Is it normal for a 16mo. old to still wake up EVERY night crying?

Jennifer - posted on 05/22/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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She wakes up every night between 3 and 4 am. it is hard to let her cry it out because then everyone is up. Sometimes she will take a bottle, I change her diaper make sure she has her binky, or even put in her favorite movie. Some nights she will fall abck to sleep and some night she keeps going. We are all losing sleep and are very grumpy. It is affecting me and our marriage negatively.

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Jennifer - posted on 05/22/2010

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Yeah you just have wait - my daughter was like that too, but basically around 19months she just magically slept through the night. I wouldn't put on tv for her as that can be too stimulating as could give her night terrors (my daughter had one once - they r scary!). I always just cuddled with my daughter til she fell back asleep. Maybe she is wakin up de to bad dreams or even teeth - but don't worry it will pass.

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My son didn't start sleeping through the night until he was 15 months and after talking to other moms I've found this to be fairly common. Has she been waking at this time consistently or has it just started? Sounds like it's been going on for awhile. If that's so, and it's happening at the same time every night, then it's probably just habit. It could be that she just wakes up at that time and can't find her binky so she gets upset. I think this is why my son didn't start sleeping through until he was 15 months. that's when he decided to give up his paci. You can try to put several in the crib so when she wakes up she can easily find it. Or you can just go in her room, stick the binky in her mouth and leave again without making any eye contact. I would skip the diaper change unless her diaper is leaking. definitely don't put on a movie or give her a bottle. even if she is going through a growth spurt she can get all the food she needs during the day. have as little contact with her as possible so you don't excite her. if she thinks you are going to play with her, she won't go back to bed. you are her favorite person, after all. how long do you let her cry before you go into her room? I am not a fan of crying it out, but I do let me son cry for up to 20 minutes at a time and not more (advice from his pediatrician). every so often we have to retrain him, like when we go on vacation or he has been sick. and usually after a few nights he's back on schedule. it's all trial and error and what works for one child doesn't necessarily work for another, but it's worth a try. Good luck.

Jennifer - posted on 05/22/2010

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she at the moment has a cold but is other wise healthy. I haven't noticed any molars. She gets a dry diaper before she goes down for the night. The funny thing with the movie is it is how she falls asleep. We tried the radio but that didn't seem to do the trick. We live near a train track and the horns are SO loud. We even switched the rooms hoping it would help. We have tried not putting it on and she screams, as soon as it comes on she stops and lays down. She is in her own room (that she shares with her big brother). We have tried adjusting what time she goes to bed and her naps during the day....My hubby doesn't have ANY patience to deal with it.

Iridescent - posted on 05/22/2010

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By that age, it's become a habit. Even as an adult, if you're woken up every night in a new place when a train goes by at 3:30am, you start to wake up at that time whether the train is there or not. It becomes learned. It took us trying to meet every potential need for one of our children at 18 months during his waking up at night, to latching the door, making sure his room was safe, and letting him cry, at 2 years to get the habit to stop. It is not pleasant but I don't know of any other way to break the habit. Since he was so old, instead of taking the usual 3-4 nights it took a full week with a couple recurrences once a week or so for the next month. Just make certain they aren't ill, and let them be.

Karen - posted on 05/22/2010

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I know exactly what your going through. My middle kiddo is 20months and she still wakes up, except now i think shes getting her other molars so lately she wakes up screaming and she wakes her older sister up, that and i have a 3month old who still wakes up so my hubby and i get no sleep either. i have to put movies on for the girls at night too. it does take a toll on marriage, my only advice is to take turns every night getting up, if you get up at night for her then have your hubby take over in the morning and let you sleep in and vice versa,(thats what we do).

Kristin - posted on 05/22/2010

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Maybe it's just too many options to soothe her. Put her in a nightime diaper and don't change that again until morning. She can have a sippy of water with her. See if she really needs you before you go in to her. There is fussy crying and then there are hysterics. Is she in her own room or in yours? At this point and especially if it is affecting your marriage, she has to be in her own room.



Finally, every child will really sleep through the night when they get there. What you are looking for is a child who isn't going to get upset and need you with them. So, have you ruled out an illness (ear ache/infection) or teething? Outside of that, keep it as simple and dull (maybe no more movies, the flashing light is disruptive to sleep cycles) as possible when you go to her.



It also sounds like you and your husband need to sit down and talk about how to handle this. What does he want to do and how is he going to help with it?

Katherine - posted on 05/22/2010

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My 14mo still wakes up. IDK, sometimes I think it's never going to end...I know that's not helpful lol, but I feel for you. Somehow you need to break that routine.

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