A.L. asks from Blue Earth, MN on October 02, 2008
Expecting Mom with Non Sleeping 19M
I am at a breaking point and really do not know what to do. I have a 19 month old daughter who is still waking up at least twice a night. I am eight months pregnant with number two and little sleep is getting to me. We have tried just about everything we can think of. She is not attached to a blanket, she does not have a pacifier, she will not cuddle anything in her bed unless it is me ore m husband. We do not want to start the habit of her sleeping with us and I can't sleep with her next to me because she kicks and moves to much. We took her to her doctor and he said we should stop fighting her to stay in her bed and rock her if she wants to be rocked or if she wants to sleep with us to let her. This is just not the answer I was expecting him to give me. She has been in a big bed for about 3 months now an it seems to be getting worse. I will take any advise I can get because we are out of ideas.
C.H. answers from Minneapolis on October 03, 2008
Could she be getting overtired? Sometimes kids' waking up can be a sign that they are too tired when they go to sleep. Have you read Healthy Sleep, Happy Baby (I think that's the title)? The doctor in that book says that sleep begets sleep. When we were having trouble with my daughter at one point, we moved her bedtime way up and she started sleeping through the night again. Just an idea.
B.B. answers from Minneapolis on October 03, 2008
I am definitely a fan of the "Supernanny" approach. If she gets up in the night, put her back in her bed as many times as it takes, so she knows she needs to stay in bed. What does she want? To sleep with you guys? I agree that that's a bad habit to get into, especially when you'll be getting up with a baby soon. I feel really bad for you! I don't know what to say. Good luck to you.
P.K. answers from Minneapolis on October 03, 2008
Get another crib and put her back in a crib so she can't get out. Let her cry it out a few nights. Good luck!!
C.S. answers from Minneapolis on October 03, 2008
I'd echo the suggestion of putting her back into her crib. I have a 3.5 yr old who prefers to sleep in a crib and so he is even though we've had the toddler bed sitting in his room for 2 years now. He feels more secure in there. When I know he's suppose to sleep (and can sleep) and there's nothing wrong with him, I put him in the crib and then put earplugs in my ears so that I don't have to listen to any yelling or I even go outside and do some gardening, etc. No matter what, he always stops yelling and then goes straight to sleep. Of course, he can't ever remember fighting me about going to bed the next day when he wakes up. Miracles won't happen right away but if you can stay consistent then she will learn to sleep when you tell her to. Good luck! Another thought, is she getting enough running around time during the day? Maybe you need to get someone to tire her out. She needs at least 1 hour of outside running around time.
J.S. answers from Omaha on October 03, 2008
I agree w/A. D! It may sound harsh, but right now she is in control. Another idea is to put a gate in her doorway so she can see out. Make sure her room is safe and cozy and let her wear herself out! She will fall asleep (eventually). If you have to go in a few times and lay her back down do it very calm and lovingly and do not speak to her only say "night night". Trust me she is old enough to know who is boss and she will eventually get the hint! It is better for her in the long run. Good Luck with baby #2 and I always try and remind myself the days are long but the years are short!
M.J. answers from Omaha on October 03, 2008
My youngest is my bad sleeper. He is two months past his third birthday and still often comes in my bed early morning. But I did finally get him going to bed awake ok and basically sleeping through the night. I had to do it the hard way and follow the nanny advice. The first night put her in bed and sit next to the bed and tell her it's ok, time to go to sleep, and rub her back or hold her hand a little. Once she calms down, continue to rub her back, but no more talking. Then slowly move to holding your hand still, then eventually, you can start inching away from the bed. Once she is asleep, sneak out. The next night you might do the goodnight routine, kiss, hug, tell her goodnight, then this time sit sideways so she can see you, but don't talk or anything. The next night sit backwards. The next night stand next to the bed, keep this progression towards the door until you get to the night you are standing outside the door. Hopefully this will be enough, but if not use the minute technique until she's ok. That is this, which also works for waking up at night: The first time she crys, go to her and tell her it's ok, go back to sleep. The next time she cries, wait two minutes and go comfort her but don't talk. The next time, wait three minutes and say from the door, you're ok, go back to sleep. Keep adding minutes and using minimal words. Eventually it isn't worth the effort for her to keep waking up, but she still knows you are there. Hope this was helpful.
C.H. answers from Minneapolis on October 03, 2008
I didn't know if you had read the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Weissbluth, but it has been a great help to myself and several friends (including those with twins). It is broken up easily, so you don't have to read the whole thing to get ideas for different problems or age groups, and it's flexible--gives you several ideas for what you can try, based on your own theories and feelings about your kids. Hope you find it helpful!
A.D. answers from Minneapolis on October 03, 2008
Oh, A., I feel for you. I just had a baby 5 months ago and it was bad enough with the sleeplessness from being pregnant, let alone getting up with your other baby! We also had trouble with our daughter going to, and staying in bed when we put her down at night. We did try the Supernanny approach, but it got exhausting real quick and she was so stubborn, we did it for literally hours. We ended up putting a door-knob thingy (not sure what it's called) on the inside of her door so she coudln't get out. It sounds terrible and I felt bad about it, but once she really knew that she couldn't get out, she eventually just gave up and went to sleep. Now that she's older (2.5), we let her know that as long as she stays in bed, we won't lock her door, but if we put her down and she tries to get out, we have to lock the door. Most nights now she stays in bed and we don't have to lock her door. Good luck and it will be over soon...except then you'll be up with the new baby...it never ends...:)
T.J. answers from Bismarck on October 03, 2008
J.A. answers from Omaha on October 03, 2008
Have you thought about a side car or a mattress in your room? It seems she wants to be close and that is probably what she will need at this stage in her life. When baby comes, the closeness will be more sparse.
Ask Dr. Sears is a wonderful Web site and has extensive research on sleep.
Good luck and know that this too shall pass...
S.H. answers from Minneapolis on October 03, 2008
This is not a perfect answer, I am the first to admit, but it may give you some sleep and much needed sanity. We had the same problem with our first. My oldest son did great at first in his big bed, but then just couldn't stand being alone, he would sneek into our bed int he morning and then it started getting earlier and earlier until no one was getting any sleep. Our answer was to let him sleep on the floor in our room. We have a lot of space so he has an air matress next to ours, but I think he would be fine just on the floor. He is allowed to stay in our room as long as he stays on his bed and does not wake us up in the middle of the night for no reason. You will have a whole new problem to deal with down the road, but for us it has been worth getting the sleep we need and I'm sure he will be happy to share a room with his brother when he is old enough to do so.