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Does anyone have any natural remedies for wakeful babies?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I have a friend who posted some complaints about her baby not wanting to sleep and asking for advice. You can imagine the advice she got - sleep training, CIO, etc. My first baby was colicy but I never had any good ways of helping her sleep better, and colic isn't the issue here. Has anyone had any good methods that have worked?
post #2 of 32
Chamomile!
post #3 of 32
I agree with @sageowl. DD (14 months) has a couple ounces of chamomile tea nightly before bed. I drink the rest of the cup so it will relax her on the next feed. I've read this is safe for babies of all ages as long as it's straight chamomile.

Also, we've started giving DD a "heavy" food before bed. Like a healthy pumpkin pancake or hard boiled egg yolk. This has helped her immensely.
post #4 of 32

does this really work?  Im going to try this tonight,  I havent had sleep in weeks!

post #5 of 32

At what age is it safe to do this? Most of the "sleep training" ideas rub me the wrong way- but kiddo will spend hours cranky and tired before going to sleep (we try putting him down before he gets tired- no dice :/  It can literally take 5+ tries to get him to fall asleep), and that can't be good. He knows how to fall asleep and even will on his own sometimes, he just really hates sleep and would rather be up playing. Even in a dark room with no one interacting beyond trying to soothe him to sleep, he still can spend an hour trying to get us to play with him. Sometimes we're tempted to just put him in the pack 'n' play and hope he'll fall asleep eventually- but he gets upset before he falls asleep.

post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4GreenBabies View Post

does this really work?  Im going to try this tonight,  I havent had sleep in weeks!

How'd it go, 4GreenBabies?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysapling View Post

At what age is it safe to do this?

I've read that the tea is fine as early as baby is taking water. I would have felt comfortable giving my DD a couple of syringe-fulls in the evening hours. We gave her probiotics from 6 weeks. I would have mixed tea with that.
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysapling View Post

but kiddo will spend hours cranky and tired before going to sleep (we try putting him down before he gets tired- no dice :/  It can literally take 5+ tries to get him to fall asleep), and that can't be good. He knows how to fall asleep and even will on his own sometimes, he just really hates sleep and would rather be up playing.
A specialist trying to help us with DD's sleep lent me the "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" book. I've been against reading it because it boils down to versions of CIO. However, I've found lots of other helpful information about sleep rhythms during the day, nap time goals, etc. If you read it, just literally ignore the any CIO advice you see. For example, the author says even babies who appear to be pretty well rested but resistant to sleep could be over tired and showing it with hyperactivity.
post #8 of 32
I've had some success with both chamomile roman and lavendar essential oils. I mix 5 drops in an ounce of grape seed oil, and give DS a back rub with it when he's had a hard time sleeping. You could also try a few drops on the corner of a pillow case or bed sheet, or diffuse it in the room.
post #9 of 32

It went well the night I first tried it, instead of waking up 4 times, he only woke up once, and went back to bed rather quickly.  I forgot to give him any last night and definitely had some problems, but the upside is that boiling a few ounces of water and chamomile flowers takes no more than 2-3 minutes, and I can add it right into a bottle of organic rice milk that he will drink while semi-sleeping.  When I tried that at 4am he slept the rest of the night, and slept till 11am!  I think he's waking from a combination of things: teething, growth spurt and extra hungry, and Im due to give birth in the next couple weeks with twins... even though he doesnt say more than one word at a time (beginner talker), Im pretty sure he understands what is going on and that there is going to be 2 new little babies very soon... I think he is trying to get as much mom time as possible, even in his sleep...

post #10 of 32

oh, I have a question, is CIO "crying it out"?  my parents told me that they did that with me when I was a baby, and questioned why I never do that with my kids.  I think I would be a better person with less trust issues if they would have shown me a bit of love instead of leaving my little baby self alone in the dark sobbing and crying till I exhausted myself.  I probably would have had a better relationship with my mother as well...  isnt it a parents natural instinct to comfort their child when they are crying or upset?  Why would someone ignore that instinct?  Im pretty sure we have instincts for a reason.

post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnyloveBC View Post


A specialist trying to help us with DD's sleep lent me the "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" book. I've been against reading it because it boils down to versions of CIO. However, I've found lots of other helpful information about sleep rhythms during the day, nap time goals, etc. If you read it, just literally ignore the any CIO advice you see. For example, the author says even babies who appear to be pretty well rested but resistant to sleep could be over tired and showing it with hyperactivity.


