Sleep training my 1 year old

Sleep training my 1 year old

Up until now Alyssia has been a brilliant sleeper, I must admit she was never the ‘textbook baby’ but after 3 months of colic and a (then) undiagnosed dairy allergy.. she began to sleep through the night.
Alyssia is now 14 months old, and while we have been dealing with spurts of seperation anxiety, we have overcome it and she has slept well. She rarely ever wakes in the night and that’s amazing, but our struggle is getting her to settle on her own.

In all honesty, I don’t know where it all began she just goes through phases of not wanting to settle and has started to hate going to sleep on her own. When she’s poorly I let her sleep on me in the daytime, maybe this is why? I noticed that she doesn’t like the dark, and has always had a nightlight since she was small however it didn’t seem to be bright enough for her so I bought a lamp for her bedroom which I turn off once she’s fallen asleep.

Some nights she will go off to sleep like a dream, but some nights she will cry so much she makes herself sick. It’s awful.. I have tried all 3 types of sleep training, controlled crying, “pick up put down” and controlled comforting.

Controlled crying is hard not only for you but for your baby too, but if you do it correctly it really does work. I always told myself that as a loving mother to a beautiful babygirl, I would never ever leave her to cry.. but when you have a 1 year old that refuses to sleep even when they’re tired.. sometimes you don’t have much choice..

If your baby cries when you leave the room like mine does, leave them for a minute or two before you go back in (they might have settled by now) but if not, go back in, say goodnight and try again. When learning how to use controlled crying correctly it said to leave them for 2 minutes, then 5 then 7 then 8 etc… this would be 22 minutes in total and this felt like way too long for me, so I did it for 2 minutes then 3 then 4. This is 9 minutes in total, I felt like this was long enough for my baby to be crying before I tried an alternative option.

The next thing I tried was the “pick up, put down method” this is where you quite literally pick them up, give them a kiss/cuddle, say goodnight and put them back down before leaving the room. I found this method easier emotionally because I could give her a cuddle and tell her I love her etc.. reassuring her that everything is okay. However it is so time consuming and can be quite exhausting.

The third method we tried was “controlled comforting” this is a softer version of controlled crying. You do the same as you do with controlled crying but you comfort them by  touching their face or holding their hand. Do it until they stop crying and then leave the room and try again.

If I’m honest none of them worked perfectly for us, However a combination of the 3 did.. on a good night, Alyssia will settle with no problems whatsoever. But on a bad night, She will cry and stand up in her cot until somebody comes in to get her out again.

I try controlled crying, I let her cry for 1 minute and then I go back in, pick her up (pick me uo method) and lie her down, say goodnight and leave the room. I then leave it 2 minutes, 3, 4, until she either goes off to sleep or I go back in and sit next to her, holding her hand or stroking her face until she settles (controlled comforting). Sometimes all she needs is a cuddle, but occasionally she will get herself in such a state that she won’t settle on her own.

Sleep deprivation is something that all of us mum’s suffer with at some point, however it can actually be very dangerous. It is important to get the right amount of sleep each night in order to be the best mum you can be. Routine is important, it helps you know what you’re doing and it gives your child an extra sense of security. Alyssia knows when it’s bedtime, she has her dinner, she has a bath, we get her pjs on and read a book or watch in the night garden, and then she goes to bed with a warm bottle of milk.

Do you have a bedtime routine?
Have you done sleep training?
What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading,

Zoe x



  1. Susan Wood,
    April 29, 2017 / 3:42 pm

    Hi, Zoe when granddad and me were little mum and dad, (great grandma and great granddad,) always left the landing light on, which was good for us growing up, because it mean’t when we needed to get up in the night, we never had to be afraid (of the bogey man) as some parent scare their kids into staying bed with, which is wrong. .but more than that, it was reassuring ,And it never did us any harm, and we could always go into them if we had nightmares or felt poorly, Which was good too and for parent child bonding, and we grew up alright !

    • Susan Wood,
      April 29, 2017 / 3:44 pm

      Ps love the posts very interesting Zoexxx

    • April 29, 2017 / 4:06 pm

      Alyssia always has a nightlight on at bedtime, she doesn’t like the dark! But she knows she’s never alone.. I was always scared of the dark as a child, I wouldn’t let Alyssia go through that. She’s an only child so doesn’t have anybody to share a room with just yet, bless her! X

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