Baby wont sleep without being help

Lindsay - posted on 03/13/2015 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I have a fourth month old baby who has developed the terrible habit of only sleeping if my husband or I hold him. It used to just be for naps but now he is waking up in the middle of the night and wont go back to sleep unless he is in our arms. My husband literally held him from 3-6 this morning. Is there anything I can do other than just letting him "cry it out"?

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Sarah - posted on 03/13/2015

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It is a controversial topic for sure, I personally found it easier to just let my kids nurse for the few minutes and they'd go back down. Four months seems young to not need to nurse at night, so I' wait at least until nighttime feedings are done. The problem that arises, is that your arms, breast, smell and presence become your child's self soothing tools. Finding a way for your baby to soothe himself can be tricky. Some suck their thumb, a pacifier, twirl their hair, thump their feet or rub a blanket edge in between their fingers. If he is teething, that is stressful and not the time to try to push him to sleep alone. What happens if you send dad into the room to gently pat his back and reassure him and you and your breasts stay out of the picture? Does he just cry or does he settle down?

Dove - posted on 03/13/2015

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For the record... CIO can kill brain cell connections vital to being able to form healthy attachments.

Dove - posted on 03/13/2015

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It's not a terrible habit. This child spent 9 months being held 24/7 and has only been 'on his own' for 4 short months. It is FINE to hold him while he sleeps. All too soon he will grow up on you....

You CAN try setting him down close to sleep, but still awake and see if he will settle in a minute or two. Otherwise... hold the baby and get all of you some sleep. This time WILL pass. ♥

Lindsay - posted on 03/13/2015

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I wish he was sleeping through the night without eating, but my son loves the boobs (he is around 17lbs and 4 months). I'll go in and feed him and he falls back to sleep, but then wakes up 30 minutes later and that is when the crying starts. My son will never say no to the boob, but only nibbles at night. He was waking up every two hours (after an initial 5 hour stretch), but when we hold him he will last 3 or 4 hours.

Sarah - posted on 03/13/2015

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Sleep methods are controversial. From co-sleeping to room sharing to cry it out. You can make yourself crazy with information and lack of sleep. It won't hurt him to try to cry it out. However, does he go all night without eating? If he is crying and crying and it ends up time to eat, then you must go in and pick up the crying baby to feed.

Lindsay - posted on 03/13/2015

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We have tried pretty much everything... swaddling, pacifier, sound machines, etc. Typically he would fall asleep breast feeding and I could put him to bed, but now it just isn't working anymore. My pediatrician would always say "the baby is the boss for the first four months" so I would always hold him during nap times and do whatever it took so he wouldn't cray. I feel like I created a monster though. He is taking a nap right now, on my chest... refuses to sleep in the crib. I think he is definitely teething though, his favorite thing to do now a days is to chew on his fingers.

Sarah - posted on 03/13/2015

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Try to lay him down when he is full from feeding and sleepy but not totally asleep and see if he can settle himself the rest of the way down to sleep. Helping babies learn to self soothe is sometimes hard. Do you use a pacifier? What about if you put him a a bouncy seat and let him doze there and then try to move him? You can let him cry it out. It is hard and 4 months may be a tiny bit young yet. The thing with crying it out is you must commit to not picking baby up. You can go in after ten minutes and pat his back and say, "Shhh, night, night" and leave. Sometimes you going in just fuels the fire. He will eventually tire and fall asleep. However, if you let him cry for an hour, and then go pick him up, you have just taught him to cry for you for an hour.
If it just started, I would not be too quick to try to push him to cry it out. White noise machines help. Does he like to be swaddled? He is still pretty young to be able to settle himself. Could he be teething?

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