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Discussion Starter #1
...somehow that seems to be happening anyway. We need help! For the last couple weeks our son (almost 8 months old) has been having a very hard time with going to sleep. We never ever lay him down and walk away, but he screams almost non-stop from roughly 5 pm until he finally falls asleep (as late as 8 or 9). We had been putting him to bed in his crib at 7:30 with fairly little fuss for months, but lately he screams the second we try to lay him down (in his crib or in our bed). We mostly co-sleep, but we were trying to establish a familiarity with his crib by having him always go to sleep there first. We have tried getting him to sleep even earlier, like at 5, which isn't quite the same ordeal but he just wakes up after an hour and screams until 8 or 9 pm anyway. It's like he screams until he's exhausted and finally falls asleep. I have to admit a little part of me is wondering if we just over-stimulate him with the soothing attempts and he would "CIO" faster if we just put him down and walked away..I mean if he's going to scream regardless. My husband is no where near wanting to try that tho, and I don't really want to either.<br><br>
So far the only things that stop the screaming are taking a bath, but then he screams when he gets out; nursing, but only if he's hungry (he's never been a comfort nurser); and riding around in the car--once he's good and asleep we can carry him inside and put him in our bed pretty easily. One thing that changed recently is he used to take a binky to fall asleep but about a week ago he totally rejected binkies. Spits them right out.<br><br>
He doesn't seem to be teething, or otherwise in pain, but we've tried giving him regular doses of tylenol just in case. It doesn't seem to make a difference.<br><br>
We've read the No Cry Sleep Solution but feel like we can't even start to implement it because the Phase 1 in the book starts from the presumption that the baby will at least be calm and get drowsy while being held and rocked. We are not even there. We are at like Phase -10. He screams no matter how we hold him, rock him, sing to him, etc.<br><br>
Any suggestions?
 

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sorry no one has answered to your post yet. Well, my first thought when I read your post was why is your baby screaming. I think the first thing you could do is find the reason to why your baby screams. Something may be going on, so I would try to see why he is so upset. Then, In my personal opinion I don't believe crying it out will solve the problem, to me, doing that will only tell a child that he can cry and scream all he wants but no one will pick him up, or do anything to calm him. This to me, is far worse than having baby cry and scream in MY arms, even if that means more work and patience from my part. I hope I don't sound judgemental because I truly don't want to be, I am just sharing my thoughts and what I would do if I were in your case.<br>
Also, maybe the time you're putting baby to sleep is too early? I would wait until baby is ready and you can tell he's tired. Then I would do anything for him to fall asleep in my arms and would definetely stop walking away. babies can be restless but they will fall asleep at one point. So good luck and hopefully it'll get easier for you guys!<br><br>
HTH,
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply. We think he is screaming because he is tired. It starts up in the late afternoon every day. Like I said, we have tried putting him to bed earlier in case that was the problem but he wakes up after an hour or so. I don't think he is in pain because he stops screaming if I put him in the bath, or if we go for a drive. I think if he was screaming from pain he would still scream in the tub or the car, you know?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">This to me, is far worse than having baby cry and scream in MY arms, even if that means more work and patience from my part. I hope I don't sound judgemental</td>
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No, you don't sound judgmental, but I feel like I should explain--if he were crying in my arms that would be one thing. Of course I would hold him and comfort him. But he is SCREAMING ear-splitting shrieks and writhing and twisting and flailing to the point that it doesn't seem like being held in my arms is soothing to him at all.<br><br>
We never put him down and walk away. But I honestly am wondering about it. We went through a phase around 6-8 weeks where there was a lot of night-time crying and it took us a while to figure out that we were OVERstimulating him with our bedtime routine. When we simplified it a lot to getting a fresh diaper, a little white noise, and a binky, he went straight to sleep. All the rocking and singing and stuff we had been doing was too much, we figured out. That is what makes me wonder now if somehow we are doing too much now. If we need to step back and somehow remove some stimulation. I'm just not sure what to do.<br><br>
He's also not napping very well during the day, and we read in the NCSS that the two are related--bad napping leads to bad bedtimes leads to more bad napping, etc., and both reinforce themselves as the child is just so overtired. I feel like if we could get a few days of good naps and bedtimes in we could break the cycle. I'm wondering, since driving in the car works so well, if we should just do that for all his naps and his bedtime several days in a row and see if it makes a difference.
 

