20 month old sleep problems!

Isis - posted on 07/15/2011 ( 22 moms have responded )

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My son is 20 months old and has been falling asleep alone in his crib since he was 11 months old. All of a sudden for the past few weeks he wants to be rocked to sleep. Now we're at the point where he is waking up in the middle of the night and not going back to sleep until he is rocked!!! Unless he is totally asleep he jumps right up when I try to lay him down!! I just went back to work full time... HELP! Any suggestions!?

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Jessie - posted on 08/21/2011

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I have the exact same problem!!! My daughter jaiden is now 23 months old and such a light sleeper...always thrashing around and gets up several times a night! I am now 8 months pregnant and cannot deal with it anymore. We went on vacation and she slept with me in a bed for about6 nights...now I can't leave her side. Even when I get her to sleep in the rocking chair which is our routine after reading books, she wakes up the second I turn around to leave the room...as if she was never asleep!!! SO FRUSTRATING, and then the crying begins and she is so stubborn, she will not quite. she stands at her door and crys and crys and says she is "so upset" and she "needs help" and that she is locked in and can't get out". It breaks my heart, but we are trying the tough love thing because nothing else works! As soon as you try to leave she is awake and crying for you to come back. PLEASE HELP!

Jessie - posted on 08/23/2011

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My daughter is a little different...always has been. The Cry it out method does not work with her because she is just too stubborn! we have been trying that (the tough love) routine for weeks and she simply cries for hours and hours...and now she can open the door too so that doesn't help. Even when she was a little baby(like 10-16months) she would simply stand by the edge of her crib and cry for hours...I even let it go two hours at times...she never laid down or sat down once!!! She is stubborn, and then she simply learned how to crawl out of her crib so we had to put the mattress down on the floor in there...once I got too pregnant I couldn't reach anymore and we went to a big girl bed. For 2 weeks it was fine, now it sucks....even last night was up 4 seperate times, she screamed and cried, wanted to walk around the house, and she was up for about 4 hours!!! I can't take it anymore. I am looking for different and alternative methods, so that both of us can get some sleep...she desperately needs it and I HATE that her bedtime and sleep at night is so disrupted and she is so tired! But she is stubborn and will not quit! Even two nights ago, she stood at her door for over an hour and screamed...she would not get back into her bed once

[deleted account]

the just went back to work might be the reason. but you probably know that. big change for you big change for baby. and so hard to deal with. my 20 month twins are having difficulties due to change as we are vistiing family in italy. but can't imagine how exhausting must be for you needing sleep to function at work.

Q: how did you get him sleeping on own at 11 months? did you do any sleep training or did it just happen naturally?

(ps will do my best to follow this thread but having hard time with mine not sleeping and limited com time...pm me if really desperate and don't get feedback here that fits your needs...not that I'll have the answers for sure but will try to help)

Kristy - posted on 07/26/2011

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We just went through this exact same thing with our little guy who just turn 20 months. The first couple of nights we caved and went in and rocked him, but as soon as he was slightly asleep and we would put him down he would pop back up. After 3 nights, my DH and I decided we would go back to our old routine of stories, bottle and then kisses and straight to bed. Our son protested for about an hour and a half off and on and then went to sleep and didn't wake up until morning. The next night we did the same thing and the protesting lasted about 40 minutes, the 3rd night there was no protesting. They are smart little people and I genuinely believe our son was startled the first night he woke up but realized after that we would come to him and he liked the company and we created a new habit. Good Luck, it is hard to go back to wake ups in the middle of the night after getting to sleep through the night.

Melanie - posted on 07/27/2011

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look at how he is being put to sleep at day sleep, this may help you at night

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Isis - posted on 08/21/2011

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Thats exactly what my son, Asher did...but I listened to the doctor and let him cry it out! It's the only thing that worked! The first night was the hardest, he cried 40 min but slept allll night long! 2nd night was 8 min, next was 4 min, 3 min, then it was seconds and he was asleep. When he gets sick he of course wants mommy so we just kind of have to do it all over again once he's better but it hasnt been 40 min since that night! Good Luck!

Isis - posted on 07/28/2011

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Thanks for all your posts!!! Thankfully, his sleep is back to normal!!! :-) I followed what his pediatrician said and let him cry once I knew he was tired, full, and diaper changed... The first night he cried for 40 min and finally went to sleep ( I gave myself 1 hour time limit, it was torture!!) he fell asleep with his blanket and pacifier, on the floor behind his bedroom door ( he finally got tired of trying to leave his room), 2 nd night cried for 8 min and climbed into his toddler bed and went to sleep! :-) 3rd night cried for 3 min, 4th night cried for about 30 seconds and that's how it's been ever since!! He is back to sleeping allll night!!! :-) I totally recommend this!
Good Luck everyone!!

