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Thread: No sleep for 19 months!!!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default No sleep for 19 months!!!!!

    My 19 month old son will not sleep!! He was great at first, he went from a newborn waking every 2 hours, then every 3 hours, to a 4 month old waking every 45 minutes and its been like that ever since. At first he didn't always want to be nursed back to sleep sometimes I just had to pick him up and pat his back. Now that is the only thing he wants. He will occasionaly have nights where he will go for one 2 hour stretch. Sometimes at night he will also have an hour or two where he wakes every 5 to 10 minutes (this is what I really can't take).

    Naps are another issue. He napped fine until about 5 weeks, then he had to be held or slept next to for all his naps, then he progressed to not only needing to be held but I had to be walking around for every nap! Then around 4 months he started waking during naps whether I held him or walked, no matter what, and he needed to be patted or nursed back to sleep. He now only takes one nap a day in the afternoon but during a 2 hour nap he will wake at least 4 times whether I stay in bed with him or not and I have to nurse him back to sleep.

    I have gone through just about every emotion possible regarding this sleep issue. At first I turned into a nighttime monster, I hated my child from his first waking to his last at night, then morning would come and I would feel like a terrible mother. Then I got to point of acceptance and dealt with it. Now I'm back to being a nighttime monster. I need to solve this problem. I would be completely happy if he woke me 4 or 5 times a night instead the 13+ times he does now. I not asking for him to sleep through the night, I accept that I am a mother and children have nighttime needs.

    I have read both the first no cry sleep solution by Pantley and her toddler version of the same book. The solutions just don't seem to work for us. We have co-slept since day one and still continue.

    Can someone please tell me there child was the same and they found a way to resolve it!! I just need to know its possible. I have never met or heard of anyone who's child can't even take a nap without waking!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: No sleep for 19 months!!!!!

    So sorry you are dealing with this. Just wanted you to know you are not alone and welcome to the forum. Hopefully someone else can help more.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: No sleep for 19 months!!!!!

    Wow. I don't have an answer for you, sorry. My 23 month old daughter wakes me every night 4 or 5 times, and takes on average an hour to fall asleep at night. Before she could walk I carried her constantly and stayed with her while she napped- otherwise she'd wake up. She still doesn't sleep long unless I lay with her.Your situation sounds really tough. I can certainly relate to the frustration and following guilt, but your load is a lot heavier than mine so I should be grateful for what little sleep I do get.
    Do you have support, i.e. Granny or someone? I always think of how our modern social structure is so anti-baby and anti-mom compared to hunter-gatherer times. There would always be lots of extra loving arms to care for babies so moms could get some rest: sisters, grannies, aunties, brothers too! We are so isolated now.
    You need support. Can you take him to someone during the day and get some sleep?
    I guess it may help to think about how it won't last too much
    longer...he'll be a little boy before you know it. That's pretty lame advice, wish I could help more. Perhaps your little one will turn out to be extra- intelligent and sensitive, and that's why he needed such a mammoth amount of attention.
    Good luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: No sleep for 19 months!!!!!

    I really feel for you in this situation. It really sounds like you are feeling utterly frustrated with missing out on sleep, especially after trying so many options and having them not work as you wished (and need!).

    I found some information on Dr. Sears' website about toddler all-night nursing. Perhaps some of this is old-hat to you, but perhaps there are one or two ideas to try.


    There is also this webpage on why high-need babies need everything BUT sleep, which some mothers have found interesting when dealing with a high-needs child. Perhaps while reading this you may find solace in the fact you are not alone in parenting a seemingly high-needs child.


    There is little I can say can make your situation better, but I do want to offer words of encouragement to you as you struggle to find solutions that can work for you and your family. I admire you deeply for your dedication to continue to do your best to meet you little one's needs. Even if rest is a long time away, I hope trying something else out can begin a transition for you to get the rest you need.

    Kind regards,

    Eve Erickson
    La Leche League International Leader
    happy mothers, breastfed babies

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: No sleep for 19 months!!!!!

    Hi: I´m really sorry that you have this situation. Some times babies get tired so tired that they have a problem getting a good nap. My baby girl is now 7 moth and during the day she takes 20 0 30 min. naps twice a day. but at around 8:00 p.m. I star the process for sleep time. Firts dinner then I prepare a warm bath slowly with some relaxing music (mosart effect), after that i give her a masaje very gentle and then with a very soft light in a rocking chair I breathfeed her, some time she falls sleep right away but some times Ijust put her to sleep with the music and leave her when I return she is sleep. Some time it helps before all that to play to get them tired but a game that does not activate them to much.

    Also help to put aroung her somethin that smells like me a t-shirt or something but definitly you got to get some help so you can get some rest.

