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Why Isn’t My 18 Month Old Daughter Sleeping Through the Night?

by Tina
(Kent)

I have an 18-month-old daughter and about 5 months ago she stopped sleeping through the night. She usually wakes now between 2-4 times in a night starting from 1.30am onwards. I have tried ignoring her and I have also done the giving into her and giving her more milk. Nothing seems to work.

She goes to bed at 6.30 every night and has done since she was newborn (she used to sleep all through the night). She still has 2 naps a day each lasting exactly an hour. She eats well so it is not hunger, she drinks plenty. Her teeth were a problem but now she has a mouth full, so it’s not teething.

I am at my wits end to find out why, if anybody has any ideas please help.

Baby Help Line:

Tips When Young Toddlers Won’t Sleep Through The Night

You know what; I’d say your little toddler is completely normal! It is very common for babies to start waking up again at night at some point between 1 and 1.5 years, only no one tells you about it! There is sooo much focus on having your baby sleep through the night right from the start, but there is very little information about the fact that the probability of this continuing forever is very low.

At around 18 months, a lot happens with babies’ development. They start talking or at least understanding words and communicate, they move around and they understand much more about the world than before. This means that they have a lot to digest at night and nightmares are common at around 18 months.

One thing I think you should do is to cut down on the nighttime feeding as fast as you can (if she still does get milk at night). In my experience, the habit of eating at night really is an obstacle to learning to sleep through the night for older babies and toddlers.

You don’t say anything about your baby’s bedtime routines, but if your girl doesn’t fall asleep in her own bed, that might be something to start working on. Personally, I don’t like the cry it out method, but prefer to slowly help the baby learn to fall asleep in her bed. This can be done by putting her in bed when she is really tired and then staying with her, making it a nice moment with mom or dad; reading a book, singing a lullaby and having a back rub or a cuddle. When she accepts to fall asleep in her own bed, then the next step is for you to move inches away from the bed right before she falls asleep – and then gradually further away.

Ones she has learned to fall asleep on her own and the feeding is gone, there is a much better chance that she’ll wake up less often.

Does any of this help your situation? Otherwise, write some more details and we’ll work something out. Maybe your first goal shouldn’t be to have her sleep through the night but to wake up less often. Many children wake up at night a few times per week and walk into their parents’ bedroom for several years. Buy a big bed and realise that within a few years, your girl wouldn’t dream of sleeping next to mom… They grow up so fast and she needs you now!

Good luck!
Paula

More Toddlers That Wake Up At Night

Find comments below.

Comments for “Why Isn’t My 18 Month Old Daughter Sleeping Through the Night?”

Jan 14, 2010

Just a suggestion..
by: Anonymous


My daughter (I have 2 at the moment) and I found that instead of putting them (one is 3 and the other is 18 months) to bed after their usual 6:30p time, they tend to sleep better in their own beds. At first I wasn’t too keen about them staying up so late, but after I realized that it worked, I insist my girls to stay up til at least 830p to 9p. They usually will play until they are too tired to move and fall asleep on their own and sleep throughout the night. Just a suggestion.


Jan 15, 2010

My daughters now 29 months old!
by: Tina


After I stopped giving into her demands for milk she started to sleep through the night again. She has been in a proper bed since she was 1. She now has a new sleep problem of me having to lay with her until she falls asleep holding hands. She still goes to bed early we tried keeping her up late and she became irretable and stressed. She has now stopped all sleeps during the day and goes off to bed at 6pm, she holds my hand until she falls asleep which is usually within 5 minutes. The only time she gets up now is when she needs to go to the toilet as she has been out of nappies for a year now.
Thank you for your reply.


Jan 19, 2010

not bad habits
by: Dede


Hi Tina,
I wouldn’t say that having to lay with her holding her hand is a bad habit at all, it is a comfort for her. I have 5 children and I laid with them all till they went to sleep, each with their own little “habit” playing with hair, rubbing back, holding hands, and gently brushing the bridge of the nose LOL I loved evry minute of it, my youngest now is 18mths and we are now going through her not sleeping through the night. I do not believe in leaving them cry at all.
I know that having busy lifestyles can quite often make this very frustrating, but it is important to remember that there is an end, it is generally always a faze and it will pass. Knowing that just by laying with them for 5 min or even 20 lets them rest peacfully during the night makes you realize how very much your comforting does for them. It is completely normal for kids through toddler years to wake through the night, embrace every moment good and bad, they are only little once!
Good luck :)


Jan 20, 2010

For Dede

by: Tina


Thanks for your comments Dede. She is my 3rd child I have 2 boys of 13 and 10 years and I must say people did tell me girls were different.
I do love every minute of the holding hands at bed time, I feel needed as with the boys they don’t need me anymore. I was just worried that I was making a rod of my own back for giving into her as she was sent to sleep clinic by the health visitors hence the crying technique early on in her routine. I was told not to give in to her she would eventualy stop. I did think at the time it seemed cruel to make my baby cry herself to sleep. Sometimes I wonder if these people actualy have children they adore!


