seriously need help with my 1 yo who won't sleep...tell me fi it sounds like something mroe is going on! - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > seriously need help with my 1 yo who won't sleep...tell me fi it sounds like something mroe is going on!
doulawoman 05:06 PM 02-15-2011

I guess this belongs in this forum as dd is toddling around and turns one on Saturday.


I am really lost here. DD is very bright, on track developmentally, but like many mamas on here, sleep is a huge issue and always has been. It is literally breaking my heart and we are all suffering. Our current arrangement just isn;t workingand neither ios anything else. I posted threads in life with a babe along the way about "bounce to sleep baby" for nearly one year we've had to bounce her to sleep on a yoga the evening after about an hour dh transfers her to me in bed and I nurse her. In an ideal world this works and she sleeps and nurses for the night....I ahve struggled hard with this, we have even shipped our yoga ball with us when we travel, and we are on the fourth one after literally wearing them out. Here are some of the problems: 1.) dd is the leats cooperative she has ever been about bouncing and even though it has the highest success rate bedtime is a HUGE struggle every night and every napis a huge struggle even fi she is absolutely exhausted. We have a fairly steady routine, tot he point where dh brushes ehr teeth then she brings me ehr bedtime book and even gets the ergo and says "daht! daht!" meaning " nap" I have consistenlt tried other things nearly every day for this whole year such as tryign to nurse to sleep and even holding her down slightly so she wouldn;'t wander off before bouncing...or just letting her whine while I did choires till she was tired. The other night we resorted to taking a drive...she was sick, but still given that she barely slept all day or the nigth before and could harldy keep her eyes open, the fact that bouncing, walking, rocking, or just letting ehr play didn;t work after hours is testament to her ability to stay up. We strapepd ehr in the car which she HATES (cant even do a 5 min drive and I still sit in the back with her) and ...we let her CIO...I guess. I was there, offered to nurse, console, sing etc. I was right ebside her. I felt awful but she needed to sleep and so did we and nothing else would work.

2.) witht eh bouncing she struggles forvere against it, climbing out of the ergo, crying etc. And my back is startignt o hurt wearing her on the fron even after justa  few mins

3.) dh is havign to get up multiple tiems a night for months to bounce her back to sleep because nothing else works. Generally in the middle of the night she is mroe receptive to it and it.

at this time I spend hours a day putting her to sleep. I don;t eat or drink properly, and dishes don;'t get done. Our lifwe is now revolving around this. At this time...this moment she is wailing and has been for hours. She isn;t in pain. She is just exhausted and will not surrender...won;t nurse down, won't boucne, stroller no...she can do this almost endlessly.

I seriously wonder what is wrong with ehr. I don't even expect her to sleep alone, I only ever sneak away when we do get ehr down to pee. I am going bonkers. What do I do? should she be evaluated? HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been through PPD and PTSD and I still struggle but ehaven knows a 1 yo who cries for hours and won';t sleep will send me back oevr the edge if I'm nto very careful.

tzs's Avatar tzs 06:57 PM 02-15-2011

you went through alot of things that you DO do. have you tried putting her down and leaving her 100% alone for a few minutes....even if she fusses a bit (not full-on escalating screaming....fussing). what happens if you do that? she seems to know that she wants sleep. some kids need to be left alone...could she be one of them and is just getting more stimulated by all the effort to put her to sleep? maybe her needs have changed since she was little and all the help is counter productive? 

might not be your kid but you didn;t mention if you had tried it.

doulawoman 07:53 PM 02-15-2011

Yep, I've tried escalates to csreaming very quickly (alright, instantly) no matter how calm I am etc. She just can't "turn off" on her own and even with our help it is very hard. She can;t stop moving. She has been whining for 6 hours now...because she should have slept sigh.

Caelib'sMom's Avatar Caelib'sMom 08:19 PM 02-15-2011

Maybe see a naturopath or a homeopath...we went through many sleep issues, but specific remedies have helped as our son evolves into a 3-year old. Sleep has never been a strong suit, but the homeopathy definitely helps us stay sane!!!! :) As we notice him changing, we redose or if we see new symptoms, we revisit the choice of remedy with our naturopath. Pulsatilla has been the big one for us. :)

carmen358's Avatar carmen358 11:08 PM 02-15-2011

Hugs mama. I know how it feels. My DD is 13 months old and sleep has been a major issue since about 7 months. Luckily she falls asleep very easily nursing but she is up all night every 15-60 minutes...every night. It's so, so, so hard.


