26 answers

11 Month Old Won't Sleep

My daughter is 11 months old and is not sleeping well at all. Most nights she wakes up every hour or hour and a 1/2. I live in an apartment and this limits me to the amount of time that I can let her cry. When I do let her cry, she screams at the top of her lungs. When I go in her room I usually just lay her back down(she is usually standing in her crib) and try to run her tummy or back. Most of the time this does not work-she just keeps on screaming. The only thing that will definitely get her to calm down is a bottle. I am pretty sure she is using the sucking as a way to get to sleep. She has never taken a pacifier and still refuses to do so. She has been getting a tooth here and there so I have tried Tylenol, Motrin, teething tablets and baby oragel. None of those measures has made a difference. I am at my wits end here, I have Lupus and can't keep up this pace as I will get sick due to never sleeping. I am not sure what to do with her but I know that this cycle needs to be broken. Help!!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

It may not be just the sucking that is helping. Maybe she is really hungry. Try putting cereal in her bottle at night to thicken it and fill her for longer. Also, if you have not tried the Soothie pacifiers (available at walmart or target), try them! They are shaped more like a bottle nipple and they are the only ones both of my kids would use. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried giving her a bottle with just water in it at night when she wakes up. My son just started sleeping through the night and he is 14months. and I tried everything the books say... it may just take time. Now I am back to an infant!

I know what all the experts say but it didn't work for me. Both of my kids usually started out in my bed (alone or I laid down with them for a short time) and then I moved them to their own beds when I went to bed. My oldest is 17 and has absolutely no issues with sleeping-decided on his own that it was time for him to start his night in his own bed when he was around 8. My 6 year old daughter still falls asleep this way. Like I said, no expert would ever agree with me-but it worked for us!

More Answers

It may not be just the sucking that is helping. Maybe she is really hungry. Try putting cereal in her bottle at night to thicken it and fill her for longer. Also, if you have not tried the Soothie pacifiers (available at walmart or target), try them! They are shaped more like a bottle nipple and they are the only ones both of my kids would use. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I am so sorry for what you are going through. My body has started to have real trouble because of lack of sleep with the little ones (4, 2, and 9 months). The dynamic of the apartment situation makes it even harder. I would encourage you to do whatever you have to (within reason) in order to get some sleep. If you can hire a sitter and sleep, do it. if you can use family, do it. Definitly check out "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". But get the more recent additions. At this point for your health, I would even agree with the post to throw out the rules (within reason). If you let her sleep with a bottle (against all advise) that's okay! If you can try to co-sleep, that's okay. It's better for your baby to have a bit of sugar on her teeth at night, than a mom who falls asleep at the wheel, etc. If you use the Healthy Sleep book, it will guide you to how to schedule her. This should help. Also you can let her cry it out early in the evening 6-8:00, and then tend to her at night. This practice at night and naps may help her do better at night. Please do what you can to take care of yourself. I wish I could help you out. Can you husband (if you have one) help at all?

1 mom found this helpful

My son went through the same phase and Crying it out did not work for us at all. Oh I let him cry, first night 5 hrs, second night 3 hours, third night 2 hours and he threw up, fourth night 20 min and he hrew up then continued to cry for the rest of the night. fifth night......etc. we tried consistantly every night using the method from healthy sleep happy child, and a few other books. After two weeks I had had enough. I moved my son to a fold out foam couch on the floor, super babyproofed his room, shut the door and used a monitor......HE SLEPT!!!! He slept there every night through the night soothing himself to sleep till he was 15months when I finally bought his big boy twin bed. We had a problem again after my daughter was born and he was almost 20months so now he sleeps with music. I know "they" say not to, however my philosophy is whatever works. I need to be rested to be a good mom. If mama's not happy, no one is.

