Sleeping through the night

Tristan - posted on 01/13/2010 ( 34 moms have responded )

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I have a real problem!!! I have a 19 month old son that for one will not sleep in his bed hardly at all, and two has not slept through the night since he was born. Any suggestions????

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Erin - posted on 01/21/2010

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The book I liked and took some things from that have helped us was HEALTHY SLEEP HABITS, HAPPY CHILD - checked it out at the library. It's not so strict that you can do what feels right for you and your family, but gives helpful hints and examples of real people who have had issues like you are having now.



My daughter sleeps better in her own crib. We set up the same routine, every single night, at the same time. We account for times when when she's sick, teething, tummy ache, off schedule for travel or something.



Our routine is dinner, playtime for a little bit, snack if she is asking for it, bath, get in PJs, brush teeth, get her favorite toy (her's is a bunny), read as many books as she wants (we sit on her bedroom floor with her in our lap while reading) and usually play classical music while reading (we have the play aquarium in her crib that plays the music and turns off after a while - usually while she's sleeping), then tell her it is time for bed, rock a little, say goodnight to everything in her room (the walls, floors, favorite toys, pictures on walls, etc.), put her in her bed with her blanket and leave the room. We did rock her in our arms a lot longer when she was younger too, but don't have to now.



What I have found is routine is a must, same bedtime and EARLY (she goes to bed between 7-7:30pm every night) and her nap is sacred. If she misses her nap, it affects her sleep habits at night. We don't take her out at night past her routine time (around 6ishpm) and plan our lives around this routine. If we want to go out, we hire a babysitter (which we don't do often).



When she's not feeling well for whatever reason and refuses to settle down, I will take her to my bed and let her fall asleep while I sing, but put her into bed after she falls asleep. She sleeps 7pm-7am every single day. She has been since she was 9 months. We keep her in her room the entire routine (besides snack time which really she only needs once in a while). We don't let her leave her room after her bath, but we stay with her till she's down in bed too. I have to admit, I really enjoy that time with her and my husband does too. It's very calming for us all.

Melissa - posted on 01/17/2010

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My 18 month is doing the exact same thing (falling asleep in our bed then moving him, then he wakes up later).
With my now 3.5 yr old, the only way we solved this was when he woke up in his bed (full size bed), I would go in there and lay with him in HIS bed until he fell back asleep, took about a week, but pretty soon we started the night in his bed (with me laying with him til he fell asleep), and pretty soon he slept through the night and went to bed without me. It was a pretty good transition. I don't believe in any kind of crying it out method.

So, I'll be doing this same thing with my 18 month old soon. They are our babies, I will never regret snuggling with my babes. Pretty soon they will be too cool for me, so I got to take advantage of this time when they still think I'm "cool" , LOL

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Dalila - posted on 03/08/2013

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Im sorry to hear that but Im going throe the same thing I have a 11 month old baby girl she wont sleep in her crib moor then 2 hours and my 2,5 year old son he sleeps until middle of the night he ends up in my bed its been hard on me now sleep what so ever I say one thing my oldest daughter she is 5 she didnt sleep in her bed until she is 4 year old and stil some times she woke up calling her dad to lay down with her, so I need help!!!!!

Nicole - posted on 10/04/2012

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He doesnt have to stay in his bed or room because he knows if he persists Mom will get him or he can get in your bed. Not to sound harsh but if you cant stick to a method he will continue to come into your room....Watch Super Nanny...she has some great ways to end undesirable night behaviors that usually the parents enable without realizing.

Allison - posted on 10/01/2012

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I agree with you completely. I did however read some books but u never implemented any of those ideas. Simply because I feel it's wrong to let a child cry them self to sleep when they prefer to snuggle. I try to do what fits my child's needs by my gut instincts too.

Ruth - posted on 01/27/2010

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P.S. Since he is not in a crib I personally wouldn't just leave him in the bedroom. Maybe get the crib set back up until you can establish healthy sleep habits. Just a suggestion..

