Night waking 17 months(14 Posts)
Our littlest boy (ds2) is 17 months. He is not and never has been a good sleeper. Due to the trouble we had with ds1 needing rocked to sleep for hours, ds2 has been put to bed awake from day 1 and goes to sleep really well, for nap and night time, in this respect we have done quite well. However he wakes up every single night without fail, has probably only slept through maybe 5 times in his life. Recently he has started waking for milk (which we still give him) then being either awake for several hours, or wanting more milk. Dh gave him three bottles in the night the other night, which is obviously having a knock on effect on his eating. He points to the door and screams wanting to go down for milk. Dh and i take it I'm turns to be 'on duty' and we have a spare bed in ds's room so the other one goes in there to sleep.
Last night ds woke at 2, had milk and then I brought him to our bed. I lay next to him while he cried for 2 hours. Not continuously, but he wasn't asleep, was tossing and turning and eventually fell asleep after 2 hours.
I want him to stay in his own bed, there is no way he needs 18oz milk in the night. He can self settle as he proved at bedtime and last night. Am I awful to consider controlled crying in this situation? Rocking him wouldn't work because he just wants to go downstairs. I am tempted to say Saturday night is the night, I will sit in his room or outside while he cries if necessary. I don't know if he's too little for CC but I think he needs a diet of 'no contact' method as seeing us makes him want to get up. We have allowed this situation to happen because it was sort of working, but now it isn 't and I think we need to bite the Bullet.
I've got a 20 month old daughter. She doesn't sleep through the night. But she doesn't have milk during the night anymore. I give her about 4/5 Oz of milk before bed (led down in her own bed) then I lie down next to her til she falls asleep. Not ideal but she screams continuously if I leave the room while she's awake. With the milk during the night you might just have to refuse to give it. Maybe offer water instead. Does he have a bottle before bed? Another tip my health visitor gave was to let them eat plenty before bed. I struggled with this because my girl doesn't eat a huge amount anyway. So I was just offering food that would get wasted. It will be tough at first because he is used to having milk but he will get used to it you just have to be persistent. I've never really been sure about CC but DSIS used it with her youngest of 3 and it worked. Trust your instincts as well. You know what's best for your own. Good luck
Thanks come along. I have thought about offering water. We do give him milk before bed (6.30) but no supper. Maybe we should try some porridge?
I have done CC before but that was to get ds1 to go to bed alone at bedtime, and he was older than ds2. The thing is o know he can do it because he does settle himself every bedtime and nap time. It's just the thought of him crying during the night I guess that concerns me.
Might be an idea to offer supper at 6.30 then bottle when he goes to bed. Might help. I absolutely hate the sound of dd crying. She gets so worked up. Also old supernanny trick of lying him back down repeatedly until he goes back to sleep without talking. I struggle with keeping dd in her own bed. I'm single so I just give in and let her sleep in my bed. Hard to get her out of the habit now!
At 17 months hard as it, I think you need to go cold turkey on the milk at night. It'll be a week of hell but hopefully worth it. If he has three bottles at night he's probably not hungry enough during the day and you're in a vicious circle.
I'd try porridge or weetabix at 630, bottle at 730 just before bed. If he demands milk at night give him water.
We had similar with dts although I can't remember now how old they were but they were definitely old enough to not need milk at night.
Yes, I think supper might be in order. I've got two issues really- stopping the milk and stopping the coming into our bed which has morphed into coming into our bed and then demanding to go downstairs. I think we will have to just go cold turkey on both, just not sure whether to do it simultaneously!
Has your toddler got any sort of comfort mechanism? Snuggle toy, blankie, dummy, self-soothing movements?
I would suggest that in your (undetstandable) strong desire for DC2 to sleep independently and not like DC1, that you have taught baby "from day 1" that he will go to sleep in his cot, which was accepted. But you haven't actively taught baby a way to self-sooth.
