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13month olds terrible sleep problems. Desperately need help, please x

(13 Posts)
MAC2402 Sat 29-Mar-14 12:43:23

Hey everyone
I'm in desperate need of help regarding my 13 month old and her sleep. She has never been a good napper (only ever 30-40 mins ) and has always been fed to sleep.
basically our day routine is pretty dreadful I'm embarrassed to say. I know most of you will look at our routine (or lack of) and gasp in horror and say that it's no wonder Mollie isn't sleeping at night.
A rough day looks like this:

Get up anytime between 9 and 11am
Breakfast soon after
Morning naps don't exist anymore, she won't go to sleep
Depending on when we get up, lunch is between 12 and 130pm
Afternoon naps are a nightmare. She's so tired but unless I feed to sleep, take her out in the buggy or car she won't sleep. It's only 30 mins when she does. (Has never napped more than 30 mins since birth and always on me or her dad)
Afternoon snack about 330-4ish (fruit)
Dinner is between 5-6
Bath time about 645-730
Ready for bed 730-8

Bedtime is another nightmare. Has never gone to sleep alone, I'm afraid she's in the habit of feeding to sleep and I can be with her in her room on average 1-2.5 hours every evening. She often wakes as soon as I put her down and when I am successful will wake an hour or so after and I'm back again trying to get her off to sleep!

Many nights I'm so tired that she ends up coming into bed with me but when this happens, she'll constantly wake me to have a feed (although I think it's more for comfort so she can get back to sleep) and so our quality of sleep is terrible.

I'm desperate for help, I don't know where to start or what to do. I want to stop breastfeeding as I've had enough but am finding that difficult.

If someone can help me I'd be so grateful, i can't go on like this.

milkwasabadchoice Sat 29-Mar-14 12:54:12

I would focus on teaching her to fall asleep on her own at bedtime as to me that looks like the crux of the other problems. Could you give her a feed, then a cuddle and song and put her down, then leave the room. When she cries, wait a few mins, go back in, lie her down and tell her calmly and firmly that it's time to sleep, and exit again. Then repeat repeat repeat. ? I don't advocate leavin her to cry for a long time, but I do suggest leaving the room rather than staying in there. In the night you just do exactly the same over and over again. It will kill you with tiredness for a fe nights but she'll get it. Probably.

milkwasabadchoice Sat 29-Mar-14 12:55:58

Ps you get up really late!! You must both be knackered but have you considered toughing it out and starting the day at 7.30 to see if you can break into a new routine?

Badlands Sat 29-Mar-14 13:03:08

On first view, she's getting up too late. A sleep nanny once told me, you can't have it both ways! So I would be getting her up around 7:30 or so every day, gentle waking one way or another.

I would ignore the nap for now, just do whatever works, and concentrate on the evening and nights and you may find the nap gets better.

When we were having problems we went for controlled crying I suppose, basically doing bedtime routine calmly, bath, story, feed, light show etc, keeping it quiet for at least an hour before bedtime. Then would put her in bed, stroke and shush for 30 secs then leave room. Wait for crying, then wait 30 secs, the go in and shush and stroke for 20-30secs. Then leave, this time leaving it 1 min, then back in. Then 2mins, then 5mins and after that either holding at 5 mins between going back in or leaving it longer if the crying was changing or we didn't feel too shoddy about the whole thing.

However, you have to do the same thing during the night too when she wakes up. So DH and I took it in turns when we got serious about sorting it, rather than just bringing her in with us or me feeding or whatever else might be a faster but less helpful in the long term solution.

Never took more than 30mins and within 3 days was going through the night without waking, or very minimal waking with one shush and then back to sleep in her bed.

Then the napping got better as she was better at sleeping all round.

However, if you abhor the idea of controlled crying, of which this is a gentle version, then it is not for you and many do abhor. In which case I would say read the no cry sleep solution (didn't work for us) and have confidence that it won't last forever even if you do nothing.