Ruth - posted on 01/27/2010

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I want to start out by saying that I told myself when my son was born that I would never let him cry it out. Then, when he was 10 months old and had been getting up every hour every night for about 5 months I decided I had to do something. I consulted his pediatrician and made sure she fully understood my concerns about crying it out. Here's what she told me:
You're child does need to know you are there and needs to know that he hasn't been abandoned, but he also needs to learn to fall asleep on his own. So she told me to continue our normal night-time routine (sippy cup of milk and several books while rocking), then put him in his crib tired, but awake. Leave the room and let him cry for five minutes. If he's still crying after five minutes, go back into his room and reassure him (hugs, kisses, telling him you love him), then leave the room again. DO NOT PICK HIM UP OUT OF THE CRIB. As soon as you pick him out of the crib it tells him that you will come and get him, even if you put him back there. He will know that eventually you will give in to him. After you have reassured him, leave the room again and double the time you stay out. Repeat this until he falls asleep, but never exceed 40 minutes at a time. It took 2 nights for my son to sleep through the night and I only had to go into his room after the 5 and 10 minute mark. He now has learned how to fall asleep comfortably and when he wakes at night (unless he's had a nightmare) he falls back to sleep with no assistance but a binky that's already in the crib. Once we really had bedtime down we started doing this with his naps. He used to only nap for about a half hour at a time and would be really cranky and tired all day because he was overtired. He now naps anywhere from an hour to 2 1/2.
Since I've done this he actually seems to be more confident and secure; he plays better with other children, is happier during the day (probably because he is now actually getting some sleep), is more outgoing, and doesn't panic when I leave a room. He knows that I am there when he needs me, but also is sure of himself to know he can accomplish things on his own.

I hope you can get some rest soon!

Louise - posted on 01/22/2010

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It's nice to know I'm not alone.....I never knew I could be this exhausted! We're lucky, in that my son falls asleep very easily if we stick to his routine (brush teeth, pjs, read book, go to crib)...but between 3 and 5 am he consistently awakens....and I hear him tossing and turning, and hitting the sides of the crib all night long....I'm afraid to transition him to a "big bed" this young, but he's soo tall, and I think the crib may be what's waking him!

Amy - posted on 01/22/2010

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I feel your pain! I am extremely frustrated with my 19month old daughter. She goes to sleep in her crib and then sometime during the night she wakes up and cries till I come and get her.Hopefully someone has an idea on how to stop this that does not involve hours of screaming baby.

Catriona - posted on 01/22/2010

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my daughter is 19 months old and hasnt slept all through the night since she was 6 months old - so you are not alone. We have tried everything from nice easy calm days to energetic days and then really wearing her out and it doesnt make any difference - people tell me not to worry about it and that she will just start sleeping at one point so heres hoping ....

Diana - posted on 01/21/2010

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My son is in the same boat. He is 19 months and has a hard time sleeping through the entire night. He would sleep when he was smaller but would wake up for the bottle. Now i have taken the bottle and he doesnt ask for it but still wake in the middle of the night at least once. He also doesn't like to sleep in his crib either. But we are working on it. I am being extremely patient and i will lay him in his crib for naps instead of my bed. This way he gets use to his crib. I try to make him comfortable as possible at night and I make sure he eats a snack and his milk right before bed. Something not too heavy cuz that may wake him up as well. But Ive noticed that through the day he needs to nap either once or twice. Sometimes he will nap once for 3hrs. And by 7pm he wants to go to bed to I will put him to sleep. I havent figured out anything for him that works. Some days its all good and others its horrible. Just have patience and do everything once but not harmful for him. Im hoping I will soon figure it out or he will just sleep. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Latonya - posted on 01/21/2010

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Sounds like we have the same child. I must confess .... it's my fault. As a baby, whenever he would cry, I would put him in the bed with me. Also, I was very tired and too lazy to do anything else. I can get him to start out in his crib, but somewhere between 1:30 and 2am in the morning, he wants to get back in the queen's bed. LOL! He still wakes up at least once a night. At least once a month he'll sleep through the night. Once a night is better than the 2 to 3 times he used to get up looking for milk. I had to use the CIO method to break him from night feedings which only took 3 nights and has contributed greatly to why he only gets up once now. I hate to hear my little man cry, but I've learned that it won't kill him and it doesn't destroy them psychologically as I have heard. However, I am still too weak to leave him in his crib crying. LOL! I hope that once my son begins to truly sleep through the night without the 1-time wakeup, he'll do much better in his crib. I'm thinking now is a good time to convert the crib to the kiddie bed.

Allison - posted on 01/20/2010

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My son is 19 months as well and he does not sleep through either. He still breast feeds and and cries nonstop if i am not there so he can breast feed and fall asleep. it is so frustrating and as a working mother it robs me out of rest. he uses a bottle at night but must breastfeed to fall asleep!