Cari - posted on 07/27/2011

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Ouch, it's really difficult to be sleep deprived, have to function at work and be relied on, and also not be sure if there is an end in sight. I really feel for you.

I wonder, how did you figure out that he suddenly wanted to be rocked to sleep again? Was it a matter of doing it 'just for tonight' to appease his demands? Or did you hold strong and say 'no, this is how we go to sleep'? If you've been giving in to his demands then it can only be expected that he will keep demanding it until you give in again. I don't mean for that to sound like "it's your fault", I really hope it doesn't come across that way, but the point of asking that is these little ones learn from what we do. So if we are repetitive in the way we do something, they learn that is the ONLY way. If we falter or waiver for any reason, they see there are options, and maybe options they like better!

My DS is also 20 mos and he has been having more trouble getting himself to sleep at night the last few weeks. Generally he just talks or sings to himself in bed and isn't crying, but if he's not asleep after 45 mins or an hour, we go in to his room, cradle him and rock him for about 15 seconds, just until he seems to settle a little bit, and then we put him straight back into his cot, cover him up, and tell him it's bedtime and whatever else we regularly say to him, and then out the door. In and out in less than a minute. This usally does the trick.

We also found, if he goes to bed late (even half an hour past normal bedtime), this is when he struggles - we think he is overtired and that is having a big impact. If he goes to bed on time, which we've been managing more now we've noticed the difference, he is asleep within 15-20 mins.

Is it possible your LO, in your new routine with work etc, might be waking earlier or going to bed a little later than before?

I can only tell you what we've experienced - I hope this helps at all.

Just remember there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Remember the early days? :o)

Best of luck, hope things settle back down very soon for you.
xx

Tiffany - posted on 07/27/2011

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if the night wakings just started when you moved him to a todder that could be the reason. I moved my oldest when she tured 2 & after having her wake up several times a night for a week we put her back in the crib & she slept all night again. Her dr told me that if she wasn't trying to climb out to leave her in the crib until 3 yrs old. It's a comfort thing for some kids. Hope you get him sleeping again. :)

Wende - posted on 07/24/2011

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My daughter started doing this too about 2 months ago, at 18 months. I took some suggestions from what to expect in the toddler years. When you put him down at night and he doesn't stay down, let him protest for 5 min. Go in, check on him, tuck him back in, say goodnight again, and leave. If he protests again, this time give him 10 min. and go in, check on him, tuck him in again, ect. If he protest again, give him 15 minutes, tuck him back in ect. Go up to 20 minutes, but they suggest keep it at 20 and sooner or later he will fall asleep. I only had to do this one night (one long night), and she was back to normal. If he wakes at night, respond immediately to let him know you are there, but only tuck him back in and start the 5, 10, 15, ect. process again. It will work!!! Just stick with it and you will get your sleep back :)
Good Luck

Peggy - posted on 07/22/2011

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at that age (my son is 19 months) they start getting really interested in things around them and its probably more they don't wanna miss anything and fight sleep than anything else. My daughter got that way when she was that age and I would let her play until she just pooped out and then put her to bed woke her up at the same time the next morning, she would take a short nap and after a couple of weeks the nights got better. With my son I realized that if I just leave him alone once he's down he stays down. When he wakes up mid way through the night I will let him cry himself back to sleep. Not the blood curtling scream but his many others and i just lay there and listen after about 10 minutes he goes back to sleep.

Heidi - posted on 07/22/2011

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I'm Son is also 20 months old and for the most part sleeps through the night. Once and a while he will wake and I might rock him just a little then put him back to sleep in his crib. Lately though he has been teething his second year molars and that has effected his sleep. Last night he woke up at 11:30 pm and would go back to sleep. I fought with him for about an hour and half. I finally decided to just let him cry it out and with in about 15 minutes he was out. Sometimes you just have to let them cry it out. I know it's hard but it doesn't hurt them. I'm a mom how can't stand to see there babies in any kind of pain but when I know that they are just tired and I have tried everything else crying is all that is left.
Hope this helps and good luck.
Heidi

