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Why is my 1yo still awake?

(26 Posts)
BunloafAndCrumpets Sat 18-Feb-17 21:57:47

DD has never been a great sleeper but is now staying awake until at least 9pm every night. If she's alone in her room she cries and works herself up. My DH works evenings so this is tricky for me as I can't get the house tidied before I go to work the next day without leaving her in bits / getting very little sleep myself.

She's 21 months old. She is asleep by 10pm, wakes around 1230-2am for a couple of hours, up around 7am. Naps for 1-1.5h (i or nursery wake her) starting at 1230.

The night wakes are exhausting too.

She goes down for her nap beautifully - was thinking about dropping it but she seems genuinely exhausted and it's the only chance I get to clean etc. Don't know.

Have tried: controlled crying (awful, she works self up and is hysterical), music before bed, snacks before bed, pick up put down (fine , can now get her in cot), gradual retreat (fine until she can no longer see me, then all hell breaks loose). No tv for at least 2h before bed (bath time 730, in bed at 8 tho have tried much earlier and much later to no avail). About 30 mins of tv a day. Tried dimmed lights and hushed voices before bed etc since Jan.

She eats fine, home cooked stuff mostly. is generally developing fine, is at nursery 3 days and with me / DH for the other 4 days a week. Seems happy in the day. Don't think she's teething.

Happy if this is some sort of phase but been going on for over a month now (the 2hr plus night wakes since before Xmas) and it's gradually breaking my work life and relationship. Any ideas gratefully received. Thanks.

BunloafAndCrumpets Sat 18-Feb-17 22:45:15

This is hopeless isn't it!

sunshinel Sat 18-Feb-17 22:54:50

I'm afraid I have no advice but wanted to say I'm in the same boat with DS 18 months with the 2 hour wakes at night. He goes down around 7-7.30, but I have to be in the room for him to fall asleep, usually takes about 10-15 mins, he is then wide awake for a couple of hours usually between 2 and 4, I've tried leaving him to cry for a little bit before going back to him but he gets hysterical, plus I have an older DD and I'm worried he'll wake her. He has a 1-1.5 hour nap during the day and seems to need it, he's also a happy boy most of the time, but I am so tired, especially with juggling work too. Hoping someone has some good advice

FATEdestiny Sun 19-Feb-17 08:58:42

gradual retreat (fine until she can no longer see me, then all hell breaks loose)

Don't go out of sight until she is asleep then?

I wonder if you have the wrong impression of gradual withdrawal? The idea is you stay close enough for the child to feel reassured and stay until asleep. Gradually, over the weeks, you reduce the amount of reassurance needed while always giving enough reassurance until asleep.

BunloafAndCrumpets Sun 19-Feb-17 12:57:42

I'm sorry sunshine, it's tough isnt it.

Yes thanks fate that's all well and good but I can't actually get anything done if I am with her all night until 10. I'm doing my best. This has been going on since Xmas so yea it's been gradual. Not a helpful method tho if all it achieves is the ability to sit 2m away from your child rather than 30cm really is it. Wondered if anyone had any ideas other than just ride it out (which is a what I'm doing). I love her and am happy to reassure her, just really struggling with the lack of any time to get things done in the evening plus tiredness at work from the night wakes.

Coconut0il Sun 19-Feb-17 13:29:31

Could you rearrange your day slightly? Accept that for now you can't clean of an evening? My focus would be getting the most sleep possible. I co sleep with DS2, feed him to sleep then normally just stay upstairs with him. He goes to bed about 8. I read, mess about on my phone, watch a film on the iPad then go to sleep myself about 10. Won't be forever. DS1 was he same and I find it gets us both the most sleep.
I shower/clean/do housework when DP is here. He takes DS2 out a couple of times during the week 5-7ish or on saturday so I can do jobs. House isn't as clean as it used to be but it's not too bad. With DS1 I remember thinking I should be doing ironing/washing/cleaning but this time I'm much more relaxed and as long as I get a bit of time to clean I'm happy to snuggle down at bedtime. I feel much better at work too.

FATEdestiny Sun 19-Feb-17 13:45:00

I'm doing my best.

I know you are. I wasn't suggesting otherwise.

Not a helpful method tho if all it achieves is the ability to sit 2m away from your child rather than 30cm really is it.

Would you humour me on gradual withdrawal? Because I think it'll work for you.

You mention loads of different sleep training you've done in the two months since January. If you want to go the gentle route (ie not leaving to cry) then these will be the read on Gradual Withdrawal isn't as effective as it could be. It's the reason GW isn't progressing and is taking so long.

Gradual Withdrawal begins with trust.

The first principle, before anything else, is that of if baby thinks you're trying to sneek out and so do not give the reassurance she needs, she will try to stay awake.

If baby trusts that you'll always stay, then there is no longer a battle to stay awake. It shouldn't take a child more than 20 minutes to go to sleep. 5-10 minutes is more usual. If baby is taking an hour plus to go to sleep, and that child can settle to sleep easily, it would suggest actively trying yo stay awake.

