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Ugh, it's getting worse and worse!

548 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  scheelimama
After my DD was born she began sleeping through the night at about 8 weeks. That lasted till she was about 4 and a half months old. After that we started going downhill. First she started waking up during the we are up to 3 or 4 times a night. We co-sleep, so she will nurse and usually fall right back asleep. Then around the very same time, she stopped napping. She will sleep for like 10 minutes and then wake up. On a very very good day she will nap for about 30 or 40 minutes. So now she spends her days exhausted and cranky with bags under her eyes. And now we are having trouble getting her to go to sleep at night. She used to nurse and then fall asleep for the night. Not anymore. She screams, arches her back, squirms to get down, etc. SHE HATES SLEEP!!! And since she hates sleep, she's always tired, which means she's always fussy. I'm not sure what kind of advice I need here. I dont actually mind her waking at night to nurse....that doesnt bother me. But the kid needs to nap....she's exhausted. And putting her to bed each night is driving me nuts. It is literally a battle. I have no idea what to do. Poor baby is always always always tired. Her little eyes are always red with bags under them. I know that she is feeling fine and everything, so I dont know what could be wrong. She sleeps safe and secure in Mommy's arms every night. I just dont get it. Is this one of those stages that I'm going to have to patiently wait out? Any help would be greatly greatly appreciated.
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She might grow out of it. (Teething, developmental changes, "this too shall pass," blah blah blah :)) Are you trying lots of different things? There were times when my dd would only sleep in the sling, or when I needed to make sure to keep her in the same room with me. (There are different reasons for the latter thing: In a baby of a certain age, it can be stressful to wake up alone, so they start fighting sleep. Once they realize they are going to stay safe near you -- reassured by the sound and movement -- they can let go more easily. Another reason is that you can easily see the first sign and intercept waking up with a hand or picking up/moving/rocking or whatever works for you before your baby is fully awake.) There were other times when my dd would only nap in public or on a train or being walked briskly in the sling, or being walked up and down stairs or bounced by daddy. Movement was a big thing for her, and the cause of most sleep problems she had. Once we figured that out, she responded amazingly well to wild play (e.g. tossing up in air, dangling by her limbs, walking her up and down our bodies) and massage when she started seeming tired. After the play and massage, she would nurse right to sleep. Other movement things: Wild dancing or other very vigorous movement with baby held or slung close to your body (being careful not to shield her from the movement), walks, I've heard car rides (don't have a car and dd hated the carseat, though).

Another thing that I've heard a lot of -- and that worked to a limited degree with dd -- is being careful not to miss signs of fatigue. If a baby is ready to sleep but for some reason not in a situation where s/he gets what s/he needs to fall asleep (this could be as simple as, baby doesn't cue and you don't notice and you don't happen to be doing something that helps baby fall asleep), s/he can shift into overtired mode rather quickly. Then it becomes hard to fall asleep. Some babies have strong internal clocks that don't match their parents'. I've heard of natural bedtimes as early as 5:30 pm. (??!! - I can't imagine how painful this must be to live with...) Or sensitivity to light changes. For example, needing low light around the house to fall asleep in the evening. Or being unwilling to go to bed until the whole family does! (My dd did this at some times, too.)

To make sleep "stick" with dd, I found I had to work hard to keep myself from getting impatient. If I spent plenty of time nursing her, let her unlatch spontaneously some time after she appeared to be asleep, and then waited until her limbs were completely limp (up to 20 min after the initial eye-closing), she tended to stay asleep longer. I guess she needed to get into that layer of the sleep cycle, or she might notice that something was awry and reawaken. (It sounds awful, but I always think in terms of getting a baby to sleep out-of-arms being trickery. I believe many/most babies' natural sleep functions seem to be built around the assumption that a warm body is going to be there at all times.) When I wasn't trying to trick her out-of-arms, a 10-min nap was not always a bad thing. They could happen several times a day, as long as I was keeping the movement going.

For a little while dd napped well in a reclining umbrella stroller. Sometimes she napped better lying down on a bed or floor, sprawled out. Sometimes I needed a piece of furniture with a back, so that she could lie on her side facing it (another mama substitute trickery strategy
: ). I've heard of babies who love hammocks.

Maybe none of this will work for you, but you can't say I haven't fleshed out what I mean by trying lots of different things.
Hope your dd starts sleeping better soon. It sucks to be tired.
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Ah well, I"m prob. not the best to advise, but we always did naps on the go. Both of my kids napped in the Bjorn, then the backpack while I walked. Or, the Burley or the ski pulk. Or, even on long car rides to and from our outdoor outings. I think the fresh air helps and is healthy for them.

At nights, I just stopped fighting it. This is evil I'm sure, but I moved a TV into my room and used closed captioning for an hour/night. It kept me from getting stressed which would've affected my kids. Plus, they just snuggled up in bed and passed out. They actually didn't watch the TV as there was no volume. Ok, just an idea...:LOL

But,'s all passed and my kids are champs now so yes, I do believe it's all a stage.
"This is evil I'm sure, but I moved a TV into my room and used closed captioning for an hour/night."

me too

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ear infection
you just described my daughter exactly. It was 3 ear infections in a row. Laying down makes it hurt more
Hmmmm........I am not sure how old your daughter is, but mine is 6 months tomorrow and I could have written that post........slept through the night from about 2 months to 4.5 now waking up 4-10 times a night. Hardly any napping....mostly catnaps. Wouldn't be so bad, but she still nurses every hour or so, and I simply cannot put her down. There is only so much I can do with her in the sling. She fusses if I try to stand still while she is in the backpack(like cooking or washing dishes). I am so exhausted every muscle and bone in my body aches. She will not take a bottle, so even if DH takes her in the mornings so I can sleep in, he still brings her to me after an hour or so to nurse again. My first 2 babies were totally not like this, and it is hard to keep her happy! Man I am tired, she is tired........I really don't have any answers, but I want some! At this point, she cries so much anyway, no matter what I do, I keep thinking maybe is she CIO, it can't be any worse.......okay see how loopy I am?! I can't believe I am even thinking of this, but I am getting desperate for some sleep and a happy baby.

Many hugs and sorry for my own rant!

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NAK You might try putting her down before she seems tired. My dd went down for her morning nap an hour after wking up until she was 9 or 10 months old.
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