Mom blog, Mom life, Toddler Life

18-Month-Old Sleeping Disaster

Ok, I want to start by saying that I know this is 95% my fault and the reason my 18-month-old doesn’t sleep through the night is because my husband and I haven’t been strong enough to make it happen.

My daughter was an excellent newborn and infant. She slept more than average newborns and I don’t think she ever had a crying fit for more than 3 minutes. I was like wow…. this is gonna be a breeze! 

Hahahahaha.

Once she turned 6 months, she was constantly getting sick. Every 3 weeks she would have a new bug. It would be a monthly surprise… is it going to be a stomach virus, croup, or an ear infection this time?!

Most parents know that when babies are sick, their routines and schedules are completely thrown off. Well, that is definitely true!

My daughter wouldn’t be able to sleep because of her stuffy nose, a cough, or just general pain/ fever. It started with us brining her into our bed to comfort her and it has now transformed to her sleeping with us every night.

STILL. 

She goes to sleep fine in her crib, but wakes up a few hours later to come into bed with us. Both of us worked full-time so we would just bring her in so we could get some sleep. (I just switched to part-time work so I’m determined to change this).

She also became accustomed to waking up several times for water… which lead to several bed wetting incidents and  increasing insanity for my husband and I.

We have tried to let her cry it out, we’ve tried the Ferber method, and several other tips from various parents. Nothing is working. We have a stubborn lady on our hands. She would literally cry for 5 hours straight if we let her (I wouldn’t do that, just saying).

So finally I decided last night I’m putting my foot down. I need my sanity and sleep back! I loved my time snuggling with her, but it’s time for her to learn the boundaries of sleep.

So tonight we start the adventure… I’m nervous I’m not going to be strong enough to listen to her cry (or too tired and give in).

Has this happened to anyone else? Has anyone else had a very stubborn toddler? Please tell me it gets better… lol

ZzZzZz….

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46 thoughts on “18-Month-Old Sleeping Disaster”

  1. I feel your pain! My hubby and I have let our toddler sleep in our bed for far too long. He is almost 4 🙊. Now that we have two kids (our baby girl 6 months) we know we need to get it together and work on this . The issue is that my hubby works over night alot so it’s not like there isn’t room for my son in our bed. I need help too lol! Let me know how it goes ❤

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  2. Haha sounds like me – it’s hell. Had this issue with my first and I wrote a very long post about it on my blog; https://mommythebanker.com/2017/11/07/go-the-f-to-sleep/ so take a look and see if there is anything you can or haven’t tried yet? For us it took a lot of patience, reassurance and yes there were some tears. You may have a child who really does need the old school cry it out as we got to that point with my first who didn’t sleep thru the night fully until 16 months old! I feel your pain but now she is wonderful at 3 and our 2nd girl is a good sleeper. It will BE OK!!

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    1. Haha thank you for the reassurance!! Every child is different so I’m hearing a bunch of different tips and opinions which is so great because you never know what will work best for yours… I’m going to take a look at your post (thank you!!) and see if there is something new we can try. I’m just so torn between just letting her cry it out and the parents who say it’s cruel… so tough :/ it’s good to know tho that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and your second is completely different! There is hope! lol

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      1. There is hope and light yes but it takes patience. Some kids just aren’t ready to sleep alone thru the night until later in life so it’s tough but you get thru!

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  3. Yessssss. My son (now 2 years old) didn’t sleep through the night until he was 14 months old. He would sleep in his crib, but he wouldn’t fall asleep on his own and would wake up 3 times a night (sometimes more) to nurse. It was all completely my fault. I’d rock him to sleep, then tip toe out of his room, and every time he would cry I’d rush in and nurse him back to sleep. There is a book called The Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg and no joke it changed our life and saved our sanity. You do have to listen to your baby cry, which is awful, but it’s not a traditional cry it out method. You stay in the room and comfort your child until they learn “OK mom’s (or dad’s) here. I’m OK, but I’m not going to get what I want.” Eventually they fall asleep on their own and are ok with not being physically near you to sleep. It took us about a month or so before it worked, and it was hard, but now our son sleeps through the night even when he is sick. Good luck mama. It WILL get better ❤

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    1. Oh awesome.. this is something new and I haven’t tried! I will look into that book. It sounds like a good idea having the parent close by but still not giving in.. I’m glad it worked for you and I will certainly look into it! Thanks for the advice!!!

