My 18-month-old wakes up as much as a newborn does: Please help!

My baby is 18 months old and still wakes up every 2-3 hours like a newborn. I have been like this LITERALLY since she was born. After she wakes up the first time, she will not go back to her bed. She will only sleep for the rest of the night if held. Even if I try to put her to sleep first and then put her in bed, she wakes instantly. I feed her before bed but not right before bed, so it has time to settle. She is hydrated. She’s not sick. Not teething. No noise other than the ocean wave noise maker I have in her room. I tried to let her cry it out a few times, but she doesn’t cry herself to sleep. She screams until she can’t breathe and starts turning blue. I tried a night light. I thought maybe she was scared of the dark. She will sleep on my chest in the recliner or in my bed, but I know that’s not safe, so then I won’t sleep. I don’t know what else to do. Suggestions? I’m so sleep-deprived. I forgot to put my car in the park the other day. Thankfully I noticed the drifting before I got out and got it in the park before any damage happened. But I clearly need sleep.


Don’t let her sleep too much during the day - keep her active and wear her out. :wink:


Co sleep with her …best nights sleep ever she wants to be close


Have you talked to her doctor? I would honestly start there. I struggled with the same exact thing with my son but he had chronic ear infections. I didn’t get sleep until he finally got tubes put in his ears. I used to have to drive him around at 3 am because driving would put him to sleep. Countless times I had to sleep on his floor. It was extremely rough but we made it through. I can’t say what will work for you other than to talk to her pediatrician but I can say that I relate to that sleep deprivation and you got this!

Contact your pediatrician.


My son was like that. Come to find out it was me. Since birth any little fuss I jumped to get him. Not realizing babies fuss to sooth. He didn’t sleep through the nite in his own room till 5. My daughter I learned with and let her do the little fuss to put herself back to sleep. Has been sleeping 12 hours a nite in her own room since 4 months. She will be 3 tomorrow

Crying it out doesn’t fix anything. People need to stop doing that it’s mean.
Get her a big stuffed animal to sleep next too, put one of your old shirts on it.
Don’t give any naps during the day. Get her to be active and stuff during the day.


Keep naps minimal and a lavender bath before bed. Also try to sit with her room reading a book or listening to music with her prior to bed. I find sometimes little ones are scared just cause your not there, put her in bed sit beside the crib let her know she’s ok once she falls asleep knowing you’re there will soothe her she may wake up but I would just wrap her in a shirt you’ve worn for scent she’ll relax a bit better


Put the crib near you or you sleep near the crib. When my son did that and I had work the next morning I’d put the tv on, turn the volume down, then sleep on the couch with the crib near me

Try feeding her some warm cereal, like oats, cream of wheat, or porridge before bed… She maybe hungry…


Let her sleep with you. She just wants her mummy next to her.


I’m not sure what country you are in but contact your doctor or whole ever you see for child related medical stuff, have a chat with them and also look into sleep schools, they can be expensive but are absolutely worth it, if she has a security item like a blanket or teddy, try spraying your perfume on it, it may help as it may be your scent she is getting comfort from, also try to find a heart beat recorder thingy (sorry for the horrific wording I’ve seen them before but no idea where or what they’re called) and play that under her head at night, you can also look into safe co sleeping with her, given what you have said about your sleep deprivation and only if y pou are absolutely ok with it, speak with your med professional and explore sleep aids for her, I DO NOT advocate for giving children meds to help them sleep unless it’s extreme circumstances and a last resort but given what mum has said, it’s at least something to look into at this point


I would definitely try to lessen nap time during the day. Also make sure you have a set ritual for bed every night so that she understands that its sleeping time and different than the rest of the day.

1 Like

She needs a sleep study


My baby had same problem, never slept and is same age as yours. What i do is take him out in stroller with warm milk and give 10 or more walks around home. Moonlight, night darkness and stroller moving surely help your baby sleep, no talk or anything, just nights tranquility. Try making it daily as a routine so when baby see you put in stroller with milk falls faster. Dont forget to put hot clothes but not over dressed, 2 shirts and sweater or light jacket is ok and 2 light blankets.
Also i put a milk jar next to cradle so anytime is finish only fill again, my baby takes 2-3 bibis in night and one or two diaper change.
Also he never wanted sleep in cradle alone, but bed is still insecure so until i took off one side and put it next to my bed he felt his own space without feeling prisoner.
I was same like you having like 4 hours or less sleep per day, but this phase will change, for me was like 3 weeks of daily stroller walk until he knew it was sleeping time

Could always try a weighted blanket


maybe it’s the ocean wave sound or the room.

1 Like

Baby swaddle her and instead of ocean sounds do the heartbeat one or humming/vibration sounds really helped when mine where young , also limit her naps nothing after 2pm .

