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  1. #1
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    Default Really struggling - 16 month old won't sleep

    Our daughter has never been a good sleeper. From the day we brought her home, she has been very difficult. The only way to get her to sleep was either to nurse her, or to walk around with her. You couldn't just sit or lie with her, it was exhausting.

    She has never slept through the night and has never spent the whole night in her bed. I think the longest we've ever had was about 9-2am?

    Our routine now at 16 months is at around 7:30pm, I take her up to our bed, bf quickly and then usually she will fall asleep with her head on my chest maybe 10-30mins after bfing.

    Some nights I can then relocate her into her own bed for a couple of hours. Most nights I can't. So most nights, she sleeps in our bed inbetween us, waking every few hours and crawling all over me trying to get comfortable. The only place she will go to sleep is on me. If DP tries to hold her, she will scream the house down, even though during the day she appears to love him and not have a strong preference for either of us.

    DP now spends weeknights in the guest room so he can get some sleep. Neither of us really function properly and work is a nightmare.

    We were told that maybe she hated the cot, that it felt like a cage because she was used to sleeping in our bed. So we removed one side and turned it into a toddler bed. That was months ago, no difference.

    I feel like a horrible person for even considering this. We have tried the 'fade'/control crying methods, cry it out, co-sleeping, trying to comfort her whist she's in her bed - well everything we can find really. Now we're thinking of putting the side back on her cot and just putting her in her bed at bedtime and walking away.

    I don't feel like I can be the best parent when I'm always so tired. Worse, she is often tired and cranky too so our days aren't great either.

    Has anyone else had a similar situation? What did you do? Or what would you do if you were us? I did take her to the sleep cottages once at around 11 months and they said she was a 'trifactor' baby - she was excitable, determined and intelligent and so very difficult to get to sleep. We were given a referral to go stay somewhere for a week but couldn't go because of work and other commitments. We have no family nearby so there is no-one to ever help out. DP and I have not had a night off since she was born.

  2. #2
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    Have you read the book "the no-cry sleep solution"? That worked well for DS1. Your first port of call is to stop her falling asleep on you as she needs to learn to fall asleep in her own bed. Most of those expensive sleep schools just guide you through the no-cry method which is patting them and comforting while in their bed and then leaving them for a short time, then returning to repeat the process again. You have to really persist with it though and invest weeks in it, not just days. Good luck!

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    Sorry to hear sleep has been a struggle. If i were you, i would book a weeks leave off work when you can and go to sleep cottage for a week. Reason: its been going on so long unresolved. Time for some serious professional help i reckon. Thats just what i would do.

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    Does she have a settle down time before bed? I have had 6 pretty garbage sleepers so I feel your pain.
    She sounds over stimulated though, with the crawling around after she's been asleep.
    My dd is 2 and she will still sleep restless if she gets over stimulated somehow in the afternoon or evening.

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    That must be so hard for you and you're right in that parenting and working is twice as hard when you're chronically sleep deprived. We also have zero family support and ended up in a sleep school when our dd was 7 months old. I think the only way we got through it to good sleeping was absolute consistency and hard work (she's 18 months now and her sleep drastically improved around 9 months and by 12 months she started sleeping through and has ever since).
    I think it'll be a slow process for you as she's older and the issues are more entrenched and there's a few things to deal with - falling asleep on you/with you/by feeding and frequent waking and not sleeping in her own bed. With her needing you to help her fall asleep then whenever she wakes she will need you to help her get back to sleep. I'd start (if you're not already) with looking at her day routine and have a very firm and consistent bedtime routine which you do every single day (ours is dinner 5-5:30, shower/bath 6pm, quiet play then into her room to get into sleeping bag with bottle of milk and white noise on at 6:50 in bed by 7pm). She knows this so well now she walks herself to bed when we get her milk out.
    Maybe the first focus could be getting her to sleep in her bed? My friend used the 'camping out' method when her dd was about 12 months old and it worked well for her http://m.raisingchildren.net.au/arti...mping_out.html
    If there's any way you can get to the residential program or can afford a sleep consultant to come to your home overnight I think that would be great for you. Hopefully others can give you some more practical advice to help

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    I wrote a similar thread when my dd was 16 months. She was sleeping literally 2 hours a night, DH was away for work, & I was only getting 2 hours sleep with 3 kids to look after all day, so zero chance at rest. I was desperate and exhausted, and we did controlled crying. We had to be persisitent and not give up. It took around 3 nights of screaming. It was hell, but I wasnt coping on 2 hours sleep at 16 months old, and it wasnt fair on my older two. It was the best decision, even though it was hard at the time. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

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    My DS was the same. We moved interstate (twice within 5 weeks) when he was about 15 months old, and his sleep was shot. He was waking every 45 minutes and we weren't getting anywhere. I was rocking to sleep, so then we did 3 days (until he was used to it) each of: cuddling to sleep with patting on the bum and shushing, then in the cot with patting on the bum and shushing, then resting hand on him and shushing, then resting hand on him for a little while before removing it while shushing, then just shushing, then just sitting next to the cot. We were supposed to start moving slowly towards the door, but we never have been able to do that. Now he is in a bed, and because I am pregnant and sore and tired, I've taken to lying next to him on his bed as he falls asleep, and getting up once he's out. If he wakes early in the morning, or won't re-settle through the night, we pull the trundle out and shush him from there. He has to stay in his bed til 6:30 am.

    We also have a solid routine in the evenings 5:15 dinner, 5:45 bath, 6:15 teeth and get dressed before books with daddy, 6:40 boob, 7:00 in bed. Then we say good night to his body - kind of like a guided relaxation. He's usually asleep by 7:30. He does still wake at night - once or twice. Usually when he can't find his teddy bear. He sleeps through about half the time.

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    Default Really struggling - 16 month old won't sleep

    Hugs.
    You are not alone.
    There is nothing wrong with your baby or you.
    My dd2 is 15 months, I have sleep trained over and over, but we still do not have a baby- well toddler now- that sleeps through.
    I get up 5am for work, dh gets up at 515am.

    My dd1 was somewhat similar now she is a dream. Both my SILs had babies that did not do this magical 11-12 hours straight either until 2ish years.

    They do get better..... I think? I hope?

    I'm usually a big advocate of controlled crying but tbh I don't have a baby that sleeps through so I certainly am not qualified to give out advice.

    When teething/breastfeeding stops, I'm hoping dd2 will get better. It's become my new normal now so I simply just cope, I get in with it and feel surprisingly ok most days. But with lots of caffeine. And early bed. And naps.

    Xxx

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    Default Really struggling - 16 month old won't sleep

    I know you said that you couldn't go to sleep school because of work commitments but I urge you to reconsider that idea. I took my eldest DD at 11mo and she has slept through ever since - she is 5 now. It was the best thing I could've done. My DD would take an hour + to get to sleep and would wake 2 hourly - I couldn't function and it was torture. I was due to return to work a month later and I'm sure I wouldn't have managed if I didn't go! They are so so helpful and knowledgable, it's so worth the time.

  12. #10
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    To add, I nearly took my youngest DD at 12mo and was booked in, then out of nowhere she started sleeping through on her own and still does. I would recommend sleep school to anyone


 

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