We’ve having more issues on the baby front.
I’m too stressed and drained to blog.
I’ll be back when things get better.
(And if anyone has any recommendations on how to get a baby to nap more than 30 mins at a time so that she’s not tired and cranky the entire day, I’d love to hear it.)
I usually just follow and never really comment, but here goes…
Claire is about 4 1/2 months now right? Well some babies, not all, because we know they all are different, but around 5 months, some babies sleep schedule needs to change. I know, this sounds horrible, but my daughter went through this too.
I don’t know what time you are putting her down for the night, but it might need to be earlier. My daughter used to go to bed with us at 9pm, but around this age she needed an earlier bed time. We set it at 6:30-7pm, and it took a few nights, but she took to it like it was what she needed. As far as naps, my daughter went to 2 a day around the same time. Each lasting 1 1/2 – 2hrs each. Some days she would need a third and we would just play it by ear. Make a routine of each bedtime, and nap, do the same thing, wind them down, make sure it is the same location, etc. Some kids also benefit from a white noise machine, fan, music, etc.
My daughter could be a little clingy around nap time, so one thing I also found helpful was to carry a burp cloth on my shoulder to absorb my sent, and when it was time to lay her down, put it along alongside of her to cuddle with, a small comfort measure that lets her know you are close.
I am not saying this is what you need, each family and baby is different. Also remember, unless she is hurt, sick or scared, crying doesn’t hurt her. I know it hurts as a mom to hear it, but maybe she needs to learn to self soothe a little?
I hope no matter what you guys find a solution for you. And please do not let the mommy guilt get to you. You are not doing anything wrong, babies grow and change and her needs might just be a little different now, and you will figure them out. Hang in there, it will get better!!
I’ve been reading sleep training books and have been logging her sleep for about 3 weeks now.
We’ve already set her bedtime earlier (between 6 and 7) based on what all the books and websites say. Her nighttime sleep isn’t that bad. She wakes up 3 or 4 times a night which isn’t that great but she always goes back to sleep after a bottle and a diaper change so it’s manageable. It is the naps that are killing us.
We’re going the CIO method this week, and we’re currently on day 3. They say that babies generally start to get a bit better by this time, but Claire is one stubborn booger. She’s willing to cry a full hour (an hour is what is generally recommended as the max for crying, for nap training) every time I put her down for a nap. I watch out for sleepy cues, have tried prolonging her wake time between naps, etc. But every time she does fall asleep, she has trouble transitioning from her first sleep cycle to the next, and ALWAYS wakes up after 30 minutes of sleeping, still groggy and cranky.
I feel for you, it is hard figuring out their needs. Hang in there, you will figure it out. The first year is the hardest, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Have you tried a white noise machine, fan, music or something that she only will hear during sleep time? A learned cue to let her know it is still sleep time.
My daughter was pretty stubborn too when we did the CIO method. I think it took 4 days before she started to take less time till she fell asleep. She would also wake up early sometimes, and it would take 10-20 minutes on the rough days to go back to sleep.
She might also be starting to teethe, ours did around 4 months, her gums did not swell or anything, but she was uncomfortable, maybe watch for those signs and use teething toys or gel, pills, or baby pain relievers to help.
I know you probably feel mom guilt, and are anxious to get her back on track, but hang in there, you are doing the right thing, just follow your gut. Just know that eventually she will be able to nap, and eventually she will sleep longer through the night. You are probably exhausted and stressed too, but all will settle down in time.
Thank you. 🙂 I know that it’s only day 3, but it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it seems like you’ve been listening to a crying baby all day.
Do you have a baby carrier? There were lots of days in my daughter’s early months when it felt like I did nothing but hold her all day and at least with a baby carrier you can still use your hands. We have a Sleepy Wrap, which is pretty easy to use and costs about $45. You can find it on Amazon.
As to just getting her to nap more… I don’t know. We had that for months and nothing we did seemed to solve it. She just got older and now needs just one nap a day. You might try giving her about ten minutes of crying time what she thinks is the “end” of each nap, and see if she goes back to sleep. Baby T would wake herself up and still be tired, and sometimes if I just ignored her (well, acted like I was ignoring her.. hard to actually ignore a crying baby) she would fall back asleep because she really wasn’t ready to be awake yet.