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Sounds like this could be teething or gas pain. Have you tried motrin or gas drops? I don't recommend using medicine every day, but if it provides you all with a little relief (and sleep) then it might be worth trying a couple times a week.
 

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well, the first thing I was going to ask was how he is napping during the day, but you already said he isn't napping well. It sounds to me like he is extremely overtired. I know thats a rotten situation to be in bc its a cycle thats hard to break out of. They are so tired, they dont seem to sleep well even when exhaussted. When he is screaming bloody murder, you are holding him right? How would he do if you sat next to his crib, patting his back, maybe soothing him like this while he was screaming? I know my dd, who is 13 months, sometimes is screaming bloody murder, bucking her body away from me and everything while I am holding her, trying to calm her ect, but it seems like she just wants to be laid down, bc as soon as I lay her in her crib and cover her with her blankie she stops. I never would have guessed that my holding her and rocking ect wouldnt be better to calm her than to lay her down. I do think that if a baby who usually naps good during the day, andf for some reason gets out of that habit for a period of time, they are going to be miserable by evening.<br>
How does he sleep thru once he does fall asleep?<br>
I think you said you run white noise? We do this too, and I think it does help some, atleast to minimize the disruptions in their sleep.<br>
The binky, odd that he suddenly refuses it. My first dd was sooo attached to one, would nt go to sleep without it. I can imagine if she suddenly gave it up cold turkey, it would be hard for her to sleep at all. Maybe he just has to adjust to not having that constant comfort in his mouth. Have you tried another binky? You probably know this, but they get worn out after a while, and aren't as "juicy" as my dd would tell me!<br>
I wish I had more to offer <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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There are soooo many alternatives to Motrin and or Tylenol. very few people realize how hard these meds are on our bodies. Docs and the pharmacies that make these meds pass them out like candy and say they are harmless. Do some research and find out......... they are no (harmless).<br><br>
Try baby massage, or wear him during his fussy time. Go to a classical homoepath and correct he underlying cause of the problem. Don't mask the symptoms with the Tylenol. Don't let him CIO. unless it is in your arms. There is a good article about in arms CIO in the Mothering mag from 2 issues ago?
 

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Have you talked with your doctor to rule out any medical reasons why he may be inconsolable? Have you introduced any new foods into his diet that he may be having an allergic reaction to? Is he showing any symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux? These were just a couple of things that ran through my mind as I was reading your post.<br>
I would try to avoid giving medication daily, especially if you are not really sure what is wrong. A cold washcloth to suck on is something that may help relieve teething pains.<br>
We have a great white noise CD called The Happiest Baby On The Block. It is a CD of mechanical sounds, one of which mimics the heartbeat. This CD helps to soothe our ds when he is overtired. I have also found Infant Massage to be very beneficial to help calm my ds when he is tired.<br><br>
I hope your little one feels better soon. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, elizabeth rose, it sounds like you know where I am coming from. I hadn't thought of trying a different binky. In a way we thought we had made progress that he gave it up on his own and we wouldn't have to try to wean him from it (I'm concerned about the speech development issues). We very reluctantly started him on a binky in the first place only because it was obvious that it was so comforting to him. Now I am realizing that the binkies we have are all for newborn or 3 months, and he is a lot bigger now, plus they're all at least 6 months old. Maybe I could try getting just one larger one.<br><br>
fourgrtkidos, thanks for the advice about tylenol/motrin. Our ped warned us that motrin would be too hard on his little EBF tummy, but I thought tylenol was okay. Just want him to not be in pain, you know? My husband and I both sling him a lot but when he is fussed like this the sling does not help--if anything it makes it worse. I remember the CIO-in-arms article but I don't remember the author describing screaming the way we are experiencing it. I feel like there's a difference. It's genuinely hard to hold onto him when he is in this state, with the bucking and flailing.
 

