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Thread: 13 month old hysterical at night

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default 13 month old hysterical at night

    Hi ladies!

    I think I've posted here once before but I read all the time. I didn't see a post dealing with this when I just looked though so hopefully you ladies can help.

    I am breastfeeding my almost 13 month old. He typically nurses 4 - 5 times a day and once overnight (for a while he wasn't nursing between 7-4 though so not sure if the 4am is night or morning, LOL)

    My question is regarding nighttime. For a long while now, I have had him on a once a night nursing (maybe more if he is teething or sick or something). If he woke up before that, my husband would go in to soothe. He always did just fine. Recently though if he wakes soon after he goes down and my husband goes in to soothe he loses.his.mind. Last night he went down at 8, woke up at 12. My husband would typically be the one to soothe at that wake up because he goes much longer than that at night without nursing. He went in and my son just got HYSTERICAL (angry, angry cry). The moment I walked in the room, he was completely silent and totally fine. I nursed, put him down and he slept until 5. He's done this a few times over the past week. It's just so not like him.

    Is this odd? He was accepting comfort from my husband just fine before. It's frustrating on a few levels: For my husband, of course, but for me because, while I don't feel the need to night wean completely, in the past when I have nursed him for every wake up to make it easier, it just leads to him waking up more and more and more until it's unmanageable. Plus, I'm now scared to leave him with anyone after he's gone to sleep (which I have to do for my sister's wedding next weekend). I don't want him to be that upset.

    I was happy with our arrangement how it was, nursing once overnight (sometimes not at all) and then early morning. I wish I knew what changed.

    Anyway, this got long but has anyone dealt with this? Does this seem like typical behavior? Why do you think the change? Anything I can do? I don't want to deny him when he wants me but I also don't want to start a habit of nursing all night long again. I was a miserable mother when I wasn't sleeping at least 6 hours. I'm sure you all know the feeling.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 13 month old hysterical at night

    Totally normal. The early wake-up could be due to teething, and the momcentric behavior is just a phase. Kids bounce back and forth in their preferences for a given parent at a given time. My 6 year-old, for example, wants her dad to lie down with her every night. Not me. But it was the other way round for a long time!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 13 month old hysterical at night

    I think it's normal. My 17 month old is going through a huge mama phase right now, and my 3.5 year old is in a daddy phase.

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Shakedown St.

    Default Re: 13 month old hysterical at night

    During teething, nursing is often the only thing that can calm my son. Once a tooth erupts, he returns to his previous sleeping pattern on his own. I wouldn't worry about creating habits by this. The molars are really nasty. The canines are no walk in the park either. Nursing relieves the pain pretty effectively, and once the pain is gone other methods of comforting are more acceptable (at least as far as my son is concerned).

    My son also switches his preference back and forth between my husband and myself. He was really into daddy around a year, and daddy took over a lot of bedtime reponibilities. Then he was back to me a couple months later. Now he's on a daddy kick again.

    I just roll with it. It's more exhausting to try to fight something that is totally normal and is ultimately a losing battle anyway.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 13 month old hysterical at night

    Normal. I get not wanting to nurse lots at night so you can get more sleep and the wedding issue, but since needing momma and needing to nurse for comfort are entirely normal needs at this age, and yes, at this age, definitely needs and not wants, I really don't know what you can do about it aside from meet those needs when possible and, if it's not possible, accept there may be some upset & prepare his caregiver. As far as the wedding goes, I am not sure this means you have to be by his side all night, but rather, just available should he wake- Is that still not possible at the wedding?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    The Buckeye State

    Default Re: 13 month old hysterical at night

    Another vote for totally normal My 15 mo old is the exact same way right now. Mama is the only one for her. It will pass but it may take time. 12-18 most is high time for some anxiety in babes (such a big world they suddenly want to get to know but is also so big, it's scary) and they often pick a parent to comfort them. No surprise that the nursing mama wins that lottery It can be hard on Daddy but re-assure him (and you) that it will not stay this way forever. My 3 year old son wants Daddy to lay with him.
    I'm Colleen
    Mama to
    Silas born May 2009 ~ Nursed 18 mos, weaned during pregnancy, unweaned at 24 months, still nursing when he feels like it
    Lola born March 2011 ~ The Mary Lou Retton of toddler nursing
    Married to Brandon
    Using cloth on both bums

    We hibernate together

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