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Old 05-19-2010, 10:32 AM   #1
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19 month old wakes up several times during the night

My 19 month old son has never been a great sleeper. Lately he will get up at midnight, then 2am, then 4am, 5am etc...He cries around midnight and I go to his room, console him back to sleep, and an hour or 2 later he is up again crying. The second time I go to his room I usually lay him down next to me and he falls asleep pretty quickly only to wake up again an hour or 2 hours later even when I'm sleeping next to him. He tosses and turns crying in his sleep and the only way I can get him to calm down is hold his hand or place my hand on his back. I'm concerned there is something wrong...Why isn't he sleeping through the night yet? He's a very happy boy throughout the day although he fights naps. As I said he's never been a great sleeper but I can't keep consoling him back to sleep!!! I'm just 7 weeks pregnant and I can't imagine what it will be like trying to get my son to sleep on top of getting a new baby to sleep! I need help!! I have so much anxiety over this I don't know what to do!

 
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:40 PM   #2
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Re: 19 month old wakes up several times during the night

There are a million reasons why a child wakes up in the night. Here's a list of the most common reasons:

Is he cutting teeth? That causes all kinds of night waking. Teething tablets and a good dose of ibuprofen (motrin) will take care of that.

Is he eating enough during the day? Pay attention to what he is eating and how much and make sure he's getting enough. A lot of parents cut out milk bottles around this age, for some reason, and I find that interferes with a good night's sleep too. I keep/kept my daughters on bottles until around 2 1/2 (2
a day, one at naptime and one at nighttime).

Could he just be thirsty? You might put a sippy cup of plain water in his bed, so he can get a drink at night when he wants it. I do that with my girls and it's saved me a TON of trouble with the getting up at night!

Is his diaper wet? I go in and change my 22 month old's diaper around midnight (right before I go to sleep) and that always helps her sleep through the night.

Could his room be too quiet? Noise machines sell at places like Radio Shack, Walmart, or Target for about $25 and they are SOOOO worth it! My personal favorite is the waterfall noise.....

Could it be too bright in his room? My kids hate sleeping with light in the room.

If he takes a binky, could it be that he can't find it in the night? I put several binkies in the bed for my girls to be able to find whenever they lose one!

Does he have a pillow? He might benefit from a small pillow.

Those are all the things that just popped into my head just now.... if I think of more, I'll be back!

I do understand the whole pregnancy thing! I am 23 weeks now, and my youngest daughter is 22 months old, and she just went through the waking at night phase. Hers was due to teething and sniffles, but it lasted FOREVER!!!! So yeah, I do understand what you're dealing with!

One more thing.... how long do you let him cry before you go into comfort him? If you know he is dry and all the above things don't apply, you might let him fuss himself back to sleep. I've started doing that with my 22 month old, and she never cries more than 5 minutes before she passes out again.

Good luck. Hope something here can help!

OH! Make sure he doesn't have any ear infections too..... since you didn't mention sniffles or anything, I'd doubt it, but it's always a possibility....

 
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:06 PM   #3
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Re: 19 month old wakes up several times during the night

Thanks for all the tips. I give my son 4 bottles of milk a day. The doctor wants him to be off the bottle completely but he won't drink milk from a sippy and I haven't forced the issue with him. I don't see anything wrong with keeping himon a bottle until he's 2 or 2 1/2. He gets a bottle around 8pm. He might be hungry at night. The past few nights when he gets up, he cries and it's hard to settle him down so I've been giving him a bottle of milk and he falls back to sleep right after. I'll try changing his diaper during the night too. A wet diaper never seems to bother him during the day but maybe it's uncomfortable for him while he sleeps. I've never tried a noise machine. He has a ceiling fan that stays on while he sleeps... he wakes up whether it's on or off. I'll try turning off his night light. I tried adding another night light in the hall but that didn't make a difference. When he gets up, I don't let him cry. I immediately go to his room to put him back down. He's in a toddler bed so most of the time I'll find him standing in his doorway hanging on the baby gate waiting for me to come to him!

 
Old 05-23-2010, 10:43 AM   #4
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Re: 19 month old wakes up several times during the night

I love that you keep a baby gate in his doorway at night! I know so many parents who won't do that for some reason.... it's the only way I kept my sanity when my kids were little!

