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11 month old takes over an hour to fall asleep

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  • 11 month old takes over an hour to fall asleep

    hi everyone -

    this is my first post - been reading what other people have to say for a while now as i struggle with helping my daughter to sleep. she sleeps in a crib for the first part of the night, and then transitions to our bed during her first wakeup after we've gone to bed. she wakes up often during the night, and its a struggle, but right now what's even harder is helping her fall asleep. i can tell she's exhausted at 6:30, but by 8:30 she's still up wanting to play! we have a very consistent nighttime routine, and then i get into the crib with her to comfort her to sleep. i've tried sitting outside the crib and she just screams. so, there i am lying in the crib with her for over an hour while she nurses a bit, plays a bit, etc. she ultimately falls asleep on the nipple, or just after i pull it out (using the Pantley pull out method). i'm starting to wonder if i should sit near her, but outside the crib, so she knows its sleep time and not play time, but i know this will elicit much crying and i am very reluctant to do it.

    any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    and thanks.

  • #2
    i feel your pain!

    My daughter takes a while to fall asleep too. I gave up on the crib altogether and she sleeps in the bed with me all night. She is 15 months old and unless she is super duper tired falls asleep with the breast in her mouth.

    Now I let her play for 30 minutes and then try to put her to sleep. If she is stil fighting it, I let her play a little more and then try again. I have found that sometimes she is just not ready for bed yet.

    Also, it seems like she senses when I'm just trying to put her to sleep. When I am more relaxed, she picks up on it. It can be hard to be patient, especially after a long day. I think about the "me time" I can have if she would just fall asleep! Then I take a deep breath and realize that since I've been gone at work all day she is just trying to get all the time with me that she can.

    It won't be like this forever!


    • #3
      We never used a crib it wasn't for my daughter, but at a year old we moved her into her own bed a full size and did the same on first wake she comes to our room. Now I wait till she actually walks into our room because there are times when she wakes up just to tell me something and if I answer hi she goes back to sleep on her own (I thought that day would never come). So anyway what I discovered is that as it got sunnier later she had a really hard time going to sleep no matter what time we laid down and no matter how tired she was. We've got the room darkening shades and that didn't help. I also found that she really likes an hour of just Mommy and Daddy time in her room snuggling before bed. We are so busy during the day playing and learning new things that she just wants to lay and snuggle and nurse while still awake. Sometimes I find that I've been laying there for 20min. with her asleep because she just conks out randomly. It took a long time for me to get over my irritation at my me time being eaten up by this routine but then I just accepted it as snuggle time I won't get back. And I ask my husband to take her out on their own a little more than he used to on weekends so i can relax, and get that me time I'm needing.


      • #4
        thanks for the support. its just so confusing when i can tell she's tired, but she refuses and fights sleep for such a long time. maybe i need to start trying even earlier?


        • #5
          music has been working too

          You can also give music a try. This past week I've been using the lulluby CD I have and that has helped with relaxing her and putting her into sleepy time mode (it's cut my 30 minutes of rocking to 15 minutes).

          Another thing I try to do is wear her out as much as possible (going outside, to the park, arts and crafts).

          Then about an hour to 30 minutes before bedtime I've been giving her a snack to fill her tummy, especially if we have eaten an early dinner.

          As you can see, it's trial and error. Hope this helps!


          • #6
            why is the babysitter so much better than me??

            thanks for the support and insights offered here.

            the latest is that for two nights in a row, our babysitter has put DD to bed (this is a rare thing). last night, DD fell asleep within 15 minutes, and slept 4 HOURS IN A ROW! (a first!) Tonight, the same thing - she was asleep within 15 minutes! its like she's trying to torture me... Maybe she is just so excited to be with me, she doesnt want to go to sleep, but with the babysitter its easier? its a small consolation....


            • #7
              My sister-in-law watches my daughter during the day while I'm at work and she takes long nap with her (from 11:00am to 1:00pm). But guess what happens on the weekend when she's with me? Yesterday she finally went down for her nap at 12:00 and only slept for an hour!!!

              When mommy's around things are different. It's the same thin when my mother babysits for me. She goes to sleep without a problem.

              My theory is the milk. Do you still breastfeed? I do, and I think my daughter associates me with the milk smell and comfort nursing, thus causing her to play around and not go to sleep as fast.


              • #8
                I'm having similar problems with our 9 moth old. It used to be very easy to get her to sleep, almost every time she fed, she would fall asleep.

                We have been co-sleeping and since she started solids and is slowly becoming less interested in breastfeeding. It can take sometimes 2-3 hours to get her to sleep. Nap times are a disaster and mostly what ends up happening is both of us spending the whole afternoon in bed.

                I work 4hours every morning and she goes to nursery and she will often not sleep at all there and it's sometimes 4 in the afternoon before I finally get her to have her first/only nap of the day. She is obviously exhausted but when I take her to bed she will feed for a minute and then just want to play for hours. If I leave she cries so I stay with her and get nothing else done. When she finally does sleep, she sleeps well and for 2-4 hours. If I don't force her she will sometimes go an entire day without sleeping at all.

                I've tried everything I can think of music, white noise, blinds on the windows, going to bed before she's tired, waiting till she's overtired (=disaster and inconsolable crying for ages). We have a bedtime routine that I follow every day. She won't sleep in the pram, bouncer, swing, Ergobaby or a sling.