Yep we do have a baby carrier, and we use it every day but not for prolonged periods of time because I’ve been having lower back pains ever since she was born. She actually doesn’t like carriers that much because while she likes being held, she wants to be able to move her arms and legs and twist her body side to side and look around as much as possible.
I’ve tried the ten minutes of crying time, but I think she’s starting to associate that with “Well if I just keep crying mommy will eventually come get me” because once she gets going she won’t stop. She’s wiling to cry (the screaming, shaking, tears rolling down her cheeks kind) for an hour straight, even when I try to comfort her with patting and shhh’ing, or do the PUPD method. We haven’t gone longer than an hour, so I’m not sure if she’s even capable of crying herself to sleep (as cruel as that sounds).
We have white noise going for all “sleeps” since she was way younger. Does she nap in her carseat? Maybe try putting her in that? Piper will only nap in her stroller. SO yeah, she still naps in her stroller! I don’t care if that makes me a crap mom- but she naps at least two hours a day in it so whatever.
I know they say to try to let them sleep with lights on so they aren’t sensitive and know it’s “daytime”, but Piper always sleeps better when it’s darker?
Are you putting her down full at naptime? Ugh, I wish I had answers for you. I’d try the stroller, the car seat and white noise, if you haven’t already. 🙂 Good luck!
We’ve tried the carseat and it backfired on us! I think she equates it with going out, because she gets giddy and excited whenever we put her in it. (And since we’re still using the carseat adapter for our stroller, the stroller itself is still out.)
Claire sleeps better when it’s dark too, so we bought room-darkening curtains for her room.
As for the white noise, we’ve been using the Sleep Sheep since she started sleeping in her crib and she does like it…but it doesn’t help her stay asleep.
Do you have the Sleep Sheep set for 22min or 44min? Maybe it’s turning off and waking her up?
While it never woke up my daughter, we had a 1BR apartment and she was in with us- it ALWAYS woke me when it shut off.
In addition to the Sleep Sheep, we run our air purifier on high and it functions like a white noise machine for us.
Also- are you nap training and (night time) sleep training at the same time? We sleep trained our daughter first. We’d put her down awake and let her get herself to sleep. Once she could do that at night, we transitioned to doing that for naps as well.
Sleep training her was rough- I had to do it when my husband was away because he couldn’t tolerate it. The first night she SCREAMED for almost an hour. It was slightly better night 2. By night 3 it was better. By the end of the week, she could get herself to sleep without much fuss. However, getting her to put herself back to sleep when she woke in the night took longer- she’d cry for 20-40min before getting back to sleep.
We also sleep trained around the 6 months mark- when I could no longer function waking up multiple times a night and was about to start a new job. However, my daughter’s tolerable sleep pattern dramatically changed around 4 months. I dealt with it for 2 months before we trained.
It’s rough and it’s a process. And unfortunately, it usually happens during a period of desperation when parents are too exhausted to cope well. Try and remember that sleep deprivation can make EVERYTHING seem worse. (Not that it isn’t bad- just that is seems even worse that it already is) Kind of like when you have PMS and start crying at something stupid- you think to yourself, “I’m only crying because I’m PMSing. This wouldn’t phase me otherwise.” Remember that your brain and body won’t function normally when you’re exhausted and cut yourself slack.
From your posts, it sounds like you’re the type of person who wants to use nap time to get stuff done (I can related). I found- especially early on (when I was particularly desperate for rest)- if I laid in bed with my daughter and napped with her, she’d usually sleep for longer. Perhaps that might work? New moms can certainly use extra sleep. But you could also read or something while you lay there.
However, it was pretty common (and still is) for our daughter (who’s now 13mos old) to only nap for 45min.
Keeping good thoughts for you and Claire.
We have the Sleep Sheep set for the longer time, and it’s definitely the turning off, or the fact that it’s no longer on when she wakes up, that wakes her up and keeps her up (and when I sneak in to turn it back on right after it’s off she wakes up also). We actually just ordered another sound machine that works on an on/off switch and not a timer.
We’re not night sleep training because although I would love for her to sleep in longer stretches at night, it’s still bearable because she goes right back to sleep after we feed her and change her. I know that nap training is harder and will take longer (and that’s why many parents don’t nap-train), but it is her naps that are causing a problem and that’s why we decided to nap train.
I’m actually doing a lot better on the sleep deprivation front, because my husband takes the late night and early morning “shifts.” I just get pretty cranky from all the crying — just listening to a baby cry and cry is so exhausting!
