Author Topic: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!  (Read 12362 times)

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Offline FroggyMom

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HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« on: January 27, 2011, 17:16:02 pm »
Hello everyone!  I am new to this website and would like your help!  I am the mother of a 13 month old boy who is having difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.  I came across this website as I was looking for methods of sleep training.  First, I will describe what my LO's sleep has been like.  We have enjoyed rocking him to sleep for many months now!  During this time, after he fell asleep, we put him in his crib (which is next to the bed in our room).  He took 2 naps (the morning nap lasting about 1 1/2 hours and the afternoon nap being about 30-45 minutes or so usually).  At night, he slept for several hours and woke during the night and got in our bed.  About 3 weeks ago, he got sick with the croup, and we had to hold him propped up while he slept at all times so that he could breathe okay.  When he was well, we tried to go back to our old routine, and things have not been going well.  After he rocks to sleep and gets in his crib, he sometimes immediately stands up and cries....and I have to start all over again!  Sometimes, he will sleep in his crib for 15-30 minutes before waking up and starting all over again at nap time.  At night time, he may stay for 2 hours or so before waking to get in our bed.  It has gotten to the point that I know I need to do some sleep training and have been researching for the best, gentlest method for my LO.  I read a post on your website that suggested the gradual withdrawal method may be good for him.  I understand the basic premise of this method but needed a more detailed "how to" of where to start and how to accomplish this.  My overall goal is to have him sleeping in his crib (and the crib be moved into his own bedroom).  We have enjoyed our time rocking him to sleep and will miss it....but it is time for him to be able to soothe himself to sleep in his own bed, own room.  Any help would be appreciated on the gradual withdrawal method....or if you have used a different method that you think may work for my situation....that would be appreciated as well.  Thank you in advance!

Offline momtonb&ab

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2011, 02:33:06 am »
hi there!   

you are certainly in the right place if you are looking for a healthy and gentle way to teach your little guy to learn independent sleep.

one of tracy's greatest philosophies (in my opinion) is to start as you mean to go on.  to me, for your situation, that would probably suggest that you start by moving his crib into his room and sleepign with him in there.  perhaps bring a mattress into his room and put it on the floor and then start working on the gradual withdrawal from there.

i would do this for all sleep times (naps and bedtime) and be sure to give yourself lots of time to work on this.  you may need a few weeks to get yourself out of the room so be patient.  and be consistent, be ready to start and continue on, if you revert to your bed (as opposed to his bed or the mattress on the floor as it may be) or moving him back into your bedroom you will have undone all your hard work.

i am sure others will be along with even more practical advice!

Offline FroggyMom

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 19:47:09 pm »
Thank you sooooo much for responding to my question!

"Start as you mean to go on...."  I have not heard that, but it makes a WHOLE lot of sense!  Very practical.  I am actually planning on moving his crib into his room this weekend and starting from there.  I was actually planning on putting an air mattress in his room and sleeping by his crib.....so it is SO reassuring to hear you suggest this as well.

So, as far as using gradual withdrawal...how do I get him to sleep to start with?  I normally rock him until he is fully asleep, then place him in his crib.  Do I continue to do this at first...but sleep on air mattress in case he gets back up (which I know he will!)?  Or do I stop rocking him all together and place him in his crib to fall asleep while I am holding his hand or something from my air mattress?  I am not quite sure which approach to take to begin with.

Also...for some reason naps seem to be VERY difficult for him now.  Much harder for him to stay asleep in crib for more than 20-30 minutes...while he can sleep for a few hours at bedtime before waking.  Wanted to give you his schedule to see if times looked ok:

7:00 wake-up and drink 4 oz milk
9:30/10 eat breakfast
10:30/11 morning nap (try to get 1 1/2 hrs in)
12/12:30 snack
2 lunch
3:30/4 afternoon nap
6 dinner
8:30 bedtime

Again, thank you SO VERY much for any help and advice you can give me to get started!  :)

Offline FroggyMom

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2011, 13:47:37 pm »
Well.....we were going to move his crib into his room yesterday, but I got cold feet and have been a little under the weather.  So, now we are shooting for doing this on Wednesday.  Any words of advice, support or encouragement would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

