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So, I’ve run into a minor issue with my little man and am trying to figure out what to do. Any help from my readers would be more than welcomed!

Bed time with babies and toddlers tend to have frequent set backs. From teething to growing to just plain changes in getting older, you will experience months where they go to bed and nap perfectly. Then you will experience months where they decide that they don’t want to nap when they normally napped or will give you a hard time upon putting them down for bed. This is normal, not fun but normal. Little ones are growing and will change their sleeping patterns on you often. My son was not a sleeper upon arrival. He was up all day long and would take one, 1-hour nap a day and then be up 3-4 times at night for feedings. I just about went crazy as I had been told that babies sleep all of the time for the first month. Not true. I got hardly any breaks during the first month and was up all night. At about 12 months of age he began taking 2 naps a day. This was awesome! I was so excited and finally had a chance to get some work done. Then at 16 months he stopped taking two naps and went back to one nap. Now we are dealing with a new issue and I’m pulling my hair out trying to figure out the best way to deal with it.

My husband and I work from our studio at home and in January my husband took on starting up and running a second company. This change took him away from home several nights a week and all day on Saturdays. Up until this time, my little man had been sleeping in his toddler bed for about 4 months and had no issues going to sleep at night after our routine of saying goodnight to daddy, reading books, rocking in the rocking chair and saying his prayers together. During the day he would go down for his naps willingly and would sleep for 2 hours everyday. When my husband began his new schedule things changed within 2 days of daddy not being there at night. My son would not go to bed but would stand at his gate and cry for dada. This would go on for up to 2-3 hours every night. I would continue to put him back into bed with him just popping right back out before I even shut the gate. Then when daddy was home the same pattern continued. Neither of us could get him to bed without hysterics and the dreaded 2-3 hour ordeal every night.

About mid February, the same started happening for naps. He would be either crying for dada, mama or saying baby night night. As he stopped asking for dada he began more and more of asking for baby and night night while pointing to my belly.¬†The only way he would go down for naps or go to bed is if I laid in the twin bed next to his bed with him and waited until he fell asleep and then would place him in his toddler bed. While I am opposed to doing this, I still have to work and I have to get some sleep at night. I also discussed the problem with my life coach who told me that he could be experiencing some kind of separation anxiety due to daddy now being gone at night or going through some changes due to me being pregnant and discussing having a new little baby in the house. Having my husband gone is not only stressful on me at night, but also on the little one who can sense how I am feeling as well. After talking to her I felt as though I could be making his problem worse by letting him cry nightly for long periods of time if he was having a problem with feeling some sort of abandonment by daddy. I’m not sure how to handle the problem if it is connected to having a baby and his attachment to me and the baby at this point. So, I gave in to helping him get to sleep and then placing him in his crib.

By the first week of March I realized it was pointless to try and change things as we’d be going to Europe the following week and his sleeping pattern would be thrown off schedule anyway. For the most part in Europe, he would fall asleep with us and then be moved to his crib. I knew 2 weeks of this was going to be tough to break, but what was the difference when his pattern was already messed up and I was coming home to have to fix the issues upon returning anyway?

Now we are back. The first nap came and I placed him in his bed like we use to, his music playing and stuffed animals next to him only to have him fight me to get out of bed. I told him he had to be a big boy and explained to him the best I could that he needs to take a nap, then I left and closed his gate. He spent the next 45 minutes screaming and crying at his gate calling for baby night night. I would occasionally put him calmly back into bed and then try to go back to work, but he would be up a matter of seconds screaming at his gate again. As for bedtime, my husband has been gone at night and with the jet lag, I thought it would be easier to get him to bed as we are all so tired, however that didn’t happen either. He screams and cries just like before and I eventually give in as I don’t want to make any fear of abandonment for him worse, if that is the problem. It does bother me though as he cries for baby night night and when I am in sight he is pointing to my belly, running to the bed and patting the bed saying baby mama night night. Ugh, what do I do?

I’ve been researching what I can do to help him. Some people say to shut the door and try to negotiate keeping the door open if the toddler stays in bed. Other people let the child sleep in their bed with them and don’t have any issues with that. Another option is having a crib or some kind of barrier so the little one can’t climb out of bed (not sure what to do here as he was climbing out of his crib at 14 months and we had to switch him to the toddler bed for his own safety). Others recommend a positive reward system with a sticker chart and rewards upon staying in bed for a full week. I’m not sure what to do. As he is only 22 months old, I’m not sure if he will understand the sticker chart system, but I am willing to try it out. I don’t want him getting rewards for doing a normal routine thing such as going to bed. Here are some more options from Parents.com (All of which we do but are still having problems).

5 steps to lull your child to sleep

  • Keep your toddler active during the day with plenty of outdoor play.
  • Create a consistent, calming bedtime ritual. Start with a warm bath, for instance, then play quietly together in his room.
  • Cuddle your toddler in your lap as you read a story or sing songs together.
  • Don’t let your child get used to sleeping with a bottle or dozing off in your arms. Offer her a comfort object instead, such as a stuffed doll or a blanket.
  • Play a tape or CD of soft lullabies or soothing music as you leave the room.

As I continued to research I found www.drspock.com that gave me a little more insight to the problem and the solution. Dr. Robert Needlman discusses in one article about changes with a toddler and how that can affect their sleeping pattern. So, it is the change of my husbands new work routine and having him begin to realize that another child will be entering the picture. He also points out two options you can try that will work in breaking your child back into sleeping on their own. The first thing to do is to provide the routine at night like discussed above. Then you have 2 options. The first one, is to sit in the room with them and just sit through them crying without interacting with them. Do this night after night and continue to move your chair further away from them until you are out the door. The second option is to do what I’ve been doing and leave them cry for as long as it takes for them to go to sleep. It might take 3-5 nights of this before they realize that you mean business and will eventually stay in bed. You can go in and lay them down every so often but you need to make it brief and with no interaction.

So, tonight I will continue on allowing him to cry for as long as it takes to break him of this habit and will start with bedtime first. Once I get him back to his night time schedule then I will work on his naps. I will keep you updated on how this goes and should have some good follow up information late next week. Wish me luck and if you have any further tips please feel free to comment!

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  1. alberto

    witnessed@comparing.chansons” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info….

    July 29, 20141:56 pm

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