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11 month old suddenly hates cot, please help

I'm sitting here writing this in tears with my baby sleeping on the sofa beside me. May be slightly hormonal due to pregnancy but I just don't know what to do!

Ryan has been pretty perfect at sleeping since 6 months, 2 naps in the day in his cot and bedtime at 6.30 for at least 12 hours. The last couple of weeks have been a nightmare though. He used to clearly become tired at 6.30, so i'd take him in his room, give him his last feed and pop him in bed, where he'd settle himself to sleep. This started taking him a bit longer when he learned to sit up by himself at 9 months, but he was still fine. However recently he will not settle himself, and when I put him in his cot he just screams.

It's not the sort of cry where I can just leave him to calm down for a few minutes, it's a proper scream, with tears, which just escalates if I leave him. The only thing I could do was cuddle him to sleep, but he now has to be completely asleep to get him in his cot, as if he notices he's been put in there he just wakes straight up again. The past couple of nights we've just had to bring him in the front room with us until he passes out, which has been as late as 11, and we can safely get him in bed without waking him. And now he won't go in his cot for a nap either, even though he's exhausted.

I don't know what to do. I feel like we've taken a hundred steps backwards, and I know i'm doing everything wrong with the cuddling, but if left to scream I think he'd make himself ill, and it's surely making the whole experience worse for him. I've tried to make his cot fun, he has toys in there, and i will play with him in there, and he's fine in there when he wakes up, as in the mornings he'll happily play by himself for a little while so I have chance to have a shower etc before i get him up. But last night, he was pretty much climbing up me to get away from the cot, and it was heartbreaking.

I can't get anything done as I obviously can't leave him when he sleep on the sofa in case he rolls off. The only other time he will sleep is if we are out in the car / pram. And now I've lost my evenings so i don't even have time to do anything then.

Has anyone got any advice on what to do with him?



  • Hi Tiger,

    Firstly you're not alone, I went through this stage with Samantha & now Hannah has hit it too (although a tad more awkward as we were initially meant to share a bedroom with our sister & now we've had to seperate againimage).  It can be a combination of things from teething pains to heightened awareness, they're getting older & are more aware of where they are & what is happening.

    Hard though it is the main thing is for you to remain calm & confident with bedtime.  Keeping the same routine for bed will help prepare them (feed, bath, story, lights out).  Make sure LO is as comfy as poss (not wet/not too hot nor cold) & aim to place to bed drowsy but not asleep (they will remember where they fell asleep & can take longer to resettle if somewhere different when they wake).  Children do cry so take some deep breathes & stay calm (not always easy, especially with bump hormones) reassure LO you are about, comfort him but do not lift him out of the cot.  Again be confident about when you are leaving the room & when you will return to check on him (i.e. having finished story, kiss goodnight, leave room & check back in 10-15mins).  The first 2-3days are the hardest whilst LO tests what they can get away with & whose patience is stronger but normally by day 4 LO settles quickly again.

    Best wishes hon (you can do it) :hugs:

  • Hi Tiger,

    Ollie went through this too. After going up and down, checking all the usual, nappy, temperature, ill, teeth, keeping him up til he was sooo tired, cuddling etc. realised he was just wanting attention so pretty much did what kazzie suggested and left him to it just popping in to settle him back down and telling him its sleep time if it went on for longer than 10 mins.

    I also made bed time a bit later and bought a bedtime cd (don't know if it makes a difference but worth a go) He also only has one nap a day now after lunch and again goes straight down for it. This all seemed to help.

    I know how frustrating it is when they change the routine and i am amazed at how clever they can be!

    SB x

  • sorry to hear things are tough for you tigerlilly.we had the same thing a while back and after talking to the health visitor i realised all his needs were being met - it was separation anxiety and also a little bit of wanting his own way. Its so hard to hear them cry, but like the hv said to me - being a parent is sometimes about knowing best, and doing what's right for them despite upsetting them. A child who has limited restful sleep is not a happy one, nor is one who has a shattered mummy!

    ours was mainly down to early waking, but we also had wake ups in the night and a struggle getting him down. We used cc, going back after five minutes, kissing him, saying its sleepy time and putting his dummy in. then ten mins, then fifteen etc. the first couple of times he became hysterical and threw his dummy across the room in a rage! by 20 mins though he was comforted by his dummy and the kiss and didnt get up, just lay crying. once you hear them whimpering its best not to go back in as they are close to going off. We sometimes take a couple of steps back when its a hot night, he's teething or not well as i obviously dont leave him to cry under those circumstances and then we have to do a little bit of cc once he's well again - but its effective very quickly now.

    he wont doubt your love for him, he just needs to learn you're the boss and you know best. he's in a safe and loving home, you can't carry on as you are and you need to think about yourself and baby number two as well. its going to be a bit harder for him being used to you bringing him downstairs to start with - but be strong. kazzie is right they do learn from it if you remain consistent.

    as for the daytime naps, my lo is still the same with those but i never did cc in the day - it just didnt seem important enough to me as his naps long enough to put him through it. I just accept that when its nap time the pushchair has to come out and he has his dummy in and we go round the block a few times. once he's off i put his seat back and let him snooze in the conservatory while i get things done round the house. when my mum has him she does the same thing. x

  • Hi ladies, thanks for your replies. HV said a similar thing when I spoke to her today. I know you're right, and if it was just normal crying i could manage the CC a little bit, but it's such a horrible scream, i worry he'll make himself sick. The other issue is if i leave him to cry even a little bit, hubby acts like i'm torturing him.

