One year olds and sleep - what was yours doing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 08-02-2003, 03:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I've spent the nights of this past year up with my daughter. In good periods she'd sleep four to five hour stretches, but for most of the time she's woken up every hour to two hours. We cosleep, so I just turn over and nurse her back to sleep. 3/4 of the time that's all it takes, but occasionally she'll be back up fifteen minutes later, wanting to nurse. Even on the better nights, being woken up every hour or two doesn't work for me.

So, I'm debating going nutso. And losing the debate.

How did/is your one year old sleeping? Is this still within a 'normal' range, or, as the doctor suggested, has she just gotten used to waking up constantly and needs to be trained to stay asleep? Any great suggestions? Or even mediocre ones?
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#2 of 11 Old 08-02-2003, 09:43 AM
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No great suggestions -- just reassurance. Mine younger son did the same thing at 12 mos. He is 3 now, and sleeps form 8-5, nurses, and then sleeps to 7:30. I never "sleep trained" him.

My older son was still waking 3x a night a 12 months.

A book that might give you some help is "The No Cry Sleep Solution."
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#3 of 11 Old 08-02-2003, 03:14 PM
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At one I remember going through a sleep transition where dd really struggled for a while as she was growing out of the need for the morning nap, but still sort of needed it. We started having more problems at night as a result. Once she made the transition things got better. In the mean time, I second the recommendation for The No Cry Sleep Solution and encourage you to take naps with her until this period passes. Hang in there. She'll grow out of it eventually.
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#4 of 11 Old 08-02-2003, 03:17 PM
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I just thought of something else. Do you think she could be teething? Zen got a lot of teeth all at once around one year of age and that made for some extended spells of sleepless nights. Hiland's teething tablets helped us get through this period without complete loss of sanity.
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#5 of 11 Old 08-04-2003, 04:48 AM
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My 13 mo still gets up 3-4 times a night. I honestly think that in her case night nursing has reached the point that it is more of a habit than an actual nutritional need. I say this because we just started night weening and transfering dd to her own mattress and it is actually going far better than expected, after a few days.

What we've done is:
Offer dd lots of evening snacks, nurse dd in the living room about an hr before bedtime
establish bedtime routine, brush teeth, stories etc...
rock dd to sleep instead of nursing
transfer sleeping baby to her matress
when she wakes up, get her back to sleep by rubbing her face or back

I tried this same deal two months ago and didn't make much progress and I gave up after a week. But this time it seems to be working beautifully. So I guess it's just a matter of timing.
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#6 of 11 Old 08-04-2003, 10:20 AM
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Again, no help but reassurance. My ds is 14 months and wakes up at least every 1 to 1 1/2 hours in the night. He has never been a good sleeper, and I think that is because he teethed early and didn't get a chance to get into a sleep pattern. He is now teething his molars and is even worse at night than normal. Is yours teething too? I think it really disturbs their sleep.

I sometimes think I am going to go crazy, but there isn't a whole lot I can do about it (I don't want to CIO).

You have all my sympathies!!
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#7 of 11 Old 08-04-2003, 12:08 PM
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At one year old, my ds was sleeping with much the same patterns as yours is. He wasn't eating much solid foods, but I would try to give him a banana or some muesli or something before bedtime, but often he didn't want it, so that wasn't really something that helped.

The only thing I did that kept me from going insane every night was having my dh get up and walk with ds. I would say about 30% of the time this would work. Other times ds would start crying and would want me. But those times that it did work were heaven!

We finally nightweaned when ds was 2. And even though that didn't stop the nightwakings entirely (it did help though), nights are a whole lot easier now that I don't have the nurse him the entire time. But I never would have been able to nightwean ds when he was 1. In fact, the first time we tried he was 18 months, and we stopped after 2 nights because ds just wasn't ready. When we tried again at 2, it was a whole different story. In fact, it was when nursing at night wasn't really working anymore that I started to feel that he was ready to nightwean.

I guess I don't have much advice, other than try to get dh to do as much as your babe will let him, and know that it won't be forever. I know that doesn't help at 3am when you're about to scream (or actually screaming, as I did a few times ), but I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone, that this is definitely within the normal range, and that I don't believe any sleep training is required.

