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15 month old screams alot and won't sleep at night
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tynesejohnson posted:

Hi,

My question is about my 15 month old daughter. I have been a stay at home mom since she was born and she has never really slept all the way through the night. Sometimes I do CIO and she sleeps after a short time. That is when I know that she's tired. Now she screams a lot when she doesn't get her way or when I don't pick her up or walk around with her. She plays good but, it seems she is growing more attached and less independent. She has a 4 year old brother who she lives with and a 10 year old sister that she sees often. Not sure if her age, or sibling relation has anything to do with her behavior. Some people assume I spoil her but that's not the case, or at least I don't believe that is the case here.
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Roy Benaroch, MD responded:
Re screaming when she doesn't get her way: children learn quickly to do what works. If screaming means you pick her up and walk with her, then that's what she'll do. It isn't always easy, but you job is to help her learn the right way to communicate-- which means doing what she wants when she communicates the way you want her to. Nicely. And not giving her what she wants when she screams for it. Bedtime issues are a separate matter, and I can't type a long answer on this little phone I have. But: I'm guessing that she's never fallen asleep at bedtime all alone. Is that right? If you want to help her learn to sleep thru the night, you're going to have to change some routines. I've written about this before on WebMD, i'll try to post links to that material when I can get to real l computer.
 
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kmcarnag responded:
We have good bedtime routines in our house because I NEED my kids to sleep (full time out-of-home job 1.5 hours away). I would start there. We've recently done this with my now 11 month old and she now puts herself to sleep after a quick bottle (moving to a sippy cup in the next 4-6 weeks).
1. About 10 min before her usual bedtime, prepare her bottle or sippy cups and get jammies on.
2. At bedtime go to the quiet place where you wind her down--I have a rocker in her bedroom.
3. Turn on static (a must as it helps keep babies from waking during the night)
4. Turn on a CD of lulabies (probably not a must, but my kids like it)
5. (If you choose instead of the CD, you can read to DD at this time...we haven't really started that yet, but it's getting close and at 15 mo I know we were reading to DS (now 3). Just turn the cd on when finished reading)
6. Give bottle/cup while rocking
7. When finished drinking, cuddle for no more than 1 song.
8. Give hugs and kisses and say "it's bedtime. goodnight"
9. Place in crib (don't forget the lovie)
10. Exit and close the door.
11. Find something to keep you busy for the next hour.
12. some people say to go in after 5 min and pat your baby, then after 10 more, then 15 more...BUT that just makes my kids more mad. I just let them cry. The first night it took 45 min for her to go to sleep (I did go in after 20 min, but I shouldn't have. The next night took 15 min. The next few nights less than 10 min. After about 5 nights she quit crying completely. (DS had similar results, but I didn't know to try it so he was about 14 months)

We do the same routine at naps, and she goes to sleep in minutes.

During the day, just try to be consistent and don't pick her up when she is screaming. My DS was velcro so I get it. She is old enough to communicate a little and eventually will. My line was "mommy doesn't understand screaming".
 
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amieJsmiles replied to kmcarnag's response:
Completely agree! My kids range in age from 12 to 24, and this similar routine works for naps and bedtime. The youngest was always in bed by 7, and then the others followed in 30 minute increments. Consistency helps establish the ROUTINE, which provides a sense of comfort and security for the child, which results in peace of mind for thete parents.
 
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FCL replied to kmcarnag's response:
Agree. There are variations on this but it all comes down to routine, routine, routine. There is nothing gives such a feeling of security and safeness to a small child as knowing exactly what is going to happen. I have twins and the only times they ever cried at night was when:

  • they were sick

  • they were scared

  • a very short period of 2 weeks when they were 2 and one of them had night terrors.

A final note, if you have one of those baby monitor things get rid of it. There is nothing so stressful to a parent as a baby monitor.


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