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OK how do I do this? 12 mth old never slept through - not once ever!

(24 Posts)
colnelcustard Wed 06-Aug-08 07:52:44

Please can I have some advice on how to get my 12 mth old dd to sleep through the night.

She gets up at least four or five times and has never slept through not even once.

She goes down any time from 6pm after bath and bottle. Then will wake up at 10pm then will wake up at intermittently from about 12am onwards.

Sometimes, I can settle her back down by tucking her back in. Last night the only thing that would settle her was a bottle. She had 3 from 10pm onwards.

I am exhausted. Taking it out on the other 2 (age 5, and 3). Not sure what to do or how to handle it.

I did try controlled crying for 3 weeks but it did not work. So gave up in the end.


Northumberlandlass Wed 06-Aug-08 08:07:12

Hiya Catchy,
My DS was very much like your own DC. Although I have to say I didn't let him have a bottle in the night. We tried EVERYTHING to get him to settle. He would go to bed at 7 without any problem at all, but he would wake just after midnight and that would be it. He would wake every hour or so until we all got up at 6 (for work, not by choice). I was at the end of my tether, I couldn't concentrate at work, I was worried driving to work, tearful, snappy and believe me I was a nightmare to live with. Eventually, I went to see my HV - with grey bags under my eyes and on the brink of tears. Tiredness ? OMG! I was a walking zombie. My DH would of course help me, but he works shifts, so after he'd done a night shift weekend - I was ready to be committed. So... I spoke to the HV about everything we had tried to help him settle and she agreed that we could get some help. Our HV (lovely lovely woman)spoke to our GP and arranged for us to get some sedation (I can now hear the shout of horror from some Mums). This is how it worked.... we put him to bed as normal and waited for him to wake, once he became unsettled and upset we would give him the medicine. The medicine would take about 15 mins to kick in, so up til then we would do controlled crying. The idea being that DS would think the controlled crying worked, when really it was the sedation. Basically he was forced back into a routine. It took a couple of weeks for it all to work, but it did work ! My DS now 5 is still an unsettled sleeper and will wake up every morning at 5.30 - 6.00, but at least he stays asleep at night.

funnypeculiar Wed 06-Aug-08 08:19:20

First thing to say is that you are not alone! Neither of mine slept through with any reliability until they were about 18mths. They are both now (2.5 and 4.5) mostly pretty good sleepers. I took different approaches with each of them - with ds I tried everything, with dd I just went with it (although I did get to a stage where I took a bit of a stand on milk at night)

OK, more questions for you
- what are her daytime naps like?
- what's her bedtime routine?
- does she eat well in the day?
- have you read Elizabeth Pantley - No Cry Sleep Soln - lots of ideas & will make you feel more normal smile

fledtoscotland Wed 06-Aug-08 08:55:17

this sounds like DS. at 9months old he had never slept for more than 2-3hrs at a time. we saw the Sleep Lady and followed her advice of controlled crying. it was tough for the first 2-3nights but now 2months on he is like a new baby and much better during the day too. Now he goes to bed at 6.30pm, we wake him at 10.30pm for 4ozs, we have a no-milk until 5am policy so if he wakes he is settled and left and then he usually gets up at 6am. if he does cry its a 30second protest and he settles himself.

we tried the "no cry sleep solution" using gradual withdrawal but DS would stand in his cot laughing at us sitting in his room.

the Sleep lady also said about giving a carbohydrate rich tea so he was full up for longer.

hth and good luck

No advice but solidarity. I came online to post something similar (I've just had a slice of cake and a Milkybar having spent an hour trying to get 12 month old DS, who has never slept through, ever, down for his nap. He's decided if I put him down he has to feed, except sometimes he doesn't want to feed, and then we have a fight because he wants to latch on then come off and get in the cot then he screams to be latched on and then he pulls away etc etc ad nauseum followed by 20 minutes of hysterical unsettleable crying followed by another 20 minutes of nipple-chewing then finally he'd let me put him in the cot).

Sorry, bit of a rant there.

Just so you know you're not alone in being a very tired and stressed MNer.

colnelcustard Wed 06-Aug-08 09:49:50

I have asked the doctor for some sedatives. But he said there was nothing that they could give me. I will ask again. I know its extreme but I am not functioning properly.

Here is her routine.