I've read it. Well, what I could get through, at least. I found it fatalistic and prescriptivist. I have miserable sleep despite (*cough*because of*cough*) my mother's rigid sleep schedule enforcement, which he insists will lead to a healthy lifelong sleep- and I'm not overweight, on sleeping medicine, or any of the other ridiculous things he insists will result from not leaving a poor baby alone to scream for 12 hours. Telling what sleep rhythms and goals are best is useless without a GOOD method of establishing that rhythm- I knew the information he gave already about how much sleep babies need to be healthy and such. What I need is a way to get a baby who does not want to sleep to go to sleep.

 

I was going based on that book when I said that kiddo doesn't show signs of not getting enough sleep beyond showing signs of sleepiness hours before actually falling asleep no matter how or when we try putting him down.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4GreenBabies View Post
 

oh, I have a question, is CIO "crying it out"?  my parents told me that they did that with me when I was a baby, and questioned why I never do that with my kids.  I think I would be a better person with less trust issues if they would have shown me a bit of love instead of leaving my little baby self alone in the dark sobbing and crying till I exhausted myself.  I probably would have had a better relationship with my mother as well...  isnt it a parents natural instinct to comfort their child when they are crying or upset?  Why would someone ignore that instinct?  Im pretty sure we have instincts for a reason.

Yes, "CIO" means "Cry it out"- specifically meaning leaving a baby to cry alone instead of responding to the baby's needs. Most babies who are left to cry end up learning that they won't be comforted when they need it, so stop crying to save their energy- giving the illusion of a baby peacefully sleeping through the night. And that's why parents do it- because well meaning people like your parents tell them that CIO lets the baby "learn to self soothe" and is good for the baby, much better than spoiling the baby by giving the baby needed comfort! Then after a few bad nights the baby is suddenly quiet and not crying- and so they convince themselves that the baby has "learned to self soothe" and hasn't just learned that their needs won't be met. A lot of times when parents CIO, at least one of the parents (especially the mother) sits by the door, sobbing as their baby screams, desperately wanting to run in and comfort the poor baby but convinced that doing so will doom their baby to unhealthy sleep habits. It's awful. :(

 

There are some babies that need to be alone to fall asleep so when they get put in bed they stop crying and go to sleep peacefully- that's not CIO. (I've seen a few people on mothering whose babies did this, and were very concerned at first) It doesn't mean a baby who's crying despite the parents'/caregivers' best efforts to comfort, either.

 

My parents didn't do CIO exactly- they did a method where you leave hte baby, and check in at 2 minutes then 5 then 10 or whatever. I have never been a healthy sleeper and have a giant abandonment complex. My mom wasn't very affectionate other ways, either, and always put her needs before my own. Maybe if my mom had been good in other ways the "sleep training" wouldn't have been so damaging- but, then, I can't help but think that if my mom was good in other ways, she wouldn't have been able to let her baby cry just so she could get a few more hours sleep. :(

post #12 of 32
Sorry the suggestion wasn't helpful, @sillysapling. I read the chapters appropriate to my daughter's age and didn't see mention of the negative consequences he claimed. Perhaps that was outlined in the beginning, which I didn't care to read.

OP, Chamomile, heavier solid foods, focusing on consolidating daytime sleep, and an earlier bedtime have helped my 15 month old DD to go from waking 3-6 times a night (10 hours) to waking 2-3 times and sleeping 12 hours at night. All of those are natural and do not involve CIO.

@4GreenBabies, that's great that the tea helped! Congratulations on your impending birth. Hope your labor goes beautifully!

