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How does/did your ~one year old fall asleep? Does/did s/he sleep through the night?

(6 Posts)
BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Mon 05-Nov-12 10:38:41

DS has always been a terrible sleeper, not helped by reflux (still a problem at 13 months).

After trying various things, I have now managed to get him to fall asleep in his cot, although I have to be sitting next to him (gradual withdrawal technique but I got stuck and couldn't face going back to tears to go onto the next phase). He doesn't sleep through yet and I'm wondering if it's because I'm there when he falls asleep, or if there are babies that happily fall asleep with their mum in the room but also go through the night...

So, how does/did your ~one year old fall asleep? And does s/he sleep through?

We do : bath, BF in chair next to cot, read a book then lights out and into cot. I sit next to the cot with my hand on DS, singing a lullaby. Occasionally he will allow me to stop singing or take my hand away but usually he wants both.

He usually falls asleep between 2 and 20 minutes with almost no crying. I can't leave before he falls asleep partly cos I have to be touching him and partly because he refuses all sleeping bag/blanket etc. so I have to wait for him to be asleep before I can cover him up hmm

On average he wakes 2-3 times a night, has a quick BF, and back into cot to sleep. He wakes between 5.15 and 6am (but usually earlier rather than later).
He can self-settle but not systematically.

It's me every bedtime and night waking. He screams hysterically if DH comes into him any time after the bedtime story.

On average DS sleeps a total of 9 - 10 hours a night and 2 hours of naps in the daytime (in 2 goes - which are never the same length from one day to the next).

watermint Tue 06-Nov-12 13:05:51

Hi, I have a 14 mo DS who sounds like he used to be similar to yours.. I thought we had cracked it when he would go into his cot awake at the beginning of the night, but he still woke up a couple of times during the night. We have just done a week of gentle sleep training and it has worked wonders.. basically if he woke in the night I have tried to settle him without feeding/cuddles. the 1st couple of nights this took forever... over an hour sometimes, but with no real distress, just some moaning and annoyed resistance.
If he woke in the night the first thing I used to do was scoop him up for a cuddle and rock him back to sleep, this worked fairly quickly, so it took ALOT of will at 3am to go in and just gently lie him down rather than pick him up. He obviously hated this at first. I would still sing/pat his back but no cuddles/feeding. After about 3 nights of this he is now sleeping through, although waking at 5.30am but you cant have everything!

Tbh for you I think stopping the overnight bf's would be best thing to try, do you think he eats enough during the day?. Do you think you could try just back rub/singing in his cot? It could take ages the first couple of nights though. I honestly wish we'd tried it sooner as the results were relatively quick and I didnt feel too mean as I was there singing/touching him the whole time. There were tears but no hysterics.

SearchingforSleep Tue 06-Nov-12 13:15:49

Bartimaeus, you have my sympathy on 13 months of disturbed sleep - I feel your pain...

Sounds like you are doing really well with the gradual withdrawal and getting some sporadic self settling. I think we haven't yet got to your point so my input probably doesn't help you much - sorry. sad

My 13 month DD still feeds to sleep for naps and at bedtime. Intermittently attempting the Pantley pull off but teething and colds keep getting in the way. She has never slept through - up until recently she would wake every couple of hours wanting me and a bf. Just as you describe, all hell would break loose if DH appeared. Recently though, she has accepted DH in the night and he has taken over night duties so she is no longer expecting milk in the night and is now waking up once or twice and settling back to sleep far more easily. Next stage for us is to work on not feeding to sleep...

Good luck and hope you get a bit more evening time and sleep soon! smile

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Tue 06-Nov-12 14:12:00

Thanks for your replies.

Since DS has started falling asleep in the cot (albeit with me next to him) he has stopped waking up much before midnight so I have my evenings back...except the only thing I do it go to bed as I'm so knackered (am literally in bed by 9 every night).

I have decided to stop BF in the night - but will be waiting for this weekend before I do it because I know DS will be very unhappy and I work FT in the week so can't face even less sleep.

It is easy to say that in the day though but so hard in the early hours of the morning!

I'm also thinking of stopping BF altogether in January. I don't want to before because we're away at Christmas and I think DS will need the comfort.

searching we introduced a book between BF and sleep at bedtime. Worked really really well with breaking the feed to sleep association (was actually surprised how well it worked!). We were advised to always do the same book whilst DS got used to the new routine but over 2 months later and we're still reading the same one because he cries if it's a different one! (so choose a book you really like! We read "Peace At Last")

mentlejen Tue 06-Nov-12 15:45:41

Sounds like you're not far away from getting a full night's sleep, even I'd it means an early start!

With our first we miserably failed to teach her to self settle. The longest stint of sleep she ever did between about 4 months and 11 months was 1.5 hours.

Our second is now one and until 9 months was also pretty bad. I taught him to self settle but not self re-settle and he relief on feeding for that. We co-slept to get enough rest.

Around 9 months we moved him to his own room and did gradual withdrawal. After sitting next to him we then lay on the floor next to the cot with your back to him. We got to the doorway but had to sing for a while. We can now often 'dump and run' (which is good with two kids!), but some night he still needs some singing from the doorway. If he's ill we scrap all of this and do whatever he needs.

We also cut night feeding at the same time. So we took a weekend where DH was off (& bank holiday) and only DH went to him when he woke. We started by instigating a 2am feeding rule, then 3 and kept moving it back. D'S obviously got the hang as when I wouldn't feed him til 3, he'd wake up at 3 and not before. Only took 3 nights to get there.

He now sleeps til anywhere between 5 and 6 without needing us to go in at all and will usually resettle after a feed til 7am. He needs more sleep than our eldest though, who never resettled after 4am and has not long ago got the hang of sleeping til after 6 and she's nearly 4!

I think the hard thing I had to accept was that changing things would mean some crying for him as babies don't like change. What was ok for me was that he wasn't left on his own to cry and had the reassurance of one of us at bedtime and DH in the night. He still screams if DH goes in and not me, but it doesn't last long (a few seconds) and it sounds more like he's frustrated than broken hearted, iyswim. I feel like a new woman getting to sleep until 5 something most days! I read somewhere that the most important thing to be is confident and consistent when you're trying to change sleeping habits. I think it's true! Good luck.

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Mon 12-Nov-12 12:10:09

OMG we're nearly there! hope I haven't jinxed it

Friday DS slept through until 4am and then went back to sleep within 15 mins just being rocked, no BF, until 6am.

Saturday was the same although he woke at first at 5am.

Last night he woke screaming (nightmare I think) at midnight. Bit of water and then back down until 6.15am!

I honestly thought stopping night feeding would be awful but it seems to have coincided with him sleeping longer anyway...(and probably helped that we've upped his milk during the day...)

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