Please help us if you can...my 5.5 month old son spends all day frantically rubbing his eyes but is unable to sleep. As a family we are all miserable because he is so unhappy due to not sleeping. We co sleep, and even at night, he will wake himself up by rolling over in his sleep. He just rubs his eyes so much I wondered if he had an allergy, but nope, it's lack-of-sleep related. I feel so bad that I can't help him get better naps or stay asleep for long. Even if he is nestled against me after nursing to sleep, he'll randomly attempt to roll over in his sleep against me, get frustrated and wake up.
He has gone 8+ hours without any naps or sleep...and when he so desperately needs it, I do everything I can to provide the right environment to foster sleep (including laying down with him) and know that sleep promotes sleep...but my little guy is having such a hard time with it right now. :( Why is he suddenly struggling so much with sleeping? Any help appreciated...or even just any encouragement, my mojo is really weakened due to extended sleep deprivation and dealing with an unhappy baby.
Try all kinds of different things. We went through periods where being swaddled was preferred, other times not so much. Try swaddle then nurse? It keeps those limbs from really moving and waking him up. Other things to try: a battery op swing, white noise, raising one end of the crib or bed if you suspect reflux, change in how you dress him (too hot or cold,) riding in the car or stroller, try to get him down before you think he is tired so he doesn't get overtired and unable to settle down (my DD couldn't even stay awake 2 hours at that age. She was down for a nap an hour and a half after morning waking, then up and down in 2 hour increments.) And if nothing else, this will pass. They eventually learn better sleep habits one way or another. It's hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel, but he will get there.
If it isn't teething, then I second pp's suggestion to try lots of things to find something that works for now (something else will likely be needed in a couple of weeks). I also had really good luck with laying down on the couch with baby on top, nursing. I could relax, she also relaxed and when she is ill or otherwise having a very tough time sleeping, it's the only thing that works. On really rough days I'd fall asleep too and we both wake up in a better mood.
Good luck, I hope you fing something that helps.
P.S.: is he working on a milestone? If so then this will also resolve in time. DD had rough time sleeping at rolling over, crawling, pulling up, walking, and now talking. I swear they practice at night so they can amaze us in the morning lol.
Starting at about 5 months sleep became a challenge over here too. My girl was just tooo interested in what was going on to be put to sleep! We bedshare, so the night sleep is pretty easy to manage, I can keep her latched on as long as need be. The day sleep takes a little work. I usually nurse her as soon as I see a yawn/crankiness (they say if you wait til they rub their eyes, they are already over tired). I'm at home all day, so it works for us to nurse laying down even in the day. I'll close the blinds, lay down with her and nurse her to sleep. Then I'll either make a "pillow mom" and sneak away or strap her in the swing and she'll take an approx 20-40 minute nap (usually 20 lol). The next nap I'll just lay with her, latch her back on if she starts to stir and just try to get her to nap for at least an hour. Later we will go through the routine to get another 20 minute nap. So... just keep trying to do what ever you need to do to get at least one good long nap in, otherwise you're right they are impossible at night time!
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Thanks everyone, I have been staying home A LOT more and just having "sleepy days" where all day I just lay around and be really lazy with my boy so that he will relax and get tired enough to hopefully drop off for naps. I've noticed this really helps. But anytime I leave the house for any reason means he is too stimulated to nap. I have relatives visiting right now and his nap schedule has totally gone to poo. I put my foot down today and told them that we need to stay in today and catch up on rest. When it's just me and him, he does nap here and there throughout the day...very short naps, but naps nonetheless.
He IS teething like crazy and is really achieving some milestones so I think a lot of change is happening right now for him.