View Full Version : Help! All of a sudden he is screaming at bedtime

09-29-2003, 09:35 PM
For the last 3 nights, Ryan is screaming his head off when DH is trying to put him to sleep. Nothing has changed with the routine so I don't know what it is. The minute he gets his diaper changed and he knows that it's almost bedtime, he starts screaming at the top of his lungs. He has never done this before. It is full blown screaming too! He has tried rocking him, lying down with him anything to get him to calm down. I tried to nurse him (he gets his one bottle at night of EBM from DH) and that didn't do anything. I have looked through the Sears book, the No Cry Sleep Solution book, Weissbluth and read through all of the old threads and can't find anything new to try. We thought it was gas last night since the crying was so uncontrollable and DH gave him a tummy massage but that did nothing to stop the uncontrollable screaming.

During the day, I try to give him naps within 2 hours of waking and am successful *most* of the time. He is still managing to sleep through the night (anywhere from 6-8 hours) but I cannot do the CIO thing. I guess it's not really CIO since we can't even manage to get him into the crib without the screaming. DH does a wind down in the glider for about 10 minutes normally with the FP Aquarium on for his "music", then Ryan gets swaddled and goes in to the crib. So all of this screaming is happening right after the diaper gets changed and the pj's go on.

checked for teeth since he is a drooling maniac and there is nothing there (I know it's early but you never know) still. He doesn't do anything more than a fussy cry during the daytime.

I can't handle the screaming!!!! TIA for suggestions.

09-30-2003, 11:38 AM
I am in the same boat as you, but with a "baby" 2 years older, LOL! I have been thinking about your question, and came up with a few ideas (none of which will solve my 2 year olds' problems tonight, sadly).

Okay, so here are a few things to consider - 1) Did you change his PJs recently? Maybe the tag is bugging him or they are scratchy? 2) Maybe the bed is cold, now that it is fall - maybe place a heating source on his bed for a few minutes beforehand? 3) Maybe he is scared (my son's current problem) - try leaving a nightlight on, or maybe sit in the glider while he lays in the crib? 4) Finally, do you put him in his crib during the day? Does he cry? Maybe spend a bit of time in the crib during the day to get him a bit more accustomed to it?

I really hope one of those works, for you as I remember the frustration when something that always worked, suddenly stopped working. Good luck!

09-30-2003, 01:54 PM
Nothing new with the PJ's but we tried changing them last night to another pair and that didn't stop the screaming! The screaming is happening before he gets his wind down as if he knows it's coming. It is still the same temp in the room since we pretty much keep the house at 72 degrees year round. The light is dimmed (we've always done this) so that's not it. And he naps like a champ in the crib during the day! He's been sleeping in the crib for about 5 weeks now. It's so strange all of a sudden that he is doing this at bedtime.

Thanks for trying with the suggestions. I hope your little one gets better!!!

10-07-2003, 01:30 PM
Madison used to do this at around 4 months old. We used to rock her to wind her down, and all of a sudden as soon as I would sit in the chair she would start crying. Nothing really worked for us except sticking to what we started. Pj's, books, bottle put in crib. Wait 5minutes and go in a pick her up, calm her down put her back. We would do this probably 10-50times a night and finally she would go to sleep. Then all of a sudden she stopped making a fuss. Maybe put his PJ's on long before bedtime and then read or play for a little bit longer. Try feeding/snuggling and then laying him down. Sometimes we would keep Madison up if she kept screaming as if she was telling us she wasn't tired, even though she was. We would try again 30minutes later. That sometimes helped. Sorry, it is definately no fun!

10-08-2003, 09:46 AM
I have absolutely no advice, just wanted you to know that I'm right there w/ you. The screaming has come out of nowhere. And it doesn't happen at nap time. Just bedtime. For no apparent reason. He's happy smiley and my sweet little baby boy until I put him in the crib. Then the fussing starts and by the time I'm at the door he's screaming bloody murder. At this point I'm just caving and getting him up, but ignoring him for the most part. He watches as I clean the kitchen or fold laundry and after an hour of that I put him back to bed and he's fine. Normally I would think that maybe he's just not ready for bed at 6:30, but since he's yawning and rubbing his eyes the entire hour I allow him to be up, I know that's not the case. If it were just crying, I would maybe try CIO, but it's screaming and I can't listen to him scream for however long it would take for him to go to sleep, so I'm just going to keep letting him stay up that additional hour (I'm still going to keep trying to put him down at 6:30 though). Just know that you're not alone!

