We need some help/advice. My daughter is just over a year old, and it takes forever to get her to sleep. She has always been a poor sleeper, and we are reaching the end of our rope. It is taking up to two hours to get her to sleep. She sleeps with us and is BF.
She used to nurse to sleep, but that no longer is enough. I will lay down with her and nurse her, but she will get off the bed and walk off!! So, then we go back out to the living room and have quite time (read, play with blocks, etc). When she starts getting cranky, I will try again. Or, my husband will try rocking her with soft music. She will look like she is just about to fall asleep, then she will wake herself up! We will do this until she falls asleep. Or, until we admit defeat, and get into the car. It is so frustrating. I don't know what we are doing wrong. I know she is teething, and she just got her first molar. When she goes to bed, sometimes she sleeps until we go to bed, and sometimes she is up every hour. I make sure not to have any caffeine after noon. I don't know what else to do. Any suggestions???
ETA: She just transitioned to one nap a day, which is usually about two hours long around noon.
First off my sympathy, we have been going through much of the same at our house.
Have you read the no cry sleep solution? She has a lot of ideas for establishing a routine- ways to cue your daughter that it is bedtime.
Do you have a night time routine? This is something we struggle with too because for so long she would easily nurse down and now it's no so simple!
Sometimes I know she is dead tired, but because the mobility thing is so new she will schooch away and off the bed, looking back the whole time. I'm confident this is the beginnings of testing out boundaries and learning the rules. I ask her to come back and if she doesn't, I lay her down next to me. When she is tired she will protest briefly then nurse to sleep. When I have totally misread her cues she gets mad and lets me know. When that happens we stop trying to go to bed and go play for awhile.
I am also struggling with accepting the reality that she is staying up much later. She used to go to bed quite early but now in the long days of summer her bedtime has crepted later with the light. She goes to sleep between 9-9.30 now. I really struggle with that. Around 7, I start having the itch to put her to bed, the anxiety of doing all the things I used to do after she went to bed starts whispering to me. But I have tried and failed at adjusting her bedtime. It doesn't matter if we start the routine at 7, 8 or 9. She still goes to sleep at 9. So thats a possibility too- that maybe you are starting too early?
mommy to Claire 4.21.10 and surprise! expecting someone new January 2013
I read NCSS when my daughter was little, but I need to brush up on it again. It's so hard to read with a little one!!
Our routine before was to nurse and sing to sleep, but a few weeks ago she just seemed to grow out of that. She will still do that for naps though. We don't have much of a routine at night, especially since she sort of goes to sleep when she is ready. She usually seems to get tired, and then is immediately ready for bed. Then, she just refuses to go to bed . Maybe I am just missing her sleepy cues.
Teething has really complicated things lately too. Her first molar just broke through, and I am confident there are some more on the way. I know she is uncomfortable.
I think some of it is also our frustration from being so exhausted . What does a normal routine look like? Should I set a bedtime?
I don't have many more suggestions...
Maybe instead of a set bedtime, you could pick a time that you isolate yourselves after- like typically if it is after 8 PM we stay upstairs. Maybe we stay in bed or go fold laundry in the guestroom or take a bath, but we don't go down to where all the toys are.
idk what a good routine looks like either!
mommy to Claire 4.21.10 and surprise! expecting someone new January 2013
I could have written your post word for word. I find that just as I feel like I reach the end of my rope though, she goes back to being easy to put to bed. All of last week, we did the nurse, walk, nurse, walk - STILL AWAKE WTF!!! - thing every single night. For the last two nights, she was asleep within 10 minutes of me nursing her.
I don't know why exactly, but my theory is that when she has a lot of developmental progress going on, as well as teeth pushing through, she just doesn't want to go to sleep and her body will fight it really hard. What we do when it's REALLY bad, is DH will take DD downstairs and give her more food and let her play. When she gets cranky, he brings her back up and usually DD nurses down really fast. This works because it lets me have a chance to get some uninterrupted rest and lets me reset my frustration meter by getting a break. The other thing is just to wait it out. Everything seems to get better with a toddler if you just wait for the phase to pass.
We have thought about doing CIO and always think better of it, but when it's midnight and we have been trying to get DD down for 3 hours, the thought that I can always just do CIO if I can't take it anymore will sometimes get me through I never do CIO though, and I totally don't support it while I am in my right mind. It feels like a punishment for her and me, and I can't really see it solving anything.
Good luck, you are not alone.
Happy , delayed/selective vaxxing, WOHM to DD1 4/10 , DD2 8/12 and partner/wife for thirteen years to SAHD DH.
