Desperate for Sleep Help

Rachel - posted on 03/13/2011 ( 24 moms have responded )

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Somebody please please PLEASE help me out on this one cause I dunno what it is that I'm doing wrong. We have our 5 month old on a sleep schedule the best we can. We start shutting the house down around 7:45, right now she doesn't really "play" so we give her a bath every other night, I feed her to sleep and she's asleep by around 10 (ideally). Probably 3 out of 7 days. The other days she is just waaaay too awake and fussy and wont sleep. I don't let her nap after 5pm. If I put her in the crib when she's not asleep she'll scream for hours (I'm not exaggerating) before my husband or I eventually go and get her, which leaves us walking around with her or feeding her in our bed. I need something that works, because as it is she decides when we go to sleep and sometimes that isn't until 3am.

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Paige - posted on 03/21/2011

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A bath every night...my son wouldn't calm down enough to sleep, then I stayed with my aunt for a weekend and she insisted I give him a bath at 8PM. He went right down and slept through the night for the first time. You have to find something that makes the baby calm: bath, bottle, white noise, rum (just joking). Once she's calm, then work on the sleep. Also, maybe try Tylenol; she might be teething and you don't know it.

Julia - posted on 03/21/2011

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Every night, I start Addie with dinner @ like 6:30PM. Veggies or fruit, then cereal. Since she is learning to eat, this usually requires a bath afterward. I use Johnson & Johnson's Lavender Soothing Bedtime Bath and J&J Lavendar Shampoo. I turn the lights down and give her a nice warm (100 degrees or so) bath. I get the baby tub nice and bubbly and let her play & soak after I wash her up. Then its upstairs to her room, lights dimmed again and I give her a mini-massage with the J&J Bedtime Lotion. We get the PJs on, put her lullaby on (try Golden Slumbers A Father's Lullaby or Moonlight Lullabies @ Target, Addie's favorites), I get her a blanket and I rock her to sleep with a 4-6 oz bottle. She is usually asleep by 8-8:30pm. She wakes up anywhere between 5-7:30 AM, depending on the prior days activities. She takes about 2 naps they can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. It really depends on her. But I do this every night. Some people don't agree on bathing their babies every night, but I have come to realize that routine is what works in our house. I have read parts of the book "Happiest Baby on the block" and some of that works too. When she is fussy or not feeling so hot, I stand or sitting in the rocking chair, holding her with her belly agains mine and do the 5 S's: Swaddeling, Side (she's facing me, belly to belly/chest), sway/swing, suck, & shhhh. She usually calms down right away and stares at me. It's kinda cool. But routine is the thing that has worked for us. Addie usually sleeps all night, unless she soaks her diaper! Then she's up and you know she is mad! But, after we change her, she's back to sleep rather quickly. Good Luck!!!

Jennifer - posted on 03/16/2011

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The Sleep Book by Dr. Sears is a good resource too.
My first kid had terrible sleep habits too and she turned out to be advanced. Advanced kids need less sleep which is supremely frustrating. It may be the case with your little one too. Overtired is another thought that someone mentioned. That can sometimes keep them up. Do you have a swing? Maybe she just needs some motion to help her fall asleep.
Sorry my advice is all over the place but with sleep issues, it's so hard to see the whole picture.
Good luck!

Shante - posted on 03/15/2011

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I just went to a seminar on sleep last night....the director had several thoughts....but first of all she said she never condones letting a baby cry for hours w/out the parent going in to calm them down.
I would try putting her to bed earlier...how late does she sleep in the morning? It sounds like she is over-tired and that is why she is screaming. My 4 and a half month old goes to bed between 7 and 8. Granted he still gets up to feed around 2am but he eats and goes right back to sleep until 6am when we are getting ready to go to work and the baby sitter.
We feed my son around 7, let him sit up and 'play' (basically us singing and talking to him) for about another 15-30mins and then we take him in his room, swaddle him, give him his paci and turn on his crib toy with white noise and then leave him...most nights he falls asleep, some nights he needs us to come back and pat him on the belly or rock him a bit, but we never get him out of his crib.
The lady at the seminar said it needs to be a gradual process based on what your child is doing. Her theory is that when a baby falls asleep while nursing or being held that when the baby wakes up it is confused and upset that it is somewhere different than where it fell asleep....so to avoid that for a few nights you need to be there when the baby wakes up...so sleep on a mattress on the floor or something. She also said that whoever is the prominent parent that cares for the baby at night (maybe you since you are nursing) then the other parent should be the person to take charge when trying to get them to sleep through the night because there isnt as much level of expectation of the 'other' parent. So if you usually go in and take care of her when she cries at night, then maybe try having your husband do it for a few days in a row, you staying out of the picture since she wont know what to expect from your husband, but from you she knows you will nurse or rock her or something.
She also said that in the 'cry it out method' you should always go back in and check on your child every 5 or 10 mins to reassure them that you are still around and still love them.
Sorry this is kinda long, but I was so excited about some of her theories and suggestions....hope at least some of it helps...good luck!!!!!

