10 answers

My One Year Old Still Will Not Sleep Through the Night - HELP!!!

I have a one year old son who still does not sleep through the night. He gets up anywhere from one to four times a night. Even if I put him in our bed he still wakes up again! I have read all the expert advice about "crying it out," "the same bedtime routine every night," etc and we have tried them all. He is very active during the day and takes only one nap.
I hope someone has some really great advice that we can follow as I am pregnant and due the end of July. I really want him sleeping through the night by the time this baby is here.

What can I do next?

More Answers

Dear W.,

I think that your only savior is to let him cry it out. It ain't easy, but it works. His mind is gettinmg more knowledgeable by now and he is getting mentally powerful - you'd better get ahead of this thing before he starts doing other stuff that is hard to control.
Sincerely, C. N.

1 mom found this helpful

I hate to tell you this W., but what your son is doing is totally normal. Yes, it will help if you keep to a bedtime routine each night. And yes it will help if you make sure he's been well fed and isn't waking in the night out of hunger. And of course, it will also help if, as someone else suggested, you don't reward him by getting him up out of bed when he wakes. Another help is to make sure he is warm enough in the night -- they often kick all their blankets off at this age when they wriggle and toss. Warm blanket sleep pajamas with an undershirt layered underneath can help if you home gets quite cool in the night.

But beyond these efforts, you'll just have to breathe deep and accept that this is normal and routed in millions of years of human nature. In our culture we may think it's "normal" to plop a baby in a crib and expect it to sleep through the night a.s.a.p. the reality is that this is relatively recent social innovation.

For prior to this, babies and toddlers always slept snuggled with their parents, with mother's breast always within reach. And because mom always kept baby near, nursing on demand, her hormones didn't allow her to become pregnant again until the baby was between 2 and 3 years of age. So baby didn't have to stop being a baby until they were at least 3 or 4 years old.

But clearly you can't change the fact that you are having another baby already. So what I would recommend is that your husband gets the job of getting up with the 1 year old. You need your rest. And in the next few months that's going to get more difficult to achieve because of the new baby pushing on your bladder and etc.

So your husband is just going to have to be a Big Boy and realize he helped get you two into this situation and now he will have to do what's right and get up with the older baby.

If he is consistent about how he handles these night time wakings -- firm but kindly and loving, not getting baby out of bed, etc -- they should dwindle to once in the night. (If you're lucky and your son has a mellow temperment they might cease all together!)

If he does feel the need to give your son the bottle in the night, try having it be just water -- or at the very least, highly diluted milk. So that your son's body doesn't get used to having the food in the night. And as i said, make sure he is not borderline hungry at bedtime. A hearty dinner. A bedtime snack. Then off to bed.

Also, you might consider lighting in your son's room. Some parents think a pitch black room is appropriate, but so many children find this frightening and disorienting. A night light or a dimmer switch on the room light can help.

Be sure too that he has his special cuddlies (stuffed animals).

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Do't panic.. my guy didn't sleep through until almost 2 and even at 3 there are night when he wakes up...
I will tell you to try and limit the amount of times you bring him to bed with you. I know it seems like a simple solution to allow everyone to get some sleep but it is soooooooooooo hard to break the child of wanting to be in your bed. I am still having problems doing it. The ONLY time he comes in to bed with us now is if he isnt feeling good.


1 mom found this helpful

It's normal that he's not STTN yet. Contrary to popular belief, babies aren't really ready for that yet and it's a milestone they will reach when they are ready. My son is almost one is not STTN either. I found the NCSS book helpful with lots of good advice, but he still nurses at night and I'm not ready to night-wean him yet. We might try after he turns one. Not sure, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

You'll get through it and eventually it will happen.
If you haven't already, check out the NCSS book. You might find some helpful suggestions in there! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I have the same issue with my one year old daughter. My advice is to make sure he takes his naps in the same room as he sleeps at night and too not pick him up when he does start crying. Rub hos back until he falls back to sleep. This makes it harder for you in the beginning but eventually he will learn to self soothe. Good luck I understand what you are going through

1 mom found this helpful

I feel that moms get a lot of pressure to have their children follow the norm. Some kids just don't sleep as well as others. My son is 22 months and still wakes up 3 to 4 times a night. I tried every sleep training method with him and nothing worked. I know how exhausting it is to have a child be a bad sleeper but considering how healthy he is I stopped listening to other people telling me I need to "break his bad habits." I just finally accepted the fact that my child in not like the lucky moms who's kid sleep 10 hours straight. I am a light sleeper and so is my son. Its that plain and simple. You may find that one trick that works for your kid but don't beat yourself up if you don't. Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful


Have you read the "No-cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley? It is a good book and very helpful. Especially if you aren't a fan of letting your kid scream himself to sleep (I'm not a fan of cry-it-out). That said, some kids are just naturally better sleepers than others. My older son didn't sleep through the night until about a month before his second birthday and now at 3.5, he sleeps through the night about 70-80% of the time. His 6 month old brother sleeps through the night at least half the time (fortunately my baby is a sleeper!). I tried absolutely everything with my older boy and nothing worked. It was just something that took him a long time to learn and it had to wait until he was developmentally ready. It is still really easy to upset his little world and mess up his schedule and then he will be up once or more at night. I know it seems counterproductive but for my older boy, sleep begets sleep. He sleeps much worse if he's overly tired. Especially when he was younger, a really strict nap routine was crucial to both of us getting a reasonable amount of sleep. At one, he was still taking 2 at least 2 hour naps each day. And if he's miss one, he'd be up a lot that night.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know if you've already tried this; but make sure when he takes his nap; try & make sure that it's early after noon & not late afternoon. At night try having a late dinner between 6 & 7 pm, then try bathing @ about 8:30. Let him be in there for a while. Try for about 30 min. if you can tolerate it. After his bathing give him another bottle & possibly even a small night snack. So hopefully he should be in be by 9:30. If you him late @ night he shouldn't wake up.

My son would wake up every hour on the hour for the 1st 8-9 mo. I found out that he was cranky & hungry!!!! I was breast feeding & that didn't fill him up. So I adopted my night routine & fed him formula bottle with just a little bit of cereal in it, & then he finally started sleeping throught the night.

1 mom found this helpful

What time are you putting him to bed?
Also, why is he sometimes in your bed?

I have a 22 month old son who is sleeping through the night; but it took time to get to this point. My advice is to have a set routine every night--bath, snack, story, brush teeth, and bed. It helps to give your child a solid snack right before bed so he won't be hungry soon after he falls asleep. Sometimes my son would wake up because he was hungry. Put him in his crib with a night light on, soft music, and a comfort object and say goodnight. He might cry a little bit, but once he gets used to the routine, it will get easier. During the night, if he wakes up, just see if he will put himself back to sleep--wait about ten minutes. My son now sleeps 12 hours a night. If he wakes up too early, I just let him go back to sleep until he has had his 12 hours of sleep. Sleep begets sleep, once he is sleeping through the night, his naps will be longer during the day. I don't know if your son is in your room, or in a separate room. It's important that he doesn't see you during the night. Our son is in our room, but we put a room divider separating his crib and our bed so he doesn't see us. Hope this helps,
S. Pothuraju

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