Author Topic: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe  (Read 2659 times)

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Offline Molliesdaniels

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20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« on: February 05, 2015, 15:39:42 pm »
Hello - So, when our daughter was 9 months, we did CIO with great success and she has slept well ever since.  She went down awake, we left the room and she was asleep with no crying in minutes.  She's 20 months old now and a few weeks ago, she started waking up during the night and we would pick her up and settle her and she'd go back to sleep.  This progressed to us basically holding her all night, every night for a week.  We went to the dr and she had a slight ear infection and is starting her 2 year molars.  The ear infection is clear now and the molars are settling down, but the inability to fall asleep alone is still there.  We've stopped picking her up during the night and only go in and sit on the floor until she goes back to sleep.  I know we need to get her to go back to sleep on her own without us there, but I'm not sure how to make that leap.  She seems to be having some separation issues as she clings to me all day and has started crying again when I leave her at school (which she hasn't done in months).  Any advice would be appreciated!  Thank you

Offline weaver

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Re: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2015, 20:57:35 pm »
Hello and welcome to BW.

We do not condone or support CIO in any form on this site.  Tracy Hogg (the Baby Whisperer) felt strongly that it broke the bond of trust between parent and child. And I think you can see in the current situation that it does not provide tools for you or LO to deal with what's going on.  Here is some very recent research on it that might assist you in seeing why:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201407/parents-misled-cry-it-out-sleep-training-reports

If you wish to try gentler methods, we will be very happy to help.  But I must reiterate that CIO is not part of the ethos.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 21:01:48 pm by weaver »
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Offline jessmum46

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Re: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2015, 21:02:13 pm »
Hi and welcome to the site :)

I'll ask someone to move this over to the toddler sleep board for you as your LO is over one.

Sorry to hear you've had bad nights recently.  Could you perhaps post her normal routine with WU, nap and BT for us? 

Has the ear infection settled and have you been giving pain meds for teething?  Those 2y molars can be brutal, my DD had some real separation anxiety like behaviour including at night while they were coming through.  I even ended up sleeping on her floor at one point just to get us both some rest.  To be honest with a previously independent sleeper if there is pain/discomfort at play I would do what is necessary to help her settle until you are sure the pain has gone.  In my experience LOs go back to settling normally once the pain has resolved. 

That said, I'm not sure how familiar you are with BW but we don't support CIO as a method of sleep training as there is good evidence to show that it can damage the bond of trust between LO and caregiver.  Not said to judge as we all make different decisions in our parenting and what is right for our families.  But from our point of view it would affect how we would suggest you go about getting her to settle alone again.  Given she is showing some separation anxiety as well then gradual withdrawal would probably be the best method to choose - Walk In/Walk Out vs. The Gradual Withdrawal Method (HOW TO CHOOSE) (ignore the info on WIWO for now).  This is a gentle way to maintain her trust that you will be there if she needs you but to gently encourage her to have the confidence to settle alone again.

What do you think?

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« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 21:05:38 pm by jessmum46 »
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Offline Molliesdaniels

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Re: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2015, 20:22:48 pm »
Great!  I don't want her to cry 😞 she wakes up around 6, naps from about 12-1:30 and is in bed around 7. Her ears are clear now. Thanks!

Offline jessmum46

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Re: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2015, 19:18:09 pm »
Routine doesn't look bad for her age, I wonder if it may be worth trying out an earlier BT for a while though given she has been having disturbed nights?  Let us know if you need help coming up with a GW plan :)
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Offline Molliesdaniels

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Re: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2015, 02:43:52 am »
I will take all the help I can get!  Tonight we started a bath at about 6:15 and then put on pajamas, prayed and read from 6:40 - 7.  I sat with her for a few minutes while she settled down and then I put her in her bed.  She cried for a minute and I rubbed her back and stepped away.  She settled down and I kept moving closer to the door.  I stayed for about 10 minutes total, but when I walked out she started fussing.  I watched her on the monitor and she was just standing in her bed calling my name.  I went in when she actually started crying and settled her again very quickly and then sat by the door until she was asleep.  She stood up a few times while I was sitting there, but laid herself back down without me having to say anything.  The whole process took about 40 minutes.  I'm worried about what will happen if she wakes up during the night because that's the part that is proving to be most difficult.  She either wakes up and stays awake for a long time or wakes up often during the night. 