Jan 20, 2010

for Tina
by: Dede


I would say the heck with them LOL no one knows your child better than you, and I always find it odd that they use the term giving into like the child is being a certain way LOL You are right I don’t think they have children. Children are so impressionable right from birth, and I know all these pro’s say that the babies are fine with “crying it out” I would seriously fear I would create abandonment issues or something.
Tina I think you are doing exactly the right things, you are giving into her yes, but her needs not just her wants.
And yu can take assurance in knowing she feels secure and safe everynight when she goes to sleep because you gave that to her! Proffessionals would probably call me a sucker, or say I do things the wrong way, but I say I love my children, and they are exactly that, mine LOL and if I can live happily, and my children are happy and safe and we are all comfortable, that is what is important.
You must have seen a big difference with your daughter after having 2 boys! Well have fun with them! Just take it one day at a time, that’s all anyone can do!
Take care :)


Feb 10, 2010

I have a 14month who wont sleep through the night
by: Carli


Hi, my name is carli and I have a 14month old son who just started to wake up through the night. It started about a week and 1/2 ago. I thought it was because he is sick with a cold, or maybe teeth. I am completely stumped of why this is happening. I have started him on giving him milk… but that doesnt work either..

too be honest i am really lucky that i dont have to wake up for work early in the morning. i wish their was something i could do, last night i was up for an hour and 1/2.

But from what i am reading it seams that this is all normal and its another stage along with many…

I guess i just have to continue to be patient and pray this stage ends sooner than later.

good luck i think you now know and so do i that we are not alone in this and many parents have gone through it… which in away is very comforting.


Feb 11, 2010

Carli
by: Tina


Hi Carli, I feel like a pro NOW, but at the time when its happening to you it feels like your the only person its happening too. I kept searching the net to see if anybody was in the same boat as me and nothing came close. Dont get me wrong the Health Visitors can be very helpful but when they say to you stop the milk, dont hold them, leave them in the room on there own, they are your babies and you dont want them destressed, yes maybe you are making things worse for yourself in the long run, but I think you have to tackle every new problem a bit a time and how it suits you and your baby. I have 3 children and yes they are all very different, my first son went to bed at 6 and slept all nite, my second son went to bed at 6 got up a few times in the night but my gorgeous daughter goes to bed at 7 now and is a total nightmare but the way I look at it is I have 3 healthy children and Im lucky I have them. At the end of the day its only sleep, if he sleeps during the day have a sleep with him, I know I do now so I can be at my best for them. Good luck and remember its not forever they grow up so quickliy its scary!


Mar 04, 2010

My 18m won’t go BACK to Sleep

by: Anonymous


My 18m daughter has the same issue as a lot of your kids have, except she is waking up in the middle of the night and won’t go back to sleep (even if I “give” in and let her sleep in our bed, or lie down with her to fall asleep). It’s like she’s up and ready to play, and it doesn’t seem to depend on how much she slept during the day or when she went to bed that night. I tried the “tough love” cry-it-out method, but she screamed for 2 hours before I couldn’t take it anymore! She slept through the night great until recently, and she still goes down at bedtime fine. Any suggestions here?


Mar 05, 2010

Anonymous
by: Tina


Hi ya, I went through the same with my daughter aswell it wasnt for long. She would get up and run around the living room and want to watch her programmes. All you can do is grin and bare it and just go with the flow with her. Sleep deprevation is an awful thing for a mother I know but at the end of the day she will do what she wants anyway (they always do). Have you tried a bath just before bed time and a warm milk? Dont fall into the giving into her at night for a milk because it does make it worse because they end up getting up as a routine every night for one, then you have another problem to solve. And just wear her out during the day, try taking her to a soft gym area they are great for making them tired.
Good Luck


Apr 20, 2010

I can relate!!!
by: Anonymous


I am in almost the exact same situation except my daughter is almost a year old. She’s been sleeping through the night (average of 10-12 hours) beautifully since 2 months old BUT, in the past 2 months or so, she’s reverted to waking up multiple times per night. I am exhausted!! I know she’s not hungry and I’m pretty sure it’s not her teeth either. It’s very discouraging – I feel like a bad mom because I had her in such a great schedule before. Anyway… maybe there’s no answers per se but just wanted to let you know you’re not alone! (and, hey, if anyone DOES have some good suggestions, please throw them my way). Good luck to all the tired mommies!


Aug 13, 2010

help!
by: kennedy


My daughter is 18 months- wakes up 2-3x a night asking for “ba ba”. I give in, because she takes the bottle, rolls over and goes back to sleep for another 2-3 hours.

