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My 20 month old dd, is a rubbish sleeper. She was brilliant until she was 1 or so and since then things have gone to pot. At first I thought it was really bad teething or something, but it is now almost every night. She has a nap at lunchtime for 1 1/2 or 2 hours and I always get her up by 3 pm. She has no problem going down for nap or staying asleep. She then has bedtime around 7pm after bath etc. and on the whole goes down fine, but I might havd to go in and remind her it is bedtime a couple of times as she can scream a bit, but def. ready for bed. She then can wake throughout the night anything from 2 - 5 times, sometimes for an hour or two at a time. Her screaming just escslates and there is no calming her without proper cuddles from me. Daddy will not do. She will have a complete tantrum and shout for mummy until I get up and settle her. This can go on for hours. Have tried leaving her to cry and she just eorks herself up into a frenzy. She is sometimes so exhausted that I have to wake her in the morning at 8.45 to get my ds to nursery on time. she loves her morning lie ins! lucky her!! I can't believe this is normal behaviour, it is like having a newborn. I am exhausted and haven't had a proper nights sleep for 6 months. I don't understand how she was the perfect sleeper for her first year. We have the odd good week, but then it goes back to hell. My son has always slept well, we never have to get up in the night for him etc. It is like she is incredibly insecure and needs huge reassurance at night. She is quite clingy and highly strung in the day, but has a lovely, affectionate and amusing character. Everyone loves her and noone can believe how bad she is at night, especially as ds is such a great sleeper. She has a dummy, but no other comforter really, and dummies don't work when she is in a state, has no interest. She idn't hungry, doesn't get milk etc. i am at my wit's end, I am sorry for long post. Please someone help me!!!
No answers other than what you may have already heard -can you check her health at GP in case of ear infection/blocked sinuses causing increased pain when lying down -could try changing he diet to completely additive free (a lot of yoghurt has natural creamy colour 160b which causes headbanging in sensitive toddlers)
1.The more tired she becomes the more hysterical she becomes So it may not be insecurity but merely extreme irritability due to tiredness 2. the ability to settle herself to sleep is a learnt behaviour (so, she has yet to learn self-settling BUT SHE WILL IN TIME!!) 3.Do very early dinner, bathtime to soothe before the long night ahead(!), a baby story book & happy cuddle/kiss 4. Use a confident soothing, happy voice that suggests you believe she can learn to settle/resettle and say "Night gorgeous!Settle to sleep now" or whatever you prefer to say 5. Leave for ? 3 mins Repeat as many times as it takes, never wavering in your confident voice Some people leave to settle for longer gaps, all up to you and how you judge her to be coping
We've all been there and you WILL have a gorgeous self-settling toddler one day (though not before you are completely drained/barely able to stay awake during the day at times!)
I just know "She CAN do this!!" Best wishes & ((((hugs from a previously exhausted mum))))
No advice at all, except to say that I could have written your post, right down to the bit about DS being a champion sleeper. In fact, I did write a very similar post a couple of weeks ago. So, now it is 6am and I have to get up for work, feeling like i've been hit by a bus.
Sometimes they go through phases of needing extra reassurance at night, especially during developmental spurts. Does she have a nightlight or anything - it may be fear of the dark and some separation anxiety. Until she gets through it I would recommend putting a mattress in her room and when she wakes up, staying with her until she goes back to sleep. You've already discovered that leaving her makes the situation worse, so I would go with what she needs until she gets over it.
Did anything change when she was 1, as you've mentioned that was when it started - did she start nursery or anything?
Thank you so much for your replies. Last night she didn't wake once! So she can do it! That is what is so strange. It is like she takes me to breaking point and then gives me a good nIght's sleep and it will start again tonight! I think it must be more a fear/separation anxiety thing rather than self settling as her naps and nights like last night are easy for her. I think she sometimes just wakes and gets very scared. I have tried nightlight but if anything she gets even more freaked out - shadows etc. i think we just have to persevere and hope she grows out of it soon! Thank you everyone.
My DD always woke a couple of times in the night but usually could be got back to sleep by giving her a cuddle and dummy.
Then at 19/20 months we had about 6 weeks of hell - she was literally wide awake for about 2 hours in the middle of the night! In the end I let her watch tv on my phone in my bed while I at least got to doze next to her.
It was a phase, and following it she has pretty much slept well -she's nearly 4 now. It preceded her really getting going with talking, so my bet is that its a developmental thing that makes them v wakeful, then they get upset in the night.
My son is 16 months now and still wakes up once or twice. He won't go back to sleep without a bottle! Aargh. Hopefully he will grow out of it too ...!
ThNk you so much for your reassurance. I think it could be the development thing as well. Talking really starting to come, that would bd good too, as she doesn't have that many words yet and my son was already a chatterbox at 20 months. Actually, thinking about it the last bad spate of sleeping after she turned one was just before she started walking. Things then improved until this recent few weeks, so maybe it is the talking thing now.