We used chris the sleep nanny to help us -

If you are in London or near you could consider

Best of luck whatever you do

Badlands Sat 29-Mar-14 13:05:17

Would say we would never leave her for more than 10 mins on her own when crying, poss 15 if getting intermittent or fading away.

ikeaismylocal Sat 29-Mar-14 20:20:12

my ds woke to breastfeed often at 13 months, I got pregnant and had flu and I felt like I just couldn't cope anymore so we decided to night wean him when he was 14 months. The first night was horrible for everyone, ds cried for an hour. I cuddled him in bed (we co-sleep) and tried to sooth him, he did eventually go back to sleep.

After that we didn't have anymore crying, occasionally he wakes for a cuddle but he now sleeps through 6 nights out of 7 (the waking is only a quick cuddle and drink of water and then back to sleep)

I really feel that the one night where he cried is worth it in the long run, we are all so much more rested and I still breastfeed him in the daytime.

I think that late waking could be an issue for your dc, I don't think a child who wakes at 11 can be expected to be ready for bed at 7.30/8. Even a child who wakes at 9 should probably go to bed at 9.

Is there a local toddler group in the mornings that you could get up to go to? It might make it easier to encourage her to get up early if you are going to do something fun.

We don't put ds to bed until he is exhausted, I used to feed him to sleep but since I stopped feeding him in the night he doesn't want to feed to sleep. Dp reads him 2 stories and they have a cuddle, then ds lies in his part of the bed and just goes to sleep. it takes about 10 mins at the most.

Good luck!!

ikeaismylocal Sun 30-Mar-14 08:14:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ikeaismylocal Sun 30-Mar-14 08:15:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

milkwasabadchoice Mon 31-Mar-14 07:20:02

Hi OP, any progress? Hope you are doing ok.

MAC2402 Tue 01-Apr-14 22:57:59


Thank you all for your advice.
Well as my first post suggested, I'd had enough! So on Saturday my OH and I decided to bite the bullet and I stopped breastfeeding to sleep and we started sleep training! We are trying a slightly different version of controlled crying and would like some advice about it...

Basically my OH and I have been using his method with our DD who is 13 months for four nights now but I'm not sure if it is working and whether our slightly different way is doing more harm than good.

Our DD goes up for a bath at about 645-7pm then after that I sit in her room with her quietly reading/looking at books or doing puzzles (she also has some warm milk from a beaker) until 7.30-7.45 when I put her in her cot, turn her night light on and sing to her. At this point she normally protests and starts to have a moan as she knows I'll be going out in a few minutes when her dad takes over. He then comes in and I go out as I hate to hear her crying out. He sits in the rocking chair where she can see him and every now and then ssshs her and tells her it's alright. The first two nights she cried for half hour before settling to sleep and slept until 8am only waking and moaning once or twice - both times we didn't get up to her, she settled herself back to sleep. Last night she cried for 15 minutes before settling and again slept through only waking and grisling a couple of times before going back to sleep. But tonight she cried (admittedly on and off not constantly) for nearly an hour. Why do you think she cried for longer tonight? I don't want her getting MORE upset for this length of time every night, I couldn't bear it.

Is my OH being there doing more harm than good? Is it making her more angry and upset? Is leaving her to cry for more than 30 minutes doing her harm?
Should we leave her then check every so often increasing the time each time?

Claire x

MAC2402 Tue 01-Apr-14 22:59:58

Oh and by the way, we have been getting up a lot earlier and have a better routine already!

milkwasabadchoice Wed 02-Apr-14 17:18:45

Don't be put off! Keep going. It sounds like you're on the right road even if it is bumpy.
Personally I would leave the room and then go in every now and then depending on whether she's really crying or just grizzling, rather than sitting with her, but you and your dh will have your own way. But I truly don't think you are doing any damage.

Badlands Wed 02-Apr-14 22:23:15

Well done on the progress so far! I would agree with leaving the room and then going back in to reassure at increasing intervals. However there is a technique where you get closer to the door after each shush and then ease out of the room to soften the transition. I found shushing and back rubbing was a good reassurance technique for about 30secs. Didn't try to pick up or lay her down if she was standing as that made her crosser. How did she do tonight?

Great that your OH is doing his bit too, I found it easier (as ever) when worked as a team.

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