Anyone's toddler not sleeping? — The Bump
January 2016 Moms

Anyone's toddler not sleeping?

I know this group is not super active but in desperate need of some advice or at minimum mutual commiserating so I can feel less like a failure! 


My little one will be 16 months on the 31st - for months (like probably 6) she's been sleeping roughly 730-630 every night. This varies by 15-20 minutes each direction every now and then and she'll stretch it to 7 or 7:15 on the weekends. We've also had periods of illness and teeth that had led to some rough nights. However, the past two weeks have been miserable. Sleeping restlessly, trying to wake up at 4 or 4:30 for the day. Her naps at daycare have stayed pretty consistent (her classroom takes 1 a day usually about 2 to 2.5 hours) so I'm really at a loss.

weve been busier than usual with the changing season and our calendar becoming increasingly full but for the most part her bedtime comes first and we have her home and in bed on time almost all the time. I had chalked it up to a couple later nights here and there at first but we've been super strict all week and have seen zero improvement. 

So now I'm looking for help! I've read about the 18 month sleep regression (the 4 and 9 month ones about killed me so I'm well read on the subject) but she's only 16 months, has anyone's LOs hit this early? Does it sound like maybe she needs less sleep suddenly so maybe a later bedtime would help? Would love a bedtime closer to 8 (give us some freedom!) so that'd be great too.

anyone with advice or similar stories would be great!!!!
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Re: Anyone's toddler not sleeping?

  • A few weeks ago we had a kind of similar story. It lasted 2 weeks and she was waking 1-2 times a night scream crying. I would have to go in and snuggle her and rub her back or else she would not go back to bed. It was short lived..not sure if it was an age thing or what it was. Hopefully itll get better for you! 
  • Yes, my LO turned 16 months about a week ago and ever since he has been waking every night between midnight and 2A screaming and crying.  Prior to that he would sporadically sleep through the night.  He started reliably sleeping through the night around 12 months and now I feel like I have a newborn again.  It's killing me.  Sorry no advice, just letting you know that you are not alone.  I've been wondering if he's getting molars.  Previous to these wake-ups, he would go to bed between 8-9P and sleep for 11 hours.  I think you can push the bedtime later but I don't know if it would help the wake-ups.  My LO goes to bed too late in my opinion, but it's impossible to get him in earlier because of the older kids don't go until 9P, so the house is loud until then.  Baby has FOMO :)

  • 23Tez2323Tez23
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    You are not alone. I bet there is something at 16 months because that would line up with when my DD started needing me in the middle of the night again, and it subsided a couple weeks later. I was looking for answers and I learned that babies this age might start to dream about things that happen outside of their houses and might wake up disoriented and scared.  Mine is currently teething so now when I check on her I find her with her hand stuffed in her mouth.  
  • KFrobKFrob
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    Its also the 10th leap so maybe that's related
  • nackienackie
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    Mine just turned 16 months today, and the past week he's been waking up screaming twice a night too.  He's never been a good sleeper though and even at his best, only slept through the night about half the time.  We try to have him in his crib by 7:14-7:30 and he's usually up between 5:30 and 6:15
  • My kid never sleeps. No joke. We are STILL lucky to get 4 broken hours of sleep in a 24 hour period...
  • @BarrettJ89 I don't know how you do it!! Bless you for being such a strong mama! Just out of curiosity has your pediatrician suggested seeing a neurologist or a sleep specialist to do sleep mapping? I can't imagine a kiddo only getting 4 hours of sleep. I would lose my mind. You rock! 
  • BarrettJ89BarrettJ89
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    edited May 2017
    @Cricket99 Nada. It's driving me NUTS that my pediatrician just laughs about it. I've even offered that he come spend a night with her at my house... we're keeping a log now so that we can show them how bad it is. We are running on fumes, with no relief in sight. I feel like we've tried everything. 

    ETA: we love our pediatrician. He's a great guy and has really pushed to get health issues resolved for both of the toddlers. But he just seems to think that some kids are poor sleepers, and she's one of those kids. 
  • Could it possibly be teething? Our pediatrician mentioned at our 15 month checkup that separation anxiety peaks between 15 & 18 months. We've had a harder time with sleep the past couple of weeks but it's getting better on its own. I hope the same will happen for you! 
  • @BarrettJ89 I think your situation goes beyond being a "poor sleeper". Hopefully keeping a log will help him see how bad it is. I would look into some sleep studies in your area in the meantime. Can't hurt!
  • nackienackie
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    Cricket99 said:
    @BarrettJ89 I think your situation goes beyond being a "poor sleeper". Hopefully keeping a log will help him see how bad it is. I would look into some sleep studies in your area in the meantime. Can't hurt!
    Seriously.  I would say that mine was a bad sleeper since he was up almost every 2 hours until he was 6 months old and didn't sleep through the night for the first time until 13 months.  4 hours total per day is something else entirely!