And Hyland's teething tablets worked well for us on nights when we weren't even sure he was teething. Either they are helpful for sleep issues as well, or it actually was teething that was waking him . Either way, we kept a bottle on our nightstand for awhile there.
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#8 of 11 Old 08-06-2003, 03:13 AM
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I know almost beyond doubt that DS has gotten into habits of eating back to sleep. For the first 8 months I would nurse him back to sleep anytime he woke up. Then I sort of picked up on some of it just being a habit and not a necessity. He just didn't KNOW how to put himself back to sleep during the light sleep stage. So I cut back to 2 night feedings. Unfortunately, it took 2 days of DH (sometimes me) having to lay and cuddle with him while he cried/fussed/played for sometimes close to 2 hours.

Now at 13 months he is still waking up 2 times a night. Again though, if something throws him off, like teething, he will get into a more frequent habit . I know that most 13 month olds don't need to eat at night if they are getting enough during the day. However, DS is only in the 3% for weight and 10% for height (long story) and I have no plans on cutting out the 2 night feedings until his weight comes back up to a normal range.

You know your DD better than anyone else. If you think and feel that some of the night feedings are simply an inability to put herself back to sleep then it is probably a good idea to sleep train her for your own sanity. And as I can attest, that unfortunately may include crying but will not permanently damage her. I know Brazelton is not a favorite on this board but he does discuss the sleep cycles and patterns of babies and it gives a good understanding of where the problem lies in the wake periods of our children's sleep cycles.
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#9 of 11 Old 08-06-2003, 01:11 PM
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I can totally sympathize with what you are going through. Right now my 16 month old son is getting in his second set of molars and we have been having many a restless night. I can tell you one thing that sort of evolved for us as far as the waking constantly to nurse deal. Now, ds will nurse for a few minutes before bedtime then I tell himm that "mamas sleepy. night-night" and I roll over, onto my back. Some nights he'll roll around for a while and some nights he'll fall right to sleep. However if he is teething or over tired he will cry and I know he needs the extra comfort of nursing, so we do. Since we've started this ritual he seems to nurse less throughout the night. My reasoning is that he knows that I'm there next to him and if he really does need to nurse, he can. I think it's taught him too, that he can fall asleep w/out nursing. (he still nurses to sleep for his afternoobn nap, though!) I hope that makes sense. I also hope you two can figure oiut something that works for you both. And know that THIS TOO SHALL PASS!
Take care,
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#10 of 11 Old 08-07-2003, 04:08 AM
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My dd is also one year old. She goes to sleep lately anywhere from 9 to 11 pm, somewhat dependent on naps and the level of activity during the day (I'm still charting this to see if there is a distinct pattern). When she goes to sleep early, I lie her on the sofa next to me while I work on the computer (like right now!). It seems when she falls alseep early, she wakes once or twice to nurse before I head off to bed (at around 11 or midnight). She just stirs and I kneel beside the sofa, offer her the breast, and when she's done she pops off.

At night she will sometimes nurse when it's still dark, though I have a hard time keeing track of how often bc I barely wake for it and usually don't remember.

She nurses alot in the mornings, like from around 5 or 6 am to around 8 am she'll nurse many times, seemingly every half hour somtimes. Then she just settles and sleeps for another hour or more just fine. On a few occaisons I've gotten up early and left her in bed thinking she'd need to nurse and often she hasn't, which leads me to wonder if she really "needs" it or if it's just that I'm there. But since I'm not ready to nightwean, I'm not testing that further yet.

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#11 of 11 Old 08-07-2003, 11:24 AM
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I've been really excited lately because my 12 mo. has just started to go 4, sometimes 5 hours between nursing at night. There have also been times when I've just picked her up and not nursed and she's gone back to sleep. I do find myself wishing that we could just sleep all night long, especially because I'd like to start ttc #2 in the next few months. We use a pacifier and if I put it in her mouth when she stirs at night and she settles back down I know she's not hungry... sometimes though she'll repeatedly spit the pacifier out and whine in her sleep. That means "nurse me".
I'm also starting to want to get her out of our bed...
Its so hard. Everyone else I know let their kids cry themselves to sleep and they now sleep all night. It sounds good sometimes!

just wanted to add that we now feed dd 3x a day (solid food) and that has helped.
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