14 answers

19 Mo Old with Sleepless Nights

Our child has always been a great sleeper. From the time that he came home from the hospital he was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks. And even up to now, he never whines or cries when I put him down for a nap. He has been sick off and on this whole winter and is just now getting off his last sickness. The last three nights he has been waking up all throughout the night sometimes up to four times within a hour. It has gotten to the point that my husband will go in and sleep with him on the floor until he falls asleep after waking up and crying and then he'll end up putting him back in his crib. At about 3 am or so when he continues to wake up, I will go in there and sleep with him in the rocking chair. He's fine once we go in there. Stops crying and sleeps. We both know that this is a TERRIBLE habit to get into (even though we both love snuggling with him :)But it's the only way ANYONE gets any sleep in this house. Without having a camera in his room, I never know if he is crying because of something that he's very upset about. Like, one time I went in there and he had his foot caught in between the rails of the crib. So, to have him cry himself back to sleep on his own is hard for me to lay there and let happen because I never know if he is actually hurt or not. Any advise will help. Is this normal at this age?? Funny. Never thought I would be one typing a request...

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all the responses! They were all very comforting and helpful. Our son has been back to sleeping through the night now for the last couple of nights. I ruled out the ear ache thing right away because we were just at the Doctor and they checked his ears so I knew that was not our case. I'm wondering if it is the age break thing now where he is going through the growth spurt? Anyway, we are back on track for now and loving the sleep! Thank you again! Until next time....

Featured Answers

It's probably not a habit - but there is a fabulous, non-toxic sleep remedy for kids called Calms Forte. This is a homeopathic remedy available in all Co-ops as well as Whole Foods. It works great to relieve anxiety at night and to promote a good night's sleep.

Calms Forte - I gave it to my kids and it really works.

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19 months is an age when a lot of things happen for a little guy. He might be on the edge of a language explosion, he is learning that you are really a separate person from him and is missing you more when you are away, he is nearly 2 which is when a burst of independence happens, so he might be needing more attention right now because so many things are changing in his brain and body. OR, is it possible that he has an ear infection after all his sickness? Sometimes laying down makes their ears hurt more, so holding him upright might be relieving some pain for him.

So, if it isn't an ear infection, you might just have to "suffer" through some sleepless nights, snuggle him more, and when he is a bit older he will sleep better. My son (now 3) was not a good sleeper until he was more than 15 months. Those 15 months felt like they would never end, but in hindsight it seems like a LONG time ago that he was up all the time... now it is his 15 month old brother that is up! :)

I am not a "cry it out" Mom. I am a "they are crying because they need me" Mom. As long as you are getting the sleep you need, I suggest doing what works for your family.

My sister in law gave me wise advice at my baby shower... she said I can apply it to anything when it comes to my kids... "This too shall pass". He will sleep again.

Good luck.

I have a 15 month old who is the same way when she is sick. The only time she wants to sleep with us is when she doesn't feel good and wants to be reassured someone is there for her. I don't think this is habit-forming because you haven't done it before and once he is completely feeling better, hopefully he will go back to sleeping through the night again. Kids are that way even into their older (up to age 10 even) years and it's up to the parent to reinforce them sleeping in their own beds when there is no reason for it. We added a nightlight to our 2 year olds room and that made a big difference also. If that is an option I would say go for it and good luck getting some sleep!! Mom of two girls

Have you had his ears checked? My daughter had chronic ear infections and it would hurt her to lay down. Especially if he has had lots of colds...just a thought!

I agree with Rachel B. Get his ears checked since you say that he has been sick on and off and is just getting over something. Fortunately this hasn't happened to me, but my next door neighbor said that her boy wouldn't sleep laying down and they were at their wits end. They took him to the doctor and he had a punctured ear drum. I asked her if he just started screaming all of the sudden, thinking that it would hurt when it broke, but she said due to his infection it just came open and it only hurt when the pressure got bad for him (laying down). I read that he doesn't cry when laying down for a nap, but we all get a little more "punchy" at night when something is bothering us. I don't mean to alarm you. My neighbors son is fine now and if this is the problem, then there is a solution and it can be fixed. Good luck!

It's probably not a habit - but there is a fabulous, non-toxic sleep remedy for kids called Calms Forte. This is a homeopathic remedy available in all Co-ops as well as Whole Foods. It works great to relieve anxiety at night and to promote a good night's sleep.

Calms Forte - I gave it to my kids and it really works.

This sounds just like my situation a few months ago! In our case, my daughter (18 months next week) got hooked on a pacifier at daycare when she was about six-months. She had been sleeping through the night for quite some time but, all of a sudden, she started waking several times, usually because the pacifier fell out of her mouth during the night and she woke up. She would cry until I went in there and found it and gave it back to her. The problem was that once I was in there, it was very hard to get her back down and sneak out! Her room is so small that there was no way I could peek in to see if anything was really wrong without her seeing me. This was happening several times a night. The way I finally solved this is I invested in one of the new video monitors and, let me tell you, I LOVE IT! It was under $200 and well worth the brief hardship it cost me. I am a single mom (by choice)and work full-time so sleep is precious! Now, if she cries, I look at her on the monitor and can see if anything is wrong or if she is just looking for her pacifier. Her waking in the middle of the night is a very rare occurance now. Most of the time, if she loses the pacifier now, she just sleeps through it. I also enjoy the added benefit of watching her wake up in the morning while I am getting ready for work. The one I bought is by "Summer" and is a handheld Day/Night Video Monitor. Day mode is in color. I purchased at Toys R US. I now consider this to be one of my "Can't live withouts" along with Leap Frog's Baby Tad! If you are sure it is not ear infection or some other illness, I would suggest this. It gives me the added comfort, being able to watch her to see if she really needs me while letting her learn to put herself to sleep. It is hard for me to let her grow up! Good luck!

