Helping baby to sleep - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 01-22-2003, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is 3 months old and seems to fight naps so hard. We don't have a schedule. I just try to get her to sleep when she seems tired (yawning, rubbing eyes, getting the stares, you know).

Nursing her to sleep works a lot of the time. But sometimes she won't fall asleep nursing. I don't want to keep her out in the other room playing because I'm afraid of missing that "window" when she's tired but not overtired. But when she doesn't fall asleep nursing, nothing else works to get her to sleep without crying and screaming until she finally goes down.

I've tried pacing while holding her cradle-position. That works, but only after quite a bit of crying. I've tried rocking her in the rocking chair, which brings on even more crying. Lately I've been trying to give her a pacifier (which she's never really liked), in hopes that she'll get used to using it when she's sleepy and it will help her go to sleep easier MAYBE SOMETIME in the future.

I guess I feel bad that I can't help her get to sleep. I'm obviously not doing what she wants me to do. I can't figure out how to soothe her. But I know she's tired and needs to sleep. It breaks my heart that I can't soothe her without all the crying.

Has anyone else had an experience like this? What am I doing wrong? Our friends have a 8-month-old who just goes to sleep when they lay her in the crib with her pacifier. How can I get there?
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#2 of 14 Old 01-22-2003, 03:54 PM
 
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nataliekat,

I know it's so hard when they won't sleep. This is my own battle with DS. He started out a good sleeper and then went downhill. I just read Elizabeth Pantley's "No Cry Sleep Solution" and found it helpful. The thing that seems the most encouraging for naps is that they need more sleep at night and then the naps will come around too. I've tried this for 3 days now (going down at 7, sleeping 12 hours) and today he napped for an hour!

HTH,
mel
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#3 of 14 Old 01-22-2003, 04:03 PM
 
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It could be that your friend's used a sleep training method with their 8 month old that you would not feel comfortable to use with your baby. Or it could be that she has an unusually placid temperment. I don't know. But I would not set yourself up for dissapointment by expecting your baby to be like that anytime soon.

Both my babies preferred to nap in a semi-upright position. I think it settled their bellies.

My oldest baby liked to take naps in his mechanical swing when he was an infant. I felt like I needed to stay nearby and watch him, but as long as he was getting rest I didn't mind. When it was warm he liked to nap in the snuggli while I took long walks around the neighborhood.

My younger baby liked to take his naps in the sling against my chest while I worked around the house. It was sweet and cuddly for me, but sometimes difficult not to be able to sit down. But with an older child to care for, it was usually pretty convenient. We did that until he was too heavy to carry for long periods of time, and then I would gently lay him down after he fell asleep in the sling.

Good luck!
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#4 of 14 Old 01-22-2003, 04:08 PM
 
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Oi! A Classic post of a mother of a high- needs baby. Welcome to the club!!!! Try the Sears book "the fussy baby" and an allergy book called "Is this your child?" for starts.

Try not to compare to your friend--I know you already know that but it really is hard not to. Especially when the other mom is or seems to be implying something snarky....

Do not feel bad if you are holding your baby and she is still crying when you know there is nothing obviously wrong. She is being supported by you and she knows it.

Our best success was to pace the room, while singing and bouncing or singing and nursing. She also pretty much would only sleep in my arms--couldn't put her down unless I laid down too. This just recently ended. (3.5 years) She went through alot of Hylands Colic remedy.

Things I wished I had known then:
we probably had a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance

I should have waited to start vaccinating till around 2 years

She probably had some allergies that are only now becomming obvious

Loose the guild and good luck...sounds like ya got a mover and shaker there!
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#5 of 14 Old 01-23-2003, 06:11 AM
 
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I also recommend The No-Cry Sleep Solution . We are currently using it w/ DD and having some success (though it's a slow process).

I've found that DD naps better when she's had a good night's sleep and sleeps better at night when she's had adequate naps during the day. I've also found that it's much easier to put her to bed at night around 7:30pm. She still sleeps until 8am with some night-waking (which we are also working on). I also put her down for naps in the midmorning and early afternoon. Right now, the only way for her to take a nap is for me to lay down next to her (we're working on that too). Setting up a flexible daytime and bedtime routine may help baby sleep better at naptime and bedtime. Good luck and HTH.
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#6 of 14 Old 01-23-2003, 09:48 AM
 
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I found a lot that was *very* helpful for my toddler in Pantley's book. But after admitting that, I have to say that I'd be hesitant to recommend it for a 3 month old baby. I'm just not sure it is appropriate.
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#7 of 14 Old 01-23-2003, 12:50 PM
 
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Sounds a LOT like my daughter.

Here are some things that worked for her:

Sucking on my finger (hated the pacifier, liked the skin feeling without the milk)

The sound of running water, and also of being in the shower (I was the best-cleaned mom around for a while!)

Being swung face-down, butt in my hand and head on my elbow, in slow, wide arcs

Bouncing, not rocking

And knowing a bit of rhythm helped A LOT too. Like, we knew when her really colicky period would start, and right before that I would nurse her and then we would head off for a 45 minute shower, and it cut WAAAY down on the amount of time spent bouncing and swaying.

I know it can be tough having a baby that people really don't understand. My FIL gave us major crap about how we comforted Becca until he tried his own 'better' gentler ways himself and saw how well THAT worked.

Just to reassure you, it is nothing that you are doing that is making your baby more high-strung than other babies. My second is a classic laid-back baby and hardly cried at all as an infant. A very easy-to-please kind of guy, happy to fall asleep nursing every time or be cuddled and rocked gently to sleep. There is no real difference in the way I started out parenting these two children (although we all know that parenting is a two-way thing and I obviously parent the two of them quite differently now). I never could get anyone 'mainstream' to believe that my daughter was just a very independent personality stuck in a very dependent situation until two things happened: She became a very well-behaved, very inquisitive, very independent toddler: and my son's laid-back personality proved that her behavior was a result of her personality and NOT of my somehow making her like that.