You've established from newborn "I will not be your source of comfort to get to sleep". Which is not a problem and IMO is healthy sleep habits. But you have not provided adequate alternate, independant comfort.
So when DC2 does wake up now, he isn't able to feel comforted in his own presence (by sucking a dummy or snuggling a comforter) and so doesn't feel secure on his own. So he creates excuses to get your attention.
Really he just wants your reassurance, your comfort, your presence, so he feels that feeling of "awww this is nice, safe and warm with mummy" and relaxes to sleep. It's just he can't articulate that so he develops "crutches" that work to get your attention. If it's not milk or going downstairs, I bet you something else will develop. Because its not the thing he wants, its his mum and dad.
Fate but he does self soothe. Every nap time and bed time for 17 months. He has a blanky which is his comforter and he always has this in his hand in bed. I strongly believe that he knows exactly how to self soothe and get to sleep, he does it every time he goes to bed. The issue is more ours than his, we have created a habit for convenience that now isn't convenient. I also think he doesn't need milk, but he is greedy and will have it if it's offered. Again, it's a habit we've created.
There's no difference in his room at 3am than at 7pm, it's not darker or colder. I don't think he's scared, I think it's just habit- he wakes and he comes to our bed. That's what he does. It's just breaking that habit isn't it?
The main difference between 3am and 7pm is that at 7pm he just saw you and said nan night.
He can neither tell the time not has much of a concept of time passing. So if he sleeps then wakes up, it might feel like a long long long time ago since he saw you.
If he has a comforte - great. That gives you something to work on. When you start buying the bullet and refusing milk etc, deflect his comfort needs to the blankie.
So I would refuse to any requests. Then get a comfy chair next to his cot and deal with the fall-out. Keep deflecting to his need to lie down, snuggle blankie and be quiet. Keep reitterating over and over again. Be patient with him, it may take some time.
Well tonight's the night so I'll keep you updated! We're going to do his normal bedtime as per, then we will see what the night brings. I've already set up my comfort chair and blanket outside his room so I have somewhere to sit. We've done cc before with ds1 but that was at 'go to bed' time rather than in the night, I don't think we ever did it at night but he just got older and started sleeping through eventually anyway. I remember the first night being bad but only about half an hour in total, and progressively less each night. I suppose the difference is that he was tired, where as ds2 will have had several hours sleep by the time we start it with him. We'll be sharing the duty so hopefully will each get some sleep!
What's his daily food intake?
I suspect he may not be getting enough to eat in the day time.
My DD is 19months and I've found altering the amounts she eats throughout the day has meant she now sleeps through the night. She only has the breast in the mornings... as sometimes I'm too tired and she wakes up very early
it gives me an extra 30mins at least.
He's not a great eater to be honest, and this is probably due to the extra milk he demands but also because of it iykwim. He's picky about texture rather than flavour, and likes to feed himself which means sometimes he gets bored before he's full. It's tricky isn't it? He is a good sturdy size so it doesn't concern me but he needs a full tummy to go through the night. We gave him his tea a bit earlier tonight and do now has just had some toast and butter while we ate ours as a bit of supper.
Good luck. I also have a 17 month old that wakes at night still. She's great at getting to sleep by herself at bedtime but not so good in the middle of the night. Sometimes giving her back her dummy works and other times she cries for a while. We go back in every 5 minutes to give her the dummy back that she chucks on the floor in temper. I try not to get her out of her cot unless she is really upset. Last night she wasn't going back off so I did get her out for a quick cuddle to calm her down which did work.
Last night: bed at 7.00, woke at 3, finally asleep at 4.50. So just under 2 hours. Some of that crying, some whimpering, some quiet. The biggest problem was getting him to lie down in his cot as he just kept standing up. Eventually I held him until he calmed down and laid him in and that seemed to work as he stayed lying down long enough to drift off.
Round 2 tonight. Fingers crossed for a shorter battle!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.