DD wakes up as soon as I put her down... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-22-2010, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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This is my first time posting and I could really use some advice. I always nurse my 5 mo DD to sleep. She has no trouble falling asleep in my arms but when I go to lay her down in the crib, the way I've always been doing it, she wakes up. This has gone from an occasional thing to just about every time. Sometimes she starts crying immediately, sometimes her eyes just pop open and she looks at me like "do something". I usually just pick her right back up and start nursing her down again. Mostly to have her wake up again when I lay her down. I've tried giving her a few minutes to see if she'd magically go to sleep on her own without success. This is mostly a problem for naps and going to bed at night. I'm running out of patience and I'm at a loss as to how to fix it. She needs a nap and mommy needs a break! Plus, I have a 9 yo DS that needs my time and attention. I feel so guilty for the amount of time I spend in her room nursing her to sleep. There is no way I could do this if I had a toddler running around. (We have a black out shade and white noise.)

At night she often will sleep for a little bit (20 -40 mins) after I put her to bed (if she didn't wake up while putting her down) and I go back in and nurse her to sleep again. This can happen 2-3 times. On rare occasions, she doesn't do this and will sleep straight through for a few hours before waking. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I can nurse her back to sleep, put her down without her waking up, only to hear her crying as soon as I crawl back into bed. This happened last night 3 times in a row. I was up for over an hour and a half.

What am I doing wrong here? This is happening more and more frequently. Is this a common thing that other people are just dealing with? How long are you holding your babies before you put them down? I used to be able to put her straight down and now it doesn't seem to matter if I hold her for a longer amount of time or not. I'm just lost.

She's happy when she wakes up in the morning and doesn't seem to mind being in her crib. Co sleeping is not an option. I get NO sleep that way.

Any advice is so greatly appreciated.


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#2 of 9 Old 07-22-2010, 04:37 PM
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i think we've gone through nearly every sleep struggle imaginable with DS. when i had this problem with him, we did two things: moved him to a mattress and introduced a pacifier to him. you may or may not agree with the second, but it was a must for us if i didn't want to be suckled on all night -- i have very sensitive nipples and am in pain by the morning.

we had to get rid of his crib because one of the latches broke, and i was familiar with the montessori method of infants sleeping on a low bed, so i figured we could try it out. it has worked great for us. when he wakes up, i just crawl onto the mattress with him and nurse him back to sleep, and then go back to my bed. if there are times when he doesn't want me to lay him down, i give him a paci, and he's okay with that. only sometimes, though. i've found that the times he doesn't want to paci are usually when he's not full enough. so i switch breasts and then he's okay for a couple hours.

good luck, mama. i know how you're feelin'.

Breastfeeding, delayed/selective vax, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, homebirthing mama to son River 8/10/09 and daughter Austen 10/13/11
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#3 of 9 Old 07-22-2010, 05:15 PM
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Some babies just need more snuggling than others, I think -- ds was like that, even if I lay down next to him, nursed him until he fell asleep, then tried to sneak away. With dd, on the other hand, I can lie down with her and nurse her to sleep then leave and she's fine, but I can't nurse her to sleep anywhere but in bed now (used to be able to nurse her in the Ergo and then lay her down, now she wakes up when I try that). Can you somehow try to nurse your baby while she's lying in her crib (I remember one mom in my mom's group from when ds was a baby actually used to get ino the crib until it broke one day)?

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#4 of 9 Old 07-22-2010, 05:45 PM
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I have 2 completely opposite things that have worked for us....sometimes.

1) Dr Sears talks about the limp arm stage of sleep. Hold them until you can lift an arm and it falls down-then set them down. This usually takes up to 20 minutes.

