I Need Sleep!!!

Updated on October 10, 2007
L.J. asks from Tampa, FL
7 answers

I'm desperate for help! My daughter is 18 months old and never slept more than 3 hours at a time. Needless to say, I'm exhausted. The first several times she wakes up at night, I'm able to settle her by talking to her through the intercom system. But she will not settle herself at the 4:00 am waking. I have tried everything, and I mean everything: No Cry Sleep Solution, Ferber, Baby Whisperer, Sleep Lady and the list goes on and on. We've even gone to a sleep specialist, all to no avail. We have an established bedtime routine and we do not deviate from this routine. Nonetheless, sleep (or the lack thereof) has been an issue since the day we brought her home from the hospital, 18 months ago. The lack of sleep is really beginning to effect my overall health (not to mention my sanity (: ). Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!

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answers from Tampa on

Sorry to hear your problem L.. Could she be unconfortable maybe? My son had reflux and they have problems when they lay down. He also never seemed to like the crib, he did muh better once he was in a toddler bed. Have you tried less clothing or more clothing for sleeping. My son sleeps in a diaper with no sheets on him or anything, he's always been that way. I hope you find a solution soon, its tough.

Take care



answers from Tampa on

A friend of mine had problems with her son and still does and he is 4. Everyone kept telling her to try this, try that, he will grow out of it...etc. I am sure you have heard it all. Anyway, ends up he has sleep apnea. Does your daughter seem tired during the day or is she fine. He was and is tired during the day. I don't think my friend is on Mammasource but if you want to send me your email I will send you hers. My email is ____@____.com. I just don't want to put her personal information out there just in case she doesn't want it out there.



answers from Tampa on

I feel your pain. My son didn't sleep through the night until he was 2 - and that's why he's an only child, I was terrified of taking another chance on going that long without decent sleep. Weirdly, the thing that ultimately worked for us was getting him a big boy bed. He hated his crib and never really slept in it from the time he was born. We took him to buy a bed and he was so excited about it, he didn't want to sleep anywhere else. Almost instantly, he started sleeping through the night. He's 5 now and the upside of all of this is we have NEVER had bedtime battles with him. He literaly skips to bed, gets in all happy for his story and goes to sleep so easy. All the other parents I know tell me horror stories of their kids fighting bed time and then getting up in the middle of the night, but we have had none of that. You might want to try involving her in picking out a bed - of if you don't want the big expense maybe even something like new sheets and a blanket that would give her a sense of creating her own special place.

The only thing I can tell you is hang in there, becuase eventually they do sleep through the night and LOTS of parents are and have been in your shoes.



answers from Tampa on

Dear L. J.,

My heart goes out to you. My daughter did not sleep through the night until she was about 26 mos old. She also slept for only three hour intervals. My husband and I tried everything too short of the sleep specialist. I really think it had to do with her infancy. She was a five pound baby and ate very little at a time. I had to feed her constantly. Every two to three hours to be exact. So I think it just became part of her psyche or bio-rhythm. Anyway, right after she turned two, she started sleeping for 5-6 hour stretches. I promise it does get better. Hang in there.



answers from Tampa on

Dear L. J,

I don't have a solution, but wanted you to know that I can relate. I have the exact same problem. My son (17 months) sleeps in 3 hour intervals and I too am exhausted. I actually fell asleep rocking him in the rocking chair and dropped him on the floor! I hope that you can find a solution so that I can find a solution.

Best of Luck.



answers from Tampa on

My son is now 2 and I believe was a good sleeper until he got really sick with an ear infection and woke up every hour crying. But even when he got better his sleep wasn't the same for a long time. He got used to waking up and us soothing him.

Of course you do want to rule out any medical problems with your pediatrician, but if nothing is medically wrong with your daughter than I do agree with one other mom about the camera monitor, I had one from the beginning and I love it! They are expensive but helped me sleep easier. All I had to do was look at the monitor and see if was okay, instead of getting up out of bed.

There are many different products out there to help soothe babies and if none of those are working for you, you might just have to let her go back to sleep on her own. If you know she's not hungry and doesn't need a diaper change, let her cry a little, and every mothers comfort level is different in how long they can listen to their child cry.

The only other advice I can give you is instead of focusing on how to get your daughter to sleep more, right now you might have to focus on YOU sleeping more. I'm not sure if you work but if not, take time for a nap for yourself during the day when your daughter takes a nap, and if little things around the house get behind, such as dishes or laundry, I'm sure your husband will understand.

I know our husbands are tired as well from work but their support makes such a big difference. If possible have him get up with the baby every once in a while when you're extremely tired. What my fiance did for me was give me Sunday mornings. So instead of getting up with the baby at 6am he would let me sleep until 9 or 10am and those couple hours were a lifesaver.

Another idea is if you and your husband have time for a date night and have someone you trust like grandparents/family members to babysit. Let them keep the baby for the night, spend some time alone together and actually get a nights sleep and then first thing in the morning pick up your daughter.

I used to hate to ask for help, but it's okay friends and family understand. I hope this helps!



answers from Tampa on

You poor thing - you must be so tired. It is so hard to give advice but I will tell you what worked for us - This advice was given to us from a woman that had 12 kids - First, I would stop the intercom talking. I did that with my son and we found that he woke up more just to see if he could get us to respond to the intercom. We took the binki and the bottle away and gave him one of those Gerber sippy cups that they can drink while laying down and one of those blankets that are satin on one side. We bought a Fisher Price Flutter Bye Birdie Soother crib toy that plays music, lights up for 10 minutes when they push a button and shows a projector on the ceiling. We installed a camera so we could see him if he was fussing just to make sure he was ok so we didn't have to go in there. When you first start, make sure everyday you are very busy, no time for real naps and lots and lots of playing so they are exhausted. We put him down after bath every night at 7:30pm with kisses and I love you, sippy cup of milk, xtra sippy cup with water, blanket, push the button on the music machine, make sure the camera is on and close the door behind us. Our son is an only child, 18 months and we never let him cry for more than 5 seconds his whole life. I can't stand his cries - it pulls at my soul - so this was very difficult for me. I cried and probably felt worse than he did for three nights. It was AWFUL. It took about a week with absolutely NO going in there or talking to him from 7:30pm to 6AM every night - no exceptions! I had the camera so I could watch him all night to make sure he was ok. This was 3 weeks ago and he has slept through the night, every night since.

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