Up at 6am.
Breakfast of 1.5 weetabix and a banana or other piece of fruit

Down for a nap anytime from 9 - 10 this will usually last about 1.5 to 2 hours.

A snack somewhere along the line.

12pm lunch of a sandwich, fruit, maybe some finger food type things.

Then dinner at about 4pm with the others (I have to go out to work at 5pm). Dinner will be whatever the others are eating followed by a couple of yoghurts.

Then she has her bath usually after dinner so I'm starting the winding down process before work. Then my partner puts her to bed at 6pm after she has had her bottle.

She then wakes up at ten and the fun begins.

CoteDAzur Wed 06-Aug-08 09:56:39

Give her paracetamol tonight and see if it makes a difference. If it does, investigate the possibility that she may be hurting somewhere - teething? another ache somewhere? is she ill?

colnelcustard Wed 06-Aug-08 09:58:20

I have given her paracetomal. I've even given her piriton as I have heard that that can knock them out.

Nothing works. I did controlled crying for so long that in the end she was screaming until six am that it was actually time to get up.

Northumberlandlass Wed 06-Aug-08 10:15:25

Hi Catchy, the HV I saw for the sedative (apparently an adult anti-histimine of sorts - we gave him a tiny dosage!)was very supportive and realised that I couldn't go on. She did say though, she knew only of the GP's in our local surgery that would perscribe it. So, maybe I was lucky. Have you talked to your HV ?

CaptainKarvol Wed 06-Aug-08 10:27:55

Huge sympathy from here too. DS was the same - I found the time around 9-15 months the worst as his sleep was very bad (waking 6-8 times a night) and I expected it to be a lot better, and I was back at work. We also tried cc, though not for as long (5 nights) and it didn't even begin to work.

Only time has helped us. At 2.5 he just wakes once a night and comes into our bed, or I co-sleep with him in the spare bed. I can live with that, and function again.

I was the same as an infant, and my mum was given phenegan for me. Which didn't work on me, but if you can get a prescription for it, it might be worth a try?

colnelcustard Wed 06-Aug-08 13:10:06

The Health Visitor has advocated controlled crying and has said I must stick at it. But 3 weeks is a bloody long time not to be getting the message.

I will go back to the doctor. I know sedatives aren't a great idea. But I have tried everything else.

Might try crying as well as begging.

WilfSell Wed 06-Aug-08 13:14:56

I'm sorry for you guys - we haven't had a full night for a year either but not quite as mad as yours.

could you cut down the morning nap to an hour? and then a mid-afternoon nap also but quite short - 45 mins about 3pm.

then keep her up till 8?

And see if that works better...

Some kids - no-one believes this but from my experience with 2 others it can be true - sleep better at night with more not less sleep during the day: their brains are less fried and frantic.

If you had the two small naps spaced out you might find she is calmer and in more of a deep sleep in the evening.

you could even try a 10.30 bottle also and see if she'll go to 6.

Good luck though - it's really hard.

AuntyJ Wed 06-Aug-08 13:22:08

Could she be hungry? Eating at 4pm is really early especially as she has a small stomach.
I know you have to feed her that early but could your husbad give her some weetabix or toast just before she goes to bed?

Peapodlovescuddles Wed 06-Aug-08 13:24:19

Worth bearing in mind that some people just don't sleep through the night, I can honestly say I have never slept through the night in all my 38 years, I wake up once or twice for loo/glass of water/wriggle around etc every night. My DS1 and DD 2 and DD3 are the same, I went down the route of putting a squishy toy in the cot for them to play with if they woke up and it works pretty well, they soon only cried if they needed me. Alternatively you could try having her in with you, I can actually vividly remember yelling 'mummy' from the end of my bed until she came and took me through to my parents room (I must have been about 2), just lying inbetween your parents can be very settling, we do it with DD3 a lot, when I wake up in the morning she is often just sitting smiling at me!

colnelcustard Wed 06-Aug-08 13:31:34

She does have a bottle before bed and more often that not has another one at about 10.30 and one in the middle of the night.

I don't want her to come in and sleep with me as I've tried it and she just crawls all over the bed.

My partner is the one who puts her to bed at 6pm. He's had a massively stressful day and puts her to bed at that time, so he can then deal with the other two.

I have no probs getting up early at 6am so would not mind her going 6 - 6 ideally.

funnypeculiar Wed 06-Aug-08 13:36:30

Tbh, if you've tried CC for 3 weeks, that sounds like you've given it a real shot - I'm not sure I'd personally be keen to try it again.

