My 8-month old wakes up in the middle of the night and starts crying. That's not such a big deal, but he won't go back to sleep unless I stay there. If I try to get up and leave the room before he's completely asleep, he shoots up and starts crying again. We did this dance for 3 hours last weekend. Most nights its an hour.

I think introducing some toy as a cuddle buddy for him might help alleviate his anxiety. How do I do that?

1 Month Later

The trouble with diagnosing sleep issues with an 8 (now 9) month-old is that so much is going on that can affect sleep. I got at least 2 nights in a row of 0 wakings after I started putting a second blanket in the crib with him under his arm. Then the teething started, his nap and feeding schedules went into a tizzy and he continues to expand and explore the boundaries of his own mobility at the most inappropriate times (i.e. going into the car seat, going down for naps, diaper changes...). Oh, and he caught yet another cold from daycare.

I've switched out the first cuddle blanket for a different one a few times until we found one that works. He still wakes up a few times, but he goes back to sleep on his own after 5 minutes in most cases. There have been a couple of times where he has lost both blankets and/or crawled into a corner and can't right himself that I have had to go in. No big deal with those. The last 3 nights have been perfect despite (or maybe because of?) hectic days that preceded them.

Thanks for the suggestions and I'll post more as we go.

asked 18 Nov '09, 02:45

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Rob Allen
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edited 14 Dec '09, 01:39

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Tammy ♦♦
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You could try a transitional object (blankie, animal, etc) and keep it with you and him when you are together during the day and during your bedtime routine, then have him sleep with it. That can help some kids. I'm also an advocate of co-sleeping if your baby needs you at night.

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answered 18 Nov '09, 15:08

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1

define "needs" please. He was sleeping soundly from 8:30 to 6 or 7 for months 4, 5, and 6. After he got an infection late in month 6 which disrupted his sleep, he has been unable to return to that pattern - baring in mind that we also had daylight savings time change over in the interim. He wakes about 4 hours after bedtime and is easily soothed but won't actually go back to sleep for a while.

(19 Nov '09, 21:16) Rob Allen

My daughter has about 20 stuffed animals on her bed and selects different ones to cuddle each night. It also helps in the morning when she wakes as she plays with them quietly until I get up.

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answered 18 Nov '09, 05:10

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dreamerisme
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+1 for a kid that plays quietly in the mornings. Life's little victorys

(18 Nov '09, 06:50) MrChrister

so far he has rejected all of the stuffed animals we have put in his crib. His favorite stuffed thing is the (very very good) Leap Frog Scout which isn't really good for a cuddle buddy since all of its limbs make it sing. We can (and have) turned it off completely but that still leaves a big lump of plastic in the center of the toy.

(09 Dec '09, 20:46) Rob Allen

We used controlled crying which is heartbreaking, but did work. (As well as a description, there's a lot of comments in that page which you may find useful - or at least encouraging in terms of not being the only one to have difficulties!)

It's basically a matter of giving less and less comfort over time, until they can settle themselves. You'll need to agree to do this and stick with it though - and prepare to be itching to go and pick him up.

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answered 18 Nov '09, 07:52

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Jon Skeet
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This worked for our babies as well. We had to endure it less than one week.

(19 Nov '09, 08:43) mouviciel

They do grow out of it, usually lasts a couple of months. It's a developmental stage and shows that they have object permanence, i.e. they know that things still exist even when they can't see them. What they don't realise is that you will come back again.

Dr Greene suggests that you play games like peekaboo to help them to learn that things come back again. You can also have a transition object, like a teddy bear, which may be comforting whilst you are out of sight.

Personally, I decided that crying it out was an unnecessary cruelty to put my children through, after trying it once with my eldest. If you don't relish the thought of leaving your baby to cry, I thoroughly recommend the book No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.

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answered 18 Nov '09, 13:35

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Meg Stephenson
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You could try a bear or even a blanket. My son sleeps with a blanket (that he was swaddled in as an infant). My guess is that you may have to let him cry it out at some point. This will probably be very hard but after a few days of crying it out, he will be able to fall asleep on his own. I know this is horrible to listen to and it breaks your heart, but it will be good for him and you in the long run. Remember that it will get worse before it gets better (meaning he will cry and scream harder and longer at first to try to get your attention) but it will lessen over time! Good luck!

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answered 18 Nov '09, 03:18

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Asked: 18 Nov '09, 02:45

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Last updated: 14 Dec '09, 01:39