As for napping with her, I’ve only tried that a few times and I hated it. I get too concerned about every little movement and sound that she makes that I really don’t get any rest at all. And when she did sleep next to me, she didn’t really sleep better either…it seems that she isn’t much of a cuddler, just like me (my mom tells me that I didn’t like cuddling even as a baby).
Oops, accidentally pressed “submit”!
I was going to add, the only good thing about her napping being so bad is that by the time it’s bedtime, she’s so tired that she goes down without a fuss.
Also wanted to thank you for your support 🙂
Our trick with the Sleep Sheep- if you press the button while it’s still going, it will reset it for an additional 44 minutes. So you don’t have to wait till it turns off to hit the button. Whenever you hit the button- it will go for 44 min!
Maybe that will help you till the new sound machine comes?
Thanks, I forgot to mention that I found that out by googling it a few weeks ago. I just keep forgetting to go back into her room to to reset it!
I have Amazon Prime, so the new sound machine should be arriving tomorrow. Hopefully that’ll do the trick.
So sorry to hear you are stressed out and having more difficulties. I wish you the best of luck and love during this time off.
Thanks Heather. Your support means a lot to me. 🙂
There is a carrier called the Ergo (http://www.ergobabycarrier.com/) that we use with Abby all the time. I swear to you that it is magic. I’ve been using it to put Abby to sleep for months, and it leaves all her limbs free to move around. You can also swing it around to your hip if it’s bugging your back, and it is very comfortable to wear for long periods of time. I think there is something about the way that it holds her that makes her feel secure, because that kid will knock of in a matter of minutes in it. Then I can just unclip it and lay her down for a nap, or if she is being fussy, I can just lie down on my back and let her sleep on me without having to do a transfer at all.
We tried the Ergo in a store when she was younger and she didn’t like it too much so we didn’t buy it (she doesn’t seem to like any carrier that much). I’m willing to give it a try again, but I’m not sure if it’ll work because she won’t fall asleep on people anymore. When she’s being held, or lying on top of someone she’ll only want to play with them and not sleep (my mother learned this the hard way this past Sunday). So it’s a lose-lose situation: she’ll only sleep when she’s lying down by herself, but when she wakes up after just 30 mins she wants to be picked up…which doesn’t allow for her to fall back asleep.
I will try putting her in the Ergo once more the next time we’re in the store tho, to see if it’ll help with my back. Thanks!
It’s funny you say that because Abby hated her Ergo for the first few months as well. She screamed bloody murder any time we tried to put her in it. Then, around about 3 months, when she was big enough to sit “kangaroo-style” instead of “sling style” she acted like it was the greatest thing ever.
It will get better. I know it will. (Spoken as someone that understands how hollow those words sound when you have a screaming baby in your arms.)
Poor thing! Both you and her…CIO is hard…way harder if you have a “stubborn” baby! Both of my kids are crappy sleepers, during both the day and nighttime…I’ve tried it all, done what the “experts” suggested I do, and nothing helped my first one. I had high hopes for the second one – learned the lesson of not holding all the time right after birth the hard way, but even with not holding him alot the first few weeks (just laying him down in the Boppy and letting him sleep) he’s now (at almost 7 months) a crappy sleeper too.
If he sleeps for an hour during the day, it’s a miracle. If he goes almost two hours, I’m checking his breathing…
The best thing that I can say is to keep your chin up and hang in there! It will pass. If it’s teeth, changing sleep pattern, whatever, it won’t last forever. Even if it feels like it will…:)
In the perfect world, those of us with crappy sleepers will have perfect sleepers the second (or third) time around. So sorry your second wasn’t a better sleeper.
Keep your head up. I had the same issues when my son was an infant. It gets better, I promise.
Try the 5 S method Swaddle, side shh, sway, suck.
The Five S’s
We swaddled almost up to a year and it made a huge difference. 30 minute naps went to 2 hours. Nighttime sleep increased dramatically as well.
We watched the “Happiest Baby on the Block” DVD before Claire was born, and successfully used the Five S’s (well, to a point…nothing really works when your baby has colic) for the first couple of months. However, we needed to break the swaddle because she was REALLY fighting it (to the point where there were marks all over her arms) and about to roll over facedown which can be pretty scary.
