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Please help me with 1 year old sleep problems.

(28 Posts)
Rtfairy Fri 12-Dec-14 16:10:51

My 1 year old dd is an awful sleeper, relies heavily on rocking and cuddling to sleep and wakes up at various times throughout the night. I usually end up bringing her in bed with me but this will no longer be practical as am back at work in 2 weeks and need her to sleep in her cot. I want to start some kind of sleep training tonight but don't want to do. Are there any other options other than controlled crying? I am so sleep deprived I really want to start doing something to improve things rather than just live with it like I have been for the past year.

chan321 Fri 12-Dec-14 20:54:58

I've just posted this on another thread but might be of use to you, Your little one sounds just like mine was....

My 11 month old had become a nightmare at night. From day one she was a textbook baby, slept fantastically, went down no problem etc etc then at 7 months teeth and a terrible cold came into the equation and things were never quite the same. I spent the last 2 months with her being very difficult to get down to bed (sometimes it took hours) and then she would wake twice in the night, come in our bed the first time and would take an hour of struggle to get her back to sleep each time. Was an absolute nightmare. So on Monday I started CC and I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner. The first night she woke once and it took an hour to get her to sleep, the second she slept through, 3rd night woke once and took ten mins to get sleep and last night slept through. But what I've also noticed is that my little girl is now eager to be in her cot at bed time and tonight for the first time since she was born she went to bed awake and went to sleep all by herself. I never left her to cry for long, 5 minutes max and I went straight in if she started to cough or gag etc. First night I had to hold her twice but as soon as she was calm I put her straight back. I think it's more about teaching them that once they're in the cot, they're staying in the cot till morning x

Rtfairy Fri 12-Dec-14 20:58:36

Thanks for your comment. DD is really suffering with teething today and is generally not herself so we have decided to postpone sleep training for a few days but I have decided I will definitely take this route as I want her to stay in her cot all night. It's so hard to know what to do there always seems to be a reason not to do it but hopefully next week we can start.

mewkins Fri 12-Dec-14 21:34:52

Look at daytime naps too as you want to make sure your dd is tired enough but not overtired at bedtime. Aim for a morning nap (around 40mins and awake by 10am) and a lunchtime nap around 12.30 for two hours max...

If your dd has loads of daytime sleep it will prolong the getting to sleep at night ime.

Baby whisperer is good but takes longer than cc.

Rtfairy Sat 13-Dec-14 07:23:45

She won't have the morning nap but has a 2 hour nap after lunch most days.

addictedtosugar Sat 13-Dec-14 07:50:31

Sorry, you might not want to read more of my post - be prepared for the possibility that her sleep will get worse when you go back to work, as her day will have changed massively, and she will be apart from you.

Couple of suggestions - what happens if her cot is in a room with an adult sleeping in it? My horrendous sleeper slept better if we were in the same room, but not necess the same bed.

If she needs rocking to sleep, what happens if you stop with the rocking / cuddling ever so slightly earlier? So, rather than waiting for her to be in a deep sleep, stop the rocking / cuddles just as she's dropping off, but stay with her til she is deeply asleep, and then slowly reduce the time you rock, and then the time you stay?

If you want to try and get it sorted in under 2 weeks, I think CC might be the only way - but DH insisted we tried it with DS1, and it didn't work! Some kids just don't want to sleep! Softer methods might help longer term, and also might reduce night wakings.

Good Luck. I went back on ML with no 2 as DS1's sleep was soo bad. DS2, thankfully is a different kettle of fish, and much easier to settle. Infact newborn DS2 slept better than his 2 yr old big brother!

Rtfairy Sat 13-Dec-14 12:48:59

addictedtosugar thanks for your reply. I hope her sleeping doesn't get worse I just don't see how things can get much worse! I have tried rocking until drowsy etc sometimes it works sometimes not. I think if we could just see an improvement by the time I'm back at work I would be happy. I wonder sometimes if I did nothing at all and just carried on as we are whether everything would sort itself out eventually. I was particularly tired yesterday and always think cc has to be the answer when I'm feeling like that. Glad to hear your dc2 is a better sleeper, we won't be going there until dd is a much better sleeper, but it gives me hope.

Sunshine200 Sat 13-Dec-14 19:59:45

I know this isn't what you asked but I just wanted to share my limited experience. I say limited as its only one week into sleep training.

I tried lots of softer methods and last week I finally cracked and took the CIO route. She was waking 3 times a night for a feed, often for an hour on one of those wakings. During the last week she has slept through once (the first time in 14 months), and the last few nights has woken once at 3. The thing that encouraged me to do CIO now is because surely they will just get more & more stamina to stay awake the older they get!

One thing I think has also helped is turning the tv off at least an hour before bed, then bath, books/puzzles upstairs and bed. I'm sure this also helped hugely with dd1's sleep when we were having problems.

