12 Month Old Not Sleeping Through the Night

Updated on January 08, 2008
K.C. asks from Austin, TX
9 answers

My 1 year old son is not sleeping through the night. We've tried to let him cry himself to sleep, but 3 1/2 hours later, he is still jumping and screaming -- it feels like I've abandoned him! Eventually, he just sleeps with us and sleeps like an angel. Are there any other methods to get a child to sleep through the night besides letting them cry all night? What has worked for you and your child?

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answers from Dallas on

My experience as a working mom was that the easiest and most effective method is what you have already discovered -just let him sleep with you. Since you work full time, he is likely missing you and sleeping with you at nite can go a long way towards making up for that time away during the day. At this age, babies cry for a reason and it sure sounds like he just wants to be near mom and dad. If you don't want him in your bed, you might try putting his crib right next to your bed - sometimes that's close enough. For my second son, he would start out in his crib in our room and then the first time he would wake up to nurse at nite, I'd just bring him to bed with us and we all slept well for the rest of the nite.

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answers from Houston on

WOW ! a first time mom at "45" ! congrats ! my sister in law is 43 & cannot seem to have a 2nd child ! they say when you get over 40 it is harder to have a child !
Try giving him a warm bath in the evening in that lavendar
soap (by johnson & johnson) - it worked for my 2 ! make sure he has a full tummy in the evening. He may be also feeling lonely, it won't hurt some nights to let him sleep in your bed ! let me tell ya WE have done that before & still do ! Especially since I am a F/T working mom ! we gotta get some sleep ! good luck !



answers from San Antonio on

What time are you putting him down? He may actually be overtired. You might consider and earlier bed time. He should sleep about 12 hours at night and still have 2 naps at this age. (I had my third at 40 :)~C.



answers from Dallas on

Our daughter was the same way. We would actually allow her to sleep in "The Big Bed" and move her to her room once she was deep in dream-land. Daddy and I would also take turns laying with her in her room. We started telling her that mommy sleeps in mommys room and she sleeps in the princess room. We let her take a small toy and doll and she seemed to be well with it. She still likes to occasionally take her nap in "Mommy's room" but those are few and far between.

Remember, not all kids are alike, and with any new transition, there will be some crying. The more willfull the child, the more crying. We just took our daughters "Binky" away at the age of 2 and she cried ALL DAY. I considered giving in and it broke my heart to see her so upset, but here it is ONLY ONE WEEK LATER and she hasn't event asked for it!

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

My two kiddos did the same thing! Don't worry eventually they both got there. My husband and I found Elizabeth Pantley's book the no-cry sleep solution very helpful. We used her technique of putting their crib mattress on the floor and lying with our little one until they drifted off to sleep. Eventually, each of our children slept for longer and longer on their own. Bedtime is a now a fun time in our house both our 4yr old and 2yr old run up stairs excited for booktime and snuggles with mommy and daddy.



answers from Corpus Christi on

I have the same problem....like you, I work full time so it is easier to just let them sleep with you. My six year old is just now sleeping in her own bed. She has been in our bed for SIX YEARS!!! She's finally in the "princess" room....My husband had a REAL hard time with it. He is such a nurturing father. Now my 11 month old has taken her place. The little one did really well sleeping through the night at about 2 months old 'til about 8 months old. And now, for some reason, she wakes up during the night, and the easiest thing for me has been to let her sleep with us. My older daughter has twin beds in her room, so maybe I can put the little one in the other bed with those netted guard rail things. Sorry I'm not much help...just wanted to let you know you are not alone!



answers from Houston on

We still have trouble with our 11 month old daughter not sleeping through the night

Another parent recommended a book called "Toddler Taming, A parent's guide to the first four years"

It talks about a controlled crying method in the book (which isn't as harsh as just letting a child cry it out). I haven't tried it yet but the reviews of the book are glowing. The author is a British doctor, Dr. Christopher Green.



answers from Houston on

Hi K.!

I slept with my son until he was almost 2, and it worked great! He nursed during the night sometimes which would wake us up momentarily but not for long. When he was big enough to understand, we made a big deal about how he was going to get his very own room because he was a big boy now, and we went to IKEA, and he picked out some nice furniture and lamps and things. He loved it! But I still put him to bed and stay there with him until he falls asleep. Sometime later we will try to work on him falling asleep without me, but I think it's too early.

Why did we do this? 1. It was much easier than waking up all the time to go to his crib during the night. 2. Babies weren't made to sleep alone. No matter how safe our houses are, babies are (for survival reasons) made to be afraid of being alone (imagine when people lived in caves, if a mom would put her baby in a separate cave!? It would be eaten by a lion or something! Babies are primed for THAT kind of environment, not ours. So their fears are REAL.) "Crying it out" must be a terrifying and exhausting experience. Remember how afraid you were of the dark when you were a kid? They need to feel we are there to protect them, not that they are supposed to face it on their own. They're not equipped for that.
And 3: I loved sleeping with him! It was so cosy. My husband and I enjoyed the separation but sometimes we miss having him in our bed.

In short: give in to your instinct that tells you you are abandoning your baby. That's probably how he feels. He's too young to handle darkness and loneliness on his own. Later on, when he is prepared, he will (I think they have to be maybe 5, 6 or 7 and a lot more rational). Until then, enjoy the closeness-later on they all reject us, you know! : )

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

First, establish a routine, so he knows it's bedtime. For example, bath, put PJs on, brush teeth, say prayers, then bed.

Instead of putting him to bed right away, if you have a rocking chair, you can rock him for a few minutes. This help me because I didn't feel like I was abandoning my daughter.

Another thing we did at first was to put her in the crib and then lay down on the floor beside it holding her hand through the slats. The only problem with this is that we tended to fall asleep on the floor with her. :)

Although it's easy now, allowing him to sleep with you is supposedly not a good idea. It's a hard habit to break. That's what they say. I don't know because we've never let her sleep with us. It was just one less habit that we'd have to break. :)

If your son is in daycare during the day, find out how they get them to sleep. The daycare my daughter goes to plays music (louder than I thought would work). But it seems to do them just fine and drowns out any other noises. We have since then turned on a radio for our daughter at night and turn it off after she is asleep.

If none of this works, try changing the time he goes to bed. Our daughter seemed to have established a "second wind" right before we were putting her to bed. We put her to be a few minutes earlier and that hasn't been a problem since.