Overtired / Overstimulated Baby - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 10-10-2008, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First, let me say that my husband and I have made the decision to bedshare with our son, and we're loving it.

When he was 2-3 weeks old, he would fall asleep anywhere / anytime, and it wasn't a problem. He would fall asleep, and we would take him to bed when we were ready. Now, he's starting to get overstimulated / overtired more easily. I want to be sensitive to his sleep needs, and expecting him to fall into a restful sleep in my arms with the TV and lights on isn't realistic anymore.

My question: While I don't feel like a baby should sleep alone (in a crib, in a separate room, etc.), I would like for my little one to be able to FALL asleep alone...for naps, when I'm not ready to go to sleep with him at 7pm, etc. He's now two months old...am I being unreasonable? Is my only option to lie down with him at 7pm? I'm concerned about creating bad habits / over-dependency, but I'm also not willing to let him cry it out.

Any advice?
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#2 of 13 Old 10-10-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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It can take quite a while for a baby to learn to fall asleep alone. Two months does seem young for that to me. I only have the one kid, and I know all kids are different, but mine really had to be *put* to sleep when he was that little. He wasn't going all by himself.

The thing that saved our lives and sanity when DS was little was swaddling. A firm double-blanket swaddle, a little nursing and he could generally be counted on to conk right out. Of course, babies sleep more than their parents need to, and lying awake in the dark because the baby's sleeping can be an awfully aggravating exercise. While your son may not fall asleep with the lights and the tv on, is it possible he would stay asleep that way? Would a wrap or a sling be a good solution? Or, if you prefer, a bassinet, or a bouncy chair...

We had a pack n' play in the living room for a while, which DS went into when he was sleeping, and we had a nursery with a crib we used for naps.

I wouldn't worry about "bad habits" or "overdependency." Your child is two months old. He is genuinely entirely dependent on the people around him. It is a rare child who doesn't strike out independently when ready.
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#3 of 13 Old 10-10-2008, 11:42 PM
 
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When DS was that age, he was sleeping in a bassinet beside our bed. We would swaddle him, nurse to sleep, and lay down in his bassinet, where he would sleep hopefully for a couple of hours or so at which time generally I was going to bed anyways in which case I would take him in with me. 2 months is most probably too young to fall asleep on their own (my 9 month old is NOWHERE near falling asleep on his own) but not too young to STAY asleep on his own, given that he is swaddled probably. No way would my DS stay asleep if he was unswaddled with his limbs flailing around, but generally he was pretty good swaddled and cozy.

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#4 of 13 Old 10-10-2008, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the replies!

it's encouraging to hear that i shouldn't expect him to fall asleep alone at this age. a few of our friends are advocates of babywise / cry it out methods, and it's easy, as a first time mom, to start to wonder if we're doing it all wrong.

have either of you, or anyone else, had specific experience dealing with an overtired / overstimulated baby? it's happened twice now...he's gotten so overtired that he fussed / screamed for 30m or so before falling asleep. maybe it just comes with experience, but it's hard for me to tell when he's getting overstimulated...he seems happy one minute, and it goes downhill fast.
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#5 of 13 Old 10-10-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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DD is two years old and still doesn't fall asleep by herself. I know my kid's just a crappy sleeper, but honestly, I think it's unreasonable to expect a 2 month old to do that. Especially a cosleeping baby who's used to being in arms/near you while sleeping.

But really, at 2 months, aren't most babies nursing to sleep? Mine sure was.
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#6 of 13 Old 10-11-2008, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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betsy - thanks for your reply. i'm new at this, that's why i'm asking questions.

is it unreasonable for me to expect my co-sleeping baby to sleep alone (not neccesarily FALL asleep alone) for naps and for a few hours before my bedtime?

my baby nurses to sleep most of the time...unfortunately, i'm still waiting for my milk supply to calm down (i've had oversupply issues), and tonight, his belly was already full, and nursing to sleep wasn't working out...he was only getting more and more frustrated.

also, i'm looking at having to go back to work part time, and if possible i would like to have options other than nursing to sleep...
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#7 of 13 Old 10-11-2008, 12:57 AM
 
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What I'm about to tell you, others have already said. I'll just emphasize it though.

He is too young. It isn't realistic at all to expect a cosleeping baby to sleep on his own at such a young age for any period of time, as he is attached to you. If he awakes and finds you gone, he will think you have abandoned him, and he'll cry out in distress. He won't have the object permanence to reason that you'll come back later. Babies can't think like that. If something is not there, to them it is gone forever.

Now, I know you won't want to sleep the same times he sleeps, as babies need more sleep than adults, but could he sleep in the same room with you with some white noise going on? Just a thought.