I know I have to stop giving her the bottle during the night. How do I do this???? Everytime I treid and kind of version of letting her CIO- she violently throws up! Please help!


Aug 14, 2010

Hi Kennedy

by: Tina


Does she actually make herself sick? My daughter started this about the same age she is 3 now. Stop the milk now! When she wakes and asks for her bottle tell her not at nite time. This will take up2 a week of telling her NO but dont give in it DOES work.
My daughter used to cry so hard it brought on the sickness which she did a fair few times. I found eventualy, cause she would start this whilst at the shops when she didnt get her own way aswell, I told her to “stop it” in a firm voice. She would keep doing it but I just carried on saying “stop it” in a controlled voice. She would then just sob so I would hug her but not until she stopped the coughing and reaching. When she stops praise her for stopping. But once u start any of these ways u must c them through, its hard but for yr own sanity u have 2 b in control!


Nov 23, 2010

Help please!!!! Im soooo tired
by: Adriana


Ok. My son is 26 months old. He started sleeping through the night when he was 6 months old. beside the occasional wake up here and there he has always been really good about sleeping. We have moved 3 times since he was born, it never seemed to affect him. His father and I separated 7 months ago and it didn’t seem to affect him either. I lost my job 3 months ago and have now been home with him more often so I don’t think its abandonment issues.

About 2 weeks ago he started waking up all night long. He goes to bed around 8:30 pm and has a routine. Bathtime, warm milk, brush teeth and then book time. He lays down in his own bed and I sing to him and then say goodnight before he is asleep. This has always been our routine and has worked beautifully. We still do this and it still works. Except for now he wakes up around 10pm, screaming, sounding terrified- sometimes he is still asleep so I figured this was night terrors, but he wakes too often. He seems to just want the comfort of knowing I am there because I will enter his room and kiss him and he lays down instantly and goes back to sleep without any kind of fight. this continues all night. 11:30, 1am, 2am, 2:30am,3am, you get the idea. around 6am I will bring him into my bed so I can get at least a solid hour of sleep. He normally doesn’t get milk when he sleeps, but I have been trying it, it is not working so i have stopped. He stopped using his pacifier 2 1/2 months ago with ease. The only thing I can imagine is happening is that he spends every other night at his Fathers house.
He sleeps in his fathers bed even though he has his own room. No matter what I tell his father he doesn’t seem to listen to me. Is this the reason this is happening or something else? I am soooooooo tired and confused. I wont let him cry it out because he sounds way too terrified. I know his cries and this is not a manipulative cry. Sometimes he is even crying in is sleep “stop” or “no” or “go away” but he could just be dreaming that his best buddy stole his toy, some advice would help. Thank you!!!!


Nov 24, 2010

Reply

by: Tina


Hi Adriana
You are not alone if that helps to start with.
I would say that your ex-partner is not helping your situation at all.
Unfortunately I sound like a hypocrite, my daughter is 3 now and she still will not sleep through the night, so I bought her a double bed, she goes to bed fine has about 4 hours and then gets me up. I did it for me more than her because as you have said sleep deprivation is a killer and I dont think anyone understands that unless they have been there. I go to bed with her the rest of the night until the alarm gets us both up.
My daughter says she hates being in there alone, she has no problem sleeping when Im with her.
I know its great that your son goes to his Dads but every other night seems a bit much, this will not help him at all. Is there anyway you can arrange day contact with his Father and only have sleep overs every other weekend.

I dont know why our children do this to us perhaps it is so they can be near us all the time, in a way its really comforting but in and out of bed all night is not good for you.
Try and talk to his Dad ask him if you can just do weekend stays until you can settle his bedtime routine, if he loves his son he will want the best for him. Just ask.
Good luck


Jan 15, 2011

Help……
by: Harley


I have a 18 month old daughter and a 2 week old son. My partner is going back to work in a couple of days and I’m stuck on getting a bedtime routeen. My daughter is a handful at bedtime. She has the sides off her cotbed, as she kept climbing out of it, she has a bed rail. So can’t let her cry it out, I don’t think I could do that tho. She won’t go to sleep without a bottle, I have to talk, sing and cuddle her until she is sound asleep. And when she wakes up in the nite she really does cry it’s horrible. She won’t go back into her own bed, when we try she just screams and is hysterical. It’s heartbreaking so she comes in bed with us. Also has to have a bottle, usually 6-7 oz.

My partner works unsociable hours so I will be on my own in the evenings. I’m just worried I’ll start to settle my daughter and my son will cry then my daughter won’t settle and I will just be going backwards and forwards. I’d been trying pretty much everything while I was pregnant to settle her on her own but nothing worked. Please help….. (oh and I’m sorry about my spelling it’s dreadful)


Jan 19, 2011

19 month old.
by: Anonymous


My boy eats very little during the day and i often wonder how he gets by. He sees the spoon and freaks out and turns his head…. I have tried giving him what i have but he does not sit long enough, he is always on the go. I have to distract him with tv or toys so he eats.
He has no naps hardly, it all depends on what time he gts tired.

