I'm desperate for help! My baby will not sleep :(

Samantha - posted on 09/11/2012 ( 14 moms have responded )

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So I am a first time parent with a beautiful 4 month old daughter and I feel like I have exhausted every resource on trying to get my baby to sleep..but I'm mentally and physically exhausted from lack of sleep that I feel like I'm about to have a break down lol. Ever since she was born, Issie has slept through the night, seeming like she had her own routine and wanting to go to bed at around 8:30/9:00 until about 2 weeks ago. She'll take about 3 naps a day lasting for about 30 minutes a piece and then when I try to get her to sleep now, she'll take a nap at 8:30 and then be up til1 or 2 in the morning. When she finally falls asleep she's really restless. She'll start kicking her legs, whimpering, rubbing her eyes, scratching her head and just all around fussy after she's been asleep for an hour. She'll do this literally every 4-5 minutes for hours. The only way she seems to sleep semi comfortably is if my breast is in her mouth..which sounds awkward but it makes her happy. I've tried rice cereal before bed, starting her on a routine, waking her up early and a million other things, I just don't know what to do anymore. I don't feel like this is healthy for her...someone please help me..I would greatly appreciate it!! Thanks :)

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Andrea - posted on 09/16/2012

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We use the no cry sleep solution.

At the moment my youngest is 8 months old and waking every 30 to 50 minutes which he has been doing for months. Sounds like the system is a bunk but I has helped soo much! We are getting to the stage where I can put him down in his cot and just rest my hand on him and he will go to sleep which is a big improvement over having to cuddle and rock him to sleep for hours on end which we were doing at 4 months. On top of that rather than having to sit with him for up to 1/2 an hour for each wakeup during the night (meaning that I would get about 20 to 40 minutes sleep for each of his cycles) I can now go in sit for max of 5 minutes usually and he will be dead to the world and some nights he will stretch his cycles out to 2 1/2 hours (OK so that has happened once but it gives me hope) - point being is that it's a gentle system that works, we used it with my daughter when she was a baby and within 4 months she went from similar behaviour to my son to waking once a night for a feed and resettling like a dream, and as for putting her down, we walk in, pop he in the cot cover her up, say night night and walk out (kisses and cuddles are done before hand). AWESOME

Belinda - posted on 09/13/2012

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There are some great suggestions here! Consider this though, It sounds like she isn't getting enough sleep during the day. Average day sleep for a 4 month old is 4-5 hours over 3 naps until about 6 months of age.A child's sleep cycle is 45 minutes, anything less than that is a catnap and is not restful for your baby. Although she may look rested and completely awake. IS her room nice and dark? have you tried white noise? What happens if you leave her in her crib or try to extend her naps, patting her and using your voice to soothe her? Another important point was brought up in an earlier post, put her down to sleep drowsy but awake, this is key.



This is also a time of great change in her little brain and body, sleep tends to be disastrous for a while, it should get better. Make sure she is drinking enough during the day, giving them cereal to sleep at night to make them sleep better really is a myth, go to your doc and make extra sure that she doesn't have reflux as this can mess up sleep considerably, even if she doesn't cry but if she spits up alot the chances are she has reflux. Also consider using the paci if you need a break!

Sarah - posted on 09/11/2012

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Have you checked in her mouth to see if she might be teething? It is early, but two of my kids were getting their first teeth around that age. See if something cold to suck on might help (a wet rag or pacifire put in the freezer). There are also teething tablets or oragel you can use to help. Another thing to try is to swaddle her. My second child was born in August and would always kick the blankets off or wiggle out when we would swaddle her. Then at about 2 months old (october) she started waking up every 1/2 hour around the clock.....I was trying about everything you could think of. My sister-in-law suggested swaddling. I figured since she did not like it the first time that one was already out, but I was out of ideas so figured why not try it again. BINGO>>>>it worked, I think it was just too hot for her to be swaddled in August, but as the temps. cooled it felt more comfortable for her. She liked to have her arms free, so I left them out of the swaddle. She started to sleep 3 hrs at a time.....which was an improvement since prior to the every 1/2 hr. she was eating every hour around the clock!!

