14month old suddenly cries when put in his crib

Hi! Our 14 month old son was a great, independent sleeper and napper up until about a week and a half ago when he started resisting naps. We are starting to transition him to one nap now but as of this week he has been crying as soon as he is put into his crib. We have to sit with him and sing to him until he falls asleep every time he goes down, both for naps and bedtime. We’re not sure why this is happening and if it is related to the 15month sleep regression or just an attachment phase… any tips?

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Hey there, welcome! I’m going to tag some amazing sleep consultants to see if we can get some answers. :slight_smile:
@ViaGraces @SleepSoundly @SleepCoachAshley @Jennifer_babich

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Hi! Ugh! I am sorry that he is struggling with self-soothing for bedtime and nap time. That can be so frustrating! He may be going through some development changes and if so, this can impact sleep. He is on the younger side to transition to one nap, but it doesn’t mean he isn’t ready. I would have to hear more details to know for sure (about if he is ready to transition and about why sleep might have been thrown off). But if you do transition to one nap, gradually push the one nap so it starts around 12pm. Eventually this one nap will probably start closer to 12:30/1pm. But for now, you might need to gradually get him to 12 and then hang out there for awhile. Make sure his room is super dark (think: cave-like!) and white noise is also awesome. Lastly, how you handle the onset of sleep and waking will need to be consistent. How he falls asleep at nap time and bedtime will be really important. There are lots of ways to practice self-soothing (some with lots of parental support and some with less). The method you choose will depend on your parenting style and you child’s temperament. Feel free to e-mail me and we can set up a quick (free) call to talk more about this! He can definitely get back on track! Johanna@sleepsoundlyconsulting.com

Thank you so much! He has been a good self-soother pretty much since 5/6 months so this is very odd for him. He recently had a new nanny start but the sleep issues started about a week after she started so I didn’t think there would be a connection (but could be wrong). He basically started resisting his second nap and would only sleep with a bottle on someone for a few days, and after a bit of that also started resisting bedtime but would fall asleep on his own after a bit of crying. Towards the end of this week he really went off his norm and also didn’t seem super tired around his normal first nap time. We have been trying to push him to around 1130, at which point he is super tired and ready for a nap just will not go down on his own… It could be he really does still need 2 naps but is just going through other sleep issues which makes it appear that he is ready to drop one- we’re just not sure and at a loss about which way to go

Hey there, I also thought I’d share some helpful advice/more to think about :slight_smile:

Has he been learning more language lately? The “18 month regression” is well-known, but my daughters both went through it around 15 months as that’s when their first language bursts happened. Here’s a blog post that talks more about what’s going on there: https://viagraces.com/toddler-sleep-regressions/

Seeing that he would only sleep with the bottle for a few days made me wonder…does he still regularly take bottles during the day? If so, how many, and where are they in regards to sleep? It could be that he’s relying to heavily on the bottle to either get to sleep or get close to sleep, and then he’s more fully waking when he gets to his crib, causing him to be more angry. Plus being in that cause and effect age (like I mentioned in that blog post) could be a double whammy there! With the bottles, he’d ideally be moving toward just having milk with his meals and not taking bottles at all, but I know that transition could take time. The bottles should definitely be far removed from sleep though.

Also, here’s a blog post to help with that transition to one nap, if you’re still moving in that direction, or when it comes (which will likely be soon if it’s not now!): https://viagraces.com/nap-transitions/ It can be a tough transition, but once you’re through it’s wonderful!

Hope that helps!