Bedtime Help

Renae - posted on 12/30/2008 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Grace turned 8 months on Dec. 17th. Bedtime has been a struggle from day one, and continues to be. For the first 5 weeks I spent every night in the recliner with Grace, she would wake up immediately when she was put down, no matter where we put her. We were finally able to get her to sleep in her crib, but only if we rocked her to sleep. In the beginning, we would have to rock her for at least 20-30 minutes. We still have to rock her to sleep, but usually only takes about 5 minutes. However, that is after she finally relaxes. Now, she often fights bedtime even though she is tired and ready for bed. When we put her down, she sleeps through the night 10-11 hours, but I am concerned that she is not learning to fall asleep in her crib on her own. We have tried several things, but have not been successful. Any suggestions?

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I certainly feel for you. My son likes his sleep - he will fuss, but I've rarely had to comfort him to get him to go to sleep. I was trying CIO for a little bit with my son when he was younger and was having a bit of a sleep regression, but he didn't respond well either at first. It's a process that you just have to be very disciplined about. I know some people think it's inhumane, but if you follow the routine, it isn't really. I don't think that it's damaging for a baby to cry for 10-15 minutes. I don't leave my son for even 2 minutes if he escalates to the point of screaming or if he's standing up in his crib. Those are signs to me that he's just not ready to go down. Here's a site that might help: http://www.askbaby.com/baby-sleep-traini... and though I haven't had to do it myself, I do have a friend who swears by Ferber: http://www.amazon.com/Solve-Your-Childs-...

good luck!

Colleen - posted on 01/02/2009

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I tried a different method last night that I had heard of. It was pitiful to watch, but I think it did work for a good chunk of the night. I rocked him just to snuggle and then put him down awake and sat in the rocker. He would get up and cried and look at me sadly for about 30 minutes, but when I left he started crying really hard but only for ten minutes and then fell asleep. I think if I just shorten the time we are in there each night, that shoudl help? I don't know. It worked from 8 until 2:30 and then he woke up from teething. But then he went right back after I fed him until 7 am. So I will give it a try again tonight!



BTW, I agree with Asleigh! My three year old has the same routine! She has been a terrible sleeper from the get go...now with the big girl bed I have to lay with her to go to sleep. But she is good and usually sleeps through the night, but getting her down is still a challenge!

Sandy - posted on 01/02/2009

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Renae..It is difficult to hear them crying for any amount of time..It is important to remain consistent and then they will get the hang of falling asleep on their own...Elijah fusses when I lay him in the crib, unless he is exhausted, but he settles right in after a minute or two. Good luck to you!

Renae - posted on 01/01/2009

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Thanks Emilie. This helps me. Everyone I have talked to who let their babies "cry it out" told me their child would fuss to sleep or just cry for a few minutes. It was difficult for me because they just weren't understanding that Gracie doesn't just fuss or cry for a little while. She throws a huge fit and doesn't calm down. I haven't tried more than 20 minutes because I thought I was letting her cry too long. Your situation sounds a lot more similar to mine. I think you've given me the courage to let her cry longer. Thank you for your post.

Emilie - posted on 01/01/2009

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We had this same struggle. Stella will be nine months on the 14th. She is our first and I work full time. We got in to the habit of holding her until she fell asleep. Then once she was fully sleeping we would put her in her crib. Wow!! Now that routine is starting to get REALLY old. I still love that cuddle time with her at night but my hubby and I decided we really needed to make some changes with the night time routine. THIS IS BY FAR THE HARDEST PART. You have to let them cry! A friend of mine is a nanny and has been through 3 families in the last 15 years. She says this is a must! But it WILL break your heart and if you have another half, it will literally anger him. Stella lasted 3 days with the crying fits for over an hour. The minute we put her in her crib she crys. But the crying is down to about a minute and then she lays there and kinda talks to herself until she falls asleep. My husband put ear plugs in so that he could sleep during those first couple of days. I could not do this (worried about not hearing if something was wrong). But it really only took a couple of stressful nights and she is falling in to a pretty decent pattern. From everyone I have talked to...the sooner you start this the better. I hope I do better with the next one and start this sooner! Hope this helps!

Ashleigh - posted on 01/01/2009

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With my first son who is now six, I used to feed him on demand, and rock him to sleep, and let me tell you, I still struggle with him today, and he will be 7 in May. Every night I have to tell him a story, and sing him a song before lights out, it has only been recently that he goes to sleep by himself. At least until he was 5 I had to sing to him until he was asleep, and if he woke and saw I was not there, he would shout out for me, and I had to put him to sleep like this again. Now with my daughter, I thought I would try it differently, and from day one I put her down, and let her fall asleep on her own. She is now a week away from 9 months old, and has been sleeping through from 6.30 to 7 the next day. I did follow a routine with her, which made the world of difference, but never struggled with her sleeping. Sorry, I'm not sure if this helps, but like a few of the other mums say, I think it's worth leaving your baby for a while, and keep checking in on her, until she realises she's tired on her own, and eventually falls asleep. I wish I had done this with my 6 year old earlier, as he still calls in the night at times, and is really not a good sleeper. Good luck though, it can be very hard to leave your baby to cry, and cause anxiety for the mother. I have been there. But the older they get, the more difficult they become to learn new things!

Amanda - posted on 12/31/2008

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Both my girls have been really good I guess! Rocking never worked for her cause she would wake up when you put her down. But early on I figured out if you just put her in her crib when she's tired she would go to sleep. The first couple times they may fuss but just check on them every few minutes and they'll probably go to sleep! And I've done that since day 1 with my second and pretty early on with my first! Hope that helps!

Sandy - posted on 12/31/2008

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Elijah is excellent and so easy to put down for bed or naps. One day, I let him fuss it out for about ten minutes, checking on him every few minutes. Now we just lay him in the crib, he rolls to his side, and to sleep he goes. However, I have noticed he sleeps better with the light on. He does still get up at night to nurse a few times, but he isnt up for long. Sometimes I swear he just wants to make sure his "nanas" are still available to him! : )

Renae - posted on 12/31/2008

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I have tried both music and "white noise". We have stuffed lamb that hangs on the outside of the crib and plays rain, ocean, etc. sounds. We've also tried playing soft calming music. We no longer play the music, but always turn on the white noise toy while she falls asleep. So many people tell me that I need to just let her cry, but it just doesn't work for her. She just cries harder and harder the longer I leave her. Then I spend 20-30 minutes calming her down before we can try and go to sleep again. I don't mind rocking her to sleep, it's kind of our snuggle time every night. I'm just worried that I'm creating a bad habit and that she won't be able to fall asleep on her own as she gets older. Maybe I'm just being an overly concerned first time mom.

Heather - posted on 12/31/2008

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honey I wish I could help...however, ever since I put Jacob (9 months) in his crib he went to sleep all my himself. But within the last two weeks has learned that once mommy and daddy say goodnight and he goes in his crib...play time is over. And cries and throws a fit til we go in and sit with him. Just today I found a fake fish tank that hangs on the wall and lights up so tonight we tried it and it worked. I am completely against bottles for bed and toys in bed but this seemed to work. Also have you tried calming music when he was smaller we played nature sounds and he was asleep quick til he began to associate that music with sleep.

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