Offline jessmum46

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Re: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2015, 09:17:21 am »
That sounds like a great start. For now I would try just sitting by the door until she goes off seeing as she was able to settle like that last night.  Same at NWs. Then in a couple of days when she is hopefully settling a little easier you could move to sit in the doorway, then a couple of days later outside the door, then finally outside with door closed. How did your night go?
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Offline Molliesdaniels

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Re: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2015, 12:21:21 pm »
Thank you. Our night was not the best or the worst. She woke up at 11 and I sat by the door for about 20 minutes while she styled back down. She woke up again at 1:30 and my dh did the same. She woke up about a half an hour later and he did the same. We've been sitting by the door for 3 nights with the door shut. Should we open it and move into the doorway or just outside?  I feel like this won't resolve until she sees us leave the room while she's awake. i just want my IS back 😉

Offline Molliesdaniels

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Re: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2015, 12:28:13 pm »
I just woke up and realized that at some point, he went back in and slept on her floor with her and they're still sleeping.

Offline jessmum46

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Re: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2015, 13:12:48 pm »
They must both be tired!

Yes if she is settling well with you sitting by the door and door shut then I would move on to sitting in the open doorway.  It's not a big move and you should be able to sit outside the door with it part open in 2-3 days, followed by being outside the shut door.  Remember the aim of this is gradual changes to build up her confidence and maintain trust.  To me it sounds like you are doing really well :). Consistency is key though so maybe a gentle word with DH ;)
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Offline Molliesdaniels

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Re: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2015, 16:42:29 pm »
Thank you. We're all miserably tired. My dh tried to take her for a run this morning and had to come back because she was falling asleep in the stroller after a few minutes. Do you think I should try to put her down a little earlier tonight to where she might be asleep by 7 instead of just getting into bed by 7?  She seems so OT. Are there any threads about success stories for this method with toddlers?  We could use a little encouragement today!  Thank you again

Offline Molliesdaniels

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Re: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2015, 16:43:22 pm »
Also, our gro clock should come in tomorrow. Should I implement it right away or wait a bit?  Thanks!

Offline Molliesdaniels

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Re: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2015, 12:19:55 pm »
Yesterday for her nap, she talked and played in her bed for 30 minutes and then slept an hour. I went in and rubbed her back for a second and then sat again by the door. She slept for 2 more hours. Last night went well. She was in bed at 7 and sang and played until 7:30 while I sat in the door with it open. She slept until 5:30. I guess we will try the same for nap today and bed tonight. Could you tell me what to do if all continues to go well with this step today and tomorrow?  Thank you so much!!

Offline jessmum46

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Re: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2015, 13:14:35 pm »
You are doing so well!

I would suggest next move should be you sit outside the door and either have it partway closed or open but sit out of her line of sight.  That was a good night considering she had a 3h nap - at that age anything more than 1h45 or so robbed our nighttime sleep so just something to bear in mind as you move forwards.

I know one of the TS mods has used GW many times with great success so I will flag up this thread to her if you need more help/encouragement - she's away at the moment but should be back in the next few days :)

What's your feeling on the gro clock?  I would probably suggest waiting until the next stage of GW where you are putting her down then leaving her room (at that stage you are then into WIWO if she is not settling well) and then you can implement it.  It's important to set up for success, so if typical WU at the moment is 5.30am set it initially for that time so she succeeds right away.  Then gradually move it forwards a few minutes at a time until it's at what you would think of as a reasonable WU time :)

Any questions on the clock - I use something similar for my DD and love it! 
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Re: 20 month old suddenly stops being able to self soothe
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2015, 13:29:03 pm »
Does look like a very long nap to me.  She might be making up for OT, as you said she was very OT before.  I'd watch for a pattern developing of these long naps followed by NWs, particularly if they are long NWs, that'll tell you that she's getting too much day time sleep. Mind you, you're generally aiming for a 13 hour day (I think?) so perhaps she might need a longer nap than LOs doing 12 hrs as standard.

GW sounds like it's going really well, as Katherine says.  Key word is 'gradual' so if she's getting upset about something, try going slightly backwards (iyswim).
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