Author Topic: 17 month old awake during night for an hour or two and waking early  (Read 2082 times)

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Offline Little Dot

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I posted about a month ago my problems getting my dd to sleep at night. We used the suggestions given of pd for toddlers and walk in/walk out and within a few nights going to bed was a dream!
However, dd is still waking every night, sometimes taking over an hour to go back to sleep, crying unless I stay with her and also waking between 5am and 6am to start her day!
Hoped that if I posted her daytime routine here again someone might be able to suggest why she is wide awake in the middle of the night and why she is crying to get up at 5 in the morning. Finding it hard to stretch her to make the one nap transition with these early starts. Thanks

Wakes 5am ish
Nap  9 ish. (She would sleep over an hour but I wake her by 10 so we can fit a pm nap in)
Nap 2 ish. (again I only let her have an hour so that bedtime doesn't get too late)
Bedtime 7 ish.

She usually gets tired after about 4 hours of being awake. We have done one nap some days when we have a morning activity to go to and that keeps her busy. On these days she usually flakes out at 12 ish after lunch and will have 2-2.30 hours with a 6.30 bedtime.
Hope someone can help. I think I can count on my hands the number of times she has slept through since she was born!
Thanks
Kate

Mum to Erin (22.11.04)

Offline imsmum

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Hey Kate--I know it doesn't help when you are so tired but I've been there, I know what you are going thru, super big hugs!

How is she on the days that she has one nap--any change in her night sleep other than the early to bed?  My sense is that she needs to switch to one nap.  But tell us a bit more about the night wakings that occurred after doing toddler pd.  Often babies and toddlers will test our resolve for a new method after doing it for a few nights.  If you aren't consistent then the old behaviour reestablishes so that could be the problem too.

Offline alyssa1

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I went through this exact same thing just a few weeks ago and we were trying to transition to the 1 nap but what I was finding was that he was overtired and not ready to go to 1 nap.  We tried to get him to 1 nap for 3 weeks and during this time he would wake in the night from 4:00-5:30 and then sleep but wake up at 6:30am absolutely miserable.  We just went back to the 2 naps and the night waking and then early waking went away.  I found that it was the obvertiredness that was causing all the problems.  My son is 15 months and will take a short nap in the morning (40 min. tops) around 10 and then an hour or more in the afternoon around 2pm with a 7:30 bedtime.  Maybe your lo is a little overtired??  Or maybe your lo is ready to go to 1 nap - I would think it's one or the other.  If you have been trying some days to get to 1 nap and then other days doing the 2 naps - your lo might be overtired with all the switches - that's what I was finding.  We just went back to the 2 naps for now because I couldn't take the night wakes and early mornings.  We are going to try the 1 nap again soon.
I do know some children that don't go to 1 nap until almost 2?  I don't know if this helps but hopefully you can decide if you need the 1 nap or not??

Offline Little Dot

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Thank you for your replies ladies and your super big hugs. Much needed! ;D
In reply to some of your questions, yes she still woke in the night on the one nap days and as a result of her seeming overtired we went back to the two naps for a while and all was well for a short time. I thought I would hold off on the one nap transition for a bit as she obviously still needed the two and the days she did have just one was totally her own doing. She woke late enough on those days to get herself through to lunchtime. This night waking and early mornings started around the time she had a very bad teething episode. She wasn't eating well in the day and was waking hungry at the times she seems to be still waking now. Maybe she is waking for the milk I gave her then? I haven't been giving any to her because she is eating well. I haven't been able to get her back on track since then.
As for being wide awake during the night sometimes, maybe it does have something to do with her naps. She is a very active little girl who doesn't stop all day really. I have to keep a very close eye on her to make sure she doesn't get overtired as she very quickly goes in to melt down. Maybe I am forcing the first nap a bit in order that we can still fit an afternoon one in. I always have to wake her from this morning one.
Say I keep her going as long as poss in the morning(in preparation for the one nap transition) but because of these early wakings she only gets to 10 or 11 o'clock, then how long should I let her sleep? As long as she wants? my only problem with this is that she can only cope with about 4 hours before she needs to go to bed and that could mean a super early bedtime (this happened once and she treated it like a nap, waking at 8.30pm). Or should I give her another nap later in the afternoon (pushing bedtime too late I fear!!). AM I CONFUSING YOU?!!! ::)
My head hurts just reading this!
Just to add that although she goes to bed pretty well, she does like to look up as she is drifting off to check I am there. Because of past issues I stay in the room usually until she is almost asleep. She will cry if I leave before she is very sleepy. In the night I do whatever I can to get her back to sleep. Sometimes a pat on the back works, sometimes she just goes off on her own and other times I can tell that only a cuddle will do.
I know there's alot of information here but it's mainly what to do about naps, I guess, as I'm sure I have heard that too long a morning nap can result in early morning wakings.
Any of this help?
Kate

