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17 month old waking twice a night for SIX months - exhausted!

(26 Posts)
MissMia84 Mon 24-Nov-14 09:07:24

Hi all,

This is my first time ever asking on a forum but desperate times calls for desperate measures!

My DS is 17 months old and has always slept quite well. The problem started back in June. He began waking twice a night. He has always gone down to sleep at night very well (on his own) but when he wakes in the night he can't seem to self soothe at all. I don't understand why he wakes - he is never cold or wet, nor is his room too hot. I know I shouldn't have done this... but I started giving him a little milk in a bottle to get him back off to sleep. I think now he wakes an expects milk and to be honest giving him a bottle is a lot less stressful than letting him cry it out (tried this but he just screamed for 3 hours and got so worked up, it was heartbreaking). His normal routine is:

Wake at about 7am
Plays in his playroom
Goes to playgroup or we go out
Lunch at midday
Play time/cartoons
Nap around 1:30pm for 2 hours

The rest of the day varies as to what I have planned but we usually go out

Bath, book, bottle, bed by 8pm

He wakes at about 1am and 4am and it's just exhausting me. I've tried giving him water instead of milk but he's not stupid and throws it out of his cot. Im at my wits end and it's caused arguments with my husband who has to be up early for work. I just want to sleep all night!! ANY advice is greatly appreciated. Has anyone else had this problem? What should we do? Am so desperate now. Thank you xx biscuit

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 24-Nov-14 10:09:49

Sympathies,ds did it until 3 when I finally cracked and just said no and he turned into the best sleeper EVER, I wish I'd done it sooner tbh. We had 2 nights of screaming but it was outrage rather than proper upset. I would just keep going back in and say back to bed and no other conversation. Possibly shorten the nap too in the afternoon? Good luckthanks

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 24-Nov-14 10:11:21

And continue with water, him throwing the water just means he's cheesed off he hasn't got milk on tap now- he'll get over it.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 24-Nov-14 10:12:10

Tbh it was as soon as I took the milk away ds slept through.

MissMia84 Mon 24-Nov-14 12:03:00

Thanks Dame.... Im going to try a 90 minute nap this afternoon after lunch and see what happens. Tonight I'll try one milk and one water (as he wakes twice). Watch this space....

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 24-Nov-14 14:36:24

Nooooooo, just water at night!grin Accept he'll be cross and probably scream his head off but stick to it, he does not need milk in the middle of the night at 17 months. Giving him one of each will just confuse the issue and give him mixed messages. If he bungs it out of the cot /bed in outrage just leave him to it. It took 2 days for ds to adjust and honestly I wish we'd done it sooner, I look back and can't believe what a merry dance he led us. You aren't punishing him, you are bare teaching him to self soothe and settle back down to sleep. He shouldn't be having milk in the night anyway as it'll rot his teeth, so two reasons to nip this in the bud pretty sharpish.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 26-Nov-14 18:18:15

How did it go OP?smile

MissMia84 Thu 04-Dec-14 16:46:38

He did 2 nights then got really poorly (Fever, nasty cough, snotty, vomiting) so sleep generally went out the window, he's still a little unwell. Will go back to it once he's better x

MissMia84 Fri 12-Dec-14 08:26:44


Still no good, with just water. Last night he woke and screamed at 1:30, 3am, 4am, 4:30am and 6am.

ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS? It's been going on for seven months and Im so tired all the time it's making me really depressed fsad

MissMia84 Sun 28-Dec-14 00:59:19

Still twice a night..... Zzzz!!!

MummySparkle Sun 28-Dec-14 20:08:02

I have no advice to offer, my 23mo still wakes at night. I used to rub his tummy to get him back to sleep, and gradually reduced the rubs to hand in tummy, then standing by cot. I haven't got any further than standing next to his cot though.

I feel your pain with the lack of sleep - I've fallen asleep leaning against his cot before now trying to ge him back to sleep, woke up frozen and stiff. I usually cave and bring him into bed with us. Are you still giving him milk? x

GotToBeInItToWinIt Sun 28-Dec-14 20:13:25

Ah this thread it's putting fear into me. DD has never been a great sleeper, we managed to get her down to one wake up a night but illness etc has meant that she's now up twice a night and will only settle with milk. I'm 12 weeks pregnant and it's destroying me as I struggle to get back to sleep between wake ups. She's 13 months. If this is still going on at 17 months I will go insane!!!!

