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#1 of 18 Old 06-07-2011, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have been having problems getting our baby to sleep for daytime naps for the last few weeks and are now having trouble with resettling him after he wakes at night.  He can normally stay awake for around 2 hours in between naps, but there have been times when that has stretched to 3,4,5, up to 7 hours.  The afternoon he did the 7 hour stretch I found myself getting more and more frantic and stressed the longer he was awake.  Several times I got him to go to sleep in my arms only to have him wake up when I put him down in his cot.  It had me sobbing and pleading with him to just go to sleep and screaming with frustration, all of which of course had him sobbing as well.  Eventually I was able to get him to my mum's house for a break, but I want to know: How do I stay calm in those circumstances? (especially when it's the middle of the night)  What can I do to manage this situation better?  Please help!

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#2 of 18 Old 06-08-2011, 08:09 AM
 
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OH it is so hard to be calm in those situations. I totally remember feeling the same way when DS was a few months old. I would spend hours frantically trying to get him to nap and nothing would work and I would just lose my ^%$*. The longer it went, the more agitated I'd get, thinking "It's been 4 hours and he won't nap. It's been 6 hours and he won't nap."

 

I found it helpful to just totally mix things up when it got crazy like that. Baby won't nap. Fine - let's go to the mall. Meet a friend for coffee. Go for a walk. Go do anything. You'd think that it would be a bad idea to take a baby out when he hasn't had a nap - but I find that 9 times out of 10 they're happy for the change in scenery, you get calm and that helps them get calm.

 

That said, try not to be too hard on yourself - I remember DH telling me "When you get stressed, he gets stressed." Well *&^% you very much - thanks - I know that. Now I feel guilty and tired AND the baby still won't nap.

 

Put the baby down someplace where he's safe and take a 10 or 15 minute break.

 

I also found it helpful to find something to do that made me happy - even if it was a little thing - go to your favorite ice cream place. Post here saying that you're about to lose your *&&^%.

 

Hang in there. It will get better.


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#3 of 18 Old 06-08-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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How old is your baby?  My baby went through a phase similar to this during which she wouldn't sleep during the day unless we were holding her, from around 10 weeks to 17 weeks.  I have read so many books on my iPhone!  She is beginning to outgrow it (albeit slowly), and I think part of her being able to outgrow it was tied to me learning to stay calm.  I found that it really helped to sing repetitive songs to her (and to myself- think Old McDonald had a farm).  This helped me kind of meditate, remain calm and disengage from the fussing.  I also wore her and patted her rhythmically, which prevented her from thrashing around, which was a lot of what was keeping her awake.  Can you enlist the help of your mom or your partner to just stay in the room with you? I found that I stayed a lot calmer if someone stayed with me in the room.  Our nighttime routine was helped greatly by the following (which is how my grandmother used to put me to bed): I swaddle the baby after nursing her, lay her down on the bed in a very dark room (think contractor bags on the windows), turn on the fan for white noise, and sing repetitive songs while looking into her eyes and petting her head forward towards her forehead.  I let my fingers lightly run down toward her eyes, and this makes her close her eyes.  This is the only way I can get her down fuss-free.  I also introduced a paci at around 12 weeks bc she was comfort nursing and waking up every time I let down. I stay with her for the first hour she's asleep bc she wakes repeatedly to nurse.  If I let her wake all the way up I'm doomed, because then she'll be up for an hour, so we started co-sleeping, which I highly recommend if you have a big bed.  That way you can nurse, or otherwise hush the baby back down before they pop those little eyes open.  I know it's really hard, and believe me, I feel for you.  Hang in there!      

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#4 of 18 Old 06-08-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by whozeyermamma View Post

 

 

I found it helpful to just totally mix things up when it got crazy like that. Baby won't nap. Fine - let's go to the mall. Meet a friend for coffee. Go for a walk. Go do anything. You'd think that it would be a bad idea to take a baby out when he hasn't had a nap - but I find that 9 times out of 10 they're happy for the change in scenery, you get calm and that helps them get calm.

 


I second this- walks to grab some fresh air from both of us and distract the baby really saved the day.   

 

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#5 of 18 Old 06-08-2011, 08:26 AM
 
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This is really true too! With DD it was "wheels on the bus," with this little DS - it's "this old man." Something about singing the same thing over and over - it helped me disengage from the moment and like reilly says - to mediate through the storm.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by rielly View Post

 I found that it really helped to sing repetitive songs to her (and to myself- think Old McDonald had a farm).  This helped me kind of meditate, remain calm and disengage from the fussing. 

