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How does your 13mo sleep?

(16 Posts)
schroedingersdodo Thu 02-Jun-11 17:39:58

Sometimes I read those beautiful stories about 13mo sleeping by themselves, all night, yadda yadda yadda. "You put them in the cot, tell a story, cuddle them and go away" and supposedly they would stay put, sleep and stay asleep until the next morning.

In real life I know very few babies who do any of that, and some of them I know were heavily tortured trained with controlled crying and the like. Even the naturally good sleepers wake to feed a few times.

Bedtime: my 13mo DS sometimes sleeps in the breast - if not, it takes over one hour with me laying him in the cot and him standing up. When he's nearly falling asleep he starts moving again to fight sleep.

After that, he will wake up a couple of times, sit up or stand on the cot and make noises to call me. He feeds a few times in the night (we've had some very good nights in which he fed 2 times in 12 hours, but that's not usual). He sleeps part of the night in his cot, part in my bed.

After 4am he tends to wake to feed more frequently, until about 8am.

The reason I'm asking about how other DC the same age sleep is that I want to know what is realistic to expect from him, what I can try to get him to do and what is just made up unrealistic scenarios invented by people who want to make us feel inadequate buy their books.

mrsravelstein Thu 02-Jun-11 17:42:27

i nightweaned ds1 and ds2 at about 12-14 months and they both started sleeping much better from that point, going through from 7pm to about 5am on a good day (from having woken 2 or 3 times a night at least before the nightweaning).

dd i nightweaned earlier, around 9 months, but she only started to improve a bit sleepwise at 14 months. she is now 16 months and fairly reliably does 7pm to about 4am.

schroedingersdodo Thu 02-Jun-11 18:14:12

Mrsravelstein, how did you night wean them? I tried to night wean DS, but after a few good and easy nights he started crying for 40 minutes every time he woke up. He would eventually fall asleep, only to wake up again 2 hours later and scream for more 40 minutes.
I decided it was not healthy for any of us, and resumed night feeds.

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit Thu 02-Jun-11 18:23:21

My 12 month old sleeps from 7 till about 7. I weaned off the boob at about 10 months. I really watch the amount she eats each day and have her in a reasonably structured routine. So far, so good! She is number 2 and both of them sleep well so i have either cracked it or am damn lucky!
I think you have to look at the entire 24 hr clock of food and sleep, if you're sure that your DC is getting enough food in the day and is still waking then it must be habit. If you want to break that habit you have to figure out a method that works for you. The basic rule is be consistent, if you keep giving in you might as well not bother.
Good luck!

FidgetPie Thu 02-Jun-11 18:37:08

My DD (13 months) actually sleeps very well (when she isn't poorly/teething).
She was breastfed till about 9 months, but I stopped feeding her at night from about 7 months - just did a 10.30pm dream feed, till she was about 10 months. To be honest she didn't cry too much - she did cry- but I figured it was worth it in the short term. I just cuddled her till she was calm then left her for 5 min then 10 etc. before going back in.

Are you sure your DS is eating enough in the day time? I'd be surprised if it was more than just habit (rather than genuine hunger) TBH.

She goes down at 7ish (takes about 20 mins of lying her back down, mobile on, hold her hand or pat her, leaving the room, she cries, leave her for a bit, go back in - repeat as necessary) and she wakes at about 6.30am. We usually have to go in once or twice to stroke her/give her a dummy (they fall out as soon as she is asleep).

I was pretty strict about sleep - she naps in her cot not in the living room and we follow the same bedtime routine, she goes in her sleeping bag, curtains drawn, dummy in etc. And I will leave her to cry for a bit - she is often overtired or just doesn't want to miss out on the 'fun' of downstairs.

I'm not saying it is easy but for me it was really important - DH has terrible sleep and it is debilitating / life long - so I think the patterns in childhood are really important - but I know others don't/won't agree!

mrsravelstein Thu 02-Jun-11 18:54:04

to answer your question on how i nightweaned...

with all 3 of them i just hit a point of sleep deprivation where i thought 'i just can't do this anymore' and made a decision to stop night feeding. so basically when they woke up, i'd cuddle them and sing the same song over & over again until they fell back to sleep. they cried, quite a lot, no doubt about it, but for me it wasn't so bad because i never put them down, just held them til they eventually went back to sleep. took about 3 nights of absolute hell with ds1 and 2, but both then slept much better.

i did it much earlier with dd just because lack of sleep had become such a problem with 2 other dc to look after during the day so no chance for naps. however, as i said, even though i wasn't feeding her, she would still wake up and want a cuddle a few times a night up until 14 months.

schroedingersdodo Thu 02-Jun-11 20:32:46

Well, it seems that in all cases it takes some crying to sleep all night. I'm trying to see how much I can wait before I do that. Managed 13 months so far smile

Is anyone still bfing?

