib? If he falls asleep in one place (like you rocking him or his carseat or the livingroom) and wakes up in another (his bed) it can be scary. He's not where he thought he was. Try to transition to having him fall asleep in his crib, he'll become more comfortable in his environment when he wakes up.

My little boy is 21 months old and he's still in a crib. I have no desire to move him to a toddler bed or twin bed until we start potty training him or he tries to climb out of the crib.

He cries sometimes when he wakes up and sometimes he just chills out and plays. He's also known to cry for a couple of minutes and go back to sleep, so I don't run to get him everytime he cries. I know that he's safe in his crib--the main reason I'm holding off on the toddler bed. I give him a couple of minutes of crying before I get him. (I also judge the cries. There's the terrified scared cry that grows in intensity and I respond quickly to that one. Then there's the complaining cry stating, "this isn't where I want to be at." It usually dies down after a few minutes. That one I take time responding to.) Once I stopped jumping to "save" him everytime he cried, he cried a lot less, took longer naps and slept through the night.

One other thing. If my son hears us when he's waking up or trying to go to sleep (the upstairs bathroom and our bedroom are next to his bedroom), then he'll cry for us to come and get him. We aren't silent while he's napping, but we are a lot quieter around his room.

Hopefully it helps a little. And remember all babies are different. Good luck.

I agree this may be a personality issue. My son wakes up crying, and his dad kind of wakes up grouchy too. I think that making your son cry until he learns to entertain himself is kind of like punishing him for having a quirky personality. If he is fine once you pick him up, I think the most important thing you can do is let him know you are there for him.

I agree with Alice, that usually they are still tired if they wake up crying. Have you ever let him cry it out and see if he falls back to sleep? And at nap time, how long is he sleeping? If it is only 45 mins to an hour, it could indeed mean he is still tired. Good Luck!

My daughter cries a lot when she wakes up (99% of the time) and needs to be held/cuddled. I have thought for a long time that she has bad dreams. Now that she she really speak, I'm sure she has bad dreams. She now wakes up crying things like "Let got of my foot!" or "Give it back to me!"

You might have a totally different situation, but wanted to offer that out as an option.

J., I completely understand! My older one would wake up and talk and sing in his bed (still does), but the youngest - WHOA! If she's not asleep she's crying. It can be so jarring at first because you think something MUST be wrong. But after 18 mos with her now, we've realized that her personality is such that she has absolutely NO patience for being cooped up anywhere, her bed, her car seat, the stroller, high chair, etc. and she is determined to let you know. I keep thinking that once she can talk (she doesn't have more than about 4 words right now) we'll be able to figure something out with her. A few months ago I started putting books in her crib so she could read when she woke up, etc. She throws them at the wall and cries more. The rule in our house is, I don't care what time you wake up, but you're not getting out of bed before 7 am - Mama can't handle that! The oldest one sits in bed and reads until someone comes for him. The youngest cries. We just turn off her monitor. We know she's safe - just mad. Maybe one day she'll realize that doesn't work - but she hasn't yet.

Good Morning J., I think C and S are on track. We personally use mobile Zane can look at and little Caterpillar that is soft and hangs on his crib, plays music if he touches a part of it.
We also have Baby Einstein Baby lullaby's on a cd player going constantly through the night and nap time. It's classical music and very soothing.

Best of everything to you and your little man.
K.
PS Suzie, I salute you! I worked in a pre-school ONCE..lol had 22, 3 yr olds ( alone ) in one room for 8 hours except for outside play time, which was only one day, it rained everyday but one. I lasted ONE week.

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