My girls refused milk from a sippy when they were that age, too. That's one of the reasons why I waited til they were older, and could understand better what was going on. I don't see any reason to take the bottle away earlier (just be sure to take the bottle away when he's finished with it at night and don't leave it to be sipped all night long or that causes tooth decay and all that).

It's possible that he's getting a bit too much milk and not enough actual food, though. You might cut out one bottle of milk and offer more food during the day, and eventually cut him down to 2 bottles a day.

Hang in there!

 
Old 05-24-2010, 06:49 PM   #5
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Re: 19 month old wakes up several times during the night

My oldest son seemed to be a difficult sleeper. It wasn't actually until my second child came, that I learned why. I dont know if your situation is the same but here goes. First of all, I would let my son go to sleep with a sippy, so he was a thirsty sleeper. He allways wanted to be sucking while sleeping. YIKES. So when the sippy was empty, he woke up. Also, when he would finally go down for a nap, I would let him sleep for hours because I felt like I really needed the break. In reality, I should have cut nap time down to about nothing until he was so tired that he began to sleep through the night. The third reason was that I had no "real" schedule. They need to be gotten up by a certain time every day, and put to bed by a certain time every day. Instead, he was my little buddy. We stayed up late and we got up late, he napped late, etc. That's no good! Another reason was that I never once let him cry it out. I hated the idea of him crying and helpless and afraid, not to mention that I hated the sound of it all. So I would sit by his bed for hours until he fell asleep! In the end, this kid was 4 before he finally started sleeping through the night. But he was my first, and I can honestly say that I really didn't know any better. I cringe today when I think about the lack of attentiveness on his behalf compared to my others. But I think that's like that with most first time mom's. At least that's what I tell myself so I dont feel so bad! lol Anywho, my second I scheduled very soon after birth because the house was absolute chaos. He was sleeping through the night, and so was my first within a couple months. With my third, I started the day we came home from the hospital.....two hour feeding, then playtime, then a SHORT nap if necessary. I would push it and try to get two feedings in before we fell asleep. He was sleeping through the night within weeks. I have no idea if any of these things apply to your situation, but kids need sleep. It's a simple fact. It's also a fact that they require MORE sleep then adults. Soooooooooo, whatever the reason is that he isn't sleeping through the night, once you find it, you will be amazed at how easy it is to change. Oh! and try to maybe put a little radio in his room and leave it playing very very softly in the background. I also found my kids did a little better with a little noise in the room, and then everyone else in the house didn't have to walk around on their tip toes! Good luck!
Melissa

 
Old 06-03-2010, 03:52 PM   #6
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Re: 19 month old wakes up several times during the night

Thanks again for your advice. I tried changing him in the middle of the night because I thought he was waking from a wet diaper. I tried givng him cereal just before bed because I thought maybe he was waking from hunger. None of these has helped. Last night I gave him a bottle at his first waking at 1am. He ended up sleeping until 5am with just some minor whimpering through the night. I still have to sit with him while he falls asleep and he needs to be holding my hand. I'm sort of like his security blanket! I'm not the cry it out kind either but I think I may have to start if I can't find another solution! I will try cutting back on his bottles and giving him more food during the day...he is a picky eater and I still give him baby food (veggies and some protein) because he refuses to eat vegetables and any kind of meat except for meatballs. I just want to make sure he is well balanced. I'm not sure if that's okay to still be giving him baby food or not! I'm so fristrated and feel like I could do a better job. I don't have any regrets as far as how I did or didn't train him to sleep, however with my next child I plan to do things much different1 Any advice is helpful for the second child!!!! ThANK YOU!What is the recommended intake of milk for a 19 month old? My doc said up to 24 ounces, but that seems like a lot!

 
Old 06-04-2010, 07:08 AM   #7
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Re: 19 month old wakes up several times during the night

I wonder how much sugar your child may be getting, as well as caffeine in liquids and solids. I think if there is no physical cause (I assume you have mentioned this to the pediatrician) then it could be from sugar or caffeine intake. Whole milk has a high Lactose (milk sugar) content and it is also found in a huge array of foods, some which one not even think would have Lactose (mushrooms for example). I think I would investigate this aspect of your child's intake especially if he is taking in sugary treats. Sugar does make children more hyper as does caffeine. Just my 2 cents.