Nicki - posted on 01/20/2010

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I have the same problem. My 19 month old has never slept in her crib and is up at least 2-3 times a night. She either sleeps in her bouncy seat on with my husband in the recliner.

Yvonne - posted on 01/20/2010

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Also here's a link to an article discussing the permanent negative effect on brain development http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/1998...



Every baby/child is different, but my daughter needed to be close me from the moment she was born. The first night she cried out. I thought she was hungry, I went to nurse her, but as soon as my hand touched her and she realized I was there she fell asleep again. It was a very clear emotional need. Some babies don't mind sleeping by themselves, but I guarantee you most of them do. But parents force them into sleeping by themselves and so babies just accept that their parents don't care about them at night.

Yvonne - posted on 01/20/2010

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Don't just let him cry. That sort of thing causes stress levels in the brain to rise and studies have shown that to be determinable to development.



My daughter still sleeps with us, she's 19 months old also and still wakes during the night. It's natural and healthy. I had night terrors really bad as a kid, I still do sometimes, I would never force a child to sleep alone. I can't even sleep alone and I'm an adult.



I think a lot of these people telling you to take charge and make him sleep by himself because you're the boss are terribly selfish. That's terrible advice!





Emotional needs ARE needs, and if your child (Specially at this age) needs you at night then be there for him. I have a very good article for you to read before you take the advice of anyone telling you to let him cry himself to sleep because that's just cruel. http://womanuncensored.blogspot.com/2009...



Oh and Danielle, I read a lot of baby and parenting books. I read a lot of baby books that have research behind them. I research all the parenting decisions I make because I want the best for my child. Ignoring a child's cries is neglectful. It goes against all mothering instincts. Babies were meant to sleep with their mother, just like any other animal on the planet. Hello logic.



I am so disgusted with how many parents are suggesting you let your poor son cry.

Sarah - posted on 01/19/2010

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i would feed him right before he goes to bed... a nice bath with some calming lotion... and if he is in a crib its hard to do but just leave him in there!!! put a radio or something and turn it on classical!!!

Brittney - posted on 01/19/2010

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get this book: HEALTHY SLEEP HABITS, HAPPY CHILD. it really helped me, and it's good for all ages.

Julia - posted on 01/19/2010

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I hate to say it but it is a habit that needs to be broken and there are many ways to do it but you have to find one that works for you.

Ora has always slept in her own bed... She was in our room in a bassinet to begin with and then in her room in a crib and all we had to do was tell her it is time for bed.. give her her buddy & blankie turn on her night light turn the lights off and shut the door... She sometimes fusses but I do not go in there unless she is having a full out tantrum and never right away. But she has a routine and she thrives on that routine.. If the routine is thrown out of whack she has an all out fit and getting her to bed is a nightmare... But 90% of the time we have no problems with her sleeping in her own bed all night. Exceptions being when she is sick she will cuddle one of us until she falls asleep. All I can suggest though is just keep trying different things for at least a week at a time but do not give it.. It is rough and frustrating but something is bound to work!

Sally - posted on 01/19/2010

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The only thing that worked with our son when he was 16 month was walking out and leaving him in his cot. We had tried the less harsh approach like staying with him when he went to sleep for months but this didn't work as he soon figured out that we were going to leave the room. He would wake 3 times a night and we or I mostly would sit with him until he went to sleep. In the end after some convincing by a friend, I decided to get tough cos I was living on broken sleep and I was so sick to death of it. The first night he cried for 40 mins but hard as it was, we left him. The 2nd night he cried for 20 and went to sleep. By the third night his crying was down to 3 mins. The next night he started up and stopped immediately. We had to repeat the process during the night. My husband had a couple of late nights and helped with this. After a week we had a child that slept through the night. I wondered why we hadn't done it sooner!

