February 08, 2008,
A.G. asks from Portland, OR on February 04, 2008
6 Month Old Waking up Almost Hourly and Taking 30-Minute Naps!
I'm looking for moms who have successfully helped their infant to sleep longer stretches at night and/or taught their baby to put him/herself back to sleep during the night (or during naps). My sweet little boy has begun to wake up needing to be consoled almost hourly at night and my husband and I are feeling the effects on our marriage, during the day, etc. I believe the waking could be partially due to teething (or some other discomfort), but am also SURE that my son has gotten used to the habit of "summoning" us when he wakes up at night. I am reading a lot of information and many parents say that letting the child cry it out is the quickest, simplest way to address the waking habit, but my little man is so sensitive and cries so hard when he's upset--I'm not sure my husband or I can do it. Trying to comfort him without picking him up seems to make him even more angry and he completely rejects the pacifier unless you are holding him and he's exhausted. I've tried to introduce a "lovey" to associate with sleep, but don't think I'm doing it right. I wonder about sleep cue words or music. Basically--I'm looking for any tips about how you helped your baby learn to break the night waking/calling for parent cycle. I KNOW that our son CAN put himself back to sleep (I hear him make noise and then go back to sleep once or twice during the night), but he can't do it every time.
So What Happened?™
Thank you to everyone who gave advice and suggestions. I know this can be something of a controversial topic. My husband and I decided (after much research) to try gradual extinction, or sort of a "supported" cry-it-out method. I started two days ago with his naps, where I made sure he was fed, dry, and sleepy and put him down in his crib awake. Then, I stayed in the room in a chair near his crib and let him know that I was there by singing or shhhing. When I tried to pat him to comfort him the first time, that only made him more agitated. By the third nap (the 2nd day) he was putting himself to sleep within 15 minutes with NO crying. We haven't tacked nighttime yet, but I think the nap strategy is trickling over. The last several nights I have heard him wake up and go back to sleep on his own, with only one feeding. Last night, he slept for 10 hours on his own! I'm working hard to make sure my son knows that I am there for him if he needs me, but it is clear that he was ready for more independence and was in need of better sleep and sleep strategies! Oh, another piece is that I never go to him sooner than 10 minute after I hear him wake up. Usually, he's back asleep before the 10 minutes are up and if not, then I know he's probably ready to go!
C.B. answers from Seattle on February 05, 2008
I would recommend picking up a copy of the No Cry Sleep Solution. I bought our copy in downtown Olympia at Orca Books. The author is a mother of four from Washington I believe. This book is pretty popular amongst those parents unwilling to let their baby "cry it out", but who need help developing a better sleep pattern for their children. By the way I support your choice to not let your son cry it out. This is a very nurturing and healthy decision. I am reading the book "Bright from the Start" right now and it focuses on brain development in babies and young children. The healthiest thing you can do when your baby is crying is respond in some sort of attentive way. Ignoring your crying baby consistently can be very damaging to their emotional brain development. Seriously the number one thing I suggest is the book.
Also frequent night waking is common when teething. This can be very grueling. I would suggest nursing/feeding often through the night preferably in the same bed during the worst teething nights. This will help both of you get the most sleep. Also try Hyland's Teething tablets they really work you can buy them at Safeway in the natural section, the oly food coop or Radiance Herbs downtown. If all else fails and your pediatrician agrees to it I would try a dose of the Dye-Free Infant Motrin when you suspect your guy is having real teething pain.
2 moms found this helpful
K.P. answers from Spokane on February 05, 2008
Try reading the book, A sleep ladies guide to a better nights sleep.
1 mom found this helpful
H.G. answers from Richland on February 05, 2008
My daughter is 6 months old and has been that way since day one. It has been an awful experience. She is finally sleeping 8 hours straight for the past 2 weeks. I have tried everything, including white noise in the room, she has a pacifier, perfect room temperature. I think what finally started working was loading her up with food in the evening, although she hasn't nursed at night since about 4.5 months old. This was the pediatrician's suggestion. She eats her solid dinner at about 5:30 ( I give her some meat, and baby whole-milk yogurt, veggies, and fruit) then it's bath, then I give her more yogurt, then I nurse her and put her down. This seems to have done the trick, but it's only been a couple of weeks. I still wake her to nurse at 10 pm before I go to bed, and she's going until 6 am now. When she was waking up, I don't even know what she wanted. She didn't really want to nurse. She just wouldn't sleep more than 1-2 hours at a time and then she was crabby during the day. Since she's been sleeping at night, she's a different baby. She's happy and rarely fussy. I don't let her nap past 4 pm. She's our second child, and our 2-year old son slept through the night (9 hours) by 9 weeks old. Go figure!