Offline momtonb&ab

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2011, 14:50:01 pm »
i think you may need to push out that morning nap, or shorten it and get the afternoon nap earlier.  it would seem he is working his way toward the 2-1 nap switch.  if you want more support/information on that, pop over here http://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=173945.0

i think when you first move his crib over i would make the change and stop holding him to sleep but be *right* there reassuring him - you want to start as you mean to go on, but you also want him to know that the change is ok and he is ok.  work at that for a few days and stay in the room with him - then you can start gradually removing yourself by not holding his hand but standing right there talking soothingly or just being there, then laying on the air mattress and talking soothingly (and of course laying him back down gently if he keeps getting up) and slowly work your way out.  it is goign to take time, but you CAN do it and he will sleep better for it! 

i know it feels daunting, but remind yourself over and over that this is best for him, and for you, and once you do it and he is sleeping on his own you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner !!  :)

huge hugs!  you can do it and he will be fine!!  kids are amazing. mostly they cry because they don't understand the change.  mommy has been doing it with me one way for so long and now it is changing and that is scary.  reassure that it is ok (which will reassure you too!) and you will all be fine!

Offline FroggyMom

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 03:28:23 am »
Wanted to give an update and ask for more advice:

FINALLY moved DS's crib into his own room today!  I put an air mattress in here right beside his bed for me to sleep on.  At first, he got in his crib (at 7:30 pm) and listened to the music of his gloworm (carries around everywhere with him and to bed) and another music box with lights on his crib.  He did this quietly for about an hour and 20 minutes.  Then, he became a little more agitated and would go through periods of whining and crying (all the while as I'm reassuring him and trying to hold his hand) for the next hour or so.  Finally, he started drifting off to sleep while sitting up and bumping his head on his crib....which of course woke him up!  I tried several times to get him to let me lay him down to prevent this, but this only made him cry harder so I left him alone.  Finally, one of the times I did this, he accepted, laid down, and was fast asleep!

It took him 2 hours and 25 minutes from time placed in crib until time asleep.  Is this a normal amount of time to start out with?  How long should I expect him to take this long to accept this new arrangement before moving further away from his crib to next level?

Also, I am having trouble with him not really being drowsy when it is time for bed or nap.  Both times, the room is dimly lit as we read a few stories (at night gets some milk in sippy cup)...but still bouncing up and down when time for bed.  We also have noise machine we use with ocean sounds turned on.  I have tried 2 naps and 1 nap and can't seem to figure out which is better....any suggestions on routines to help ensure drowsiness before bedtime?

Off to bed to try to get some sleep before he wakes up again!

Thanks for any advice!  It is greatly appreciated!

Offline ~Sarah~

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2011, 04:27:33 am »
How long does he sleep for nap #2?  I too think he is ready for the 2-1 transition and that is what is making him not sleepy enough for the night.  He also needs to extend his morning A time so he is sleepier for his only nap of the day.  This may also be part of the reason it takes him a long time to fall asleep

2 hours and 25 minutes from time placed in crib until time asleep.  Is this a normal amount of time to start out with?  How long should I expect him to take this long to accept this new arrangement before moving further away from his crib to next level?
I am honestly not sure how long it will take...you have had 13mo to put the habit into place so it won't happen overnight.  BUT, if you are consistent you should see major improvements within a week  or two.  (someone with a little more knowledge should come along and correct me if I am wrong)

You are doing great though by helping your LO sleep independently!

Offline FroggyMom

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2011, 13:02:24 pm »
I have changed his schedule around a bit (moving feeding times and changed to earlier bedtime) since I last posted it in January.  This is what is now looks like:

7:00 wake-up
7:30-8 eat breakfast
10:00 morning nap
11:30 lunch
2:30 snack
2:30/3 afternoon nap
5:30 dinner
7:00 bedtime

As for how long his naps are, they are very variable!  For example, yesterday his morning nap was 50 minutes and afternoon nap was about 30 minutes (which I know is not enough nap time but could not get him to go back to sleep!).  On average, his morning nap is never longer than about 1 hr 20 min and afternoon nap never longer than close to 1 hour.  Like I said, I have tried 1 afternoon nap.....and it usually lasts 1 hr 30 minutes (which was not enough of a nap either....ughhh!!!).