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  4. We did cry it out with both our kids, except the first born slept through the night at 2 months old and never really needed it except for 2 nights after we moved States.
    The second boy didn’t sleep through until nearly a year and I don’t know what happened because cry it out was not working… he actually did cry for 2 hours before I begged his forgiveness in tears.
    I would say to get a mattress or something to sleep on in the separate room so that your daughter knows you are not abandoning her… you can still sleep near her after she wakes for a few nights and try to comfort her. Maybe she will associate not leaving the room at night with learning to sleep through in her crib. Good luck!

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  5. I totally know where you’re coming from. My little one was an excellent sleeper until he got croup. That was 6 weeks ago and he hasn’t been right since so I’ve started bringing him in my bed. He’s going back to his own cot ok once he’s had a little sleep and cuddle with me. Maybe try sleeping on your daughters floor to make her stay in her own room. Then gradually just start sleeping a bit further away from the cot until you are eventually out of her room completely. May take a bit of patience but could work. Good luck! X

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  6. My little one is 17 month old. We removed the side of her cot and it is next to me it’s like cosleeping but everyone has enough space. Also we swapped with my hubby for a week so my daughter would get him at night and not me. That really worked and my daughter started sleeping through the night. She was a disaster from birth up till 15 month. So it’s amazing for us sleeping through the night! I’m sure one day she won’t want to sleep with us but until then we are fine with this solution.

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  7. I’m anticipating this with my 5 month old. She definitely prefers sleeping between me and daddy! Have you read the Baby Sleep Book by Dr Sears? I’m reading his Baby Book and he has a ton of recommendations in it for helping a child sleep on their own. The Baby Sleep Book has even more and a lot of his advice doesn’t involve the CIO method. (Personally, I can’t handle it when my child cries like that. I just can’t do it.) Hang in there and good luck!

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  8. Haha you’re not alone! My daughter is also 18 months (yay!) and she was a great sleeper til she was 6 months as well. Then travel/jet lag and sleep regression hit us and we have been going back and forth with her sleeping through the night and having a few stirs. I’m really torn with what to do as well, for me, I’m that parent that worries about her attachment so you can imagine all the things that come into my mind. I often juggle with the thought that she isn’t always going to want this and she’s going to have many years of independence, there’s no need to rush it now? Will be following along your journey! =)

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    1. Haha I’m glad to hear I’m not alone and you’re going through the same thing! I think that, as well. Why push her away when she wants us now and won’t in the future? But also, I want her to learn independence and us get to sleep! Lol the struggle … I will keep you updated!

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  9. Oh boy. I went through something very similar with my second. She was a perfect sleeper in the crib, until she got sick and came into our bed for comfort (fever). After that, the crib was history.

    Just know that it’s okay to co-sleep, there’s nothing wrong with it. I tots understand wanting your space back, and teaching a child about their space. But on the flip side, they’re little for a very short time, and bound to grow out of co-sleeping with you one day. Best of luck to you!

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    1. Glad to hear I’m not alone! I love co sleeping (aside from the lack of room haha), but so many people are judgmental about it.. but what works for some, doesn’t for others so to each their own! Yea, I don’t want to push her away when she wants us now because she won’t want to in the future, but also need to sleep and create boundaries… we shall see.. I’ll keep you updated! Thanks for the advice!

