10 Month Old Won't Sleep

Updated on December 07, 2008
C.A. asks from Florida, NY
12 answers

I have asked other questions and got alot of great responses. So I am here to ask another question. My 10 month old daughter all of a sudden will not go to sleep. She is so tired but fights it with everything she has. I have given her baths, tried reading to her, I let her crawl around hoping that she will wear herself out. Nothing seems to work. Is this a faze or is there something wrong? I work nights and my husband is with her all night and he said that she is up most of the night. She sleeps about 45 minutes to an hour and then she's wide awake. I can't even play her crib toys anymore cause all she wants to do is play with them. Can anyone please help? We are going out of our minds. I had her on a sleep schedule. Bath at 8, down by 8:30 and she is usually out no later then 9. Now all of a sudden she is awake until about 10:30 and wakes up crying a half an hour later. Am I doing something wrong? Thank You.

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answers from Syracuse on

At 10 months, so many exciting things are happening for your baby! It's hard to sleep when you're learning new skills and life is so much more exciting. So partially it's probably just a phase and should pass within another week or two. Of course, then something new will come along to disrupt her sleep...

For our family, the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" (Weissbluth) helped us get to a better night's sleep for everyone. It has solutions for all kinds of parenting philosophies and gives you the tools to decide how you want to approach this. We started seriously dealing with sleep issues when our son was already 9 months - we were putting him to bed too late, mostly (he needed to be in bed at 6:30 p.m., not 9 like we were doing). After trying everything else, we finally had to resort to "let cry" which is a personal decision many mom's disagree with. But for us, it was not only our last resort after 10 months of NOT sleeping (with another baby due in 3 more months), it worked, within THREE nights. After the first week, our son became a much more rested, happier child. And we became much better parents. It's not just how baby sleeps, it's how the whole family is sleeping. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Try a MUCH earlier bedtime- as everyone else suggested. You'll be amazed. When they're overtired, they just can't turn their bodies off. Start the process early- like 6:30-6:45, with the goal of having her in bed by 7:15 or so.



answers from New York on


Have you thought about co-sleeping? Its not for everyone, but your family might get a better night's sleep. I can't say its great for the parents, but I definitely think its great for the child. She will feel very secure with one or both of her parents with her when she wakes up at night.

A good book is The No Cry Sleep Solution. Sorry, I forgot the author's name.

Good luck,



answers from New York on

Put her to bed much earlier, it sounds like she is overtired. My son is 17 months and is in bed asleep most nights before 7:30 and has been since 6 months old. We have good times and bad but for the most part he sleeps 12 hours every night. Do bath and pj's by 7 and look for signs that she is ready to go down. Good Luck!



answers from New York on

My daughter is 10 1/2 months and her sleep habits are always changing. I would try putting your daughter to bed a little earlier, maybe 1/2 hour. I know it sounds weird but it works. I was putting my daughter to bed at 8, 8:30 and she was always waking up. Someone told me to try this, now she goes to bed around 7:30. She doesn't always sleep through the night, but most times she does. I give her a pacifier, and her fav blanket. How does your daughter nap during the day? If they don't sleep good during the day, they usually don't at night. Good luck!!



answers from New York on

hi C.;

i think sleep changes, first of all, are really normal. very annoying and scary, but normal. so don't go the "is something wrong?" route in your mind because you will drive yourself nuts. try to focus on this being very annoying. :) BTW my kids are 3.5 yr, and 22 mos, and they have both gone through extended periods of sleep disturbance just like what you are describing.

first of all consider making bed time much earlier! i know this may seem counter-intuitive, but VERY often what will happen is that the window for calm sleep time passes and the babies go into overdrive. this still happens a lot with my kids. you'll notice things like the baby getting excessively wierdly 'happy' and 'chirpy', running around, being disorganized, going from one thing to the next fast, having a tantrum, etc. so i would say start looking for signs of her being tired, even the littlest bit of eye rubbing, staring into space, slowing down, will often mean she's ready to go to bed.

make the bed time routine more drawn out, a little slower, and very low key; make sure the lights are low, the bath is warm and quiet and not too playful, when you read the books do so in a dimly lit room; if her room doesn't have a dimmer switch, put one in. it's very easy. or don't use the overhead light, use a very low wattage table lamp.

now also, though i am STRONGLY AGAINST excessive crying it out, sometimes the babies may need just 4 or 5 minutes of crying to break the overtired spell. you could do the bed time routine, let her cry for like 5 minutes (stay close by the door), and then take her out just to read one more story and rock a bit more, then put her back in. if she cries again, same thing. i think it's really important for your approach to be more gentle than assertive; consistency with kindness. and safety.

for yourself try not to panic or get anxious about this. she will feed off your energy and get more wound up. another thing we have done here when my daughter is going through the main things that cause her to stay up, which are, A) langauge and milestone development and B) teething, is to just set up the living room as a safe enviornment, totally baby proofed, and my husband will camp out on the floor with her. make a bed on the floor of blankets, put the lights VERY low, and put on a long, quiet movie. she will usually sit down and watch it while he dozes off beside her, and she will go to sleep. they do this in the living room with baby gates. the movies i reccommend are;

The old version of "Charlotte's Web" from 1973, you can get it at Target, also "THe Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" this is also an old one, and the original "Lady and the Tramp." also old. these older classics are done with MUCH less hectic action and are very peaceful and mezmerizing with beautiful music. my daughter loves them.

lastly, try to remember that it won't last. she'll probably self correct sooner than later. i know it's crazy making but it will likely happen again, it is a phase. also put yourself to bed earlier if possible.

good luck!



answers from New York on

Hello C. A,

I understand your pain as I am the mother of a 2 1/2 year old son. We used to have a hard time putting him to sleep when he was younger. My advice to you and to change your normal routine if you can. Give bath earlier around 7:00-7:30 the latest and begin a settle down time. We would begin to turn down all house lights and lower our voices as bedtime approached. I even laid down a pallet and turn that into my son's private fantasy island. He could do anything (within reason) on his pallet. We would normally read a book(S)watch his favorite movie/show until his 8:00 PM bedtime.