You talked about extending his morning A time.  Based on his schedule, what time would you suggest I try him on 1 nap?

To give an update on what happened rest of night on our first night of GW sleep training.....

-after fell asleep...stayed asleep for 1 hr and 10 min before woke up and sat in bed.  I gently helped him lie back down and rubbed his back, and he immediately went back to sleep!  I was shocked!

-slept for another 5 hrs 15 min (yea!)

-woke up and took me about 20 minutes to get him to sleep again by rubbing back, etc. (left him in crib)

-slept another 1 hr 15 min

-woke up at 6 am and whined/cried in bed with me trying to get him back to sleep until 7 am....then up for the day!

So, I think we did pretty good for our first night but am worried because I feel he will now be OT.  He slept for about 7 hr 45 min total last night....with 1 hr 15 min of nap...for total of about 9 hours of sleep yesterday.  Should I still attempt the 1 nap while he is sleep training....just worried he will be SO tired if I don't let him try to sleep some earlier in the day during this training.  Opinions please?

Thank you SO much for the support everyone!  I know this is going to take some time, but I AM going to be consistent because I feel this will be the best thing both for my LO and the whole family!

Offline momtonb&ab

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2011, 00:01:56 am »
I would say work the nights for a few days then make the leap to one nap n I think you will kmow when the nights are good that you can cut back to one nap or push the morning a time.  But for now stick to your nights IMO.

Offline FroggyMom

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2011, 19:06:32 pm »
Just excited about progress with my LO and wanted to give an update:

We have been doing GW sleep training for 2 weeks now!  I have been sleeping on a mattress on the floor beside his crib.  I have used techniques such as patting his back, holding his hand, and talking to him during this time.  It is now taking him between 10-30 minutes to fall asleep (as opposed to the 2 hrs 25 min it took the first night!)!  He is usually able to independently put himself back to sleep if he wakes up; however, I may still have to help him back to sleep once during the night. 

He has gone from waking almost every hour and needing to rock back to sleep at night to waking maybe only once a night!  He has gone from broken sleep totaling about 8-10 hours to sleeping 11-12 hours a night!  I am so excited about our great success so far!

Last night, I moved to the other side of the mattress (farthest from his crib) and still talked to him (but not touching or holding hand anymore).  He did just fine!

As far as naps, I have tried keeping him on 2 naps, but with his longer awake times it is now hard to fit 2 naps in during the day.  It is also causing him to take a LONG time to fall asleep at naps/bedtime.  So, I have made the switch to 1 nap now that he is getting enough night sleep.  His one nap is still only about 1.5 hours, so hopefully that will stretch out longer soon!

Will keep up the GW training!  Any other advice would be appreciated!  Thanks!

Offline ~Sarah~

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2011, 19:58:23 pm »
Fabulous news!!

I would just say watch for him to get OT with just one nap.  It is not uncommon for them to need 2 naps every so often while they are making the switch.  Like last week after a 12.5hr night, my dd could only do 2.5hr A and she needed to nap.  That day she needed to fit in 2 to make it to BT.  Then the very next day she did 5 hrs A first thing in the morning. 

I think right around 14 mo is when my ds was fully on just 1 nap.

Great work mommy!

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2011, 18:28:01 pm »
great job mommy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  well done!

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2011, 02:34:20 am »
Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement and praise!

Sarah, I do have a question regarding what you said about watching for my LO to get OT.  I have gone back and forth about what to do as far as nap time.  My problem may be that my LO is in between making the switch from 2 to 1 nap, and I'm just not sure exactly how to handle it.  As I said, when I try two naps....his first nap is about 1 hr 20 min.  Then, he second nap is about 30-40 minutes.  It is hard to fit both in and still keep bed time at 7 pm.  I have had people say to wake him after 1 hr for his first nap so that his 2nd nap would be earlier.  Would you do this?

I thought since it took him longer to fall asleep for naps/bed time on 2 nap days, that I should go to 1 nap and he would be more tired and sleep longer.  However, it is funny that you wrote this to me just recently because he actually did seem OT today.  On the 1 nap days, what time do you recommend the 1 afternoon nap?