Melissa - posted on 01/19/2010

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my 18 mnth old does not sleep through the night either! I honestly believe as a mother of 3 that every child is DIFFRENT and they will sleep through the night when they are ready ! our 18 mth old also our middle child is the one who does not sleep through the night ... i think its a varriety of things ..with our daughter she wakes up and as soon as i say its ok mommy;s here she is fine i've tried night lights and music soothing smells nothing works i think she just wakes up and is scared that she is alone ... i know it's frusterating (i never sleep with a neworn and 18 mth old who doesn't sleep through the night ) but BE PATIENT the day will come when all is quiet through the night remember they are little and may not be able to communicate the issues they are having with you so they are just as frusterated as you are... reassure them and be strong they;ll come around good luck to all sleepless parents

Danielle - posted on 01/18/2010

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Oh i definalty dont think its wrong to chose your baby to sleep with you, like i saidn its a parents decision..i persoanlly wont do it but that is my decision :)...i just dont think it is a need to begin with, i think the parent instigates the sleeping arrangement and therefore it evolves into a need and becomes routine and so it makes it harder for the child to adjust....which is the same for EVERYTHING you chose for a child. Like parents choosing a dummy, at first it is not a need, butthe parents decides they want it for the child and the child ends up NEEDING it. and with the sort of parents who give them a certain toy or teddy to sleep with..but hey if it makes it easier for the parent to get the child to sleep then go for it :)

AND different cultures live a LOT differently, they arent as spoiled for choice as the americans ( no offence).

Ami - posted on 01/18/2010

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mine just started sleeping through the night last week.... he is 19 months too. I thought I was going to go insane. I tried EVERYTHING to make him do it.... I even became desperate and tried CIO... it did not work until one night he just slept, then the next and the next.... and seriously, it has been for exactly one week now. I was almost scared to say it and jinx the situation. All children are different and some really are just going to sleep whenever they want to do it and nothing that you try is going to work. You are the parent, and it may get exhausting to you, but im sure that you know in your heart that what you are doing is what is best for your child. Good luck and hang in there.

[deleted account]

my 19 month old is just the same. i must admit we have got into the habbit of letting her fall asleep on the sofa and then putting her into her cot, she sleeps there until about 12 and then wakes up and cries until we go and get her and put her into our bed. we've tried everything, we've tried just leaving her to cry it out but she cries so much she makes herself sick, we've also tried just giving her water instead of milk when she wakes up but she just throws the bottle away. our next step is to get her a propper bed so one of us can lie down with her until she falls back to sleep. so if anyone has any other suggestions they would be greatly welcomed!!!!

[deleted account]

The idea of the article is that it's not a habit - it's a need. Western culture, North America especially, is the only one that routinely puts their babies to bed on their own. My point isn't to criticize those that chose this, but to say that it's not across the board wrong to have your baby sleep with you either.

Danielle - posted on 01/18/2010

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Am i the ONLY mother who doesnt read baby books? i have NEVER read a book about babies and i never will :)..too many people rely to heavily on them and think that the book they read is the ONLY way to raise a child. and there is just to many conflicting aspects about each and every thing!..i tend to go with my gut instinct and what suites me and my child :)...this isnt about any specific person. but i have noticed that a lot of people always refer to wat books say and think it is the "right"and "only"way to raise a child...just curious if there is anyone else out there like me who just goes with their instincts?

Danielle - posted on 01/18/2010

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I tend to believe that its not so much he hasnt grown out of the habit, but more so that the parents are the ones who implemented the habit. They are the ones who put the child in the bed with them i the first place and therefore is the only thing the child knows. Babies dont chose their sleeping arrangement, we as parents force it upon them...Not that that is wrong in anyway,,,each parent to their own i always say :)

[deleted account]

For a different point of view: "The child who seeks his parents' bed at night is expressing a basic need. And this need must take its own time and pace for satisfaction.
The child who is thus allowed to be with his parents will gradually mature to being satisfied with sleeping elsewhere, usually seeking the companionship of another member of the family. Should this child choose to sleep alone, it might do well to be aware that he has not transferred his seeking security from his parents or siblings to an inanimate object. If the child wants to sleep with his parents, it means he needs it. If he crawls into his parents' bed but then is content to be taken to a sibling's bed, it may mean that he was in the habit of going to his elders' bed.
For some strange reason we tend to think that to satisfy a child's need is to make it into an unbreakable habit, where in truth the exact opposite is true."
Taken from this article: http://www.naturalchild.org/tine_theveni...
Our 19 month old son does still sleep with us for most of the night as well. We see it as something that he has just not grown out of yet, but we know that he will.