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Some babies just need to cry to let off steam. And it's usually right before bedtime. There was a really good article in Mothering mag about holding your crying baby - I highly recommend you read it! I'll see if I can find what issue it was, not the most recent, but I can't find that article online right now either...<br><br><br><i>edited to add - I found the article! It was in the January/February 2004 issue. "Crying for Comfort: Distressed Babies Need to be Held"<br>
in this article, the author stresses that crying serves an important function, and that if nothing is really wrong, parents shouldn't feel bad about letting their babies cry as long as they are holding them and showing them love during the process. I know I tend to take it personally when my baby is upset, like I should be able to fix whatever is wrong, then I get upset, too. This article helped me accept my child's crying and to realize it wasn't a reflection of something I was doing wrong.</i>
 

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Maybe try nursing him lying down (like on the floor on a quilt, since he can now roll off the bed)...so if he is crying and overstimulated, you would be next to him, nursing him sidelying, but not holding him like in the rocking chair...<br><br>
I think around 8-9 months, this started working better with Sam, then later, we can go in and put him in his crib or bring him in with us...<br><br>
Hope something helps!
 

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I agree with the person up post who suggested maybe he is really overtired. I would focus on more naps during the day. One book that I read that I found helpful in many ways (although there was a lot I ignored, too!) was the Weisbluth book on sleep - he explains a lot about the amount of sleep babies need. It helped us get DS (6.5 months) in more or a routine around sleep and helped us to notice his sleepy signals better (because he gives you timeframes in which to look - like 2 hours after waking up from the last nap/sleep). Once I could catch DS when he was tired, he would go down much more easily.<br><br>
On the binky front, DS just suddenly gave that up as well and, like you, we were pretty happy to have that happen on its own without a battle. Does your son have a lovey? Now DS is really attached to him and it clearly provides some of the comfort the binky used to. Maybe introducing that (if he doesn't already have one) will help.<br><br>
We definitely found that DS, when he was having his crying fits, didn't want to be held/rocked/nursed. He just wanted to get to sleep as fast as possible. I would put him down and sit near him - go to him if he was doing more that cooing/whimpering on his way down and pat his back and whisper "shhhh" over and over. I didn't find that picking him up did any good - just started the process over again.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the advice. Our plan for tonight is to just go drive in the car as soon as he starts with the wailing. And I guess if he wakes up later, go out again. I feel like if we can break the cycle of overtired+screaming we will make some progress towards implementing the gentle sleep suggestions in the NCSS book. Thanks for everyone's thoughts on this--I printed out the page to share with DH.
 

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Does he arch his back, and stiffen his whole body? My DD did that, and at about 2.5 mos, she was diagnosed with reflux. She would scream bloody murder from 7 to midnight every night. Now and again certain comfort techniques seemed to work, but nursing was the worst. Once she was diagnosed, she was put on Zantac. Within a week we had a different baby. Recently, we had to have her dosage adjusted (it is very weight sensitive, she was having all the old symptoms again), but it really is helping. The nights were the worst, she had reflux all day, but her coping skills just seemed to be shot at night. Check with your Dr to be sure. I am praying for you!
 