    I know we need to get this sorted so will just have to deal with it starting tonight and hope he doesn't scream too much. He is teething at the moment though so i also feel guilty coz of that, even though he has teething gel on and calpol before bed.

    He's snoring away in his car seat at the moment as he fell asleep on the way home from shopping, very cute!


  • hi tigerllilly

    bless you it is hard - the first time you do it they will throw everything they've got at you to make you come back!my lo does a scream that sounds like a gargle in his throat - pure anger!! it is scary ignoring it as to begin with it feels like neglect. but now it doesnt feel nearly as awful and lo doesnt tend to get so stressed as he knows the score. We love him so much, he is showered in kisses, cuddles and his every need is met - but he also needs to sleep so we are doing the best for him where needed.

    it is tough without your oh's support though - my oh really kept me strong, the first time we did cc he stayed up with me and cuddled me as i was so upset. not sure i wouldnt have faltered without that support (and i definately would have done if oh thought i was being cruel!) so i understand how difficult it is.

    could your oh speak to the hv to discuss the issues? that its not good for your son, let alone the wider family. It does get harder as they get older sadly.x

  • I posted something very similar to this, although my son goes to sleep very happy or his naps during the day, it's just night time! The scream is so heartbreaking I just can't leave him! It's so hard! image
  • Hi Alfie, hubby is really supportive normally, it's just with this he feels it's just a phase and if we just indulge him he'll grow out of it and start going to bed again.

    He works some nights though, so last night i popped Ryan in bed at 9pm. He had a late nap so wasn't tired until then. He cried, but didn't scream, and in fact now i've thought about it he's actually worse with the screaming when hubby is home, so he must know what he's doing! So he cried. Every 5 minutes I went in and laid him down again, told him it was bedtime then left for another 5 mins. Didn't help that after 10 minutes he filled his nappy so had to have a change, but despite the crying he was asleep by 9.35.

    Naptimes at the moment he is just having on the sofa, or i'll take him for a quick walk around the block in the pram when he's tired, then he'll continue to sleep when we get back. Want to get bedtime sorted out before i deal with naps too, and he doesn't seem to need as much sleep in the days anymore anyway, so maybe he's just changin his routine a little.

    Tracy, hope you can work something out, how old is your little one?



  • He is 7 months tomorrow! He has no teeth yet so wondering whether it could be that but he is fine during the day as I wrote he's having a nap in his cot, went down with no fuss at all! My other half tells me to leave him to cry but I just can't its a scream like hes in pain, he even woke at half 9 too screaming! X
  • i personally couldt do it while lo was tiny - i was worried he was hungry when he was on solely milk and thought it would get better when he was on food. so i followed exactly what he wanted until 7.5 months when he was on 3 good meals and return to work was looming for me, and it got much worse.

    Im sure your oh is supportive in general, it does feel unnatural to leave your bubba to cry - its very tough, but when they respond to it so quickly it does make you wonder how heartbroken and distressed they actually are, and how much of it is a battle of wills!

    glad it went better - the only thing i would say is its very confusing for lo's if different things are done each night so if your oh is home - as hard as it is -you need to try and follow a similar pattern if he's fed/changed/well etc. Otherwise the crying will have been for nothing image x

  • Well he's gone to work again tonight, and Ryan went to bed, sat up crying straight away, but this time I didn't even get to do my 5 minute check as he'd gone to sleep! image

    We'll have to see what tomorrow brings...might just have to send hubby out at bedtime everynight! xxx

  • Tiger, my DH was exactly the same with Samantha resulting with him being grumpy everytime she got tired because he was the one she'd go to for a cuddle because she'd learned he was the only one who didn't put her to bed.  Yes the crying at night is horrible (more of a howling 'you're torturing me' scream than the daytime I'm sad) but they are safe & sound with us about to check on them & suffice to say with Hannah being our second DH was much more readily prepared for me putting her to bed & dealing with it (you do get stricter the more you have).

  • ha ha kazzie i  bet you do get stricter with more children! no choice im sureimage x

  • Hi there Iam having sort of the same issue my LO is now 11 Months old has always slept 12 hours striaght at bed time 9:30pm. He as all 8 teeth in the front 4 top 4 bottem, it could be his side molars but it doesnt seem like the teething he normaly goes through? last couple of days he wakes up after 30 mins of sleeping screaming face beat red and if I lay him down and pat his bum or rub his forehead he freaks louder and almost chokes hes so upset. I pick him up and he calms down after 5 more mins of crying then whimpering and passes out on my sholder. I dont know what to do is it a fear of the dark ? I tried putting a night light in leaving his door open and closed image iam not sure what to at this point as he will sleep in my bed alone or on a couch alone no problem..

  • My 11 month is going through this but the last 3 months we have left home, lived with 2 different people since as awaiting to be rehoused. Since I've been staying at the last place approx 2 weeks, he suddenly won't go in his cot to sleep, play or just to put him somewhere safe whilst I leave the room. He gets to the point of hyperventalating afterall the screaming and crying. I'm living with other people so can't let him scream it out and will soon be in a hostel. Help..
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