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Help - why won't my baby sleep?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Oh, what a day, what a week it has been! Mamas, I feel like such a wreck. Dd has hardly slept all week. She is 7 months old. Maybe she is teething?
The past three days have been just awful. She acts tired and miserable all day long and when I take her to lie down w/her and nurse her to sleep in the bed she won't go to sleep. She starts to relax and nurse and then she's fighting it - she's up crawling around the bed, pulling up to standing, crawling all over me, sucking on my nose, crying, crying and crying. I know she is so tired. I feel like crying myself.

Today she was awake at 7am, then went down for a nap from 10-11:20 am (ok that was good). But then she was awake until just now - 9:30 pm! Thats 10 hours awake! And she was fussy and grumpy almost the entire time. I take her for walks, I sling her, I nurse her, rock her, Backpack her, bathe her, play w/her and keep trying to lie down w/her throughout the day. It is exhausting - but still no sleep! What am I doing wrong?
She was crying so hard and no matter what I did it didn't help.
I feel so helpless when that happens - just like when she cried and cried in my arms as a newborn. I get so sad about it that around 5:00 today I said,
"Go to sleep! Go to sleep! Please, please go to sleep! Mommy's tired too, I need to sleep too!" In a whiny voice, and then I felt horrible about it. It doesn't help one bit for me to break down and get upset. I think that it must be bad for her to be around a sad and frustrated mommy all day too. It certainly doesn't help, and I'm not teaching her anything good that way.
Well, maybe she is having a motor milestone with all that crawling. Or maybe she is teething. It is just so hard to see her all stressed out and fussy and me too.

I feel like such a whiner lately - I have been complaining here about my in-laws first, and now my baby. Maybe I just need to relax and focus on all the wonderful and positive things to be thankful for . . . like how she laughs when she's taking a bath . . . and think of new ways how I can help her sleep when she's tired or else make us happier if she can't sleep!

Oh, one more thought - what do you think about the idea of lying down with her for 15-20 minutes, and if she's not relaxed and falling asleep, get up and do something else w/her? That's what I've been doing, but maybe if I was more patient - just waited a bit longer, then she would fall asleep?

Now its my turn to go to sleep too! G'night and thank you.

P.S. I use Hyland's teething gel. Sometimes I think it works, and other times she still is awake and fussing, so I'm not so sure.
post #2 of 18
Did you steal Gavin, change him to a girl, and then write this?

Gavin will be 7 months in a week and is doing the same thing and has been for about a week and a half. (It seems like it's been going on for years, by this point) It's really upsetting when they just whine and cry no matter what you do.

FWIW, I get up and do something else with Gavin if after 15 minutes, he's still all over the place. The other night we laid in bed for *2* hours trying to sleep, so at least in our case, it doesn't make one bit of difference.

I keep trying to remind myself that this will pass. Sometime. Hopefully really soon because when he's been whining for two hours and is about to rub his eyes out he's so exhausted, it just gets really really upsetting.
post #3 of 18
I have seen on this board some suggestions for using chamoille (sp?)tea and also some other natural remedies that I can't remember right now. Maybe if you do a search for sleep? For the tea, some mamas drink the tea, then babe gets it via bm and others wait for the tea to cool off then give babe a teaspoon or two. HTH. And yes this too will pass.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks vein and Katelyan,

I'm going to try out the chamomile tea idea this week.
Also, I noticed that this weekend while we were mostly out and very busy, it didn't seem to be so difficult as when I am home alone w/her during the weekdays. She still didn't sleep much, and still took a very long time to settle down for the night, but being out and busy sure made it easier for me since I wasn't so focused on getting her to sleep and she was entertained by seeing new places and faces. So, I'm gonna keep busy this week going out more!

Good luck to you too, vein!
post #5 of 18
I am having siimlar problems but only at night. (see thread "waking every hour")
For the day time I have found that the homeopathic remedy chamomilla is helpful, as well as homeopathic teething tablets.
Sometimes the only way I can get her to nap is to put her in her stroller and go for a walk. Have you tried that?

As for herbs, chamomille is good, as is catnip.

Oh- have you tried giving her a cold teething toy before she naps to help with the discomfort?

Don't feel like a whinner. It is very frustrating when this happens!
Gets overwhelming for me sometimes during the night. I just want to leave the room and go sleep on the sofa. LOL

I am hoping this stage changes soon for the both of us.
post #6 of 18
My daughter has never been a good sleeper; she’s 23 months old now. I remember a time around 7 months where she really needed to belt out a good cry before she fell off to sleep. Being a co-sleeping family and a person who did everything to prevent my baby from crying, it took a long time for me to figure out that she needed to cry some in the day and especially before she fell asleep as a release. I am not here to advocate the CIO approach and that’s not what I think we were doing. I was right with my daughter in bed. I would nurse her and then she would pull off the breast, turn away from me, cry really hard for a short while and then sigh and go to sleep. The more I fought letting her cry the longer she fussed and the worse it was for both of us. I realize this may seem like a different approach than what you were expecting here but I can assure I was very in tune with my baby and I’m sure this was what she needed at the time. It may not work for you and your baby may not have the same needs as mine but you might try a day (and a night!) were you don’t try to stop her every fuss see what happens. A child development teacher reminded me how good it feels after I have had a much need cry and I applied that to my baby. One last thing, this was a short faze for us. She did this for only about 2 months. However, I have applied this philosophy about fussing and crying again now that we are in the toddler stage and I’ve been allowing my daughter a fussy time in the morning where I don’t do much to try to prevent it…it seems inevitable.