I wouldn't do sleep training whilst they are I'll. My dd has just got a cold so it could all be undone tonight!

mewkins Sat 13-Dec-14 20:53:12

As naps look ok I would say just go for it. Yes, I reckon easier to do now than when she's more mobile etc. A friend of mine waited until her son was 2.5 and moved to a bed and had a total nightmare. There are gentler methods but I think cc is the quickest (and therefore I think better rather than prolonging the process). But.. you have to be absolutely consistent in what you do and do it for bedtime and all night wakings. Generally things will get better each day but then there will be a big regression for a night or two and then inprove in massive leaps. Don't give up at the sight of this regression and you will see results. I did baby whisperer pick up put down with dd (now 4 and a great sleeper) but cc would have suited her temperament better. The thing that helped was reading the bw book which said that she hadn't met a single baby that the technique didn't work with. So I stuck with it.

Also ha e a contingency plan. Eg. If you are still happy to feed once at night have a time set where you are prepared to feed if they wake eg. 1am. Anything before that, treat as a night waking and stick with cc.

Good luck!

Rtfairy Sun 14-Dec-14 12:02:36

How old was your dd when you did pick up put down? I have considered that route but thought dd might be a bit too old now. Have also looked into gradual retreat and just feel so confused. Last night was another bad night I'm just so tired at the moment I feel like I can't think straight or make any sort of decision which is just going to be terrible at work.

mewkins Sun 14-Dec-14 13:05:14

She was about5 months old. I think at a year they recommend just doing put down (eg. Laying them down if they stand up).

Serendipity71 Sun 14-Dec-14 20:10:37

Hi have a look at www.sleepbabies.co.uk. We used Sian as a sleep consultant and it worked wonders, if you can afford it really worth it. If not she will give a free advice 15 min consultation. Good luck

Rtfairy Sun 14-Dec-14 21:04:47

Thank you I will have a look at the website.

I think we might be making a bit of progress. Had a bad night last night as I wasn't bringing her into bed with me when she woke and it took 3 hours to resettle in her room. Tonight she went to sleep in her cot with me there within 10 minutes without too much of a fuss. I am just trying to break the rocking to sleep association and not bringing her in with me halfway through night for now. Am more tired than ever but hoping it will pay off eventually.

Hoggle246 Tue 16-Dec-14 06:50:41

Hi rtfairy just to say we did gradual retreat with my ds when he was 9/10 months and it definitely worked. We did 3 nights by cot, 3 nights middle of room, 3 nights in doorway etc.

After illness we have been left with early wakings - hence me looking on the sleep board - but this method did work wonders for bedtime and he is still going down perfectly at 12 months.

Now to crack the 4.30 wake ups!

Rtfairy Tue 16-Dec-14 16:32:34

Hi hoggle we did decide on a more gradual approach in the end where I just didn't get her out of cot during night wakings. Day 1 was terrible day 2 a little better and day 3 (last night) she self settled without fuss at bedtime and slept all the way through until 6.30am! I can't quite believe it and think it's probably a fluke so we'll see what tonight brings.

Hoggle246 Tue 16-Dec-14 17:30:46

That's brilliant! Fingers crossed for tonight smile

Rtfairy Tue 16-Dec-14 19:43:34

Well she didn't go to sleep very easily tonight at all it took 40 minutes to get her to sleep in her cot with a lot of lying her back down shushing and patting. I'm not expecting the best for tonight as I've heard they can regress from day 4/5 but I'll stick with it!

Hoggle246 Wed 17-Dec-14 07:32:37

Oh dear, hopefully just a blip and it'll get better once you're over the hump.

I curse the day ds realised he could stand up in his cot - it's been a mare ever since!

Rtfairy Wed 17-Dec-14 09:32:27

Well as predicted I didn't have a good night at all. I am wondering if she was a bit hungry as was a pain during lunch and dinner yesterday and didn't eat a great deal.

addictedtosugar Wed 17-Dec-14 21:57:14

Wishing you good sleeping tonight.

Rtfairy Thu 18-Dec-14 11:48:39

Thank you! Was much better last night, dd slept 7.30-5.30 with a little cry at 4ish that lasted about a minute so I didn't have to go to her.

I have noticed though that when she sleeps better I don't sleep even though I'm tired. I seemed to have developed insomnia after over a year of broken nights is this normal?

Hoggle246 Thu 18-Dec-14 13:39:03

Great she's slept so well rtfairy. I'm the same though, horrible insomnia. Even if ds sleeps well (which he hasn't recently) I tend to wake up. It's also why I don't get back to sleep even once he's in our bed. That and the fact that he's a wriggler.

When your dd was waking at night the last few days, but you weren't getting her out of her cot, what were you doing to get her settled again? We've got to stop bringing ds into our bed but otherwise he stands at the cot and screams and I have no idea how to calm him. If I try to lie him back down he thinks he's being picked up and then gets even more upset when he realises he's not.

Rtfairy Thu 18-Dec-14 13:55:16

I just keep lying her back down shushing her and stroking her hair until she's calm. Then I just sit next to her cot or try to leave the room. The first couple of days I had to lie her back down hundreds of times it was very tiring but she seems to have got the message that I won't pick her up now.

Hoggle246 Thu 18-Dec-14 16:54:49

Thanks rt will give it a go! I always thought I was quite no nonsense before I had children, turns out I'm a sucker confused

Rtfairy Fri 19-Dec-14 09:43:00

Another good night last night, dd slept 7.15-6.15 with no wake ups. Hoping we have finally cracked it and I still have 10 days until I return to work smile

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