Oranges, how do I know if he's eating enough? I have no idea how much a child this age should eat, and his appetite changes from one day to the other.

Mrsravelstein, I did the same: cuddled DS until he fell asleep again. I can relate with your situation: I'm thinking about night weaning and things like that because I'm feeling too exhausted. I don't think it's better for the baby, I'm thinking about my own needs here... hmm

Thanks for all your answers, I really don't know what to do...

RedHotPokers Thu 02-Jun-11 20:44:39

I'm with you FidgetPie.
I think there is quite a lot of emotive language and implications that a good sleeper must have been tortured by evil parents!

My DD slept through from about 4m, and was exclusively bf until weaned at 6m, and mix fed (solids plus 2ff when I was at work and approx 4 bf per day) up until 12m.

I never did control crying, but I also didn't rush to pick baby up when they cried (once they werent newborn anymore) when a pat or some hushing, or just some being in the room next to them would do. I really don't remember any significant periods of crying when trying to go to sleep.

I also believe its something to do with good luck that I have had 2 DCs who slept so well. However, I did have a 5-6 month period with DD when she was 2 when it was very hard to get her to sleep (HOURS of toing and froing between 7pm and about 10pm). In the end we just had to keep putting her back in bed without engaging in discussion, reinforce the fact that it was nightime/bedtime, and this would happen 5 or 10 or 20 times. In the end we cracked it but it was a hard slog.

I don't think there are any easy answers, just persistence and continuity. Make sure you are happy that your DC is having enough to eat and drink in the day, and if so you can afford to be a bit firmer during the night. Good luck.

schroedingersdodo Thu 02-Jun-11 21:57:03

RedHotPokers, I believe some good sleepers will sleep well without having to be "tortured," and it depends on luck.

But it's so hard to know how much is luck and how much are things you can do something about... I don't rush to hold DS every time he cries now (for the last few months). I'll just pat him or hold his hand. I think it's important for him to know I'm there.

Your toing and froing from 7pm to 10pm is what happens here every night! And I have no idea how to deal with that. Once DS is awake and crying or making noises standing on the cot, I don't see how I could not go! I lay him down again (as many times as necessary) and sometimes hold his hand.

And the thing about continuity is that I still don't know what I could do differently.

rocksox Fri 03-Jun-11 08:56:18

Watching this thread with interest. My 13mo DD has just gone back to bed having been up and active since 4.30am - and at that point there was nothing we can do to re-settle her.

A typical day has her napping twice for around an hour each time, once in the morning between 8am and 9am, depending on how early our day started and then in the afternoon around 2pm or 3pm. She usually goes to bed around 6pm and settles reasonably quickly but is then up from around 1am on and off until we give up and start the day. I nightweaned around 10mo and stopped bf soon after that. I am exhausted and think I am getting to the stage where the sleep deprivation is just too much for myself and DH. She sleeps in our room, in her cot for most of the night, but we usually bring her into bed in the early hours.

Schroedinger, I have had two terrible sleepers and honestly believe that there is something in their personality that makes leaving them to cry almost counterproductive - DC1 was capable of crying for well over an hour with the crying escalating to the point of choking/throwing up (sounds awful and I feel bad for persisting with it because it didn't work!)

I think Oranges makes a good point about food and that is something I am going to start looking at. DD is fiercely independent and has recently decided she has to feed herself and I think she's probably eating less as a result. I never seem to be able to get enough food into her and maybe she's genuinely hungry.

mrsravelstein Fri 03-Jun-11 12:42:44

OP, yes i agree i did it in my interests rather than theirs... but i suppose because they'd all been breastfed til 14 months and left it that long to start any sort of 'sleep training', i felt like i'd done pretty well by them.

i firmly believe that as rocksox says, there are some babies who sleep and some who don't. I have several friends with babies who slept through from 6 weeks, and they didn't do anything any different than i did.

schroedingersdodo Fri 03-Jun-11 20:25:05

rocksox, I never left DS to cry, but every time I tried any sort of training, like pu/pd (meaning I would lay him in the cot, he would stand, I would lay him again...) it never took less than 3 hours for him to sleep. By the end he was looking like a maniac, laughing, losing his balance, with red eyes, but still wouldn't sleep. Then after 3 hours he needed to feed and would sleep in the boob! (frustrated emoticon)

I hear about children who cry for 40 minutes on the first night and then learn to sleep, but I can only imagine that if I had tried CC or something like that DS would easily cry for hours and hours (and probably vomit as well), for weeks. Some things simply don't work for some babies.

But I really wish you find a way to deal with yours... Is your DD getting tired? My DS sleeps better if we do something tiring during the day, preferably all day and including taking the tube, going to new places, running around, smiling to all the people on the way - lots of stimulation. A simple visit to the library doesn't do the trick.

