Author Topic: Possible 18 M sleep regression????  (Read 400 times)

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Offline karireyn

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Possible 18 M sleep regression????
« on: November 26, 2016, 05:19:09 am »
I am at a total loss. My DS is 19 M and has always been a fantastic sleeper. He has been an angel baby from day one. But a few mornings ago he woke up super early (5:30) and wouldn't go back to sleep no matter what we did. Then he did it again yesterday morning and this morning he woke up at 3:30 and no matter what we did he wouldn't go to sleep! We've never really had issues with regressions before so I honestly have no idea what to do.

He wakes up screaming and he doesn't want to be held, but he doesn't want you to leave either. I ended up sitting by his bed for 40 minutes early this morning but instead of falling back asleep he just kept trying to talk to me. I never engage but I'm not sure what to do. Do I WI/WO do I let him CIO? Please help!

I should note that my FIL passed away this last Sunday so it's been a stressful time for mom and dad, maybe that's contributing to it? Any help would be so appreciated!

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Re: Possible 18 M sleep regression????
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2016, 08:51:27 am »
Sorry to hear of your loss xx

The 18 month regression is something we tend to advice you "ride out" stick with your routine (that was working) and wait for it to pass.  Sometimes reducing the nap time or night sleep (with a later BT) can help if the sleep-needs have dropped some but it is very hard to work out as often LOs have such disturbed sleep over this period.  It is a a big developmental leap and those early wakings and night wakings can be due to many things including developmental dreams and teething, there can also be a big dose of separation anxiety rolled into the mix.  I would say that the passing of someone close to you would be likely to be sensed by LO no matter what you try to do to hide it, but it cannot be avoided, this is a time of grief for you.

Please do not leave your LO to cry alone, we do not agree with CIO or CC methods on BW.

It sounds like he is a good independent sleeper and this is likely the reason he doesn't want to be held in the night when he wakes, he is likely frustrated that he is awake and just wants to get back to sleep but for some reason can't. I would stay by his bed and use a hand on him (stroking head if he likes that or just a hand near him if he doesn't want to be touched) or verbal reassurance from by his bed.  I used a repeated phrase, like a mantra, with mine so that he knew I was there and supporting him even if at times it felt a little pointless - it isn't pointless there is a huge difference in cortisol levels between a child who is supported through these tricky times and a child who is left to deal with it alone when a parent does not respond.

The second year molars may be on the move and even if teething has not been a big problem in the past, these can really take their toll. Mine was teething badly the entire second year and only had 3 nights of peace between the canines finishing and the molars starting. Those 3 nights he slept without any help at all, peacefully and independently just as he had before all the  problems stared. it gave me confidence that my LO had not lost the ability to self settle and that indeed he was only calling out (crying) when he needed me.  When he didn't need me he remained confident to sleep alone. My guess is that your LO has not lost his ability to self settle either, but is just finding this phase really hard.
Have you tried giving pain relief for possible teething?  If not I would try that, perhaps just before BT or save a dose for the middle of the night. Some people manage a "dream meds" just before they go to bed themselves.

Many hugs.