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How do you get your baby to sleep?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any good tips for getting your baby to sleep? Zanthias sleeps great during the day, but at night, he really gets fussy. He'll stay up until 3, even if he hasn't napped for a long time (for instance, yesterday we woke up from a nap at 2:30 and besides a few little catnaps, he didn't fall asleep until 11:30! and then he was up every hour screaming) We cosleep and breastfeed, but a lot of times it just seems like he's really angry about something-we change his diaper, try to feed him, walk him around, spin the fan (he loves to watch it) and he just screams and cries until he wears himself out finally and sleeps. It's really wearing on poor Drew because he thinks the baby hates him :cry: because he can't soothe him at all at night-I usually wake him up to take Zan whenever I can't take the screaming and crying anymore.

So...any good tips?
post #2 of 23
I just posted about a similar problem I'm having in LWAB and Nighttime Parenting. Nora won't go to sleep at night until 1-2 am. She sleeps fabulously during the day but won't sleep at night.

So, last night we finally had a breakthrough and I hope it continues. We too cosleep (share the bed) and breastfeed, but this is what I did last night differently that "worked":

1. At 7:50, drew a bath for her. Bath from 8-8:15 or so. Lotioned up with a little bit of baby massage, all in soft voices, no bright lights, no loud tv.

2. Sat in our normal nursing spot and nursed as though it were midnight. She drifted off at 8:38 and we layed down together. She woke up again a little after 9, and instead of giving in and playing (b/c she was in a good mood, which she usually is) I just nursed again. She fell asleep about 10:30... and slept through the night!

Sounds easy but I know it's not. I didn't think it would work and now w/Christmas and stuff I don't know how logicial it is to do this tonight and tomorrow. But I think establishing a night time routine is key.

I want to do nightly baths - not necessarily with soap, although I do love the way she smells after some good soaping up! So, nightly baths, nurse to sleep, and hopefully it sticks.
post #3 of 23
I'm just glad I'm not the only with a LO who doesn't sleep great at night. When he decides to sleep he sleeps heavy & nothing can stop him but if he doesn't feel like sleeping then we're done for. It's not unusual for us to be up until 3:30. Ugh.

And everytime I think he's found a pattern he changes it again - just to keep me guessing!!
post #4 of 23
No matter what I do or what our evening has looked like, Addie is out like a light by 9:30. I don't know what it is about 9:30, but it's the magic time for her. She can have screamed and fussed and not slept since 3 in the afternoon, or napped well most of the evening and been a smiling joy while she's been awake, and she'll still pass out for the night by 9:30. I can give her a bath, have low lights, sing lullabies and she might catnap for a while here and there, but won't be really asleep until 9:30. Or we can just go about our night with her tagging along and she'll still fall asleep at 9:30. So... I don't think *I* do anything, she just falls asleep.

I know that's not helpful , but at the same time I don't think you can force a kid to fall asleep.
post #5 of 23
Holding my DD in the BF position with a pacifier usually does the trick (she refuses to comfort nurse). If she's really fussy, wrapping her up tight in the ring sling usually helps her fall asleep within 10-15 minutes. I can usually transfer her out of the sling and into bed after she's been asleep for a good 20 minutes or so.
post #6 of 23
I've got a little one who once she's asleep sleeps beautifully, but getting her there is torture for me. She nurses for nourishment, empties both breasts, then gets fussy and wants to nurse, but doesn't want to if that makes sense. She'll have trouble latching, or she just won't, I don't know which it is yet, and just plays around, but seems mad about it. Fusses and fights to latch, then 30 seconds later, if that, pops off, start all over. For 2 hours this goes on usually, sometimes more! I get so frustrated. What I've been doing lately is dim the lights, little or no sound, and get in the same place for night time nursing. It seems to be helping to shorten the amount of annoying nursing she does, also I've added gripe water before bed to help with gas or whatever may be bothering her and it's been helping get her down sooner. I can rarely leave her, though. I imagine if I waited 20-30mins after she's asleep I'd be able to transfer her somewhere else, but I usually fall asleep before then. She's very inconsistent-- it's really never the same with her. I think, though, that every baby is different and it's just a matter of finding what works for them. And remembering that it won't last long most likely, so don't count on it. Keeping this in mind has saved me a lot of frustration with Ainsley (learned from months and months of frustration with Colin over this inconsistency!).
post #7 of 23
I think both my girls are good sleepers :