1 Like

Sounds like little lady have separation anxiety.
Try placing a top you wire for the in her crib. When she asleep place her on top on it, so that she can get your scent. If you cover little lady, get another top to cover her. At least, she feel secure smelling your scent. I did that with my last child. She 10 now, and takes my tops to sleep.
Hope you get sleep soon. Don’t want you to get post partum depression.

Safe co-sleeping guidelines:


I had that problem with my second child and it was a torture, nothing ever worked, none of the doctors offered me a sleep study, i really think that would be the best that you can do, my son start sleeping 6 hours in a row when he was 3 years and a half… talk to your doctor and good luck

or maybe you need a pet to sleep in her room like in this video…

1 Like

Try that taking cara babies app.

1 Like

Lay her in her bed hold her feet turn her counter clockwise 3 times don’t laugh it worked for me


Pediatrician and then bed share. When was the last time you were good sleeping alone?

1 Like

Something other is upsetting her. Try sleeping with her in the room one night and see what happens.


Hang in there as I had my middle child from birth to 3 years old woke up every 2 hours without fail.if I’m 3 to the age of almost 10 it was every couple of hours the child really never he’s 19 he deals with whatever sleep he gets he’s been at every medication imaginable for sleep never really worked. So hang in there for my mom that has been totally sleep-deprived

Oh God…yall make me never want to have kids…Melatonin or Benadryl maybe…


Maybe get a blanket that is big enough to swaddle her in. To make her feel like she is being cuddled. It works for my son

Thats normal. My son didnt sleep the night through until he had his own room, he was almost 2. My 7 yr old daughter still wakes me up. Its a myth to think children sleep through the night. Most dont.

Is she too hot or the room too warm maybe. My kids take after their Daddy and are always warm and it’s hard for them to go to sleep when I have the heater on.

It’s ok to ask for help. Do you have a Family member that’s close by or trusted friend that could look after her so you can get some much needed rest?

1 Like

My son was same way. He has a.d.h.d. I had no sleep till he was older. Now he’s pre teen and he loves his sleep. Good luck.

Some kids just don’t like being alone. Both of my kids would not sleep away from me when they were babies. My oldest didn’t start staying in her room til almost 4 years old (she’s 6.5 now and has no problems being in her bed) and my 20 month old sleeps in her crib beside our bed. She used to only nurse to sleep and would wake up lots and eventually crawl over beside me in the middle of the night but for the past few months now I can just put her down and she will fall asleep on her own and stays there all night. Not all babies are the same but it’s human nature for them to want to be close to Mom. I think they transition easier if u follow their lead.

She’ll grow out of it. You sleep when you can. Even if it’s co-sleeping. I’m a mom of 7 adults now and a grandma of 11 now. My 2 grand daughters whom I have custody of didn’t even let me go to the bathroom alone. :roll_eyes: and my own 2 youngest (in my profile photo)were like that until around 4. It doesn’t last forever and if you need sleep what about her dad? Or an auntie? I always had family support. But I did do lots of it on my own, being a stay at home mom until they were all in school.

Try sleeping on your side facing your baby and stretch your arms out and have your baby rest her head on your arms to sleep


I’ve been doing this also since my daughter was born, she’s 2 now (26 months) and wakes up regularly through the night. She has slept through about 3 times though. I ended up taking her dummy away at 18 months thinking it was that, I took milk away around the same time and gave her water. I stopped her naps around 13 months and none of it worked. I keep being told she will grow out of it. She’s fed and watered before bed, bathed and cuddled etc goes to sleep no problem it’s the waking up. I’m exhausted and taken on the role of a mombie lol

Have you thought of a clock
In bed it’s like a heart bet
Good luck

I’m having a few issues getting my LO to sleep longer. I’ve been advised: -@ 18mths one nap after an early lunch.
-reduce milk and breastfeeds
-carb load b4 bed

  • quiet enviroment b4 bed
    -bedtime routine
  • adequate food (protein, carbs etc) during the day
    -adequate excercise / activity during the day
  • put bub down when slightly awake, even if they cry, walk out and wait a few mins b4 going back in (This really helped me).

Also review from check breathing eta

Also if day time nap is too short it can make bubs worse to nap at night. At 18mths bubby should be moving from 2 day time naps to one (after an early lunxh)

Hi, reading your message reminded me of everything I did as a baby. I would cat nap and when put down and wasn’t held up or rocked I would scream. The problem was my ears, laying flat put pressure on my ear drums causing agonising pain.
I had 4 sets of grommets before I was 3. Unfortunately it also took that long for me to start sleeping through the night I am always in awe that my mother didn’t murder me.
Maybe take your sweet baby to the doctor and get their ears checked

Take her to the pediatrician

Feed her more… and stop caudling… she knows you will hold her…3-4 crying nights alone she will learn. No naps after 4pm.