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I just want to tell you that you are not alone... this has pretty much been our DS since birth if he is overtired. He never liked(s) sleeping, too interested in the world. We had to move him out of our bed to a crib because he just wanted to play with us all night (especially DH which I suspect he missed during day).<br><br>
I would recommend not driving your babe around. I totally understand where you are coming from, but I think you need to teach him a way to calm down and personally I wouldn't want to do this every night. It seems to me that it would just be another thing you might have to wean him off? My DS either plays with his paci or chucks it, but the MAM 6 mos+ is the version we like best for what it's worth.<br><br>
A lovey has been hard to introduce but we are having relative success. At first I would bf him holding the lovey to get him used to it. Now it stays in his crib and his cue words are, "Time to go night-night with Peter Rabbit," and now he reaches for the crib if he is awake (about half the time he falls asleep bf'ing which is sooooo wonderful). We used to rock him to sleep, but now that he's bigger, he wants none of that, he reaches for the door, for his bookcase, for anything but us. So we have found that if he is still fighting at this point we put him in the crib.<br><br>
If he's crying we just park ourselves by the crib in very dim light and play soothing music and pat him. It's been harder lately since he now stands and jumps around... again, wanting to play even though the kid's exhausted, but we perservere.<br><br>
He is giving up his afternoon nap now, and so he's awake from 1pm until 7pm and it's awful around 5pm. He won't sleep then either but usually goes down more easily at 7pm than if he has an afternoon nap now. He seems to get overtired if he does have that 2nd nap, but just later, and goes to bed at 8:30 or 9.<br><br>
This has been the source of a great deal of stress, frustration and anguish for us. The hours we have spent soothing this child I hope will yield a very secure person! I have to say I never dreamed it could ever be this difficult, but we love him and he's healthy and big and strong and smart, so we are thankful.<br><br>
Could one of the previous posters list symptoms of GERD?<br><br>
I never thought this was my DS's problem, but you never know, especially since we are dealing with food allergies. (and he's been great when I first started the Elim Diet, and a bear lately as I continue with it, so who knows! maybe it is teething, so difficult to really know for sure.)<br><br>
Oh and for teething, we like Boiron Camilla better than Hyland's.
 

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(sorry for hijacking your thread a bit)<br><br>
just want to say I found the recent GERD thread and infantreflux.org which is very helpful jumping off point. Since my guy outgrew his colicky evenings for the most part, hardly ever spits up, gains weight very easily and never wheezes that's probably not it
 

