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18month old sudden bad sleeper! Lock Rss

Hi, my son just turned 18months 1 week ago and overnight has turned into a horrible sleeper. He has always been a dream to get to sleep and I'd only have to put him in his cot and he'd put himself to sleep normally within 20min (with normally just talking no crying) but he's always been an early riser (5am normally). Suddenly he's waking at 4am and won't go back to sleep in his cot, but if brought into bed with us he falls asleep straight away. Now his daytime naps are a struggle as well with very bad screaming as soon as I walk out the door. I've done the controlled crying thing but it only sometimes works, normally after 30min of awful screaming I give in and stay in there with my hand on his chest until he nods off (usually only 5min) - I know that's probably not the thing to do but I'm getting to the point of losing my cool otherwise. The only thing we can put reason to is that his last molars might be coming through, he's been early with all his other teeth. He still puts himself to sleep really well at night though just wakes early wanting comfort. So do I keep giving in and hope he outgrows it or stick with the controlled crying? The crying is breaking my heart (and not helping my headaches much either)! Plus because he's such an early riser he still has a morning nap at 8am, I know he probably needs to drop this one and only have his afternoon nap but it's too long a morning otherwise - any suggestions? Help please!!!


Hi Rowena,
Sorry but I can't offer any solution but I can say that you are not alone. My now 22 month old son has the same problem has always been such a good sleeper, about 3 months ago he had a bout of gastro which seem to upset the apple cart. It took 2 week s to get his day nap (2hrs at lunchtime) back on track. Night's are a totally different story. He had been sleeping in our bed every night, sometimes at about 10-11pm and sometimes we had to go to bed to get him to sleep with us. I tried the contolled thing and just couldn't do it. Have also thought it was his teeth, only has one molar to go, but this week we seemed to have realised something, he will go to sleep in his own bed (yes, we even bought him a single bed to try and replicate ours)when there is only one parent around. So for the last 3 nights my partner has put him down while I have gone and hidden my self quietly in the study, and it has only taken 3mins for him to fall asleep (no crying or tantrums), so hopefully this is him out growing this sleep problem.
I hope your son outgrows his problem soon as it becomes more of an issue.

Hi Rowena,

It’s hard to say why the sudden change but with daylight saving here (unless you’re a Queenslander) this should be helping with the early rising a bit.

At this age you would expect only one nap so I would try to hold out on this morning nap and push for an early lunch at 11am and then the sleep.

Don’t make too much of a battle during the day it’s good he’s sleeping well at night

Cheers Maree

It's Time to Sleep

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