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Amanda - posted on 04/21/2011

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if she takes a bottle add cereal to her bottle.my baby colt sleeps really good now.and give her gas drops that will help or she could need some ranitidine. it's for heart burn.

Amanda - posted on 04/01/2011

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I have been wrapping my daughter since birth whenever she is sleeping I also have white noise in the background all night and she was sleeping right though from 2 months of age. I have also suggested the same to other friends with the same problem and it worked for them too. Just trial the static on a radio first before buying anything. Also if your baby likes escaping from their wrap during the night try using a top sheet as you can tuck it around better and they shouldnt be able to get their little arms out.

Pamela - posted on 03/26/2011

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Maybe she has a burp thats stuck and needs more back patting or a diaper or just wants some 'hold me mommy' loving. When my Amanda cries it is one of those things or wants even more food or just pacifier.

Ana - posted on 03/24/2011

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I've tryed the no cry method and that didn't work i am now using the cry it out method sort of. I go in every 5 to 10 mintes to soothe them its now been 3 days and my daughter goes down almost right away. But my son still needs a bit more work. I do the rythmic pathing on his chest and that helps. Remember don't pick them up. Also they sleep on a pillow. Because they were premature and had to be propt up because of there reflex they now can't sleep with out it. But to be safe I put it under the sheets.

Liz - posted on 03/22/2011

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The book save our sleep by tizzie hall i think helped me with my first child and has great tips, i cant do controlled crying technique and hate having the baby cry. the book also suggests routines but the techniques definately helped me

MOMMBY Mom - posted on 03/22/2011

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Please refer to the following articles for some sleep tips: http://mommby.com/Sleep/Infants_Toddlers... http://mommby.com/Sleep/Infants_Toddlers... may actually be too tired and that is why it is harder to get her to sleep. My daughter when she was 2 months old started to want to go to sleep around 7PM and still prefers to go to sleep between 7and 8PM. She still may take a short nap around 5PM or so and then still be ready for bed by 7PM. I would try doing a bath every night to establish a routine that after the bath you turn down the lights, turn on soft music, she eats again and then you comfort her to sleep.

Good luck! Helping your baby learn to sleep is an important job and one that may take awhile.

Rachel - posted on 03/21/2011

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Thanks!
I wonder why that is? I can understand falling back...but was shocked at what it feels like springing forward did...ugh! lol

Julia - posted on 03/21/2011

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I have heard from a few moms that the Spring time change does screw up their babies sleeping schedule. I was told it could take a month or more for them to get back into the regular routine. Good Luck!!!

Ashley - posted on 03/21/2011

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My little guy is 5 month old now too.. and he is asleep usually by 8:30-9pm. I find he still needs a little sleep every 2 hours or so. I let him have a little at around 6 or 6:30pm, because I find if I try to keep him awake until "bed time" he just gets overtired and fussy!
8pm is bath time and by 9pm he is out until about 2 or 3am. My man wont fall alseep on his own yet.. unforuntaly he still has to be bounced until sleeping than transfered to crib. Alot of "shhhhusshhing".. is involed too! (we have the bathroom fan running aswell.. he likes the constant hum)
May not be the most ideal .. but its what works for now. They are still babies and can't be expected to know how to "sleep like a big kid" yet lol
I know how frustrated lack of sleep can be though!!
Hope some of theses tips help..

Rachel - posted on 03/21/2011

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Ugh! The million dollar question...why won't my baby go to sleep and just stay asleep...we are struggling with that ourselves with our 5 month old.