Also, many people will attempt to tell you that colic is 'just gas' and to treat the gas. I know for a fact that this was not the case for my daughter and wasted much energy trying to explain this to people. Her ped agreed that her colic was purely psychologically-based. My MIL actually insisted we take her for an evaluation because she was SOOO certain that this was not normal. I honestly was afraid she would call someone on us if we didn't seek medical treatment, and she didn't drop the subject until we'd seen several people, all of whom said that the problem was psychological and not physical. Thankfully, nobody felt the need to recommend anything invasive and simple interviews were all we needed.

My mom, a perinatal nurse and lactation consultant, and longtime LLL leader, told me AFTER DD self-weaned at the early age of 2, that my daughter was the most finicky nurser and most colicy baby physically healthy baby she had ever encountered. I think she was scared that I would resort to drastic methods had she told me earlier about the extreme nature of our situation, but she need not have worried (never did trust me).

All I can say is, this too shall pass. And a properly loved-on high-needs baby will usually turn into a toddler of the best type; secure, independent, curious, and inquisitive. Do not give into the temptation/insistance of others to sleep-train by CIO; not only are these high-needs children extremely resistant to this method (they have strong wills!), but when it finally does work, you will end up with a very broken spirit, and it is my personal beleif that this is how some parents wind up with insecure, tantruming, change-resistant children (of course it is not the only way, some children just have that sort of personality).

Mama, homeschooler, midwife. DD (13yo), DS (11yo), DD (8yo), DD (3yo), somebody new coming in November 2013.

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#8 of 14 Old 01-23-2003, 01:01 PM
 
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All babies are different. I can't imagine just laying ds down and having him sack right out. At 3 months, when ds was tired but fighting sleep, the best way to get him there was to put him in the Baby Bjorn and run up and down the stairs, or else to hold him upright and bounce him.

He's now 9 months and for naps (~10 AM and 2 PM) I still lie down next to him (we sleep on futon on the floor) and nurse him to sleep, then I need to nurse him back to sleep 40 minutes later when he stirs. He's usually down for 1.5-2 hrs this way.
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#9 of 14 Old 01-23-2003, 11:10 PM
 
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My 4mnth old usually nurses to sleep also. Sometimes (like today) I can tell he's tired but when I offer the breast he gets MAD and thrusts away. He's obviousy exhausted and cranky but won't nurse. The only thing that works is the sling. i pace up and down the hall and ten minutes later he's out. works every time i don't find it comfy to do housework (or anything besides walking) while wearing baby so I usually slip it off and hope for the best. He usually won't sleep long without me beside him but sometimes he does and I actually get some dishes done. good luck!
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#10 of 14 Old 01-24-2003, 12:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by nataliekat
I guess I feel bad that I can't help her get to sleep. I'm obviously not doing what she wants me to do. I can't figure out how to soothe her. But I know she's tired and needs to sleep. It breaks my heart that I can't soothe her without all the crying.
I'm glad you recognise that this is your problem. You aren't doing anything wrong, I think you just need to figure it out. "it" being what your Dd needs to sleep. They are all so different.

My DD is not at all high needs. She's very laid back and rarely cries, but it took a few weeks for us to "figure her out" and in those early weeks I had nights when I just didn't know what her "thing" was. It was hard!

Some more suggestions:

We always had music around (a fully loaded iPod) and we'd play some random tunes, holding her in cradle position and bouncing around. Bouncing was always better than rocking. At around 2 months she began to prefer being held upright rather than cradle. Gradually the number of songs we listened to before she fell asleep dwindled, and now we rarely need to play anything. But there's a certain "baby dance"...not rocking, but bouncing, and swaying while I did it. Hard to describe but lots of knee bends, lol.

Anyways, you WiLL figure it out. ANd in the meantime holding her close is so good for her.

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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#11 of 14 Old 01-24-2003, 01:18 AM
 
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Do you try to catch that very first yawn? After reading Pantley's book, I saw that I waited too long to put dd to sleep. Dd is much more likely to take a nap if we do that. Also - at that age, she probably is "nappable" in just an hour or two after first getting up in the day. By the time you're up and had a shower and cup of coffee, she's ready to go down again. It might be a timing thing, I guess I'm saying.
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#12 of 14 Old 01-24-2003, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really appreciate everyone taking the time to reply. I don't really think she's high needs, because she doesn't need me to hold her all the time, etc. She'll play by herself for short periods during the day.

Mamajama - your baby sounds like mine. Nursing works most of the time but there are just those days when she won't stay on the nipple and cries and we have to figure out something else.

Piglet68 - I know the baby dance you're talking about. We use it sometimes to calm her down enough to nurse.

Thank goodness she's not like this every day. Guess I just needed some reassurance that she's not going to be damaged because I can't always do what she wants me to do.

Thanks again, everybody.
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#13 of 14 Old 01-25-2003, 01:20 AM
 
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Maisie! What an adorable name!

OK, not to nag but maybe its a budding food allergy or sensitivity? Maybe record your food/drink intake and see if there's any correlation??

Take care.
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#14 of 14 Old 01-25-2003, 01:27 AM
 
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My DS is the same way! If nursing doesn't work I put him in the sling or Bjorn. That works really well for us. I massaged him to sleep for the first time tonight. I laid him on the bed a talked softly and massaged his forhead, arms, chest, legs, feet, and hands. It was wild! He drifted off so peacefully. I hope it wasn't just one of those things!! Good luck.


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