Post # 1
Ok so desperate mama here. My son (now 17 months) was always a good sleeper. He always slept in his bassinet no problem, putting himself to sleep, then transitioned easily into his crib and would wake once for a bottle. We always felt very lucky to have such a good sleeper. Well then he started seriously teething and getting his molars and it all went to hell. Teething combined with a few winter illnesses, led to some very bad nights, very little sleep and ultimately him sleeping in our bed and obviously getting used to that. Now at 17 months old, sleep is shit. This is basically a snapshot of our night
5:45: eats dinner
6:40: PJS and bottle
7:00: goes upstairs. Without a fight we rock him in his room for 15 minutes, and when he’s asleep we lay him in his crib and leave
11:30: he WAKES UP! Screaming! We have tried letting him cry and he threw up. We have tried rocking him, he falls asleep but the mintue we put him down hes awake and screaming. The screaming doesn’t stop until we cave and bring him into our bed.
4:00am: he wakes in our bed crying for a bottle… we try to ignore him but he tosses and turns and cries until we cave and give him one.
If he just slept soundly in our bed, I feel like we would be open to co sleeping and okay with it. However lately he’s not sleeping soundly. He’s kicking us and hitting us and tossing and turning and whining. I know we are to blame for bringing him into our bed in the first place, and for giving in to him.. but sometimes you are so tired you just do.
Now were at the point where we dont know what to do. He’s 17 months old, and VERY stubborn. I want to try cry it out but im so worried that hell cry for hours and it wont even work. Im worried about causing emotional and mental harm to him by doing so. But im also worried that our current situation isnt good for any of us either.
I just want success stories I guess? Has anyone tried sleep training a toddler and had success???
Post # 2
Sounds like my son at that age! We put a queen sized bed in his room and he would go back to sleep in there, then I would sneak out and go back to my bed. It worked like a charm.
Post # 3
daisy123 : and he stayed in the bed? Im actually considering doing the same… I was just worried if that would make it worse. We are expecting (twins might I add……….) so I was just hoping he would stay in his crib and sleep like an angel (yaaaaaa right) until the twins were like 4-6 months old. But maybe we’ll have to do it sooner.
Post # 4
NMom17 : Have you tried putting him in the crib sleepy but still awake? My son is 15 months old but we did our own version of sleep training around 8 months. We’d put him in his crib sleepy but awake and then leave the room. The first night he stood up and started crying, but that only lasted about 7 minutes, then he lay down and fell asleep. That was the worst of it. I won’t lie…it was VERY HARD listening to him cry without going to comfort him. But I did it. And then the next night we did the same thing and he only cried for a few minutes. And that was that!
I’ve heard other parents do similar and the first night is always the toughest, but it usually just takes a night or two. One of my friends said on the first night her son cried for 45 minutes. I don’t know if I could handle that, but that was the end of it. The next night he went down no problem.
That said, sleep regression happens and just because you sleep train once, doesn’t mean you won’t have to do it again later on. So I’m sure toddlers can be sleep trained. It’s not like you missed the boat because you didn’t do it when he was a little baby. At least I don’t think so!
We were also lucky that our son basically self-weaned from middle of the night feedings on his own around 7 months and started sleeping all the way thru. The few times he did get up (after I could tell he was starting this weaning), instead of milk I’d give him water. Or sometimes he just wanted to be held a bit. He also self-weaned off of his bedtime bottle right around 12 months. Have you spoken to his pediatrician? I know most doctors want babies off nighttime bottles by now as it’s bad for their teeth because of the sugar in milk.
Best of luck to you! I know this all can be so tricky!
Post # 5
llevinso : So we did try that, but as soon we lay him down, he flips around stands up and starts crying. We left and attempted the first night of CIO… I let him cry for maybe 15-20 min hysterically? Then I went up to try to soothe like some programs suggest, and as soon as I went into his room I could smell throw up. He was so upset he threw up, all over his crib and in his shag carpet.. and it was honestly a disaster. I had a bbig mess but also felt so awful. So IM scared to try again because I literally felt bad for days after that. He is so stubborn that he wont even lay down 🙁
Post # 6
We did “gentle” sleep training around that age with dd. I was so fucking tired. We did the timed interval method but there are several different ones if you google. There’s also the method where you sit next to them on a chair and slowly move it out of the room iirc, but that didn’t really work for us.
Post # 7
NMom17 : is he teething at the moment? I notice my daughter’s sleep turns to shit when she’s teething so we give a little advil before bed so she doesn’t wake up in pain in the middle of the night.
Does he have a blanket, stuffed toy, or other lovey kind of thing in the crib with him? That might help. We always snuggle with her gaggle while we read before bed and then she puts them to bed and then I put her to bed. Back rubs (in the crib) and songs also help on nights she is struggling. Honestly sometimes my daughter just needs one more big squeeze hug and then she goes down fine – just the reassurance seems to help her. Lastly – the disembodied voice of mom through the baby monitor will get her to lie down and sleep too.
Good luck! My daughter has also always been a great sleeper so when it falls to shit it’s a major disruption and very confusing. I can’t help on CIO though – I know lots of friends that swear by it but we don’t believe in it. The longest we’ve ever let our daughter cry is 1 minute. If she’s going to cry and fall asleep she does so within 30 seconds so once she hits the minute mark we know she’s really upset. She’s 21 months.