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My DS started rejecting his pacifier a few weeks before I noticed any teething symptoms, but sure enough, we had a tooth....and then 4 more in a matter of weeks. Perhaps those teeth are starting to make their way up. I imagine it's really uncomfortable.....add to that being tired. That would make the best of us crankier than heck! I hope you all can get some sleep soon. Most of us have been through something similar.<br><br><br>
BTW, my DS had colic for a month, and we spent every evening in the car for at least an hour to calm him to sleep. It was so much better than the crying, and we used it time to talk. It was Christmastime and we drove around looking at lights. So, if it's necessary, it can be a good thing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Hugs, mama, I know evenings are hard when you're so tired...<br><br>
It occurs to me that 8 months is prime time for separation anxiety. Could your son be feeling anxiety when the time of day comes in which he will be away from you? (The beginning of the night) I think of this because he was okay with bedtime before, but now is having some kind of emotional reaction to it.<br><br>
What are those things which do calm him? You mentioned the bath... When my dd is very distressed, we get into a warm bath together for a snuggle. It does wonders. We do also sleep together, and both sleep well. Does he sleep well if you were to lie down with him? This is a particular stage when they are so sensitive to separation, if I remember right. It does pass, of course, but is a chance to really establish that secure self-of-self which pays off so much in a self-confident toddler!<br><br>
Also seconding the teething possibility - many babes have a while of teething pain before anything's poking thru. We had great results with Hyland's Teething Tablets (homeopathic, available at many natural foods stores or even drug stores now).<br><br>
Good luck,<br>
mb
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>stafl</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Some babies just need to cry to let off steam. And it's usually right before bedtime. There was a really good article in Mothering mag about holding your crying baby - I highly recommend you read it! I'll see if I can find what issue it was, not the most recent, but I can't find that article online right now either...<br><br><br><i>edited to add - I found the article! It was in the January/February 2004 issue. "Crying for Comfort: Distressed Babies Need to be Held"<br>
in this article, the author stresses that crying serves an important function, and that if nothing is really wrong, parents shouldn't feel bad about letting their babies cry as long as they are holding them and showing them love during the process. I know I tend to take it personally when my baby is upset, like I should be able to fix whatever is wrong, then I get upset, too. This article helped me accept my child's crying and to realize it wasn't a reflection of something I was doing wrong.</i></div>
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i just thought this should be reposted. lots of times we cant do anything and like with stafl, this article really helped me accept ds when he was inconsolable. i just held him and spoke softly and opened myself to him.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for all the advice, everybody. Yesterday went really well which was a relief. Dh ( who is a SAHD) got little guy down for a good long nap in the morning, and again in the afternoon. At night when I got home from work he was all grins, and went to bed very easily. So it really does seem to be linked to napping/sleep.<br><br>
tuscany123, he doesn't have symptoms of reflux, like spitting up or wheezing.<br><br>
JaneS, thanks for your post--sounds like you can relate. I hear you on the driving thing but I'm hoping it's temporary. At some point I want to implement the NCSS techniques for real, but since I WOH and my pumping output is shaky, I really rely on nursing through the night to get enough nutrition into him and to maintain my supply. We also expect to move in a few weeks and I sort of don't see the point in trying to establish a routine right now just to have it totally disrupted. But after our move we are going to work hard at getting him used to going to sleep in his crib and sleeping through the night.<br><br>
mamabutterfly, I think you are on to something with the separation anxiety. Since I WOH little guy only gets to see me for an hour in the morning and a couple hours at night. It seems like it is starting to be harder on him than it used to be--like he is noticing more. He is extremely attached to his dad but when I have to go in the morning he holds out his arms and cries. It breaks my heart. I am the only one earning an income right now so we have no choice.<br><br>
stafl & geekgolightly, I read that article but it didn't seem to apply to my situation. I can't simply sit and hold him as he becomes more and more worked up and screams louder and twists and writhes--it's obvious to me that just holding alone is not soothing to him when he is in that state. Typically I try to distract him in some way, either with music or bouncing on an exercise ball or something else (when it was very cold outside it was always a good distraction to just step out on the porch for a moment). There are times it seems like what he honestly needs is less stimulation--even being put down, as sputnik described--and having music turned off, lights dimmed, etc. I think I would like a blackout-type shade for his room. There have been several nights when it seemed like he couldn't wind down until it got pretty dark--which is approaching 9 pm now!<br><br>
What do people know about "The Happiest Baby on the Block"? I understnd it comes with a CD of soothing sounds? I think LG is really bored with the CD he used to love falling asleep to.<br><br>
Also could someone explain the concept of teething tablets to me? I'm not sure how they're supposed to help but I am open to the idea.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wakeUpMama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I read that article but it didn't seem to apply to my situation. I can't simply sit and hold him as he becomes more and more worked up and screams louder and twists and writhes--it's obvious to me that just holding alone is not soothing to him when he is in that state...There are times it seems like what he honestly needs is less stimulation.</div>
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I just want to reiterate our exact experience with our DS. That article was hard to read for me, because although I did gain a better understanding and acceptance of my child and how he deals with stress, I did feel like I was lacking somehow by not having him respond to me and seeming to only get worse. Looking back I feel this has been his problem all along, especially during his colicky time when we should have helped him shut down more. (For example, he was never one to comfort nurse very much, when he was done eating, he was usually done with the boob). There certainly is a very large learning curve to this parenting thing.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wakeUpMama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Also could someone explain the concept of teething tablets to me? I'm not sure how they're supposed to help but I am open to the idea.</div>
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Sheri Nakken an MDC'er has a good page to explain homeopathy<br><a href="http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/homeo.htm" target="_blank">http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/homeo.htm</a>
 
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