When do toddlers sleep thru the night? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 04-24-2010, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas~

I'm new to the forum. I'm sure this info has been discussed many times before, but I don't have the hours I need to sit and read thru all the posts here. So I'll just post my question in hope that someone has an answer.

I have been co-sleeping with my almost 22 month old daughter since she was born and even though I love sleeping with her, I am feeling the effects of little sleep over these past two years. I know "this too shall pass"... but I am wondering is there a time when most babies/toddlers learn to sleep thru the night? I would just love to have some light at the end of the tunnel. As it is, my daughter is waking me 5-6 times per night to nurse back to sleep and I've gotten to the point where sometimes when she wakes me I can't get back to sleep for an hour or so, making the time that I can actually sleep that much shorter. And for some reason she's started to wake at 5:54 am lately, even though I've put a drape over the windows to make our room darker.

Anyone have words of wisdom, experience or hope?

Blessings~
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#2 of 23 Old 04-24-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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My ds started sleeping thru the night at 32 months, when I weaned him. I was all for CLW. But my last straw was an unsuccessful attempt at nightweaning him, that ended up with me having a bloody nose from a very unhappy toddler thrashing his body around in the middle of the night and headbutting me. I am actually laughing as I write this...but at the time I was soooo frustrated. So I decided that with my boy it was all or nothing and instantly after he weaned he started sleeping all night . I mean we still cosleep and he wakes occasionally, but all he needs is to cuddle into mommy or daddy and he is fast asleep again.

Over the past 2.5 years I have gone through many sleepless nights with frequent night wakings and some really good patches of sleep too. But what really makes it all worth it, is that now my almost 3 year old is a really happy sleeper. All those times when I was at my wits end were all about meeting his needs and keeping him happy. That's how I look back on it...that I did my very best to help my son feel comforted and loved and never alone in the middle of the night. I know that really doesn't help you in your situation right now (and in a few months when baby #2 is keeping me awake it won't mean a lot to me either ). But for now that's how I am looking at it.

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#3 of 23 Old 04-24-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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IME they tend to sleep better once the 2yr molars are in.

Nothing's for sure though

-Angela
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#4 of 23 Old 04-24-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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I do remember dd1 slept through the night without nursing when we were on a trip when she was 2.5 yo... she had slept through the night with nursing before that though... My almost 17 mo still nurses 3-4 times during our sleep period now. I bet it does have something to do with the molars like angela said... and whether or not mother is with baby during the day. For those that aren't, nursing at night is the only time they can get at the boobies so they tend to nurse more at night...

To begin to save the world, we must first nurture the children. Read "The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost"    saynovax.gifgoorganic.jpgintactlact.gifMe-hippie.gifreading.gifhelp.gif10.5 yo dd1- nut.gifreading.gifblahblah.gif ; 5 yo dd2- angel.gifhearts.gifbouncy.gif
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#5 of 23 Old 04-24-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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For mine it was when they weaned. DD2 is 21 almost 22m and still wakes numerous times a night. I try to not have to wake up much but sometimes I can't help it.

Can you trouble shoot what is causing you to stay awake when you wake to nurse and hopefully that can help you get some more sleep.

You could try night weaning, but I don't do this because it is only a chance that it will help and I like nursing laying quietly in the bed and would really miss it if I weaned and she still woke up a lot in the night.

I hope you find relief soon.

~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.

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#6 of 23 Old 04-25-2010, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your responses everyone. I appreciate hearing about your experiences. My dd just loves her "milky" so I don't think she'll be weaning anytime soon. I'll just keep trying to stick it out and hope that things improve when she gets her molars in (though I have a feeling things may get worse at that point since she usually sleeps worse while teething). I am considering getting the "No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers" and maybe a teething necklace.... we'll see. Thanks again for your responses.
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#7 of 23 Old 04-25-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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My DD started sleeping in longer stretches (6-7 hours) around 21 months. After she did this for three or four nights, I decided to night wean, even though I hadn't really been planning it. I just figured it would be easier to do if she was sleeping in longer stretches. I think it took about 5 nights until she was completely night weaned and started sleeping through the night. BUT, after night weaning, she started having a wake up time of 4:30 and that sometimes felt worse than multiple night wakings. It took a few months of putting up with that and she gradually adjusted to more "normal" sleep hours. But she has been a great night sleeper ever since.

This is one of those things that really varies, though. I have a friend with a three year old and he seldom sleeps all the way through the night.
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#8 of 23 Old 04-25-2010, 12:17 PM
 
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DS is 3-and-a-month and I'm still waiting. He doesn't nurse but I keep a sippy of milk by his bed. Nonetheless, he still screams for me at 2 a.m. if I don't sleep in his bed; if I do sleep in his bed, he kicks me awake at 2 a.m. I'll let you know when and if he ever sleeps through. Otherwise I guess he eventually will lose his fear of monsters and will learn to get up and get his own snacks at night so he doesn't wake me about it.
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#9 of 23 Old 04-25-2010, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your responses everyone. I appreciate hearing about your experiences. My dd just loves her "milky" so I don't think she'll be weaning anytime soon. I'll just keep trying to stick it out and hope that things improve when she gets her molars in (though I have a feeling things may get worse at that point since she usually sleeps worse while teething). I am considering getting the "No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers" and maybe a teething necklace.... we'll see. Thanks again for your responses.
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#10 of 23 Old 04-27-2010, 02:36 AM
 
