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21 month old waking 4-5 times per night


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#1 Woodland

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 06:42 AM

My 21 month DS's sleep has been getting worse over time, not better. He used to be a great sleeper and it was unusual for him to wake in the night but over the last 6 months he's now waking up to 5 times per night. Its driving DH and I crazy! wacko.gif

Last night I got up to him about 5 times. One time I couldn't get back to sleep and then he woke again. It had only been 30 mins since the last wake up! That's worse than a newborn!!! rolleyes.gif

He usually wants a drink and a cuddle. He's quite quick to re-settle but when its the 5th time in a night you get pretty sick of it! Surely at this age he's able its all just behavioural? We know he can sleep through as once in a blue moon he'll still do it.

He has 2 dummies in the cot. Usually they are right there beside him when he wakes. Should I leave a drink bottle in the cot? He sleeps in a sleeping bag and we leave the air con in his room set to 25 degrees cool and then I turn it off when I go to bed about 10pm.

DH and I are thinking of just not going into him at all anymore and letting him CIO for a few nights and maybe he'll get the picture that we're not coming in anymore? Has that worked for anyone else? Hideous to let him cry I know, but we just can't deal with the interrupted sleep anymore. sad.gif

Any other advice?
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#2 Mya

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 07:15 AM

Hi Carrie

I can totally relate, we've just been through almost 3 months of this with DS and I was starting to pull my hair out! It started around Nov/Dec and the first big change was he would scream when going to bed when normally he just chatters to himself before dropping off. He was also then waking numerous times at night crying out for me and sometimes staying awake for hours on end! I ended up having to put an air mattress on the floor in his room and lie down next to his cot and he would eventually quieten down and go to sleep. I think it was a developmental/growth spurt thing ... over time he gradually got better. We put a night light in his room and this has helped too as I think he was waking in the pitch black and getting scared. I also started leaving a water bottle in his bed as we've had some really hot weather. Some nights he would nearly drink the whole thing.

Have you tried taking him out of the sleeping bag? Maybe he feels more restricted now ..? DS just sleeps in his pjs with nothing else, we don't have aircon though just a fan. We did try and leave him cry a few times and sometimes he would go back to sleep and other times get more worked up. As he started to settle I gradually spent less time in his room until I could just stand at the door and talk to him so he knew I was nearby. I really think it's just a stage at this age and I hope your DS isn't as bad as mine and takes 3 months to get over it! He's just started sleeping through again now. I think they really just need reassurance that we're around and unfortunately it might take weeks to get back to normal.

We also found sticking to the exact same night time routine (dinner, bath, milk, stories in room then bed) has helped too. I think familiarity gives toddlers comfort.

I hope he starts to improve soon, happy to chat anytime if you need support!
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#3 crisis

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 07:49 PM

Sorry no advice from me, but I feel your pain.

I think they go through phases - DS is 26 months and he still does this every now and then. Last night I got up four times blink.gif He's usually lying down calling out for me, so I just stroke his head, cover him with his blanket, then leave the room.

TBH I would rather go in and reassure him for a minute or two, than to listen to him cry and call out for me at 3am.

Hopefully this phase will pass for you soon smile.gif

ETA: Just noticed all of us have boys. I hope it's not just a boy thing! tongue.gif
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#4 ~Emma~

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 09:28 PM

not just a boy thing wink.gif

not sure if it is cause of change, but for the last 3 months we have had shit "worse than newborn" sleep... the last 2 nights have been good, and i havent changed anything...

#5 Woodland

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 06:15 AM

Thanks so much for your replies. I really appreciate your help and sympathy blush.gif

I tried a few of your suggestions and he only woke once last night! I just went in and gave him a cuddle and he re-settled quickly.

I used a night light and also put a sippy cup of water in his cot. I also dummy chained his dummy to his sleeping bag. When he woke up he had obviously spent some time trying to pull the dummy chain off as he had pulled his arm through the sleeping bag arm hole and was all messed up! Hopefully he'll get used to the dummy chain being there and not play with it soon.

I also gave him a drink of milk before bed. We hadn't done this in a while (usually just one cup a day with breakfast) so maybe he was hungry overnight??? Who knows eh?