She was sleeping good till the Spring forward time change and now...I am having issues on what to do also.

I recommend checking out this site for helpful info also
http://www.babysleepsite.com/how-we-slee...

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"The No-Cry Sleep Solution" :) I tried it too late, in my opinion, w/ my 1st daughter (8 mos) I had been nursing her into a coma & THEN putting her down. Didn't want her to CIO & didn't know about "putting them down when they are sleepy" *sigh* So I am re-reading this book with daughter #2. Lots of emphasis on a routine so that baby has those cues everytime to know "oh it's time for sleep". She also goes into detail about adult vs baby sleep patterns, has you do a sleep journal to get a better fix on what the issues may be. She also covers all situations pretty well-whether you are co-sleeping/crib sleeping, breastfeeding/bottle feeding etc. Sleep deprived babies are not happy babies! Check it out :) Good luck mama!

Elisha - posted on 03/18/2011

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wow my kids go to bed around 6.30pm! I agree with Sebrina and would suggest winding down alot earlier, and not letting her nap past 4pm.
My son is 5mths. he gets changed, fed, burped and tucked into bed wide awake, a kiss for him and a gorgeous gummy grin for mum, then I wind up his mobile, shut the curtains, say goodnight and leave the room.
He goes to sleep by himself and wakes up for a quick nurse in my bed around 4-6am then sleeps back in his own bed til 8 or 9am :)

Sebrina - posted on 03/17/2011

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In my opinion I suggest using the swaddling and maybe a soft lullaby music to distract and calm baby. I never would do the cry it out method. BUT baby should be going down around 8 pm not 10 or eleven. I would suggest starting your bed time routine and doing to very religiously a little earlier every night. I think baby is just too tired to really be calm and cozy.

Allysha - posted on 03/17/2011

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well im on baby #3 and not one of my children slept good. my 5 month old sleeps terrible. he goes to bed around 8-9 and wakes 3, 4, 5 times sometimes more. i tried everything. he will sleep in my arms or my bed but i dont want that i made that mistake with my other 2 since i just wanted sleep. lol i wish you the best

Rachel - posted on 03/16/2011

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We have a swing, I just really want her to be able to sleep without it because she's going to outgrow it soon and then we'll have other issues

Rachel - posted on 03/16/2011

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She goes to bed anywhere from 9:30-11, depending on how fussy she is. She'll wake up once or twice to eat, and is then up for the day 7am. I try to get my husband to take care of her when she wakes up (at least bring her to me so I can feed her) but he gets up at 5:30 for work and is prone to crankiness if he doesn't get sleep.
I'm going to try getting her to bed sooner, and see if she's changed her mind about swaddling.

Silvi - posted on 03/15/2011

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Secrets of the baby whisperer- book by Michelle Hogg. It's very similar to the things Shante stated. (Keep in mind, some of the things in this book are crazy in my opinion- i tried some of her advice, but some of the things she states are ridiculous too.)

We started a good sleep routine- As soon as she starts the first or 2nd yawn, we take her to her room, read her a story, swaddle her in her blanket and put her down. And for us now, she goes down that easy. To get to that stage it took about 2 days of catching the first yawns, trying to read a book -if she got fussy we stopped. Swaddled her in her blanket (this part was especially important for us because she would start crying and swinging her arms- it would work her up more). I would make sure she was calm and not crying and then lay her in bed. If she cried in bed, I would try to pat her in a rhythmic heart beat motion. If that didn't work, I would pick her up until she stopped crying and then put her down again. The first time I tried this, I must have put her down and picked her up 30 times (or at least it felt that way) before she went down peacefully and went to sleep. But each time I did it, it took less work. And now, there are no tears most days to go down to sleep. Good luck with everything. Lack of sleep has been my biggest adjustment as a new mom; every bad night makes for a hard next day!-

Silvi - posted on 03/14/2011

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The baby whisperer method has worked for me. The first day it was hard, then after that it went smoothly. She doesn't always sleep through the night yet, but I'm not fighting to get her down anymore. I had got her in to a terribly bad habit of feeding to sleep and the moment I would put her in bed she'd cry. I didn't mind feeding her to sleep if she would go down to bed after that; but not being able to put her down was causing too much of a strain on me.

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