I need sleep, can't do it anymore!

Michelle - posted on 12/11/2008 ( 8 moms have responded )




Good Morning Ladies,

I can't seem to manage anymore. I am at my limit! My daughter, Keitha, 17 months will not sleep thru the night. She has been a problem baby since the beginning. Even at 4 months she would be up every 30 minutes at night. All I could do is sleep with my breast out of my shirt. Right now we have her sleeping in her own bed, which she is happy about and enjoys.

Her night routine is as follows: She goes down once I wear her out (running up and down the hallway, playing with her, a lot of one on one time). Bath, Bed with a bottle and night prayers. As soon as she is done her bottle I leave the room and she falls asleep no problem (took us over a year to get to that point). I pop in the suckie and give her blanket. She gets up between 2:30 and 4:30 for a bottle. Before she would just go back down but now she is getting up and staying up for 2 - 3 HOURS. She wakes up without a sound. She climbs off her bed and walks into my room. (before I would find her in the kitchen, so I use the gate now) She doesn't want to sleep in my bed... that never works but it seems she wants me in her bed.

I've tried everything. Pick-up and lay down thing is pretty much a joke to her. The bottle no longer calms her back to sleep. Even me in her bed doesn't work. If I do that she just plays in my hair and pokes my eyes... etc. I even walk her back to her bed, tuck her in, tell her it's night, and GOOD NIGHT! She still gets up. We can do this 10 times. Nothing is working.

I can't help but think it is from what is happening in my life at the present time. My husband had been home with her for 4 months but now has gone back to work for the last month. I am also working 4 days a week. And of course feeling terrible about it. Child care is shared with my sister at her home and my brother-in-law at our home. She loves both of them and that is truly the best childcare I can give her.

I am having to work and I can't even function. I am someone that NEEDS 10 hours at night to be fully rested. I go to bed 30 minutes after she does. On a good night she gets 8 hours of sleep and only naps maybe 1 1/2 hours in the day.

Consluting a doctor where I live is not an option. The doctors here are terrible and really not willing to help even if you demand it. All he has to say it "oh it's no problem". But it is a problem, I need to sleep! And this city does not allow you to see a new doctor if you have seen one already since you've moved. My husband works 14-16 hour days and just can't help me at night.

Please help me. I really can't manage anymore and my health is seriously being affected.

Thank you!


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Tasha - posted on 12/31/2008




My daughters get a "burst of energy" when they are actually tiered. When we reach that point we give them a soothing bath or story- they also have VERY dry skin and bathe every other nght- and lay them down. If we encourage the energy they have a hard time sleeping. Maybe try to keep your nights more low key. The cry it out method is tough but worth it. We had to put the gate on our daughters' door when they went through the up all night stage. I know their rooms are safe, so if they wander themselves to sleep in there I know they are fine.

I hope you are able to get some sleep and that some of this helps you!

Adria - posted on 12/26/2008




I agree with crying it out, I did that with my daughter when she was 2 months old and she sleeps 10 hours every night and has since then (she's 14 months now). It took about a week, but you have to stick with it and don't give in. I always did the 15 minute rule. Most of the time she was alseep before then. Another thing we use is music. She cries if she doesn't get her music. We have this Fisherprice Waterfall Soother. It plays music at 6, 12 and 18 minutes (we do the 18) and she is usually out by then. Here is a link: http://www.target.com/Fisher-Price-Water... . The 18 minute setting doesn't have lights or movement, so it doesn't keep her up, the 12 minute one has light and music, and the 6 minute setting has lights, music, and movement (probably would keep her up more than put her to sleep). It's really calming music.....I hope this helps and good luck!

Autumn - posted on 12/26/2008




I feel so bad for you! I am so sorry you are experiencing this. I don't know if this is at all a help, but this is what i would do: put a zipper canopy thing they make for babies who crawl out zip it up and let her cry it out. I know that sounds horrible, but that is the only thing that worked for my two. It sounds like you have a great bedtime routine and such. Have you tried no bottle? I hope this helps some what. Keep me updated on your progress.

Rhiannon - posted on 12/12/2008




WOW Good Luck to you!! I am a bear without my sleep and I know how difficult functioning on less sleep than your body needs can affect you in every aspect of your life.

Maybe you could try putting your gate across her doorway, to keep her safely in her baby- proofed bedroom. Then when she wakes up and calls for you, you could put her back in bed, tell her "I love you, goodnight" and then let her cry. We used to use the 10 min rule as a baby - cry up to 10 min before going in, if baby stops crying for one full minute then you start the timer at zero again. You may want to adjust to 15 or 20 min because she is older. My hubby gets better results with putting our 22 mo old son to bed so maybe you could ask yours to help out for a week or two till she gets a better routine going.

Also try to cut out or drastically shorten her daily naps.

I hope that you find something that helps you out. Please keep us updated and good luck!

