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  • 15 month old having sleep issues...

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    Old 08-16-2008, 01:58 AM   #1
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    15 month old having sleep issues...PLEASE HELP!!

    OK..first, sorry if this is so long!! I was reading the "ferber" post and I was going to post there but figured I'd start a new thread. So, let me start by saying that my daughter was a pretty good sleeper at around 3-4 months old until she started teething. Then, like a typical baby, she would wake up erratically and some nights were worse than others.

    Also, I'm not a big fan of "crying it out"! In fact, it breaks my heart because she gets so upset sometimes, it's hard for her to breathe and she has a VERY hard time calming down. Once at about 10 months, I let her cry for 30 minutes and I was so upset about it...for days I felt so guilty. Now, I only let her cry for about 5 minutes. Usually this is when she isn't quite ready to go to bed and I'm trying to see if she'll just lay down on her own (which she never does) and it also tires her out more, so by the time I go in and comfort her for a minute, she's out.
    Sometimes, she's good about laying down and going to sleep and other times not...this is probably because she doesn't have consistent naps and almost never naps in her crib. So, I still find myself rocking her at times, when she's really upset about going to bed. I know, this is bad!!!
    Here's the crups of the post...sorry this is taking so long to write!! It seems as though for months, she keeps waking up in the middle of the night. Sometimes once, sometimes 3 or 4 times!! Sometimes, I can calm her down right away without picking her up, lay her down, pat her back, put on her music and she goes back to sleep. Other times, if she knows I have left the room, she freaks out. And many times, she isn't consoled by the music or the patting and keeps standing up screaming for me to pick her up, so I do and rock her back to sleep. Since I went back to work, it was getting harder to keep doing this, and she would be soooo upset sometimes, so I started bringing her into bed with me and DH. I know, this was NOT the best choice. My DH and I both agree that we shouldn't be doing this and we are trying to break from this habit but there are nights, neither of us have the patience, so she ends up in our bed. (Both my DH and I are light sleepers and are conscious of rolling over so we would never roll on top of her!) This is happening like 3-4 times a week!! In our bed, of course, she usually goes right to sleep and sleeps the most soundly through the night. I do try to move her back to her crib at various times after she's fallen asleep though.

    OKAY, so here are my questions...are there any suggestions of what I can do to help this situation? I really don't want to let her cry it out but I'm fearing that as she gets older, she will demand more attention at bed time and through the night and then I'll have a screaming toddler on my hands! I don't know what wakes her up through the night. Sometimes it's from her wetting through her diaper, so we started giving her less to drink at night. Sometimes, I think it's gas (we've been exposing her to new foods). Sometimes I guess it could be teething, although she hasn't cut a tooth in months! And other times, I think it's nightmares because she seems terrified with her cries and holds me so tight when I pick her up. But regardless, after she cries a minute or 2, I go right in...should I extend this time? I usually think I should but then I also think that the more she gets upset, the harder it will be for me to calm her down and get her back to sleep. Has anyone gone through this before? Could it be just a phase? I mean, she won't be wetting her diapers, teething, and adjusting to new foods forever right? I'm fearing the worst come September though because for the first time, we are going to try full time daycare (as opposed to family watching her) when I go back to work (I've been off for the summer) and I think this problem may get worse before it gets better!! But I also think that with many more activities at daycare, she will probably have a conistent nap everyday and maybe bedtime (and consecutive sleep) won't be so bad! What do you all think? Thanks so much for reading this VERY long post and for posting your thoughts!! I do appreciate it so much!

    Last edited by km7503; 08-16-2008 at 02:52 AM.

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    Old 08-16-2008, 04:42 AM   #2
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    Re: 15 month old having sleep issues...

    Sorry, I dont' really have any advice for you but wanted to say that I know what you are going through. My daughter does the same thing whenever I try to put her in her crib at all! She gets soooo upset that I worry because she is gasping for air etc. I can't let that go on long at all. Maybe I should, but it's just hard for me to see her so upset. Plus, I have to agree, the longer it goes on, the longer it takes to get them to calm down. I wish I had some answers for you, but unfortunately, I made the mistake of letting our daughter sleep in our room, and now I fear it's going to be that way forever!!!!! Good luck, and I am looking forward to other's responses. Hopefully you'll get some good advice.
    ~Ella Ann, July 2, 2007~
    ~Madilyn Mya, September 21, 2008~

    Old 08-16-2008, 06:49 AM   #3
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    Re: 15 month old having sleep issues...

    My DD is 5 months and is "currently" sleeping through the night, but I do sympathize with you on some of the other issues. We have tried several times to let her cry it out (mainly when we put her down for a nap, when it is obvious she is exhausted, but still doesnt want to sleep), she cries and cries and the longer we let her be, the louder she screams. She has yet to calm herself down and screams so loud and long that her throat gets raspy and she starts to, we always pick her up after 10-15 minutes.

    If she does happen to wake up at night, I tend to go to her right away as well, because that way, I can give her a binky and she will go back to sleep, but if I let her cry for long, she gets so upset that she wont calm down without a bottle.

    Last edited by G8r4evr; 08-16-2008 at 06:49 AM.

    Old 08-17-2008, 11:55 AM   #4
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    Re: 15 month old having sleep issues...

    I have never had a child before this 5-mo old, so I really can't say much. But from Ferber's descriptions, it may again be a problem of what she expects you to be doing when she's sleeping. He says this is a problem of sleep associations.

    Let's assume that is correct.