1 mom found this helpful

the solution is simple, but it is complicated by the apartment living. however, you and everybody who can hear her will get more sleep if you let her cry it out. Not just at night, but also for naps during the day. Let the neighbors know what you are doing, leave a note in the lobby and explain that she will be crying a lot for a day, but then she will be able to go down without crying. Stop doing those things that prepare her for sleep time, i.e. rocking, back rubbing, waiting until she actually falls asleep. Even though she's only 11 mos tell her, and yourself at the same time, in a soft voice that now she is going to learn to go to sleep by herself. Then, at nap time, just lay her down, walk out of the room as confidently as you can, and set a timer or check your watch for 5 min to pass when she starts crying. Then duck your head in and at the most say softly, "It's time to sleep" or say nothing at all. Now wait 10 minutes. If she's still crying, duck in your head and hopefully she will see you and begin to really cry. This will wear her out. Set the timer for 15 min, and duck your head in again. Then just let it go. If she starts tosleep but is doing that little gasping thing, like she is softly crying, in her sleep, don't worry about it. She will most likely be asleep now, and you may have to repeat this sheme for her next nap or bedtime. You may have to repeat it if she starts waking up in the middle of the night again at some time in the future. And you will have to repeat it if she gets sick and you care for her through the night. If this does not work in 2 days time, write us again, or tell your doctor. Also, keep track of how much time she actually cries and you will see it decreasing and can say this to any neighbor who complains.

1 mom found this helpful

C.:

Yes, doing all that sleep training is all good and fine IF you have the energy to do so. Please try to take all this in stride. I have a little one who has been a terrible sleeper (most of the time) since day one. I've tried it all w/little success. You need to do what is best for you and what your gut tells you. Co-sleeping may be what she needs, maybe more food. Do what your maternal instincts tell you and try not to focus on what "society" tells you is the right thing (ie crying it out). I find myself getting very caught up in what I think my child "should" be doing at the moment-which creates more stress. Many other societies co-sleep and it's the norm. I have rheumatoid arthritis and I empathize w/your stress, pain and lack of sleep. Once you are in a better place, then you can consider other methods to get her sleep through the night. My daughter didn't really sleep through until 14 months..and we are still battling it from time to time. Hang in there and take care of yourself. I hope this is helpful.

J.

1 mom found this helpful

I totally agree with the previous post. If you let her cry it out, you'll be surprised how quickly she learns to put herself back to sleep. We had to do this at some point with both kids. I'm sure the first night will be awful, but it will improve SO quickly. Good luck and stay strong...in the long run, she really will be better off if you don't go in the room.

I have a question... when does she get up from her last nap then go down for the night? Does she get a bottle before bed or how long after dinner does she go down for the night?
I would suggest for example if you put her down for the night at 730 then feed her at 6.. so she's satisfied as she goes down. Also make sure she is good and tired.. no more sleeping past 3pm. That way she's had a good 4 1/2hrs of activity, eating and bath time to prepare her for a good nights sleep. Just for good measure.. a bit of painreliever 1/2hr before sleep.. to take any edge off the teeth pain in order for her to get in a deep sleep. Do you have any noise for her? We play music all night to drown out noise and give them something to trigger sleep, help them relax and let their unconscious know it's still night time.
Good luck & God bless.

Have you tried giving her a bottle with just water in it at night when she wakes up. My son just started sleeping through the night and he is 14months. and I tried everything the books say... it may just take time. Now I am back to an infant!

Greetings!! Have you considered talking to or taking her to the pediatrician? Maybe she has an ear infection or some gastro intestinal distress. My 20 month old always has sleeping problems when she has an ear infection. She also had acid reflux as an infant (she out grew it) but that causes sleep problems. I would search for the root of the problem before you try to fix it. Good Luck!!! I know how hard lack of sleep can be!

Hi C.,

It is awful when the little one's don't sleep. In my family all of the women who've had babies were given a book by Dr. Marc Weissbluth titled "Happy Sleep Habbits, Happy Child". It has worked wonders. It is hard at first but if you do exactly as the book says in two week you'll have your baby sleeping through the night. Here is the link on Amazon to take a look http://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Sleep-Habits-Happy-Child/dp... I hope this helps

