My son is 12 months old & cries in his sleep every night, he doesn't fully wake up, just cries, it happens maybe every hour some times maybe even half an hour and he basically does bed aerobics...he has slept during the day before for a solid 3-4 however hours without any crying it's only at night that he is super restless...this has been ongoing since birth. We have tried every thing, late night feeds, bed time routine, sleeping in a cot, co-sleeping, keeping him up longer during the day...his sleeping behaviour has always stayed the same, Has anyone else had this problem and do you have any tips as I am exhausted, thanks in advance!
Try using a weighted blanket (a duvet cover with a matrix of plastic beads sewn into it) - we used one on our child when she was having night terrors and it helped. It gave her the feeling of "being held", alternatively she may have melatonin issues, but you need to see a doctor to get assistance with this.
At around that age my wife stopped feeding our daughter at night, because neither of them were getting enough sleep. We tried to stick to no feeding between 10pm and 6am.
I stayed with her to try and soothe her and she was very sad for the first few nights and eventually she started settling more easily after her last feed around 10pm. She would wake in the middle of the night and I would put her in a sling and walk around the house in the dark to re-settle her. Had a few long nights but things did gradually improve! I offered water during the night when she woke up.
Good luck and hope you find a solution that works for you!
Simon's weighted blanket is a good idea. They aren't heavy, they just add a comforting pressure without a lot of added heat. Also, your pediatrician may have ideas or booklets on sleep and the library certainly has some great books about sleeping. At four my kid survived a car accident and her parents were killed. She had night terrors and we found that very low soothing sounds worked for her. In her case we used rain, but I have a friend who had success with instrumental music for her child's fretful sleep. This is an idea, I am not a sleep expert.