1 year old STILL not sleeping through the night?!

Kelli - posted on 05/14/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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We're exhausted and have tried it all! She eats plenty during the day, has a specific bedtime routine every night and goes right to sleep at 7pm every night. I've read the No Cry Sleep Solution and tried those methods without any luck, I've also read the Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child book and tried that for a while but it got ridiculous, she would cry and scream until she worked herself up enough that she would vomit everywhere, she couldn't take it and neither could we. She sleeps in her own crib, room darkening shades in her room, we've tried white noise cd's...everything, honestly. She continues to wake up every 2-3 hours at night, every night. We go in and hand her a bottle or now sippy, and she goes back to sleep on her own. We'd take away the bottles but then she's harder to get back to sleep, and I'm hesitant to take them away because she does finish every last bottle we give her in the night. Is she actually still hungry? She's 1 year and 1 week old, and weighs 21.2 lbs...and we're desperate for sleep!

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[deleted account]

I recently came across some very helpful information from my baby's doctor. I was asking WHY in the world was my 9 month old not sleeping through the night!!! HE slept fine from 7 weeks old until about 4 and a half months. There was a study done in Scandinavia on sleeping babies and the correlation between wakefulness and brain activity during the night time. The results were that, when an infant reaches the important stages in life when they start sitting, crawling, babbling, pulling up... etc; their brain is taking in MASSIVE amounts of information during the day. Now, think of your childs brain as a muscle. It's flexing all day long, what a workout! At nighttime, the brain needs to repair and build new cells to store all this information. So how does it do this? Well the only part of sleep in which the brain CAN complete all these functions is in REM sleep, which isn't deep sleep, it's the stage between having just fallen asleep and deep sleep. In this stage, every little creak, groan, squeak (basically any sound) can cause the baby to wake from this very important stage. And rest assured, your baby spends around 70% of their nighttime sleep in this stage, and the bad news for you is, it doesn't stop until the child is about 2-3 years of age, due to the increased amount of information being recieved by the brain. Now, that being said, some children can naturally comfort themselves back to sleep. And sometimes, those who cannot, manage to go back to sleep on their own (hence the odd night of full sleep for all of you!).

So rather than trying to force our babies to sleep through the night as these studies prove they are not really supposed to, we should just embrace these few years of sleepless nights for us as just another wonderful step in the life you have helped to create! I know it's hard and most of you will have family close by who can take over for a night or 2 while you and your partners have a nice nights sleep (unluckily for my husband and I our families are thousands of miles away and on different continents!). If not, just try and make the best of it! Remember, it won't last forever and YOU'RE NOT ALONE!!!!!

Samantha - posted on 05/15/2010

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My daughter too did this, she was not hungry but loved her milk. It was simply a happit that her body got into, wake, feed, sleep. It wasn't a choice, it was a habbit that her body got accustomed to. I very gradually decreased her milk amount in her bottle every night. She just needed to finish it, even when it was down to 50mL she still just finished it then went back to sleep. When it got to 50 mL, I exchanged it for water. She wasn't too keen but drank it just the same. Then I reduced the 50 ml to 25mL, then I gave her an empty bottle, and walked out. She just went to sleep. I've never looked back. Good luck, every child is different and every child will be waking for different reasons, it's just process of elimination really. Hope you find something that works.

Nicole - posted on 05/14/2010

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If you are still breast feeding that would be a huge reason, they get really attached and need that comfort in the night.
If not here's what I did and it worked amazingly. (I got this advice from another woman and it worked so great)
Okay (this is what I did when weaning her from breast feeding at 11 months old)
I put on a lullaby (Kristin Dunst - Dream of me) and I put her in bed, kissed her goodnight and left the room. Explaining that im in the next room and that its time to sleep.
She cried (of course)but the rules to this is you can enter the room 3 times *every 5 mins*. Just for the comfort. You walk in, you kiss her or tuck her in, walk away close the door.
She still screaming, you go in tuck her in walk away close the door. Rub her hair, whatever helps for the comfort.
After the third time you leave you you ignore the screams. She will realize that you are not coming back for her and that it's her responsibility to sleep.
I was AMAZED at how well this worked. I have a stubborn little girl on my hands. But within 2 nights she was sleeping the night.
After the first night you dont go in every 5 minutes 3 times. You just let the baby cry it out. I know it feels HORRIBLE. but it works. The child needs to be able to sleep on their own or they will be dependent on you for a long time.
Stick with it, and you'll have a healthy little sleeper in no time.