  • Mine still doesn't sleep through the night either, wakes up 2-3 times on a rare and good night. However the past few weeks LO has been regressing in sleep as well. I chalked it up to stopping bf recently and the eternal teething,may be separation as well, God knows. I have friends whose kids are also on the same age range and same boat, no advice here also hoping will eventually pass...
  • Birdie deals with both restless legs syndrome and night terrors. She's too little to give medication to for the RLS, and there's not much you can do for the night terrors. I am a huge advocate of "sleep begets sleep," and so I'm still standing firm in two naps a day. THe only other things that seems to provide some relief for us is cosleeping. I'm a single mom, so it's not cramping our style, and it seems to settle her to use me as an anchor. If her legs are getting to bad, she'll wedge her feet under my side or back to keep them still. (You can't pin them down--she has to make the choice or it'll aggravate the condition worse.) It helps to have her in the bed for night terrors because my presence seems to help shift her out of that really deep sleep where terrors occur. Instead of me going in and shifting her in the crib every 2-3 hours, if I cough or roll over, it does the same trick, and we are both far less disturbed.
  • @BarrettJ89 You are amazing, I don't know how you are all surviving on such little sleep. That's way worse than just a bad sleeper. My friend's son was only sleeping about 4 hours a night and no one took her seriously for a long time, and she finally got him in to see a neurologist and do a sleep study. He was diagnosed with night terrors, sensory processing disorder, and I think something else. He sees an occupational therapist for the sensory stuff and is now on a sensory diet. And he takes medications for the other stuff. Now he's sleeping up to 8 hours a night and taking one nap. So way better. Long story short, I see hope for you, and I hope you can see some sleep specialists soon and figure this out!




  • @mhamik So we have some similar problems that started in March I think... LO was waking up at 4 or 4:30 for a few weeks in a row. I was going crazy. She has slowly shifted to waking up between 5 and 5:30, which is way better, but still not okay! I've played with the naps and bedtime a bit but nothing seems to help. Ideal bedtime would be 7ish with an ideal waketime of 7ish. That's what we had for months and months and I miss it!! So I'm just commiserating, but would love some tips as well. 
  • mhamikmhamik
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    Thanks for all of the responses guys! We did start gradually pushing back her bedtime, we've had many more mornings with 6:30 am or later wake ups but it could honestly be a coincidence. Still kind of restless throughout the night but we traveled for the holiday so that probably didn't help.

    these kids sure like to keep us on our toes!! Luckily they're worth it!
  • Rose hasn't been sleeping through the night for a month or so.  She's just been getting one tooth after another (4 molars in a row, now one new bottom tooth in the front) and dealing with colds here and there.  We are tiiiirrrreeed but hanging in there.  They will sleep eventually, right???  Before kindergarten?  Lol.  Hugs and caffeine to everyone!
  • @maureenmce I sure hope so !!  Lol
    I am joining the club...  My LO has always been a good sleeper but this past week resists going to bed at night and often wakes up in the middle of the night and won't go back to sleep for hours.  I have a whole new level of empathy and compassion for people whose LOs do not sleep well...   I hope this will not last too long, this mama needs sleep!!  What are these "sleep regression" and "leaps" ppl talk about?  Any suggested resources to read on them or how to deal with them?  I had asked my pediatrician about them when I first read about them here (over a year ago) but she had never heard of them and we never experienced them...  We've had a lot of changes lately: 3 international moves with jet lag and lots of travel so maybe even though we've been staying put for 3 weeks now there is still some of that playing out?  We've had changes in daily routine also, including some time with a nanny and working to transition to a single nap (to see if it helps get night sleep back on track and to help prep for joining daycare).  Also canines seem to be on their way and I heard tumors they might be the most painful teeth.  LO is biting her hand a lot and drooling which she has never done before...  When I pick her up though she stops crying.  I would have thought if there is pain my picking her up wouldn't necessarily stop the crying though right?    Sorry for the rambling, blame it on lack of sleep.  If anyone has a trick or info that helped & worked for them I would love to hear !
  • My baby has never been a good sleeper until she completely dropped to 1 nap. You are so lucky to have enjoyed a good sleeper. I "enjoyed"all 10 leaps with sleep regression. There is serious sleep regression around 17-18 months with leap 10. Thank goodness, this is the last leap! Just google "leap 10".  This site has saved my life several times!!
     