 


Me (40) DH (49) daring DD (9) and darling DS - almost THREE! (born June 25, 2010 in an amazing, unplanned homebirth.jpg

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#6 of 18 Old 06-08-2011, 08:31 AM
 
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Sounds like something that I am going through myself.  I have a 5 month old daughter and she will not nap during the day unless I am holding her.  At first I found this discouraging.  There are so many things that I would like to be able to get done while she sleeps.  However, it is what it is.  Now that I have accepted the phase we are currently in things have gotten much better.  When she naps, I hold her and read or use my laptop.  She is most fussy when she is tired but not yet asleep.  I find that singing to her or lightly drumming my finger against my breast (to hypnotize her, ha!) while she is nursing help to put us both in a trance like state and get her to sleep faster.  She sleeps much better at night if she has had at least one decent nap during the day.  For me, the sacrifice of being pinned to the couch during that nap is worth the benefit of a restful night.


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#7 of 18 Old 06-08-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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my LO will only sleep next to me or on me and he's 14 weeks now and always been this way. if i try and put him down he just starts to stir and cry. it's worth it to me to keep holding him, keep walking him in the carrier (after he's asleep) or get him to sleep side-lying nursing so we both get a break. 

 

hugs mama.


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#8 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 12:40 AM
 
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I have a 7 week old and I too am going through the same thing.  I am so glad to see that I am not the only one with this issue. I knew I couldn't be, but to read this now as I go through it and question my ability as a parent (I am a newbie) gives me so much hope and makes me realize that my baby and I are not alone.  My DS maybe gets 1 -2 cat naps a day that last, if I am lucky, 30 minutes. Anything longer than that is because he is either in my arms or in a carrier/wrap.  There are times where I do need to take a minute or two to regroup and take a big deep breath and I feel that it really helps. I am just wondering if this is a phase and if and when he will grow out of it? Or do I just have a high needs child? 

 

I do worry about the day I go back to work and my mother will watch him the 2 days that I am working... what is she going to do? Will she hold him and care for him the way I do or will she get frustrated and feel that he is too needy and isn't able to hold him all the time? Anyone else have a similar situation as far as with a caregiver on the days you aren't with your babe? If so, what do you do?

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#9 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 04:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your replies, reassurance, support and helpful advice.  It did help me to know I'm not the only one who has struggled with this.  My mum also suggested letting him sleep in my arms if he won't stay asleep in his cot - just try putting him down a couple of times, then just hold him if that's what it takes.  I did that today and he slept for nearly an hour in my arms while I used my laptop.  I think I will do that from now on (for day naps).  We now have the added problem of him having a cold, which is waking him up at night.  The other night he was awake at 2.30am and took 45 mins to resettle and then it took me nearly 2 hours to get back to sleep :(  Hopefully he will get over the cold soon...

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#10 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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I did find that for my LO that it was a phase. The other thing we did was that for a while - a few months - I just slept with him for every nap. At first it made me nuts because I so wanted a break and wanted to get things done. But after I just gave in to it, he napped, I slept and we all felt better.

 

Now he's a great (solo) napper.


Me (40) DH (49) daring DD (9) and darling DS - almost THREE! (born June 25, 2010 in an amazing, unplanned homebirth.jpg

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#11 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 09:37 AM
 
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Oh I'm so glad to read this.  We've been going through a bit of this lately too, though I think it's developmental - lots going on with him at 10 months!  A couple nights ago I nearly lost it too.  I popped him in the stroller and told his stepsis (12 yrs) we were going to Whole Foods for dinner.  We walked there, got stuff, lots of people smiled at him and by the time we walked home (a mile each way) we were all feeling a little better).  It was still another hour until sleep, but no one was frustrated.

 

I have a little song I made up a couple months ago when things were REALLY bad due to his dad being away for awhile (weeks).  I still love you, little boy... etc.  Every line started "I still love you"  DP asked if I was trying to remind myself and I said, maybe!


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#12 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 11:09 AM
 
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Entirely agree with PP about change of scenery and collecting yourself. My DS is almost 6 months and has occasional days where he won't nap for hours. Used to drive me crazy as I work from home PT while he naps, but once I mentally resign the "must get something done while ne sleeps", it's easier. After nursing and wearing him to nap didn't work last time we went for a ride. I got an ice cream and he got a nap. I know it's not ideal, but sometimes you just have to get out of routine.