Also, I saw your ds was fully on 1 nap at 14 months.  How old is your dd?  I started this thread in January, and my ds is now 15 months old.  We have been going back and forth between 2 and 1 naps for about a month maybe.

Thanks for your help!

Offline ~Sarah~

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2011, 03:32:20 am »
I guess I will start with the easy answer...dd is a wk shy of 1yr.  She is spirited and sort of low sleep needs.  She started to trans at about 9.5mo.

I think right around  the time my DS was your sons age he started having really weird nights and EW when I tried to keep him on 2 naps. (but I was able to do 2naps once or twice a wk until he was 20mo bc of toddler group etc.  Angel/textbook/spirited)

Also at the same time my dd was 2mo and was a screaming mess so I could not fiddle with him too much.  I ended up just going with a 11 or 1130 naptime and a BT of 7 I think.  But he would nap 3hrs at a time.  My dd is just very different.  She will nap at most 2hrs (once 2.5) and most times more like 1.5hrs.  But she is a fab night sleeper and will do 12-13hrs most nights to make up for her short napping.  So normally her BT is around 630 (+/- 20min) and her WU is normally 7-8. 

I know for sure she is OT if she starts EW, but bad mommy, I nurse her and let her go back to sleep as long as she wants then.  So right now about once a wk or every 2wks she will wake between 5-6...I nurse her and she will go back to sleep until 8 almost everytime.  Also, if she wakes crying/fussing instead of chatting, I nurse her in the dark like a NW.  If she falls back to sleep I let her.  If not she gets up for the day like normal.

This is not even close to conventional, but it has been the only thing that has worked for us for the last 3mo. At this point I pretty much follow her every cue as they are pretty accurate.  I have noticed though over the last few days that she is leaning toward set nap and BT.  Like tonight before BT I knew she was tired, but she still would not fall asleep until closer to 645...so that was a 6hr A after only about an 1.10nap.

Sorry sort of rambling...I might not have my head on all straight right now.

HTH...if I missed something or answered wrong sorry, ask me to clarify :)

 

Offline FroggyMom

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2011, 14:58:19 pm »
Sarah, thanks for your help and answering my questions!

After you sent your first message, I did notice my ds starting to become OT some days.  I went back and tried having 2 naps a day again, and it just did NOT work!  The first time I tried....I put him to sleep for his morning nap, and he slept about 1 hr. 20 min.  Then, when I put him in his crib for his afternoon nap, he NEVER fell asleep!  He played in his crib for an hour, and then I let him out.  The next time I tried 2 naps....I woke him up after he slept 1 hour for his morning nap (hoping that would make him more tired for his afternoon nap).  However, same thing...he played in his crib for an hour and NEVER fell asleep!

Therefore, I do not think he is going to be able to take 2 naps anymore.  However, I am still dealing with the OT problem because his 1 nap is not long enough (usually 1 hr. 20 min. to 1 hr. 30 min.)  He is sometimes sleeping 11 hrs at night, but lately it has been about 10.5 hrs and waking about 30 min earlier than usual.  Do you have any suggestions on how to lengthen the 1 nap? 

By the way, I took the toddler quiz, and my ds is textbook.

Thanks again!

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2011, 03:18:13 am »
Hi guys!  It's been awhile since I posted on this thread, but I have still been continuing on with the GW sleep training and am back to give an update and ask for some more advice!!!

We have now been doing GW for 7 weeks!!!  Whew, this seems like a long time when I type it out and think about it; however, it is been going GREAT!!!  DS has responded much better than I thought he would.  In 7 weeks, we have gone from DS needing to be rocked to sleep every time he woke up to DS falling asleep independently!  We have gone from maybe 6-7 wake ups every night where he had to be rocked back to sleep....to usually 1 wake-up at the most (where he can usually put himself back to sleep!)...and sometimes none!  Yea!!!  :)

So, now for the questions.....