Babies are totally dependent on their caregivers. Expecting them to develop a form of independence at a young age is not realistic at all. Mainstream parents would like you to believe this, but this is so unnatural for both you and baby. He can never be too dependent. Just remember that. He can't even cope with the world around him, emotionally or physically. He doesn't have the reasoning skills that will enable things to make sense to him. He can't communicate with you in other ways except through crying. He can't fend for himself and care for his own needs. He needs mommy for everything. I mean everything. I know it may get tiring: but just hang in there, girlie. He'll thank you so much for it. It will pay off so much later.

I understand why you thought that way though, as I'm sure baby-wise people tried to make you feel bad. But, please don't listen to them. Nurse to sleep as long as you can. Don't stop it. Time with your baby is so fleating. Don't rush him to be independent. Before you know it, he'll be independent enough to leave the nest, and you'll be lucky to hear from him twice a year. So enjoy this time while you have it to bond and give him all the affection he needs to become a viable and secure adult, and stay strong. You can do it. We root for ya.

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#8 of 13 Old 10-12-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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I agree with what others have said. At that age, we did a lot of nursing to sleep, often in bed together, then I would roll away because my lo was too young to roll over, etc. or I would then transfer him to our cosleeper. When he got overtired, white noise really helped let him stop fighting the sleep, the blow dryer specifically. You're still in the "4th trimester" and so a lot of the tips in the Happiest Baby on the Block would help (the 5 s tips). Don't give in to the babywise crowd!
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#9 of 13 Old 10-12-2008, 05:04 PM
 
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Even if he can't fall asleep by himself (we still lay down with almost-3yo ds for bedtime), you can get up after he's asleep and leave him there until bedtime. That's what I did/do. Just make sure he's safe (re blankets/pillows etc) and can't fall out, and go have your dinner!

As for the overtired thing, you probably just need to watch the clock to some extent. At that age, they can't be awake much longer than 2 hours at a time, and are starting to get firm(er) bedtimes. Start your bedtime routine before he seems tired! If you miss the window and have an overtired baby, I find Dr Karp's famous Ss pretty effective: dark room, SHHH (loud white noise machine), swaddle, sway (rock), and suck (pacifier or boob). A sling takes care of many of these things.

Nursing to sleep...no magic formula there, but I found The No-Cry Sleep Solution pretty useful. They also adapt pretty quickly to other people's strategies, if mama is gone, so dh (or whomever) will have to find their own way (when ds still needed nursing and vigorous yoga-ball bouncing to go to sleep, for example, his DCP would put him in the crib and he'd go happily to sleep by himself, no crying.

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#10 of 13 Old 10-12-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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Our eight month old sleeps for about two hours alone for naptimes. I nurse him, and if he's not asleep after that I just put him in the crib and then sit nearby for ten minutes. Even less some days.

Night is different for some reason. He goes down happily at 7-8... for an hour. Then he's up and ready to fight tigers until 11ish. Then he lies down with us in the big bed, drifts off, and other than a little night milking, he stays asleep until 9ish/10ish.

I used to try and convince him to stay in bed and go back to sleep after the 8 PM nap, but I only lasted a few days of the staring at the darkness. He spent the entire time cheerfully babbling and kicking.

Meh. He's well rested and a happy kid. He's just a night owl. I don't care enough to try and reprogram him; since I work at home I don't have to make him follow a schedule in the mornings, you know?

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#11 of 13 Old 12-12-2008, 02:48 AM
 
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Thank you for all of your insight. This touched on what me and my Damn Spouse have been experiencing with our Damn Son. He's two months old as well and he gets jacked around 8-10pm and then finally settles down by around 10:30-11. We also find the 5 s's and a dimmed/quiet room to be the perfect elixir for what ails 'im. Sorry about the damns but it really bothers me that everyone uses those abbreviations. For me, it really ruins every otherwise intelligent comment. Other than that, thanks.
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#12 of 13 Old 12-12-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameshuckabone View Post
Sorry about the damns but it really bothers me that everyone uses those abbreviations. For me, it really ruins every otherwise intelligent comment. Other than that, thanks.
Okay...

New to the thread, but my son (is that OK?) STILL nurses to sleep, every night. At that age, I usually had him on my lap sleeping while we watched TV or whatever and then I would bring him to bed with me. He's still so little I really wouldn't worry about it at this point. Around 4 months for us I found I could nurse him to sleep in our bed (with him swaddled), and leave him for a couple of hours before I joined him (sometimes needing to go in anyways and put him back to sleep). Now, he will sleep alone for 4-5 hours (we got rid of the swaddle around 5 months) before waking up. I've been a little annoyed with that lately and wanting him to sleep longer but I think I need to remember where we started and how we ARE making progress!

Mommy to DS born Jan 2008 , and DD born January 2010
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#13 of 13 Old 12-12-2008, 12:10 PM
 
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The first three months or so are sometimes called "the fourth trimester" because the baby needs that level of closeness. I'm afraid until you get past those really hard first few months, you won't have much luck with getting the baby to sleep before you're there.

Edited to say that I wish I'd read the whole thread first because this has been said. LOL. Sorry!
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