 
Old 06-04-2010, 10:00 AM   #8
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Re: 19 month old wakes up several times during the night

He does eat a ton of fruit and lots a milk everyday. He drinks some juice but I water it down, I rarely give him cookies and junk but he loves graham crackers and eats them almost everyday.

 
Old 06-04-2010, 06:23 PM   #9
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Re: 19 month old wakes up several times during the night

I can tell you it sounds a lot like my son. He has nocturnial epilepsy. Sounds scarier then it really is. During certain stages of his sleep, he will start grinding his teeth, he cries, drools and even stiffens up (like a seizure). These episodes are apparently harmless and kids usually grow out of it. My son is 4 and has been having these episodes, I believe, since he was a baby. I am still waiting to see if he grows out of it. He used to only have about 1 episode a night that lasted about 5 minutes. Now he sometimes has up to 4. If he does not get a nap during the day then they seem to be worse at night. The other strange thing is he never has had one during nap time. I think it is because he is not asleep long enough to reach the REM stage of sleep.

I can almost time my son's episodes. It is usually about two hours after he falls asleep. The strange thing is, as the night goes on, they seem to stop.

I have not taken him to a sleep center yet because from what I read it is not harmful to him and he should grow out of it. I have just gotten used to hearing him cry, getting up, rubbing his back for a few minutes and then going back to sleep myself. As horrible as it sounds, I sometimes don't get up and just let him get through it. He does not even know he is doing it most of the time. He does not even totally wake up. He may open his eyes, but he is not awake. There are some occasions that he does wake up and calls for me. When he does that I will lay in his room for the rest of night just so he knows I am there.

Anyway...this could be what is going on with your son or not. Just something you can look into. For some children, they do prescribe medicine. My brother also had this and did eventually grow out of it.

 
Old 06-05-2010, 01:27 PM   #10
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Re: 19 month old wakes up several times during the night

I've never heard of that before...wow. My son will sit up in bed and cry, sometimes with his eyes closed, or he will stand at the baby gate waiting for me. I've never seen him stiffen up or anything lie that. Does your son sit up or stand during these episodes?

 
Old 06-07-2010, 03:29 PM   #11
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Re: 19 month old wakes up several times during the night

Yes, sometimes. Sometimes he even will sleep walk a bit. There have been a few times when I go in there and he is screaming like he had a nightmare. His eyes are open, he is sitting up and he is crying, but after a minute I can tell he is still asleep. He can respond to simple commands, like... lay down, etc. It is very strange and scary. Then he will calm down again.

Look up nocturnal epilsepsy on the internet and see if any of the symptoms match what your child is doing. Like I said, this is just one possibility of what may be going on with your child. If it continues and is bothersome, I would take him to a sleep center. They could tell you for sure what is going on. It seems like you need your sleep and so does your little one .

Hope you find out what is going on soon!

 
Old 08-15-2010, 05:03 PM   #12
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Re: 19 month old wakes up several times during the night

Simple sleep training may help, he is used to you going in there now, that's why he wakes up, he knows you'll give him attention. Plus you lay down with him, hold his hand etc.. Look up sleep training on the internet. It's basically letting them cry about 10 minutes, going in there(NOT taking them out of the crib or bed) pat them on the back tell them it's okay, then LEAVE, it happens again, you go in there do the same thing until you go in there and not talk just pat and go out. I think if it gets bad you actually sit in a chair by the door so they can SEE you but you don't talk or look their way. I also have seen this on that Nanny show where she goes to someone's house and diciplines the kids? It sometimes may take a few days or even a week but it WORKS! My oldest daughter did this when her baby was 4 months old, he wouldn't sleep in the crib, only his swing. He's 6 years old now and sleeps like a log, never any awakening unless he's sick. Also my youngest did this with her first born. Sometimes when they're sick and you pick them up etc...they may go back to the waking up and crying but if you just go back to the sleep training method, it works again. If not your child will have sleep problems for maybe the rest of their lives. I know it's hard but kids learn pretty early to manipulate you! I have a friend who's daughter is eight and still doing this. It's not cute anymore at this age. It also disrupts YOUR sleep and then you're both miserable the next day! Try it!

 
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