At bedtime he will Ask for bot bot and have 4 oz then go to bed and have another 2oz then fall asleep withn 5 mins.
Then he moves and stirs and is hardly still all through the night. he will wake up cold cause he moves around that much,
He asks for bot bot about 4 times a night but its the movign around and never actually sleeping that is gettign to me.
Every time h moves around he loses his dummy and then wants it and its just a constant thing during the night.

Some people say i am lucky he wakes at 9am but he does not actually sleep all the way through.
Why i this?? Am i doing something wrong?


Jan 19, 2011

To Anonymous
by: Tina


Hi, Dont blame yrself for anything yr kids do, they do what they want when they want. I found this out from experience.

I have an 11 yr old son who has eating problems well thats what I say as he doesn’t eat hardly anything but took him 2 drs and they say as long as he has something he is eating. Leave his food where he can get it himself when hes hungry he will get it even if its cold. Leave snacks about in bowls. Doesnt matter if there not healthy snacks (crisps, biscuits, even fruit if he eats it)

As for the fidgiting in bed my 3yr old tossed and turned all nite long and didnt sleep, I bought her a double bed and sleep with her, this has cured her not sleepin (not practical in long run but at least we sleep).
I look in the long run of the fact they are not going to b little forever and its just a time thing, it will all correct itself.


Feb 02, 2011

19mnth old not sleeping

by: Angela


Hi, my son is 19mnths and at the minute he is in with me and dad, luckily I have a superking size bed!! he went through a stage of sleeping in his cot no probs, then I went away for a weekend and his dad gave in to him and now he wont sleep in his cot, screams blue murder, I work full time, up at 6.10am so now I take him up to bed at 8.30 at the lastest lie with him on my bed till settles usually within ten mins, then I put him in his own little toddler bed next to mine, sometimes he wakes up 3hrs later then I pop over into his bed lie with him till asleep again, then he goes over again, then wants a little milk!! (Im so trying to break that habit) then he goes over till 7ish..

I am going to move is toddler bed into his room once he is comfortable in it all night..

So Im pleased Im not alone, he has 4 more teeth to go so Im hoping wants he has a full set he will settle better….

I really do think at this age it is a comfort thing, and also can I just say, if I go out with my friends or etc, and daddy settles him he is good as gold, and when he stops at grandparents he is good as gold! the saying goes they have us mammies right where they want us!!!!!

Goodluck and your not alone..
Angela


Feb 27, 2011

energy
by: laura


KEY! my baby has bundles of energy….
My daughter is 18months now and also was a good sleeper till the age of about 14 months.she then started waking at 11pm and would only then get into my bed… she then started jumping out of her cot, so i bought her a bed…so she then and still goes down happily, but still woke in the night. she got the sick bug a couple of times then a cold and it threw her sleep times again and she now wont go down until 9pm or 11pm…unless i go to bed with her.
i have stopped her bed milk (as it is said to cause congestion) and am slowly taking away the dumby. I have changed a couple of things though. i found that being a busy mum i was talking with my daughter through the day and getting her involved but wasnt taking a few blocks out of the day where i wasnt focusing on her, dancing or sitting with her facing me …talking with her whilst sitting on my lap . dont get me wrong i spend all day with her but found when i did this 1 on 1 full attention she had had her full of mummy b4 bed so didnt crave for me so much at night. Also i found that because of the winter weather i wasnt taking her to the parks as much. she needed the fresh air and run around to wear her out! and this is key. Being indoors (classes or home) isnt enough. swimming is also a good one…
she is not sleeping through the night but i see a big change and know its on the horizon sometime soon :)


Mar 16, 2011

How can I stop this…
by: Anonymous


My daughter is 19 monhts and has had a history of ear infections. About a month ago we had tubes put in her ears but that did not seem to help with the constant waking up at night. She has developed a routine of falling alseep on our living room floor while watching a movie and drinking milk. I have tried moving her to her bed, but then she wakes and wants me to lay on the living room floor with her. My husband and I do not like her being in the living room, so we have tried moving the blankets, pillows, and her teddy to her bedroom floor, and our floor after she has fallen alseep, but she still wakes up and will not lay back down until I move it all back to the living room floor. (she won’t even lay in bed with us) Even though we are letting her sleep where she wants she still wakes up anywhere from 3-4x a night. And a few nights ago she woke about 7 times. She has had a routine since she was btw 1-2 months…bath, warm milk, kisses. But I have always comforted her to sleep; now she falls alseep on her own (in the living room) but still wakes. How can I get her to want to sleep in her crib, and sleep though the night???


