I have an 18 month old that has tremendous difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. She has always been a HORRIBLE sleeper. I've tried everything from crying-it-out to co-sleeping and everything in between. We have a quiet bedtime routine that we pretty strictly adhere, too (bath, book reading, rocking). She doesn't drink/eat caffeine. We've tried getting her more nap sleep, putting her to sleep earlier for bed, putting her to sleep later for bed, nightlights, white noise, black-out shades, music, etc. and nothing works. She is diagnosed with sensory issues but I'm not sure if sensory issues can cause such sleep problems and am beginning to wonder if she has a neurological problem (she isn't waving or doing many hand gestures but she says more words that most kids her age), silent acid reflux (she gulps when I lay her to go to sleep, has food aversions and hate milk), sleep disorder or something like that. Any ideas what it could be?
She takes *at least* an hour to fall asleep every night. Currently, we rock her to sleep (having her fall asleep on her own or crying-it-out does not work for her) and we rock her for an hour usually. I've tried just laying next to her in the bed for a few weeks and she just rubs our arms forever and has the same trouble falling asleep. She wakes up about four or five times a night and that is with us sleeping next to her. She is up anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours, but I'd say that her time spent awake in the middle of the night is around 1-1/2 hours. She lays quitely and rubs our arms excessively until she finally falls asleep. If we don't let her rub our arms she cries hysterically.
I'm so worried about her and this sleeping issue is very, very difficult on me, too. I'm so tired and have absolutely no down time ever. Any and all advice or possible diagnoses would be appreciated. Please help us!
Last edited by tiredmom100; 01-07-2008 at 12:11 PM.
Just asked because when my daughter had food allergies she barely slept until we took away all the allergic foods. She was very hyper during the day. Signs of food allergy, well the hyperness, eczema, stomach/bowel problems, reflux, congestion, can also have vomiting and not wanting to eat.
I have the same problem with my 21mo old daughter I sleep with her and she still is up more times than i can count during the night and she has to have a bottle I have tried everything i am so sleep deprived I dont know think Im going to make it sometimes.
hi denise, sorry to hear that your toddler doesn't sleep well either. i know what you mean about feeling like just collasping from fatigue and lack of down time.
hum - that is interesting that she always needs milk (unlike my little one). my only thoughts on that are that it could be: 1) she has acid reflux or silent acid reflux (reflux w/o spitting up) because some babies with that condition try to drink milk more than usual which can soothe the throat while others avoid it because it can lead to more acid. i'd search the internet for the symptoms for acid reflux and see if it sounds similar to your child OR 2) she has an association with sleeping and milk where she has not learned to self-soothe herself to sleep without this crutch, so to speak. either way, the lack of sleep is so difficult to bear. i hope that we both find answers and get some sleep soon.
Last edited by tiredmom100; 01-08-2008 at 08:31 PM.
Hi, I talked to my dr about acid reflux before she told me that most babies will grow out of the acid reflux if they have it so I guess I will wait a few months and see if it gets any better... good luck
your daughter sounds a lot like my oldest used to be....
you might look at all the ingredients in the foods you are feeding her. i'm learning that my oldest seems to have a reaction to any foods with high fructose corn syrup, and certain artificial food colorings (yellow 5 and yellow 6 and any reds). if she had foods with these ingredients (and a few others), she doesn't sleep and just can NOT settle herself down for anything! she is four now, and i only just started figuring this out a couple of months ago! it is saving my life (and hers!!!) and my sanity!
there are plenty of "natural" brands of foods you can buy and still keep up with a toddlers demands! they're offered at most grocery stores and places like walmart and super target too.
my toddler is a very picky eater so i feed her mostly foods without any additives or sugar. i do feed her yo baby yogurt everyday which has sugar in it. i'll try to eliminate that just in case, but i'm inclined to think that it is not her diet (unless it is a milk allergy) because she was like this since she was born and didn't even eat any food, just milk, for her first six months. i will definitely try eliminating the sugar from Cherrios and yogurt.
We have the exact same problem with our children. My daughter has to have her milk and wakes up numerous times during the night. I need help with getting her to sleep so I can sleep finally after 2 years! When you find the miracle, please let me know.
Thanks for your time,
My toddler sleeps beautifully now and I know why she was such an awful sleeper when she was younger. After searching and searching to find why my toddler contantly awoke throughout the night and during naps, I finally got an answer. My toddler had silent acid reflux (the reflux where you don't spit up). I tried Prevacid which is an acid reflux medication and her sleep improved. I had to do some sleep training (the sleep lady shuffle - google it for more info) AFTER I took care of what was bothering her with the medication. She had developed such poor sleep habits due to being in constant pain, but she did minimal crying when doing the "sleep lady shuffle" while on the medication. Crying-it-out never worked before the medications, in fact, nothing helped improve her sleep before the medication took the pain away. I made her pediatrician give my the medication for a one month trial as a "shot in the dark" that that might be the problem and guess what "it worked"! She is a little older now and no longer needs the medication because she outgrew the reflux. I hope that my experience helps some of you poor, sleepy mommies out there. I was there and it was such a difficult experience and I thought I would never sleep again. If you have any questions, then I would LOVE to help you. Just post a reply and I will get an email notification.