I, too, feel ur pain. We are also going thru this. My son is 15.5 mo old, and I have a friend who's son is 2 weeks younger than mine who is also going thru the same thing. Maybe its developmental. It makes us crazy, though. If it is developmental, hopefully he'll grow out of it, soon. :)
Hi! I'm not sure if I can help you but I hope so:)
My son is almost 15 months old, crappy sleeper but getting better. I never full time co-slept but I had more and more trouble getting my son to get to sleep and stay asleep starting at about 12 months old. He stopped nursing to sleep around that time and I would nurse him, the bounce or rock him to sleep which could take up to an hour. He usually woke often in the early evening. i was at the end of my rope too. Now we do our bedtime routine and I put him into bed awake (he used to scream bloody murder but it only took one or two nights for him to be okay with being in his crib by himself) I stay with him and pretty much ignore him unless he cries. He usually rolls around alot, throws out his soothers, plays... for about an hour or an hour and 15 minutes. We have tried a later bedtime, an earlier bedtime, more time outside, a big dinner, bath, no bath... and it still takes him about an hour to fall asleep!! Yesterday I had to use the washroom so I left the room and left the door open. He didn't cry so I stayed out and he fell asleep on his own after a total of almost an hour and a half in his crib. I feel bad that he's in there for so long but I don't see another choice. He's not crying, and he takes that long no matter what time he goes down. I am hoping that it takes longer as he gets older. At the very least, he can now fall asleep on his own. I hope you have some success tonight!
ETA - He sleeps longer in the evening now which has been a bonus of him falling asleep on his own. He usually sleeps for 3.5 -5 hours after he first falls asleep and then in 2-4 hour chunks after that. I haven't nightweaned but I try to only nurse him close to midnight and then again 5-6 when he wakes up for the day.
LeaPea, I sympathize! Here's my experience.
My son (now 12 months) is also a "poor" sleeper, waking up every 1-5 hours. It's so variable, but he is getting several new teeth and that must be why he's been waking up VERY frequently lately, particularly from 3-5am when I am having my deep sleep! We co-sleep and BF.
He is a very active boy. Starting at around 7-8 months, right before he learned to crawl, he would no longer lie down and nurse to sleep. So I nurse him in the rocking chair. Every night. We usually do bath, dinner, then play until he looks tired. And we know he's tired when he starts walking aimlessly around the house like a drunken sailor, he starts chewing things a lot, and/or he gets quiet and gets this dull look in his eyes. He's usually asleep within 15 minutes but I can't put him down until about 30-40 minutes later. So total time of trying to put him to sleep is about an hour. Always has been.
Sometimes he'll twist out of my lap while nursing, and I noticed that he did that when he wasn't ready yet or he had to go poo. Really!
And once he stopped nursing and told me he was hungry, using the sign for "more" (which he associates w/ food).
When my son is VERY active but obviously tired, my husband holds him and takes him outside to look at plants, the traffic, whatever. That let's me eat dinner, or finish making dinner. Just holding him and being outside always seems to send him into sleepy mode if he really is tired. We hold him in the baby carrier before naps too, so maybe consistency is key??
As far as setting a bedtime ... I usually go by behavior and how long it's been since his last nap. Since he's only doing 1 nap/day, sometimes 2, he'll start acting sleepy about 5 hours after bedtime. But that's how my son is and it may be different for your LO.
I hope you can find the way that works for you!
My son is almost one, and I've also been noticing that he won't always nurse to sleep anymore. Sometimes, he will nurse for a few minutes and then want to play. I no longer keep trying to lay him down next to me to nurse, because he will bite to let me know he isn't interested. We essentially do what another previous poster mentioned - we isolate ourselves in the bedroom where DS and I sleep. If he nurses to sleep, great. If he wants to play, the room is fully baby-proofed so I just let him go off and play on his own. Because it is *supposed* to be bedtime, I try not to engage with him - very little talking, and definitely no playing with him. After awhile, he either comes back to nurse (and falls asleep) or gets tired and comes back in bed and falls asleep on his own (with a paci). This usually takes 30-60 minutes, as opposed to nursing to sleep, which would like take just 5-15 minutes. But DH and I have structured our evenings so it doesn't matter either way.
For those of you whose kids are going to bed later, how many hours of sleep are they getting? DS is a poor sleeper, and it is rare that he will sleep 12 hours. Usually it is 10-11. I know that conventional wisdom says that he should get more, but this is just how he is.
Another weird thing I have started to notice is that when I nurse DS to sleep nowadays, he will inevitably wake up within an hour or less. But if he falls asleep on his own, he might sleep 3 hours before he wakes. I wish I could figure out a good way to take advantage of that!