Mar 18, 2011

my 18m boy

by: leapyearean


Hi,
I have an 18m boy. I am having hard time letting hm sleep at night. I and my husband already dimmed the light, and play as if we’re sleep just to encourage him to go to bed. He loves playng during night and wakes us up by pulling our hair or biting. Most of the time we end up letting him cry so that later on he can sleep. We don’t know what to do. His doctor said it is normal but until when will it last. We are very much concerned as we need to wake up early everyday for work.


May 25, 2011

19th month old still waking for milk

by: Anonymous


Hi, my 19 month old boy is still waking for milk in the night. He eats his 3 meals a day (although he doesnt eat that much sometimes) and has milk in the morning and before bed. He keeps waking in the night for milk at least twice. Does anyone know what I can do about this? Should I stop him? I know he will be very upset but Im not sure if this is ok? Please help me parent experts! Thank you x


Jun 02, 2011

My Daughter is 20 months
by: Margie


Wow, glad to hear I am not alone…my little on is starting to wake at night… around 2am…for up to 2 hours. When this happens, I lay on her bed with her as she climbs all over me to be sure she has as much of me as she can get. She will settle after 10-15 minutes then start stroking my arm. If I attempt after an hour of this, to put her back in her crib, she screams. Last night at 4am, I gave her a slice of cheese. She went to sleep fussing. I was problem solving. Thinking she was hungry. She does not eat at this time normally. I won’t do it again.
Any suggestions.


Jun 22, 2011

your not alone

by: janine


I also have a 18 month old daughter who frequently wakes threw the night.I have never given her milk threw the night and i could never do the “cry it out”method either.She goes to bed around 7 at night and has had the same bedtime routine since she was born.She stopped napping threw the day months ago so when she goes to bed shes really tired i lay with her for a little bit then leave the room.She never wakes at the same time threw the night and theres no ryme or reason for her waking.Im also at wits end and exshaution.I know this dosent help you any but i wanted to let you know that your not alone.Hang in there girl one things for sure by the time their teenagers im sure we wont have a problem with them sleeping ;)


Jun 23, 2011

my daughter wakes at least 3 times during the night
by: michelle


my daughter is 16 months old,she goes off to be without any problem at around 8pm she takes a 7oz formula bottle and goes straight asleep in her cot. its after half 10 she begins to wake and will do so around 3 more times through the night.there are so many things i have tried.. like letting her cry it out for a while, giving her no bottle, and leaving the room, staying with her and trying to put her back to sleep, but unless she is giving a bottle of formula she can cry and be hysterical for hours/ i have two other children who must get up early for school and i cannot put her cot in their rooms, the only space is to leave her cot in our room. She will go right back to sleep during the night as long as myself or her dad hand her a bottle, by that stage she has woken both of us. we both have to work and are going into work exhausted!! this is going on all night, and always has since she was born!! any suggestions as to help change this please .. her very tired mammy


Jun 23, 2011

Cut down slowly
by: Paula (Baby Help Line)


Hi Michelle,

Since this strategy isn’t working for you, why not take a while now and give her the bottle as quickly as you can. Prepare measures in the evening. Even heat up water and prepared measures next to your bed and just blend them. Make minimal fuss over it and get it done quickly to get back to sleep. Because that is what you need right now. You can also take turns, so that every second night, one of you take care of the feeding, the other one sleeps with ear plugs.

At the same time, start cutting down on the amount she gets, just a little. By slowly cutting down, she will get less food at night without even noticing, maybe making the transition to no feeding at night easier for her in a couple of months.

Warm wishes,

Paula


Jul 18, 2011

Not sleeping through after illness
by: Anonymous


Hi, I’ve read all your comments and so am comforted to know I’m not the only one not sleeping through the night. Our 18 month old generally sleeps through (occasional night waking but easily resettled etc). BUT a bit over a week ago I had her in hospital with pneumonia and she slept on me all night (in a chair). Since then she goes down ok to bed but wakes every sleep cycle (about 60-90mins) and she instantly falls back asleep once in my arms – very sweet but very exhausting. She ends up in our bed (and sleeps a little better with us) but my husband is keen for her to get back into her cot. Any ideas?? I was thinking maybe she just needs time after being ill.


Oct 21, 2011

18 month old who has slept only once through the night
by: Anonymous


It is such a relief to know that I am not alone. i have never been able to connect with any other mums here about this isue as everyone seems to have perfect babies who sleep through the night. my baby boy is now 18 monhs old but has slept only ONCE through the whole night. that was on Friday 8th October 2010. THE ONLY TIME!he went to bed at around 9pm and woke at 5.50am. in fact, i was not feeling so well on that day and his father had gone out with his friends. i did not hear him come in but heard him open the bathroom door at 5am and it was then that i woke up, looked at the time and rushed back to my room to see if my baby was still breathing! i really thought this would be the break through and he would start sleeping the whole night. it
is now the 21st and it has not happened again.

