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18 mth old fighting bedtime, took 3 and a half hours to get him to sleep today. HELP!

(17 Posts)
linspins Mon 25-Jul-11 22:15:28

I'm reading all the posts in search of some help for my 18mth old. He is usually a reasonable sleeper, and we do all the routine: bath, story, cuddles and milk. Then whereas before he would go in his cot, now he wants to play. He fights to get off my lap, and crawls around the room in his gro bag, fiddling and playing with stuff. And if I try to put him in his cot, he screams blue murder. It's getting worse - bedtime today took from 6 pm to half 9. If I take him out, and cuddle him, or let him play, he's perfectly happy, but WON"T go in his cot to sleep. ARGH!!
My older child is/has always been a horrendous sleeper, so we tried really hard with DS to get him in to good habits about going to sleep by himself. Now it's all gone horribly wrong.
Might have to try leaving him to cry..... sad This breaks my heart but I don't know what else to do.
I don't know what has changed? How much sleep does an 18 mth old need? He's a little bit whingy recently and not quite 'himself'. Is he overtired? Why won't he go to sleep now? He's so tired!! (And so am I cos he was up from half two until 4 last night too, just 'not quite sleeping'...)

Flossbert Mon 25-Jul-11 22:21:36

Poor you. We've got something similar going on. Could it be teeth maybe? Not painful enough to cry about it maybe, but uncomfortable enough not to want to lie down quietly?

Flossbert Mon 25-Jul-11 22:23:40

Or something I realised tonight is that my dd's grobag is on the small side - as soon as I put her in a bigger one she dropped off (woke up again an hour later, mind you, but might be worth considering)

bippyhippy Tue 26-Jul-11 10:56:00

here's something i came across that you might find useful...

www.sleepytot.com/blog/18-month-sleep-regression

:-)

linspins Tue 26-Jul-11 11:16:21

Thanks Flossbert and bippyhippy for your support. Today I feel quite tearful about it all, what a silly Mummy! blush I will certainly check out the grobag size. It could be teeth, I did give him a dose of calpol just in case, but it didn't help. Do you know how much sleep an 'average' 18 mth old should have? He's happy to sleep in the day and has one long nap, but maybe he's having too much? or not enough?

linspins Tue 26-Jul-11 18:51:52

Ohhhhhh! He's upstairs wailing, but I'm leaving him for a bit to see what happens. Not sure how long before I cave in!

CharlotteBronteSaurus Tue 26-Jul-11 18:52:39

does he nap?

linspins Tue 26-Jul-11 19:46:24

Charlotte, yes, he does. He slept from 11.50 until 2.20 pm today, then I woke him up (- worried that if he slept much longer he wouldn't sleep later.)
Just got him down now - tonight I let him wail for about 15 mins, but he didn't stop. So I went in and gave him cuddles and just sat with him on a chair quietly. I put him in his cot a few time and he got upset so we sat back on the chair together. He fell asleep mostly on my lap, and then was happy to snuggle in his cot, 90 percent asleep.
All quiet now! smile
Still not sure how much sleep he ned and when...

Ktay Tue 26-Jul-11 19:51:01

How long is his routine? Apparently if it goes on too long (was told 30 mins) you can lose the benefit. Has helped bedtimes in this household

lazzaroo Tue 26-Jul-11 20:00:31

We went through a similar stage with our little one, now 20 months. She just stopped being happy to beleft to get to sleep on her own. I think there really may be something in the sleep regression theory, as it went on for about 3-4 weeks (lost rack...felt like forever!) and then suddenly she was happy to be left again! we tried leaving he rto cry a couple of nights but it was not working. It was far less stressful for me to just stay with her until she settled (although it never ook as long as you have said, I thikn most was an hour). Night times now are only a bit tricky when she is over-tired. She is going through tricky transition from one to two naps. Sounds like your day time sleep is spot on, dpendingon how many hours he gets at night. My little one never seems ot manage more than 10.5 hours at night so we don't put her down until 7.30pm. 6.30pm bedtime seems ealry for me for 18 month old? I have found the sleepytot webist helpful. It has a forum and also guidanceon how much sleep children need on average according to their age. Hope it sorts itself out for you soon.

StoneBaby Tue 26-Jul-11 20:04:17

My 17 months old (18 next week) DS sleeps an average of 12 hours a night (6pm-6.30am). Over the last week or so we too had bad nights (no problem at bedtime but wakes up at 1am, screaming).
Could he be overtired? DS only naps for 1 hour during the day but will be grumpy after 6.15pm if not in bed.
I know it's hard but you're not alone and this too will pass (my motto)

linspins Tue 26-Jul-11 20:30:45

Thanks all! Ktay, that's interesting about bedtime routine being too long. As it's summer, and DS was not going to bed properly, we've probably stretched his routine out, and let him play and muck about with his sister too. Today, I let her watch TV quietly while I gave him his own bath and got him into nappy, vest and gro bag fairly quickly. Didn't even let hubby see him when he came home! So yes, it's probably a combination of teeth moving, being over-tired, sleep regression, changing from 2 to one nap and general long bedtime!
I know 'this too will pass' - let's just hope it's quickly.
Tonight it has made such a difference to be back downstairs at a reasonable time, eating dinner and having grown-up conversation - not fighting with an overtired baby.

TryLikingClarity Tue 26-Jul-11 21:40:37

Currently my DS (almost 18 months) is upstairs crying his eyes out, will. not. sleep!

He used to be a great sleeper and go to bed at 7:30ish every night. Now he's staying up till almost 10pm and screaming from when we put him down - usually around 8:30pm sad sad

He sleeps great during the day, from around 2pm-4pm, and goes to sleep really easily. It's just been the past week or so at night that he's struggled.

I'm not sure if it's cuz of the sunny weather and bright nights, or if it's his teeth hurting him. All I know is, he isn't happy and we aren't either.

linspins Wed 27-Jul-11 18:44:20

Trylikingclarity, I really sympathise! Mine is upstairs now, intermittently howling. I keep thinking, 'oh, he's stopping', then its get louder. Might have to pop up for a cuddle.
It's funny how they change so fast from good sleepers to bad. Blame it on teeth!

TryLikingClarity Thu 28-Jul-11 18:21:43

I'm blaming it on the teeth, the bright nights in summertime, and the fact that at this age there are just far too many fun and interesting things for them to look at!

As the great wise MN mantra goes, "This too shall pass...."

Flossbert Thu 28-Jul-11 23:45:29

My mum has told me (more times than i can remember) that you used to be able to get sleeping tablets from your GP for "the purgatory that is teething" For the parents, not the DCs, obv.
Not helpful, just an observation that I am putting on this thread as I listen, in gleeful anticipation of the next tooth, to my baby, almost naked in her cot cos of the heat and grinding her teeth like a good 'un,

AmberLeaf Thu 28-Jul-11 23:56:50

6pm bedtime sounds too early for a child that is napping during the day tbh.

I know its not always doable but I used to cut out the daytime nap by keeping them busy [particularly hard between 5-7pm] If I was able to keep them awake till 7pmish IME they went down easy and slept pretty much through.

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