BTW, I just read the post about keeping busy, that also sounds like a good idea...especially if it's working! Often over the past two years I have had to change our day by day for all the different stages my daughter was in.
post #7 of 18
William is almost 9 months now. It is hard to get him to sleep because there is so much fun to be had now. Yesterday he slept for 1 hour between 6am and 10pm. He didn't even get that grumpy. It could be teething. Hylands doesn't always help when my DS is having a hard time.
post #8 of 18
I thought I was the only one with a baby who won't nap! Elizabeth is 6 mo and I have so much trouble getting her to sleep. Most days I try to lay down with her for a nap nursing and I'll get up once I know she's asleep. It takes me like an hour before I can get up because she just stays awake! It disturbs her if I get up.

At night I try to rock and nurse her to sleep. When she's asleep I put her in her little bed but sometimes it takes me over 2 hours to get her to sleep. It's especially hard if she finishes nursing and decides she wants to be wide awake. When she won't nurse, I have to chance of getting her to sleep.

We co-sleep after the first time she stirs in her crib. Hubby and I like a little time to ourselves, ya know. This has worked really well since I wake up as soon as she stirs. She never even wakes up. Nights are great once I get her to sleep. It's just getting there that's so hard.
post #9 of 18
I do not have any advice for you, although I feel with you, and the same is probably awaiting me 7 months from now (hopefully not though : ). I just wanted to share some great products for your little darlings and for yourself too!
Take a look at this: http://www.kingbio.com/product_listing.html
You will find homeopathics for everything including sleeping....suitable for every age, babies included.
Good luck to you all!
post #10 of 18
Oh the sleep fighters! I've had 2. One was fromt eh day he was born. Didnt have a good night til he was past 2 yo. And then it was heaven. The second loved to sleep. The third, well, she's 4 and has only been sleeping through for about 6 months.

With both of them, they seemed to need to cry some. I found that I couldn't allow them to roam or they'd never settle. I had to snuggle them up close to me, keeping htem still. I'd talk gently to them, rub their head, they'd cry for a few minutes then go to sleep. Now, I don't like restraining, but it was ONLY a few minutes, if after 10 minutes or so, we'd just get up and try something different.

What I found made it easier was to keep they day as routine as possible. Our worst times were when we were hectically busy, and weren't able to have outnight time routine, then it never worked. Their night would be restless.

Just a thought.
post #11 of 18
My baby started doing the same thing at seven mos and I thought she was teething but only now (at nine mos) are they starting to cut thru!!!!! She used to just nurse for about twenty minutes and fall asleep every night but now she screams and screams and it is a chore to get her to bed!!!

I think she may have silent reflux and finally broke down and scheduled her a doctor appt. She has never been to the doctor before. She was born at home and non vax.

(sigh) This is soooooo trying and I know how guilty you feel about loosing patience. Sometimes when I know I am going to break I just have to put her on the floor and leave the room for a couple minutes. Then I go back and try again.

I hope your problem is just teething and you don't have to go thru this for two more mos. I sometimes worry that she is not getting enough sleep to grow well. Is this a legit conecern?
post #12 of 18
Paxetbonum- Why do you think your DD has silent reflux?
My DD has had major sleep problems the last week- i can't tell if it is bc of teething (she has 4.5 teeth right now) or something else, and i have thought of silent reflux. We too have never been to a doctor, so i know what you mean.

When DD was much younger, she had mild colic that prevented her from napping much at all, in addition to having poor nights. i was very worried that she would some how suffer from that. well, the stage passed, and she is now over 19# at 7 months, and doing great in that area.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the great replies mamas!

