Night Time Wake-ups

  • My son is almost 2 years old. At just about 9-10 months old my son stopped waking up at night. He would go to bed at 8pm and wake up around 8-9am every morning. It was clock work. Then I split from his father and we moved in with my mother. He still has his own room, same bed and stuff on the wall, we have changed apartments now twice (needing to get a bigger place) and now he is crying every night....and I mean EVERY night. Normally it is once, about 2-3 hours after he goes to bed. He screams at the top of his lungs, he fights me in my arms, he does not normaly want water/drink. I have tried everything from Colic Calm which is the gripe water we used for him as an infant when he was colicy and it worked great, tylonol, ibprofren, orajel, all because I know he has been teething as well and nothing is working. He goes to bed with a fan, turtle night light with stars on the ceiling and his monitor plays music for ten minutes. I thought about the split but his father never and I truely mean NEVER did the "night time" wake ups. It has always been my job. I can give him med's and he still wakes up. I can give him none and he still wakes up. About two-four times in a month he will sleep through the night. Nothing happens different on those days. If anyone has any suggestions please please let me know. I am starting to freak out that I have been missing something. My mother can't even figure this out and she had four children. This is not like my son, he is a very calm, happy baby boy. At nap time he will gladly grab his blankie and bear and go right into nap, which can be upto three hours (not lately he is getting older now). Bed time is the same, grabs his blankie and bear and is happy to go to bed, no fights......what am I doing wrong???????? It is breaking my heart to him like this every night for 8months now. Oh and the doc says he is just fine.... but this is not good for him, I can just feel it!

  • It is normal for children to go through a time when they get more "scared" during the night. He could also be having nightmares. When my friend's son went through this, they sent her to a sleep clinic. There they told her to  establish a routine of things you were willing to do in the middle of the night and then never deter from that. Sooo, she decided that every time he woke up she would walk in his room, give him his pacifier back, pat him on the back 4 times and tell him that it was night night time and that it was time to go to sleep. Then she would leave the room for 5 minutes. Of course, he screamed and screamed, but she waited 5 minutes and then went back in there and did the same exact thing and said the same exact thing. Then she left for 10 minutes. She gradually increased the time she was gone until he was asleep. It was a rough couple of nights, but eventually after 3 nights, he was sleeping 12 hours in a row again. Good luck and let us know what works!

  • How long ago was it that you made your last move?  We moved about a month ago and my 1 year old daughter who has slept through the night since she was 2 weeks old had a hard time adjusting to the new place.  Like your son she had the same furniture, same things on the wall, her room essentially looked the same as it had before we'd moved.  I think she could just sense that something was different.  Toddlers like routines and they like things to be the same, so maybe moving has just kind of tossed him off what he considers normalcy.  (please don't take this as me blaming you for your son's sleep issues.  I'm sure you're doing all you can to establish balance for him.  Changes in living situations isn't easy for anyone, toddler or adult.  I think it shows what a great mom you are by trying to give your son the best living situation you can, asking his pediatrician to check him out, and then coming here for advice.)

    I really like the previous poster's friend's technique.  I know how hard it is to listen to your child cry, especially when they're crying as hard as it sounds like your son is.  When my daughter cries at night I let her go for about 5 minutes then go in and rub her back for a few minutes and make sure she has a pacifier (she is a paci addict when she sleeps).  Usually by then she's calmed down enough that I can feel ok leaving the room, and if she gets upset again I start the process over.  There are definitely times when this just doesn't work though and I have to throw out the routine and just sit and rock her.  Sometimes it helps to sing to her...she loves music...I really don't sing that well, but it seems to soothe her to just hear my voice.

    Hopefully yiur son starts sleeping better soon.  Just remember that even though he's crying way more than normal that you're not doing anything wrong.  You're still a good mom (that's the hardest part for me...remembering that even though I can't figure out why my daughter's crying I'm still a good mom because I care enough to soothe her and try to figure out what's wrong).  Good luck with everything!  Let us know how things go.

  • Sunshinecj-

    I want to start by complementing you-you are doing everything right.  You listed out everything that could possibly be thought of, and so I really want you to hear this-You have done nothing wrong, you have been a superstar in your efforts to help your little one.

    What you son is going through is reflective of change in his life.  You have been amazing in keeping everything within your direct control stable for him.  However, things are different now than they were.  It is normal for kids to regress when they have a stressful event or change in their life. When I say "regress" what I mean is that they will often loose a developmental milestone (or several) that they had mastered, in the face of change or stress.  This can be good change/good stress or hard change/hard stress-kids often respond the same.  I see this very commonly in five year olds when a new sibling enters the family.  The 5 year old child can be very excited about their new brother or sister, and very excited about being a big brother/sister-but suddenly start having urine and stool accidents-and they had been potty trained for a year!  With time and calm consistency they regain this temp. lost developmental milestone and all is fine again.  The reassurance that I can offer you is that he will regain his ability to sail smoothly through the night, and you are doing everything that needs to be done to help him get there.  It's going to take patience, and I know you most likely feel maxed out on patience, but give it a bit more time. 


  • How are things going? Let us know!


  • I want to thank everyone for their help and understanding. I am sorry I could not post earlier but life is a little tight right now. My son is doing a little better. I have been doing a new routine after dinner. I give him and my niece a bath right after dinner, we get our pj's on, comb our hair and then brush our teeth and then its off to bed, after giving Nana love. For the past four nights he has stayed asleep with a little hiccup of a cry in the middle of the night. He finds his pacifier and goes right back to sleep. I don't know if it helped because of the routine itself or maybe he just needed a change, maybe it was the closeness we get by doing this but it seems to be helping I think. Either that or my son just decided to stop have terrors in the middle of the night :). What ever it is I am trying my best to stay to the routine we now have and figure out even better ways of handling his terrors should they come back. Now for the next concern...does anyone know anything about getting him to stop biting?


    Thank you all sooooooo much!!!