Mum to Erin (22.11.04)

Offline alyssa1

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We are having the same trouble with the 2 naps.  One is always longer than the other but we try to keep the total nap time to 2 hours or 2.5 hours. If he naps longer in the morning, then we know he will only have a short one in the afternoon.  The latest we let our 15.5 month old son sleep in the afternoon is 3:30 - to maintain a 7:30pm bedtime.  It sounds like you are going through the same thing.  When my son wakes at 6:30am - he can only make it to 10:00 maybe 10:30 tops - and will usually only have a 40 min. nap.  He takes a longer nap in the afternoon, sometimes as late as 2:30 - but we always wake him at 3:30/3:40, even if he's only had 40 min - 1 hour sleep. 
If she likes to have a longer nap in the morning, could you just make the nap in the afternoon a short one to maintain bedtime.  And maybe if it's a really long nap, you could just skip the afternoon nap (this is too hard for my son).  We usually let him have a short nap in the afternoon because he has melt downs as well if he's overtired. 

Have you ever let her just sleep for her morning nap to see how long she will go?  Because if she will sleep for a couple hours then maybe you could just continually push this one forward in the day (9am, then 9:15am, then 9:30am - and keep going until it's a mid-morning nap) and get to the 1 nap. 

I would try to let her fall asleep on her own at night and at nap times becuase it sounds like she is dependent on you being there with her - so when she wakes in the night, she is dependent on you being there to help her get back to sleep.  If she learns to sleep on her own, if she stirs in the night she will be able to get back to sleep on her own.  Also the bottle in the night that you were giving her - I bet she now expects it. My son is smart like that too - if he gets it even the one time, he wants it all the time.  I would just continue to not give it to her.  Go to her when she wakes, tell her it's still night time, do pd and walk out.  I would continue to do wi/wo until she understands it's still time to sleep.

Offline Little Dot

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Like you, I feel 2-2.5 hours is just right for naps in the day. I have tried leaving her to sleep as long as she wants in the morning and often she will have about 1-1.5 hours. She is then ready for a shorter afternoon nap and a 7-7.30 bedtime. However, sometimes she isn't ready for the afternoon nap til much later, say 4.30/5 and that would just completely mess up bedtime. That is why I got started on waking her after an hour to ensure an afternoon nap at 2.30/3 ish. Somebody on the nap forum suggested to me that a possible cause for her early morning wakings was too long a morning nap but she seems to enjoy and be in a better mood if I let her have what she wants at that time. I don't know if it makes any difference or not.
I think I mentioned that she becomes really overtired at bedtime if she is awake longer than 4 hours from last nap and it can end up taking her over an hour to get to sleep. Today, for example, I tried to stretch her morning to see if she could manage one nap. I could see she was getting really tired by 10.30 but knew if she had a couple of hours then, she would want to nap again at 5 ish or just be really overtired at bedtime. I entertained her some more and we got to 11.30. She had 2 hours 15 mins taking her to 1.45. I put her to bed at 6.30 and it has taken her an hour to calm down and go to sleep (with lots of help that i don't normally need to give her). I feel all over the place with it and I'm sure she does too. I think I want to do what you suggested and what we have done before which is give her what she wants in the morning and a shorter pm nap and hopefully just push it later and later until she can cope with one nap on her own.
I had to laugh at you saying your son is smart and if he gets something just the one time, he wants it all the time! That is just like Erin. I only have to give her milk at 5am one time and you can bet she will wake for it the next day!!
Also, I think I need to follow your advice about letting her fall to sleep on her own more, especially in the night. I'm terrified though as she will scream the place down. She has more staying power than me and I am already so tired. I know you are right though. I have been meaning to address it for a while now.
Thanks so much for sharing and for your tips. I will get to bed early and see what the night brings! x
Kate

Mum to Erin (22.11.04)