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  10. It does get better!! Have you tried sticker charts for when she stays in bed? My daughter will do anything for a sticker, especially with a reward at the end. For my son, on the other hand, sticker charts didn’t appeal to him at all until he was closer to 4. They are all different xx

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  11. How are things going? My daughter, like yours, was a dream sleeper until 5 months. We ultimately started co-sleeping at 8 months and then cried it out at 13 months. I think you’ve got to do what feels right for you. Crying it out wouldn’t have worked for me until 13 months because I wasn’t ready.

    I relied on Dr. Weissbluth’s Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. In fact, I’m about to pull it out again – my daughter has been consistently waking up at 4:00 a.m. since the time change 😦

    Good luck!

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    1. Believe it or not, it’s going strangely well. I tried the cry it out method when she was younger and it just wasn’t working because she wasn’t ready… but this time around, she just seems like she is ready. She slept 12 hours the other night in her crib 😮 only woke up for a second once but then went back down.. you’re totally right… every baby is different and if they’re not ready, they’re just not ready! Good luck to you with the 4am wake ups.. that’s too early 😩 lol the time change is a killer!!

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  12. Grubby Mummy and the Grubby Babies says it beautifully: \
    “The saying, ‘your baby isn’t giving you a hard time, they are having a hard time’, has been a real game changer for me.
    Sure, I am still often having a hard time along with them but this is not due to some deliberate act of my child. They aren’t malicious and they aren’t manipulative. They are babies being babies and kids being kids. Their babyish or childish nature is not an act against me.
    The challenges they face as they grow and develop at a phenomenal rate, would have us desperately tied up in knots even as adults. It is hard on them and they are just as entitled as you or I to voice and show their feelings.”

    I feel your pain, Mama. Follow your heart. It will always gets you through the longest nights. ❤

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  13. Oh man! We did So well with our first two, never let them in our bed, cut off the drinks an hour before bed, and once old enough we let them cry it out and get over it. But with our third we have done Everything we said we’d never do! She’s 18 months old and still goes to bed with a bottle… like literally the bottle in her bed 😬 it all started because she kept getting sick and being loud which woke up the other two. I feel your pain! Praying you find your rest!

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  14. Ah yes with my son this literally happened with us. He would sleep so well as a newborn that his pediatrician joked saying don’t tell other parents lol but then he got sick and we too let him sleep with us. He’s 6 now and finally sleeps in his bed. It helps that we moved our 3 year old daughter into his room so they aren’t alone (my brother moved into her old room lol) with my daughter though oh boy the complete opposite which I too would say it’s kind of my “fault” I was actually able to breastfeed her for over 2 years so she would wake up every 2-4hours the whole time. I eventually gave up and let her sleep in our bed cause I was desperate for some sleep lol

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  15. Can I just start off with….there is no need to blame yourself. 🙂 You are a mother and you are doing just fine.

    My son stopped sleeping in his crib when he was around 6 months old….specifically after the Black Friday shopping spree last year. We came home sleepy and tired in the wee hours and just went to bed with him sleeping in out bed. Since that night until now he sleeps with us.

    But what its done is my son now sleeps through the night…won’t wake up at all until 6am’ish.

    Looks like co-sleeping isn’t working so well for you….so good luck with whatever it is that you have planned!!!!

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    1. Thanks !! I’m not really that “upset” with myself, but I totally know it’s my fault and in my control lol but it’s ok. That’s awesome that he sleeps so well while co sleeping ! I’m jealous! My daughter was never as comfortable in our bed, but didn’t want the crib. I loved having her in our bed, but needed sleep… she’s fully in her room now and sleeping through the night!! It only took 3 days after I posted this post. Way easier than expected. I guess she was just ready. Every kid has their own timeline and that is ok 🙂

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  16. I had this same problem with my son and I ended up having to turn on music all night long. He would sleep through the night as long as he had music playing, I’m not sure why but it just worked for him. Good luck, you will eventually stumble upon something that works for your daughter.

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