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Still sleep deprived with 18 month old, dont know how much more i can take? please help!

(12 Posts)
STIGZ Sun 07-Aug-11 17:26:46

Hi everyone,

will try & make this short and sweet and any suggestions at all would so appreciated!

My DD who is 18 months has never been a great sleeper, she had acid reflux until 7 months old so basically 4 nights out seven she would end up in bed with me and my partner.

This is now the case 18 months on and I think its a comfort thing now, my partner drives for a living and i am a nursery teacher who has to be on the ball all day at work, i am absolutly shattered to the point of exhaustion, i also have low iron stores regularly which doesnt help!!

Cannot sleep with her in bed beside us anymore as she is getting so big and her arms and legs are everywhere, I normally get punched and kicked so much that i end sleeping on the couch.

I would say we get one night out of seven if we are lucky where she will sleep right through till the morning, it seems to be once she has been sleeping for four and half hours she will wake up, sometimes she goes straight back to sleep once she is in beside us and then other times she will be awake for 3 hours before she nods off again.

I hope someone can give me some advice on this as me and DP relationship is beginning to suffer.

thank you

fantus Sun 07-Aug-11 19:12:03

Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time - sleep deprivation is a killer, I know. My DD is 16 months now and was a complete shock to the system, only started sleeping through (and definately not regularly) at 12 months. Last night she was up between 1am and 3am. This was after having DS who slept through from 3 months!

Just a few questions. Does she start the night in her own bed? How does she settle when you first put her down? When she is awake what is she doing? Trying to get up / play / get your attention or is she trying to settle back to sleep? Also, have you tried posting in the sleep section - you may get a few more replies from someone more knowledgeable there smile

Choufleur Sun 07-Aug-11 19:15:32

I would put her back to bed repeatedly. Expect tears, angry shouts and a few god awful nights.

Explain to her before bed that she needs to stay in her own room, maybe buy a new nighttime soft toy or PJs.

STIGZ Mon 08-Aug-11 09:16:56

yeah she always starts off in her cot, she is fine at going down, the odd few tears here and there.

when she wakes up sometimes is wide awake and lies talking to herself and rolling about trying to get up

i dont entertain this and just keep saying its sleepy time and putting her back down but sometimes this goes on for three hours!

An0therName Mon 08-Aug-11 12:43:22

STIGZ -do symathise my nearly 18mo is also awake most nights for a couple of hours - is she crying or just awake - if she just awake I would leave her to it
I am doing controlled crying - eg leaving him for 10mins then going in -its helping a bit I think
there is also a book called no cry sleep solution for toddlers which I might get

Re getting enough sleep - could you do shifts- ie one does it one night and the other the next - and maybe one of you could go and stay over night sometime just to get full nights sleep -the odd full night sleep can make a big difference
re iron - I used thing thing I bought in the health foodshop which was soluable iron- can't rember the name but it was v good

Clandy Mon 08-Aug-11 12:43:49

Hiya, I also have an 18 month old who doesn't sleep thru although she does stay in her own bed m, just likes her midnight bottle and often looses her dummy or Teddy smile it is hard when you have work then next day! Maybe it would be a good idea to try n get you dc sleeping in her own bed even tho it may be a struggle at first maybe better in the long run!!??

Also for the iron I take a supplement called spa tone it's a liquid and I mix it up in a glass of fresh orange juice takes ok and has really helped. Can buy from amazon or places like boots/ holland and barrats. It doest have the side effects of iron tablets (well it doesnt for me smile) and I would def recommend

fantus Mon 08-Aug-11 13:08:37

I would definately recommend spa tone too for your iron levels. I took them at the end of my last pregnancy as my levels were low and the tablets disagreed with me.

If she is starting off in her own bed then I would just persevere as others have said. If she is awake and not crying then I would leave her be. If she is crying and getting up then just gently lay her back down with minimum interaction.

Also, could she be teething? We have noticed with our DD that it is always worse when she has teeth coming through. She has no other symptoms in the day but can be awake for hours in the night.

An0therName Mon 08-Aug-11 13:10:14

Clandy - spa tone is what I meant
glad i am not alone at least

Clandy Mon 08-Aug-11 13:38:20

Haha I had to check the name of it and I use it every day!! blush

STIGZ Mon 08-Aug-11 19:09:27

thanks everyone, will check out that spa tone, so is this safe to use everyday as a longterm thing?

a couple of answers to the questions above, when she wakes up in night, if we lay her back down in her cot it becomes a screaming match hence the reason she always ends up in beside us!

half the time when she is in beside us she will go back to sleep almost straight away, then the other half she is wide awake trying to stand up, rolling about & talking away to herself, when she is trying to stand up etc, i lay her down beside me and say"sleepy time" numerous times (3 hours worth sometimes)which she does not like as i think she wants to have a wee play!

she only had 4 teeth up until two months ago and the majority of them have came through in the past couple of weeks.

im hoping the rest come through soon, so i can deffo rule out teething as the problem, when she wakes up it doesnt sound like she is crying from pain, i think she just wakes up and cannot self settle herself back to sleep in her bed.

family & friends have been saying since she was 6months old "ah she will settle soon, a year on im still waiting! dont think i can survive another 18months of sleep deprivation!!

fantus Mon 08-Aug-11 19:56:35

When you have the screaming match trying to settle her back in her cot how long is it before you bring her into your bed? This was something we used to do regularly too in desperation with our DD.

I finally bit the bullet and tried a version of pick up put down although if I actually picked her up she just got more and more wound up so in the end I would sit on the chair next to her cot and making shushing noises until she settled. It took about a week but once she realised I wasn't going to bring her into our bed she started settling much quicker. Now if she wakes in the night and I go in she lies straight back down and goes back to sleep (most of the time!) Consistency is key - do the same thing every time and they soon learn that this is the new way of doing things. Hopefully!

AngelDog Mon 08-Aug-11 21:31:25

There's a really common 18 month sleep regression. One developmental psychologist has described 18-21 months as 'the mother of all developmental transitions'. Being awake for long periods in the night is classic sleep regression behaviour and in my DS's case, has always stopped without intervention from me once the developmental leap is over.

It's horrible, though, isn't it, especially if co-sleeping doesn't work well for you.

More info here and here and here.

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