My 16 month old won't sleep through the night...and never has!

TIffany - posted on 08/31/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I'm hoping someone can help me as I haven't had a full 8 hr sleep in over a year. My son is 16 months and he doesn't sleep through the night and I feel I have tried everything. I've tried nightlight, no nightlight; blanket, no blanket; change him, don't change him; let him cry it out (which was a nightmare and he never stopped crying and it made me feel like a horrible mother), let him co-sleep with me and my husband. It's like he has restless leg syndrome. He kicks us allllll night and headbutts us and rolls and rolls and sits up and throws himself on one of us so no one sleeps. I've even slept with him on an air mattress and couch and nothing works. I have a routine with him already--7:30 brush teeth, 8:00 nighttime bath, 8:30 bottle and sleep. I just don't know what to do at this point because he will only sleep 4-6 hours during the night.

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Lori - posted on 08/31/2014

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Neither of my girls slept through the night at that age yet. My oldest sounds similar to yours. I tried CIO with disastrous results…. she'd cry harder and louder until she'd puke. When I let her sleep with me, she'd roll around so much I didn't get much sleep - plus I didn't know I could co-sleep safely, so I felt guilty every time I let her in my bed. Around 18 months old, she started sleeping through the night on her own some times. It wasn't every night, but enough that I finally felt like I was getting a full nights sleep every once in a while. With my 2nd, I didn't even bother to try CIO, or any other sleep training. I just let be. When she'd wake, I'd nurse her back to sleep… every single time. She was over 2 yrs old before she slept through the night the first time.

And BTW - a baby/toddler not sleeping through the night is actually NORMAL. With so many books dedicated to getting baby to sleep, and hearing stories of how this friends baby or that persons baby started sleeping through the night at a younger age than your baby, it can make you feel like you are doing something wrong. You're not!

My girls are now 6 yrs and 3 1/2 yrs old. My 6 yr old gets up some nights and comes into my room for a hug. Other times she just sleeps straight through. My 3 yr old sleeps all night most nights.

Keep up with the routine. It may not seem like it's helping yet, but it's good to establish the routine early. When he does wake, settle him with whatever works for you (pacifier, bottle, blankie, hugs,etc). If you're not already, settle him back with the lights still out, and in a very calm quiet way so it's easier to go back to sleep. After my LO's turned 1, I started giving them a sippy cup of water to sleep with. When they're thirsty they have water near by. At 12 months it didn't stop either of them from waking and wanting nursed back to sleep, but they began to remember the sippy was there more often as they got older and would begin to wake, take a drink of water and go back to sleep.

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