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19 Month Old Sleep

(15 Posts)
DobbyTheHouseElf80 Wed 25-Oct-17 08:11:32

My DD (first baby) is almost 19 months and has been a good sleeper since she was probably about 12 months. When she was small she was cuddled to sleep but stopped this by herself and has been put down awake at bedtime and naps for a good while now.

Usually her routine is as follows:

6:30 Awake
8:00 Nap 1.5 hours
12:30 Nap 1.5 hours
18:30 Bed

I don't enforce an early bedtime, she's ready to drop by half six and goes to get her own sleeping bag, puts it on the floor and lies down on it when she's tired. She normally sleeps through no problems. Recently she's been sleeping in a little later and not needing the morning nap, which is fine I thought she was just (finally!) ready to drop it. I'm a SAHM so can easily accommodate her naps I just fit my day around her. She normally wakes happy and alert and is content. She's eats well and is very energetic. She has dummies in bed only, and takes a muslin to snuggle as well so I assume if she wakes in the night she locates them herself and settles back off.

However the last week or so she's been waking 2-3 times a night between midnight and 5am shouting for me. When I go in she's upset even if she has her dummy and muslin but if I pick her up to cuddle she throws a fit. So I've been sitting by the cot, not for long, five minutes or so until she's settled down (but isn't asleep) before I leave her and go back to bed.

She's also waking ready to start the day at 5am, usually very cross and upset too. This means that she's knackered by 7:30am and ready for the nap that we'd almost dropped. So his week we've been awake several times in the night, up at 5, napping at 7:30 then again at 1pm before going to bed usual time.

Any ideas what's going on, or suggestions? She's not talking very much yet (just odd words) so she can't tell me. Im shattered, which I can manage (DH and I take it in turns to have a decent lie in each at the weekend so I can catch up then) but DH has a long commute early each morning and he's exhausted too. I worry about him driving when he's so tired. I have been packing him off to the spare room so hopefully he gets an uninterrupted nights sleep but she's loud so it's not much help.

The only thing I can think it could possibly be is teeth, but I'm not sure because she had 16 teeth by the time she was 1. She's only got the last 4 molars to come we've had a long break with no teething. I've not done any toddler teething, they all flew through when she was small! No standard signs of it apart from a few unpleasant nappies.

Help, more experienced mothers please!

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Wed 25-Oct-17 08:45:03

Could it be separation anxiety? I thought this peaked towards the end of the first year and again around 18 months though I could be wrong. If you think it might be that I’d be tempted to carry on what you’re doing and she may well naturally grow out of it once she’s reassured you’re always there if needed.

DobbyTheHouseElf80 Wed 25-Oct-17 08:52:46

Hmm could be. Although she's fine in the day, she doesn't go to nursery but if I leave her with DH or GPs she never makes a fuss and she'll play quite happily in the sitting room while I'm pottering around in the kitchen etc so she's not clingy to me or anything.

I've got to do something, DH has not long rung me to say he'd got to work fine (I asked him to) but that he had to stop at a services on the way have a half hour snooze because he was dropping off. I might send him off to his parents to sleep after dinner tonight, they are v local and I don't want him having an accident.

LapinR0se Wed 25-Oct-17 10:31:58

She’s napping too early and too long.
See if you can get her into something like this:
Wake 5am: make sure room is dark and warm and leave her as long as you possibly can (6am is earliest getting up time). Alternatively give her milk at 5 but say night night straight away and leave the room. Basically getting up, chatting to Mummy, having cuddles or seeing any kind of light are not possible until 6am EARLIEST.

So if 5-6am wake up occurs this is your schedule
Nap 9.30-10. Absolute max 30 mins, ideally wake after 20 mins, and this is just while early morning waking is happening to see her through to lunch. As soon as morning waking moves to 6 or later you are aiming for one big nap per day.
Lunchtime nap 1-3pm
Bedtime 7pm
Ensure that lunch is high protein and dinner is high carb and fat.

