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17 month old won't sleep alone, at wits end, need some advice

(16 Posts)
RayeB Tue 20-Oct-09 13:01:34

It started around 12 weeks ago when she had her MMR jab, I don?t think it?s related to that at all, but I think it unsettled her and that?s when we started to set a precedent. Basically she won?t go to sleep now unless she?s cuddled or rocked to sleep by me. I drop her into her cot and she?s fine, sleeps soundly for around 3 hours. Then about 10pm she starts to stir and basically she won?t re settle by any means. She sits up in her cot and sobs like her heart is breaking, proper tears and the only thing that will settle her/get her back to sleep is coming to sleep in between myself and my H. Then she sprawls out and gets a good nights sleep but me and hubby wake up shattered and aching. Some nights she lasts until 1am / 2am but without fail she cries and she only stops when she comes into our bed. I have tried sitting with her and stroking her hair etc and she?ll fall back to sleep but as soon as I walk out of her bedroom (well crawl quietly) she starts to wake up and screams basically until she can sleep with us. She doesn?t do this with anyone else if she sleeps at a GPs house etc. Just with us. I know it?s our own doing and probably doesn?t help with rocking her to sleep but before I did this it was taking 2 hrs to get her to sleep so at least within 20 mins she sleeps and we get some tea and watch a bit of telly before bed. I was thinking maybe move an airbed into her room and sleep in the room with her (with her in her cot next to airbed) when she wakes up in the night and try to get her used to sleeping in her cot. Any suggestions/advice? Should we just be letting her cry? I don?t know if I can! I?m so tired it?s unbelievable so any advice would be grateful.

div22c Tue 20-Oct-09 16:29:10

Similar story here. I have shifted the cot into my bedroom, but she still insists on coming into my bed. RayeB, I can understand how tired you must be, wish I had some positive suggestions. Will watch this thread eagerly for suggestions.

waytoomuchchocolate Tue 20-Oct-09 16:34:19


i have huge sympathy. i have a 13 month ds who has in the last few weeks started down a similar route. i know exactly how you feel with the sleeping in your bed thing - they sleep great but you don't!

i feel as though if i don't nip this in the bud now then we ill be sleeping together for the next few years! if i had a king size bed then maybe but i don't smile

solutions, i'm afraid i just don't know.

crying probably won't work at this age and if you don't want to do it then definitely don't. i did do cc when ds was 6 months and think i got lucky as it lasted one night for 30 minutes and he was really only crying in his sleep. but now when he cries in the night he is awake for a reason and he really cries so i don't think it would work now, for him anyway.

it probably is a habit now for your dd, so it's probably going to take quite a lot of work to get back to sleeping on her own.

i haven't read any books on any of the various sleeping methods, but your idea does sound like a good one - gradual withdrawal?

hopefully someone will come along with experience of this...


Prosecco Tue 20-Oct-09 16:47:28

I let all of mine come in with me until they stopped of their own volition so I may not be your best bet. However, I did find I was less stressed and tired if I did this.

I did read a brilliant book called 'No cry
sleep solution' but didn't follow it.

Admittedly, it does help if you have a spare bed/comfy sofa for one of you to sleep on as tempers can be frayed if all squashed in together.

waytoomuchchocolate Tue 20-Oct-09 17:18:33


how old were they when they stopped by themselves (hides behind cushion for answer if answer is anything more than a few months grin)

MudMum Tue 20-Oct-09 20:41:51

I was hoping for some advise but am very welcoming to some solidarity instead. My little one is doing the same thing. Interesting you mentioned the MMR, he was also doing much better before this I think. Though it did coincide with teething so who knows. My dh and i just had another heart to heart and we are both just so exhausted that all our attempts at gentle sleep training just seem silly, we need our sleep and the only way it seems is to bring him back to the bed - this is after 6 weeks. Considering a kingsized for Christmas. A real family gift. Sorry, not meaning to be all about me, just wanting to give a friendly wink, you aren't alone

Prosecco Tue 20-Oct-09 23:24:21

They were 2-3 (ish) blush.

