My 18 mth old grandson, who has been a good sleeper has started to wake around midnight. His parents have put it down to teething but are becoming concerned as he seems to want their attention more and more and starts shouting and not crying for them. He becomes angry if they don't appear straight away!! Anybody have any ideas how to break this cycle?
SoNanny, I might sound a bit blunt here but as long as their is no medical reason for it then what's wrong with him getting angry? As children get older their emotional capabilities and sense of self awareness develop and this is when they start to make their demands on parents. By letting him call the shots by demanding they respond quickly will only get worse if they do so. If he was older and being told 'no' about doing something silly or even dangerous his anger would not make them back off.
If he wakes in the middle of the night a quick visit (no turning on of lights etc) with a firm but loving 'its bed-time and we are all asleep' and a reassuring pat is all he should be getting. He should then be left to get on with it. If his night-time waking has developed into quite an episode it will take a little while to break the habit and there may be a few unpleasant nights to come. But once he knows Mum and Dad mean it and that he will only get a cursury check he should settle down.
Of course every family is different, I am writing this based on my own experience with my two girls who were excellent sleepers but we did go through a couple of episodes of fitful night waking sessions. I would just pop in to their room, check they were ok, calmly and gently remind them it was sleeping time and then say 'Night Night' and slip away.
SoNanny My daughter started doing this at about that age. She had just recovered from a cold, and had received a lot of attention when she woke snuffling in the night, so she kept it up when she was better. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant at the time and just could not face it, and my husband was working long hours and needed his sleep.
I took her to the GP, who gave me a week's supply of antihistamines for her. This made her sleep well enough not to wake so easily, and when I stopped them at the end of the week, she was out of the habit. Thank God I did not have her waking at nights as well as a new baby.
They do not approve of antihistamines these days for young children, but I'm sure there is an alternative. They just need to break the cycle and get him back into the habit of sleeping.
My 3 1/2 gd has a very active little brain and has woken at night for as long as I can remember so Mum and Dad have had some pretty tired days - taking it in turn to try to get her back to sleep. Hard on both of them as sil often leaves for work at 6 just as 1 year old gs is waking too. I often get up when staying with them to try and help and discovered when she was about 18 months that some fairy tales seemed to play on her mind that she had had read to her - such as Little Red Riding Hood and the like - she started talking very early so would talk about the stories in the middle of the night - started carefully looking at story content and this helped. She is now very fond of the dvd of Tinkerbell but woke up the other night talking about Tinkerbell and bad fairies - seems at the moment that she will settle down now that she has one of Nanny's teddy bears in bed with her who is looking after her for Nanny! Know it all probably sounds a bit silly but seems to work for the moment. Expect I will have to dream up something else next week when I stay over!