Oh well, lets hope it is just a phase for all of us. I just have to feel like Im trying to do something to make it better.


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#6 ~Emma~

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 06:51 AM

Carrie, I wouldimagine he was hungry.. Can you not add a cup of milk to the routine after bath?



#7 Woodland

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 07:11 AM

QUOTE(~Emma~ @ Feb 16 2011, 06:51 AM) View Post

Carrie, I wouldimagine he was hungry.. Can you not add a cup of milk to the routine after bath?


Yes Im definitely going to add this to the night time routine. I was always anti milk after bath as this is when we brush his teeth (a huge mission) and Im terrified as he's such a bad tooth brusher that all his teeth will rot if he has milk all over them all night sad.gif
But Im sure Im being over the top with that and I'll just give him the sippy of milk before bed. Anything for more sleep!
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#8 ~Emma~

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 07:23 AM

if its an consolation, sophie isnt a good teeth brusher either, and if it becomes too much of a battle, i dont bother wink.gif

#9 ClaireBear

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 04:23 PM

Ugh. We are going through this with Liam. It's bullcorn. Normally I don't mind so much going in during the night as I just lay him back down and that's it, but in the last few weeks I've been trying to get more of a handle on it as school has just gone back today and I can't get up in the night without being wrecked. Have read through all the suggestions and will be giving him some milk tonight.

It does seem to be all boys though, doesn't it? (In fairness to Nick, he sleeps all night and has to be woken and forcibly removed from bed, so it's not all boys.)
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#10 ~Pooky~

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 08:26 PM

We went through this at 15 months with Jess. It was hell so I sympathize . we ended up at tresilian it really really helped! We had to get quite tough and say shhhhh at the door very firmly . If she didn't settle after 15 minutes we then went in and you then stay till they fall asleep. Ask them to turn over to face the wall and pat them on their nappy. Repeat if it happens again that night. It won't take long as by 15 minutes they are pretty worn out. It only takes about a week for this to break the habit .
BUT we learnt that daytime routine flows onto what happens in the night. So you need to get the daytime routine down very strictly also. I very much recommend If it's getting unbearable to get your health nurse to refer you to tresilian they are wonderful. Jessy and mum and dad were much happier afterwards as we were all getting the sleep we need our relationships were so much better as a result.hope this helps in some way


We went through this at 15 months with Jess. It was hell so I sympathize . we ended up at tresilian it really really helped! We had to get quite tough and say shhhhh at the door very firmly . If she didn't settle after 15 minutes we then went in and you then stay till they fall asleep. Ask them to turn over to face the wall and pat them on their nappy. Repeat if it happens again that night. It won't take long as by 15 minutes they are pretty worn out. It only takes about a week for this to break the habit .
BUT we learnt that daytime routine flows onto what happens in the night. So you need to get the daytime routine down very strictly also. I very much recommend If it's getting unbearable to get your health nurse to refer you to tresilian they are wonderful. Jessy and mum and dad were much happier afterwards as we were all getting the sleep we need our relationships were so much better as a result.hope this helps in some way

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#11 Sarah Kate

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 09:12 AM

Carrie,

Firstly MASSIVE hugs. I know how this feels. My 22 month old only started sleeping through at 20 months and I tried EVERYTHING known to man. But then I did some google searching and tried this....

What is his diet like? When I sat down and thought about what my DS ate across the day, there were a few nutrients he wasn't getting but the major one was protein. Protein is a great source of vitamins and minerals and also promotes good sleep.

So I upped his protein intake and within a week, he started sleeping through. Now he wakes maybe once a night a few times a week but all it takes is a drink of water and a cuddle and he's back to sleep.

Maybe give that a go?

p.s. I also stopped giving him a bottle at night and give him milk with his dinner which I think made a huge different. We also have a pretty strick bedtime routine so he knows as soon as he has a bath/shower, he is about to go to bed so the tanties are less frequent now.

With the protein part, I was giving him mashed veggies with meat on the side but he wouldn't eat it. Now I mass the meat into his veggies (blend a little bit) and add cheese on top and fewer veggies and it helped. He doesn't have a lot of teeth so we are still struggling with the chewing so I don't mind giving him mushed food still. Means we still do seperate dinners but if it means he sleeps, who cares!!!
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