                She is still breastfed on demand and eats quite a bit of solids, both self fed and spoon fed.

                She still gets up 1-4 times for a feed at night. I'm not worried about that so much, she just has a snack and goes straight back to sleep in a few minutes.

                Any ideas?? Cry it out is def not something I want to try.


                • #9
                  While we still seriously struggle with going to sleep (naps and bedtime) we have at least discovered that our boys (ages 3 and 1) have a VERY early window for bedtime. As in, we have to start them at 6 in the tub, follow their routine to a T and usually they are asleep by 7:30-8. It takes a LONG time, 2 hours as you can see, and it is hard for us to be done with dinner and ready to head to bed at 6!

                  Naptimes are especially hard. My 3yo doesn't nap, so getting the 1yo down is HARD! He just wants to stay up and play. I usually just put a movie in and hope he nurses down to sleep, but this can take hours and he only naps for 45 minutes! I have no ideas how to make this easier.

                  In short, I don't really have any answers, but consolation that you are not alone. Extra hugs to all those mommas and daddies who really search for better solutions than giving up and leaving their sweet babes to CIO.


                  • #10

                    I have a 5-month old who loves to sleep... in his queen-sized crib! Hahaha! Yes, you are not alone when it comes to sleeping problems.

                    Still, I found these are the most useful books out there:
                    - Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution
                    - Bed Timing by Marc Lewis and Isabela Granic
                    - The 90-minute baby sleep program by Polly Moore

                    The last book was a revelation! Basically, the premise is that a baby will be sleepy about 90-minutes after they wake. Simple. As they grow older, the 90-minute wake interval doubles to 180 minutes, or triples, and so on. All you have to do is watch for the sleep signals, like yawning. Don't wait till he starts rubbing his eyes... he'll be overtired by then!
                    For example, my little sweetie takes his first morning nap 3 hours after he wakes up. Sometimes, if he's still sleepy, it will be 90-minutes (1.5 hours) after he wakes. Either I breastfeed him to sleep (which is totally fine, no matter what anyone says!) or rock him on my chest. He'll whine and cry while I rock him, but my promise to him is that I will only do it for 10 minutes. If he's not asleep by then, I stop and let him play until the next window opens up. If my timing is right, he doesn't cry at all and slowly falls asleep. Ah, those are great days.

                    Since using this method, loosely mind you, I have a baby who sleeps his regular naps and is not overtired by the end of the day. Sure, he still wakes up several times at night and I breastfeed him back to sleep. No biggie.

                    Bed Timing was a great book too. It helped my understand the psychological milestones for my baby. And 9-months is smack dab in the middle of the toughest times because of separation anxiety. I really feel for you!

                    And Pantley, well she's the guru when it comes to taking it easy. They are babies for such a short time, and then we'll miss these moments of them sleeping at our breast and in our arms.

                    But only take from these books what works for you and chuck the rest out. I'm doing everything possible to avoid the CIO method and I think in most cases, it's not necessary at all.

                    Lastly, you have to set the mood right. Noisy toys are not allowed, lights are dimmed everywhere, we don't make loud noises, give him a bath and sing soothing songs, then breastfeed, rock if necessary, and it's bedtime.

                    Take care and Good Nights,


                    • #11
                      So what do you do while they are "going" to sleep.
                      My wee one will play in the bed happily for an hour or more on her own. It's getting to the stage where I get absoultely nothing done. I'm spending all my time in bed with her. I stay there with her but don't interact with her or I lie with my back to her. If I leave her she cries within seconds and if I don't get her to sleep she turns into a monster.
                      I've tried getting her up and trying again later but then it starts over and she ends up going the whole day without sleeping.
                      She really doesn't like being rocked/cuddled to sleep and will really scream if I try to do that.

                      Thanks for your help. It's nice to know I'm not the only one.


                      • #12
                        My daughter did this for a few months. Made me crazy after a while I would notice myself telling my daughter that Mommy was getting very cranky it is time to go to sleep and Mommy is tired and it's not play time anymore. This usually just helped me to calm myself down, but now that she falls asleep better she seems to understand if I say that it really is time to just go to bed. There were many times that I would walk out of the room and get a glass of water I would tell her first and say when I get back it's time to go to sleep. She would scream bloody murder when I walked out, but when I got back she was ready to start snuggling and resting. In the end I don't know that anything I did helped the situation, I think it was just a stage that she grew out of, but communicating my feelings to her at least helped me handle the long night time routine. Now we are down to 30min. and that includes a story, nursing in the rocking chair, laying in her bed and her falling sound asleep. Recently I also listened to one of the teleseminars while getting her down and that was nice because I didn't care how long she took I actually stayed and rocked her longer because I was getting something for me at the same time. So you might try putting on an audio-book or a seminar or something.


                        • #13
                          My daughter's now 2 and just since about 18 m did she start to fall asleep within 20 min to 1/2 of me lying down and breastfeeding her. Before that, it was always an hour or more of holding, rocking and breastfeeding before I could safely lay her down. So I feel your pain. But in a way, I came to enjoy it. Initially I was taken aback and shocked by the amount of time it took away from my evening with my husband. But then we all adjusted after a year or so. I used my ipod. I would have movies downloaded (get a movie watched every 2 nights!) and I would check facebook, use chat and also listen to radio podcasts (loved Pregtastic). I almost miss that time now. I haven't used my ipod in months.