13 month old naps and night sleep gone to pot

(6 Posts)
serenfach1 Sun 04-Oct-20 19:53:37

I feel stupid writing this but I just need some suggestions on what to do with our just turned 13 month old's sleep. It was a week before his 1st birthday that things started to change. I put it down to a development leap. Then he started nursery, just a couple of days a week, then instantly picked up a cold and all through this he's been teething - the 2 of 8 molars are poking through and I suspect more back teeth are on their way. All during this phase, so about 5 weeks now, we have been doing whatever works to help him get to sleep, because he's been going through a leap/ feeling uncomfortable because of a cold/ anxious because of starting nursery etc. Doing whatever basically means holding him to sleep. And now he's taking his first steps unaided, which is also causing restlessness with sleep. Sometimes he takes FOREVER to go to sleep (day naps and night sleep - at bedtime and then during the night if he wakes) and I know it's because there's so much going on. Before all this he was usually very easy to put to sleep. It was a book, lights out, place in cot as we sing a lullaby and then he would generally fall asleep without us having to go back in. I feel like we've now caused a bad habit because we've been holding him to sleep, more and more, so now he won't go down in his cot unless he's really, really, really sleepy in our arms and even then when we put him down, sssshhhh and pat and stroke his head gently until we think he's really nice and settled and asleep, the moment we move towards the doors he sits up and cries and holds his arms up to be picked up. The night wakings are torturous and tend to follow a similar pattern too. It's really taking its toll on us and tonight is particularly bad. It feels like we're at the end of our tether. What can we do to get back on track with the old bedtime routine, where he was happy to be put down in his cot without being held / rocked to sleep? I'd rather try a gentle approach than any kind of CIO method.

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Sixtonskip Sun 04-Oct-20 19:59:39

I am in almost the exact same boat with 10 month old DS. Not teething at the moment but is learning to stand and becoming a lot more active. He only wakes up once at night, but is awake for 1-2 hours. All the rocking and shushing and patting in the world and as soon as we stop touching him he sits bolt upright and cries. We've tried leaving him and checking in every 5 minutes which was horrendous the first few nights, then seemed to improve and now he's worse again. I don't have any advice but you do have my sympathy. I will keep an eye on this thread in case there are any pearls of wisdom other than just toughing it out which is what we are currently doing!

serenfach1 Sun 04-Oct-20 20:54:23

It's the pits isn't it @sixtonskip! We've had our fair share of sleeplessness but from about month 8 things improved. Don't get me wrong we had the odd blip, but in general it seemed to get better. I know it's always really up and down though, but this has been going on for weeks. It's our fault really - we did what worked at the time and kept it up because of his run of one thing after another and now we're regretting it. I know we have to formulate a plan of action, be consistent with it and hope it improves, but it's the plan of action I'm struggling with. Maybe a good nights sleep (harhar - wishful thinking!) will help me think more clearly and give me enough energy to be persistent. Good luck with your DS.

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serenfach1 Mon 05-Oct-20 10:59:44

@sixtonskip I decided last night was the night to try and start new habits (because there is never a right time, right?) so when he woke at 10:30pm, I didn't pick him up. I "held" him as much as I could with him lying down in the cot. It wasn't easy as I'm short and bending over the cot to do that meant standing on tip toes for a VERY LONG TIME. When he was calm, I removed my arms and shhhhed, patted, stroked him and used the phrase "time to sleep" a lot of times. This went on until 1am. I tried leaving the room 4 times in total, but he just started crying again. When he started crying again, while I wasn't in the room I let him cry, for no more than 3 or 4 mins, just to see if he would settle. He did not. So I went in and started the process all over again. One time, I managed to leave and get as far as my bed and thought I'd cracked it, but the LO had other ideas! On the absolute final exit, I'd been sat by the cot with my hand on his back (he's a tummy sleeper) for what felt like 10 or 15 mins. A few intermittent shhhhs and some deep breathing (helped keep me calm) but also read somewhere that if they can hear you breathing it helps them to know you're there. It could've been longer than 15 mins. Then I took about 5-10 mins exiting the room. Creeping one step forward, then standing still to check the reaction. He was absolutely exhausted by that time and he slept then until 6:30am and that is the most solid sleep I've had for a very long time. Oh my the fun and games we have!?! I guess this is some kind of CIO method, but I was in the room with him, soothing him the whole time, just not picking him up, so it felt easier.

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Sixtonskip Mon 05-Oct-20 11:12:13

@serenfach1 I can't believe in writing this but he slept through last night, for only the second time in a month! Yes, bending over the cot is exhausting, he is a tummy sleeper too so we've spent many hours stroking his back and shushing. I'm sure we won't be so lucky again tonight but we'll see. What you did sounds very similar to what we've been trying. Giving him a chance to try and settle by himself but keep checking in so he doesn't get too upset. Good luck, I have my fingers crossed for you!

serenfach1 Tue 06-Oct-20 13:41:30

@sixtonskip that's GREAT news! A step in the right direction and even if didn't happen again last night at least you know he can do it! Did you feel like a new person after a solid block of sleep? Last night was horrific for us! He slept 7:30 til 10:30 then it was very broken. I think he clocked up another 4 hours max after that. Today's naps have been easier as he's been quicker to settle, but that's probably because he is so exhausted! Fingers crossed for us both for some more solid nights :-)

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