Need sleep advice for 17 month old please - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 07-03-2008, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hellllllllo ladies. my daughter Lily is 17 months and nurses at bedtime, we nurse to sleep. lately, however, it's taken a.... frustrating (?) turn. she'll nurse for 10-45 minutes, then hop down, run around and start playing. we turn down all the lights, no tv, etc to avoid any stimulation but that does not help. so we tried the last few nights (at 9:30) just putting her in her pack and play (we only cosleep if she wakes during the night) and sitting with her. well, she gets so worked up that's no option.
the advice i need is -
  • do i even need to stress about her "learning" to fall asleep on her own, or will she 'eventually' learn this... you know, before she's like.. 3.. kind of;
  • should i "worry" about continuing to nurse to sleep, or if it works (well, WHEN it works, as she's a bundle of awake energy lately!! just keep going? will she eventually want to wean on her own and sleep without nursing? (no hurry, though, its just the 2 hours + nights that are difficult).

please advise, thanks!
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#2 of 20 Old 07-03-2008, 09:06 AM
 
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I don't know - my dd is 17 months and does the exact same thing. Bedtime has become a nightmare. Last night dp asked me how other children fall asleep at her age, and I just said that I didn't know...in my frustrated haze, I kind of imagined that every other 17-month-old in the world just peacefully drifts off to sleep while their parents enjoy a nice novel in the easy chair.

The 2+ hours a night is really, really tiring. It's changing my view of nursing entirely, and it's become something I dread rather than look forward to. So, no great ideas here, but you're not alone!
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#3 of 20 Old 07-03-2008, 09:37 AM
 
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My son went through a major sleep regression at 17 months--we had weeks of frequent (more than usual) night wakings. As his sleep returned to normal, his language ability took off--learning a word or more a day. 18 mos is a common developmental sleep regression time. Of course, some kids are affected more than others.

I've been assured by AP night nursing parents of older children that they will indeed fall asleep on their own in time--and sleep through most nights. (When not ill, teething..)

The sleep disruptions/deprivation can be hard to live with, I know! When it is bad, my son will wake at 15-20 minute intervals for a space of hours, and then sleep longer stretches of 1-2 hours--I'm a zombie the next day.
I take comfort in knowing it will end--he will grow up and deep down he will carry within him the warm fuzzy loving memory of having been nursed to sleep (and back to sleep, and back to sleep, and...)
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#4 of 20 Old 07-03-2008, 09:43 AM
 
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they aren’t always going to need help to sleep and it will end.

that said. I am actually a night nanny for mothers of multiples and see stuff like this a lot. I help to set up good sleep habits and schedules from the beginning to make things easier for mom and dad.

Setting up good sleep habits is a good idea. Sleep routines and being consistent are really important. So stick with it! Pick the route you want to go and stick with it. You can help your little one fall asleep on her own by continuing to do what your doing and at some point she will catch on.

Also what goes on during the day does have an effect on sleep at night. If she is nursing every two hours all day it isn't fair to expect her to sleep 4+ at night. He body doesn't know how (not the case with all kids but most) stretching the day time feedings to more consistent intervals like 3 or even 4 hours will help some (not a cure all) and a good napping schedule helps too. getting into a daytime routine of eat-play-sleep will help you at night too. And it's easier to work on the day when you aren't crazy tired then it is to start at night.

I know it's exhausting and your tired but 16-22 months is a hard sleep time. separation anxiety and the knowledge of control over her environment make it tough to sleep. At this age it's almost like every minute is Christmas for them .
Good luck and get some rest. I hope this helps

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#5 of 20 Old 07-03-2008, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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crwlson - our babies are 1 day apart!
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#6 of 20 Old 07-03-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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HI...I agree with this :

Quote:
Setting up good sleep habits is a good idea. Sleep routines and being consistent are really important. So stick with it! Pick the route you want to go and stick with it. You can help your little one fall asleep on her own by continuing to do what your doing and at some point she will catch on.
Keep doing it and she will catch on. It is hard when all you want to do is sit and relax. Keep up the good work but try not to make a big thing over it either which she might catch onto and then make it a game. Which you do not want.