I started out on a mattress by the crib in his room (lying on the side closest to him so I could hold his hand, pat, etc.).  I did this for 2 weeks until he got comfortable and quit reaching for my hand to fall asleep.  Then, I moved to the other side of the mattress (where he couldn't reach me, but could see and hear me) for 2 more weeks.  Once he was again comfortable, I moved to sitting right by his door and not talking to him as much anymore.  For example, I may say our sleep phrase to get him to lie down.  Then, he will usually fall asleep as long as he can just see me (may need to say a few more times some nights but never have to go over to him).  This has been going on for 2.5 - 3 weeks.  The past couple of nights...I have tried to tell him I had to go do something, and I'd be right back to see what he would do.  Sometimes, he whines for me to come back.  Sometimes, he is quiet, but stands in his crib like he is not going to lay back down until I come back!!!

I am nervous because I feel like we are to the point where I need to try to move out of the room now but do not know how he will respond.  Do I just sit right outside his door and still talk to him?  Do I sit where he can see me...or not see me?

Also, have any of you Mommy's out there had a hard time "letting go" of your baby while at the same time knowing that you are teaching them to sleep independently because that is what is best for them???  I finally made the decision to do GW because everyone's lack of sleep was not healthy for anyone!  However, since I have been sleeping on the mattress in DS's room, I have never been apart from him at night in 16 months!!!!  I am having a hard time letting go and allowing him to be independent.  I know it is time for me to leave the mattress and head back to my room.....but I'm just having a tough time doing so!!!  Any words or encouragement or understanding out there?

Thanks for everything!!!  :)

Offline ~Sarah~

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2011, 19:40:28 pm »
{{{{{HUGS}}}}} Sweetie!!

I have no advice, but I can offer support.  That is a long time for both of you and it is hard to let go.  This is probably one of the last "baby" things you do.  They grow so fast-it is mind boggling!!

You have given your LO a lifelong gift...I myself really just learned how to sleep properly by teaching my kids.  It has been a wonderful learning experience from them.  I have had an easier time falling asleep by basically making myself have a WD routine.  I fought falling asleep for my whole life!  In fact I remember as a child my mom and grandma trying to figure out how to *make * me fall asleep for years! (I was spirited I am sure!)
Just think..your LO will not have to go 35+ yrs to learn how to fall asleep...such a gift!
:-*

Offline FroggyMom

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2011, 21:04:38 pm »
Sarah, thanks for your support!  You are right....it has been a long time for both of us and VERY hard to let go!  I almost teared up when you said this was probably one of the last baby things I will do for him....awwww!!!

I agree that teaching your LO how to fall asleep independently is a lifelong gift!  That is so neat how you learned right along with your children....amazing!

Thanks so much for your encouragement!  :)

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2011, 21:08:21 pm »
So....update on the first night/nap trying gradual withdrawal from a chair outside of DS's room...

Last night, we did our regular bedtime routine.  We then said our prayers, kissed him goodnight, and placed him in his crib.  I told him I needed to look at something and sat in a chair right outside his door.  I tried to be out of his line of sight but still talk to him.  He whined and did not like this and was standing up at the crib.  I then moved closer to the door where he could both SEE and HEAR me for a bit and this helped.  It took him almost 30 min to fall asleep (had previously been falling asleep in about an average of 15 min). 

For nap today, I did the same thing as last night.  It mostly went the same way.  It took him 24 min to fall asleep.

Nothing else about his schedule has changed other than this.  So, am I to conclude that it is taking him longer to fall asleep because he may be anxious that I've moved outside his room? 

Any words of advice on how to proceed?

Thanks!  :)

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2011, 02:04:45 am »
I think keep doing what you are doing.  It is just the next step and will take a little getting used to just like the other steps.

I might just see how things go if you are out of sight, then back in sight to settle and then back out of sight if he settles. That would be a little more like wi/wo but just not going away.
What do you think?

Offline FroggyMom

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Re: HELP needed sleep training 13 month old!
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2011, 17:39:47 pm »
Sarah, I agree with what you suggested and have been doing that with DS.  It is just the next step and will take a little getting used to like the other steps.  I was just a little worried when we first made the switch because it was taking him longer to fall asleep again.

However, I am sitting out of his line of sight for the most part, leaning my head in and talking to him as needed.  He is back to falling asleep in an average of about 15 minutes.  He is doing good at this stage just like all the others.  I am amazed at how flexible LO's can be and how quick they can learn new routines!  :)