We do still use the Shh, Swing, and Suck (she never liked the Side) when we need to calm her down. However, they don’t help us with her napping. 🙁
I totally know how you feel. My daughter is almost 9 months and she just started taking naps longer than 30 min. At 2.5 months she started to sleep through the night so my husband told me not to worry if she didn’t take naps. But that meant that from 3pm-8pm she was a CRYING, CRANKY mess! But what I found to be very helpful is that she loves to sleep in her swing. She can sleep for 3 hours sometimes in it now during the day. Then I eventually moved her to the pack-n-play with her blankie and some toys and she would go to sleep playing with her toys.
I know how you feel. Trust me! I always wondered why she didn’t sleep like other babies we knew.
I hope it gets better for you.
Thank you. 🙂
I was talking to my neighbor whose baby is one month younger than Claire, and she told me that her son starting sleeping 10 hours straight a night when he was 2.5 months old. She looked so sorry for me when I told her that my baby only sleeps in 4-5 hr stretches at night, and won’t take naps for longer than 30 mins.
It’s weird, because just last month Claire was sleeping up to 8 hours at night, and took 2-3 hr naps in her swing. And all of a sudden, as soon as she turned 4 months it was like, BAM! She started fighting sleep and started sleeping less and less.
I’m really hoping that it’s just a phase, and that it’ll pass.
Just came across your blog today. I wish I had some advice!
I’m just lucky my 8 month old is in daycare during the day where she refuses to nap for more than 25 minutes once a day. They finally moved her to a larger crib in a section far away from the action and she’s actually started napping for longer this week.
On the weekends, I can tell when she needs a nap and I just plop her in there with a paci and the sound machine. If she cries and cries, I take her back out after a few minutes of crying and try again 10 minutes later. She seems to give in on the third try. But I’m a lucky one. She loves sleeping. Or she did until the teeth started coming in.
Big hugs to you. I have no advice (although I do remember Clara’s phase of 30 minute naps – ick!). Just know that I’m thinking of you and sending the Sandman your daughter’s way!
I’m in the sme boat. 3-4 night time feedings. but my boy only sleeps 2.5 hour stretches and takes 3 30 min naps during the day. Im taking in all the advice on this one. Asa will be 6 months on Feb 27th, and I’m just waiting for it things get better.
Two suggestions — try to get her tired. I know that sounds ridiculous for such a young baby but really try to engage her as much as possible when she’s awake by showing her picture books, tummy time, anything that can keep her mind spinning and constantly going — playing her music, lights, etc. Also, if all else fails, try the fail proof Korean method of putting her on your back. My mom used that method for our son and it worked like a charm! Good luck!
Sounds like a bad combo of the 40 (or in her case 30) minute intruder and the 4 month wakeful. The 30-40 minutes is the length of time of a baby REM cycle, so she is completely waking up as soon as one cycle is over. One trick is to sit outside her room around 25 minutes after she has gone down and listen for any of her early waking/stirring signs (ie sighing, moving etc) and as soon as you hear that pop in and do something that might help her to settle like rubbing her belly, replacing a pacifier, reswaddling or whatever is comforting for Claire. If she can go through the first cycle and be comforted back to sleep, she should sleep through another whole cycle at least. The key is try to catch her before she wakes up completely. Easier said then done, I know! After a few days of helping her through it, the hope is that she would know how to do this on her own. I have friends who swear by this method.
When my daughter was doing this regularly I would often nap next to her and even just my presence would help her to comfort herself back to sleep. I know you don’t want to do that for every nap, but hey a little extra sleep for you can’t hurt!
Of course, around 4 months lots of babies go through a wakeful period and maybe she is just doing that and will grow out of it soon!
Best of luck and big HUGS. Sleep problems SUCK!
I’ve tried that method, but I always end up waking her up. 🙁
I have never commented before, but a friend of ours recommended a book on sleep for our baby called, “The 90 Minute Sleep Program”. It is a super easy (fast) read about how babies have a 90 minute awake period and then naturally become sleepy and you can put them down to sleep. As they age, it gets stretched to 180, 270, etc. minutes. It has helped us so much!! Our daughter naps and just last night sleep 6 hours straight and then 5 hours. We felt like new people this morning getting to actually sleep! I was skeptical at first, but when it started to work just like our friend said it worked with his daughter, we were very excited!!
Thanks! I just received (and read) a new book today and I want to try what it says first. If that doesn’t work, I’ll definitely give the 90 Minute Sleep Program a try.