Separation anxiety

For the past week, week and a half, Baby C has not been sleeping well.  Our nightly routine is to give him a bottle when it’s bed-time and he normally falls asleep during feeding or immediately afterward.  Recently, however, when we lay him down in his crib for the night he immediately wakes up and begins to wildly kick and scream.

It has progressively gotten worse over the last few days.  Now we have to hold him in order for him to sleep or lay down next to him.  He occasionally wakes up to ensure that I’m there and then will go back to sleep.  If, however, he wakes up and finds himself alone he begins to cry.

These happenings very obviously don’t allow my wife or I to be well rested.  Yesterday, after another full night of being awakened nearly every hour of the night, I decided it was time for some tough love.

Baby C fell asleep last night after he finished his bottle.  I let him sleep in my lap for a while as I watched 2 Broke Girls and Two and a Half Men.  After sleeping for an hour I had hoped he’d be sleeping deeply enough that he wouldn’t awaken when I put him in his crib.  Hey, it was worth a shot.

I hadn’t even put him down before he began kicking and by the time he was laying in  his crib he was crying and immediately began to stand up with his arms raised expecting me to pick him back up as I usually do.  Last night, however, I had decided that he needed to learn that when it was bed-time it was bed-time.  I tried letting him cry it out, and left the room.  After a while he still hadn’t gone to sleep, so I went back into his room and calmly spoke to him, told him I loved him, and explained that it was time to go to bed.  Every time he raised his arms I told him no, which made him scream even louder.  It broke my heart to hear him scream like that, but I have to do what I have to do.  After a few minutes, I laid him down and put his blanket it over him.  I found that if I kept my hand on his chest he would stop crying.  So I kept my hand on his chest while he watched the images from his mobile which are projected onto the ceiling.  He fell asleep after about 15 minutes.  Finally.

My relief was short-lived, though.  45 minutes later he awoke again.  I again laid him down in his crib and placed my hand on his chest.  After a few moments, he quit crying and fell asleep again within 5 minutes.  And then slept through the rest of the night.  That was the longest he’d slept in days.

So I have a question, dear readers.  Have you ever had a child who experience separation anxiety?  If so, how did you deal with it?  More importantly, did your solutions work?

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About Twindaddy (336 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

6 Comments on Separation anxiety

  1. I really don’t know what to say…
    Our daughter was rocked to sleep every night and it caused MAJOR problems eventually. But you just have to hang in there and hold your ground.

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    • Last night went much better. We laid him down and he woke up a few minutes later. I went back in there and calmly spoke to him while massaging his chest and he went back to sleep within 5 minutes. He slept from 9:30 until 6:30 this morning when I woke him up. Winning!

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  2. We adopted our son at 3-1/2 months old. He slept through the night the first night and he never had problems. At 20 years, he now tends to be up most of the night … maybe you get it at one end or the other!

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    • I never had this problem with the twins. They had hernias surgically repair when they were two months old and have been sleeping through the night ever since. This is all new to me…

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  3. My 16 month old just started sleeping through the night recently. My hubby can’t stand to hear him cry and would just hold him constantly. Finally…..we put him in bed and let him cry no longer than 10minutes….go up….rub his back and leave within 30sec-1minute, same thing over and over until he didn’t cry anymore. It took about 3-4 days for this to stick. Good luck.

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    • Well, we’re still leaving him in his crib when he wakes up at night. We lay him down and massage his chest and normally within a couple of minutes he’s back to sleep. Last night, he woke up and I let him cry for a couple of minutes and he cried himself back to sleep so I think this crisis has finally passed. He’s been sleeping much better in the last week and consequently, so have we.

      Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions!

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