16 month old still nit sleeping through but self settles at bedtime

(14 Posts)
Amiefenech Fri 30-Oct-20 07:38:27

Hello. My 16 month old has never been an easy sleeper. We followed the same routine we did for our first who was a great sleeper but I guess all babies are different. But 16 months on, we’re exhausted. She is up several times a night and the only way we can get her back to sleep is to stay in the room with her until she’s fully asleep which can take up to an hour.

She self settles at bedtime and nap time, we put her down sleepy but awake. She does however, still have a dummy. It is on a comforter so she has no issues finding it in the night.

She naps well at home, usually 2-2.5 hours but at nursery (twice a week) has Max an hour. It makes no difference on the night either way.

We’re just not sure what to do next. Is it the dummy? Any techniques we can try that won’t involve hours of crying and waking our eldest?

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MaMaD1990 Fri 30-Oct-20 08:06:00

The sleeping is so hard to crack! I really feel for you. My friend had a similar thing and they tried the 'moving chair technique' - or called something like that! They would put DS down in his cot and sit beside him and then over a few days gradually move the chair further and further away until eventually they could just put him down and then leave the room. I guess the most important thing I learnt was that whatever method you use, be consistent. Even if it seems to be going terribly, stick with it. Good luck!

Amiefenech Fri 30-Oct-20 08:12:33

Thanks for your reply @MaMaD1990. I have heard of the chair thing. I just can’t quite understand why she is happy to self settles and doesn’t need that comfort at bedtime/nap times but does in the middle of the night? I definitely think we aren’t consistent enough in the things we try so that’s something we need to do.

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BendingSpoons Fri 30-Oct-20 08:21:41

DS has a light that projects stars on the ceiling. It reactivates at night with noise. I think it gives him some comfort. I can understand night is different, darker, quieter, you aren't as tired, so harder to sleep. I would try some sort of gradual retreat or make a floor bed and snooze!

MaMaD1990 Fri 30-Oct-20 08:29:38

Its so hard to know and usually you never find out which is really frustrating! Perhaps look into getting a little night light in case she doesn't like waking up in the dark? Also assuming its not hunger waking them, perhaps a sip of water?

MaMaD1990 Fri 30-Oct-20 08:30:04

Its so hard to know and usually you never find out which is really frustrating! Perhaps look into getting a little night light in case she doesn't like waking up in the dark? Also assuming its not hunger waking them, perhaps a sip of water?

Amiefenech Fri 30-Oct-20 08:35:29

She does have a nightlight in her room but I haven’t tried a projector thing since she was much younger. We give her half a weetabix before bed to try and rule out hunger. We try water and that tends to make her furious 🤣

If she would sleep in our bed, I’d be happy to just bring her in but if we do that, she thinks it’s play time!

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MaMaD1990 Fri 30-Oct-20 08:45:54

Has she ever slept through? Even just once? How long do you leave it before going in to her at night?

Amiefenech Fri 30-Oct-20 08:51:16

She has slept through. She did for a few weeks and very occasionally she will. We give her a few minutes to see if stirring turns into screaming basically. We don’t leave her for long if she starts crying as otherwise the big one wakes up too. Maybe we need to leave her for longer? When we’ve tried in the past, she just gets more and more worked up which means it’s longer until we’re back asleep 🙈

Do you think it’s time to cut the dummy? My first only had one for the first few months so this is new territory for us.

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MaMaD1990 Fri 30-Oct-20 09:06:10

Well its good you know she can actually sleep through, its a start! Yeah if she's screaming her head off its probably not a good idea to leave her too long. Mine would scream murder but I'd leave her for 10-15 minutes and she would finally settle herself again. We didn't have to worry about her waking anyone else though. Maybe weaning her off her dummy is worth a shot. Have you thought about introducing a little soft toy or cuddle blanket at nap times, then move it to night time. Then try her without a dummy at nap times and then work up to night time again. Also I keep forgetting that white noise was a life saver for us and I couldn't recommend it more!

Amiefenech Fri 30-Oct-20 09:25:56

I think probably part of the problem is that we’ve never really left her to it for more than a few minutes. We did use white noise for both girls so hopefully that would mean the big one wouldn’t be woken up?

She has a bunny comforter that she sleeps with and loves. I’m in two minds about the dummy. Part of me loves it as she only has it for sleep and it’s always helped her go off to sleep but I worry that it’s causing the waking? I think we were just very spoilt by our first being such a good sleeper once we got her on a routine!

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Twiglet2353 Fri 30-Oct-20 09:29:57

@Amiefenech exactly same issue as you. Definitely think the dummy causes more hindrance than help but my little one (11.5 months) also settles so well with it at bedtime. We tried taking it away at six months and it was the worst night of my life!! He was distraught 😫. Now to either try again or to wait until we can reason with him and send it away to the dummy fairy/Santa etc

Amiefenech Fri 30-Oct-20 09:35:43

@Twiglet2353 I’m glad I’m not alone! We tried to take it at 5 months. Gave it 3 weeks and she stopped sleeping. Tried again at 12 months and after 3 nights with no sleep we gave up so we decided to wait until we can reason with her. Now I’m wondering if it’s causing the problems?!

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MaMaD1990 Fri 30-Oct-20 09:37:16

Yeah I suppose my thinking was having other things that are a comfort instead of the dummy so you could maybe reintroduce the white noise? It could be that she is rolling onto her dummy at night which wakes her up. Could you sneak in when she's asleep to take it out of her cot and see if that makes a difference? The crying thing was by far the worst part of it for us (and her im sure!). It was heartbreaking listening to her and felt like forever but I think it helped her learn that she needs to rely on herself to get back to sleep. I really think that is what cracked it in the end for us, but I understand its a bit of a controversial method!

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