2) Put your baby down just as they are falling asleep or just before, and lay with them and pat/comfort until they fall asleep, that way they are not waking up when you leave. I found that doing this regularly for a while got our son in the habit of sleeping in the bed, and now he stays down better (but not very long periods of time-he is just not a great napper)

I also have found the pacifier to be a big help, I lay him down and give it to him and his eyes close again.
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#5 of 9 Old 07-22-2010, 11:47 PM
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DD was like this at 5 mo, I gave up, and side-carred the crib. I would nurse or rock to sleep, then put her down next to me, keeping her body really close. She wouldn't wake up with a horizontal shift away from me, but would with a vertical shift. Weird.

At 10 months, she would lie in the sidecarred crib and go to sleep by herself (needs paci though), and now, at 12 months, the crib side is back on, she is nursed and cuddled, then put in the crib awake, and she eventually lies down and goes to sleep while I lie on the bed and read.

It will happen mama! And sooner than you think!
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#6 of 9 Old 07-23-2010, 12:17 AM
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Our son was like that from about 2months to 8ish months. Oh god it was so tough. We tried everything -- pacifiers (wouldn't take one), white noise, music, rocking, lights, no lights, praying, begging...but eventually found that the only way was to hold him allllllll the time to keep him sleeping, (which meant either wearing him or sleeping when he did, tummy to tummy). Then for some unknown reason this changed out of the blue and he can now continue sleeping after i nurse him down. So things may change...sometime.

Love of our life, born September 2009
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#7 of 9 Old 07-23-2010, 01:06 AM
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you aren't doing anything "wrong". babies just are trying when we're tired!

i agree completely with a PP about the limp arm stage. it took many hard nights of discord before we learned this one. if the baby looks asleep, she's NOT until she's limp. if you put her in bed (yours, or hers) like this she WILL wake up, eyes wide open and PO-ed.

also - the sleep cycle for babies is about 30 minutes, which matches perfectly to what you said about the 20-40 minutes waking if she DOES fall to sleep. it is one sleep cycle, then wakefulness. i don't have a specific recommendation for you, but it's good to just know what you're dealing with, right?

my son is also hard to put to bed. a pacifier was a thing i NEVER wanted to use, but it turned out to be a life-saver. he just needs that, and he gets to sleep and stays asleep for 2+ hours, unless he pitooees it out.

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#8 of 9 Old 07-23-2010, 10:57 AM
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When my baby does this, I rock her in my arms and hum or sing or a gentle shhhh shhhh. When I put her down, if she opens her eyes or whimpers, I will start the hum or singing again (very quietly) and she will feel comforted and her eyes close. Sometimes a very gently caress or several, on her forehead, in a downward motion, the way her eyes would close, helps.

I do give ourselves (10-30 seconds) to see what she does before picking her up. If she completely rolls around, eyes wide open and looks offended I pick her up again and try again.

I think if you in-cooperate a 2nd technique (humming, pacifier, caress etc) to comfort baby then when she is laying down you can carry on with the 2nd technique and hopefully she can fall back a sleep.

(admittedly, with my first baby, it was not so straight forward!)

Sara - Mum to C (10/02) ; m/c 10/07; 7/08; 3/09; Lucy Olive Feb 28, 2010 !
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#9 of 9 Old 07-23-2010, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm ready to stick a mattress on her floor and just be done with it. After trying the pacifier, which she still refuses, after sitting next to her crib, shhh'ing her while she cries, after trying to pat her while she cries, the only solution at this point seems to be for me to lay down with her and nurse her until she falls asleep. I've had to resort to doing that for naps and I feel were headed there for nighttime as well. It was midnight before I was able to put her down last night. For whatever reason, it's when I go to remove my arm from the back of her head that wakes her.

I might have to get DH to warm up to the idea of having her sleep on a mattress on the floor. I'm sure he'll have doubts and concerns, but it seems that quite a few families are doing this. Is this a long term solution? Do you run into any issues down the road when they're more mobile and not contained by a crib?

I really appreciate all the advice. Thank you so much. She is such a delightful baby, I want to do what's best for her and see that she's well rested, and I certainly don't want to be feeling frustrated like this.
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