20 month old still wakes every 2-3 hours all night - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#1 of 11 Old 11-06-2009, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
lisavark's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Mostly I'm wondering if this is normal. DD is 20 months old and has never slept all night. By "slept all night" I mean slept five hours straight. She's never done it. She has slept 4.5 hours a few times...maybe twice a month she does?...but usually she wakes every 2-3 hours all night long. Apart from the fact that I'm about to LOSE. IT...I'm starting to wonder if something is wrong.

I've been reading _Sleepless in America_ based on recommendations from this board. I've also read _The No-Cry Sleep Solution._ So far, I'm halfway through SIA, and there have been maybe one or two ideas in there that I wasn't already using. I've been doing the NCSS techniques for, I dunno, close to a year now, since she was about a year old. And nothing is working. Nothing is even making it slightly better. Nothing is having the slightest affect at all.

We have a consistent wakeup time (today it was 7:30; I keep moving it earlier in hopes of getting her to nap again, but so far no dice), a consistent "nap" time (she stopped actually napping a couple of weeks ago, but we still have quiet time from 1-3 every day when I lie in bed and nurse her for about an hour and then she plays quietly drawing or something), we go outside every single day, often twice a day, and she gets lots of time to run around and exercise. Lots of social time too. We have a consistent bedtime routine. It used to take her at least two hours to go to sleep, but since she dropped ALL her naps she's been going to sleep in minutes. But then she wakes up all night--sometimes every 45 minutes, sometimes every 3 hours, all night long. Every time she wakes, she wants to nurse. I've been able to sometimes get her to go back to sleep without nursing, but it's still pretty rare.

Anyway, I'm about halfway through _SIA_, and I just got the part where she said, if you're already doing everything you've read so far and you're getting tears in your eyes because none of it is working, you should talk to your doctor because maybe your child has a sleep disorder. And I thought, yeah, I'm already doing everything and none of it is working. So is it possible that DD has a sleep disorder? Or is this totally normal for a not-yet-two-year-old?

I should mention that we have always cosleeped (I've tried getting her to sleep alone but that doesn't help at all), and she actually seems to be getting plenty of sleep. She has none of the symptoms of sleep deprivation.

I, on the other hand, have ALL the symptoms of sleep deprivation listed in SIA.

Thoughts? I need help!!!

Mama to DD, my 2/24/08 BIG KID formerly known as sling baby, and DS, my 12/23/11 train-loving, wall-climbing toddler! 
lisavark is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 11 Old 11-06-2009, 07:55 PM
Autumn C.'s Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 382
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I thought I'd join in for commiseration. My 20 month old gets considerably less sleep than average and I have been busting my butt since her birth trying to make sure her naps are protected and she has sunlight and exercise and a sleep sounds (we use ocean waves) and blackout curtains, etc.

I still can't figure it out.

Recently, she did start getting a bit more consolidated in her sleep (we worked at this -no CIO I might mention- PM me if you want details) for a few days anyways but then last night she was AWAKE.

Teething? sometimes.

My question lately has been "is it possible that she really just needs LESS sleep?"

I'm still on the fence about that one.
Autumn C. is offline  
#3 of 11 Old 11-08-2009, 05:05 PM
bridget8500's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
your dd and mine are from the same mold - I am also losing my mind, totally sleep deprived, and also very worried. I have also tried everything - with no success. I am looking into craniosacral therapy, we've tried some homeopathic remedies with no luck. My dd is a "high needs" child, is yours? According to Sears. they don't sleep through until age 3-4. My dd will be 2 in 1 week, and has also, never slept through, and we, too have co-slept since birth. If you get any success with anything, please share. All I can say is I feel your pain, I'm not sure about the whole sleep disorder issue, when I talk to our ped about it (and it's been a while since I have, because I disagree with his cio philosophy), he says it's behavioral. hang in there, when you're up in the night - know you're not alone.
bridget8500 is offline  
#4 of 11 Old 11-08-2009, 11:27 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 580
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In the same boat here with my 19-month old. He has always been what others would probably call high needs.

But where we are in a similar situation, it is actually slightly better than he was a 7 months ago, so...

I guess I haven't been too worried. I know a woman whose son was the same until around 4 (though he did have developmental issues.)

Sorry I can't help, but you aren't alone!
kdaisy is offline  
#5 of 11 Old 11-09-2009, 12:55 AM
missnoodlesmom's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Apex, NC
Posts: 182
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
My son is 17 months and won't sleep through the night. We've finally gotten him out of our bed because I had a hard time sleeping with his constant nursing (and kicking and poking his hands in my mouth). He didn't sleep well in our bed either, but it's even worse in the crib. Well, I take that back. He sleeps better now than before he got tubes placed in August. But he is STILL waking up at least 2 - 3 times a night. We try to let him sort it out for a few minutes before getting him because sometimes he will go back to sleep on his own with less than 5 minutes of whining/minor fussing. But once he starts crying, we have to get him and then he has to nurse. I'm becoming really resentful of all the nursing because he's super demanding when he nurses. He wants my head turned a certain way and he will smack and kick me while nursing and twisting all around.

Anyways, we have an appt. with a developmental psychologist on Thursday and I'm going to be bringing up the sleep issue. I always think it could be a reaction to something we are putting into his system. And he had tons of antibiotics because of his constant ear infections so maybe it affected his nervous system and therefor his sleep cycles? I'm just thinking out loud....