Has she always had trouble falling asleep? It sounds like once she's asleep she will sleep a long time? What about babyproofing a whole room and just having a mattress in there on the floor where you can lay down and fall asleep and maybe she'll just sleep with you when she's ready? It sounds like she hates being constrained by anything so maybe she'd just play herself out (and you could get some sleep!)

doulawoman 10:13 AM 02-16-2011


thanks for the replies. We've been working with a naturopath and homeopath with some success since about 6 weeks. Sleep hasn;t been affecetd much though either way. If I'm lucky she'll sleep two hours...usually 45 min is the most and she wakes between 6-20 times per night, as I said often having to be put back to sleep over several hours in the middle of the night. So when she's sick it's that much worse and I can hardly function since i am already so sleep deprived. In terms of baby proofing a room and letting her do her thing...while I try to sleep...that is what I did yesterday afternoon (and have done it before many times) and she just gets mroe and more wound up, even if I lay on my side with my boob out eventually she is flipping out and  pulling my hair etc evenno matter what I do.

newmomroxi's Avatar newmomroxi 03:49 PM 02-16-2011

This doesn't really sound normal to me.  It seems like this is more than just regular fussiness or a poor sleeper.  It really sounds like she doesn't sleep.  Hats off to you for all the ways you have tried to get her to sleep.  I would be looking into other avenues at this point.  There may be something else going on.  I'm not sure where to tell you to start though.  What has her pedi/doctor said about her sleep issues?

Tattooed Hand's Avatar Tattooed Hand 05:05 PM 02-16-2011

This sounds like my DD. I was about to go over the edge with sleep deprivation. But we knew from the start that it had something to do with food sensitivities. Right off the bat I cut out the major allergens - dairy, nuts, wheat, eggs, corn and soy. I was later able to add some soy and eggs back in. Things got better, but not great. Then she started eating solids and things got REALLY bad (alot like what you describe, waking every 30-90 minutes for about 5 months straight). We finally got her a blood test done and she turned out to have a wide spectrum of food intolerances that we would NEVER have known about (like she is extremely allergic to oatmeal, which I was eating every morning). Cutting those things out had given us a different baby - she sleeps up to 2 hours at a time for naps and can have 6-7 hour stretches of sleep at night. And it's not that hard to get her to sleep. It used to take us 2-3 hours a night to get her to sleep and like you I spent all day trying to get a tired, cranky baby to sleep who fought me every step of the way. I was never able to put her down and she demanded constant movement. Once in a while she reacts to food and we remember what it was like...


I am not saying this is the problem with your LO, but what we were dealing with was a baby having one long bad reaction to food (we are now trying to heal her gut and I am on a very restricted diet, but it is SO worth it, in my opinion). I wonder if you could talk to an allergist, at least to rule it out? I knew something was wrong with DD, partly because she wanted and needed to sleep but was almost fighting it against her will and waking against her will.


I can never just sleep in the room with DD either, she's all over me, scratching my face and pulling my hair.


I hope you and your LO find some relief soon. I know how hard it is. It's like living hell. HUGS!

darcytrue's Avatar darcytrue 05:37 PM 02-16-2011

Have you tried just rocking her to sleep to music? Both of my girls liked music, especially rock music (lol). My 16 month old LOVED Bruce Springsteen for months! I would suggest trying some kind of music and rocking her. Do this for a while until she gets used to it. At her age she will soon forget the bouncing to get to sleep and move on to rocking, which will at least keep you from having to wear yourself out to get her to sleep. :)


And I noticed with my 16 month old that she sleeps best when she wears her blanket to bed. It's like a miracle blanket, where it zips up the front and has a tank top arm opening for her arms but her legs are enclosed inside it. She can't startle herself awake in the middle of the night. She hates it in the mornings when she finally wakes for the day cause she can't stand up in it (lol) but sleeps soooooo much better on the nights that she wears it! I swear by it!!

