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Thread: 16 months lots of night waking. Won't co sleep...

  1. #1
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    Aug 2015
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    Default 16 months lots of night waking. Won't co sleep...

    Hi all, I am currently struggling with my 16.5 month old dd who is routinely waking and feeding 3-4 times a night. She is in her own room where she has been from approximately 9 months. I am happy to co sleep with her but she does NOT sleep if I bring her into bed. I have also tried putting a mattress on her floor and going in with her but same thing. Ok so I could cope (just) if she fed and returned to sleep but for the last, maybe month or two she will only return to sleep maybe 30% of the time following a feed. When she doesn't return to sleep she screams. Lots. At these times she does not want to feed again and arches away and hasn't bitten me if I try to persuade her, she will not be rocked, worn in a carrier, sung to, held, have her back stroked or anything else I have tried. If I send dh in she screams louder and sounds like she is being hurt in some way. I have tried a week of pain medication before bed, no difference. I am at my wits end. any suggestions please??

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: 16 months lots of night waking. Won't co sleep...

    Yowza. So let me get this straight- you nurse her but then she won't return to sleep or be comforted? And if you take her into bed with you she won't sleep. What does she do when she gets into bed with you- does she play? Crawl around? Cry?

    Has she had her ears checked recently? When my kids' sleep went haywire for no appreciable reason, I always took them in to the pediatrician. Once in a while, a stealth ear infection was to blame.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2015
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    Default Re: 16 months lots of night waking. Won't co sleep...

    Thanks for your response. If I bring her into bed she crawls over me, stands and bounces, slaps me in the face etc etc. She will do this quite happily for two hours (probably longer but then I get fed up) occasionally she will then flake out but more often I take her back to her bed and she goes back to sleep. I have to say I have tried returning her to bed quicker but then she cries, 2 hours seems to be the magic figure?! Although she doesn't sound it she does seem tired at the time and seems to want to get back to sleep but doesn't know how if that makes sense? But I don't know how to help her!!!

    She was at the doctor last week with a skin problem and he checked ears and throat routinely and all fine.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 16 months lots of night waking. Won't co sleep...

    I doubt this is the case, but I s there anything that is happening at night which would encourage baby to "turn on" in the middle of the night? Are you switching on a light, is there a noisy neighbor, does baby catch sight of her toys? If so, a dark, quiet, zero-distraction environment might help. Of course, there are also options which might soothe while also distracting her- like a rotating nightlight that displays patterns on the ceiling, or one of those dolls that plays a lullabye...

    Any chance that she's napping too much during the day, and that's what's keeping her up at night?

  5. #5
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 16 months lots of night waking. Won't co sleep...

    The frequency of the waking is within the range of normal. But not being able to be comforted to sleep again sounds quite unusual.

    What about night terrors? Waking and then not wanting to be touched and screaming sounds like what I have heard about that I think? I don't know anything else about that.

    How much screen time does your toddler get? Research shows screen time can cause sleep disruption so the recommendation is to avoid screens for some time before bed (I do not remember how much time.)

    As an experiment, I would suggest trying no screens at all, or limiting them very much for a while to see if it helps. By the way it does not matter what is on the screen, even if the material is toddler appropriate, screen time itself can be over stimulating and some kids are much more sensitive than others.

    I would also suggest get outside and play or take walks as much as possible.

    What about bedtime routine ( if there is one?) maybe that needs tweaking. For example, some kids find a bath relaxing and others are overstimulated by a bath before bed.

    Also looking at nap routine as mommal suggests makes sense.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2015
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    Default Re: 16 months lots of night waking. Won't co sleep...

    Thank you both for your thoughts. Sorry I realise I put in the title "lots of night waking" I should have clarified, I realise that the amount is normal and I am not unhappy about it per se or looking to change. I would just rather not get out of bed to feed her! But hey ho. She has a dark and quiet environment (although I did try a few nights with a night light just in case, if anything she cried more!) I have also tried the light projection thing as she has one built into her monitor.

    She has recently dropped from two to one naps but these issues were occurring before then, she generally has between 1.5-2 hours which I believe to be in the range of normal for her age?

    She does not have any screen time at all! I am a little Stone Age in that regard and even my older two have very limited tv time and no tablets or anything.

    She has two older brothers so we get plenty of outside time and activities, we walk the school run twice a day and my middle pre schooler is at home with us most of the day and we do groups together.

    I think our bedtime routine is ok, bath, story with / without boys and then feed, sleep. It has not altered in well over six months in any case.

    So, I am left with potential night terrors I think maybe that is worth looking into a little more. It is the inconsolable nature that is so heartbreaking. The only reason this wouldn't fit is that this happens after she has been fed and returned to her cot where previously she would just return to sleep but now she is inconsolable

    I wish she would just snuggle in bed and co sleep but my older boy likes his own space too so maybe that's just how it is with her.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 16 months lots of night waking. Won't co sleep...

    Wow, sounds like you have your bases covered... No screen time, reasonable naps, plenty of outdoor activity... Night terrors seems like a reasonable guess. Of course, there are also babies who wake up ready to ay in the middle of the night for no real reason other than that there is just so much going on inside those little brains!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 16 months lots of night waking. Won't co sleep...

    All I can offer is sympathy! I also have 2 older boys with a ton of activities and a younger daughter. With your daughter having difficulty going back to sleep you must be exhausted.

    One out of the box experiment would be seeing if your daughter slept better with one of her brothers? I am not 100 % sure about the safety of this with a 16 month old but I think it would be ok?

  9. #9
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    Oct 2015
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    Default Re: 16 months lots of night waking. Won't co sleep...

    My heart goes out to you momma, I know your pain. About a month ago my 13-14 month old would suddenly want to be awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night, but he was happy playing mostly. That passed, but I do get the whole slapping in the face, etc. the last couple weeks. Nursing is just not putting him to sleep the way it used to and he crawls and rolls around crying! I personally think it is a combination of his big molars coming in as well as just developmental quirks and maybe increased hunger? One thing we try is to offer snacks and water in the middle of the night when he is really bad and he devours it all. It seems to help. I also have tried being careful to offer a nice fatty snack before bed, like whole milk yogurt or peanut butter. Have you tried that? Who knows if it works--I am trying anything!
    Last edited by @llli*scoob626; December 15th, 2016 at 03:47 PM.

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