MY baby still breastfeeds and sleeps next to me.I know i should not do this but it is the only way i can get some sleep. he wakes up several times in the night and the only way he sleeps is with the breast in his mouth.he stopped liking and taking the bottle( formula milk) after i tried to ween him from the breast. it was a very difficult time for me. i am frustrated, tired and have no one to seek for advice. although my partner tries to help and has now even asked me to go and stay with my mum for 2 days at least so we can try to make him forget the breast i do not have the courage to do so. i am scared that going away like this will affect his emotional health. sometimes i think i am the one who wil be affected most. he is my first child. can anyone offer any advice.


Oct 29, 2011

Sleep Habits
by: Anonymous


I am reading these postings and thinking, gosh, this is what it is like in my home. I am a father. 2 sons. Oldest is 20 months and youngest is 5 months. I can relate to those whose 14-24 month old children are still waking up multiple times during the night and not wanting to stay in their cribs, possibly throwing tantrums to get in bed with mom & dad. One word of advice – if you want to break this habit please do not allow your child to fall asleep in your own bed initially as a way to get them to fall asleep, and then transfer them to their crib. I’ve been wrestling with this issue with my wife for months. it doesnt work. it creates a lot of anxiety in the child. They fall asleep in your bed, and then wake up in their crib. Often times screaming, because they are disoriented. The best thing you can do is to put them down in their crib initially at bed time, read them some stories, and help them fall asleep on their own, in their crib if thats where you want to “find” them in the morning. And if you want to get some sleep too. It isnt easy. It will require some effort. You cannot expect the take the path of least resistance and get results. This is the biggest mistake I see with new mothers desperate for sleep, or desperate to try to get back to their normal routines. Suck it up and do it right the first time. If you dont want to share your bed, then dont start there.


Nov 08, 2011

not sleeping

by: Judy


My baby boy is 18mth and not sleeping throughout the night since he was born. I tried cryout method and not giving him milk during the night for 2 mths and same results. when i tried to train him to sleep alone in the crib; he would vomit inside the crib. after cleaning the crib for 10+ times at night/during the night, i got rid of it. He wokes up when i put his blanket over him; he’s very very light sleeper. He vomits when he doesn’t want to eat something i give him… He vomits when he sleeps alone… He vomits when he is not feed during the night. So, I gave up when he was 14-15 mth and started giving him milk at least 2 times during the night. Is that wrong? I need help. I consulted with his doctor and he told me to wait until he turns 2. I read other blogs and there are babies at age 24+ mth not sleeping throughout the night. Should I stop feeding him and let him sleep on his own and clean his vomit everynight?


Nov 09, 2011

Find a solution that works for you!

by: Paula (Baby Help LIne)


Hi Judy!

Starting with your last question, I think you have already answered it yourself just by stating the question. Should you get up 10 times per night to clean his vomit? Of course not!

Children – most children – don’t sleep through the night. They do in periods and then they start waking up again. Most babies wake up in the beginning, at around 4 months old, 9 months, 18 months, and 3-4 years and 6 years old. These are periods when their minds are developing rapidly and they might have separation anxiety, nightmares or simply just wake up more. Some children don’t sleep through the night at all until they start school or later.

A lot of methods taught will not tell you this. The books will give you methods to improve your baby’s sleep, but they don’t mention that your baby is likely to start waking up again later on. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth trying, but with young children getting enough sleep is a struggle for most parents.

So what to do?

In my view, one can work both short- and long term. Short-term, everybody needs to get their sleep. So try co-sleeping or attach his crib to your bed, get him a sleep sack or a warm pajama so you don’t have to wake him up by putting a blanket on him. If he breastfeed, let him do so for a while, if he is bottle-fed, measure the formula powder in the evening, boil water and keep in a thermos next to your bed and mix with cold water (kept close to your bed) for the right temperature. Your little son as well as you really needs get nights without trauma and throwing up!

Secondly, when you are at peace and less exhausted, consider working long-term to reduce his night feeding and waking up. Reduce the amount of formula he gets. Give him a little bit extra to eat in the evening to see if it helps. Try to have him sleep in the crib very close to your bed, so that you can keep your hand on him or close to his head if that makes him feel more safe. And so on.

Remember that there is nothing wrong with your son! Not very long ago, less than 100 years, we all slept in family beds. As adults we often share beds with our spouse. But we demand that our young children should be comfortable alone in a bed in the darkness, maybe in another room. Some children do this naturally, but for most it takes time.

I hope this helps a little bit. Write back if you want to discuss more ideas to help your son and yourself sleep better.