She is waking up out of habit and is unable to soothe herself back to sleep which is a learned behavior. She is not hungry, cold or teething. A child of this age should sleep through the night. The reason she wakes up every 1-1.5hrs is because this is their normal REM cycle of sleep, and every 1-1.5 hrs they go through their lightest phase of sleep, so they will awaken easily. Do yourself a favor and read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Weissbluth. It is the best thing I ever did. And yes, you will be able to let her cry it out- probably in just 1 or 2 nights- then it's over and you (and she) will be able to sleep through the night, uninterrupted. Choose a weekend and personally stop by your neighbors (maybe with some ear plugs to offer) to explain what you have to do that weekend. They will probably understand and be empathetic that you haven't gotten a decent night sleep in almost a year now (maybe they haven't either). This is a gift that you need to give your child. Learning to fall asleep on their own (and back asleep on their own) is one of the best gifts you can give your kid and yourself. Giving them enough sleep per day (which she is not getting) is very important for normal growth- intellectual, emotional, physical. Lupus is not an easy condition to live with (my friend has it). Do this for yourself AND your baby. Mail me separately if you have any questions. I did this with my son and it was the best thing I ever did. Also a lot easier than I thought it would be. Good luck!

I know there will be many moms who think this is awful advice, but my daughter is the same way, and the only way I ever get to sleep is if I take her into bed with me. I do what I need to do to stay sane. Whatever you decide, good luck, and I hope you get some sleep soon!

A few words about what the neighbors think: too bad. Babies cry. I live in a third-floor apartment with my husband and our autistic three-year-old. I try to keep the jumping around to a minimum, but, dude, she's a three-year-old! She's going to be lead-footed and tantrum-y. For example, the discipline that works for her is an "if/then" approach ("if you scream, then you don't get to use the Play-Doh" kind of stuff). This unfortunately means huge blowouts in the short term, but for it to be effective, I have to not cave in to her tantrums. If the neighbors have an issue with the noise, they can come upstairs and discuss it like grown-ups.

I refuse to be contrite, because if I put myself in the wrong from the get-go, it's allllll downhill from there. I've seen it happen too many times among apartment dwellers. We live in a diverse, noisy city - if you don't like it, move out to the sticks.

Good luck!

She's almost 1 year old. Ask your ped. if she can start having a couple of drops of honey smeared on her pacifier. 20 minutes of sucking should put her back to sleep. My babies loved it. Make sure u only put a drop or 2 smeared; u don't want her to choke. Good luck mommy

Aw man, I really feel for you. Well you're no use to your daughter if you're too tired to even function. Do you live with a partner/husband/etc? If so, it's time for him or her to step up and help out. If not, you should see if it's in your budget at all to hire a baby nurse, for at least a couple of nights a week. Have her come crash on the couch, and whenever your daughter wakes, it's her job to calm her down and get her back to sleep. If it's ever so bad that she can't get her down, you're still there to help. But invest in a pair of earplugs when you have the night-nanny so that you sleep a bit better. Really, if you can pull the money from somewhere to have someone come say Sunday and Wednesday nights, you may find it a bit easier to make it through the week. I would also suggest feeding her some solids about an hour before bedtime, and attempting to get her on a regular sleep schedule during the day - my son took naps at 9 & 2:30 at this age, but all kids are different. And since maybe most of your neighbors work during the day, it may be a good time to try sleep training during the day. If you need to let her cry it out a bit, at least you won't be disturbing as many people. You may also want to try a fan facing away from her crib, or one of those bedside cd players with a lullaby CD or white noise. I wish you the best of luck with this. Take care of yourself and rest assured that it does get easier. At some point she will get past this phase. As soon as I completely kicked the bottle habit with my son, night time became easier. I keep a sippy cup with just 2 or 3 ounces of water in his crib for night time wakings. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

I highly recommend a book called "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Weisbluth. My friend has a child with Asberger's syndrome and 3 other children. I recommended this book to her and she said she wouldn't have had the other three if it weren't for this book. You will have to sleep train your baby. If you let her cry it out for three nights or so, it won't happen anymore because she will comfort herself to sleep. It is important that children learn to comfort themselves to sleep in order to avoid sleep dysfunctions later in life. Your neighbors may have gone through it themselves and will understand. In the long run, EVERYONE will benefit, you just have to suck it up and do it. This book is a great reference. My daughter was awful, actually threw up when I was sleep training her from crying so loud and hard. The book said to not speak to her, clean her up and change the sheets and put her back to bed calmly. She was beside herself, and I cried, but after a few nights she slept through the night and we were on our way to rest. I was ready for her in the morning, and she was in a much better mood throughout the day and napped better since she was well rested and not crabby. It may take 3-4 nights of this, but stick with it. It will save everyone's health, sanity and mental well being!