1st timeparents
10-08-2003, 10:46 PM
Hello - well I can offer no advice as well...just a your not alone. My daughter was born 6/10/03 and she has started the screaming at night thing too. She is also no longer sleeping through the night - we feel like we are back at the start again! Can't get her down before 10:00 or 11:00 and she wakes up at either 2:00 or 3:53 on the dot. She takes only 2 naps during the day--and that is if we are lucky. At any rate here is another show of support to say you are not alone!!!


Mom to Jenna Kate 6/10/03

10-14-2003, 03:14 PM
I know we had sleep problems until Cade was six months old. Then, his doctor recommended "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth. As I recall, he runs a sleep clinic in Chicago and many parents have seen them as their last resort. Before the book, he was only sleeping 6 to 8 hours at night and was not napping well during the day. After reading the book, I figured out that Cade was not getting enough sleep and he fought going to sleep because he was overly tired. He indicates that when kids get overly tired they get wired, which makes it harder for them to fall asleep. Once we started following the book he started sleeping almost 12 hours a night. We did have to endure some crying when we laid him down at first, but after a few days he fell right into the schedule. It also was hard at first because we figured out that the approrpiate sleep time for him was 7 p.m and this varies by child. Now, he goes to bed between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and we don't have problems with him fighting to go asleep. In fact, we ask him if he is ready to go to bed and he goes to the gate at the bottom of the stairs if he is ready.

Hope you are able to get to bottom of your sleep problem soon!

Mom of Cade 6/16/02

10-14-2003, 03:41 PM
Is is possible that he is going through some developmental change or a growth spurt? I once in awhile Cade would wake up a night and I eventually figured out this was what was going on with him.

10-14-2003, 05:06 PM
No growth spurt or change that we have seen. He is 4.5 months now! I have the Weissbluth book and have read and reread it but I don't agree with CIO so some of it is not applicable for our particular parenting style. He only does it 3/4 of the time now and we have tried to make it a very happy time when he goes to bed. The times that he is still screaming his head off we haven't done anything different so it is something in his mood I guess. I am very good about being consistent so that we can try to avoid the screaming scenario.

Thanks for the input!!

10-15-2003, 03:56 PM
Good luck getting to the bottom of this! Please let us know when you come up with a solution as I am always trying to learn what to do for the next one since they all seem to be different. I know our sleep situation seemed like a nightmare!!! We thought he had colic or a possible gas problem. It ended up that in our case Cade was not getting enough sleep. Partially, it was my fault and the rest was the ongoing construction around our house at the time.

Really, we only a problem with him CIO after the first time we started Weissbluth. He cried for 30 minutes and I was ready to go and get him when it suddenly became quite. The next few times he wimpered a little and now it is very rare for him to fuss. It he does it is just for a few seconds and then he starts talking to himself. I didn't think I was a CIO parent, but in our situation it was our last resort.

Mom of Cade 6/16/02

10-17-2003, 09:12 PM
I could have written this - down to your baby's name - my Ryan is 6 days older than yours. He has slept in the bedroom next to mine in his crib since birth, and has been an angel of a sleeper. He's suddenly "off" napping and screaming when we go to bed. I turned off the white noise, because I thought he was associating it with getting ready to be left alone in his crib and protesting. Maybe I am wrong, dunno. ANyway, he still screamed, but not as soon as we walked into the room. He stops screaming if I walk him out of the room, but obviously that won't work. The past 2 nights, I put him in his crib swaddled (we always swaddle from chest down) and shushed him while I rubbed his tummy hard and fast enough to jiggle his head, and he conked out within a minute. Not sure how many nights he'll fall for this, though!!

Good luck!!
Lucy & Ryan 6/30/03

10-18-2003, 10:19 AM
Ours fell for that trick about 3 nights and then back to the screaming for a few more! DH has been standing up (instead of in the glider) and rocking him to sleep and waiting until he is in deep sleep before he lets his head hit the mattress. If he puts him in the crib when we "think" he is asleep, the crying starts up again.

Ahhhh the joys of parenthood! I know this is just an evil phase and will pass.....soon I hope.

Thanks Lucy!

10-21-2003, 07:41 AM
I'm sure you've thought of this already, but maybe Ryan has an ear infection? Sometimes for babies with ear infections, lying down is painful, so he could be associating the end-of-the-day routine with pain. What made me think of this is when you said that nursing doesn't help -- the thing that clued us in to Laura's most recent ear infection was that she was crying while she nursed on one side.

Good luck!

Mom to Laura 6/9/03