14 answers

2 Month Old Baby Not Sleeping More than 9 Hours Total

I have a baby girl who is now 2-1/2 months old. Since she was about 5 weeks she has completely stopped sleeping during the day. She has been sleeping fine at night from about 8:30p until 5am when she will wake and eat. Sometimes she will go back to sleep til about 7:30 and be up the rest of the day or our day will start right then at 5am. After feedings she will doze off while burping her on my shoulder but the second I lay her down (or move for that matter) to nap she wakes and crys. By 5-6pm she is completely exhausted and will just cry so hard even on a full belly and dry diaper. It sometimes takes several hours to get her to calm down and go to bed for the night. Any suggestions on what I should do or try?

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Featured Answers

I really LOVE the book Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. I really don't know what I would have done with out it. It helped me so much with my kids and their sleeping problems. You can probably get it used for pretty cheap on half.com
Not just for babies but kids also. Sleep problems affect everything and make everyone cranky! I feel for you!

More Answers

I agree with Kimberly. You need "Babywise." It works.


This sounds almost exactly like my duaghter. She would sleep throught the night fine and then just want to be awake all day, she would even do the little morning nap like yours. I started to implement the principles of babywise. Now she is a great napper. I would only let her cry for fifteen minutes. If she cried more than that I just got her up. Or if her cry was more like a scream for more than five minutes I got her up consoled her and tried again in a little while. I think what is happeneing is that by the end of the day she is overtired and having a meltdown. The main thing I learned with babywise was how to tell when she was crying because she was tired versus when she was crying becasue she was in pain or hungry. I also started to recognize tired signals before she started crying. Like droopy eyes or she stopped enaging in play or now that she is older she starts rubbing her eyes. Good luck. just remember you are the mom. you know your baby and whats best for her.

I have been on the waitlist at the library for 2 months and have finally gotten the babywise book on hold, so I haven't read it yet. However, I loved the ideas about sleep needs in the book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" - it was a wonderful read. You may check this out too.

I really LOVE the book Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. I really don't know what I would have done with out it. It helped me so much with my kids and their sleeping problems. You can probably get it used for pretty cheap on half.com
Not just for babies but kids also. Sleep problems affect everything and make everyone cranky! I feel for you!

It sounds like it might be time for her to learn to go to sleep w/o nursing/bottle. Something that both Babywise and Happiest Baby promote. The one thing I really used from Babywise was the idea of a eat/wake/sleep schedule. That way they learn (eventually) to fall asleep without the feeding. And we LOVED Happiest Baby on the Block. I read the book and got a lot out of knowing the "whys", but the DVD might be a faster fix!

Sounds like you're little one wants to be held. If you do not want to hold her while she sleeps, try swaddling her. Best book ever--Happiest Baby On the Block by Dr. Karp. It will explain why your little one won't let you put her down, how to soothe her and what to do to get her some sleep. My degree is in child development and this is the only baby book I recommend--it's amazing. You can also try his website--just google Harvey Karp--I believe they explain the Five S's there, which is the calming technique he uses.
Good luck!
Oh, and the whole baby wise thing will probably not work for your daughter--it sounds like she is too sensitive to respond to that at this point. Happiest Baby will explain to you how to get her natural calming reflex going so you can move forward.
Happy to talk you through this if you need help--I have the book still--let me know if you'd like my number.

It is VERY rare for a infant to sleep through the night they need to eat every three hours for a while.
Does she cry and lift her legs up or seem uncomfortable? Are you giving her mylicon to help maybe relieve gas bubbles?
I know my daughter very early on had reflux. She outgrew it by 4 months but she was up every three hours and slept a lot better if I held her too, the rocking helped calm her and her laying down flat caused pain from the reflux. Is she spitting up a lot more then the norm?
Please understand that they are constantly growing and you cannot even plan to sleep all night until they are close to the year mark. Some babies do it sooner but neither of mine slept through the night until close to 10 mos.
Don't wait until she is asleep to lay her down, get her drowsy, put her in her own crib and lay her down, try white noise machines and make sure she is still swaddled. That helped my babies a lot being swaddled and cozy.