Well, I have come to a new attitude this week. I have also learned some things about babies and sleep difficulties (at least MY baby and her sleep difficulties, anyway!) and maybe it would help some other mamas if I shared them.
Then again, maybe not, but here goes:

First, I realized that I am expecting her to sleep when she is tired! HA! This baby has fought sleep ever since we brought her home. Its true! I forgot that fact, but I remembered those days again today. Now, 7 months later, is much better, although as you see this thread, I'm still complaining! But no more!
SO- instead of lying with her and thinking of all the things I'm gonna get done after she's finally asleep (and then getting frustrated as the time passes and nothing gets done), I've started to do the following:

- Go to sleep w/breast hanging out so she can nurse and let her fall asleep next to me if she wants to, or push up around me (its totally safe, mattress on floor, etc.). This works! I have woken up 3 times this week from naps in the afternoon w/ sleeping babe next to me.
- If she doesn't go to sleep within x amount of minutes, I get up and do what needs to be done. I can watch her closely or carry her in backpack.
- If she's fussy, I can make her laugh by kissing her tummy or bouncing her, and then I forget to be frustrated too!
- Go for a walk, go to the store, go anywhere!
- Keep in mind that she will finally fall asleep when she wants to. Maybe my dh is right, and I need to stop thinking about it and just go with the flow.
- I noticed something new (to me) - maybe you all have noticed it already. When I want to sleep, I close my eyes first.
When dd wants to sleep, she closes her eyes very last thing before she goes out. That is why it is so hard for me to help her relax. I think that she is so in love with her environment and so into exercising those muscles that she doesn't want to sleep and miss anything!

Well, I thought about these things this week and tried out my new philosophy and ideas. She had a couple of good nap days this week. Still, today, her only nap was 30 mins in the backpack. Up from 8am till 7pm other than that! At 7pm exactly she crashed and she is still down for the night.

BTW, I gave up my *one* cup of coffee a day for 1.5 weeks, and no effect whatsoever. Also, I tried the chamomile, with high hopes, but not working on this one!

So, as you can see, I have a new attitude, and new expectations. I am going to take it day by day and just see how it goes.
I remember someone saying, "At the end of the day, I know what really matters is not how much I get done, but that my dd feels loved and that I truly enjoy being with her."

Best wishes to everyone, and here's to hoping all of our babes get the sleep they need and stop fighting old sandman soon!
Anymore thoughts, anyone?
post #14 of 18
Mona, Silent reflux is where the baby has acid coming back into their esopheagus but does not make them necessarilt vomit or spit up.

But the rest of the symotoms are the same. Arching or screaming or discomfort when nursing, a "wet burping noise" when feeding or following feeding. frequent hiccuping. Wheezing. Coughing. difficulty sleeping. Easily distracted when nursing. The list goes on. My daughter has all of these but I know Silent Reflux is often charachterized by only a few of these.

Hope that helps!
The LLL website has a great article on reflux if you need some help or advice.

Good luck and I will pray for your little girl.
post #15 of 18
Aitera- Thanks for writing all of that down for us. IT sounds like a lot of useful information. I continue to have sleeping issues w/ DD, during the day this week too. I also find it SO frustrating to wait for them to get to sleep so that things can be done, only to find that she will NOT go to sleep, or only sleep for a tiny bit. I like the idea of just moving on and doing something else. After ahwile, we come back to bed and try again.

Paextonum - thanks very much for the info. DD has some of those symptoms- i'm not sure if she has it or not. I guess the only way to find out is from a physician? Do you know what kind of tests they do, and what the "solution is?" I will read up on this this afternoon.

post #16 of 18
wow - same here same here. my almost 9 mo. old ds sleeps MAYBE 30 minutes twice a day, sometimes three times. after exactly - and i mean almost to the minute - 30 minutes he jolts up EVERY time - like an inner alarm clock has gone off - it's always been that way. at times i can catch him at 29 minutes and nurse him for another 30 minutes - but that's rare. any ideas?
blessings to all!
post #17 of 18
i really agree with the routine idea.
my daughter had very sporadic sleeping habits until i started a daily routine and rituals.
i wrote down a schedule that i thought would work with her, and started doing it every day.
it was something like:
8 am: wake up
11:30 am lunch
12 nap
2 playtime and snack
5 dinner
6 bath
7 story and nighttime
it took a while, but she began to look forward to the nighttime ritual especially, and when we got out of whack was when she got fussy.
i think her being overtired is what caused her fussiness and she just wouldnt go to sleep.
she was a bit older than your dd though.
another thing that relaxed her was a massage with oil after the bath.
she would knock right out.
and a full belly.
it seems the more tired they get, the harder it is for them to unwind and fall asleep, and the more fitfull thier sleep is. so the trick is to help them unwind and fall asleep peacefully. ritual seems to be the best way to do that IMO, its like setting thier internal clock.
hope this helps. im not talking about any type of strict schedule, just a routine that helps your baby.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

Teething? Yeah, that's it!

Well today, a top tooth cut through, so now I know what caused all the turmoil last week!
I think the other top tooth is going to break through soon, because it looks so swollen there.
Poor girl!

Thanks for the routine idea, Cassandra. We actually have a pretty good routine going - that is we had a good routine until last week. She pretty much made the routine for herself and I just followed her cues and we had a pattern going, but then last week everything went out of whack. Well, now that that first tooth cut through, hopefully the second one follows soon and then we can settle down again.

Geez, its nice to know for sure why this was happening!
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