In order to prevent him from waking up after going to bed we decided to lay him in our bed with us until he was asleep. I know many parents say "never get them used to sleeping with you" , it's true but honestly, I worked and we actually got our nights back once we started. Well, this is just what I did to help my son and it did work for me. I wish you luck and hope you will be able to get some rest soon.



answers from New York on


I don't think you are doing something wrong I think you just need to realize that sleep patterns change for babies throughout their first year and it is just trial and error. Each baby is different and what works for one does not always work for all. Are you sure she is not hungry? As crazy as this sounds she may be overtired and not able to relax herself. Is she getting enough naps during the day because she could be just interpreting bed time as nap time. When my kids would miss a nap I would think oh this is great now they will be more so tired they will sleep great, guess what they would wake up about two hours later and have an awful night sleep of constant waking. I think you may be doing bath to late as well. I would do bath a 7 and then give her a bottle and try putting her down by 7:30 or 8:00 I know it sounds crazy but going to bed later can have the opposite effect if they become overtired. I know I am going to get slack for this but you can let her cry a little and learn to self soothe and put herself to sleep. This way when she does wake in the middle of the night she can rely on herself to go back to sleep. Do you put her down awake? Try to put her down awake do not let her fall asleep while drinking a bottle, because I think that when babies are put to sleep a certain way (being rocked, falling asleep while drinking a bottle etc.) when they wake it is almost startling to them, they do not know where they are and are looking for the same method to get back to sleep. When she does wake at night I would just go in of course make sure she is okay, (not wet, hungry, etc.) and just maybe rub her back, talk softly to her and let her know you are there but try not to pick her up. She will learn there really is no reward in waking up and hopefully after a few nights she will sleep through the night. I am a big believer in the Ferber Method I did it with my kids and have a owned and directed a childcare center for many years and have taught many parents how to do it as well. It is not for everyone it depends on how desperate you are and sleep deprived because it is hard to hear your baby cry. Each family has to do what is right for them. Trust me they will not hate you in the morning and if done properly is not harmful to them. You must make sure if you do the Ferber method that you check on them every five minutes so they do not feel abandoned and know you are there with them. You can even stay in the room and rub them to comfort just try not to pick them up. I hope this helps I know how tired you must be it is so hard when they do not sleep. Good luck and Happy Holiday!!



answers from Rochester on


Does she fall asleep in your arms?

She MIGHT be adjusting to a personal clock; she might not - check with your pediatrician if you haven't already.

Do you play music for her while she sleeps? We do for our son - so he doesn't hear what's going on in the rest of the house. For some reason, a house from the 1950's has very little insulation between the walls! (my parents house never had this problem).

Good luck,



answers from New York on

Try putting her to bed at 7. She sounds overtired and she really should be going to bed earlier. It's strange but the earlier you put them to bed, the longer they sleep. Take all the crib toys out out of the crib and create an earlier bedtime routine. Make sure the lights are low in the evenings and that she has lots of exposure to bright light during the mornings- take her for a walk, open the curtains, etc. Also have your husband wait a little while (15 minutes or so) when she wakes up before going in to check on her. Also make sure to differentiate between whining and crying. If she makes a noise, sometimes she could just be making noise (even cries or whining) in her sleep and if she is left alone she will settle. She is old enough now that she should be left alone for a little while to work things out and fall back to sleep on her own. Now if she is crying really hard in the crib, he can go to her, but he should try to stay out of her room as much as possible when she wakes up. Are you rocking her to sleep when you first put her to bed? You have to get her to fall asleep on her own when you put her down. She can be sleepy or half-asleep, but she must realize that she is being put in the crib, or else she will continue to wake up when she realizes that she is not in your arms (or your husband's arms). It is still ok for her to have one night feeding if she needs it, but she should not be waking up for feedings all night long like this. Make sure your husband is not feeding her every time she wakes up. And he should be quiet and not talk to her or engage her if he goes in when she wakes up. have him keep the lights off and just use a tiny night light if she needs to be changed or fed. Also make sure she eats a nice big dinner and then give her a bottle or breastfeed her right before bed to make sure she is nice and full. You can also try the No-Cry Sleep Solution for other ideas. These worked for my son, but that was when he was about 5 months old. If this does not work, she is old enough for the Ferber Method, which does work. Sometimes for older babies, this is the only thing that works.



answers from New York on

Hi C.,
Sleep patterns change so much over the first year, it doesn't mean that you're doing something wrong.
I will say that if your baby is already really tired when you (or dh) are putting her down to bed, you've waited too long. Don't wait til she's overtired, it makes it harder for them to get to sleep and stay asleep. Also, you didn't mention her napping schedule but maybe that needs to be adjusted. If she's treating going to bed as a nap, maybe she's napping too long and too late in the day.



answers from New York on

Best thing you can do with any child is to keep a schedule. Be slightly flexable with that schedule but try and keep to it as much as possible. I read "The Baby Wisperer".
www.amazon.com/Secrets-Baby-Whisperer-Connect-Communicate.... The author gives tips on how to create good sleeping habits and solve ones that aren't working. I suggest you pick it up or get it from your library. My daughter would never "cry it out". It would just make her worse. The author suggests picking up the baby until the crying stops and then return them immediately to the bed. Repeat until she stops crying or is asleep. But put the baby back as soon as the crying stops. Keep the room dark and cool.

If you want me to be more specific, write me back. Good luck.


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