You could try melatonin my son always woke up every night from the day he was born but now being 12 he just go to the couch and goes back to sleep. Good luck

Swaddle her or get a weighted blanket and don’t be too eager to run into the room when she starts after trying these. It will take time but go to her after a few mins or stand by the door and watch. Also try some white noise or music real low to let her know all is well, see if it puts her back to sleep. Cut back on naps if she takes more than one and don’t let her sleep in, wake her early and keep her busy from dinner to bedtime, then lay her down.

Id start not letting her nap. Get her up at 6am and don’t let her nap till bedtime. She’s playing you. You haven’t tried letting her cry it out fully. So she screams and “turns blue”. So what. Let her. Screaming isnt gonna make her turn blue first of all. Second, she will see she’s not gonna win if you lay her down and don’t go back into until morning. She WILL eventually cry herself to sleep. You’re just going back in when she starts to scream and that’s the problem. She’s spoiled and that’s the real truth of it. Give her some melatonin. Lay her down. And don’t go back in for the rest of the night. Doesn’t matter how hard she screams. She’s not gonna die and screaming won’t make her turn blue or stop breathing. Or do the smart thing and talk to her doctor 🤦

My son was the same way until he was 5. I put him in bed with us or I would make a “tent” next to my bed and made it fun for him. If he ended up crawling in bed with us that was fine BUT I told him I was not going to hold him when we slept. We would hold hands then. Your little girl doesn’t know any better, she has been doing this sleep routine since she was an infant. It is going to take time to learn a new routine. No way is the wrong way. You need sleep and so does she. Put a cot next to your bed and try holding her hand. Good luck.

She will grow out of it by the time she goes to school . Too many opinions . Why can’t she co sleep with you until she is a little older and more confident

Order a weighted blanket it helps relax and feels like a hug and studies have shown it works. Sorry to hear that the child isn’t sleeping. Sending positive thoughts …

Yes! Weighted blanket!!! Also? You could take ur kid to a pediatrician OR if they do nothing- seek out sleep specialist for peds

She needs to be seen by a pediatrician but when I noticed my babies waking up allot I put rice cereal in their formula and made the nipple hole of me bottle a little bigger and they would sleep longer, I don’t know what your baby’s eating habits are but it could be she’s hungry.

1 Like

I’ve had a daycare for over 24 years (and NO I do NOT know it all by any means​:blush:) having said that​:wink: I have done this for about the last 20 years and have shared with soooooo many new parents…put a fan in their room aiming completely away from your little one…I feel it’s the sound that does it…just today I forgot to turn the fan on in one room and anytime I do forget they only sleep about 30 minutes…turn the fan on they sleep. Just an idea. When I get a new little friend it sometimes takes a week or two but so far it has worked on them all. Good luck y’all,! :pray::pray::pray::pray:

I am in same boat with my kids dr suggested melatonin gummies for my 3 year old cause she has autism n refused to sleep I refused the sleep meds from dr because 1 dose knocked her out for 3 days but the melatonin is all natural n there ones for kids as well


My lil one has used this for 7 years. Puts her to sleep in 10 min. Maybe it will work for you?

Maybe she needs a adjustment from the doctor some baby’s are fussy when they are backing up ,just a thought I have heard this many times.

I’d say stop nap time. Try to see how she does snd if she needs the nap, let her for 10mins. Melatonin helps also. I had to use that for a year. My daughter had a brain i jury as an infant si her brain doesn’t function normally. I kept her on a schedule that is repetitive and has helped tremendously.

1 Like

My daughter had the same issue. It ended up that she had severe ADHD with some sensory issues. Just food for thought. I didn’t sleep more than 3 hours at a time until she was 4.5 years. Good luck mama! :heart:

I was in the same boat… Co-sleeping was the only thing that allowed me to keep my sanity and get more than an hour of sleep. At about 18 months a gave both my girls melatonin gummies which also helped a little, but I didn’t like giving it to them for a long period of time.

Melatonin sounds like the way to go. You have tried all other means. I know my boys sleep rough without the fan.

Have you asked her pediatrician for any advice? Have they checked her ears for any infections?

1 Like

Rub her down in lavender baby wash and have a diffuser in her room with lavender oils. I read that you also use a sound machine try rain sound or a brahmslullaby. Give her as little as possible or no foods with sugar try all natural foods and snacks.

My son did this. Give him only water. No food or milk. It’s a habit

Where is her dad? Where is ur family? U need a break!

1 Like

I would say you started her off wrong and now you want to change it. Good luck

1 Like