Hazel takes 3 naps during the day. One from ~9-11:30, 1-4, 5-6. Then she goes to sleep "for the night" around 8-9 and wakes around 2 to feed and then is awake "for the day" around 6-7. At least this is the pattern she's done for the last 3 weeks.

Routine: For naps, I have the window shades open and she is swaddled in her co-sleeper or upstairs in her crib. She has generally nursed within an hour of going to sleep and is then rocked while swaddled with her paci in.

Nighttime is much the same except lights are kept low and there's more nursing involved. We don't do nightly baths. We barely do weekly : :

Routine is what keeps me sane, so hopefully she'll keep up with it. I wish you luck with your babe!
post #8 of 23
We swaddle, turn off lights, nurse in the recliner (if she wants to...sometimes she will have none of it and does the fussy latch on/off thing), wait about 10-15 minutes after she's asleep, then go lie down in bed and go to sleep. I think the key with us is not nursing in bed lying down when we're planning on going down for the night- that makes her fussy. If I nurse her sitting up in the recliner, she's much happier and more willing to go to sleep.

We definitely don't do nightly baths- after getting dd1 to bed, I'm way to exhausted to give baths! I'm lucky if she gets one twice a week.

Our biggest problem is that she won't sleep anywhere but with me at night. Well, it's not really a problem since I enjoy cosleeping anyway, but I'd like some down time in the evenings after she goes to bed, and DH wants some "us" time. She won't sleep without me for more than 20-30 minutes. Any tips on getting her to sleep alone for an hour or two at a time would be great.
post #9 of 23
I wish I had some tips other than the usual walking/bouncing/shushing, using the carseat, or strolling around the neighborhood...

I can empathize, though...I'm really at the end of my rope with sleep. Helena likes to stay up all night, like from midnight-ish to sometimes 7, 8, 9 in the a.m. She'll take a short catnap here and there, but that's it. The rest of the time she wants to eat or interact. I'm losing it. I can't figure out how to get her to stay asleep at night without her actually sleeping on me.

She doesn't like her arm's reach co-sleeper, or the cocoon swing. We have gotten her to sleep in her vibrating fisherprice papasan chair in the past, but she's getting long enough that her legs are starting to hang over the edge, nad with the shoes/bar on that bothers her. So I've been trying to get her to like the cosleeper with very little success. Swaddling is impossible with the shoes/bar on. It's uncomfortable for her to sleep on me while she's wearing that metal bar.

On top of all that, she has reflux...so sleeping on her tummy is what she likes. I'm seriously lost as to what to do with her. She can be soothed to sleep if we drive around in the car for a while, but of course I can't do that every day.

We used to have a nap routine - 8:30-11:30 am, 2-5, and 7-10 pm, but she doesn't seem to do that consistently anymore. I have a hard time sleeping during the day.

I have to admit I am kind of scared of co-sleeping. She really isn't elevated enough to help with her reflux. I'd like to do it, since it often helps her fall asleep if I nurse her in bed (of course, with the shoes/bar on it's hard to do side-lying, because it means she has to have her head turned completely to the side, which I know is not a good position).

I'm actually getting quite despondent about the situation. I have to stay up all night every night, and only get 4-5 hours of intermittent sleep during the day. I just don't know what to do.

