Posted by: Margaret | 2009/09/16


17 month old cries in sleep

my little girl will be 17 months in 4 days'  time. she is active, eats very well, drinks a lot of liquids during the day and one bottle of 240ml nido milk at night. she sleeps once during the day, about 1.5 to 2 hours normally. sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon (before 4pm). she has slept in the bed with hubby and myself since birth. about a month ago i started moving her to her own bed after her 10pm milk bottle and then she sleeps on her own. sometimes an hour, sometimes 5 minutes, and once even 6 hours with no cries. she has not been a " sleeper"  from birth and wakes often at night. while teething, she would be restless and crying during the night. the crying has now gotten worse. she wakes and cries. i would give her bottle, but then for about 2 weeks i' d manage to simply touch her and she' d sleep again, even if it happens a few times. this kept happening, so i took her back to our bed for 4 nights. however she still cried. last night she fell asleep in her own bed, slept 2 hours and then cried. from there i climbed in with her, but she kept waking and crying. and when i spoke to her, she screamed! this went on all night and at 4am i gave her 2ml stopayne in an effort to get her to sleep a bit, as to me it felt overtiredness was now starting to play a role. she then climbed into bed with the two of us and after crying at 2 different intervals, slept until 6.30 and woke up with a beautiful smile and full of chats. the little sleep doesn' t seem to bother her much. she has all her milk teeth except the last 4 " molars"  so i don' t think it' s the teething - the diapers we normally get together with the restlessness is missing. from the 1st time she wakes i stay with her. please can you give me an idea of what to look for? why is she crying. my friend seems to think (she has 2 daughters aged 4 and 2) that it could be a bit of manipulation? or maybe there' s not enough stimulation during her day. she stays with grandma and grandpa during the day. they keep her busy, ride around, play games. and in the afternoons the other grandchild - aged 8 - is there and she " learns"  with them and runs around with him and the cat. I am just so tired after all these months and am seeing it in my patience that is starting to be serioiusly lacking. she has slept out 3 times with grandparents and they didn' t complain, but that was start of this year. they just don' t seem interested in having her there - maybe because she is there all week? my mom is too afraid of baby and hubby tried taking care of her for 1 night but was absolutely tired for 3 nights thereafter. i am making absolutely stupid mistakes at work and am worried about that. please, please see if you can give me advice???

Expert's Reply



This is a very difficult question to answer. It is not clear where the problem lies here. It does seem that your little toddler has become used to sleeping in your bed and is finding it very difficult to sleep in her own bed. Also when she is with you she has an audience through the night with you being there the minute she cries. She does not appear to be hungry or teething and is probably too old for reflux to be a problem now. Do not give her Stopayne which contains codeine and this causes constipation, possible dependency and sedation.The only way forward appears to be the 'controlled crying method'. Please look this up on previous postings or go to Google for information and do not give in if you want this method to work.

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