1-Year-Old Not Sleeping Through The Night

Asleep with hand still in animal crackers bag

I write to you as a man humbled and driven slightly insane from weeks without sleep and an immune system that I think may have kicked the bucket.  Not even remotely exaggerating…I have had a head cold, a stomach bug, or a cough for over a month now!  I have not been well a single day in 2012, the perfect storm of illness spreading has taken place in my house; Max has moved to the toddler room at day care and he has learned to high-five.  Seriously…I need to feel well and I NEED SOME SLEEP!

Following the New Year we got Max on a great sleep cycle.

  • 7:30 Bath
  • 8:00 Bedtime
  • Wakes up around 3-4 AM
  • Breast-fed back to sleep
  • Wakes up around 6-7 AM

That was awesome.  Then he started waking up around Midnight – 1 AM.  Then he added a 4-5 AM wake-up.  Last week he added a 9-10 PM wake-up.  This week he sleeps for an hour, wakes up, we put him back to bed, he wakes up, to bed, wakes, bed, wake, bed, wake, wake, wake, wake…  It has spiraled OUT OF CONTROL!

Here is the plan from our end to execute in sequential order over the next few weeks:

  1. Ween from breast-feeding
  2. Eliminate night-time feedings
  3. Soothe at night by rocking only

Once that has been accomplished, move on to the next sequential goals:

  1. Soothe at night without picking up
  2. Soothe at night without touching
  3. Ignore cries – Max puts himself back to sleep

We have been using the Elizabeth Pantley No-Cry method till now but when we let him cry he gets so worked up he cannot catch his breath and stands in his crib screaming as loud as he can.  If Kate goes to him he cries for food and fights her.  If I go to him he immediately quiets and pretends to sleep…waits a few minutes…then cries again in hopes that Kate will come.  He takes 1-2 naps a day and goes down for about 1-2 hours.  He is in a great mood all day long and is not in pain at night when he wakes.  When he wakes he is confused and exhausted…the suggestion of laying down is usually greeted with slumped over exhausted compliance…briefly.  He eats all foods, has no allergies, has no major tooth coming in (to our knowledge), and is a few weeks older than 1 year.  This current cycle has him waking EVERY 2 HOURS.

Please…parents out there who have gone through this…tell me what worked for you or help provide insight.  I keep freaking out seeing stuff out of the corner of my eyes, I am (Kate and I both are) so sleep deprived.  Tough love and let him cry?  Buy him a unicorn?  Trade him in for a newer model?

Remember the Good Ole Days of Sleeping?
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3 thoughts on “1-Year-Old Not Sleeping Through The Night

  1. Just wanted you to know I feel for you. We have three children – 4, 2 and 5 months. We’re dealing with our own issues with the littlest right now but my older two are great sleepers (now). I’ve found that (like most other things with parenting) consistency is the key. If you decide to do something different be consistent with it for at least several nights (up to a week) even if you don’t see an immediate change for the better. Make sure Kate is REALLY okay with the weaning. I’ve found it was harder on me (emotionally) to wean my kids than it was for them.

  2. I think your plan looks great! Ween out feedings and slowly get him used to soothing himself. It will take time and patience, but I think your plan you have written here looks good. Stick to it! Even if he pushes you to the limits!

  3. Going through the same thing with our 11.5 month old. No real solutions here as far as fixing the pattern. However, things got a LOT better once we started hiring someone to let us sleep in on Sundays. Please do it for yourselves. Or, maybe you a have a friend or family member who is up to the task. You absolutely need your sleep. I could go on and on about the scary things I’ve done when sleep deprived. It is unsafe and you need to advocate for yourself. No one else will. Also, I know that my daughter picks up on my stressed out energy. Things have already started to get a tad better now that we get a little more sleep. Also, when I stopped breastfeeding things improved a little. I’m sure you have one already, but, a white noise machine is KEY for us…..

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