13 month old wakes every ~2 hours--should I be concerned? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 08-21-2009, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I need a reality check. My DD typically wakes every two hours and will not go back to sleep unless she is nursed. Within the last couple of weeks, she has started refusing the pacifier for comfort sucking at these times (I used to be able to get her back to sleep with the paci about half the time). I remember, once upon a time several months ago, when she would only wake 2-3 times a night, and I was typically nursing her 1-2 a night. Oh, how things have changed!

I am starting to notice others with babies of a similar age with similar sleep patterns being told that it is not normal or healthy and something must be done (I haven't been told this because I have learned in my short tenure as a mother that it generally only causes problems to complain about your child's sleep if you are a co-sleeping, anti-CIO sort of parent). Is this true? Except for the once a week or so that she has a horrible night, I really don't mind the way things are now; I just get worried that something is *wrong*. I should add, as well, that she doesn't put herself to sleep yet. She either nurses to sleep or falls asleep in the car. Other things to consider are the facts that we moved to a new city two months ago, I suspect she is working (very slowly) on her first molars, and she seems to be having a language explosion where she is trying to say more words and seems to be comprehending a lot more of what we say.

She will be starting in daycare part time on Monday, so this really doesn't seem to be the best time to make any changes, but if changes do need to be made, I will have a few weeks or a month to really research and decide how to go about it best.

Whew! Sorry about the novel! What do you think I should do? Is her sleep pattern worrisome?

Deb, crunchier-than-I-expected-to-be mama to my beautiful DD (07/2008), forever missing my October 2010 and January 2011 angels
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#2 of 14 Old 08-21-2009, 05:35 PM
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This sounds like a perfectly normal pattern for a baby her age. Certainly, some babies this age sleep longer stretches at a time and/or get themselves back to sleep, but not all of them do. There's a pretty wide range of normal, and she's well within it. If she was waking every hour, all night long, I'd look into physical causes (such as food intolerances) but waking every 2-3 hours seems very normal to me. Is there one longer stretch of 3-4 hours each night?

I suggest you stop looking at the clock in the middle of the night- it can just cause frustration. Just enjoy your baby and try not to fully wake up when she wakes to nurse at night.

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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#3 of 14 Old 08-21-2009, 06:29 PM
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My 9-month old has started waking every couple of hours, and MAN! it's hard!! She was doing so well, sleeping for 4-6 hour chunks, so it's hard to get used to this. I don't know what it means, but I guess it's normal - at least for her!

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#4 of 14 Old 08-21-2009, 07:00 PM
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Sounds totally normal.

Mom to Eoin (11/02), Eilis (09/04), Eamon (07/07), and Ellery (04/10)
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#5 of 14 Old 08-21-2009, 07:29 PM
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Welcome to MDC. Your DD sounds very normal to me.

DD woke about once every 2-3 hours from about 4 months until about 15-18 months. We both mostly slept through the nursing sessions by about 9-12 months old. I nursed her pretty much every time she woke up until she weaned at 27 months. I never considered another method. Nursing worked She only went to sleep nursing or in the car until shortly before weaning, when she gradually started nursing, pulling off, and snuggling down.

She turned 3 yesterday and only this summer has started to fall asleep "on her own" sometimes (generally only for naps). She is a healthy, happy, bright 3 year old. She's never been a great sleeper, but there's no health issue. She's definitely mine in the sleep area - lots of trouble turning off, tuning out, and just going to sleep. It's just part of her personality.

If you're frustrated with the sleep routine, I recommend hiding the clock. It made a huge difference in my mindset. I also recommend working on sleeping/dozing while she's nursing if you aren't already doing that.

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#6 of 14 Old 08-21-2009, 07:43 PM
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Sounds like teething to me. I blame all new random night waking on teeth because my DD teethed from 3.5 months until she was just past 2. We had lots of bouts of why doesn't this kid sleep?!!! Usually she then popped out a couple of teeth. The worst was from 13-16 months, she wouldn't nap unless in the Ergo, she would barely sleep and she was a miserable wreck there for awhile. Then when we were on vacation in Mexico all 4 of her eye teeth decided to come in(right around 16 months). She had "pushy" teeth, they would push and pull back for months and months, literally.

