Our four month old daughter has recently started to seriously resist any attempts at getting her to fall asleep. Usually we will swaddle her, take her in the bathroom with the light out and door closed, turn on the fan for white noise and bounce/rock her till she falls asleep. We call it the deprivation chamber. Sometimes I will nurse her in there as well, or sometimes I will lie down with her in bed and nurse her to sleep. These methods have been working for us and she would usually fall asleep in 5-20 minutes, with minimal fussing. Lately, however, the second she realizes we are trying to get her to fall asleep she will freak out on us. We're talking loud crying, screaming and flailing/thrashing her body around. This is really just a reaction to any attempt to get her to sleep; the second we turn the lights on, leave the bathroom, etc she is fine - happy and cooing - until we try to get her to sleep again. Sometimes we can set her down in her bouncy seat while in the dark bathroom and she will stop crying and coo, until we pick her up and start bouncing and she freaks out again.
We've tried early/late bedtime, swaddling or not, having a bedtime routine, leaving her on the bed until she gets drowsy (for the record, once she realizes she is close to sleep she freaks out then too).... nothing seems to help. I try to be aware of her times of wakefulness so that she doesn't get overtired before we put her down, but that doesn't seem to help much either. She does this for naps as well, though doesn't seem to resist as forcefully - usually 5 mins of fussing or less - as she does for nighttime sleep. Last night we started getting her to sleep at 8 pm and she didn't fall asleep until 10:15pm. Argh.
We cosleep with her, and once she falls asleep she doesn't have tons of problems waking up and needing to resettle, it's just the initial give in to slumber that she fights. She used to be able to fall asleep in other ways than the deprivation chamber - we could sling her and walk her, or she would fall asleep easily at church, for example. But lately she is just way too interested in goings on around her to fall asleep in those ways. She is also more distractable during daytime feedings lately, so part of me wonders if she just is too interested in the world right now to take time to sleep.
Has anyone experienced this? Does anyone have any ideas? Please tell me this is just a phase.....