Warm wishes,

Paula


Nov 10, 2011

Sleep

by: Tina


Hi Paula
I started this post when Elizabeth was 18 months old she is now 4years old and I am afraid she still does not sleep. If I go through my routine please tell me where to start changing it,
1. 6.30pm bedtime, story and cuddle.
2. 7pm fallen asleep so I creep out.
3. 9pm shes up again crying and wont go back to bed without me.
4. Take her back and sleep with her until morning.
She hates being alone and hangs her legs over me whilst asleep so that I cant leave the room. She started school and hates it, when I ask her why she hates being apart from me. Am I smothering her too much? please can I have some advice to help her more than me.


Nov 11, 2011

A few ideas…

by: Paula (Baby Help Line)


Hi Tina,

Wonderful to hear from you! But for the wrong reason, I guess ;-)

I have a few ideas, hopefully one of them might help.

First of all, when does your daughter get up in the morning? If it is not very early, like 5.30 am, then maybe you could try putting her to bed slightly later. My own 4-year old does the same as your daughter if he falls asleep too early; he wakes up a couple of hours later and really has problems going back to sleep. It is almost as if the first few hours of sleep are more like a nap than actually sleeping for the night.

So if possible try delaying her bed time for say 45 minutes and see if it makes difference.

Secondly, now being a big girl, she is old enough to have a discussion with and help her be motivated to co-operate. Studies show that with older children (like her) there is not much point with trying to fix the nights before the bed time. If they learn to fall asleep alone in their bed, then then night are likely to follow suit over time.

How about telling her that now that she is a big girl, it is time for her to learn how to fall asleep on her own. Discuss with her how to do it. Suggest that you first sit in her bed, then next to it, then close to the door, then outside the door et cetera (or what ever your goal is, maybe it is OK for you to be in the room, as long as she falls asleep on her own). If you can help her come up with this idea rather than you suggesting it, then even better.

Consider creating a star trail to help her. If she likes stickers, buy some colored paper and some fun/glitter/princess stickers that you know she’ll like. Draw a trail and tell her that every night that she falls asleep according to your agreement, she’ll get a sticker to put on her trail in the morning as a reward. And at the end of the trail there should be a big reward, of course. Something she is really longing for; either a toy or an activity. (Let her decide as much as possible.) It might be a good idea to have smaller rewards along the way too, e.g. every fourth or fifth day to keep her motivated. Make the trail three weeks long or so, so your are finished well before Christmas, even if she doesn’t manage to get a star every night.

Do what you can to make this a positive experience. Don’t nag at her if she can’t stand to fall asleep alone on a certain night. And consider only focusing on the first bedtime event. If she needs you later at night, continue going to her until she has learned to fall asleep on her own. One step at a time usually works the best.

I hope this might help you. Once she can fall asleep on her own, you can start working with the next step.

Let me know how things proceed!

Paula


Nov 15, 2011

sleep problems

by: diana


my daughter is 18 months old has bad bad bad sleep problems. since birth i can count on one hand how many times she has slept through the night. she will wake up anywhere from 1 to 7 times a night, we feel lucky if she wakes up once. i am at my wits end with her. she refuses to go back to sleep when she wakes up. we have tried everything. she takes one nap a day from 1 to 230 and goes to bed around 8-830. please help!1


Nov 15, 2011

Help!

by: Marcy


My son is 18 months old, and since he was born, he has never slept through the night. I stopped breastfeeding him when he was 15 months old, and while I was breastfeeding, he would sleep with me and would wake up about 2 to 3 times at night to breastfeed. After I stopped breastfeeding, he would continue to wake up, and he would not stop crying until he had his bottle, up to this day he still cries. I now have him in his own bed but demands the bottle, and that’s the only way he will fall asleep. Any suggestions on how I can have him sleep through the night? I work a few times a week and I get so tired throughout the day.


Dec 20, 2011

Whew – I thought it was just me.

by: Mary


Reading all your posts gives me a sigh of relief. My 18 month old boy would use to sleep through the night, but a has not been for a few months now. He wakes up 3 times to feed, but sometimes more – but just whining. I sure hope that this is just a pace. The daycare noticed the same thing though when he naps during the day. He wakes up a few times crying, when he didn’t used to.


Jan 08, 2012

18 months old NEVER slept through the night…

by: Taiying


It’s such a relief to see that I am not alone!!! I have a 18 months old and has never slept through the night, the longest he did was 7.5 hrs, (only happened a couple times though…)which my husband and I went “wow! there is hope!” I couldn’t figure what I have done differently that made him slept better those nights… I am still breastfeeding, trying to cut it but he is one stubborn baby. I did cry-it-out couple times too, never worked either.(and it broke my heart to hear him cry over 3 hrs still not going to sleep!!) After reading some of Paula’s suggestions, I really think every baby is so different and has his/her own personality that only the parents can really understand. so, I am now trying to trust my instinct more than whatever those drs or experts say… thank you Paula for your more realistic and helpful suggestions, and hope every mom and dad that’s here (including myself) will soon solve the problem and find peace with this issue~ ;)


Nov 10, 2012

use a clock

by: georgia


Try putting the toys by the bed. If that does not work try a clock. If that fails try inviting her
into your room, but make her voice go down to a
whisper. If that fails put up a fort in your room with lots of toys and books and tell her she can talk all she wants there.


