July 09, 2010,
A.L. asks from Blue Earth, MN on April 10, 2008
14 Month Old Not Sleeping Through the Night
My 14 month old seems to want to get up through the night. She will not fall back asleep on her own. We are going through teething right now but she has never been this bad. I sometimes feel like she has a tummy ache and she some nights gets night terrors. She seems fine during the day but about an hour after we put her to bed she is crying. I need some sleep. I myself am 6 weeks pregnant and tired. Any suggestions would be great. I've tried playing music in her room & giving her meds before bed. We have also given her milk during the night.
D.L. answers from Milwaukee on April 11, 2008
My now 4 yr old didnt sleep till he was 2 1/2!
Hope yours does better than mine!!
My Dr recommended waking the baby after the first 1/2 hour of sleep. She says it breaks the 'sleep cycle' of the dreams and should sleep better after falling back to sleep.
My 17 month old doesnt sleep through the night either. I have resorted to putting a single bed in his room and sleeping there so I get some sleep as well. Most times I can sneak out again but not always.
I cant wait for this "phase" to be DONE in our house!!
C.L. answers from Minneapolis on April 11, 2008
Hi A.! If your daughter is waking an hour after you put her down and isn't really coherent when she wakes up crying, she is having night terrors, as you mentioned. This is often due to being overtired. Try getting her to bed earlier and/or making sure she gets better naps. Some days my daughter (who is 4!) needs to be in be by 6:30 because she is tired. (If only she would take a nap.) It's hard to get her to bed that early, but that's what she needs. It is amazing to me that how most nights she can fall asleep within minutes at 7pm, but if I wait until later than that to put her down, she'll be up until 10pm. If they catch their second wind, it's all over. (Also, my kids didn't sleep through the night until I quit night nursing and weaned them, around 18 months.) Good luck!
J.F. answers from Minneapolis on April 11, 2008
I am having the same problem with my 9 month old and the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" is helping me out a lot. Basically, he talks about getting your kids on consistent schedules and using the same soothing to sleep method at night. I think I have trained my daughter to get up at night as well by always being there with a bottle. I am working on letting her cry herself back to sleep. They need to learn to help them fall back asleep on their own. One of my favorite quotes from the book is that because I love my child so much I am letting her learn to fall asleep on her own. As long as I know she is crying because she only wants my company and all her other needs have been met, it's much easier. Good luck!
S.P. answers from Minneapolis on April 11, 2008
My daughter (now 6 1/2) didn't sleep through the night until she was 3. In fact, until she was 2 1/2 she she didn't EVER sleep more than an hour at a time. I'm sorry. She turned out fine, and I hope you get tons of great answers - because I didn't get any and I never solved the problem. I iwsh you a lot of luck!
M.I. answers from Duluth on April 11, 2008
my son is 16 1/2 months old and he still doesnt 'sleep through the night'....
have you tried a white noise machine? when my son was born we had to run the vacuum the first 2 months, then we found "for crying out loud" a cd that has a recording of a vacuum on it!
night terrors are the worst, my son had 2 when he was around 9 months old, and it was horrible. he would just scream and scream and scream like something was desperatly wrong, would not be consoled, and really wouldnt be awake. i used to have them when i was a baby too and it is genetic, so i was kinda prepared. as far as they go, theres nothing really that you can do, except to hold baby and make sure baby doesnt get hurt, although i have heard that if your baby wakes up at a certain time period, like you said an hour after bedtime, if you wake her up before that, i cant remember how long, maybe 20 minutes before that, it is supposed to prevent the night terror. but otherwise theres not much you can do, and im so sorry about that, but i know how you feel, as do many many other parents.
what kind of meds are you giving her before bed and what for? and what kind of milk are you giving her? breastmilk or whole milk? maybe if you dont give her anything ... i breastfeed my son still, so he wakes up by 5 am and wants to nurse usually... however, if you want that to stop, you have to stop giving her something. i dont know... if you give her the bottle at night, then make dad wake up with her. once she gets the idea that mom isnt coming or the milk isnt coming, she should stop waking up for it.
also, now that spring is coming, if you get her outside before bedtime, that fresh air should help her sleep better. it works for my son, he always sleeps better when hes had lots of fresh air.
www.askdrsears.com is a great resource, and dr sears has many books availabe for parenting. he has a whole book on sleep! so you may want to check them out, you can find them used on amazon for as little as 1$!
J.G. answers from Lincoln on April 10, 2008
Does your little girl still take a morning nap, or is she down to just one afternooon nap? She may not be tired. You may want to try cutting back her other naps, or lay her down a little later. Another thought: Is she doing it to get some time with you or your husband? Does she just want a little snuggle time? Try offering this before bed for 15 to 20 minutes; read a few little books and just snuggle together. This may help her feel secure and relaxed for bed. Good Luck.
A.R. answers from Minneapolis on April 11, 2008
It is common for 14 month old babies to be sleepless at night. They sleep so much during the day that they don't always need the extra sleep. If you are an at-home mom, you can regulate day time naps ~ making them shorter so that she is in need of the sleep at night. If she goes to a day care, you may want to request that her naps be shortened. Even 15-20 minutes off of a regular nap time will help.
Also, give her a high-fat snack at night. At 14 months she must be eating... nut butter on toast, soft cheeses... anything high in fat will make her sleepy and help her to stay asleep.
Please avoid "meds" for sleeping with little ones. They can wreak havoc on their nervous system and cause more problems than they solve. Much of childhood sleeplessness comes from parents looking for medical ways to solve sleep problems that are best solved with food and attention to detail.
K.S. answers from Des Moines on April 11, 2008
A., Have you told her Doctor about this? Teething does make them fussy. I always rubbed teething gel on all my kids gums. The milk may be upseting her tummy, Do you give her 2 percent milk. How late is she eating her supper, she needs time to digest her food before going to bed as well. I know we all get busy, this was always a problem with my 4 children.
A night light in her room is good and a favorite cudley stuffed animal (Not to big) to hold on to helps too. Children want to feel safe. I always left our bedroom door open and my childrens door open when they were smaller.Just them knowing that if they needed to they could get to our room quickly. We have to be so watchful of our children. A baby monitor helps too, them knowing that you have that and can hear them it assures them it is O.K to be in their room alone and you can hear everything. The night terrors would be a concern if they continue and I would speak to a Doctor about that.Definately No on the meds unless there is a illness always consult your Pediatrician. Children have a way of crying to get what they want and I would let mine cry themselves back to sleep. Yes you still need to listen to the types of cries, but once they know they can cry and get what they want then they will continue to do so.