Carey - posted on 12/12/2008




Hi Michelle,

Sleep deprivation is so hard, I feel for you. I just got my daughter sleeping through the night. In the responses so far I would agree with check the diet for your daughter. Watch for the artifical flavors, colors and preservatives. A great place to educate yourself is www.Feingold.org. The other really good suggestion I read from Brianna is to let her cry it out. It is tough. But if you stick to it and do it for 3 nights is usually the max it will be in place. It sounds like you have a great routine and are really loving. I agree with not runnning and playing until you wear her out. I would find a more calming play before bed by reading books together. I always put on instrumental music for all my children and I have 3 to go to sleep with. I just stopped the bottle at night, because it is a routine not a need to eat at night. I was hitting the wall as well. My daughter is 18 mo. old. When she woke up I just said no bottle tonight and laid her back down. Rubbed her back and put the music on. She was mad, but I let her cry, went back in after 2 minutes, repeated, it is bed time, night night, Mommy loves you, if still crying go in after 5 more minutes, do the same thing repeat, it is bed time , night , night, Mommy loves you, if still crying go in after 10 more minutes, repeat words, and keep increasing by 5 minutes up to 20 minutes. I have never gotten to that point, they tire themselves out first. By night 3 sleeping through the night and you can also. It really wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I wouldn't speak to her at night. I would just get up and put her back in bed and say it is night time, give a kiss , turn music on and walk out the room. Let her know you are here but not to come out of the room until the sun shines. It may give her something to look for so she knows when she can come out. I would just keep putting her back in bed each time. Let her know it isn't acceptable and it is night time, in a loving but strong manner. She doesn't understand time, so we have to let them know the rules. It will be better for her and you. Hope that helps.

[deleted account]

My son will be 2 on the 20th. For us starting at 6mo he started sleeping in bed with us so he could nurse and I could sleep, per my OBGYN's advice. I work full time and he was waking every 1.5-2 hours to nurse and I was going crazy. Bed-sharing was a life saver for me. Again, I could sleep, he could nurse and hubby and I really liked bed-sharing it turns out. We just meet in our office on our futon for "date night".
However, this week we have started to transition him to his own bed. We have a toddler race car bed at the end of our bed. It's been there for months to get him use to it being there, he's been playing in it and so on. Well I am 23 weeks preggo w/#2 and he's been kicking me in the back and even tummy at times, like crazy. I can't sleep and my back is killing me. He doesn't hardly nurse at night anymore, so I said enough!
So I told him, you are kicking mommy in your sleep and it hurts mommy. I need you to sleep in your bed at night now. So I nurse him to sleep in the toddler bed and so far since Mon. it's been going well. He is harder to get down it seems, but once he's out he's been sleeping well. He'll call out to me at times in the night, but I just tell him that mommy and daddy are right here, you need to go back to sleep in your bed and you have water right by you... as I put a sippy cup of water in bed w/him. He's been sleeping from about 11:30p-8 or 8:30a. Then he comes and gets in bed to nurse and watch cartoons. So I suggest either bed-sharing some or maybe bring her bed to your room for a while.

Best wishes!

Briana - posted on 12/12/2008




Oh, honey, I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I've never heard of that bad of a sleeper, especially at that age. My son is almost 20 months, and he still sleeps in his crib. He hasn't tried to crawl out, so I'm lucky there, but I like keeping him confined as long as possible.

Sleep is such a habitual thing that once you get into a certain pattern, it can be really hard to break. I know it's heartbreaking, but have you ever tried letting her cry it out? The first time I did it with my daughter, I was at my wit's end like you. I prepared myself for the worst. I put her down to bed, and she immediately started crying. I left the room and closed the door. I sat down and watched the clock because I wasn't going to let her cry for more than 20 minutes. That night she cried for 6 minutes, and the next night she cried for about 30 seconds. That was all it took.

It sounds like everything you're doing to accommodate her is just escalating. Nothing is working anymore, and she is demanding more and from YOU to get HER to sleep. By this age, SHE should be able to get herself to sleep as well as back to sleep when she wakes up at night.

I think it's very important to have a routine like you do, but try changing it. Maybe chasing her around before her bath is getting her wound up rather than worn out. Maybe the bath itself it invigorating rather than relaxing. I would stick with the story, but try other things to precede it. I would try what the Alyssa suggested above with the video. Maybe just a 30 minute video after she gets her pajamas on then a book and a prayer and it's lights out (except a nightlight might help). I think at 17 months, they understand almost everything we say, so I would start telling her, "After we do this, it's going to be bed time" a few times. Then, when you put her to bed, tell her, "You need to stay in your bed tonight. I'm going to sleep in my bed." Then, close the door. I would give her at least 25 minutes after you don't hear her anymore. If she gets up and plays, just know that she will get tired eventually! She will get the idea, but it may take awhile.

I really don't think you're doing anything wrong with her child care. True, the transition may be a little difficult for her, but it's just one of many things she will need to learn to adapt to in her life. I don't think it's that traumatic.

I was also really shocked that you don't have a choice of seeing a new doctor. Then, I saw that you're from Canada, and I realized that it's probably part of the rules with subsidized health care. That's too bad. You should have a choice! I really hope things get better for you. Come back and update this post so we know how it's going.

Good Luck!

Alyssa - posted on 12/11/2008




Hi Michelle,
I know it may not sound like the best parenting, but the only thing that worked for our son at that age was making him a little bed on the livingroom floor and letting him watch tv until he fell asleep. I just slept on the couch. Also, have you taken a look at what she's eating? Sometimes that makes a big difference. My son was the same way! It's not fun! Sometimes a bath before bed helps and a few good books to calm them down a little. I hope this helps, Kids can be so stubborn!

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