14 Answers

My child is 19 months old, he is in his own room in a toddler bed, he’s breastfed to sleep most night, I try and delatch him before he completely falls asleep. He does not let any one else put him to sleep, to the point he will vomit because he gets so upset (within 2 minutes this happens). He wakes constantly through the night and I just need some sleep… he’s happy for me to lay at the end of his bed while he falls asleep in the middle of the night but it’s wearing me out not being able to sleep, last night we played the back and forth game for 2.5 hours, the night before it was 4 hours. So I did not sleep. Can anyone please please please! Give me any ideas on how to get him to sleep… sleep training just isn’t going to work because soon as he gets upset he vomits and co sleeping unfortunately isn’t an option either… I’m at a loss and I can’t keep going like this but I have no idea what to do…

Posted anonymously, 20th May 2021

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  • I have been there. I hear you and feel your pain. I went to a sleep school with my son. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and then I was watching a tv program about sleeping and kids etc and what needs to be done, and it took a good month or 2 for him to settle into a routine, and then another 4 months for him to settle in and finally sleep through the night. Feel free to take any of what I say with a grain of salt and ignore or follow, but this is what worked for us.
    My first piece of advice is bedtime routine, set it and establish it.
    Dinner, bath etc, and feed, and then into bed awake settling etc, saying goodnight and then leaving. 30 seconds and if he is crying go in and settle, don’t pick him back up again, pat his back, kisses, resettle etc, then 1 minute, If it gets to 5 minutes and hes still not settling, go pick him up cuddles, its ok etc,
    Good luck

  • Is there a mother and baby sleep school near you? Because it sounds like you need some professional help. Ask your GP for a referral.

  • That sounds so hard! I’ve seen in some groups Tresillian recommended. I think it’s kind of like sleep training but not cry it out, so could be worth looking into that. There’s also the Possums Clinic that I’ve seen mentioned too.

  • I. Think it’s the sleep association and what he’s used to. Try and give him something more practical like a little snuggle toy or something he loves and make that become his go to for bedtime.

  • Does he have a comforter? Maybe try one to see if he can settle with that I couldn’t do sleep training either. A special night light, special music or a comforter are all things we tried which gave some degree of assistance but no major breakthrough until we got him a new ‘special doona’. Random but it worked. Goodluck it really is trial and error as they are all so different.

  • I would say try expressing, but I don’t have a solution as I went through the same. Eventually they change, but then there could be one they that they go back to the same. It just depends on the day.

  • Have you tried giving him a bottle to sleep with express your breast milk and try him with that and also try & keep him up as long as you can until he is really tired even if you keep him up an hour past his bedtime then hopefully he will sleep most of the night for you

  • You could try bottle feeding before bed to see if that makes a difference. I found when I gave my daughter formula she started sleeping much better, so you could try mixing breastmilk and formula together.
    You could try putting him to bed awake, as he could have a fear of waking up and you not being there. If you put him to bed awake he recognises he’s alone in his surroundings and will wake up with the same feelings. You may need to go in multiple times to settle him before he falls asleep, but I wouldn’t be taking him in and out of his bed.
    If the transition of beds is only recent, You may need to consider putting him back to his own bed. A change in bed is a big change for a child. If he is crying every night because of bedtime he will continue to associate the bed as a fear.
    You may need to approach a different night time routine too.
    You could try giving him a special toy to cuddle that might calm him down.

    Hope you find something that works!

  • following this comment, my baby is 3 months and wont sleep unless in my arms. definitly need some tips

  • I’m sorry I can’t help you on this one. My son was exactly the same and I had no idea how to fix the problem. But, we all came through it sane and in one piece.

  • I’m sorry this sounds so tough :( It does sound like Breastfeeding to sleep could be the issue. Could you try expressing into a bottle to break the habit just for bed time? or maybe feed then read.a book and quiet play for half an hour before bed? It’s never easy breaking sleep habits but it will be worth it for your sanity.
    Good Luck

  • I’m sorry I wish I had some advice. All 3 of my kids also won’t go down to sleep unless it’s me putting them down. My 11 month old is also going through a regression and screams his head off whenever I put him down. It’s hard but I just go with it, I know it won’t be forever and try to appreciate the time I have with them.

  • Babies have no control over their sleeping. If they cry it is for a real reason or need, not because they are ‘spoilt’. By meeting your baby’s needs you are not spoiling her. You are helping her develop a sense of trust and self-esteem. Remember that your baby’s need for closeness and physical contact is a very real and important need.
    Many parents, myself included, find it is more effective to accept the child’s sleep pattern until it changes, and to alter their lives to enable them to cope. I found it was most important to find ways to get enough sleep and emotional support to manage this stressful time;
    * this meant sleep/nap whenever baby sleeps/naps
    * talk with your partner what he can do / how he can help and support you (taking tasks over you normally do
    * accept help from family members and friends
    * relax, there will come and end to this

  • I have an 18 month old that is also very reluctant to sleep so I know that sleep deprivation can be debilitating. I have used methods such as co sleeping and keeping him up much later so that he is exhausted and finally gives me a few hours of rest. I have also heard of family members accessing services from your local hospital such as Tresillian Family Care Centre, or even your GP may have some advice of where to get help.. good luck ❤️

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