Once morning waking moves to 6am or later, you can move to one big nap from around 11.45 or 12 to 2.45/3pm and a 6.30 or 7pm bedtime. If the lunchtime nap is under two hours then you can have a 15/20 min power nap in the car or buggy at around 4.45 and do a 7.30 or 7.45 bedtime.

Dropping to one nap is very very hard. Early morning waking is a bastard. But the longer the first morning nap is, the more it will reinforce early morning waking.
You might need to keep the little morning nap for a few weeks.

peppalongstocking Wed 25-Oct-17 10:48:20

Hey Dobby, hang in there! I second the advice from LapinROse. If you are still wondering about the reason for the waking, from your description it sounds a bit like night terrors (they behave like they don't recognise you when you go to them at night... essentially asleep but eyes open and upset) - our DC went through this for a bit - round about the same age. It was worse when (over)tired. Then it all just went away after a few months. So yes, try to move towards one big nap that finishes later in the afternoon. I think what helped us was making the gap between the end of afternoon nap and evening bedtime shorter than (or at least equal to) the gap between the morning wake up and start of the single big nap.

Mamabear3017 Wed 25-Oct-17 11:07:28

Op, I need you in my life. Please help me!!

My DS is a horrendous sleeper.

DobbyTheHouseElf80 Wed 25-Oct-17 14:40:45

Thanks @LapinR0se. I tend not to leave her in her room when she wakes early because she's upset (I've never left her to cry, done sleep training etc) and also because she wakes up DH and he really needs to sleep more due to his drive. She doesn't drink milk, she has a bit on cereal but has never really had cows milk as a drink. I offer it frequently but she's never keen, might have an oz if I'm lucky. Stopped having a bottle when she stopped having formula at 13 months (she was a dreamfed only baby from about 4 months with a total bottle aversion due to silent reflux so I never had the struggle many have of getting rid of bottles).

I've never deliberately woken her from naps before! I always just let her sleep as long as she wants - on the occasions she's been woken accidentally by the door or me clattering about she's been a grumpy horror afterwards confused

DobbyTheHouseElf80 Wed 25-Oct-17 14:42:25

Hadn't considered night terrors @peppalongstocking aw I hope it's not that they sound awful. I wish she could talk more and tell me what is wrong!

DobbyTheHouseElf80 Wed 25-Oct-17 14:45:49

@Mamabear3017 I don't know how I could help you.... I wing it! If it makes you feel better, DD was a poor sleeper when she was small. Silent reflux caused us horrendous issues. She never napped more than 20 minutes here and there as a newborn, and only ever on me, she was cuddled to sleep every time and even when she did start sleeping through at night I used to have to set an alarm to get up every few hours and dreamfeed her because of medication she was on unrelated to the silent reflux (she's fine now). Her first year was tough! She's been a sleeping dream since age 1 though, so I'm thrown as to what to do at the moment!

FATEdestiny Wed 25-Oct-17 16:38:49

She normally sleeps through no problems. Recently she's been sleeping in a little later and not needing the morning nap, which is fine I thought she was just (finally!) ready to drop it

Did you switch straight to 1-nap days when this happened?

The early mornings and night wakes are over tiredness I think. Because while she is beginning to transition to 1-nap days, she's not ready to have them every day just yet.

My DD has her first 1-nap day at 20 months (so not disimilar to yours) and they were consistant by 22 months. During those interim 2 months I'd may have gone:
- one 1-nap day followed by a week of 'normal' 2-nap days
- one 1-nap day then 3 or 4 days of 2-naps and then another 1-nap day
- two consecutive 1-nap days then 3 or 4 days of 2-naps.
- two consecutive 1-nap days, then two 2-nap days...
- 3 or 4 days of 1-nap with a day or two of 2-nap days here and there if toddler is tired
- a week of all 1-nap days with only a single 2-nap day if needed
- consistant 1-nap days

Basically, and nights that involve wake ups means the next day is a 2-nap day. Any early morning wake ups means it's a 2-nap day. Any time toddler seems tired, 2-nap days. Then....

Any day baby seems perfectly fine and happy to stay awake in the morning, encourage it. If she has a good night, sleeps well in the morning, is easy to keep busy... That's your 1-nap day.