Can't comment on the drugs route, as haven't personal experience, but can empathise with you wanting to get this sorted smile

I co-slept with dd when she woke in the night & it was a godsend - we got about 70% more sleep than we would have done, as she settled fast ... and if not settled would at least be quiet and happy so we could dose beside her. I imagine you're nervous it'll make things harder in the long run. I co-slept with dd, and never, ever did with ds. They both started sleeping through at the same age.

Hugely agree with WillSelf on the naps - both dd and ds slept better at night on more daytime sleep. Strange but true.

From looking at your routine, I'd think about:
- working towards a later bedtime (aiming towards 7)
- making morning nap short, and having an after lunch nap - that one would be longer if needed
- ideally a later supper (realise that might not be practical, or a before bed snack (cereal's a good option)

I would think about trying to cut out the milk in the night, personally, as my first focus. We told dd ' only water in the night and gave her water (in her usual bottle, warmed) and were nearly feel off our chairs when she drank it and went back to sleep with no complaint. Not saying you'll be as lucky, but got to be worth a try - once she learnt there was no milk in the night, it defn improved her sleeping (that route didn't work with ds though, have to say!)

Can't comment on the drugs route, as haven't personal experience, but can empathise with you wanting to get this sorted smile

Is there anyone who could have her for a night or two whilst you did sleep catch-up. Amazing how much being sleep deprived messes with your brain smile

funnypeculiar Wed 06-Aug-08 13:36:58

ah, x-post, sorry

juuule Wed 06-Aug-08 13:42:23

Lots of sympathy for you.
However, most of my children didn't sleep through reliably until they were around 3yo.
Try to get some sleep when you can.
Go to bed early for a couple of nights (go when she goes).
Naps during the day if poss. If not, settle down and doze for the duration of her nap.
What about getting up for an hour with her in the night until she gets tired again and then put her back to bed. I've found it's been worth the hour or 2 up in the night for the 4/5 hours sleep afterwards until morning.
And remember that it will pass and she'll grow out of it.

MatNanPlus Wed 06-Aug-08 13:45:14

I would suggest an afternoon nap as 10.30/12-6 is a long time to be awake and it sounds like she isn't settling into deep sleep at night as too tired so just napping.

Could you put her to bed from 9-10.30 and then wake her, do snack then 12pm lunch and then 1-2.30 nap then a drink and tea at 6pm?

Would that fit in with the school run?

Do a bottle at bed and again at your bedtime and then water at night so not a great reward for waking.

CC is hard to get perfect - especially for the umpteenth time in he night - a small change from one visit to the next can throw it all into disarray, try to say and do the exact same things each time you go in to settle her.

colnelcustard Wed 06-Aug-08 13:45:41

The only thing is that I have two other children and have to go out to work every evening. My partner and I do take turns to have a sleep in at the weekend its just getting through the week is really tough.

Will cut out the milk with water. And go back to Health Visitors I suppose. Its just so bloody draining!

MatNanPlus Wed 06-Aug-08 13:50:51

What was the routine with your older DC at this age.

I am guessing that tho it is holiday time you have school/nursery to do so her routine needs to fit in with that as no point starting something now and then having to change it.

But as others have said i too have found more day sleep does mean better night sleep as the body and mind are not so tired so can fall asleep and stay asleep better, adults and children can get to a stage of being so sleep deprived that falling asleep is very hard and staying asleep even harder.

crumpet Wed 06-Aug-08 13:52:16

Agree that only one sleep in the morning means that the baby has an awfully long stretch to go before bedtime. At risk of being flamed, GF recommends a 45 minute or so nap at around 9am followed by about 2 hrs at approx 12.30-2.30. The times vary slightly according to age, but it's along those lines. My 2 year old still needs a sleep after lunch to get him through the day.

Good luck, it must be so knackering.

colnelcustard Wed 06-Aug-08 13:53:16

My oldest son slept through from six weeks! Serves me right for being smug.

DD1 was a right pain for a bottle for settling but once she had that she was fine - we stopped that at age 2 for once and for all.

Its just the frequency and obvioulsy having to deal with two others and work and sort the house out is knackering.

KnickersOnMaHead Wed 06-Aug-08 14:04:06

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