    She's assuming you'll still be there holding her, rocking her, and her music will be playing, etc. Possibly also in the light. But when she wakes up, all that is gone - you've sneaked away, put her in some other place, and it's dark and quiet.

    According to Ferber, everyone goes through sleep cycles and technically, everyone wakes up periodically at night; it's just how awake one is whether one really acts out and remembers it. If your child now expects that she's going to be "foiled again" during sleep, she'll more likely fully wake during those transitional periods to fully check to see if she has indeed been "foiled again". And of course, when she finds it's not right, not the way she goes to sleep, she cries.

    This is exactly in fact what happens with ME concerning the BABY in reverse. It seems even though lately he's mostly "slept through the night", I keep waking up frequently either thinking I heard him cry, or expecting he will - so I better wake up and check!

    It's also similar to people who have experience of needing to wake at a certain time to be on time for an important date. I've had this too. Often, while we set our alarms to wake at the right time, we wake even a few minutes before it goes off! Our sub-concious is telling us to be alert for something, and thus doesn't sleep as well.

    Not saying this is your problem, but sound like it really could be.

    Old 08-17-2008, 04:07 PM   #5
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    Re: 15 month old having sleep issues...

    Well, last night (and hopefully every night to come) I was firm on not bringing her to my bed. She woke up 2x and the first time, went right back to sleep (with a little music and patting of the back~but no fuss at least). And the 2nd time, she wet through her diaper and sheet and I had to change both. Usually when this happens, I change her but leave the sheet until morning and bring her into bed with me. Well, she had a hard time about going back down. I layed her down, assumed she was asleep and walked out but she sat up for a few minutes and then began to cry when she realized I wasn't in the room. We painstakenly let her cry it out for a few minutes...finally, I went in there and tried to lay her down. She didn't but then I kept telling her she was a big girl...and I sat across from her crib in the rocker assuring her that I was right there but wanting her to lay herself down after my failed attempts. She cried a bit longer while I sat there but I held out because I REALLY didn't want to pick her up and go back to our old habits. Once she realized I wasn't going to pick her up, she layed down...but that only lasted a second. She began to cry again and after a minute I went over to her crib and to my surprise, without even touching her, she layed down by herself. I think she just wanted that added comfort of me rubbing her back for a minute, which I did...but then she finally went to sleep.

    I'm not sure what I can do at this point about the music and rubbing her back because those really soothe her...the bigger hurdles I'm trying to get over is 1) Keeping her out of my bed, 2) Not picking her up (unless I need to change her) and 3)Having her get used to getting comfortable to put herself down on her own. I'm going to keep with this for a while. Hopefully, eventually, we can tackle the music business and soon I hope, I won't even have to be in the room as a comfort for her either...we'll see. I'm proud of myself though. It's going to take some patience and follow through but I think it's worth it in the end.

    Old 08-17-2008, 06:24 PM   #6
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    Re: 15 month old having sleep issues...

    My daughter went through a phase like this as well (she's 16 months old now). I did something similar with my daughter that you tried last night. She would cry, I would go in and sooth her (whether rocking for a few minutes, patting her bum, giving her the binky back, etc.) and then when she was quiet, I would leave the room. She would then sometimes cry when I left the room and like your daughter I didn't leave her to cry because she would make herself sick from crying. I finally decided to try something different. I would go back in and sooth her once more until she was calm and quiet and laying down and then if she started crying as soon as I walked out of the room, I knew it was a "me" thing, so I would sit in the rocking chair next to the crib. She would cry for a while (not nearly as bad if I wasn't in there), but once she realized I was there and was not going to pick her up, she would settle in. Usually she went through this when her teeth were bothering her - otherwise, she wasn't this needy and wouldn't wake up much throughout the night. I definitely think it's worth a shot for you -- but beware, some nights it took a while for her to settle in, so I would bring a book in with me .

    Definitely hang in there and it will absolutely change -- even though you don't see the teeth doesn't mean they aren't bothering her (which I'm sure you know). It took me months to realize that one! If it is her teeth, whatever she is doing now is not going to be a bad habit she'll hold on to as she gets older - I bet she would prefer to be sleeping comfortably too. Trust me, I went through hell for the first year with all the teeth and the sleeping with the last tooth just coming in, my daughter is 16 months and is an amazing sleeper!!!!

    Good luck!

    Last edited by luckydarlin; 08-17-2008 at 06:28 PM.

    Old 08-18-2008, 10:11 AM   #7
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    Re: 15 month old having sleep issues...

    Do you put her to bed at the same time every night, or roughly thereabout? Do you have a nighttime routine? My son was kinda the same, I would run to him everytime he cried, then frankly, I got sick of not getting sleep, and him hogging the bed when we would bring him in with us. So this was a while back, and we just started being really consistent and firm on his routine. It was much improved, but those first few nights were hell! For almost 2 weeks, it was a power struggle, and a game to see who could outlast the other!!! His screaming, and my giving in. But eventually as we continued on it got easier, and now when its bed time, we give him a kiss, say goodnight, I take him to his room, give him an extra hug and kiss, and to my surprise the past few nights, he's pointed to his bed!!! We were excited. Not to say that he doesn't have a set back every now and then *Last night when he was up screaming for 3 hours!!! Overstimulation with family in from out of town, and not enough napping during the day!!!*

    I know we'll have more trials, but the crying it out thing.... Its hard, but crying doesn't actually hurt them. I just couldn't go another day with him in the bed, NO ONE got good sleep! And co-sleeping and that stuff works for some, but not us!

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