What do you do when nursing/rocking don't work?! - Mothering Forums
Co-sleeping and the Family Bed > What do you do when nursing/rocking don't work?!
Blanca78's Avatar Blanca78 06:01 PM 12-06-2011

Help, mamas.


I have been nursing DD to sleep for almost every nap and bedtime in her 7 months on this earth. There have been some times (especially for naps) when she has put herself to sleep without a fuss, or just with some babbling/yelling for a few minutes. She sleeps in a crib in our room.


As I write this, she is howling angrily in her crib (I wouldn't call it screaming). We do not WANT to let her cry, it just seems to be what she is doing--DH is in there now. I tried nursing her to sleep as usual but she wasn't really hungry enough to nurse long enough to fall asleep. I tried putting her in the crib and sitting next to her--she started crying. I tried lying in bed next to her, thinking maybe she'd fall asleep there. Nope. DH came in--he's been in there for the past 15 minutes, patting her, rocking her, lying next to her...nothing. Still crying.


Last night was a similar situation. What do you do when your arsenal is exhausted and it seems the child just does not want to go to bed? She's been opting not to nap much the last couple of weeks--she's just so turned on to the world right now--but not sleeping is not really an option at night.


I should add that by day she is a very mellow girl--we get comments from her daycare provider and other more experienced moms that she is unusually cheerful. But bedtimes are just full of drama.


I feel like she may be overtired--but if we move her bedtime earlier she's not tired enough to fall asleep nursing, and I feel like I don't know what else to do to get her to sleep without a fight! I don't want to just let her stay up and play, because that would worsen the overtired cycle.

babywearer_anon's Avatar babywearer_anon 11:08 AM 12-08-2011

I've totally been there!  My daughter is now 2.5 but I do remember having lots of those nights!  We tried lots of different things (can't remember them all at this point!).  One thing is to have a good babycarrier or wrap  (we used a beco and also a stork wrap) and just bounce around the house.  Also, our dd hated the rocking chair when she was young -- she much preferred bouncing on a large exercise ball.  And we swaddled her until she was about 10 months old (i know that is late for swaddling!!). 

Sometimes I tried bouncing her on the ball in the dark bathroom with the fan on, that worked sometimes.   And in our bedroom we did have an air purifier that works as a white noise machine. 


i also just gave up a lot of nights and just let her stay up - even though she was clearly overtired and needed to sleep - she just couldn't!


hope you find something that works. 

Blanca78's Avatar Blanca78 12:20 PM 12-08-2011

Thanks! Last night was a little better. We tried putting her down earlier and she was calmer. She's also napped a bit better during the day so that probably helped. She still started fussing when I put her in the crib (usually she'll nurse to sleep and only stir a little when I move her) but eventually DH managed to get her quieted down. I admit we let her fuss (not really crying, just kind of grumbling) for about 15 minutes before she finally conked out, which was better than the nearly three hours of back and forth and rocking and nursing and rocking and nursing ad nauseum that happened a couple nights before.

babygirlsmama's Avatar babygirlsmama 01:35 PM 12-08-2011

Oh, I remember those days.  Thankfully we are past them, but I think they sometimes get overstimulated and are just too wound up to focus on nursing and settling down.  Especially at that age.  I'm sure many tactics work, but what I did was this -- I put her in the Ergo, put a blanket over her (to block out any light/distraction) and then would pace around in circles in a dark room with soothing music playing, while encouraging her to nurse.  She would fuss and squirm, but eventually figured out that is what we were doing, so she would nurse, settle, and eventually sleep.  It was around that time that I realized I needed to take a strong lead in getting her to sleep, because it was obviously what she needed, even though she was fighting it. 

Good luck!


geekgolightly's Avatar geekgolightly 01:53 PM 12-08-2011

walking my 7 month old around the house while playing kesha shake.gif works when nothing else will. aren't i a lucky duck? lol!

katelove's Avatar katelove 05:36 PM 12-08-2011

We found bouncing on the exercise ball usually worked when nothing else did. Either sitting on it and holding her or laying her on her tummy over the ball and bouncing her.