18 month old night sleep help — The Bump
Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

18 month old night sleep help


Need help/suggestions in regards to getting my 18mo to sleep on her own at night. During the day for her AM/PM naps we take her upstairs, hold her for a minute, say "have a good nap" then lay her down. She will flop around in her crib for 10-30 minutes but will put herself to sleep with no crying.

At night, however, we have to hold her or else she won't go to sleep. We have tried numerous things. She is on a schedule (bath between 6:30-7:00, quiet time 7:15-8:00 then up to bed) and that routine hasn't seemed to make a difference. My husband and I are at a loss because getting her to sleep at night is SO involved, and depending on the night is quick (15 minutes) or ridiculous like last night where it took almost 2 hours. I know part of this is our own fault for waiting so long to change things, but it just doesn't make sense how nap time is not a struggle, but night time is. I am not a fan of CIO so I won't do that because it just hurts me too much.

I do breast feed however it is normally only 2 times a day, and I have been doing my best to NOT do it before bed. Instead at quiet time giving her a cup full of milk.

Any and all advice is appreciated.

Re: 18 month old night sleep help

  • We're going through something similar with our 13 mo daughter.
    I've found that a night light along with a white noise machine really does the trick. We go through her bedtime routine: eat, play for 30 minutes,  bath, bedtime book, cup of milk, and then straight to bed.
    It works like a charm. The bath and full tummy coupled with the soothing white noise seems to make it impossible for her to stay awake. 
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  • My son is also 18 months old and sleeps 8-10 hours every night so I do have to agree with the above- the full tummy, bath, nightlight, and white noise (we use a fan away from him) helps. I don't let him sleep more than 2 hours for his naps because I feel like when he does, it pushes back his bedtime. His naps are scheduled after his lunch from 12:30-2:30. Also, I try to play with him a lot more when he wakes up from his naps so that his energy is more spent so I do try to tire him out. 

    My pediatrician also told me to monitor what he watches. Sometimes certain movies will have villain or something "scary" like a character coming out of the dark and it replays in baby's head so then they become scared of the dark or messes with their sleep. 
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  • A nighttime routine, massages, warm milk helps, and then the baby sleeps normally. In addition, strong emotions before going to bed, cartoons, or he is afraid of the dark can interfere. You can talk to your doctor. 
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