    I´ll put you in my prayiers, it´s the best i can do besides this.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: No sleep for 19 months!!!!!

    My son is 39 months and has never taken a nap without waking and has never slept through the night. I thought MY ds was the only one like this! As I read your post I just kept thinking, "Oh, my gosh! This is US!!" My son was just like that. He would NOT stay asleep. Sometimes it would be almost instantaneously and on the RARE occasion he would go two hours, but never more. And NOTHING would calm him, not patting, bouncing, walking, but only to nurse him. Before he was even a year old we got him a twin size bed so that I could lay down with him and let him nurse back to sleep hoping that if I didn't have to move him he would stay asleep. No such luck. He now sleeps with us totally. NOW that he is 39 months at bedtime it takes anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to read 3 picture books and for him to nurse to sleep. On the average it takes about an hour. He HATES to sleep. I don't even want to think about how long he could go with no sleep... I try to be structured with him and have him in the bed by 7:30 ready to read. On bad nights he will wake every hour and want to nurse first on one side and then on the other. On really good nights he will nurse to sleep and won't wake up until 4 or 5!! However, most nights if I don't stay in the bed with him, he will wake up. In the morning he awakens around 6 to nurse and will nurse for who-knows-how-long or until I MAKE him stop anywhere between 7 and 8, depending on how much sleep I've lost during the night. And he puts up a fuss about stopping EVERY morning. It's not like I can get up early and get any ME time or ALONE time or anything else!!! I can't even remember the last time I went to the bathroom without "company".
    Right now, in order to type this, I have put him at the kitchen table, buckled into his booster seat, with a bowl of popcorn and a drink, watching "It's a Small World" on PBS. I've had to go back in there at least 4 times within the last 15 minutes. (Yes, he is close. Yes, I can hear him. Yes, I have peeked in on him and he is perfectly fine.)

    Most days he won't take a nap at all. Sometimes he will take a nap is if we happen to be out and about at that time and he [U]might fall asleep in the car seat, but that doesn't happen often. If we're at home, which is most days, the only way he will sleep is if he lets his guard down and "accidentally" falls asleep in my lap while nursing. He will only stay asleep on his own for 1 hour max, more if I will continue to hold him and let him nurse. He is much more conducive to a nap around 5:00 pm, which is WAY too late. When that's happened, it's been way late and took hours for him to sleep at night!!

    (Btw, he's back at the computer with me. That lasted 13 minutes.)

    I have read many books and talked to many people, including our pediatrician, and prayed extensively and have not come to any solutions as of yet. He has gotten better over the years. (Thank you Lord!)

    He is a wonderful boy. He is VERY loving and extremely smart. He has an unbelievable sense of humor for a child his age. He has an extensive vocabulary that he uses readily. He already knows all of his alphabet and the sounds each makes. He can count to 12, to 20 most of the time. He LOVES to learn. He is also unbelievably stubborn and strong-willed. And he is an extremely high-needs child. Rarely will he even play by himself.

    Did I mention I am almost 46 and am tired, ANYWAY!! This is not our first time around, either. Our daughters are 20, 22, 23 and 24. None of them were like this. This is a new ballgame for us. The only way that I have found to cope is through prayer and a sense of humor!! (And lots of concealer for those dark circles under my eyes!!) You would think that with four daughters it wouldn't be a problem, but if any of you have daughters or sons that age, they don't have time for things like that. They have their own lives, which they SHOULD have by that age! No one lives anywhere close that has ever been able to help us with kids, as I'm sure many of you can understand fully.

    I have no regrets about having another child, even at this age, and I have no regrets about breastfeeding him. I think it's the best way to go. We have fun every day and he makes us laugh every day, both at ourselves and at him. Do I wish he were an easier child? Yes, I do. But, I think he is the way he is for a reason and I've got to find ways to deal with it.

    Sarah, I wish I had answers for you! I DOES get better. When you get to the point of being a nighttime monster, try to remember that this time in your life is only temporary and in the big scheme of things it's such a brief time. "This too shall pass." And it does and it will. Try to remember, too that your beautiful baby boy is not doing it on purpose or to try every bit of patience that you have as a mother. He's doing the only thing HE knows to do. God just happened to give you an extra special son that needs something extra special from you. I understand how it goes in phases. Some nights you can cope with it just fine. Some nights are not so good. And then the nighttime monster creeps back in and you dread the end of each day! Then, gradually, you can cope again... Until the next round!

    And, IF you DO find solutions, PLEASE let me know!!! In the mean time, remember that you are loved and you were called to be his mommy!
    God bless you,

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: No sleep for 19 months!!!!!

