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Help - 20 month old night waking for breastfeed!

(10 Posts)
cmcloughlin Wed 08-Oct-08 08:42:17

My 20 month old, who has previously slept fine, 7.30-5.30/6am, has started waking up a couple of times in the night.
This started after we came back from holiday a month ago and coincides with a change in her childcare arrangements and a bad cold. I had thought that she would settle back down after the cold had ended but she is still waking.
I am still breastfeeding, albeit once in the morming and in the evening but now this has also increased. She points to the door to our room at 3.30am and demands to be fed.
I find this really upsetting as I had enjoyed feeding her but now I just feel annoyed as I don't get any sleep.I work 3 days a week.
She is such a happy bubbly child, who has lots of connfidence, but I now worry that there is something going on that is making her unsettled. The obvious thing is the new childcare arrangments, she was previously looked after 1 day at home with grandma and another 2 days at home with a nanny. This has now changed as the nanny had to leave so she goes one day with grandma and two days over to her auntie and baby cousin. She adores all of them esepcially grandma, but I do worry as she repeats their names over sometimes that there is too much going on in her world. Sorry to ramble so, I just need some advice from anyone who might have gine through this. I feel so disheartened as we had a great sleep routine, even though I mostly feed her to sleep she could always settle herself. I don't want to go through the cc route, should I ride the storm, is there anything I can do??

Mij Wed 08-Oct-08 12:15:04

I know you're not co-sleeping, but have you tried the Dr Jay toddler sleep thingy?

Have a look here cos I don't see why the 3 days to make a change thingy wouldn't work with a separately-sleeping toddler too.

I used it as a basis to night-wean DD at around 20 months. She's the most determined child I've ever met and it even worked with her - eventually!

It isn't a quick fix, but it doesn't sound like you need one and that you'd be willing to take a little time to sort it, if you don't want to do CC. At least at 20 months you can explain the whys and wherefores of what you need her to do. There will be some crying, but crying with cuddles is very different, imo, to crying alone (although I'm sure someone will jump on my head about that...).

cmcloughlin Wed 08-Oct-08 12:51:55

Thanks Mij, I will read with interest.

cmcloughlin Thu 09-Oct-08 07:51:28

Mij,
By some freak coincidence she slept through last night . I read the Dr Jay advice - and will definitely try it if she wakes again, but have decided I need to catch up on my sleep before I embark on this as I can forsee alot of battling!

theSuburbanDryad Thu 09-Oct-08 07:57:02

cmcloughlin - i'm so glad it's not just me.

I hissed at ds, "Do you know you're the only child I know who doesn't sleep through?" (He is 21 months)

I also work 3 days a week and am also 5 months pg so things are a little fraught in our house at the moment. hmm

We will be trying night weaning very soon, just need to get his room sorted first. So very, very sick of it, if i'm honest. Not a very helpful post, i know - but just wanted you to know you're not alone!

cmcloughlin Thu 09-Oct-08 09:17:56

SuburbanDryad, I can't imagine how tired you must be being five months pregnant! If its any consolation toddlers do have a magic knack of surprising you sometimes, who knows he might surprise you.
I also think people fib about babies sleeping through - since I started this post and mentioned it to friends alot of them say their babies still wake up. Its worth reading the DR Jay advice though - its seems quite sensible and kind.

Cadmum Thu 09-Oct-08 09:57:58

cmcloughlin: You are far from alone... DD2 is 30 months and still has bad nights. I am glad that your dd slept through last night!

SuD I can remember those days. DS1 was a pathetic sleeper at 20 months BUT by 22 he was fabulous and has never looked back. I used to contend that the milk must have changed because of pg hormones... If that is the case, I hope it happens for you too.

ches Thu 09-Oct-08 14:54:02

Definitely not the only toddler who wakes to feed! DS nearly 20 months wakes up AT LEAST 4 times.

To OP: they still have growth spurts as toddlers. Glad she's slept through again. Other developmental things mess them up a bit and they think aloud. DS this morning woke up asking "Where is Curtis? Where is Liza?" -- friends from nursery. wink He still asks after his Ouma who came to visit two months ago.

Mij Thu 09-Oct-08 19:38:43

I think some kids really do exorcise all sorts of feelings/worries/ideas at night. DD is one of those kids where sleep goes out the window if she's learning something new or even if her Dad's away and she wants to keep checking if he's returned. Others don't exhibit it during the night but, for example, start whacking other kids over the head or eating only blue food. I think I'll stick to the sleep disruption!

I read a study somewhere, knowing me it was probably a 'feel secure with your co-sleeping decision' kinda book, that gave a statistic about just how many pre-schoolers woke at night, at least once a week. And the percentage was big, I mean, way bigger than any playgroup/school gate conversations would have you believe. So someone, somewhere, is telling porky pies!

I really feel it's normal childhood behaviour, to go through phases of different sleeping patterns. But I really do understand that isn't any bloody help to someone who is knackered, so sorry!

cmcloughlin Fri 10-Oct-08 08:07:57

Mij, Ches, I agree it must be a developmental thing, her head is buzzing with new words, and her world is expanding.
She only woke once last night though.
Thanks to all of you for your advice and support - it definitely feels better when youi can chat to other people going through/who have gone through the same thing. And, in the big scheme of things I know I am extremely lucky that the only problem we have is night waking!

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