Thanks for starting this thread!! It's great to read other ideas & experiences
post #10 of 23
A slightly modified Happiest Baby on the Block routine has been sooo wonderful for us. It took several nights of inconsolable crying to figure it out. I had thought that DD didn't like being swaddled but, although she fights it at first, it's now obvious that she sleeps a lot better without her arms going crazy on her. We put her on her stomach rather than her side..the shaking part, for us, is more of a large, dramatic up-down sway (think lifting weights with one arm)..and we only sometimes need to shush, never need the sucking. Is that five S's?

If anything is slightly off of the routine, like an arm has worked itself loose or you don't "shake" her right, it won't work. If everything is in order she stops fussing instantly and falls asleep in minutes. To get her transitioned into bed it takes slow steps..stop the sway, wait, lay her in bed with arm still under, wait, slowly pull arm out..it's kind of a pain in the butt but it puts her to sleep every time, and she's a sleep fighter.

Of course this is just my DD's thing, but maybe your babe has some position and motion combo that is just as magical.. :
post #11 of 23
we all have the same baby

babycakes, is your LO still taking the earlier bedtime?

ezra won't nap anywhere but ON US. if i eeeever so slowly transition him down to the couch or bed or crib, he's up in 5 min. and, he goes to sleep for the night at 3am...thank god in his cosleeper as opposed to draped across us. but he's on his tummy for the night in the cosleeper.

here are some things that have worked for us recently. for pushing back the bedtime, (we're at 1:30am now) we've gone back in 20 min increments eery 4th night from 3am. so far that has gone OK with just a few hiccups.

for nap it is still mostly on us, but every so often with a very tight swaddle he can be transitioned elsewhere.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamleabee View Post

ezra won't nap anywhere but ON US. if i eeeever so slowly transition him down to the couch or bed or crib, he's up in 5 min. and, he goes to sleep for the night at 3am...
for nap it is still mostly on us, but every so often with a very tight swaddle he can be transitioned elsewhere.
That is EXACTLY Zanthias. He will sleep so well on me. So well that my butt goes numb sometimes because I hate to move him when he's sleeping.

Thanks for the tips. I've tried swaddling again-he loved it as a newborn, but he just despises it now.
It must just be a stage...I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can. I am super lucky that my husband helps out-I feel really bad waking him on weeknights (he works and I don't) but when I get desperate, he will take him, even if Zanthias just screams and cries for an hour. So at least I don't get too over the top crazy.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeddyBee View Post


I have to admit I am kind of scared of co-sleeping. She really isn't elevated enough to help with her reflux. I'd like to do it, since it often helps her fall asleep if I nurse her in bed (of course, with the shoes/bar on it's hard to do side-lying, because it means she has to have her head turned completely to the side, which I know is not a good position).
I don't know how elevated she has to be, but we have a sleep positioner that is a wedge that we used with him when he was congested/sick that helped. It's not much of an elevation but more so than laying straight on the bed. It's nice to know I am not alone in my frustration, I have to say (even though I wouldn't wish this on anyone else!)
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamleabee View Post
babycakes, is your LO still taking the earlier bedtime?
Yes! The bath/nursing combo seems to be working very well. We didn't do it on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day b/c we were out so late with family, and we were up again til 3 am and 2 am respectively. Last night at 9 (an hour later just b/c the kitchen was messy and we bathe her in the sink) we did the bath and then I nursed her. She went to sleep for good around 10! Stayed asleep all night (only waking to eat which is seriously no big deal and I personally love it).

Heddy - Gosh, mama, I don't know what to tell you. You have such a unique situation with Helena. I would say that if you could nurse lying down, if she's on her back and her head is turned, it's not the worst thing you could do! Sometimes even Nora nurses like that. As long as Helena is ok swallowing like that, and keeps her food down, it should be ok, right? Although I'm not sure how the reflux will complicate this setup.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bee21 View Post
Our biggest problem is that she won't sleep anywhere but with me at night. Well, it's not really a problem since I enjoy cosleeping anyway, but I'd like some down time in the evenings after she goes to bed, and DH wants some "us" time. She won't sleep without me for more than 20-30 minutes. Any tips on getting her to sleep alone for an hour or two at a time would be great.