Still have a frequent night visitor who just lets herself into the bed. Poor husband just swaps beds with her.

Have never been able to fight in the night.

I just need my sleep too much.

Sorry if this is not helpful.

I reiterate that the book I mentioned earlier and read cover to cover was great but I have no willpower in the cold early hours of the morning. blush

TrinityHasAVampireRhino Tue 20-Oct-09 23:29:36

gecko is 2.9 and we co sleep cause I neeeed some sleep
at 17 months I just saw it as my duty to allow her the closeness she obviously needed

still do now

they are tiny

imagine how long you can live for

or inagine how long a year is to you

it can be such a short time

tiny, sleeo with them, give up your life to them, it wont last

my 4 year old goes to bed without issue and stays there all night but she co slept with me from birth and used to visit often

gradually she stopped cause she knew I would be there if she needed me

or thats what I believe anyway

rasputin Tue 20-Oct-09 23:30:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TrinityHasAVampireRhino Tue 20-Oct-09 23:31:24

please ignore me
I'm sorry

I'm drunk
My husband died 8 weeks and 1 day ago
I've always felt this way but I dont usually post it


Prosecco Tue 20-Oct-09 23:32:50

Agree, Trinity. There is something lovely about having your wee one's feet on your tummy.

Although not kicking you in the back smile

Prosecco Tue 20-Oct-09 23:34:28

Cross posted witn you there, Trinity.

Sorry for what you are going through. I still agree with you.

ches Wed 21-Oct-09 04:44:44

I would submit that she may be teething and hence wanting the comfort of rocking/co-sleeping. Can you move her to a single bed and lie down with her and then leave? Or just try some Calprofen before bed and see if that helps. wink

RayeB Wed 21-Oct-09 12:41:14


I might have cracked it.... just might...

I spent all afternoon thinking about it and it basically all went wrong when I started rocking her to sleep. I'm thinking maybe the reason she's hysterical when she wakes in the night is that she falls asleep on me and then in the middle of night I'm not there....

So last night I did the horrible thing where I gave her milk, cuddles and then popped her in cot. She started screaming hysterically as soon as I put her down. But I just walked away and came back every 30 secs or so, stroked hair, kissed her. Took around 1 hour for her to cry herself out by which time I felt the worse mum in the world...

But she slept until 5.30am. And this morning she was really happy and not as tired as usual. So I'm really hoping this is what will crack it, let her go to sleep alone with her teddies so when she wakes up it's not a shock I'm not there. Will let you know if it all goes t'ts up 0 it's bound to......

Fingers crossed.

newweddingname Wed 21-Oct-09 23:14:57

Hi, hope you have cracked it.... im jealous if you have! I cant believe I have found all these people with the same problem as me!

Weirdly enough my probs started around the time of my dd mmr too. She was unwell for about 4 weeks afterwards one bug after annother, i just put it down to time of year etc... ANyway my dd is also 17 months and while she was poorly we just did whatever we could to get her too sleep.

Untill all this she has always slept well really, day and night, her daytime sleep has also started to be affected, prob as she is overtired so im at my wits end really.

Usually she goes to bed fine, no crying just off to sleep, then she will wake a couple of times from about 10-12 but settle very quickly, just a quick cuddle then when she wakes in the night she just crys and crys poor thing, the only thing that will settle her is to co sleep with her, prob we have got is that if i try and sleep with her in the double bed she just gets out and trashes my bedroom! She can be up for up to an hour before she goes back to sleep...........

So Im just waiting for her to wake up now then ill be in her bedroom in a single bed with her for annother restless nights sleep, I feel I have made a massive rod for my own back to coin a phrase.

I just dont understand why she will settle fine before midnight but in the middle of the night its so much harder.

God that was a big post hey, just feels good to have a bloody good moan, im so very tired, have to be up for work in 7 hours so really should be asleep......

newweddingname Wed 21-Oct-09 23:18:30

she dosent sleep in a single bed by the way.... just to clear that up, she is in a cot.... we just have a single bed in her room that we have shoved next to the wall so when we sleep with her she dosent fall out!

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