MummySparkle Sun 28-Dec-14 20:35:54

gottobeinittowinit that's what happened here too. I have had some terrible nights where one or the other of them was awake, and as soon as one fell asleep the other woke up, and then the dog started throwing up... But it's not too bad. I've foind that DS sometimes wakes because he is cold. We put him to bed in more layers now and that helps. Ewan the dream sheep has been a bit of a saviour too!

sososotired Sun 28-Dec-14 20:36:13

My DS is 16 months and does this too I work full time so whev I reached breaking point we started co sleeping which was a short term solutionsad I moved him back into his own room 2 nights ago and "weaning" him off his bottle by doing 70/30 milk and water then will reduce to 60/40 ect till he only has water so it's gradual so I'm hoping by the. He won't want it any more? I'm really tired all I think about is sleep so hoping this works we were up 4 times last night sad

debbriana Sun 28-Dec-14 20:42:24

Reduce his nap time to half an hour or maximum an hour. My daughter has improved when I started doing this. She is thirteen months old. She still wakes but not as much as she used to. Am still breast feeding her.

She used to have two to two hours and half nap time. That did not help at all .

It will be had in the beginning but he will adjust to it.
Let us know what happens.

MissMia84 Wed 31-Dec-14 10:11:06

Hi all, thanks for your comments and advice.

Still waking 2/3 times a night. Still exhausted. We were hosting this christmas and had a full house for a few nights so when DS cried I would do anything to keep him from staying awake - including giving him a bottle sad I know, I know. I regret it now as he's now waking and expecting milk.

Long weekend ahead of us - going to knuckle down, stick to water and try CIO again. Wish me luck.

Happy New Year x fgrin

MissMia84 Thu 01-Jan-15 01:44:39

Happy new year all


Third time since 11:30pm that my sons woken. Any advice appreciated

beanhead24 Thu 01-Jan-15 01:47:22

Dream feed before you go to bed around 11pm ish? That's what I would try. And/or an extra snack or some cereal or a banana or something closer to bed time.

fedupandfeelingold Thu 01-Jan-15 01:55:04

Expect a nightmare for you for a week (hopefully less)
Don't crack
No milk
'time to sleep ' and/or no talking just a stroke /confirmation of your presence then leave
(multiple times for days on end- but worth it to break the cycle?)

Sunshine200 Thu 01-Jan-15 06:49:38

How long do you think he would cry for if you didn't go into him at all?

May sound harsh but we found that by going into our dd (14 mths), and doing cc she would be at it for over 2 hours, if we didn't go in at all then just an hour. It took 2 nights of her waking twice for an hour to get her to sleep through. She now sleeps through about 40% of the time so not perfect but much better. I did cave and feed her last night though as she is poorly at the mo and didn't eat any dinner last night, I hope I haven't messed things up!

Iggly Thu 01-Jan-15 06:57:12

Teething? They get molars at this age.

Also give him milk then reduce the amounts by a small bit every night so he gets used to smaller amounts.

I remember my two's sleep was awful at this age.

Saltedcaramel2014 Thu 01-Jan-15 07:01:26

Good luck with the changes. I would give my right arm to have a baby that slept till 7 even with the wakings. Our 18 month old is up in the night then up at 4.30 every day. It's been a year like this. Not trying to compete but just to say you are lucky in some respects if not all... smile

MissMia84 Fri 02-Jan-15 01:47:15

Saltedcaramel2014 you poor thing I can't imagine what that is like. Have you taken your child to a cranial osteopath? I may help.

I now think that on top of everything he is experiencing the dreaded 18 month sleep regression. The last few nights he's woken 6-7 times. He doesn't go down for a nap without a huge fight either.

Tonight he went down at 8:20pm no probs then was awake from 8:45-11pm. He woke again at midnight and is still in his room crying (not proper crying - that long whiney whingey noise that hits every nerve). I gave him a small bottle at about 11:15pm and changed his nappy which was just slightly damp. He's warm (not too hot), he had a full dinner a few hours before bed, his white noise machine is cancelling any road noise etc. I just don't know what to do to get him to sleep. I really don't want to encourage bringing him into my bed, but I lie here and the noise is becoming unbearable!

Im tired, ratty, emotional. Not the best start to my year!

MissMia84 Fri 02-Jan-15 01:47:52

PS - Re teething he has had his molars for months sad so it's nt that that I waking hjm

MissMia84 Fri 02-Jan-15 01:50:38

Just read my original post. I was complaining that he woke twice s night! What I would give to have him wake just twice a night now! confused

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