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Advice Needed - Toddler sleep troubles

My 18 month daughter has started giving us a few problems to do with sleep and I'm looking for some advice.

When she was a baby she started sleeping throught the night on the odd day at approx 4 months, every now and again she would sleep the whole night. (8 - 5am approx). When she got to just about 6 months she started suffering from an ear infection, and then the troubles started. From about 6 months she has never been able to sleep the whole night. She has gone through some many different phases however we seem to be overwhelmed with what she's going through now. By the age of 1 she had suffered from 13 ear infections. However the month of August and some of September this year she had no problems with her ears and she slept 7pm - 7am every night for 6 weeks! It was amazing.

Since being 9 months she has always if left to cry for 1-2 mins got in such a state she made herself sick. Only a few weeks ago after 60 seconds of crying she threw up. She seems to do it when getting very disstressed.

Added to the above problems she is now refusing to go to bed (which I know toddlers do, I have a 4 year old who went through the same for a short period). Refusing bedtime is ok on its own however she also now when waking in the night cannot stand to be on her own, and if her daddy goes in to soothe her she screams the place down, something she'd previously happily accept from her daddy (she used to behave better with him!). We end up settling her at 8pm which can take at least an hour by me (and only ever me because of her being clingy) she will sleep for a few hours then when she next wakes I pop in and lay near her stroking her head or holding her hand or foot. Normally she will settle down fall straight asleep but repeat the whole thing every hour or so the whole night. I end up putting her in our bed at which she sleeps soundly sometimes until morning if I fall asleep!!

I had an excellent experience with my son (now 4) who at 7 weeks slept through. Only had troubles through teething and being poorly which soon passed and has been a wonderful sleeper ever since. We never took him out of his room and qucikly got him in a very good bed routine, and never gave in to him. He always went down to bed awake. I know the ins and outs of all these important things with sleeping.

I have tried many things with my daughter, but I can't help thinking that her ears have always been a problem. We have even had visits from health visitors for advice.

When she was a baby she was just starting to get into the habit of sleeping well then she started suffering with her ears. She has had more soothing and cuddles in the evenings when being poorly with her ears and i suppose we have some many times not stayed strict at bedtimes with her. Now she's older these habits are hard to break. I dont know how to break them as I try everything to avoid her getting disstressed and being sick. I never thought i'd let my children stay in my bed as its really not good to have that habit, we never let our son and for me its the last resort for sleep.

She is under the hospital care for her ears and there is little they can do until she is older.

I wonder if anyone else has similar experiences and any advice please?

thank you


  • No real advice I'm afraid but I just wanted to say that I can understand your frustrations.

    My DS2 will be 2 tomorrow and he sleeps through maybe once a fortnight, if we're lucky. For him, it's not his ears but his teeth; I've never know such a bad teether. His teeth come through one at a time and they grow so slowly, he starts getting distressed as soon as they start moving under the gum and will continue with nightime screaming until the tooth is fully erupted, this can take 1-2 weeks per tooth.

    Like your DD, he will make himself sick if I leave him to cry for more than a couple of minutes. Although we are working on this.

    My DS2 also wont be settled by anyone other than me. I'm soooo tired.

    To me, your DD sounds like she's convinced herself that she can't sleep without you. I would suggest going back to your HV and asking if there's a local sleep clinic you could get some one-to-one "tuition" from.

    I hope you manage to find a solution. I'm just thankful that my DS2 only has 5 more teeth to come!
  • We had difficulties with my dd too. At one point she'd only go to sleep if she was inbetween us in bed, then we transfered her. She goes through these phases. Last month she started waiting 3 times in the night. We started last week putting her in either padded or fleece sleepsuits in her grobag and sahe's sleeping 13 hours. We followed gina ford to get her going to bed on her own. She was 11 months when we did that.
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