    Preciouslittlesleep.com 
  • @juliaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa The best book for the Leaps is The Wonder Weeks. We have been using it since day one and it's pretty accurate. They also have an app that you can download.
  • Just looking to see if anyone has any updates on LOs sleeping. Gina has been waking frequently in the middle of the night and napping once a day from anywhere from 40 minute to hour and 20 minutes. During her awake time she's happy one minute and flipping out the next simply because she can't get the cover on top of play dough cup.  She's just coming out of leap 10 so I'm hoping her normal sleep habits kick in soon. This mama is tired. 
  • Still on the "no sleep" train... At max, we were getting 3 hours of very broken sleep in a 24 hour period, so the pediatrician suggested we try melatonin. It did NOT work. Now we are on Atarax, which seemed to be helping, until she got an ear infection and am upper respiratory invention. Hopefully, once this clears we can rest...
  • Still not good for us. Our new normal is getting up for the day between 5 and 5:30, and only one 30 minute nap during the day :/ And I'm not hopeful anymore for anything to get any better. 
  • Night sleep is okay for us but naps are tough. Some days he refuses to nap and has quiet time in his crib. Some days he plays for a while in his crib and takes a short nap. A couple of times a week, I'll get a nap over an hour. I'm really hoping it's just a phase because mama needs that break!!!!
  • Ramsey started waking up in the middle of the night a few weeks ago. Sometimes a few times. We just got the kids new beds so now he is sleeping in a twin sized bed like a big boy! Last night he went to bed at 830 woke up once (he always goes right back to sleep) and slept till 9am. It was crazy!!! But of course I was up...waiting for him to wake up! He goes to daycare during the week and has been taking 2.5-3 hour naps. They have to wake him up most days. I'm thinking he is going to end up being like his daddy and enjoying sleep. We will see how long this last though! 
  • Well something magical happened this past week and I feel like a new person. She is sleeping until 7 now (was 5:30 since Feb/March) and is taking 2 hour naps (was only 30 min)!! I  so happy, I hope it lasts. No idea what changed. I'll blame it on the 10th leap I guess. 
    SDaniels19mamadcbJanuarysBaby1nackie
  • @fishee333 same! We had a rough few months of 5:00 wake ups and 1 30 minute nap a day if we were lucky. Now we are magically back to 6-7 am wake ups and a solid 2 hour nap a day. I will take it!
    JanuarysBaby1fishee333
  • @fishee333 @Cricket99 what time is bedtime? 
  • Claire takes forever to fall asleep lately.. i think its the time of year. Its so light out until 930/10, and even though her room is dark she knows its still sunny out. 
  • Anyone else's kiddo's bedtime getting later and later?  When Rose was a wee little baby she went to bed around 8:30, then 9 when she was 6 months and older, but over the last few of months she refuses to go to bed until 9:45 and as of this month it's after 10!  There is absolutely no getting her to sleep until she's ready, so I don't see the point in fighting it, and she's sleeping a full 10 hours, so I guess...it's fine?  It actually works perfectly with our schedule and I'm able to get extra time with her at night, so it's great on that end, it just seems really late!  Maybe she's just a night owl?
  • @JanuarysBaby1 bedtime for us is at 6:30. So he sleeps a solid 12 hours at night.
  • cali1710cali1710
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    edited July 2017
    @maureenmce ours isnt that late but she has been taking longer to get to bed which makes it later. It used to be 630/7 now its 830 the time she falls asleep. I think its the time of year. They know its still light out even though their rooms are dark. Takes longer to unwind. 
    maureenmce
  • Bedtime is between 7 and 7:30. She's been taking a little longer to fall asleep, but she just rolls around in the crib and isn't upset or anything. But now she's getting between 11 and 12 hours of sleep, and before it was 10. 
  • How long did the "18 month sleep regression" last for you guys? I think we are in the thick of it. Waking up in the night screaming (hasn't done that for close to 6 months), refusing naps/short naps, and a really weird appetite. It's been going on for about 5 days. Do I need to change anything or does it typically go away on its own? 
  • I had no idea there even was one.. yikes. Could be why her naps have been crappy the last week.. breaks your heart when they wake up screaming in the night though, doesnt it!  
  • Ugh we're back to awful sleeping, but for a new reason. She's falling asleep while standing in her crib. And then obviously not getting good sleep because of it. Bad naps, early wakeups. Any suggestions are welcome. 
  • fishee333 said:
    Ugh we're back to awful sleeping, but for a new reason. She's falling asleep while standing in her crib. And then obviously not getting good sleep because of it. Bad naps, early wakeups. Any suggestions are welcome.

    I don't have any advice for you but according to my mom I used to do the same thing.  I did stop on my own and am happy to report that I now sleep like a normal person, so there's hope for you.  Good luck!
    KFrob
  • @nackie lol I'm glad you now sleep like a normal person. There's hope!
    mamadcb
  • Wow @fishee333 falling asleep standing up takes some serious commitment! I hope it passes quickly. 
    fishee333KFrob
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