21-month old still not sleeping through the night

(46 Posts)
pegasus02 Wed 15-Jan-20 16:06:19

DD will be 2 in April, and still not sleeping through the night. She did it a few nights over Christmas, but not since. She wakes multiple times in the night crying, and she doesn't nap well.

We've done all the right things, and have spoken to the HV and even CAMHS. They assessed DD and said she's fine, just strong-willed.

Any other parents out there with an almost 2-year old like this? I literally don't know anyone with a toddler like this, and feel really sad and isolated. And absolutely exhausted.... sad

OP’s posts: |
EPea Wed 15-Jan-20 20:40:01

My DS is like this. He will be 2 in April as well, and also a character you might describe as 'strong-willed'. We've found sleep has been really up and down. We've had periods where he'll sleep through, sometimes for a few nights, we've even had periods of a few weeks, but we're currently back in the middle of the hell that is sleep deprivation and have been here since mid-October.

At the moment he generally goes to sleep well at bedtime, which is a always around 7.15 - 7.30. But any time from about 1.30 the wake ups start and sometimes it can take a couple of hours to settle him back to sleep.

I have no answers but absolute empathy with your situation. It's absolutely awful and the impact on every other aspect of life is horrendous. I feel like I'm being tortured. I can't function properly at work and my relationship with DH has become really strained because we're both too exhausted to communicate properly.

I keep trying to reassure myself that this, like everything in life, is only temporary. But it's so tough. And it's certainly put me off having any more children. I haven't the strength to endure this all again.

Here's hoping we all come out the other side sooner rather than later thanks

pegasus02 Thu 16-Jan-20 09:22:59

Thank you EPea I'm sorry you're in the same situation, it's hideous isn't it. I think the majority of parents of little ones don't understand. I've had friends look askance at me for still feeding DD to sleep and letting her into our bed at night. I don't think people always understand it's not ideal but it's the only option if we want to stay sane.

OP’s posts: |
bluebunnyblue Thu 16-Jan-20 10:19:40

It doesn't sound that unusual to me. Neither of mine started sleeping through at all until they were 2, and it took until 2.5 for them to sleeping through most nights. And most of my friends' toddlers were the same. It's really tough. Do whatever you can to get yourself more sleep right now, eg we put dd2 into a single bed when she 15m so that I could go in and sleep in with her on the really bad nights. (Bed was low, with a bedguard, and she could already safely climb up and down it.)

EPea Thu 16-Jan-20 10:23:53

I totally agree. You have to do whatever is needed to get you through. Comments of 'Oh why not just do this' are so unhelpful because it often seems like people think we're missing something obvious. People are obviously well-meaning with their suggestions but unless someone has lived through it, it's so hard to make them understand. I know it doesn't make it any easier, but I always find it so reassuring to find someone else who gets it. Thank you for posting this, it's nice to know we're not alone!

EPea Thu 16-Jan-20 10:26:25

Bluebunny, we're about to do the same and put DS into a bed, hoping this might help a bit!

thisisthetime Thu 16-Jan-20 10:32:31

Dd2 was like this. She was 2.5 when I just stopped the milk cold turkey (dd1 was 5 months). She was over 3.5 when she stopped crawling into my bed in the middle of the night. She's now 4 and sleeps through the night in her own bed and has done consistently for a few months now. It helped that we bought her a big girls bed and got her the duvet cover she wanted etc. Wouldn't have helped at 2 though.

It's annoying but I think it's worse for your mental health to keep trying to 'solve the problem'. If you can sleep with her in your bed do that. If you can't then you may need to try some kind of sleep training. I just did what was easiest, it did help we have a super king size bed. I did try to put her down in her own bed from about 2 or so and she didn't have the side on the bed so over time I encouraged her to get up and come in to our bed by herself instead of calling out/crying which helped with my sleep so you could try that. I also reminded myself that I don't really like sleeping alone so why the hell would my baby?! It's a bit unnatural when you really think about it.


Selfsettling3 Thu 16-Jan-20 10:33:30

Sounds within normal. Sorry.

S12M Thu 16-Jan-20 12:26:01


My 21 month old is also a terrible sleeper & very strong-willed! He had a recent run of waking every hour and being restless when I brought him into bed with me. Last night he woke at 3 & 4:30 then 6 for the day - and that was a good night!
Some days I deal with it better than others. I know we've done everything we can so it's a waiting game for more consistent sleep (hopefully not for much longer!). I also find it isolating as all the mums I know are now getting a decent night's sleep!

SapphosRock Thu 16-Jan-20 12:31:43

Sorry to say this but my 4.5 year old still wakes multiple times in the night. No SN, just has lots of vivid dreams.

We let her have a dummy which has helped.

pegasus02 Thu 16-Jan-20 19:21:55

Thanks everyone! I'm expecting DC2 in the summer, and am wondering what I ought to do differently to minimise the risk of another poor sleeper. It's probably genetic but doesn't hurt to try!

Thoughts so far centre around being a bit more 'ruthless' around sleep training/crying once they're old enough sad, and not letting them into the bed unless last resort. With DD, it really is give an inch and she'll take mile, and I'm sure we've been too soft!