This is one of the best advices I've ever gotten. It made weaning her a breeze (Which I never thought possible) and if you're not even weaning than it should be that much easier for you.
Good luck.

Debbie - posted on 05/18/2010

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awe, I remember that all too well!! What I discovered with my daughter when she was throwing up and getting quite upset was that she was going through night terrors. I swear with this remedy as it worked miracles with my Kaylie. She would go to sleep no problem but woke up extremely distraught. After being asleep, I would wake her up after a half hour of sleeping....bare with me....they sleep so heavy that I had to wake her from her REM sleep and then after that she would sleep the whole night. I did this for 2 weeks and she is now cured (sort a speak). Otherwise, they just need the feeling of being loved and never forgotten...All the best to you....♥

Chelle - posted on 05/17/2010

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Lochie started sleeping through at 8 mths. It was a combo of bedtime routine but mostly the crying himself to sleep and learning to settle himself. We had tried it once before and just could not go through with it, but when it got to the stage where he was waking every couple of hours, something had to be done. So we did it and it was the best thing we did and i will be doing it a LOT earlier with the second. As we used to setlle him every night before bed.



Also depending on whether the sippy has milk or water in it i would suggest leaving a sippy cup of water in there with her. Ever since the really hot weather we have just left a cup in there for him to tend to himself. We found he was waking up because he was so thirsty but now he can self serve, he can have some and goes back to sleep.



If its milk, thats probably not going to work.



I wish you all the luck in the world, there is nothing WORSE than being sooooo tired!!

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My son was the same way. He didn't sleep through the night until 20 months old when I weaned him and started putting him his toddler bed a month later. I started telling him to stay in bed until the sun comes up, and he has slept all night until after 9 am every single day since. He is now 26 months old. I think it's right to assume the breast feeding can cause that need for connection and comfort, but I would do it again regardless. Hang in there, she will sleep through the night before sooner than you think. My son no longer takes naps as a result of sleeping so late, but he is in a good mood all day. Sometimes I lay him down for quiet time, and then he comes out in a good mood.

Dana - posted on 05/15/2010

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My daughter was exactly the same way. She was a breastfed baby, so the seperation was what was hard on her. My husband and I set up a bedtime ritual that included singing her favorite song and stuck to it. She continued to wake up and we would continuously go and comfort and then lay her back down. Eventually she learned to make it through the night, but it took a few weeks. I'm also going to suggest that if you feel she doesn't need the sippy for hunger to not use it. You will only have to break her of it later and possibly throw off yours and her sleep routine. Hang in there it all just takes time and sleep deprivation.

Kristin - posted on 05/14/2010

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Have you eliminated the usual sleep disrupting suspects? Teething, illness, growth spurts, milestones, change in routines, changes to you or her father's life, too much sleep/naps during the day? Is she it possibly too dark in there now?

What Nicole did could work for your daughter. Nothing like that would have worked for either of my boys. Most kids wake in the night 2 to 3 times no matter if they are hungry or not. The trick for you is to realize whether or not she really needs you. Are you going to her immediately or waiting until she's actually making some noise? I would suggest waiting until she is really making some noise before you go to her. Not hysterical and ready to vomit, but crying. Leave the lights off, don't really say anything, no picking up, just lay her back down, rub her tummy or back, hum something mindless under your breath (think barely audible), and leave again when she is almost asleep. If she doesn't calm down, then give the sippy of water but only when she has laid down. It might work, it might not.

She wants the bottles or sippies for comfort, it's up to you as to whether or not to give it to her.

I am not a fan of Cry it Out. I will say that up front. But, if you've ruled out everything else that she could possibly need, then she just wants you. It's one thing to get up once to see to her. It's another thing for her to be taking over the house at night. You might have to give it a go and be ready to do some laundry.

Good luck.

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