Thing will get better. My DD Brooklyn now asks to go to bed and takes naps on her own. When they are young there are many up and down phases so hang in there.

Maybe someone else has some great expert advice

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#7 of 20 Old 07-03-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by krystyn33 View Post
The sleep disruptions/deprivation can be hard to live with, I know! When it is bad, my son will wake at 15-20 minute intervals for a space of hours, and then sleep longer stretches of 1-2 hours--I'm a zombie the next day.
my DD does the exact same thing except it has been like this since she was six months old. i am sooo tired. but i don't see any alternative! and i love sleeping with her. it is nice to know i am not alone!

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#8 of 20 Old 07-03-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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no expert advice here, I'm dealing w/ it taking twice as long as usual to get DD to bed each night. I, too, am beginning to resent the length of time for her to finish fighting sleep and fall asleep!

I have been having a rough time, i have been sick w/ an upper respiratory infection for 10+ days and really need more sleep than I am getting.

Sooooooo.... 2 nights ago I decided I would *try* rocking DD back to sleep after her usual wake up 3 hrs into the night. It went well night 1, she went back to sleep, no crying, i just held her and swayed for 15 min and then she slept 3 hrs more until she woke. It was 4:30am and so that was out of the "window" i said was going to do (9:30-3:30). Last night, she was awake longer, fought it a little bit but no tears, a few uugghh uuggh's and she went back to sleep until 6:15am! according to jay gordon's plan, she is ready. DD does nurse frequently during the day, and has lots of fluids/ bm before bed. i did offer water both nights. last night she took a sip. DD is also 33lbs, so i'm not concerned that she *needs* the bm at night.

just thought i'd share, no solutions, but that's where I'm at!
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#9 of 20 Old 07-03-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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My DD was doing that for a while, probably around that same age. It was very frustrating. So I decided to stop stressing about it and forcing the issue and if she would clearly be so awake after I was trying to nurse her down, I'd let her run around and eventually she would nurse down. It was way better than forcing the issue and spending 2 hours frustrated that she just would not fall asleep!

Since that time we have implemented a better routine (she wasn't really amenable to this then) where we go upstairs, put away clothes, toys, etc. Then brush teeth, jammies and get in bed to read stories. When she asks to nurse I ask her if she is ready to go to sleep. If she says yes, we turn off the light and music say goodnight to daddy and lay down to nurse. Some nights she flips up after this and wants more books, so I read a couple/few more and then she will nurse down. It is so much better now that I know it will be 60-75 minutes for this routine and just accept that flow. I don't feel like I am a prisoner to the child who won't go down and she doesn't need to fight me and force the issue bc she has control over it. I will read more stories until she is ready to sleep.

I also realized that it works MUCH better when I start earlier. If I miss her window, then the adrenalin rush to keep awake kicks in and it takes much longer and she is kinda crazy.

So, obviously I don't have an older child who is happily putting herself to sleep, but I think our children will eventually learn to fall asleep on their own. I am happy that I have a technique that always works eventually (nursing). I don't think you need to stress about it. You may want to experiment with starting earlier though, to see if that helps, you may be experiencing that rush that follows the ready to sleep window.

I know many people see nursing to sleep as a crutch but I guess I don't see why it is any different than diapers or any other baby thing. At this age they need diapers (usually) but certainly they will learn to potty when they are ready. I feel the same way about nursing to sleep. When she's 6 she won't be nursing down, I am sure about that!! Good luck.
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#10 of 20 Old 07-04-2008, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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but DD Brooklyn is FOUR!!!! *sigh*.... almost... that's a lonnnnnnnnnng wait, kel.
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#11 of 20 Old 07-06-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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That sounds normal to me for that age. 17 months SUCKED, sleepwise, around here, and Dd is already a pretty crappy sleeper to begin with. I think it's just a lot of mental/physical disturbance from a big developmental leap between 17-18 months.

