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17 month terrible sleeper.

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#1 ~kuddlebug~

Posted 30 December 2012 - 07:37 PM

I'm hoping someone might have a little advice as I'm getting desperate over my son's sleeping (or lack thereof). He's 17 months old. He's always been tricky to get to sleep; as a little baby I had to bf him to sleep every time. We went to Karitane at 5 months old to help with settling without bf which was successful, but since then his night sleeps have been very hit and miss.

We have a strong bed time routine including bath, teeth, story, bf and into bed drowsy but awake. That part goes flawlessly but going to sleep is a nightmare. He cries every time, we've tried so many settling techniques to help him settle, ranging from holding him (he hates that and struggles to be put down), patting (works until you stop, even when we stop very very gradually and he just wakes up again), extra bf, parental presence (he tries to play with us and get our attention and refuses to lie down - we've stayed for up to an hour with him still wide awake), co-sleeping (same as parental presence), controlled crying (without a timer, just going off his cries - but he gets really worked up with us going in and out, and it takes far longer for him to settle than if we just leave him to cry) and straight cry it out which I hate doing but seems to be the only way to get him to settle. We've been camping out lately which also involves him playing but he will eventually go to sleep after 1.5-2 hours - but at least he doesn't cry!

I just don't know what to do with him. Last night he fell asleep during his bf, woke after 45 min and was awake for 3 hours before crying himself to sleep. He woke again about 3 hours later, had another feed and slept an hour. Another bf but awake for nearly 2 hours before DH was able to settle him on a mattress on the floor. Tonight looks to be going the same way so far.

At one stage a few months ago he was waking every hour overnight and requiring bf to go back to sleep, so I was getting 20 min or less for nearly 3 weeks. In desperation my GP prescribed phenergan which helped get him to a few hours rather than every hour, but didn't work for him.

Does anyone have any tips, tricks, techniques I could try? I just want him to sleep for more than four hours in a row with minimal awake time. At 17 months I'm happy to deal with one night wake but not 3-5!!

#2 Tilly007

Posted 30 December 2012 - 07:51 PM

I think whatever you do you need to be consistent.  So if you are going to do cry it out, for instance, then do it each time he goes to bed and each time he wakes up overnight.

My son is a pretty good sleeper but definitely goes through stages of sleeping poorly.  I used to BF and cuddle him to sleep when he was younger, but he is almost 2 now and I think he is old enough to go to sleep by himself.  What works for us is a cuddle before bed, put in the cot and walk out of the room.  He usually carries on for a little while but then goes to sleep.  If he wakes overnight and doesn't settle by himself, I go in and check his nappy, offer water, quick cuddle and back into the cot. He usually kicks off for a few minutes but then goes back to sleep.

I found that rocking him to sleep was counter productive as he jut wanted it every single time.  Plus it would take up to an hour each time.  He won't lie down to be patted and I think he is of an age where a bit of crying is ok.

Edited by Tilly007, 30 December 2012 - 07:52 PM.

#3 ~kuddlebug~

Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:37 AM

Thanks Tilly. I'm happy for him to cry a bit but my DS will go for up to 2 hours of whinging/moaning if we let him! Sometimes he settles with just a few minutes of crying but that's the exception rather than the rule.

#4 VintageEyes

Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:49 AM

Where abouts are you op? We are in SA and had some success with Dr Sarah  Blunden. She uses the gradual moving out the room technique.
Have you also considered night weaning? I was scared to night wean because I was worried about losing my only technique to get DS to sleep. He didn't like it much, and he still wakes up a couple of times a night but it reduced the demands on my body IYKWIM? (We weaned ast just past 2)

#5 axiomae

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:04 PM

I think consistency is probably key. Stick ONE thing and do it consistently - no changing. Dream Baby Guide by Sheyne Rowley is pretty comprehensive in its take on sleep issues, and the settling methods wholly appropriate at 17 months. Hope you find some relief soon original.gif

Edit for double post.

Edited by axiomae, 31 December 2012 - 08:05 PM.

#6 Guest_divineM_*

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:30 PM

Have you considered a sleep consultant?  We used one and she was good at adapting technique to child's temperament. Sometimes if you go by what a book says it may not be appropriate for your child. It's not too expensive. Ours was around $200-250 and do worth it.

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