Hi everyone, I am looking for a little advice. I have a beautiful baby boy who just turned 6 months old but he refuses to sleep until early hours of the morning.
The problem began due to my work schedule, I used to work at a call center where I was off at 1:30 am and was getting home at around 2 am. My husband did great at taking care of baby but he never really enforced a sleep routine or bed time. So when I got home at 2 it was my turn to care for baby, feed him and try to get him to sleep which almost always ended up being 5:30 or 6 am.
This scheduled was not working out for anyone, so I decided to quit my job for a while and focus on our baby. My problem is that now I cannot get baby to go to sleep at night. I have been trying to start a bedtime routine but he will not go to sleep. He'll cry, scream and squirm, start scratching his face, my arms, whatever he can get a hold of. Even when I get lucky and he DOES fall asleep he will only stay asleep for 30 minutes at the most and he will not back to sleep.
I have tried letting him cry it out but almost an hour later and he's still crying ( check up on him every few minutes but when I do he cries harder and begins screaming and I always feel really guilty, so I really don't like that method).
I have also tried giving him a bath before bed, which usually gets him really sleepy. He does fall asleep but a few minutes later he wakes up. This goes on every night and he finally ends up falling asleep at around 5 or 6. Right now it is almost 5 and I still have a crying baby.
I really need help and advice. I am so sleep deprived, stressed out and most of the nights I end up crying because I feel so powerless and frustrated. I feel like this is never gonna get better. All I hear all night is crying and screaming and I feel like a horrible mother because I can't help my baby fall asleep. Does anyone have any advice? I would appreciate any comments that might help me.
Thank you for reading all of this, I know it was long.
First, you are adjusting his sleep time drastically. Now, putting him to sleep when he's not tired, he finds you are not there. "WAAAAAH!" says baby (and mama too!)
I don't have much time, but: turn out the lights in the entire house gradually until they are nearly all of lights are out (this works nicely at Winter Solstice time, even at 5:30!). Cuddle him, then GO TO BED with him! Start late the first night, say 11:00pm or whatever, late enough that he is tired and you are tired. Put him in your bed and sleep together. Then gradually work your way back, 1/2 hr by 1/2 hr until the time gets reasonable. If you don't want to bedshare, then move the crib next to the bed, but I think this will work better if you are in the same bed. If you eventually want to creep out, then start this in his bedroom with the mattress on the floor-- old, flat futons are nice for this purpose. Make it a full or queen size and sleep together.
You may not want to bedshare for other reasons, but it works like nothing else to get kids adjusted to a proper bedtime. You might still eventually have to work at getting some time to yourself in the evening, but it is not nearly the exhausting fight that you are describing. And you'll sleep! Still not the sleep you got before kids, to be sure, but rejuvenating sleep nonetheless.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
SweetSilver gave good advice. If you haven't tried lying with your baby and letting him fall asleep with you there, it's definitely worth a shot. You both might get some needed good sleep! Some babies just "give up" and fall asleep but some (like my older son) just really need mommy there.
And I realized I didn't write that the first few nights might still be frustrating. He probably will not go to sleep as soon as you lie down with him, so don't expect it and don't get frustrated. If he takes, say, 3 hours the first night to finally collapse, maybe bump his bedtime a little later by about an hour and try again. Once you've got it within a reasonable timeframe (meaning you are not frustrated because he is finally relaxing and working his best to fall asleep with you) then start dialing his bedtime back from that point. If you have it in you and he's not a bear when he first wakes up, you can try to get up an hour earlier in the "morning" and don't let him have a long nap in the "afternoon". Hopefully you can stop using quotations around those words and get close to the real thing.
Sorry no on answered your post for that many days, it probably felt like an eternity.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.