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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>I've been trying to get my almost-4-month-old baby to sleep on a bit more of a schedule (basically codifying his general tendencies and making them daily practices). I'd like for him to go to bed before me (!) for example, so my husband and I can have a little grown-up time. I also think he definitely needs one more nap than he's getting--he is such a GRUMP in the late afternoon/early evening.</p>
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<p>All the "sleep training" books I've read (and I should note here that I don't mean Ferberizing or CIO or anything like that--I'm including The Baby Whisperer, No Cry Sleep Solution, Dr. Sears, etc) say at some point, "Put the baby down as soon as he starts showing signs of tiredness." Well, I do this. And ... nothing happens. He just lays there, staring at his mobile or sucking his fingers for a long time--maybe as much as 45 minutes or an hour--before he starts fussing and wants to nurse or needs his diaper changed or needs to potty. So, we do that, and then I put him down again...and still no sleeping. Yawning, eye-rubbing, yes. Sleeping, no. If I leave the room or go out of his range of vision during this time, he starts to fuss a lot too.</p>
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<p>I've also been trying to create a bedtime routine for him. We read a book while sitting on the potty (we're an EC family), then a bath, then nursing, then rocking, then bed. I think the concept of a bedtime routine only really works if the baby falls asleep at the end of it--otherwise, it's just "the things I do before I go to the dark room with the big bed," not, "the things I do before I fall asleep." Sometimes we're able to rock him all the way down, but he often wakes up half an hour later, really really angry, and won't go to sleep again, no matter what we do, for a couple of hours. If we try to follow all the advice we've read and just lay him down when he's "sleepy but not asleep," it's more of the laying awake, staring around. </p>
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<p>The only thing that seems to work right now is nursing to sleep, holding for a very long time (an hour or more), and then transferring to the swing (naps) or bed. Half the time, he wakes up in transfer and is hard to get back to sleep.</p>
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<p>It sounds so easy--just put the baby DOWN when he's tired. But...the baby doesn't know he's supposed to SLEEP!</p>
 

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<p>I am assuming that you are trying to not get into the habit of nursing to sleep. If that is the case ignore what I am about to say lol. I lay with my kids till they fall asleep. (not the 10yo lol) But my 4yo (who can and does fall sleep in the family bed alone) usually comes in while I am nursing my 2yo to sleep and falls asleep as well. Then I climb out from in between them and go on about my night. My 2yo will wake to nurse at least once before I go to bed but I just lay back down and nurse her back to sleep then carry on as before.</p>
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<p>Hope this helps. I know with my kids evening is always a fussy time anyways. Even with my 2yo still. And in the first yr esp there self made "schedules" seemed to change a lot! I just went with the flow but bedtime was always the same.</p>
 

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<p>My LO refused to nurse to sleep from quite an early age (maybe 3mths?) so I would lie her down in her crib - (it is sidecarred to our bed) and lie or sit on my bed next to her.  At 4mths I started tummy sleeping her (for reflux, and cos she could roll over on her own) so I would just pat her bum or rub her back until she fell asleep.  She had a paci also. </p>
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<p>If bubs is sleeping on back I would turn her on side, and kind of jiggle/pat her to sleep, then roll her back once she's asleep.</p>
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<p>What the books don't tell you is that yes you do put them down at first signs of tiredness, but you still need to HELP them fall asleep somehow.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<p>Katie, no, I'm not opposed to nursing to sleep, but I *do* want my DH or other caregivers to be able to get him to sleep. Also, nursing doesn't always work!</p>
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<p>Kiwi, thanks--that answers my question. I just felt like the books must be leaving something out.</p>
 

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<p>I'm just giggling to myself at the idea of just putting a tired baby down in a cot and waiting for them to fall asleep by themselves!! I'm sure some people have babies like that, but unfortunately for me, neither of mine would put up with anything like that!!</p>
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<p>I do say "I'm going to put DD2 down for a nap" but what that really means is "I'm going to go through our little routine of changing nappy, swaddle, singing, lying down on the bed and nursing her to sleep" - all of which takes about 30 minutes!! So it's not a case of going up and plopping her in her cot - though pre-children I assumed that's all you had to do! LOL</p>
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<p>For me, DD1 would *only* fall asleep nursing.  If she didn't have a nipple in her mouth she just wouldn't go to sleep.  Scream inconsolably, yes, sleep, no.  There was no question of anyone else putting her to sleep, but she was a seriously high needs baby.  DD2 is still high needs, but a bit mellower, so I've been able to manage to get her to fall asleep in a few different ways, though her preferred method is definitely nursing.</p>
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<p>Things that I do (with varying success and sometimes in combination) to help DD2 to fall asleep, when she's tired:</p>
<p>Nurse</p>
<p>Swaddle</p>
<p>Wearing in Mei Tai/Moby/Ergo</p>
<p>Rock</p>
<p>Sing</p>
<p>Pat</p>
<p>White noise</p>
<p>and I might get flamed for this, but tummy-lying.  She's 4 months old, can roll over both ways and is well able to hold her head and shoulders up, so I'm really not worried about her.</p>
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<p>DH even managed to get her back to sleep last night - by rocking and bouncing her while shushing, so hopefully it's paying off.</p>
 