I would agree first rule out illness. And you don't have to stay in your bed and let him cry. There are lots of resources out there on how to help you child sleep through the night. He probably just got out of his routine due to all the illnesses and needs to get back into his routine. I would highly recommend getting a book on sleeping. We used the Sleep Lady Shuffle. It is a nice gentle approach to helping him learn to self soothe himself back to sleep with you in the room. The book is called Good Night, Sleep Tight. Trust me the book works wonders and it goes all the way up to age 5. And had trouble shooting sections for travel, illness, new babies. It really helps. Good luck.

J., You are a great mom. Sleep deprivation makes it really hard to be the power mom during the day. My children have been good sleepers but we have gone through this with both during sickness OR it is normal around 18 months to have this wakeness.
What we did. I understand your worry about crying back to sleep with regards to the leg in the crib. My advice is this..
Let him cry for 5 mins. Seriously time it because it seems like forever to you. Go in there and check to see if there is something wrong like the leg issue. If not, pat him on the back or sooth talk for just a few seconds to let him know you haven't abandoned him or anything. Then wait again 10 min. The crying might get really hard and it is hard as a parent, but EVERY SINGLE TIME we have done this that was the ONLY night they cried and they slept through the night just like normal again. It is sad for one night but it also will make life happier for everyone for lots of days and nights to come. Some people are against the crying out even for 5 min but for us I haven't seen any "issues" come and we have really had good sleep patterns.

I most certainly feel your pain. I am the mother of 2 boys now 1 & 3 who, too in general have been pretty good sleepers. We have most certainly gone through our share of this kind of thing from time to time. We found a solution. After realizing that the child was training us and himself to wake numerous times at ridiculous hours we found our saving grace. Everyone tells you to let them cry and they will be fine and it will take care of its self, but that motherly instinct always makes you think the worst things like are they hurt and you want to go in. Don't. For a little over a hundred dollars at Sams or Costco or probably anywhere that sells electronics we found a wireless camera system that mounts up to 4 cameras that plug in any location you like with a reciever you hook into any T.V. and you can see the child so you know they are not injured, etc... These were great as they were infrared and you can see clearly in the dark and they have sound too. You may have to mute the volume so as not to go crazy while you break your cutie of his waking schedule, but very soon you may be getting that full night of sleep that you so desperately deserve and need. I know this sounds a little spendy, but it has come in handy for spying on the 3 yr old when he is supposed to be napping and we thought it may come in handy for years to come as they are also weatherproof and may be mounted outside to keep an eye on things later in places of our yard that aren't easily seen from a window. I cannot tell you how many times it has saved me the terrible mistake of going in that room for not a very good reason. As long as you can see that he is all right I would give him some time to comfort himself. If he doesn't learn to do this, other more serious problems could follow. I would also try to determine whether he is teething or not. Our little man, who is the same age has been teething like crazy for almost 2 weeks and has also been waking intermittently when his ibupropin or tylenol wears off. We alternate between the two and use cold teethers as well as the gum-number and teething tablets( safe, homeopathic) when it gets really unbearable for him. Teething can cause all sorts of symptoms from runny noses, the obvious irritability, waking, dizziness, poor eating, and regardless of what the pediatrics assoc says it DOES have a connection with diaper rash. Check into this and get your earplugs out. I can tell you very bluntly that the 1st night of crying will rip your heart out if you let it, but by the 3rd night you will be soooooooo happy you've endured this part of motherhood. I wish you happy peaceful nights full of good dreams, oh and lets be real, the hopefully only occasional 3am wakeup thanks to cutie junior. Good Luck and God Bless.

I don't know if this will help or not, but they do have baby monitors that have camera's and tv monitors. If that would make you feel better to see him and see he is ok, you could try that.

Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. My Son who just turned 19 months doesn't sleep threw the night either. He is usually up at 1:00 crying. The only thing that works for us is to put him in bed with us, so I understand what you are saying about it being a bad habit. At that point at night it is more important to get some sleep then to get none at all, considering both my husband and I work and have to be up about 5:00 am. Good luck

I would take him to the doctor. If he really has never had sleep issues before, it sounds like something is truly bothering him. I would definitely rule that out first before trying to get him to settle himself to sleep. If anything else, it will at least put your mind at ease that there is nothing medically wrong.
~ C.

We had a similar problem with our son when we moved. I thought by going in to him and rocking him, it would help him with the transition, but pretty soon he was waking up to five times a night. Finally, I asked his pediatrician for advice, and they recommended letting him cry it out. They said to let him go for up to 2 hours, and then to go in and check briefly on him and leave again. The first night he cried for almost the full 2 hours, but then finally went to sleep, and didn't wake again until morning. The next night was 20 minutes, and after that he was fine. Going in to him was actually causing him to wake more frequently. We could tell by his cry that he was just unhappy, but that nothing was really wrong. If you are unsure, go in and check on him, but do not pick him up. Reassure him that he is okay and leave again. After that, I would say to let him cry. It is not easy, but it is necessary for them to learn to soothe themselves back to sleep. Another thought would be to get a monitor where you can see him, but that might be more distracting for you. Whatever makes you feel better about the process... Good luck!

I feel your pain, J.! My 18 month old has been waking up crying several nights a week for the last few months. Either my husband or I have to go in and comfort him. He usually settles down, but then is up for the next 3 hours babbling in his crib! I think he may be waking up from dreams (I've explored the ear infection thing too...) and just can't get himself back to sleep. I'll be watching this post for any suggestions from other moms! Good luck!

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