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Lindsay - posted on 09/17/2012

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The Complete Sleep Guide for Contented Babies & Toddlers! We just took out of it what we agreed with & it worked wonders. :)

Michelle - posted on 09/16/2012

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That sounds exactly like my now 6 year son . I think we had to do the breast thing for almost a year until I had enough.What we did was first check with the doctor to rule out any sleep problems or conditions. (never got any help but still check) then we adjusted the nap. I'd start with a record of her sleep. how long, how frequent, and any fussiness you deal with.With my son we found that he could not sleep after 3pm for any reason and that 30 to 45min for 1 nap was all he could do without there being a problem.We had moments where it was next to impossible to keep him up but it's easier to deal if you have a game plan and a good book for long nights.We also found that he wasn't sleeping because he most likely had to burp.Poor guy had the worst time burping after a feeding. You may have trouble still but it's important get a sleep routine. My rule was after bath time our bodies stop even if we can't sleep. Spout goodnight show would go on and we cuddle until 11pm then I'd try turning everything off putting him down again. on those nights I knew I was in for it. Over time the late nights started to happen less and less. Now he's the best sleeper

Samantha - posted on 09/14/2012

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Thank you all for all of your advice! We have been co-sleeping since the day she was born lol..which I was totally against before she was born cause that was a habit I didn't want to try and break lol..I don't use a pacifier but I have tried, it doesn't stay in her mouth no more than a few seconds but she does like it. She use to sleep on her tummy but it seems as if now she doesn't like it and it's like she won't sleep without my breast in her mouth :( I feel like I need to break a lot of habits for her to sleep better but just don't know how...what methods have you all tried to get them to sleep in their bed and to not have to sleep with a nipple in their mouth?

Stacie - posted on 09/13/2012

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I didn't see if you said you used a pacifier? Some moms are against it, I myself found it to be a life saver. Babies have the natural need to suck and it is soothing for them, especially when they are so little still. My son is now two, he was colicky so I understand your pain :( it was every hour all night long. he did scratch his head and I discovered that he was actually hot natured. Dressing him cooler for bed helped, also the heat radiating from his head was flaring up baby eczema, which I didn't even know he had until he started getting blotches on his calves and ankles. It was in his hair but hard to see, so he was probably annoyed with that, poor baby. the doctor gave recomnendations on how to keep it under control and that helped too. Things got better at 6 months for us..then by a year he slept through every night consistently..he still does unless he is not feeling well or has an eczema flare up. That scratching would make anyone miserable! I hope something helps! You may just have to wait for it to work itself out. Just try to be strong and remember it's only temporary!

Valerie - posted on 09/13/2012

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I agree that she needs to sleep longer during the day. I stayed home with my son and he wasn't a great sleeper in his crib and seemed like he wanted to have my breast in his mouth, despite having a binky. She may just like your smell, knowing that you are there can be very comforting. You could try sleeping with her mattress sheet so it smells like you and see if that helps. What really worked well for me, especially since I could be home all day, was co-sleeping. It's not for everyone, but I would just lay in bed and nurse my son until he fell asleep. The best part was being able to sleep too! Once your little one is asleep, you can roll over and get more rest yourself. If she is rolling over in her sleep, you can get rails to put on your bed (we have 2) and this really helped ease my fear of him rolling out of bed.



Also, if you are nursing, your kiddo may be a little hungrier during the day. Try to make sure you are eating & drinking enough to keep up your supply. I know this is a catch 22, but you also need to get enough sleep to keep up your supply. Try to do what you can to get any sleep. If she will take a bottle, maybe you can pump and have someone else watch her so you get some rest.



She may also need more activity throughout the day. Try to give her more stimulation (tummy time, playing with her, etc). Also, this was hard for me, but really helped my son once I did it, but try to get her on a routine. Babies need consistency and will sleep better when they nap, eat, play at the same time every day. It can be really helpful for you too.



Good luck!! We have all been there!

Maria - posted on 09/13/2012

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This will shock probably everyone, but have you tried putting her on he tummy? I did that with my second baby because that is the only way he would sleep for more than 30 min. I did this with him on my tummy at first and that is the only way I could get sleep. Then I put him in his cradle where I could see him at all times and when I thought I would lose it if I didn't get sleep at night, I had him right next to me in his cradle. I did tell my Dr. and he could see how tired I was and said that SIDS was more common with tummy sleeping, but not by much. I hope you find something that helps. I feel for you.

Jaime - posted on 09/12/2012

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My son was a terrible sleaper as a NB, and now two years later we still struggle. I can tell you some things that have helped- white noise machine, a tshirt that smells like you, put her to bed drowsy but still awake, and also she may be ready to drop her late afternoon nap. Around four months old my son started taking two solid naps a day, and then around 10 months he went down to just one nap a day. Maybe try elimainating that third nap and put her down around 7-7:30. It is so hard, and I feel for you. I honestly felt like a lunatic, and sort-of whished I would have a break down so I could take a nice long nap in the crazy hospital! LOL!

Angela - posted on 09/12/2012

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Try giving her a soother, I had a similar problem with my little guy and found that a soother worked...It took him a few days to get used to it but it worked....it wasn't that he wanted to feed he just needed that sucking motion....be careful with co sleeping I did that with my older 2 and it is really a hard habit to break.....try a quiet bed time routine, maybe a stroll in the park, then a bath and then a book.....hope this works good luck

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