Please talk to me about sleep training a 1 year old

(8 Posts)
captaincake Tue 29-Sep-15 13:38:12

We have DS who is 16m. So as to not drip feed this is why we are where we are...
He has had a hard start to sleep with severe reflux, lots of allergies and intolerances and their associated reactions, and asthma causing a horrendous cough all night. It has been awful and there is no way we could have ever sleep trained him before now. He's had to been velcoed into bed in a special wedge thing or slept on my chest with us both propped up in our bed. It's been fucking horrendous incredibly hard. He is under consultant care for his issues and we are now at a point that his reflux has improved, what's left is under control and his asthma is totally under control and he has no overnight cough at all. We now know everything he is intolerant to and so no reactions and his eczema is fine too.

So now he is just in a routine of needing us overnight. He goes to sleep fairly well around 7:30pm being held but not rocked then put in cot when asleep. Around 11pm-1am he will then wake and will refuse to go back in his cot. If we do the same as we did at bedtime the wakes up as you put him back in the cot so we're now in the routine that he just come in with us. At some/several points in the night he will wake up and scratch me till I bleed to comfort himself back to sleep hmm he does this during the day too it's a comfort thing that he does while he's sucking his thumb. He does sleep fairly well to about 7-7:30am. During the day he has one nap after lunch that is around 1.5-2 hours long.

I saw a HV today who says he's not getting nearly enough sleep and that might be why he is so very hyper and clumsy. She said he needs almost double the amount of sleep in the day and to sleep a solid 12 hours at night. I really can't see him having a second nap in the day but I'm sure we can train him at night. We went down to one nap a day a few months ago as it was just impossible getting him down twice in the day.

So, wise mn's, how do I gently sleep train him at night?

Pinkpowderpuff Wed 30-Sep-15 07:34:44

Sorry, no advice re sleep training but your HV is talking crap about sleep amounts. It's different for every individual but this is a rough guideline -
sarahockwell-smith.com/2015/04/15/how-long-should-babies-and-toddlers-sleep-for-infographic/

captaincake Wed 30-Sep-15 07:57:33

Thanks for the reply. That says 9-12 hours at night and 2 x 2 hour naps so about what she said? This wasn't our HV I'm waiting for ours to call us back to come round and give us some support generally so will see what he says about it - he's been brilliant about everything else so I'm expecting him to come up with a miracle grin

captaincake Wed 30-Sep-15 09:09:29

Just read it properly and it says 2 hours is the total nap time so he's about right just condensed into 1 nap. So it really is just getting him in his cot sleeping through. Last night, after taking an hour to go down in the cot instead of on me, he was up 4 times between 8-midnight before we gave up and brought him in with us. He seems to stand up in his sleep confused

Pinkpowderpuff Wed 30-Sep-15 11:41:58

Yes 2 hours total nap time. My DS is 17mo and has one nap 1.5 to 2hrs long. Bedtime is 7pm, up at 6.30am and still wakes between 1 - 3 times a night. He self settles at bedtime on his own but still wakes. Never comes into our bed but still wakes. Never gets picked up during the night, not fed, not talked to, no lights on........ But still wakes. Basically, you can sometimes do everything right but still have a toddler waking, it's what they do! Not all of them but you will be surprised how common it is.... A little light reading for you!......
evolutionaryparenting.com/myths-and-facts-about-night-wakings/
www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201303/understanding-and-helping-toddler-sleep

P.S if you don't want him in your bed I would persist with trying to settle him in his cot. I find rhythmically patting bottom always works wonders if my DS is struggling to drop back off. This might annoy your little one if not used to it so try experimenting with different things e.g. gently stroking hair/face, tickling hand, rubbing back. Anything that might get him to settle without picking him up. My DS goes in his cot at 7pm and doesn't get out again until after 6am, they are the rules since 6mo (I even give him medicine if needed with him lying in the cot!)

captaincake Wed 30-Sep-15 12:19:02

Thanks for the links. It's sounding like he's pretty normal and not really lacking in sleep at all smile do you have to go down and get him back off to sleep or does he go back on his own? It seems to be that once he's woken the first time he won't then go back down properly (for more than an hour) till he's in our bed. We don't really care which bed he sleeps in so long as he sleeps.

Pinkpowderpuff Wed 30-Sep-15 12:30:12

Sometimes he will go back to sleep, other times I have to go in, lay him down and tuck him back in and he will go straight back to sleep. Last night he slept 7pm until 12.30am - I got out of bed to tuck him in then was back in bed within about 3 mins. He then woke at 5am and I had to pat him back to sleep which took 15mins then he slept until 6.30am. (I would like to add that this was a good night for him!) To be honest, I very rarely have to do much more than lay down, tuck in, walk out but if he wakes after 5am it can sometimes take some persuading to get him sleeping again as he has already had nearly a nights sleep. Sometimes he says 'Mummy' to me and I just whisper 'shhhh, go to sleep' and he does! My eldest DS still woke once a night most nights until he was about 3/4yrs old but this was usually because he needed the loo. They do all get there eventually! In my experience HV's all give out different advice based on their own experience, which is usually out of date and wrong. Take what they say with a pinch of salt. All the HVs in my area are rubbish.

Pinkpowderpuff Wed 30-Sep-15 12:34:04

I expect he won't sleep for longer than an hour after first wake up because after the period of deep sleep (always happens in first half of night) he is waking after every light sleep cycle wondering if he will get to go in your bed. To rectify this you need to be consistent with settling him in his cot after each wake up and never bringing him to your bed, then he will stop waking expecting it to happen so may start sleeping longer than an hour after settling. Or just pop him straight into your bed after first waking if that's what you are happy doing.

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