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My three year old daughter, youngest of the three children, who shares the bed with her siblings usually sleeps through the night with them. But sometimes, may be once or twice a week, she crawls into my bed after midnight to nurse. She had weaned about six months ago and I have almost dried since then. So mostly it is dry / comfort nursing on such occasions. I am expecting another baby in January and feel that if she continues like this I might end up doing tandem nursing after the new one arrives.
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#11 of 23 Old 04-27-2010, 09:26 AM
 
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Our situation was a little different in that once I took dairy and eggs out of her diet (she was reacting to them) she started to sleep for three hour stretches. She was 20 months and it was the FIRST TIME I had slept more than 45 minutes at a time.

At 23 months I found out I was pregnant with her little sister.

At 25 months my milk was gone and she started sleeping longer and longer stretches until she was sleeping all night long.

BFARing mama to Haley (3/07) and Abigail (11/10/09)
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#12 of 23 Old 04-29-2010, 02:31 PM
 
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Does this mean that the only way they sleep well through the night is if they are weaned for night time feedings? Do they ever just nurse once at night but have long stretches otherwise?
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#13 of 23 Old 04-29-2010, 04:54 PM
 
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Does this mean that the only way they sleep well through the night is if they are weaned for night time feedings? Do they ever just nurse once at night but have long stretches otherwise?
My son is 21 months old and wakes 1 - 2 times a night, sometimes only once. There have been stretches of time when he has slept 12 hours through the night without waking (when he was about 4 months old, and when he was about 14 months old, both lasted about 1 month). I'm tempted to night wean but I'm pretty lazy and it's really easy to get him back to sleep with nursing when he does wake up at night. Maybe after he has all his teeth . . .
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#14 of 23 Old 04-29-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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Does this mean that the only way they sleep well through the night is if they are weaned for night time feedings? Do they ever just nurse once at night but have long stretches otherwise?
Both of mine had stretches where they slept 5+ hours at night without nursing without me ever "night weaning" They often picked night nursing back up later with teething.

-Angela
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#15 of 23 Old 04-29-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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does it make a difference if they slept in their own bed or if it's a family bed?
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#16 of 23 Old 04-29-2010, 07:26 PM
 
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Mine have been all in our bed.

-Angela
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#17 of 23 Old 04-29-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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My experience is that all kids are different. Seriously. There are no universal rules.

For my first, nightweaning at 2 was a lifesaver. She went from waking every hour to sleeping through the night. Magic.

For my second, I followed my instincts and waited much longer to limit nighttime feedings. For her, trying to get her not to nurse at night just resulted in her being furious and us both being awake for hours. So we went back to nursing at night until she stopped on her own. At 5, she is still not a great sleeper, but one thing is clear--she sleeps much, much better if she is right next to me.

Follow your own instincts about your child! They're the best guide!
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#18 of 23 Old 04-29-2010, 11:44 PM
 
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Does this mean that the only way they sleep well through the night is if they are weaned for night time feedings? Do they ever just nurse once at night but have long stretches otherwise?
My DS is 24 months & he generally only wakes to nurse once at night...some nights not at all. We co-sleep.

Tandem nursing, Baby-wearing, Co-sleeping, Car seat-checkin' (CRST) Mama to my sweet boys, Peter (4.20.08) and Jasper (4.25.11).
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#19 of 23 Old 04-30-2010, 12:37 AM
 
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Then does it matter if they can fall asleep on their own or if they need to nurse to sleep?
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#20 of 23 Old 04-30-2010, 12:50 AM
 
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My 3.5 year oldstill wakes 1-2xs most night. The 7 months old wakes up maybe once.

IME it really varies by personality. DD is way active and DS is way chill.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#21 of 23 Old 04-30-2010, 12:52 AM
 
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Then does it matter if they can fall asleep on their own or if they need to nurse to sleep?
IME- not a lick. Dd ALWAYS nursed to sleep, but slept through the night more often and earlier. Ds has never really nursed to sleep at night, but wakes more and MUST nurse back down.

-Angela
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#22 of 23 Old 04-30-2010, 01:34 AM
 
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We night weaned around 21 months. Shortly after that is when she started sleeping through the night. It came down to my exhaustion having a negative effect on our days--night weaning was far easier than I was expecting and she still nurses during the day.

Single HB mama to 2!
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#23 of 23 Old 05-03-2010, 01:32 AM
 
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My dd is almost 5 and still wakes at night.

My ds is 20 months and I have cut out his 1:00 am feeding around a month ago. I find that he wakes up when he pees and then would need to be nursed to fall back asleep. So when he nursed less he peed less, and therefore woke less. Currently I feed him before bed and feed him anytime he wakes up after 4 ish. He is still waking before that but I just tell him it's cuddle time and hold his hand if he wants. He usually goes right to sleep. Every few nights he will sleep straight through to the early morning feeding. Then he wakes at around 6 and nurses and it's time to wake up.

I nurse him at bedtime then leave the room with him awake. At first he would get out of bed but after a few weeks now he just stays in bed and falls asleep.

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