Please help Tried it all: my 7 almost 8 month old will not sleep! Any suggestions?

Anna - posted on 07/29/2012 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My daughter is almost 8 months old. She used to sleep through the night 7 to 7 until about 5 months old...since it has been an absolute nightmare. She now maybe gets 9 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. I have tried cry it out, I have tried pick up put down, I have tried rocking her to sleep and laying her down after she's asleep and just before she falls asleep. She is laid down at the same times everyday and everyday same results. She screams until hyperventilating or passing out into a light sleep that she moans through. When she is asleep light sounds wake her from even two rooms away. She is on acid reflux medicine, since 3 months old. She takes Tylenol and ib profen for teething and I brush her gums with the teething brush........what else can I do. She is exhausted all day and cranky rubbing her eyes...and I am cranky to at this point. I have increased her food intake, introduced rice and baby food over a month ago....I am at a loss and I am sooo upset, how am I failing please help ! :(

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Sally - posted on 07/31/2012

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ANYONE who tells you you will spoil a baby by letting it sleep with you or that your should EVER "just let it scream" is NOT someone you should EVER take parenting advice form. That includes doctors, spouses, and parents.
Historically, babies sleeping alone is a brand shiny new fad that is only practiced in a very small part of the world (and the rest of the world thinks we're nuts for it). It was designed to place the parent's wants ahead of the child's needs and was promoted as a way to "protect the marital relationship", "promote healthy sleep", and "foster independent children". A few generations later, fewer marriages work out and in every study ever done babies who sleep with their moms are more independent and sleep better when they grow up. Moms who sleep with their babies also almost always get much more rest too. We also now know that letting babies cry without soothing them does very bad things to their hormones and brains that have life-long consequences. People will tell you "I let my kids cry and they turned out fine." Because so many well-meaning, but ignorant parents believed the same hype, there are too few normal children for the general public to realize how untrue that statement is.

Melina - posted on 07/30/2012

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I can't tell you about anything you haven't tried, but I can tell you it will pass! It could be her teeth bothering her, or it could be that her reflux medicine needs increasing, as they do get a bit immune to it & it is dosed according to weight. Even though she may not be getting enough sleep at the moment, it will change eventually (if only we knew when!). While this is going on, please take care of yourself, keep telling yourself you are doing all you can, & give her all the love you can. It could also be that now she is a bit older, she doesn't need as much sleep.

Gwen - posted on 07/30/2012

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If my pcp told me to let my infant "scream until it worked" I would walk out of that office and never go back. That is cruel and downright nuts! I agree with the others. Some babies need more cuddling and reassurance than others. You are NOT spoiling a baby by responding to its needs. Last time I checked, that was called parenting. Trust your instincts and do what you need to do to get everyone some rest.

Stephanie - posted on 07/31/2012

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We co-sleep over here too. I'm not going to mention much about that since several others have. I did have one additional thought. Did her sleep problems start about the same time or shortly after you started her on solid foods? She could have a food allergy. Food allergies run in my family. My poor son had a wheat allergy and it took me forever to figure it out, but once I did life got better. Food allergies don't always show up in the form of a rash, they bring discomfort, tummy trouble or even an itching sensation. Wanted to share just in case. Hope things get better soon.

Molly - posted on 07/31/2012

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I haven't read everyone else's responses, but I will add this: Your situation sounds very normal. It is very common for babies to start to sleep for long stretches when they are younger and around 4-7 months, when they wake up more to the world, they will wake more at night. (The Baby Sleep Site says that around 4 months is when most clients come to her.) I went crazy trying to find the right way to help my baby sleep until I finally had a break down. The solution I came to is to find people and literature that supported what felt right to me and to stop reading what caused me conflict. In the end that meant accepting my dd's night waking. When I did this (it took a few weeks/months) I actually stopped feeling so tried! It was like magic. I don't know if the stress was wearing me out or what, but I honestly do not feel all that tired. That doesn't mean I'm the same as before having a baby, but that I feel generally rested. At 12mo she she still wakes 4-5 times, I bf her 2-3 and the other times she's goes back down right away when she has been reassured that I'm there for her. We co-sleep and bed share between two matresses on the floor beside each other. I swap back and forth. I did have to figure out how to co-sleep it wasn't just oh, we'll sleep together and it will be lovely. It took a while (and reading and talking to others) to find out what worked for us & I'm still reading. But mostly I feel at peace with myself, which is a HUGE relief and allows me to enjoy my dd at this precious time and also myself as a mom! best of luck to you in your journey.

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The OP, If i were you i would take her off the pain meds for teething and give her some camomile tea at bedtime. It will help relax her and help with teething. Its a natural remedy with no side effects. The pain meds may be interfering with her sleep. Maybe co-sleeping will help her. She might have a bit of separation anxiety (that is perfectly normal for all children to go through, its part of our primal instincts) You being there will ease her anxiety and help her sleep.

[deleted account]

While co-sleeping, I agree, is not spoiling the child, it is not a safe measure and it can lead to many sleeping problems later.

Know your facts, co -sleeping when practiced correctly is safer than having a baby sleep in a crib. It does not lead to sleep problems later in life, I co-slept with my 2 year old and she decided when she was ready to go sleep in her own bed. She sleeps from 8pm until 8 am. Studys suggest co-sleeping not only helps children get more restful sleep, but also reap the benefits of a strong emotional bond with their parent(s).

