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14 month old sleep...Any suggestions!? Please!

(10 Posts)
APMama Fri 01-Dec-17 08:58:50

My daughter is coming up to 14 months. She's breastfed and has never been one that you could put down and her drift off to sleep, fed to sleep was always her preference and boy does she make it known.

I'm coming to the end of my tether, it's not feasible for me to feed her to sleep for naps and sit with her on me til she wakes. Rocking in the pram doesn't work, cuddling isn't good enough because she wants to be feeding for comfort. She just becomes hysterical within a split second, full on screaming sobbing tears, writhing around and flings herself about. I tried to cuddle her to sleep despite the tantrum but she headbutt me so many times I put her in her cot. She screamed and sobbed for 50 mins before going to sleep. I did go in intermittently so she knew I was there but it broke my heart even so. I've been trying this method for a week and there has been no improvement. I also hate her doing this much crying each day, it can't be good for her...

Night time is similar, once down she will sort of sleep through if you call being up for the day at 4am. Wide awake and screaming if we don't get her up for the day. We've tried ignoring her for a while but it doesn't work, it just escalates and she can go on for a long long time. Have tried moving bedtime later but makes zero difference.

So, any suggestions on naps and/or getting to sleep past 4am? It's starting to make me feel really depressed and I'm struggling as coming up to 12 weeks pregnant with number 2. Need to try something else! Health visitors have no suggestions other than sleep training which I'm trying and doesn't seem to work.

Super jealous of friends whose babies will sit and play in the cot until they go to sleep!

LapinR0se Fri 01-Dec-17 09:13:37

Sleep training will work if you are 100% consistent how you go about it.
What’s her routine like currently?

APMama Fri 01-Dec-17 10:05:02

We follow her cues when she is tired rather than having set sleep times but they are always roughly around the same time. We do bath, feed, story the bed at night time. Nap times less structured just saying the same thing each time closing the curtains and putting her down xx

LapinR0se Fri 01-Dec-17 10:08:41

Yes but what time is she napping, eating and going to bed? (Roughly)

APMama Fri 01-Dec-17 11:35:00

Waking at 4am, milk about 4.30am, breakfast between 6-7am. Normally becomes ready for a nap between 7-45-8.30. Usually only sleeps for half an hour, occasionally more Has lunch at 12, another nap roughly around 1 or 2pm. This lasts anything between half an hour to an hour. Then dinner at 4.45pm and bed around 6.30-7.30pm xxx

LapinR0se Fri 01-Dec-17 12:49:22

OK. That milk feed at 4/4.30 is throwing everything off. It’s not sending her back to sleep anyway so I don’t think she is waking due to hunger. It’s habitual waking that’s being exacerbated by giving her milk and then in routine terms the other thing that isn’t helping is the early little nap.
Things to check first are:
Is the room pitch black
Is the baby warm enough (room temp 19-21 degrees and baby in a vest, babygro and 2.5 tog bag
No funny noises such as heating clicking on or airplanes starting to pass overhead (unavoidable but can be drowned out with white noise)

Routine would be
Milk 7am <- is this a breastfeed or is she bottle fed?
Breakfast 8 or 8.30am, ideally porridge or scrambled eggs and some blueberries
Short nap 9.30-10 <- this has got to start after 9 and last no more than 30 mins or it will exacerbate early morning waking. No feeding as you want to break the association between milk and sleep. Put the baby down awake at 9 in a blacked-out room (start early as it will take a while for her to settle independently). Use white noise again if it helps. Pop her down and I would do shhh pat every 2 mins of proper crying. I would not do pick up put down at this age as it’s too confusing for toddlers. I would also not leave her crying any longer than 2 mins as she will get too upset. As soon as she is calm you stop patting and walk out and do make sure you stop patting and leave the room before she is asleep.
Lunch 11.45. Plenty of protein such as fish pie, or chicken stew, or salmon fingers and veggies with a yoghurt for dessert
1-3 nap <- no milk as you want to break the association between feeding and sleep. It might take a while before you can get to a 2 hour nap. Do exactly the same settling routine as for the little morning nap. If she wakes after 30-40 mins then leave her up to 20 mins (assuming she is not upset) to see if she can resettle.
3pm snack such as rice cakes and fruit compote
5pm carb-based dinner eg pasta stars with cheesy veg sauce, babybel or banana for dessert
6pm bath
6.45 bottle or breastfeed then story and brush teeth to make sure she is fully awake
7pm bed fully awake with blackout and white noise, do the same settling technique as for the naps at bedtime and for any night wake ups

APMama Fri 01-Dec-17 13:02:45

Wow this so so detailed and helpful. Is this just from your own experiences? Thank you so much for your time.

At 4 when she wakes tomorrow, would you get her up but not feed her and start from breakfast? Or shh and pat her to see if she goes back to sleep?

LapinR0se Fri 01-Dec-17 13:11:36

I WOuld make sure the environmental factors are right so I know she is not cold or being disturbed by light or noise then I would leave her as long as possible before getting her up. You could try shh pat but her sleep pressure will be very low at 4am and so she will fight it long and hard.
If you do get her up then hold off feeding until an acceptable time (6.30/7).
This is based on my own experiences with a sleep consultant and also seeing her work with my sister, friends and other clients.

teaandbiscuitsforme Fri 01-Dec-17 13:16:52

Slightly different perspective:

Do you have a single/spare bed she could move into? Or a mattress on the floor? Because if so, I'd feed to sleep in the bed for naps and bedtime and then leave her to it. With the 4 o'clock wake up, definitely treat it as a night wake up so I'd go in, feed back to sleep and either doze off myself or go back to bed.

Then after a few months when you're all a bit more rested and calmer, I'd start breaking the feed to sleep part.

EgremontRusset Fri 01-Dec-17 13:17:37

We learnt it was useful to keep it dark for a while in the morning even if you do get them up

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