You aren't alone. Cohen has been high needs since birth and the sleeping isn't even the most challenging aspect of raising him...
missnoodlesmom is offline  
#6 of 11 Old 11-09-2009, 02:05 PM
rissierae's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My son is 17 months and doesn't sleep through the night either. He has a few times, and I was shocked when it did happen. I kept waking up during the times when he usually starts squirming, but he was sound asleep.

Anyway, I'm kind of glad to hear he's not the only one. I haven't tried much to "fix" it because it doesn't bother me too much. A typical night for us goes like this: he falls asleep at 9pm, wakes at 10pm to pee, goes back to sleep, wakes at 1 or 2 to pee and/or nurse, goes back to sleep, wakes at 5 or 6 to pee, goes back to sleep, wakes at 7 or 8 at which time I potty him, and try to nurse him again to go back to sleep, (once in a blue moon it does and I get to sleep in) but usually end up getting up for the day.

I guess I always figured that if he didn't wake up to go potty that he would probably STTN, even though I know other EC'd babies can go all night with out having to potty. Maybe it's partly that he nurses so much still to fall asleep initially, and then again during the night. One thing I have noticed that does help is a good bedtime snack (almost a meal sometimes). If he gets filled up on cottage cheese (his favorite) then he stays full longer, doesn't nurse as much, and sleeps in longer streches, though not really "through the night."

Another thing that wakes him and/or keeps him from falling asleep is that I think he get the "jimmy legs" as we call it (aka RLS). Some nights he just cannot stop moving his legs! And when he does fall asleep, he'll wake up 30 minutes later because his legs start twitching again. On these nights, I try some infant massage techinques on his legs and feet. It seems to work ok.

wife to DH 6/25/05, mama to DS 5/26/08 & DS2 9/1/10
rissierae is offline  
#7 of 11 Old 11-09-2009, 02:09 PM
littlehoneybee's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 180
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just wanted to let you know that my first was up every two to three hours (and more) until he was 2 1/2 years old. It wasn't until we night weaned that he started sleeping through the night and I mean a full twelve hours. It didn't happen immediately after night weaning, but it did happen within a couple of months.
littlehoneybee is offline  
#8 of 11 Old 11-09-2009, 03:45 PM
Llyra's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: right here
Posts: 9,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In your position, I agree that I would consider nightweaning.

me knit.gif, he bikenew.gif, my three reading.gif, sleepytime.gif, and fairy.gif-- and the one we lost angel2.gif
Llyra is offline  
#9 of 11 Old 11-10-2009, 04:39 AM
echoecho1528's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
In your position, I agree that I would consider nightweaning.
We are also in the exact same situation as the OP... and any attempts to nightwean have been unsuccessful. DD seems to have no clue how to get to sleep without nursing. She is very high needs but very verbal, so I thought it might work... no chance! She stayed up for 3, 4, 5 hours without a clue as to how to fall asleep. She looked at me like I was crazy - patting, rocking, singing, "go night night," nothing worked.
So, as much as I am about to pull my hair out every couple of days, I am just hanging in there. Perhaps nightweaning is the answer for you. Just thought I'd let you know there is another mama out there who feels just as helpless

Wife & Momma to Echo 2/20/08 and HP 6/11/13
echoecho1528 is offline  
#10 of 11 Old 11-10-2009, 04:55 AM
rabbitmum's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Norway
Posts: 937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My now almost four year old woke up every two to three hours until shortly before his second birthday, when his two year molars came out. After those molars were done with, he only woke up once or twice during the night (around one and four or five). I have heard that many people have similar experiences with those molars. It worked fine for me, as he always fell asleep within a couple of minutes when breastfed, so I didn't really feel sleep deprived. But when he was 2 3/4 years old I had to suddenly wean because of illness. After that he started sleeping 11 - 12 hours stretches really quickly. As much as I loved those cuddly nursing nights there can be no doubt that very often nightweaning has that effect.

So, if you think you can live with *some* nightnursing I would just hold out until those two year molars are out, if you have just completely had it with night wakings I would consider night weaning - but then of course there might still be some night waking to come during teething (in which case you could of course (again) consider temporarily going back to night nursing, so it's not a huge problem really).

Good luck which ever route you choose!
rabbitmum is offline  
#11 of 11 Old 11-10-2009, 06:05 AM
mntnmom's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,780
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My youngest didn't sleep through the night until after he turned 2. Despite asking to sleep in his "big boy bed" he still woke to nurse every 2-3 hrs. I HAD to get some sleep. As much as I didn't like it, DS and I had a few rough nights as I lay in bed with him without nursing. We talked about momma milk being for daytime now, because nighttime was for sleeping. He still wakes occasionally at night: wet diaper, bad dream etc. But 90% of the time I would say I get a decent night's sleep and I am MUCH more functional.
Good luck, whatever you choose.

Mom of 4 aspiring midwife "Friend"ly seeker
mntnmom is offline  

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 12,939

25 members and 12,914 guests
babydoulajo , Deborah , girlspn , hillymum , iceface , Katherine73 , KristinaMarie , KT'smama , Lucee , manyhatsmom , Midwestmom2009 , Mirzam , moominmamma , NaturallyKait , philomom , rocky , RollerCoasterMama , sarrahlnorris , shantimama , Skippy918 , thefragile7393 , zebra15
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.