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Please help with my 17 month old’s sleep!

(14 Posts)
Olive2019 Wed 21-Oct-20 07:31:42

My 17 month old goes to bed at 7pm. At the moment he’s waking once between 8-9, again at 11-12 and then again between 4-5.30. He gets up for the day at around 7. He used to wake less frequently (sleeping through regularly but otherwise waking once) and would go back to sleep quite quickly if we stroked his back/held his hand in his cot, but for the past month he gets very upset and distressed if he’s left in his cot and wants to be held or cuddled. It takes a long time to settle him after wakes now and I am just exhausted.

Can anyone offer any advice? We are considering sleep training but I imagine it’s very difficult with a child of this age. TIA

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SeaToSki Wed 21-Oct-20 11:06:05

Sleep training all the way. Its not good for anyone to have disturbed sleep, child or adult. If you teach him to self settle he will get the benefits for years.

SpaceOP Wed 21-Oct-20 11:08:10

What's his day time sleep like? Because if he's not getting enough day time sleep, that could be the problem as he's overtired.

Also, how does he eat? At around this age, we found that if DS had a decent and substantial suppery, he definitely slept better than if he had a light supper and a bigger lunch.

Olive2019 Wed 21-Oct-20 11:58:36

Thanks very much both for your replies.

@SeaToSki do you have any advice as to the best way to go about this for someone of his age? And how long it might take? (Realise that’s a ‘how long is a piece of string’ type question but would help us to plan when the best time to do it would be!)

@SpaceOP he usually naps for 2 hrs 12-2. Sometimes at nursery he doesn’t sleep for that long though and will only get 1-1.5hrs. He has a good appetite and eats well so I don’t think he’s waking due to hunger.

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foodtoorder Wed 21-Oct-20 12:21:21

Perhaps be strict with the 1 hour nap during the day at home and nursery? Or do something very active later in the day to tire him out if possible?
Additionally it might be a development thing?
My eldest would have disturbed sleep after a few hours in bed and I could almost set my clock by it. I would anticipate the events and disturb her slightly/give them a nudge or change their sleep position and it more often than not stopped the waking/upset. That won't help you in the night though.
The other thing we put her disturbed sleep down to was body temperature, we found she was often waking hot/sweaty so cooled the room before bed and changed the bedding to a lighter duvet.
Just some thoughts smile

Olive2019 Wed 21-Oct-20 12:26:51

Thanks @foodtoorder I did wonder whether it was something developmental, hence my hesitation about sleep training as I kind of hoped it would rectify itself! He does get quite warm but he’s still in a sleeping bag - what age did you transfer to a duvet?

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foodtoorder Wed 21-Oct-20 14:36:01

We put a duvet on when they were about 2 which coincided with going in to a toddler bed.
Have you got the heating on? Is he in warmer bed clothes than usual?
Maybe have a read about developmental sleep patterns/cycles?

Olive2019 Wed 21-Oct-20 15:47:34

He’s not in warmer clothes than usual, and the house hasn’t changed in temperature.

I haven’t come across anything relating to a sleep regression at this age - I know there’s a common regression at 18months so fingers crossed he’s just getting it out of the way early and he’ll go back to sleeping well confused

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SeaToSki Thu 22-Oct-20 02:35:06

If ypu can crack the sleep training before age 2 it often only takes 2 -3 nights, but you have to be zero fun, and any talking or eye contact at all is fun, any light is fun and any lingering is fun

I would go in with just the hall light on, lay dc back down and go out. En set a timer for 2 mins. If crying go back in lay dc down and go out. Set timer for 5 mins, repeat with timer at 10 mins and then repeat at 10 mins until they tire. Dont go back in if they are playing happily, singing, rustling, jumping, kicking the cot or crying but winding down.

And i stuck with the sleeping bag as long as i could, its a godsend for stopping them climbing out of the cot

Ohalrightthen Thu 22-Oct-20 07:21:44

How does he fall asleep usually?

Olive2019 Thu 22-Oct-20 11:11:15

Thanks so much @SeaToSki we’ll give it a go. As you said I don’t think disturbed sleep is doing any of us any good and I’m really keen to crack it.

@Ohalrightthen he used to fall asleep by himself within a few minutes but then around the 12m mark he would get really upset so we’d just hold his hand until he fell asleep, again this used to take just a few minutes. We’ve still been using this method but it’s now taking longer and longer for him to fall asleep (around 45mins) and he’ll often get very upset.

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wimbler Thu 22-Oct-20 14:31:43

Try putting him to bed earlier. 2pm-7pm could be too long a wake period for him. if he is overtired that can lead to unsettled sleep. Try putting him down at 6.30 and see if that helps. It worked wonders for our daughter and we paid someone to tell us that blush

FizzingWhizzbee123 Thu 22-Oct-20 15:08:03

There’s an 18 month sleep regression. My DS had a tough patch around then for several weeks but it passed. It coincided with a language leap which came afterwards, I think he just had busy brain. Maybe ride it out a couple weeks more, just to see? Could he be cutting those last molars?

Olive2019 Thu 22-Oct-20 21:19:09

Thanks @wimbler - We’ll try putting him down earlier tomorrow and see how we go. We’d been sticking with a 7pm bedtime so we have some time with him after nursery but it’s important he gets enough sleep so we’ll give it a shot.

Thanks also @FizzingWhizzbee123 - I did wonder whether he’s teething, but it’s been going on a while. I can’t wait until all his teeth have arrived so at least I can rule that out when he has trouble sleeping! Perhaps it is the sleep regression and lots going on developmentally.

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