You can reach your baby that bedtime means sleep time. That they don't need to fret or battle to keep you in the room, because you'll always stay close enough and long enough for their needs.

CC is fair enough for some families. But if it doesn't work and uou want to try the gentle route of gradual withdrawal, it will have broken the trust. This means a few steps backwards.

I'd start with leaning over into the cot. Firm hand to keep baby still. Stay there until asleep. Only once completely asleep so you sneek out ninja style.

Keep doing this until there is no longer a battle to stay awake. It might be a few days, a few weeks, a few months. But you should be able to get settling time down to 10 minutes or so, with lots of in-cot attentive reassurance.

Once settling tine is reduced (by trusting always stay and be attentive by actively reassuring her in the cot), then start reducing the reassurance. Say mean lean into the cot to settle, stand up once calm, lean back into the cot if upset, stand up once calm. And so on.

Once she trusts that you will stay right by here when settled, and come straight back if she needs you, she'll trust you enough to not create fuss to 'test' you'll come back. So the 10mins or so settling time is stood next to the cot.

Next settle leaning into the cot, step away when calm. Lean into cot whenever upset, step away when calm. Always go back needed? Always stay until asleep. It's about trust.

Then two steps away. Go back when upset or not lying down to sleep, withdraw when calm. Stay to sleep.

Maybe this is where you are already?

Next step is breifly (very briefly) popping out of sight. Have a job. "I'm just going to put this over here, be right back". Be literally only a second. Then wait. Reassure. Go back if needed. Extract when settled. Stay to a sleep.

Make the brief times out of sight more frequent. "I'll just put this towel back", "I'll just put this in wash basket", "I'll just put this in my bedroom, be right back". "Just popping to the toilet. Won't be a minute".

Maybe you go back in to his room to reassure when back. Once he trusts you'll always come back, he shouldn't need you to.

Next stage is promising you'll stay upstairs while he's going to sleep. Maybe put washing away or tidy the bathroom? Keep periodically poking your head around the door. In time you wont even neex to do this. It's just about developing that trust that if he happens to need you when he's going to sleep, that you'll be there straight away and give all the reassurance he needs.

BunloafAndCrumpets Sun 19-Feb-17 14:44:37

Thank you so much for all your advice, I really appreciate it. Coconut, I think if nothing else works I'll have to try to do that. I have a job which often needs a bit of evening work, plus vague ideas of a second child, so if I can teach DD to sleep on her own I think that is the best thing for all of us. If I can't do it thought then I will have to adapt. Thanks again.

Fate I really appreciate the detailed instructions. I have got to the point where DD is calm in her cot with me sitting a couple of metres away, but it takes a good couple of hours for her to settle herself to sleep. I'm not sure if I can even get her to sleep in ten mins by holding her in the cot. Do I need to rewind to being next to the cot and try to get her to sleep more quickly? I don't think she will sleep within 10 or 20 mins even with me right there but I can try tonight. I'm quite pessimistic at this point and need to buck up! Thanks again.

BunloafAndCrumpets Sun 19-Feb-17 14:58:50

I do try to leave momentarily (eg to grab a glass of water from the table in the next room) and do explain what I'm doing and that I'm coming back, but leaving causes immediate distress so something obviously not right sad

FATEdestiny Sun 19-Feb-17 15:15:19

it takes a good couple of hours for her to settle herself to sleep.

So for a 1 year old, this isnt normal.

So your focus needs to be not how she goes to sleep, but why is she not seeing cot = sleep time?

I wouldn't mess around that long getting baby to sleep. I have four children, I don't have the time. So how about just not putting her to bed until she's ready to go to sleep?

At first that may be late, 10pm you say. But the idea should be that when she gets ibto that cot, nothing else happens apart from going to sleep. So she's not allowed to sit up. Dhes not allowed to rock on all fours. She's not allowed to "talk". You reassure her out of any crying immediately. You still any movements immediately. Your whole persona with her says "sleep time"

That doesn't mean ignoring her. The opposite in fact. Lots of leaning into into the cot, keeping her still and quiet. But ultimately not entertaining her or allowing anything to happen apart from going to sleep.

If mine wasn't asleep, or very close to asleep, within 20 minutes of bring down stairs and crack on with whatever I need to crack on with for half an hour. Then try again.

Leaving her in her cot for 2 hours, bored, before she goes to sleep is not helping your cause. You want to be aiming for cot=sleep. Once you have that, then adjust the timings

I assume she has methods of comforting herself - Dummy? Teddy? Comfort blanket?

BunloafAndCrumpets Sun 19-Feb-17 16:20:46

Well exactly, with other things to get on with too I don't want to be messing around for two hours trying to get her to sleep either. But I can't leave her to scream - I hate it and it doesn't work (my husband tried it in Jan). Am just not feeling that keeping a 1yo up til 10pm is good. She needs to be up at 7 for nursery unfortunately. She's awake for at least two hours overnight. So she's getting what, about 7h of sleep overnight. Plus 1.5h in the day. That isn't enough from what I've read. So i have been putting her in bed earlier because it feels like the responsible thing to do. If she learns she can make a fuss and I take her down to play then I can't see how she will learn that bed means bed. Am so confused.