OP’s posts: |
Selfsettling3 Thu 16-Jan-20 19:28:05

Your first isn’t a poor sleeper. She is completely normal. There are a few unicorn babies out there who sleep through from early and other parents lie. But back in the real world it’s normal for children to occasional wake up and need their parents but to the age of 7 years old and for younger children to wake several times a night.

pegasus02 Thu 16-Jan-20 20:48:44

Thanks for your input @Selfsettling3 but disagree. I know lots of babies/toddlers of friends and local parents. Few have children like mine with this level of need around sleep. I'm allowed a little moan on an online forum.

OP’s posts: |
Selfsettling3 Thu 16-Jan-20 20:55:40

I’m not saying your not allowed to moan about it. Of course you can moan about but sometimes it makes it easier to deal with if you reset your expectations. I’m not saying you have an average sleeper but neither is your daughter highly unusual. I hope things get easier soon flowers

Elbeagle Thu 16-Jan-20 20:57:41

DD1 didn’t sleep through the night until she was 3.5. DD2 was born when DD1 was 19 months old and having 2 non sleeper at the same time was truly truly horrific.
We tried everything. We even had a sleep consultant in which improved things mildly but not much.
At 3.5 she started sleeping 7-7, she’s now 6 and has barely woken in the night since. She’s a completely normal, healthy child so not sure why her sleep was so horrific. She’s very very bright and prone to over thinking though!
DD2 slept through at 15 months which felt like bliss in comparison. DS is 12 months and showing absolutely no signs of sleeping through any time soon.

gaffamate Thu 16-Jan-20 20:59:20

My girl is 4 and still wakes most nights. Does he need a nap though? I'd have thought by 2 he could drop them - I found if mine had even 5 mins in the car she would be up all night

Elbeagle Thu 16-Jan-20 20:59:55

Both DD’s dropped their naps at 20 months though.

Shelley54 Thu 16-Jan-20 21:03:42

DS2 is 20m and still wakes every night. Like you we had a few nights of bliss over Xmas and then it went back to normal. He usually wakes before midnight and again around 4. I've started just bringing him into bed when it's so close to morning, but now he stands in his cot calling for me with his toy under his arm waiting to be delivered to my bed!

DS1 slept through the night from 5m, and unless he's ill sleeps 12 hours solid. No two children are the same. Your second child may be an angel in comparison.

JuniLoolaPalooza Thu 16-Jan-20 21:04:09

Your dc sounds pretty normal. Probably not what you want to hear but a lot of people lie through their teeth about their kids sleep.
My dc2 ow a totally shit sleeper, never slept in a cot and currently cosleeps with my dp. Kid wakes up about every 90 mins, sometimes with some screaming, sometimes not. When I was cosleeping with him he wanted breastfeeding every hour. It's really shit and you just question when will this be over?! We've both aged years.. If he's also a nightmare teenager I'm leaving the country.
I do have a dc1 however who I thought was a shit sleeper and she has got so much better, now aged 5. Hang on in there.

pastabest Thu 16-Jan-20 21:12:08

I have a 20mo who until this time last week was still being breastfed to sleep at night and waking through the night.

We used the brutal cold turkey method I'm afraid and despite tears screams at bed time and us having to listen to her scream in absolute rage at us for 10 mins from outside her room she is now going to sleep without being fed (but still cross) but most importantly she is now SLEEPING THROUGH apart from the occasional whinge for a few minutes which she usually now settles herself from.

We fell into the trap for too long of running to her instantly so she didn't wake older DC up and it's been a hard habit to break.

alphasox Thu 16-Jan-20 21:13:35

I have two DC. One has always been a terrible sleeper, a colicky fractious baby who would only sleep when held or in the car, who was still waking multiple times a night until he went to school, now in school he generally sleeps through but can’t switch off so goes to bed late and still wakes early wide awake. We tried EVERYTHING but now having spoken to many parents I have just come to the conclusion that it’s him. Not much to be done.
My second child, same upbringing, totally different. He was up wanting milk every two hours til he was 16 months but since then he’s slept brilliantly (now 2.5), and almost puts himself to bed and likes a lie in.
I’m flabbergasted as I did nothing different to DC1 - they’re just different!

So I share my experience to say, it’s all “normal”, it’s maybe just their personality/nature and you can’t beat yourself up as no matter what method you try it’s just their way. But it won’t be forever and you will get more sleep eventually. So hang in there x.

Waiting1987 Thu 16-Jan-20 21:18:42

I also don't think it's that's unusual although I'll agree it's very hard. DS is 2 and has never slept through and a bad night sees him waking every 45 mins ish. A good night would be 4 wake ups. We co-sleep and I feed him back to sleep. It'll pass and won't last forever

inthethickofit19 Thu 16-Jan-20 21:44:05

Have you ruled out reflux and allergies? Just a thought

Salene Thu 16-Jan-20 21:47:15

My Son is 5 and in P1 at school and has only recently just started sleeping through the night. Up till recently he would wake different times a night and want in our bed. Yes it's exhausting especially after years of it. No advice, nothing worked for us he just slowly grew out of it.

Whereland Thu 16-Jan-20 21:49:11

Another one here with a just turned 2 year old who doesn't sleep through, has done maybe a handful of times since being born. It's not ideal but it's also not unusual. Some of friends have great sleepers but a lot are also in the same boat as us.

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