Good Luck!

Have you tried giving a bottle of water at night instead of formula/milk? I've done this with success... it didn't take my little guy too long to figure out that waking up just for water wasn't worth it.

C.,

I aggree with calling your pediatrician to r/o any medical reason why she is not sleeping well. ALso Dr. Wiesbluth book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" is a great reference.

Since you can't move, need sleep so you don't get sick, you probably should go with the bottle for awhile. I have to admit I was in similar circumstances (no lupus and I will pray for continuous good health for you), I admit the bottle was used a little too often for one of my sons. Perhaps water in it so there is no problem with sugary substances on the teeth. And perhaps some moms have some ideas for the teeth too if what you are using won't help it. Now is the time to take care of you, so you might end up violating a few rules like the no bottle one and whatever else the rule book says. You need your health so whatever works for you go for it. This too shall pass and you will be better and healthier for it. Plus you didn't say if you are able to get any help from anyone and if you have to get up a certain time as sometimes just changing your schedule until the baby adjust helps. I know how exhausted you must be!

some babies don`t sleep because of colic pain.long sleeping hours during day also reduces the night sleep.pl see to it that your baby is properly burped after her last food before going to sleep.sometimes the gas formation adds to the cause.

C., I'm in the same boat as you are! My little girl is almost 11 moths old too and doesn't sleep through the night, let alone go to bed easily. I've tried to implement a schedule, but it isn't going so well. I guess I could be more strict about it... Plus it doesn't help that we're living at my parents right now and my daughter is in the same room as my husband and I. If I figure anything out I'll let you know! I have been reading, "The Sleep Easy Solution: The Exhausted Parents Guide to Putting Your Child to Sleep Birth Through Five". Hang in there C. - you're not alone! Oh, and it's not safe to put cereal in bottles (an earlier post I saw), babies can choke that way.
Liz

my daughter is 14 months old and has problems sleepin
ng at night also. she has digestive issues & giving her a bottle does solve the problem for a few hours. i recently started giving her children chewable enzyme tablets. i've noticed a big difference in her sleep pattern. before she would do a lot of tossing, turning & crying in her sleep. i could hear the gas moving around in her stomach.

I know what all the experts say but it didn't work for me. Both of my kids usually started out in my bed (alone or I laid down with them for a short time) and then I moved them to their own beds when I went to bed. My oldest is 17 and has absolutely no issues with sleeping-decided on his own that it was time for him to start his night in his own bed when he was around 8. My 6 year old daughter still falls asleep this way. Like I said, no expert would ever agree with me-but it worked for us!

Daytime sleeps begits nighttime sleep. Try making sure she is getting enough day time sleep. At 11 months, she could still need up to 3 naps a day. Check out Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (I think that is the title) by Dr Mark Weisbluth. It gives you recommedations and guidelines for all age groups, up to the teens. A very helpful book for babys and toddlers, especially.
As far as the bottle goes, she probably can hold it herself at this point, correct? Why don't you leave a sippy cup or bottle in her crib with water in it. Then, if she wakes and needs something to suck on, she could grab that and maybe not even cry. I did this with both my kids and it seemed to work well.
Good luck.

A. B

Probably the only thing that will work at this stage is cry it out. While this may be difficult for you and neighbors for nights 1-3, it will then be so much better for everyone. As you can see, she won't learn to get herself back to sleep with your intervention. it only takes a few nights. Lots of luck.

Sounds like she may need more substance to get her through the night - - try cereal mixed with formula before bedtime. Also talk with pediatrician in the event it is acid reflux. That is much worse at night when the child is laying flat. My acid reflux baby did really well once the peditrician put her on a medicine just for infants with that problem.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.