AKislandgirl's Avatar AKislandgirl 11:07 AM 02-17-2011

Allergies was the first thing that came to mind for me. I hope you find some relief soon Mama!

kalamos23's Avatar kalamos23 01:10 PM 02-17-2011

I third the allergies. My DD was/is VERY similar and has had known dairy/soy/egg allergies. We thought she had outgrown them, but now I'm wondering if she is still sensitive to dairy (at the least - that was her major one) and the horrific night sleep is her symptom. I totally hear you on the bouncing on the ball - we went through 3 ourselves and took it on vacation as well, I did get her out of going to sleep on it, somewhere between 12-18m - I want to say, I would just sit in front of the computer and bounce less with her in it than I did before? It is all such a blur as I'm sure you can imagine. It is incredible how they can keep themselves awake for such long periods of time. 


Big hugs to you. 

carmen358's Avatar carmen358 06:04 PM 02-17-2011

I don't want to hijack this thread but am also interested in answers. Re: the allergy thing, I was told various times (on these forums and in RL) that allergies would have more "obvious" symptoms such as diarrhea and a bad rash or eczema. Can food allergies really just manifest as poor sleeping?

doulawoman 08:56 PM 02-17-2011

Well, we have suspected allergies...I was writing a reply and it got erased. dd has had major reflux issues and it seems worse when she has dairy or gluten so those are out and we have doen a total eimination of the big 8 allergens (8?) and she was soemwhat better but i really feel like I'm missing something. As i said, she'll want to go to sleep then act like a maniac and the bouncing is killing my back. rocking isn;t working. Maybe i;ll get the naturopath to check her out more fully on foods.

doulawoman 08:59 PM 02-17-2011

her pedi and family doctor are very...ill-informed, telling me the reflux qill be gone by 1 yo and it isn't, telling me it COULDN't be allergies, and family doc has seen ehr twice and really doesn't care about anything. I am very much on my own. I could probably get a referral to an allergist....I'm in Canada.


i have definitely tried all the obvious things...she's 1 afterall, so thank you for all the ideas, but we've tried just abotu everything...could she have some kind of sensory problem

MrsBone's Avatar MrsBone 10:26 PM 02-17-2011

I agree..this doesn't sound like normal sleep fighting. waking that much at night and not sleeping during the day sounds to me like she's got something physical going on, allergies, food sensitivity, something. Have you tried giving her any homeopathics? Either calmes forte, or something for her tummy? It really sounds to me like something is physically bothering her. Does she get any caffeine through your milk? I know that was the thing that set my son off, but this was when he was a newborn, and I was only drinking like a half a cup of coffee, or a square of chocolate. He was hyper-sensitive, and it took me weeks to figure it out. He'd take 45 minute naps a couple times a day at only 6 weeks old, then sleep only 8 hours at night. Definitely not your typical "newborn sleep"

Originally Posted by newmomroxi View Post

This doesn't really sound normal to me.  It seems like this is more than just regular fussiness or a poor sleeper.  It really sounds like she doesn't sleep.  Hats off to you for all the ways you have tried to get her to sleep.  I would be looking into other avenues at this point.  There may be something else going on.  I'm not sure where to tell you to start though.  What has her pedi/doctor said about her sleep issues?

doulawoman 06:40 AM 02-18-2011

hi, thanks.

homeopathics: I've both used generic remedies, complex multi-remedies from naturopaths, and we've also worked a lot with a well-renound (sp?) homeopath since about six weeks. She IS calmer, we even reversed some blatant tooth decay with the remedies. but..sleep remains the same.

I know what you mean about coffee...and i don't drink it as a rule it upsets my stomach and makes me jittery. chocolate...very rarely as we're avoiding dairy since it definitely bothers us both. I know in terms of night waking...tonight for instance she had terrible gas. you wouldn't think it could all be contained in her little tummy. so she was tured but kept waking up....i have kept a food diary and nothing was obvious other than gluten and dairy which have been out quite a while. I know gas has been an issue on and off since birth...sigh. I just want sleep this feels like a mystery!

Tattooed Hand's Avatar Tattooed Hand 11:08 AM 02-18-2011

I demanded to be referred to an allergist after my ped just told me she didn't THINK it was allergies and to just sleep train her. I got an IGG blood test and it turned out she was allergic to things like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, coconut, broccoli, melons, etc - stuff I would never have known about.


DD doesn't have diahrea, but did have what seemed like abdominal pain in the early morning hours and a rash once she began eating solids. But the main sign was bad sleep. She is like a different baby when she eats something bad by accident - last night she was startling out of sleep every 45 minutes ALL night long.