PLENTY of evidence shows the dangers of CIO. Just because YOU didnt have any negative effects doesn't mean they don't exist. I know people who did cocaine and drank while pregnant. Their kids are healthy...by your logic it must mean its safe to do while pregnant. Rightt?

Pamela - posted on 08/02/2012

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Have you tried warm baths and a baby body massage right before bedtime? Check your local library for books that teach baby body massage which parents can do.

You may also ant to try Rescue Remedy which is a Bach Flower Remedy available at health food stores. One drop before sleep will help relieve her stress....the same for you as you seem stressed about the problem as well.

Jessica - posted on 08/02/2012

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While co-sleeping, I agree, is not spoiling the child, it is not a safe measure and it can lead to many sleeping problems later. Either take a bassinet next to your bed, or the pack-n-play. crying it out has not been proven to cause problems. People will say that it lowers IQ, causes anxiety, etc. Please explain this to me then... I am the youngest of 5 children, all of which were allowed to cry it out to learn to calm and get ourselves to sleep. None of us have any attachment issues, anxiety disorders, not to mention that 3 of us have IQs of genius levels. If this is the case, then I would like to see what our IQs would have been had we not had to cry it out!

It just doesn't make sense. Do what you need to do to get through it, but people should not judge a doctor or another parent just because they tell you that it's a phase and to let them cry it out. It IS a phase and they WILL get over it. If it wasn't a phase, don't you think that this would have been going on from the start, rather than you having 8 months of sleeping bliss? Just some food for thought

Alexandra - posted on 08/01/2012

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There are some "cribs" that you can put near your bed, and you can touch your baby many times. I, personally, would not co-sleep with fear of hurting the baby. (which happens everyday somewhere, by the way).
I would definitely go to the doctor. It just seems that there is somethign else going on other than just withdrawal from you.

Missie - posted on 07/31/2012

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be careful with co sleeping. A friend lost her nine month old when she got caught under a pillow and smothered. Try bringing a travel crib very close to your bed so that you can touch your baby, but with no chance of asphixiation

Laura - posted on 07/31/2012

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I went through a similar thing with my little girl when she as around that age. I took her to the doctor to get checked out and to ask for some advice. When I nearly burst into tears when the doctor told me she was fine and it would pass, he prescribed a slight sedative for us to use for a week or two. She had it just before bedtime and it worked a treat. It got her back into her old sleep pattern and we've never had a problem with her sleeping since!

Jane - posted on 07/30/2012

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I know all children are different which is sometimes a good thing. With my little boy who is 8 now, hated being on his own at night from a early age, i was told to let him cry out which upset me and couldnt cope with that because that made me worse thinking i was the one being wrong, a friend suggested to us a warming teddy this goes in a microwave for 2 mins or less to warm the bed up so while i was hugging him to gradually get him to sleep, so it didnt go cold when i put him in his cot the teddy had warmed the bed but kept him warm so not to feel alone, our children are put here to try us and they do and still do when they are older but although things are abit upside down for you as the days past to months you will be sitting there wondering why you were panicing but will know how to deal with your next child should there be one, Hope all goes well and this helps and you enjoy your daughter

Ann - posted on 07/30/2012

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Does your child have an ear infection? Ear infections make sleeping difficult. If you don't like the advice a pediatrician gives you, remember that you can always find a new one :)

Hella - posted on 07/30/2012

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It could be anything. My son was a terrible teether, and the only thing what has helped that I slept with him. It solved every single sleeping problem. Don't let her cry out. Babies cry, because something is bothering them. Just keep her calm, feed her, give her some homeopathic teething relief and snuggle up with her in your bed. See if it's help. :)

Emily - posted on 07/29/2012

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You will NOT spoil her by co-sleeping. This is how babies have slept for milenium, and how all mammal babies sleep. She spent 9 months co-sleeping in the womb.. it is what she's designed to expect. No offense to your husband and the others, but they're just wrong. :) Babies have a need for closeness that is just as strong as their need for food, safety, etc. Letting babies alone to cry has been shown to increase babies' stress hormones and in extreme cases, even can cause long-term anxiety and attachment problems. :( Co-sleeping allows babies to feel safe and secure. When this need is met, they are able to develop normally.

I learned this the hard way.. with my first baby I did all the things other people told me I was "supposed" to do, like cry-it-out. I ended up with a baby who was clingy and sad.. I stopped that immediately. When we started co-sleeping, things were so much different. With my second, I co-slept from the start and she has been the easiest baby.. she was able to go to her own bed at 18 months and hasn't had any sleep problems.

A really great book to read on this is The Contiuum Concept.. another is Our Babies, Ourselves. The first one is a bit dated, but still the concept is the same. Really forced me to recognize how much of my sleep assumptions were based on Western society constructs, not based on babies' real needs. Good luck!

Anna - posted on 07/29/2012

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Co sleeping is the only way she will sleep. My pcp scolded me, and so have friends and family. My husband has two kids from a prior marriage that he claims never had this problem I have spoiled her they all say. My pcp acctually told me to let her scream until it worked......it's hardest for naps bc I have the other two kids and can't lay down with her. She only gets the pain medicine as needed.

Emily - posted on 07/29/2012

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Have you tried co-sleeping? My guess is she just needs you. Babies weren't meant to lie there alone. It's scary and they don't understand that you're just a room away. Don't ignore her crying.. she is doing it because she is trying to communicate with you. Get a good baby carrier like a babyhawk and hold her more. This will help with the reflux too since she'll be upright. Let her sleep near you. How often is she taking pain medicine? Shouldn't be an everyday thing.

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