Heidi - posted on 07/22/2011

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I'm Son is also 20 months old and for the most part sleeps through the night. Once and a while he will wake and I might rock him just a little then put him back to sleep in his crib. Lately though he has been teething his second year molars and that has effected his sleep. Last night he woke up at 11:30 pm and would go back to sleep. I fought with him for about an hour and half. I finally decided to just let him cry it out and with in about 15 minutes he was out. Sometimes you just have to let them cry it out. I know it's hard but it doesn't hurt them. I'm a mom how can't stand to see there babies in any kind of pain but when I know that they are just tired and I have tried everything else crying is all that is left.
Hope this helps and good luck.
Heidi

Lorraine - posted on 07/22/2011

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just wondering if he has daytime naps? maybe start trying to cut those out. my son has never slept through or been a good sleeper because we've had a bit of an unsettled home life moving from being in a bedsit at 5 months into a one bed flat and now his dad and i sleep in the front room so he can have the room but as im 8 months pregnant with baby 2 ive made sure to get him sleeping in his own room.been hard coz hes always been in our bed but have stuck to it and hs got used to it, just hasnt mastered sleeping through yet. i have started to cut out his naps and give him dinner at 6 then bath around half 6/ 7 then straight into his room not letting him back in the front room giving him a drink and a story, bit up and down at the moment but last night was fast asleep by 7.30. very difficult for me as we have very noisy neighbours, so he was awake again by 12.30 until 1.30 as he couldnt sleep because of noise and also teething. and then was up again at 4.30 til 5 x

Bethany - posted on 07/18/2011

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I actually had an idea last night to give our son a flashlight last night and he's been calming down a lot quicker. He has a couple night lights but maybe the extra control of the flashlight makes him feel better? I don't know. As long as his sister who just turned 3 doesn't make a bunch of noise in her room next to his, it's helped a lot. I'm really hoping to nip this in the bud before baby #3 comes. lol

Hopefully he sleeps all night for you!

Isis - posted on 07/18/2011

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yea I asked the dr. if I should switch back to his crib..we only switched it to the toddler bed last night. He said that he's probably getting to the stage where he's going to try to climb out anyway so he said might as well leave it as is so I dont have to transition again. Tonight I gave myself a time limit of one hour..he tried to get out the door and cried for 40 min, then only whined a little here and there and passed out behind the door with his blanket and pacifiers....I went in there and put him in his bed after 15 min. of no noise! So it took 45min total and I didnt go in there at all...like I said before he cried for 1 1/2 hrs the other night with me going in every 10-15 min so in the long run this was better although it broke my heart! now we'll just have to see if he sleeps all night! Crossing my fingers!

[deleted account]

oh no he won! that drives me crazy! I'm so doing things I normally don;t to get then back to sleep after waking. we sleep trained also and I'm worried they might be losing it.

thought had posted before but doesn't show for some reason. idea: join a working mom's group and post asking for advice. I know other mothers have gone through this when going back to work.

a thought (read somewhere but can't remember where and not sure if credible). maybe going back to work and switching to toddler bed might be too much change for him at once. but I figure once you've switched you probably don't want to switch back and confuse him more? dunno...just a thought.

Isis - posted on 07/18/2011

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Same with mine...I now turned his crib into s toddler bed to see if that would intice to sleep in there...so I'm now sitting next to him till he falls asleep...I cant believe I'm back at square 1 with sleep training!!! we just had a dr's appt. today and my pediatrician recommends to make sure he's full, tired, and has a clean diaper and make sure he cant get out of his room and say goodnight...not to go in his room at all and let him cry but I dont know if I can do that!!!! The bad part is that he is now back to waking up at night looking for me so neither one of us is getting good sleep. The other night I tried to let him cry a little, going in there every 10-15 min to reassure him.... 1 1/2 hours later, I rocked him back to sleep! He won!

Bethany - posted on 07/17/2011

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My 20 month old son just started doing the same thing. The big change in our family, though, is that I'm 8 months pregnant with our 3rd baby. How does he do for naps? My son won't go to sleep for his naps or at night without me rocking him to sleep.

Good luck!

Isis - posted on 07/17/2011

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Yea I was thinking that me going back to work might be part of the problem! At 11 months, one night I was rocking him and he couldnt get comfortable so I just pit him in his crib and he fell asleep..That first weeks he someimes cried 5 min if that and would be out. After that he just went right to sleep when I layed him down! Yesterday I tried putting lullaby music in his room and I layed with him and he fell asleep..did the same last night and it worked, he slept all night. So we'll see.... I'm thinking maybe he's afaid to sleep in his room now for some reason.... so maybe falling asleep in there with me a few nights may help

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