Over time, and with the right balance of 1-nap days and 2-nap days to avoid over tiredness and the transition should shift towards more 1-nap days without baby getting over tired.

I always just let her sleep as long as she wants

I would too. Well, within reason. If your afternoon nap is getting past 4.30pm* or your morning nap knocking on 3 hours then I probably would wake. But your morning nap, never in a million years would I wake after 20/30 mins.

(* my 3 year old is currently still asleep. It's gone 4.30pm, so I'm actually not that bothered about sleeping later if needed. She went to sleep at 12.45pm today)

Mine used to have 2 hours morning and 2 hours afternoon. 9am-11am then 1-3pm (although 2-4pm would have been better, but I have a 3.15 school run). This was right through to 20-22 months old. Then occassional 1-nap days were massive initially. 11am-3pm, when interspersed with 2-nap days. They settled at 12-3pm on school days, 1-4 weekends or school hols.

So my answer is very different to that above. I say go back to 2 nap days and let her sleep as long as she needs. On days she is not tired and sleeping well try for the odd 1-nap day here and there. But don't push her to make the change too quickly.

FATEdestiny Wed 25-Oct-17 16:42:26

<goes to wake toddler up>

DobbyTheHouseElf80 Wed 25-Oct-17 18:45:31

@FATEdestiny no, I didn't try to rush it. We started doing 1 nap days at the weekend because she was sleeping until 7/7:30, possibly because she wasn't being disturbed by DH getting up for work at 6:30ish. He's quiet but i did think that perhaps he was waking her in the week, then at the weekend when we'd sleep as long as she did she'd lay in. So on those days we'd skip the morning nap and she was fine and I'd go back to two in the week when she was back to waking at 6/6:30.

Yes I also let her sleep but within reason. Mornings she'll rarely have more than 1.5 hours anyway and in the afternoon I wouldn't let her go past 3:30ish (as I have to fit dinner and bedtime routine etc in by 6:30). but as I said on the occasions where she's been woken before she was ready (usually by some daft salesperson hammering on the door) she's been so tired as grumpy.

I have realised that her normal bedtime is 6:30 but as she's hasn't been picking up her sleeping bag until closer to 7 I've been letting her go to bed then quite a lot over the last week or so, so tonight I stuck to her normal 6:30 bedtime - it's 6:38 and having just checked the monitor she's out like a light. So perhaps I've been letting her stay up later than is good for her. I always try to be led by her (without sounding like one of those mums who just lets their child do what they want) but maybe this is one area I need to be firmer. She is quite a creature of habit. For example I don't ever bath at bedtime - bedtime to her is fun playing time and she gets all whipped up so baths are a morning thing a few times a week here.

Since she was 1 she's always had more sleep than an average toddler I've noticed - most of the people I know with kids the same age do 10-11ish hours at night but have either no naps or one just a short one whereas she's always had two long ones and 12 hours but I figured she wouldn't have it if she didn't need it so I let her carry on. The other children I know are in nurseries though with full time working mums, so their routines are very different. I don't know any other SAHMS to compare notes with.

TittyGolightly Wed 25-Oct-17 18:50:57

IIRC there's a language development leap between 18 and 24 months. Always caused night wakings and "overactive brain" here.

DobbyTheHouseElf80 Wed 25-Oct-17 19:00:49

@TittyGolightly it's interesting you say that. She's barely speaking yet (we have the odd 'buh bye' and 'mumma' but that's it and it's not often) but she has the last week or so (so coincides with this) been babbling away non stop. I'm not concerned about her speech, she understands pretty much everything I say, follows instructions, can pick out animals, flowers, colours in books etc but she's just not quite there with verbalising it. She points and says 'nrrrr' a lot. So it could be linked I guess.

DobbyTheHouseElf80 Thu 26-Oct-17 07:19:03

Well, last night we went back to her earlier bedtime, turned off a nightlight on the landing that I though could possibly be disturbing her and I didn't hear a peep until five past six this morning. I was in bed at ten so I've had eight hours sleep - I feel like a new woman! grin I will see how she goes nap wise today.

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