Danielle - posted on 01/18/2010

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oh you POOR thing :( i cant imagine how frustrating that would b for you :(

I started my daughter with a good sleeping routine from day 4. she is a fantastic sleeper though. slept at least 7hrs a night ( and then woke up for a feed and slept another 6,lol) then by about 2 months was doing 10-12hrs a night.
You have to show your son that you are the boss in the house, not him. if you are not comfotable with contron crying then maybe just put him into HIS bed with the lights off and sit next to him ( maybe hold his hand). dont speak or move for about 5-10 mins. then graudally move a little farther away. Repeat the process but make it gradual, until u are at the door...because you have trained him to make him use to having you next to him when sleeping then he craves your comfort and now depends on it when going to bed. Being older he is more alert of his surroundings and so is more dependant of you in a sense, and needs you there and to know you are there while he sleeps.

You may have to repeat the process, and only move gradually away, making sure he is still laying down, and doesnt move. it could take a VERY long time but if you repeat it every time he cries...then after a week you should see some real imrpovement and hopefully by the end of the month you will have a great little sleeper who is in his own bed :)......also teaching him to self-soothe is a great idea as children have sleep cycles and so can b woken up by the slightest noise. he needs to learn to be able to just go back to sleep after he has been woken. After a few days or a week of this method, try leaving him for a few minutes longer b4 you go back in and do the process., eventually he will only cry for a min then go back to sleep or just go back to sleep without your assistance.

Like i said this is the LONG way to do it,lol..but if you are persistant and DONR EVER GIVE IN then it should work. As soon as you give in and get him out of bed and into your bed it will NEVER work as he will know you will eventually get him out and so he will start screaming the second he see's you move away and will end up getting himself soo worked up that he wont fall asleep.

Angelique - posted on 01/18/2010

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My boy is sleeping with us in bed. But I had gone and bought a mattress which I had put next to my bed during the night. He falls asleep in our bed still but once he's asleep I put him on his mattress. He's starting to sleep there now during the whole night. My next step is going to be to move him into his own room. They just need to know that you'll still be there when they wake up during the night and that you haven't abandoned them completely. Remember their security has been taken away now and they don't like it. So try it and see what happens.

Charmaine - posted on 01/17/2010

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I have the same situation! Gosh is it frusterating, let alone the lack of sleep! He will go into his bed at night but wakes up pretty much every night, between 12 midnight and 5am, screaming until we come and get him. So I will be reading comments for suggestions too...but I know how you feel! :) Best of luck :)

Manda - posted on 01/16/2010

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Well sorry to say but by allowing him to fall asleep in your bed is making things harder for youself. He needs to learn to fall asleep in his own bed and if he is getting into your bed during the night you need to get up and put him back into his own bed, he will soon learn where he is ment to sleep. At the moment he is confused as you said you let him fall asleep in your bed so every time he wakes up he thinks mummys bed is the place to fall asleep....you might have a few sleepless nights ahead of you but in the end it will all pan out....as long as you sitck with it....hope that helps

Tristan - posted on 01/15/2010

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He is not still in his crib. Since he seemed to sleep better in our bed we took his crib down and he now has a "big boy bed" I usually let him fall asleep in our bed then move him to his bed, he stays in there for a while but always seems to end up in our bed by morning. My husband has talked about shutting his door all the way basically locking him in his room. I just don't feel right about this hes not gonna stay in his bed so he will end up crying hiself to sleep on the floor beside his door, Right? I tried the cry it out method before we took the crib down and just couldn't do it. I'm hoping it will get better soon, he now has a blanket that he goes everywhere with so I'm hoping this will help comfort him.

Bethanie - posted on 01/14/2010

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Is he in a crib still? Don't want this to sound harsh but just put him in there! :) He will more then likely cry but it's easier to do this now then later. He probably hasn't slept through the night because he's in your bed. Similarly with my son, he did not sleep through the night until he was 5 months and that was only after we had finally moved him into his crib and on the second night of being in there! Read him a story, put some music on, rock him for a bit before you lay him down and then leave the room. Don't let him cry for any longer then 20 mins (if you're even comfortable doing that at all) and if he's still crying after that, go in there, don't stimulate him, rock him for a bit till he starts to get drousy and then lay him down again and repeat. I'm sure with each time, the amount of time he cries will decrease and he will eventually fall asleep on his own. Put in a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, too. It's important for you to lay him in there when he is drousy and not completely asleep. The most important thing is consistency and not giving in to him and putting him in bed with you.

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