Nov 13, 2012

My 18 month olds sleeping habits

by: JonEssexUK


Our little girl is onw nearly 19 months old, and for the first 16 months of her life she has slept in her won room and pretty much slept through the night, going down at 7pm and waking or being woken at 7am the next morning….but for the last three months she has started waking at around 2-3am….mum goes in gives her cuddles and sometimes ends up sitting with her until 4am for her to finally drop off to be put back in her cotbed…wouldnt be a problem if this was every now and then but now its every single night and we both work long hours..so its really not doing anyone any good.

She never wakes for milk, and to be honest it just seems to be a comfort thing. We have fallen into the BAD habit of bringing her into our bed just so we can get some sleep….when she sleeps with us she instantly goes down 99% of the time and she will then sleep till 7am as beofre…but we desperately want to break this habit (after all we’d love to give her a little brother or sister). The crying it out thing just isnt working for us….it normally starts as a little cry and whimper, then gets louder until she is absolutely hysterical….she settles, but then as soon as you lower her down into the cotbed and she touches the mattress the big big cries start again. We have had a few issues where she screams so hard that she makes herself sick so we never want to leave her to cry it out.

Thinking of a few ideas weve got from here…

Trying her in a travel cot in our room
Maybe taking sides off of her cot bed
maybe putting something in her cot that smeels of our bed

Any other suggestions would be amazing


Nov 30, 2012

17 month old nighttime problems

by: Anonymous


Please help! My daughter is 17 months old and is fantastic at getting herself to sleep initially, she has a bath and then a 9oz bottle of formula which she drinks herself in her cot then falls asleep all by herself! Trouble is she starts to wake up at 10 ish and screams the house down for milk sometimes she doesn’t even want milk she just has an enormous tantrum and won’t even be held or have her dummy. This is then repeated 3-4 times through the night. I’m a newly single mum and I’m getting really worried and down about it all, through the day she is the most happy go lucky baby and is an absolute joy, but at night she turns the other way. She never sleeps in my bed she doesn’t even want to so I’m struggling as to what I should do. Should mention we are currently staying at my mums temporarily so she is in her own cot but its in my room with me. Also she used to sleep from 9pm to 7am fron beibg 10 weeks to 8 months old. Please help me


Feb 01, 2013

21 month old baby not sleeping

by: Lisa


My name is Lisa. My son is 21mo now. He was sleeping through the night from 10mo till 15mo. Then the horrible sleepless night began. It’s been 6mo since he has last slept through the night. We also moved from Germany to the states when he was 17mo old. He also had four teeth come in all at once at 16mo. So not sure if this played a big a part of his bad sleeping habits.

He has always been a light sleeper and hated to be covered with blankets because he would sweat and it would wake him. He normally wakes up about 7am. We would have a routine for a one nap=2hrs and then bedtime, as we settled into the night. We would eat a good dinner and then play some, then bath, and story time and lastly breast feed before bed. Usually we are in bed by 8pm. Then i would take him to his bed. He is awake when i do put him down but very tired. He usually puts up a little bit of a fight and then he falls a sleeps for about 1 hour or two and wakes up crying in a panic.

Now me trying to cut back on his breast feeding(BF) has been a challenge but it is working. I’ve been taking it in small steps since he turned 18mo. I only BF him once before bed and not in his bed, then we head off to his bed about a half hour later. My goal is to stop completely by the end of the year. I am very proud of myself for BF him this long and for the whole health benefit it has given him. I am so done with it but at the same time he is so dependent on me for it. I am pretty firm on not giving him any breast milk or regular milk to him in the middle of the night. At first he would cry for it, now he just rolls over and as long as i am there he will go back to sleep. He has plenty of calcium throughout the day and milk and not to mention he eats like a horse. Which i am happy about that.

I am convinced that he is going through a stage and praying that he will get through it soon. I guess i need to have more PATIENCE. In the meantime, I have been waking up at least twice to three time a night with him tossing and turning and crying and whining for something. So my husband and i are at our wits end since we tried a lot of ways to help him. We don’t know what to do anymore. Oh and yes i have had my husband try to comfort him but he only wants me to put him to sleep and to come in the middle of the night when he does cry. Lucky me!! I usually stay with him because he just wakes up to much and i am just to exhausted to get up more than two times. I really do think he doesn’t like to be by himself and likes when i am there to comfort him. So what more solution are there to help my child to get a peaceful, restful sleep that he well deserves.
your tired mommy and daddy need help any answer would be great. Thank you in advance.


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