- 04-15-2012, 10:05 PM #1Registered User
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
- Hong Kong
Desperate for advice PLEASE
For the last 5 months, my 21 month old has been waking up at various times in the middle of the night, screaming hysterically. Sometimes it's noise from the living room (if we had not gone to bed), sometimes I think he's had a wee, sometimes it's from a cough. Usually the waking time is between 12 midnight and 4am.
Problem is he cannot self settle, not even if we go into his room and pat and shush. He keeps screaming hysterically until one of us lie down on the floor next to him. He will also lie awake for ages and checking periodically to see if we are still in the room. Dad has been doing this for the last few months to try to get us through, as we have a 2 month old now but I am sick of having my hubby away half the night, and I don't think this is a solution either. We have tried a night light and that doesn't help either.
I hate seeing him like this and suffice to say, his quality of sleep must be so poor. At the moment he is crying himself out and I hate seeing him like this. He has also in the past been so hysterical he even vomited.
PLEASE does anyone have any advice, is there anywhere in HK we can get professional help?
- 04-15-2012, 10:42 PM #2
he could be having night terrors, both of my kids suffered from them... but now, he's gotten used to having daddy sleep on the floor next to him, soh, what started as a legitimate problem, has now developed into a habit.
we always had to tough it out and let the kids cry (neither of mine ever vomited from crying... i think they instinctively knew what my reaction to that theatrical display would be)... my daughter, i leave for 10-15 minutes, then go in and ask if she'd finished. if so, i would offer her a cuddle. while i give her the cuddle i explain that i will sing prayers and then put her back to bed, that i need sleep, too. for us, that has been what has worked.
my girl still wakes up occasionally screaming/crying in her sleep...and she's 5 now.
- 04-15-2012, 11:56 PM #3Registered User
- Join Date
- Dec 2008
- South District
my daughter at around 17-19mths also did that ...though she didn't cry till she vomited...she would just somehow wake herself up. she was rooming by herself at that time. now that she is older...well, 21mths, she's rooming with her older sister, and (touchwood) the mid-night wakings have completely stopped! we've since discovered she's scared to be alone, so even when we had the night light on we would have to stay with her till she fell asleep and tip toed out. anyhow, any chance you can have the baby room in with her? I know it's kind of early, but perhaps just at about the time she sleeps, perhaps have the baby inside, so she feels "safe" and then remove her when the older one is asleep? will they eventually sleep in the same room? that really helped us.
- 04-16-2012, 11:46 AM #4Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2010
Another vote for night terrors. Not necessarily a bad 'dream' but the emotional feelings of fear or being scared while they are sleeping.
We found some similarities with our son's incidents. Primarily between 10-12midnight after going to bed about 8:00. We followed the advice of a 'mild stir' to disrupt the sleep cycle somewhat. About 9:30 or so we would go into the room and whisper or move a blanket just to the point that they would 'stir'--roll over one side or the other or move their hands or something. Not waking, just stirring. This would disrupt their sleep cycle a bit and help forestall the night terrors that were occurring at those hours.
- 04-16-2012, 10:18 PM #5Registered User
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
- Hong Kong
I don't think they are night terrors as he seems to be awake and recognizes me and yells mama. Last night when he woke at 2.30am (woke himself up with a cough) he was standing in his cot and pointing at the spare bedding in the corner, indicating he wanted someone to bed down with him.
I agree that there is probably a fear of being alone. My mum suggested the same as lesliefu did, to put my 2 month old in the room, but it is hard logistically as I still have to tend to her quite often at night and she is still learning to self settle.
I tried letting him cry it out last night. Screaming lasted about 45min at bedtime as he didn't want to go to bed, then lasted 15 min at 2.30am. I really hate it, it's so traumatizing.
I'd expect more of the same tonight. Sigh. Is there any other way?
really hate it,
- 04-16-2012, 10:22 PM #6
not really... but 15 minutes isn't bad. maybe he'll be down to 10 minutes tonight.
perhaps you should remove the bedding from his room? otherwise, he won't truly "get it".
ps> my daughter looks for all intents and purposes like she is awake. she can have a full on conversation with me... but she's not awake. she's most definitely asleep. i was exactly the same when i was younger. i still talk in my sleep...hubby wakes me about 1-2x/week to ask me to stop talking!
- 04-17-2012, 12:19 AM #7Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2009
Have you tried introducing a soothing CD into the room while your son is falling asleep? He's nearly 2-years-old so he might even enjoy a CD with stories. My son listens to a story CD every night before he goes to sleep. Lately, I've added a few burned CDs of music from iTunes into the mix.
Basically, if you're going to keep him rooming by himself you're going to have to sleep train him for real and that means going through a few tough nights (maybe a week or two at most). I recommend reading "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" and following the instructions. It's not easy but a lot of moms and dads have been through it (including me). Vomiting is not the end of the world. While it's not pleasant, in the initial stages you're probably going to have to overlook it.
The other option is start co-sleeping with your 21-month-old. I know quite a few co-sleeping advocates who could give you testimonies and tips. Doesn't work for everyone but it's another option that might work for you.“Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”
~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)
Mother of Two
JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK
- 04-17-2012, 07:48 AM #8Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
What's his bedtime? Research has shown that children who are overtired (too late bedtimes) have more trouble falling, but also staying (and falling back to) asleep). My children didn't start developing night terrors (and still very rare) until much later, 4-5 years old.
My children have been going to sleep very early from very early on, and they still go to bed early. My 5yos are in bed at 7.15 pm and my oldest, almost 8, at 7.45 pm, and when they were really young it used to be between 6 and 7 pm. Honestly, I can count the number of times they get out of bed on my 2 hands (apart from night terrors, jet lag, etc.). I believe well rested children sleep better. The more tired they are, the more difficult it is to settle whether it is at night or in the middle of the night.
If you're a loving parent (which I believe we all are), this is not going to traumatize your child. You're teaching your child to settle by himself, going back to sleep by himself. Good quality sleep is great gift. Don't beat yourself up about it.
I read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child as he was our children's pediatrician in the US.
Last edited by MommyTo3; 04-17-2012 at 07:52 AM.
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