Orange, I've tried to feed DS a bit more today. Hope it works.

Mrsravelstein, resisting until 14 months is pretty good! smile

And btw, at 6 weeks DS slept very well, and a for the whole night. It was at 4 months when things derailed - and nothing was ever the same...

MyLittleWerewolf Sat 04-Jun-11 07:14:55

schre schroedo schred OP, I know exactly how you feel - it sounds as though our DC are very similar.

DD is 13 months and has never slept longer than three hours straight. Her sleep pattern went from terrible to shit at three months and has never improved. If left in her cot she wakes up every forty minutes (at the end of every sleep cycle) and needs cuddling or feeding back to sleep. From about ten o'clock at night she is in our bed, sprawled between us like the Queen of the House. There she will sleep, waking only occasionally in the night until about 4ish when her stirring will increase until about 5:30 or 6.

Nap wise she has one a day, usually somewhere between 11 - 1 o'clock, for about an hour and a half. I tend to still sleep when she does so we have a little siesta together, on my bed, which is where I settle her at bedtime as well.

I have read The No Cry Sleep Solution and the DR Sears Baby Book on Sleep and as far as I can tell - with DD at least - the issue is self setting, and her inability to do it. Like you I am still breast feeding, and am aware that she draws more comfort than milk from it, in that the sucking is more shallow ifyswim.

I take comfort from the fact that this is sleeping and setting is something she will learn in her own time and without 'training' (she is a very driven and confident little baby, and I hope this will encourage her independence of me, sleepwise as she grows) and tonight we are thinking of moving her cot back into our room and taking the side off so it can be pushed up against our bed. I am hoping in settling her to sleep in it we can start to make progress.

Sorry for lack of personality in this post, it is very early and I haven't brewed coffee yet. Normally I am witty and sexy to the power of ten yawns

Longtalljosie Sat 04-Jun-11 07:24:41

I was very lucky. DD slept through with an expressed feed at 1am from about 3 months, and then at 6 months slept straight through. This happened almost by accident - I was staying at my sisters and DH (who'd done the expressed feed as he's a night owl by nature) was away. I was knackered and went to bed early, thinking "I won't set the alarm, I'll hear when she wakes up and feed her then". And then it was 6am! It wasn't a straight road until then - it took three weeks or so to drop it properly but she's been straight through from 7.30 - 6 at the earliest since then. Teeth / colds excepted, of course.

But looking at MLW above, I just think our babies must have been wired differently! I just think I was very lucky.

rocksox Sat 04-Jun-11 20:14:06

Hi Schroedinger, I know what you mean about sleep training. If it was a question of 40 mins, or even 60 mins, I think we would have cracked it by now. For what it's worth, DC1 (now 3) has become a great sleeper and usually settles quite happily unless it's been a really, really tiring day. The tired thing is such a delicate balance isn't it - they seem to go from not tired enough to over tired without you noticing.

One thing I have found with my non-sleeper is that it is very hard to calm her down for bedtime, everything we do in the evening seems to fire her up even more - for example, I am seriously thinking of moving bathtime to earlier in the day as it just becomes a big water play. Also, I think she is worse if she gets to see any television just before bedtime.

Anyway, for the last two nights the problem seems to have shifted. She has slept through from about 7pm to 4am but then flat refused to go back to sleep - regardless of whether we bring her into bed with us or not. In some ways, I wish I was still bfing as I imagine that's the only thing that would get her back down.

schroedingersdodo Sun 05-Jun-11 23:26:58

Oh, sorry for letting you without answers. Don't you hate OPs who post and run? hmm

Werewolf, I feel your pain! Hope you can make any progress, this waking up at every cycle drives any person nuts! With DS I think the thing that helped the most was when I decided that I wouldn't cuddle or feed him to sleep. I would put him in the cot and lay him down a thousand times until he fell asleep (holding his hand or patting him, of course). He protested, of course - he cried for a couple of times for a couple minutes, no more, and I was with him all the time, holding his hand or stroking him. It was clear he was crying because he was angry at me, not scared, distressed or panicking (as he would if left alone), if it makes sense. That was, I think, the only big improvement we had with his sleep so far, as he started sleeping for longer stretches during the night.

But then again, it's been over a month and I couldn't progress from that.

Longtall, I also think that some babies are wired differently. I feel some people can't even understand what I'm talking about when I talk about DS sleep.

Rocksox, I still don't know if this overtired thing simply doesn't happen with DS, or if it does and I've managed to miss all the clues. So far I couldn't find any pattern relating to good/bad nights. Tried to look at food, naps, activity, time of bedtime... So far couldn't find anything...

And bf is what saves my sanity, as when he wakes up in the night, every time I can I just stick a boob out and sleep again.

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