Try reading "The Happiest Baby on the Block", it really helped me and my son didn't want to ever sleep, even at night.

We've used the book "On Becoming Babywise" by Gary Ezzo with 3 kids, and the video, "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp with 2. We love them both. I'm very tired, so I won't try to explain the ideas for fear of not making sense, but if you're interested, I'll email them to you tomorrow. GL! and congratulations!

Do you think this might be an acid reflux problem? I have a child with this problem and he would cry when I laid him down because food was coming back up and causing a burning sensation. We would elevate his matress on one end and this seemed to help. Maybe your child finally gives up and sleeps at night because she is too exhausted! At that age you should be able to lay her down for naps peacefully after she has awake periods of 90 minutes. I hope you get it figured out! Good luck!

Make her room dark, swaddling could help. My husband would put our child on a blanket and rock him by tugging on the blanket, that way at least he could let go and walk away. Try some baby massage, and get one of these:


Make sure if you are nursing that your diet is very healthy. If she is getting too much sugar she might be wired.

I was also going to suggest the schedule in babywise. The other thing that I did was start "bedtime" later, like at 10 until he was sleeping through to a normal wake time. When I would have to pry him out of the crib in the morning, then I would back up the bed time. He now goes to bed about 7-7:30 and sleeps till about 6-6:30.

The main thing in Babywise is to NOT let her go to sleep during feeding or burping. After feeding, you need to keep her awake. (FYI, I even did this for the last feeding of the night, and never had to fight with stopping this feeding when it came time.) It won't be easy, and will take a few days to get her used to it, and then consistency, but it is soooo worth it!

My son was exactly like that and it was exhausting, both during the day because I never got a break, and in the evening meltdown period.

In a nutshell, what I discovered from reading various books is that infants that age need to sleep again about every two hours or so from when they last wake up (this increases as they get older--but in babies your daughters age will likely be around 1-2.5 hours), but essentially, you need to look for signs like rubbing eyes, yawning, crankiness that's not related to hunger/diaper and then soothe your baby to sleep (I swaddled, played white noise, and bounced gently on one of those big balls). Otherwise, if you miss the signs they are tired you miss the sleep window and they become wired and won't sleep (think how hard it can be even for adults who are overtired).

So, what I was doing was thinking, gee, my son just woke up 1.5 hours ago after sleeping 8 hours at night, he can't possibly be tired! Wrong. The first needed nap can be as short as an hour after waking. For the longest time, I assumed the fussiness was due to other stuff (he must be bored, I'll do x with him, hmmm, he's still crying, I'll do y with him) and really all my moving him around and entertaining him was just keeping him up when he needed to sleep, and he needed my help to get to sleep (he never just fell asleep on his own, just started to increasingly melt down, but wrap him in a blanket and bounce for a minute and voila).

So, my advice, look for yawning, eye rubbing, "quieting" of the body or an increase in fussiness, expect it within about 2 hours of when she last woke up but may be sooner, and then try to soothe her for a nap. She might fight the naps at first because you might not hit the nap window exactly right and she's not used to taking them, but just use whatever sleep technique works for you (rocking, bouncing, swing if you need to, heck, if you're desperate, drive her around if that works -- though of course you wouldn't want to do this forever, etc.) Happiest Baby on the Block is good for getting babies to sleep (though less helpful on when to do it).

I'm personally not a fan of Babywise or Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (though the basics in this book are good -- but his cry it out techniques seem a little harsh); but someone recommended Good Night, Sleep Tight which is similar to Healthy Sleep Habits but a lot more coherent and a little less harsh.

Good luck!

Get teh book "Healthy Sleep habits, Happy Child." A few things from my expereince... my now almost 2 year old did this every few days to us. We finally learned that once she had been awake an hour, she was ready to have a nap. If we missed it, she wouldn't go to sleep for 3 or 4 hours. You're trying to catch a sleepy "window" when its easy for your baby to fall asleep. For our little girl, we needed to be rocking her by the time she'd been awake an hour... not start a nap routine at an hour, but be well into it.
Good luck, but seriously get the book. Best sleep book ever. You'll use it for years!

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