It'll get better. Hang in there.

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#12 of 20 Old 07-14-2008, 10:12 PM
 
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Yes she is 4 but what I was saying is that NOW after sticking to ONE thing she asks to go to sleep. She did not do that when she was 18 months . But we kept a routine up every single night.

Is it going any better??

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#13 of 20 Old 07-14-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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We're having a little bit of success over here with Sleepless in America advice. We now have a fairly long bedtime routine, and if dd nurses for a long time and doesn't fall asleep, dp takes over for the next 30 minutes so that I don't get burned out.

But, we've found that if we follow a pretty consistent routine during the day and follow our bedtime routine at night, she's going to sleep a lot easier. She's waking up at night still, but it's becoming more manageable. I just hope that eventually she falls asleep on her own, but until then, this is making it okay.
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#14 of 20 Old 07-15-2008, 07:01 AM
 
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I have to say you made me feel ALOT better.. I thought that it was only my child thats like this. DD is almost 18 months and the last couple weeks sleep has been nightmarish. She wants to be on top of me when she sleeps which I can't do since Im pregnant. If I do let her sleep on top of me I can't sleep and can't move well in the morning. Shes up every hour to two hours and putting her back to sleep takes at least half an hour every time..

It might sound bad and not helpful at all but its nice to know someone elses child has a hard time with nighttime as well.

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#15 of 20 Old 07-15-2008, 09:10 AM
 
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hugs to everyone who has long tiring bed routine,it will get easier

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#16 of 20 Old 07-15-2008, 10:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kiwiva View Post
My DD was doing that for a while, probably around that same age. It was very frustrating. So I decided to stop stressing about it and forcing the issue and if she would clearly be so awake after I was trying to nurse her down, I'd let her run around and eventually she would nurse down. It was way better than forcing the issue and spending 2 hours frustrated that she just would not fall asleep!
i'm now doing the same. last night i tried from 8:30-9 and no success, let her run around and got her down in 15 min at 9:45. later than i'd like, but i went to bed soon after and got to sleep until 4:30a! i happily nursed her then
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#17 of 20 Old 07-15-2008, 10:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kittn View Post
Setting up good sleep habits is a good idea. Sleep routines and being consistent are really important. So stick with it! Pick the route you want to go and stick with it. You can help your little one fall asleep on her own by continuing to do what your doing and at some point she will catch on.
I agree, and I wish it would work for us! We've done the consistent routine, baths with lavender, staying on schedule, we always have white noise & I tried a bunch of stuff from The No Cry Sleep Solution--short of anything resembling "training." Some children have a tougher time with sleep--it is good to control what you can, but having a poor sleeper doesn't necessarily mean you are doing anything wrong. Just as all children develop at their own pace, some take longer to sleep for long stretches or through the night.
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#18 of 20 Old 07-15-2008, 10:44 AM
 
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I agree, and I wish it would work for us! We've done the consistent routine, baths with lavender, staying on schedule, we always have white noise & I tried a bunch of stuff from The No Cry Sleep Solution--short of anything resembling "training." Some children have a tougher time with sleep--it is good to control what you can, but having a poor sleeper doesn't necessarily mean you are doing anything wrong. Just as all children develop at their own pace, some take longer to sleep for long stretches or through the night.
your so right. im sorry if my post conveyed otherwise. i have a 3.11 year old who started sleeping better about 2 months ago!
i work as a night nanny and my job is to help parents set up good sleep habits and give the children the tools so they can sleep when they are ready.

btw one thing i have found that helps is making sure their nutritional needs are met before bedtime. that way when the do start sleeping they dont miss the calories.
good luck

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#19 of 20 Old 07-15-2008, 10:53 AM
 
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any update ?

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#20 of 20 Old 07-23-2008, 09:37 AM
 
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btw one thing i have found that helps is making sure their nutritional needs are met before bedtime. that way when the do start sleeping they dont miss the calories.
good luck
I agree ! ::

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