4 month old wont sleep unless i hold him

Karissa - posted on 01/03/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Hello. New mom here. I have a 4 month old who use to be a wonderful sleeper up unitl about a month ago.(he use to go to bed at 7, feed at 3 and sleep in til 6 or 7 in is bassinet in my room) He now wont nap and wakes twice to eat at night(which is normal) plus another five times just to be held. He is very hard to get to sleep i have to rock him and he fights me everytime. He has not been able to put himself to sleep since he was a few weeks old except in the car. we also got in the bad habit of him sleeping in my bed with me, We have a bedtime routine, bath-massage-eat-bed. I do not like cry it out method so i am asking for some help on how to get him to sleep better and on his own. Even trying to put him down very very drowsy or basically asleep he will wake in seconds and start crying.He is very content most of the time, He will sit in his chair and watch his mobile or me and be happy, its just the sleep im having isssues with. The time i put him to bed depends on his last nap. usually it is between 7-8:30pm. What am i doing wrong?Thanks!!

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Karissa - posted on 01/04/2013

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I have tried swaddling him but he wiggles so much he has his arms out in two minutes lol. I agree that crying it out is not right, its there only communication and if i dont respond he gets scared, but i dont want to end up with him wanting to be held 24/7 and sleeping in my bed til he is 5. I want him to be able to be independant but still need me. (everyones dream right?) I noticed the last couple days he will fall asleep in his stroller and sleep for quite awhile at naps and bedtime but im in canada and its winter, So basically going up and down my hallway 20 times is my only option. Which is ok because atleast i am getting him to sleep but i dont want him to depend on that either. I heard once that a baby needs to sleep by himself(maybe with a teddy or fav blanky) with no movement, mobiles or pacifiers because when they wake up they need to see and feel the exact same as when they fell asleep that way there not surprised and dont cry out for help. This makes perfect sense but its definately easier said than done. No way would he fall asleep in his crib with no music, comfort, movement or pacifier. Any more ideas to help me reach my goal? thoughts on how much he should be sleeping, how and where would be greatly appreciated!!! thanks

Gwen - posted on 01/03/2013

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Remember, he was INSIDE for 40 weeks, he's only been OUTSIDE for 1/3 of that. This is a big, bright, loud, scary foreign land for newborns. Do you swaddle him before you rock and put him to bed. Lots of babies like to be wrapped up tight. It makes them feel warm and secure, like they were in the womb. I absolutely would not cry-it-out that young. Crying is his survival mechanism. If you don't respond, he has no idea what's going on...that's why he gets frantic and cries harder. He will only be this small for such a short time. Hug him, love him, rock him as much as he wants. Don't expect him to grow up too fast. His eating and sleeping patterns will change constantly over the next year or 2.

Karissa - posted on 01/03/2013

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Yes he is still in my bed. i dont mind rocking him to sleep for naps and at bedtime but the problem is than he expects that when he wakes up in the night. i will put him in his bed(in my room) at bedtime once he is asleep and he will stay there for a max of 3 hours before he cries and wants to be held. i always give in and bring him into my bed because when your half asleep its just easier.

Karissa - posted on 01/03/2013

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i have tried the cry it out method but he wont calm down at all even when i go in to comfort him. I have done it for half hour and he never stops crying for a minute. It just doesnt seem to work,

Dove - posted on 01/03/2013

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I nursed all of mine to sleep at that age. One of them even slept ON me all night, every night until around 5 months old. If you don't mind holding him and/or having him in your bed... I'd say let it be. He won't want to sleep like that forever.

Ariana - posted on 01/03/2013

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If he was 8 months or older I'd say the crying out method but at 4 months he's not developmentally old enough to realize that when you go away you come back. If he's still like this at 8 months old he'd definitely be old enough to use the cry it out method though.

You said he's in the habit of sleeping in bed with you does he still do that? Is he in bed with you now or have you cut that off and are having him sleep on his own now?

If you get him to the point of being very drowsy but try to put him down and he wakes up can you sit there and just keep your hand on his head or pat him and just be there with him until he goes to sleep without picking him up? That way he knows you are still with him but that you've already rocked him and are just going to stay until he goes to sleep. You should only do this once you're ready to have him crying because if you start to do that but then feel guilty and pick him up after he's screamed for a certain amount of time he'll just scream even louder and longer if you go to do it again, so make sure you're willing to sit with him until he falls asleep without picking him up no matter if he cries. This is different then letting him 'cry it out' by himself since you'd be right there comforting him, just not picking him up.

That being said my son was the same and I pretty much would just hold onto him and let him sleep in my bed all the time, you should do whatever you think is right, but are you willing to be awoken 5 times a night?

Holly - posted on 01/03/2013

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don't forget soothing music and keep the room dark, maybe not pitch black, have a night light, but keep it pretty dark

Holly - posted on 01/03/2013

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try the "cry it out method" put him in bed tell him good night and let him cry for about 2 minutes, go back to check no him, make sure he is not hurt, or dirty, let him cry for about 2 more minutes, go back and check on him, making sure he is not hurt or dirty again, this time make it closer to 5 minutes between checking, this time not saying anything. progress to 7 minutes between checking, then 10, i promise you he will be asleep...

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