    Oh, I feel your pain!! My son was a great sleeper at first--as a newborn would sleep 3-4 hour stretches at night. At around 4 months old he started waking more and more frequently. Until we recently night weaned (he is 2 1/2) he was still waking on average 10 times a night or so. It was also his pattern for a long time to wake during his naps and want to nurse back to sleep (actually I guess he still does this occasionally). When he was around a year old, I read the No-Cry Sleep Solution. It actually did help a bit. He started sleeping an initial 3 hour stretch at the beginning of the night, and he was easier to get back to sleep again when he woke. I think the biggest thing that helped at that point was to teach him to fall asleep at the beginning of the night laying down on the bed and not nursing. He would nurse first, then lay down (if he got upset I'd pick him up, maybe put him back to the breast for a bit, then try again, and eventually he'd go to sleep). Unfortunately, he regressed after a couple months and we were back to constant waking.

    There is hope, though! As I mentioned, we recently night weaned. My DS was about 28 months when we started, so some of these things may not work with a 19 month old--but maybe in a few more months? Our night time routine at that point was established and included laying down to nurse and then a back rub after nursing. The first thing I did was to make him a book about night and day. I put pictures of him doing things during the day and then getting ready for bed and sleeping. The book talked about day being for playing, eating, nursing, and night being for sleep. It talked about mommy and the "nursies" needing to sleep too, and that if the nursies were sleeping then mommy could rub his back to help him go back to sleep instead. It ended with nursing again in the morning when the sun is up. After reading the book for a few nights, I started to space out nursings. First, I would only say no if he woke again right after having just nursed. I would tell him the nursies were sleeping and rub his back. Then we spaced it to one hour, then two, then three. Once we got to three hours, then I started saying nursies were sleeping anytime after 2 am, until the sun came up. Then I gradually moved that beginning time earlier until we were no longer nursing at night at all. Now he knows the rule is after bed time nursing then we can nurse again when the sun comes up. He still often wakes 1-4 times during the night, but has actually slept through on a few occasions. It was a bit rough going through the process, but not as bad as I thought it would be. He did protest, but never cried for more than a couple minutes, and I of course stayed with him to comfort him and help him go back to sleep with the back rub. Oh, he's also sleeping in his own bed now--a full size mattress. He sleeps better that way because he rolls around a lot and if he rolls into something (like me ) he wakes up.

    I hope some of this might be helpful. I have said that if I can night wean, anyone can. If you think your LO is too young to understand the day/night concept and handle a transition like this, though, I'd encourage you to try to hang in there a few more months and then reevaluate. I really do think the process was a lot easier for us at age 2 than it would have been when he was a lot younger.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: No sleep for 19 months!!!!!

    I know how hard it is to function when you feel so completely sleep deprived!
    My daughter used to wake every 45 to an hr every night, all night long. & naps where no where in sight! I was lucky to get in 20 min. here & there, usually in the car! My husband & I tried everything too! But we where not willing to let her cio. We also co-slept.
    What did work for us was weaning from co-sleeping. It was really hard for me! But our lo began sleeping better & longer in her crib! Once she began sleeping through out the night, naps came easy. I can't explain why, but our one time no sleeper began sleeping from 7:30pm to 7:30am & then would take 2 2hr. naps!

    It was a very slow process; maybe about 2 months or so, but it did work.
    Every night we start our bedtime routine; a little night play with daddy, bath, pj's, books & then nurse. I did have to nurse & rock her to sleep for some time. but then I was able to slowly but her in her crib awake & she would sing to herself for 10 min. or so & then nod off. My husband would sooth her if she woke up before say 11:00. This was a hard process for about 4 nights because she was expecting me & nummies!! but she eventually let daddy comfort her. I did follow dr.s sears advice that a crying baby in the arms of a loved one is not the same as letting your baby cio.
    After that, we'd bring her in bed & I would nurse her & then put her back in her crib. Slowly, like after 2 or 3 days each, we pushed 11 to 12, 12 to 2 and so on...
    Then the amount of times she woke thru night decreased.
    I can't tell you how much I miss co-sleeping, but it's worth it if I know she's getting a good night sleep.
    I still bring her into bed first thing in the am to nurse & we snug & play in bed for 20 min or so. She loves it & i love it!!

    Best of luck & feel free to email be if you have any questions!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: No sleep for 19 months!!!!!

    Get the book "Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady's Gentle Guide to Helping Your Child Go to Sleep, Stay Asleep and Wake Up Happy" It will solve your problem and there won't be endless tears. It's the attachment parent's way to get a good night sleep You can get it on amazon for cheap or at your local library.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: No sleep for 19 months!!!!!

    oh yea, the author is Kim West with Joanne Kenen

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