I can't believe I am going to put myself through all that again in a month and a half-what is wrong with me?!

Really though she still wakes up some nights every few hours, now it's once to go potty, a bad dream or something else wakes her. It's life with the under 5 set. People who say their kids have zero sleep issues are in denial.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#7 of 14 Old 08-21-2009, 10:14 PM
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If she was taking a pacifier and letting you put her back to sleep that way before, then it sounds to me like she needs extra night nursing right now for some reason. Could be a growth spurt, teething or the fact that she is just making huge developments in her cognitive abilities, all which affect sleeping patterns. Or she could be becoming more independent which can make them more clingy at the same time. But honestly, both my kids started nursing more at night when they started nursing less during the day. I think they start getting so busy at that age that they don't nurse as much, but still have the emotions and physical need, so they make up for it at night.

Long list, but all boils down to it being normal. May be annoying, but nothing I would be concerned about. Give her a few months and see how she's doing! You're a good mama. Don't let people make you feel like you're messing up your child because you don't leave them to cry!

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#8 of 14 Old 08-21-2009, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, everyone! Really, for the most part it doesn't bother me except for the lingering doubt that something is wrong. Now that I know it is normal, I will feel much better about it. Granted, I've been home with her for the last three months. I start part-time work again on Monday and will need more brain power than I do now and I may find it harder than I remember it being to think.

She doesn't usually have a longer sleep stretch, I don't think, but I am not watching the clock like a hawk (it's on DH's side of the bed and I have to sit all the way up to see it, and one of the reasons we cosleep is so that I don't have to get up at all!).

Deb, crunchier-than-I-expected-to-be mama to my beautiful DD (07/2008), forever missing my October 2010 and January 2011 angels
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#9 of 14 Old 08-23-2009, 03:46 PM
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DS is also 13 months old, and waking a LOT at night. I am considering Jay Gordon's sttn technique, because our family is exhausted.
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#10 of 14 Old 08-23-2009, 05:22 PM
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It's totally normal. Some babes just wake more than others. My first slept through the night at 15 months (by sleeping w/ dh, and I was in the other room) and my second slept through the night at 24 months. I even consulted w/ a child psychologist who told me that it was normal and wait until they're ready.

They will sleep through the night!!

The only time I would be "worried" is if they are showing signs of sleep apnea, food allergies or something medical. Otherwise, it is completely normal.
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#11 of 14 Old 08-24-2009, 09:57 AM
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My 13 month old sleeps horribly....... horribly...... wakes every 1 - 2 hours.
she is my 3rd and both my boys were the same way :makes for one tired mommy!!

Mom to Ds1 (8 1/2) Ds2 (6) Dd (2 1/2)!!!!
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#12 of 14 Old 08-24-2009, 10:08 AM
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sounds pretty normal to me too. My DS was up 2-3 time a night ( hours of 11pm-7am is what I considered night) when he was 13 months old.
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#13 of 14 Old 08-24-2009, 10:32 AM
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I made a post about my almost 13 month old yesterday... lol.. this is normal.

Annoying, but normal.

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#14 of 14 Old 08-25-2009, 04:53 PM
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wow, 13-month-old here too.. i was just logging on to look this up and sounds like everyone has the same experience! Mine is sometimes waking every 2 hours (brutal) and sometimes waking every 3 (better!).

I long for the "good old days" of 4 hour stretches

My question is -- will she eventually start sleeping longer stretches or do I need to try to cut out one of the feedings/nursing-back-to-sleeps? I don't want to nightwean altogether.

When I'm up at 3 or 4 am, I start trying to plan some kind of strategy, but by the time the next night rolls around, I just go with the flow and ask the Goddess to help her put herself back to sleep. :

Mama to two sweet girls!

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