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<p><br>
We don't even try anymore.  We tried it for a bit but if he suspects we're going to walk away (even if we don't) he starts screaming as soon as he touches the mattress.  Its about 10 PM now and he will continue to protest the night-time area for about the next 1 to 3 hours.  He's sleeping in his bouncer right now and will continue to 'nap' if I keep my foot on the side bouncing it.  If I stop he'll be awake in 30 seconds or less.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>AutumnAir</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1289499/so-i-put-the-baby-down-and-then-what#post_16168672"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I'm just giggling to myself at the idea of just putting a tired baby down in a cot and waiting for them to fall asleep by themselves!! I'm sure some people have babies like that, but unfortunately for me, neither of mine would put up with anything like that!!</p>
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<p><br><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>AutumnAir</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1289499/so-i-put-the-baby-down-and-then-what#post_16168672"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I'm just giggling to myself at the idea of just putting a tired baby down in a cot and waiting for them to fall asleep by themselves!! I'm sure some people have babies like that, but unfortunately for me, neither of mine would put up with anything like that!!</p>
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<p>I do say "I'm going to put DD2 down for a nap" but what that really means is "I'm going to go through our little routine of changing nappy, swaddle, singing, lying down on the bed and nursing her to sleep" - all of which takes about 30 minutes!! So it's not a case of going up and plopping her in her cot - though pre-children I assumed that's all you had to do! LOL</p>
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<p>For me, DD1 would *only* fall asleep nursing.  If she didn't have a nipple in her mouth she just wouldn't go to sleep.  Scream inconsolably, yes, sleep, no.  There was no question of anyone else putting her to sleep, but she was a seriously high needs baby.  DD2 is still high needs, but a bit mellower, so I've been able to manage to get her to fall asleep in a few different ways, though her preferred method is definitely nursing.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Things that I do (with varying success and sometimes in combination) to help DD2 to fall asleep, when she's tired:</p>
<p>Nurse</p>
<p>Swaddle</p>
<p>Wearing in Mei Tai/Moby/Ergo</p>
<p>Rock</p>
<p>Sing</p>
<p>Pat</p>
<p>White noise</p>
<p>and I might get flamed for this, but tummy-lying.  She's 4 months old, can roll over both ways and is well able to hold her head and shoulders up, so I'm really not worried about her.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DH even managed to get her back to sleep last night - by rocking and bouncing her while shushing, so hopefully it's paying off.</p>
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<p><br>
Yeah, the whole concept of laying down a drowsy child is insane to me.  If I could lay my child down sleepy but awake, and she would go to sleep, why would I have spent hundreds of dollars on sleep books/aides?!</p>
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<p>First, if you can nurse your baby to sleep, DO IT.  Baby knows when Daddy, or Grandma, has to put him to sleep, and might be mildly disappoined about not nursing but won't loose his mind, because he won't expect it the same way he does from you.  There comes a time when baby will realize that mama is TRICKY and will refuse to nurse to sleep so that he doesn't (accidentially!) go to sleep.  That's where the problems begin....</p>
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<p>Have you tried swaddling for a week or so?  You can even leave one or both arms out...sometimes the pressure on the body helps.  You mentioned that holding him works sometimes.  What worked for us at that time was:</p>
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<p>Black out curtains</p>
<p>White noise (fan or humidifier)</p>
<p>Nurse, then flip baby over into a sort of spooning bear-hug</p>
<p>Hold arms down (gently, of course, but hold them) so that she can't smack/fight herself awake</p>
<p>Shushing</p>
<p>Don't converse with Baby, that just stimulates...only shushing and "mama's here" or something.</p>
<p>Lower your heart rate--resign that you're going to be resting with baby for a while, and relax, even though it's hard.  Maybe have a partner switch off with you after 45 min or an hour or so.</p>
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<p>Anyway, that's my 2 cents.  I hope you find a solution soon.</p>
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<p>I definitely didn't have a baby that you could put down sleepy. Like a PP, my DD would just start screaming the second she hit the mattress. I could only put her down once she had been asleep for 10-15 minutes (after spending ~30-45 getting her to sleep), and even then it was touch and go. Most naps at that age I would have to hold her the whole time. I'm amazed that you can put your LO down and he will just lie there for 45 minutes. That seems pretty miraculous to me. DD had only two modes in bed (asleep or screaming) until 18 months, at which point she would tolerate squirming around for a minute or two before screaming. I thought that was a major breakthrough in sleep maturity :) Sorry I have no good tips, other than to say that the strategies offered in many of the sleep books may work for babies of some temperaments, but definitely not all. Things that helped us most at that age were rocking/bouncing, swaddling, and white noise. And waiting until she was FULLY asleep before attempting to set her down.</p>
 

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<p>I agree with the PPs, feed to sleep if it works. I feed my nearly 8 m.o. to sleep 99% of the time. And she will still go down quiet easily for DH if she is well fed. He walks or bounces her usually.</p>
 

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<p>We have a s similar problem. DD is 4 months old and refuses to nap alone during the day. We co-sleep and nights are usually not a problem. We have night routine of books, and nursing. And she usually falls asleep nursing. But thats not until 11 or 12 at night. During the day, she will not sleep unless she's being held. And that's after bouncing on an exercise ball for 15-20 minutes. Even then she rarely sleeps more than 45 minutes. I would just like her to have a decent nap during the day. Maybe I could try nursing to sleep in the family bed for naps?</p>
<p>We only have a pack n play but she's never even been in it. We use it for a changing table mostly. We'll use it eventually I guess.</p>
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<p>UPDATE:</p>
<p>She is now napping in our bed and has been asleep for over an hour!!!!!! I took her in there, and nursed her. She then fussed for about 15 minutes. I lay beside, not talking with my hand rubbing her back. At one point, she got pretty worked up, so I picked her up and swayed with her until she got drowsy. Then I laid her back down and she fell right to sleep! Maybe this will work if we keep it a routine!</p>
 
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