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seperation anxiety at bedtime?!!!

i'm a SAHM to a 20 month old daughter, who (for the first time last night) refused to go to sleep without me present. we did her normal bedtime routine. i put her in her crib, kissed goodnight and told her i'd see her in the morning. she stood up and started saying "momma" over and over again. i went over to her to make sure she was ok. she smiled and seemed fine. i left the room. i watched her on her monitor, trying to climb out of her crib (which she's never done before) and saying 'momma' repeatdly again. i went in and she was holding her arms up for me to pick her up and continued saying 'momma' till i picked her up. she then was fine even laughing. we repeated this process until 2am. when my husband tried to hold her, she just kept calling for me. one time, he was able to get her to fall asleep for about 45 minutes, but then she woke up crying for me again. help!

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rachelsmommy78

Asked by rachelsmommy78 at 11:30 AM on Jan. 25, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (4)
  • The problem is that you kept her awake by going in constantly. Just because she says momma doesn't mean you have to sit in her room all night.
    IamPatSajak

    Answer by IamPatSajak at 11:33 AM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • She's just playing with you. If she does it again tonight, don't go back in... if you want to give her reassurance that she's fine send your DH in but don't pick her up. You don't want to start a new bad habit.
    With my son if he wakes at night it has to be DH that goes in and he will go right back to sleep... if I go in he will stay up and fuss and cry if I try to leave again.
    AmiJanell

    Answer by AmiJanell at 11:42 AM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • We've been dealing with this stuff with our 2.5 year old. The book No Cry Sleep Solutions for Preschoolers and Toddlers (Elizabeth Pantley) has some good stuff in it. But like you, I'm most baffled by the fact that this kind of thing can come on after it was never a problem before. In your place, I would have probably gone in the first time, redid the last part of the bedtime routine (for us its a couple of songs with the lights out), and then left her for a few minutes, even if she cried. I wouldn't let her cry for ages or anything, but sometimes they're just a bit thrown off and it's just a one night thing and they just need a couple of minutes to figure it out. I'm hesitant to offer much more advice, because I'm torn between things you need to do to make your child feel secure and the fear of starting new habits that neither of you need... Maybe it won't be an issue tonight.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:44 AM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • she has been in a 'momma' phase lately. if i even leave the living room (and my husband could be in there), she'll try to follow me. maybe it is because we are always together? maybe it is just a phase?

    this bedtime thing is new though. the reason i kept going back in there is because she was trying to climb out of her crib and i was afraid she'd fall. she also was crying hysterically which broke my heart. i did not spend the whole night in there. i would only stay till she calmed down.

    unfortunately, i can't send my DH in tonight if this happens again. he's a police officer and works crazy hours. i'm hoping it was a fluke last night and that she sleeps well tonight. last night, i gave her her stuffed monkey to sleep with, it seemed to help a little.

    i don't know what to do if this happens again tonight!
    rachelsmommy78

    Answer by rachelsmommy78 at 12:05 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

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