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#13 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 03:35 PM
 
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My baby is 6 weeks old, and she also has a terrible time falling asleep. Thankfully she falls asleep easily in the middle of the night after nursing, but naps during the day and initally going to sleep at night are a different story. She'll fall asleep nursing, seemingly fast asleep, then wake up frantic as soon as I lay her down. I can't help but fast-forward to when I go back to work in August- it's only 2 days a week but all I think about is- am I creating a bad habit that is going to make it harder for her? I'd really like to just enjoy our time together and stop worrying about what is going to happen 2 months from now, since I know she is going to be older and (hopefully) sleeping better. 

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#14 of 18 Old 06-09-2011, 04:22 PM
 
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My vote is for babywearing! Even if your baby does not take a nap you are at least able to get other things done like when they are napping. Sometime my son won't take a nap and I'll wear him and he doesn't fall asleep but he just rests and looks over my shoulder at the world. This leaves him a bit recharged and less cranky.


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#15 of 18 Old 06-10-2011, 04:48 PM
 
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Not sure how old your LO is?  I find it really helpful to have time limits and contingency plans.  You're going to spend a certain amount of time trying to get your LO to nap (30 minutes or less, I'd say), and if it doesn't work you are going to _______.  Go for a walk, drive baby around to sleep and get yourself a treat, wear baby to do the chores you would have done if she was napping... Try the nap again every hour or so, and try to focus on soothing your LO rather than getting him to sleep. 

 

Oh, and trust me - I SO know about the crazy screaming frustration of having a baby that won't nap.  I spent many months like this when DD was younger.  I couldn't believe how incredibly explosive I felt sometimes because I just.needed.a.break.  But couldn't get one.  DD is 14 months now, and still not an amazing napper, but much, much better than she used to be.  If nothing else, at least you know you'll only have to deal with it once or twice a day by the time he's a year old. 

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#16 of 18 Old 06-12-2011, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply newmamalizzy.  I agree that we need to have contingency plans for when things don't go well with settling for naps/sleep at night.  Last night it took nearly 2 hours to get our baby to sleep (he is nearly 9mos btw) and in the end we gave up on rocking/singing him to sleep as we normally do and just put him in his cot with lullaby music on and 15 mins later he was asleep!  My husband and I have made a plan to take it in turns settling him for 15 mins each and if he is still awake, put him down with music on for 15 mins.  If he is still awake then, we start the cycle again until he finally drops off.  It means both of us gets a 1/2 hour break in between our shifts and we are giving him the chance to put himself to sleep with the music (which he used to be able to do).  Hopefully we won't have to resort to that too often, as most nights he goes off fairly quickly and easily. 

 

Thanks again :)

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#17 of 18 Old 06-13-2011, 10:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamayogibear View Post

My vote is for babywearing! Even if your baby does not take a nap you are at least able to get other things done like when they are napping. Sometime my son won't take a nap and I'll wear him and he doesn't fall asleep but he just rests and looks over my shoulder at the world. This leaves him a bit recharged and less cranky.


I second this. My 9-wk-old has yet to take a nap in his bed --he spends most of the day in the moby wrap, where he sleeps a great deal or just looks around.

That's only an indirect answer to your question. I agree with a previous poster that you shoud get out and do something you enjoy. Put baby in the wrap and walk around at the mall or park or something. My baby gets upset when I stand still, so I walk to the ice cream parlor almost every day. I also do a lot of dancing--turn on your favorite album and get moving. This is calming for both me and baby.

Some babies also go to sleep in the stroller. Mine does not, but it might be worth a shot.

Good luck!
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#18 of 18 Old 06-19-2011, 08:55 PM
 
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Oh this is the hardest.  I had such a hard time when my babe didn't sleep at night. I would have completely lost it if I hadn't been able to hand her over to my partner from time to time.  I often wondered how I could better handle myself with a crying babe in the middle of the night when sleep deprived, but never came up with a great strategy.  I also had the problem that she would wake up when I tried to lower her into a crib. That's around when we got rid of the crib and replaced it with a futon on the floor in between our bed and the wall.  We made a safe place for her there. It was helpful because I could lay with her/nurse her, or have her fall asleep on my chest, and then just gently roll her onto the futon and get into my bed.  It was also good for night nursings because I could easily go to her, nurse her back to sleep and get back into my bed. (I was never able to sleep well with her in our bed so this was a great compromise.)  Also, don't forget to offer empathy and friendship to yourself. It is really hard and most of us go through this!

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