Post # 8
The most helpful thing I have read is putting baby in their crib asleep is like if you went to sleep in your warm bed then woke up at 2am on the lawn. Obviously you would freak out and wonder how you got there, not just roll over and go back to sleep.
So it’s important baby goes into his crib awake and falls asleep on his own. That way if he wakes the conditions he fell asleep in the first time are the same. The goal is to make sure that if baby wakes up nothing has changed from when he fell asleep which will help to keep him relaxed so he can go back to sleep.
My daughter was also a great sleeper until she hit six months and was up several times a night for over a month. At 7 months I did sleep training which consist of CIO (gentler methods just made her more angry). The first three nights were hard but after that she figured out the routine and went right to sleep.
Now we’ve had a regression again at 10months (combined with her first teeth coming in and learning new skills like crawling) and sleep is out of wack again. On the bright side, she sleeps through the night during this regression it’s just that she wakes at 5am like clockwork everyday (we usually wake her at 5:30 on weekdays because we have to leave for work early) .
Post # 9
NMom17 : Little kiddos like to fall back asleep the same way they went to sleep, so if you’re rocking him and he’s not falling asleep on his own, he’s going to have a hard time getting himself to sleep during the night. I would personally do sleep training, I liked ferber method, but it may not work for you if your son gets so worked up he vomits. I would give it a try though…but actually read how to do it properly, so you feel confident and assured in how it all works. You can’t just rock him to sleep, let him cry if he wakes up, linger in the room too long, etc…you’ve really got to follow the instructions to a T so they aren’t confused.
I also really like these soothing tablets that are made with chamomile by the nuby brand. They work excellent for teething, and apparently taste good, because my son would ask for them at night when he was older. I get them at target. It sounds like you have a good night time routine going, but just need to stop rocking him to sleep.
Post # 10
NMom17 : Ugh that sounds awful and heartbreaking! Maybe try the timed interval thing that PP suggested? I’ve heard of that working and then maybe he won’t be left crying so long so he won’t get so upset? Also did he just throw up that one time? Did you ever try again? I know that probably scared you off (understandable!), but the first night is always the worst but it’s supposed to get better each time.
Another option (and I know this would be exhausting) would be to not let him in your bed anymore. Like when he wakes up the first time, you go and comfort him but don’t bring him back to your room. I know this is hard and would mean you would not really be sleeping at all that night. So I understand why it’s just easier to take him to bed with you. But you’re not sleeping great anyway!
I see you’re due with twins also When are you due?
Post # 11
Disclaimer: not a mom but recently had very long discussions with one who has a 16 month old.
What is his nap schedule like? Have you tried putting him to bed later?
I mean some of it will be teething and illness makes for shit sleep no matter what. But also is he actually tired? My friend just transitioned her 16 month old from two naps to one nap a day because he just wasn’t getting tired at night. She also moved bedtime to 8pm. He hasn’t been sleeping great because of teething and illness, but mentioned it has helped and he’s slept through the night the last couple if nights.
Post # 12
annabananabee : This is true too. My 15 month old just transitioned down to only 1 nap. His bedtime is still 7 for now…but my husband and I have been talking about moving it back by about 30 minutes.
Post # 13
Westwood : Ive been reading about the Ferbe method and just saved the interval schedule.. I would definitely need something to follow and even a stop watch from keeping me from going insane. Im tempted to try this method.
LilliV : It honestly feels like hes been teething since he was born lol. The molars and canines have been far the worse. We have definitely given advil, but it gets to the point where I feel like were giving advil too much? And maybe were using teething as an excuse? I dont know, so much mom guilt
slomotion : I laughed at your comment but it makes total sense.. It would definitely be confusing to him. I just need to stick with something and hope it gets better.
llevinso : Yah I definitely need to try that.. I keep saying to my husbamd that were not going to let him in our bed tonight, but at like 2 am and im so fricken tired I cave everrrry single time. Its awful. And yes im due with twins July 19 🙁 I cannnnot imagine having three crying babies in our room. Im actually terrfied and promise myself every night that we will not rock the twins lol.
annabananabee : Ok so here is another piece of the puzzle. I recently went back to work full time, and only to get enough hours to go on maternity leave again. I didnt pllan on going back full time (only 2 days a week) so my parents agreed to watching him. They are bad at sticking with schedules and they only put him down for 1 nap (when he was very used to 2) but the problem is they put him down SO early because they say hes tired. And he doesnt sleep as long at their house. So he’s napping from like 9:30-10:30/11… and come 4 hes a miserable tired beast. He does doze off in the car when I pick him up and sleeps for a half hour, but still by 7-730, hes an emotional disaster. I could try keeping him up til 8 and see if it makes a difference, but to me hes not getting ENOUGH sleep? I dont know.. Im done work in 3 weeks So im hoping to get his nap schedule back on track to see if that helps.
Post # 14
Is a toddler bed a super bad idea?
Post # 15
NMom17 : “but at like 2 am and im so fricken tired I cave everrrry single time.”
Girl…I GET IT! Those sleep deprived nights are super stressful. I value sleep so much. I’m so lucky that we’ve got a good sleeper on our hands so far!
As far as the toddler bed, I would first try to see if you can get him sleeping in his crib. The crib is like a little prison (haha!) and that might be helpful so you’re not dealing with him getting out of bed and running around free after the twins come along, as I’m sure you’ll have your hands full! But if you think he’ll be more receptive to a bed…I’m just terrified of the day we have to transition my son and he will no longer be confined easily in his crib 😉