Thursday, March 13, 2008

Calling all moms

I need some advice. We are once again having sleep issues in our house. I can't blame Anthony for all of it. We have taken him on 2 trips in the past month and I know that it has messed up what little schedule we had going before our first trip.

Here is what is happening, his naps are short during the day, usually lasting only an hour at most. We're working on it, and I can deal with that. Our biggest problem is going to bed at night. Or I should say staying in bed at night. He actually falls asleep really fast, around 9 pm we start by rocking him to sleep in the kitchen in front of the exhaust fan and he falls asleep within 5 minutes. Then we tip toe up the stairs ever so gently as to not make the wooden steps creak, lay him in his bed, and tip toe out the door. We have a fan CD playing in the room for white noise and we keep a small dim light on in the room. Within 5 minutes he is awake and crying again. We go back in to check on him, put the pacifier back in his mouth and try to sooth him in bed without getting him up. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. If it doesn't then we're back to the kitchen to start all over. He will again quickly fall back asleep if we pick him up, so I know he is tired, he just can't seem to stay asleep. Surely he hasn't figured out how to manipulate us already. This goes on for anywhere between 1 to 2 hours each night. Rarely do we put him to bed and have him stay asleep for the night.

I know you are supposed to put them to sleep awake, but if we do that he will cry, and work himself up. When he cries if we don't go to him right away and console him, he again works himself into a fit of crying. I am sure we must be doing something wrong here, so I am asking for suggestions here. We have read the books and now I want tried and tested advice from moms. I think I already know that I need to get him to fall asleep on his own in his crib, but I don't know how to do that. Suggestions welcome.

And now I have to go because it's my turn to go up there now.

10 comments:

Rachael said...

I think I just stuck the pacifier in their mouth. Or, brought them in bed with us. Sorry, not great advice, but that worked for me.

Max's Mom said...

I had the same problems with Max. If I knew he was tired, was not hungry and wasn't dirty, I would let him cry. I started with small spurts, no more than five minutes initially. I would then go in and pat him on the butt and shhh, shhh him until he was quiet. If he started crying again I would wait about 7 minutes. I would lengthen it out each time. Believe me... THIS IS NOT EASY and not for everyone. I would stare at the clock waiting for the time to be up so I could go and comfort him. In the long run I think it was worth it. He goes to bed and takes naps so easy now. Oh, and about the naps. Max was always a short napper too. He eventually lengthened them out, though.

BabyMakes4 said...

How old is he? When we went through this with Ali, we finally ended up letting her cry it out. It's a terrible, awful thing with really wonderful results. She cried for 15-45 minutes every night for several nights and then got to where she would arch toward the bed when we walked in her room because she was so ready to go to sleep.
I know it is hard. I tried the going back in and soothing thing and it never worked. I lived by Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Ali has wonderful sleep habits thanks to this book.
Good luck!! Sleep problems are so miserable and the less sleep you get the harder they are to deal with, aren't they?

Just Laura said...

Sorry to say you are correct. He has already learned to manipulate the situation. Getting him to sleep and have him sleep through the night is a matter of metabolism. The only way to "train" his metabolism is to get him on a schedule - sleep, eat, play. Sounds easy but is hard on the ears and therefor the heart aches. I don't want to leave a nove but if you're comfortable, please email me at phoenixjoaquin@cox.net - Just Laura

Tina in CT said...

I agree with the others that he has to learn to sleep but my advice is to call your pediatrician or I hear that moms swear by Dr. Ferber. I was lucky to have a wonderful sleeping baby.

Anonymous said...

Try to keep him awake all day if he is only napping for 1 hr total. That way he will be exhausted at bedtime. Just put him to bed and shut the door. He will cry and work himself up. That's not going to hurt him. DONT pick him up, but try going in too sooth him after 3 min, next time wait 4 min, etc... If you'll stick to your guns and do that for about a week it'll work.
You can add naps back in after that.

Or you can just stick him in bed with you and sleep peacefully;-)

Mob said...

I know you said you read the books, but I found "The no-cry" sleep solution" very helpful.
When Hannah was about 4 months old I started doing the same thing every night, thus starting a pattern. First I would read her at least 3 books while she was holding her blankie. Then I would lay her sideways on my lap and rock and sing to her with her blankie. Then I would stop singing and just rock her, when I saw that her eyes were closed I would stop the rocking and just sit there for a couple minutes. Then I would slowly get up and place her in her crib. Sometimes she will go right down, but sometimes even still she will wake right back up. I will wait a couple minutes and if the crying turns into more than just fussing I will go in a pick her up and just hold her in the rocking chair with her blankie, no singing or rocking. When she settles down, I put her back in the crib. Some nights I put her down and she's out. Other nights it takes a couple of times. this has worked really well. She only takes one or two naps at the most during the day for an hour each.
Hope that helps. Your always welcome to email me too.

Starfish said...

Keeping in mind we got seamonkey at 3 months - We found keeping to a fairly strict routine helped (I realize he's been out of wack lately) the situation alot. He always ate at the same time and we never woke him up for feedings ever. We put him in the crib the same time every day (give or take 15 minutes). And, when he was out of wack, we let him cry it out. I sometimes had to physically restrain my husband from rescuing him (he cites the "he's getting all worked up" thing too) but in the end he always fell asleep! Good luck!

CM said...

First of all, I am no expert, but I did have 3 babies and we did figure out a few tricks to help everyone sleep better. Our first experience was terrible and I blame it all on me for not having her on a good eat,wake, sleep schedule. I know that there are those out there who are completely against putting a baby on a schedule but it was the best thing that ever happened to us! First of all you need to make sure that you know how often he needs to be eating. Since he was born in December I would probably guess that he needs to eat every four hours. So this is what you do. First thing when he gets up, feed him. Make sure he gets good and full. Do not let him fall asleep while he is eating. He needs to know that this is his feeding time and not his sleep time. It is tempting to let them fall asleep while they are eating because they look so content and its really sweet but it will keep him from getting full and wanting to eat again when he should be sleeping. He still needs naps. If he doesn't get enough sleep during the day he will just be overly cranky at night. And you need a break! So, after he eats, do your best to keep him up for 2 hours. but him in his bouncer (without the vibration on), lay him on the floor on his belly with some interesting toys to look at, interact with him, read to him, talk to him, whatever you have to do to keep him awake! Then when its been 2 hours put him to sleep. I recommend that you get out of putting him to sleep in the kitchen. If you don't you might be stuck doing that a year from now! Swaddle him up tightly (he's not too big to be swaddled) and rock him, but only for a few minutes. Get him good and drowsy and then put him to bed. You can let him cry for a few minutes. He should be good and tired (and still full) enough that he will quickly go to sleep and sleep for a good 2 hours. If he wakes up before that, let him cry for a few minutes and see if he will go back to sleep on his own. If he doesn't go to him, but don't rock him back to sleep, it awake time now. Don't feed him either until its been 4 hours. Keeping him on the same feeding schedule will eventually get him sleeping. We did this and my second child slept through the night at 9 weeks old, and only getting up once a night before that, and taking 2-3 two hour naps a day. My third child slept through the night at 6 weeks old. This all comes from the book "Baby Wise". Some people don't like that book because they don't like schedules, but it worked for us! Good luck!

Tina in CT said...

I agree with CM. I basically did the same sort of thing but back then it was called the 2, 6, 10 schedule. My mother came out right after my daughter came home from the hospital and she told me I had to get the baby on that schedule right from the start. Well, it sure worked and she slept through at 2 weeks old. I would put her in her bassinette for the night and she went right to sleep. I am a firm believer in schedules for kids right from the start. It makes life so much easier (really, it does).