Bee, have you tried a hot water bottle? You may have some success with the warmth...
post #16 of 23
Calla sleeps really well at night (don't get me started about naps, though). We bedshare and she usually nurses to sleep (side-lying). Even though the all you can eat buffet is right there beside her, she rarely wakes more than once in the night to eat after about 4-6 hours of good snoozing and she goes right back to sleep.

She has reflux and if she is having a rough day with that, I will prop myself up in the bed with pillows and let her fall asleep on my chest. I usually doze off, too. Then after a few hours of that, I'll wake up and put her onto the mattress next to me.

Heddy: Calla often wants to nurse flat on her back with her head turned sideways. If I try to turn her on her side to do a more tummy to tummy position, she will just flip herself back onto her back (and act a bit annoyed). Sometimes she likes to nurse on her side, too, however. And she kinda likes to sleep on her side.

I said I didn't want to get started about naps, but... I think I'll start a naps thread...
post #17 of 23
We have a fairly mainstream outlook on sleep/eating. I've been using the book "Good Night Sleep Tight" which has recommendations from birth for how to get your babies to learn to sleep well. (No cry it out!)

We make sure to feed the babies every three hours during the day to make sure they get all the calories they need during the day, not at night. We end the night with a feeding at 6 pm and put them to bed around 7:30/8, then wake them for a dream feed at 10 or 11. Then they sleep til 6 am.

When we lay them down either at the official bedtime or nap time, we swaddle them, turn on their womb bear, turn on the mobile, sway a little and hum a lullaby. If they need it, we give them the paci. We usually end up putting them down drowsy but awake to try to get them to learn to fall asleep by themselves. If they have trouble falling asleep first I go in and pat them and talk quietly. Then leave. If they cry again, I'll try again. If they cry again, I'll pick them up and pat them to get them drowsy (or sometimes get a burp out!). If they cry again, I may bring them out into the living room and just let them fall asleep on mom.

I realize this is more regimented than most but I need routine. And with two babies, it allows me to have some sanity in our lives!

I've heard that at this age, our babies need about 15 hours of sleep every day - 10 at night and 5 during the day... Many, many babies are overtired and that keeps them from sleeping well.
post #18 of 23
I doubt I'll be of any help since Ally Rae likes the typical stuff to go to sleep. On a good/normal night, she'll nurse side-lying and and pass out but I have to change sides a couple times before she gives in to the sleep. On a rougher night, she insists on being bouced (vigorously) in her Moby. The bigger the bounce, the happier she is. So far, I'm the only one who can bounce correctly for her. It's pretty frustrating. DH, my sis, and my Mom all say how exhausting it is and give up after less than 5min. It could take up to an hour and a half on a bad night (she's calm as long as you bounce and move constantly/consistanly but takes a while to go to sleep). It's like doing high impact aerobics with a 12lb weight. I think I did this to myself since I did so much high impact aerobics during pregnancy.
post #19 of 23
So, I'm late in joining, sorry.
I can't figure out our routine but I guess its basically up all night, sleep during the day. I'm worried about going back to work (part time to maintain insurance for me and the babe) next week.
My biggest prob is Samara won't nurse laying down because she's stuffy and so I spend about 8 hrs in a glider. I keep falling asleep while nursing her in the glider. I miss cuddling with DP!
post #20 of 23
a friend of mine's dh made us a hammock and it has worked wonders for Zen. he will only sleep in that at night. its weird b/c im just an avid cosleeper (still sleeping w/ ds3 who is 3) but until Zen wakes up in the am, he's in the hammock (he will cosleep for a few hours from around 5 or 6 to 7 or 8).

my friend didnt start using it for her son until 6 months so i know that an older baby can get used to it. she was having a lot of sleep deprivation and was going to get an Amby but her dh came up with the design for the hammock.
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