BunloafAndCrumpets Sun 19-Feb-17 16:21:05

Thanks again for all your help fate.

BunloafAndCrumpets Sun 19-Feb-17 16:27:05

Will try this leaning into the cot business!

BunloafAndCrumpets Sun 19-Feb-17 16:28:13

Yes she has a teddy she loves and a blanket she fiddles with too.

Coconut0il Sun 19-Feb-17 16:44:25

It's so tough bun. Luckily I only work mornings, would definitely struggle to do any work of an evening. And yes my way is not really going to help with DC2, 12 years between my 2grin
I'd try to forget the housework as much as possible and really just focus on the sleep. I've read lots of advice from fate and she seems to really understand baby sleep much more than me. I only know feed to sleep and Co sleep!

sunshinel Sun 19-Feb-17 21:46:21

Sounds like some good advice Fate. I wonder if that would work with my DS in the night, he is literally wide awake though, but calm. As long as I'm next to him he will lie there for up to 2 hours, wide awake! As soon as I get up to go, he screams! I usually end up bringing him into bed with me if he's still awake at 4.30/5.00 and sometimes he falls asleep next to me, but I don't! Bun, that sounds really tough with the settling to go to sleep at bed time, you must be so stressed with trying to get things done. Maybe try and make nap time earlier or shorter? I'm clearly no expert though!

juni Mon 20-Feb-17 20:18:26

Have a read of this - keeps popping up on my FB timeline - your comments re night wakings reminded me of it....
https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/childsleepscience.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/the-split-night-why-some-babies-are-awake-for-hours-in-the-middle-of-the-night-and-how-to-change-it/amp/?client=safari

BunloafAndCrumpets Mon 20-Feb-17 20:26:42

Thanks juni. DD is def affected by learning new skills and is forever practicing her words, forward rolls etc in bed. No idea what to do to stop it tho. I guess this is just her. She went to sleep at 10 last night, was up 2-4 and up for the day at 6. She must be exhausted. She's rolling around the cot next to me. I have been leaning over the cot for 20 mins holding her (causes screaming) and shushing her. She won't co sleep ever. She's just not tired. I am at my wits end.

sophia26 Tue 21-Feb-17 08:48:22

Hi, I am in the same boat with my 13 month old. We have tried everything - she doesn't nap an awful lot but then never did. She goes to bed ok at night about 8/8.30 but then wakes anytime from 10pm to 2am and won't even lie in the cot - we have taken to putting her in the pram and she will sleep there for the night (in her room) - I just don't want to get her in the habit of sleeping in the pram and before xmas she slept in her cot the night through. Then she started waking multiple times at night. It is only in the last 2 weeks we have started using the pram.
Has anyone any tips? We have tried cc (she works herself to hysterical and makes herself sick), pick up put down and when we are in the room she is walking around the cot and all she wants is play.
We thought initially that it was a phase but we are nearly 2 months in and not getting any easier. We both work full time and the broken sleep is really taking its toll.
When she goes to my mam's house they have a cot in their bedroom and she sleeps there but wakes and they rub her belly before she is fully awake. I don't want to move the cot back into our room as feel we won't get her back out.
Any tips or help greatly appreciated.
Thanks

juni Tue 21-Feb-17 10:50:01

It seems like you've tried everything - sounds horrendous I both feel for you and have the horrors that we might enter this phase! With both mine I've paid for a sleep consultant, I couldn't really afford it but first time I was about to go back to work, second time was teetering on PND and just had to do something. When you're at your wits end it can just really help to have someone telling you what to do and then checking in a week later to make sure you do it! We have access to so much conflicting advice that it all becomes too much and too confusing - if you can scrape together the extortionate fees I would recommend it.....

sophia26 Tue 21-Feb-17 11:51:06

Thanks Juni - who did you use and how much I seen only lady for €350 advertised and just couldn't justify that. Would preferably like someone to come to the house for a night and give us guidance..... We live in Co Cavan so may not be feasible.....

BunloafAndCrumpets Tue 21-Feb-17 14:01:39

Am thinking of that too Juni. Any recommendations gratefully received

juni Tue 21-Feb-17 15:31:27

I used Andrea Grace this time around, eye wateringly expensive but she slept through the second night. It saved my sanity, although DS is by no means a superstar sleeper compared to where we were she's doing well. First time round I think it was sleepbabies.co.uk. Both times it was just phone calls and e-mail. And I kinda already knew what I should do but it helped to be told! I also tried to contact sian@sleepbabies.co.uk and

juni Tue 21-Feb-17 15:32:50

Oops pressed too soon - info@gentlesleepsolutions.co.uk neither of whine responded despite a couple of e-mails and phone calls which I think is dreadful considering how desperate the people trying to contact them are!

BunloafAndCrumpets Tue 21-Feb-17 21:13:08

Thank you! smile

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