I'm sorry for @4GreenBabies and @sillysapling that you were left alone to cry. I agree that there does seem to be a link between that sleep training method and trust/abandonment issues later on.
post #13 of 32
I basically do what skinny love bc does: make a cup of tea, give the baby 2 oz and drink the rest. He does seem to wake up a little less, and I feel more relaxed. Some kids just aren't good sleepers--mine isn't. About 4 years ago I saw they had done a study on the efficacy of chamomile on reducing colic, and it did reduce the crying. I use it when the kids are miserable, teething, or out of sorts. Seems to help and it's gentle.
post #14 of 32

I'm not pregnant yet - but definitely going to remember this tea trick for once I have a little one that I need to help get to sleep.  Thanks!

post #15 of 32

We're giving the chamomile a try- it doesn't seem to help kiddo GET to sleep, but it certainly seems to help them STAY asleep, which is a good thing. I think we'll try giving the chamomile progressively earlier to see if there's a point where it helps with getting to sleep.

post #16 of 32

I just used a homeopathic teething gel - actually, by the makers of Orajel, since that was the only one that didn't contain citric acid, which my baby has terrible reactions to - and she finally slept for a good long stretch.  I haven't been sure whether what's keeping her up is due to teething (since we still have no teeth showing...) but I think some of the ingredients are supposed to be directed toward sleeplessness (like chamomile and coffea cruda.)  It has no parabens, etc., either.  I should also add that I'm not really a homeopathic believer, or at least, wasn't, (I'm just a skeptic by nature - please no outraged comments by those of you who do find it helpful!) but I figured I may as well give this a shot. 

Who knows?!

post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonicera View Post
 

I just used a homeopathic teething gel - actually, by the makers of Orajel, since that was the only one that didn't contain citric acid, which my baby has terrible reactions to - and she finally slept for a good long stretch.  I haven't been sure whether what's keeping her up is due to teething (since we still have no teeth showing...) but I think some of the ingredients are supposed to be directed toward sleeplessness (like chamomile and coffea cruda.)  It has no parabens, etc., either.  I should also add that I'm not really a homeopathic believer, or at least, wasn't, (I'm just a skeptic by nature - please no outraged comments by those of you who do find it helpful!) but I figured I may as well give this a shot. 

Who knows?!

It sounds more likely that your baby's problems were due to teething. Homeopathic teething remedies often point out that your baby may fall asleep after using it because it relieves the discomfort, finally allowing the baby to sleep. Our baby has shown teething signs pretty much non-stop since 2 mo, the first tooth cut a week after turning 6 mo (8mo and 4 teeth so far), I know someone else whose baby started pre-teething at around 2 months and didn't cut a tooth until over a year old- that must have sucked.  They can pre-teeth for a long time, have tooth discomfort, before actually cutting a tooth.

 

The first time we used teh Hyland's teething tablets- kiddo passed out. When teething problems got really bad, again, homeopathic tooth stuff and bam- out.  But it doesn't work every single time, though, and if it turns out teeth isn't the problem- it doesn't seem to have any benefit at all. The soothing ingredients may help a baby calm down, though, so it could be worth a try.

post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonicera View Post

I just used a homeopathic teething gel - actually, by the makers of Orajel...

Hi
Have you looked into the choking hazard (on saliva) of numbing baby's mouth with orajel? Google it, just so you know about it. I just heard about it recently.
Kindly ..
post #19 of 32

It's not conventional orajel, (no benzocaine, no numbing) it's just by the makers of orajel: entirely homeopathic.

post #20 of 32
Yeah we're doing the long stretch of pre-teething with few teeth so far. I forgot to mention that's a contributing factor with many babies. It certainly is with this one! I've had pretty good luck with homeopathic teething remedies... They seem to work as well as anything else, And way better than nothing! Hylands, Camilia, or the Orajel tablets (which are very similar to Hylands in terms of ingredients).

Now in terms of getting them to sleep in the first place, That's a whole different ballgame!
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