1 year old's night time separation anxiety?

I'm at the end of my rope here. My one year old daughter, never has slept through the night. As she got older she woke up less frequently. Soon she would wake up once or twice and either go back to sleep herself or just want her pacifier put back in and go back to sleep. And for the last few months, I would lay her in her crib awake, give her a pacifier, a stuffed animal, cover her up and leave the room. She might fuss for a few minutes then go to sleep. But now, it's just horrible. Those past awakenings seem like heaven compared to this. For her bedtime routine I bathe her, feed her and then put her to bed. Now when I put her down she immediately starts crying then screaming. I've tried letting her cry it out a little like I've done before in the past. In the past she would just cry, but now it's blood curdling screams! And letting her cry it out just isn't an option, because she doesn't stop. So, I've tried rocking her to sleep, walking around with her, and sometimes I'm able to get her to sleep by having her lay with me in bed watching tv. When I do finally manage to get her to sleep it's been nearly 2 hours trying. And I can tell she's tired, her eyes are red, she keeps rubbing her eyes and just looks very sleepy. When she wakes up at night, it's not crying, it's screaming! I'll go in put her pacifier back in and lay her back down(if she was standing up). But that no longer works, so I would pick her up and try to rock her to sleep. When I lay her back in her crib she immediately starts crying again. So now, when she wakes up I'll just stand there rubbing her head and have her fall back to sleep that way and try to sneak out, but if she hears me leaving, she'll wake up again. She is teething right now, but her teething even a month ago was never this severe. I'm exhausted. Caring for her during the day, then battling trying to get her to sleep for bed, then waking up at night to tend to her, and then finally waking up at 7am, which is her normal time to get up. I'm at a loss, I've never been so frustrated before. And I feel horrible for even getting frustrated, I love her to death and I want her to get a good nights sleep, not just me. It's rough right now, Does anyone have any suggestions? I am up for anything right now. Anything to help her and me.


We set up a bed in her room for me to sleep on. Last night she woke up every hour. Usually by the 4-5 in the morning I'm so tired, that I'll just put her in bed with me. It's just hard for me to have her sleep with me though, I barely get sleep that way either. We used to have her crib in our room, but she would wake up at the slightest sound, so we moved her into her own room.

4 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    NORMAL phase. Does the pediatrician advise anything for the teething? If you let her sleep with you does she calm down. Can you give her more exercise during the day? I feel so sorry for you. I do believe if you stop trying to separate her in another room, things may be better for now. I know guys do not want babies in marital bed but she might feel more secure -but maybe its just teething pain.

    addtl: many babies do not sleep through the night for many years if that is any consolation

  • 7 years ago

    Aww!! Poor little thing! Poor you, too! In spite of what some people say, a 1 year old is really not capable of being manipulative. If she's crying and screaming, it's her only way of expressing that she needs something or something is wrong. I've got a few ideas. If she's teething, have you tried giving her Tylenol at bedtime?

    Do you play music when she goes to sleep? We always played lullabies and soft music every night. We just set it on low and set it for the CD to keep repeating.

    Do you have a night light? We didn't, actually, but had a dimmer switch installed on her light switch. We kept in on very low, just enough so it wasn't fully dark. A night light might help, too.

    When our daughter was about that age, we did our own modified version, sort of like "crying it out", which I'm not really fond of. What we tried was our usual bedtime routine. If she cried when we left the room, we went back in, settled her down again, and said good night. She'd start crying agin when we left the room. As soon as she started, we'd call out from the other room "It's okay. Go to sleep. We're right here." We'd wait five minutes, then go in and settle her down again (without talking or interacting) and leave. We'd repeat but wait 10 minutes before going in the next time, then 15, etc. She fell asleep after a few hours. The second night she was asleep in less time and the third night she went to sleep and didn't cry at all. It kind of worries me because some people say what we taught her is that we wouldn't come when she needed us. I prefer to think of it as we let her know that we were there, near by, but she needed to go to sleep. We wanted her to know that we weren't leaving her - we were still there, just not with her. If it hadn't worked so quickly, I might've given up.

  • 4 years ago

    Separation Anxiety At Bedtime

  • 7 years ago

    Make a little bed - flush with your bed - for her to sleep on.

    That way she will always be with you.

    We did this with our first child.

    Our second, alas, awoke so easily that we had to put her in a crib in a different room. We hated doing that. Now that she is a mom, she has her baby sleep with her.

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