1 mom found this helpful
R.J. answers from Seattle on February 05, 2008
I'm 30 yrs. old and have 3 great kids, 7, 4 1/2 and 2 yrs old. Each of them have had different sleep patterns. What I learned with them is (1. Have a bedtime routine that you can stick to everynight. Like a snack, or bottle, bath and story, it relaxes them and gets them ready for rest. (2. It's important to put them to bed drowsy but still awake, it teaches them to fall asleep on their own. I learned this the hard way, my oldest did not sleep through the night until he was 15 mos old because I always rocked him to sleep and then when he was a toddler and couldn't fall asleep as easy in my arms it was taking forever to put him to bed and keep him asleep. We did the "cry it out" at 15 mos, it was horrible, at that age they can definitely out last you. (3. Once your son is in bed for the night, the first time he cries, wait ten minutes before you go to him, just pat his back, quietly say something soothing and then leave. Don't turn on the light. The next time he cries, wait 20 minutes before going in, do the same thing and then leave. Every time up the time by 10-15 minutes before going in. It may take a couple of nights, but he will learn to settle himself and go back to sleep. If you find that your going in there doesn't do any thing but make him more upset, what I did was just wait, and not go in there at all and it worked as well. This is what I did with my first two kids, and it really works. My third slept through the night from 3 mos on. Heaven!!
I know how hard it is to hear them cry and not go to them. You're not being a bad mom, you're doing your son a favor because he (and you) will be able to get the quality of rest that he needs. They don't grow out of it, you have to train them. I hope this helps!!
1 mom found this helpful
K.W. answers from Portland on February 05, 2008
You've heard it here before--"The No-Cry Sleep Solution" book by Elizabeth Pantuso. Phooey to the cry-it-out method! Some kids are too intense for that method--they cry so hard, just ramping it up and up until they vomit and pass out from exhaustion. Your little one sounds just like mine at that age: soothing words just made her angry; she furiously rejected all pacifiers unless already deeply worn out. Kaiser was actually helpful to us in assigning a "temperament nurse" who helped us measure different aspects of our baby's behavior; one of the words they used was "reactive"--intense reactions to whatever's going on. She has settled down quite a bit, but she can go from 0 to 60 emotionally in about 2 seconds. They explained that "crying it out" doesn't work well for this type, or only works for a short time--I know some swear by it, but I've seen people in this forum say that after all the upset, it only lasted for a week or two. Trust your gut, it's YOUR baby, and try more of the gentler methods you're inclining toward.
1 mom found this helpful
D.M. answers from Portland on February 04, 2008
There is scientific evidence that supports massaging infants and toddlers which helps increase sleep. Try a "formalized" massage that stimulates as well as relaxes and you will find that your little one sleeps those longer hours you are looking for.
visit www.lovingtouch.com for more information. Sleep tight, good night! Check out the book, Touch, by Dr. Tiffany Field.
1 mom found this helpful
B.L. answers from Portland on February 05, 2008
I have a 2 1/2 yo who didn't sleep through the night on a consistent basis until she was almost two!!! And I really believe it was my fault because I was in the same situation you are! We moved her out of our room and into her own around 6 months, and I missed her so I'd jump up at every little cry or coo to nurse her and get her back to sleep. I didn't want her to feel lonely or scared. Pretty soon, I was getting less sleep than when she was in my own bed. She got used to being nursed at night, and it took me another year to realize I was the one enforcing the very behavior I wanted to get rid of. Let me tell you, breaking an 18 month old of this habit was way worse than breaking a six-month would have been. YOUR SON MAY GET ANGRY AT YOU for not picking him up, but he will get angry at you many more times in his life for not doing what he thinks you should do to make him feel better: do his homework for him, buy him beer, bail him out of jail... Sounds extreme, but if he can manipulate you now, he'll be able to manipulate you easier. My friend with TWIN boys would sit in a rocking chair in their room with her eyes closed while they cried it out. Sometimes she'd go hold their hands. She was THERE. They were SAFE. But she wouldn't pick them up. She was setting a new boundary, and whenever she let the boundary get fuzzy she said she'd have to start all over. She moved the rocking chair closer and closer to the door, and then she got to where she would just go in if they were fussing and let them hear her voice from the doorway. It is so hard to listen to your child cry. You feel so helpless. But my sister who has three kids always reminded me that crying won't kill them. It might kill you, but it won't kill them :) Also, try adding some rice cereal to his milk right before bed. He may just need more in his little gut to tide him over until morning :)
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S.W. answers from Seattle on February 04, 2008
my daughter woke 4-7 times a night from 6 months to 10 months. i slowly became a zombie! i'm certain that i lost some brain cells because of this.
by 10 months, i COULD NOT take it anymore. i started looking for books to tell me what to do. some of the more gentle approaches seemed to take so much effort and brain power....and i just didn't have it in me to go through all of that. i finally found "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth, M.D. it saved my life (and possibly my daughter's!). i loved how it explains sleep and the way our brains work with and without enough. it gives a lot of "in their words" accounts of people who have used the tips in the book to get their children on a sleeping schedule.
yes, part of it includes crying it out. i didn't think that i'd ever be able to do that, but by that point, it was the only option for me. another big part of the book is establishing routines around sleep times.
good luck. i KNOW how hard it is!! :)
oh! and i wanted to add that once we made it over the hurdle (it took 2 nights!), if our routines were ever messed up b/c of travel or anything, it only took one night to get us back on track. it is amazing how much babies depend on routine and knowing what to expect. they respond so well to it!
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A.H. answers from Portland on February 05, 2008
my three year old daughter still wakes up at least once a night. but what worked for her when we started to put her to bed on her own with out rocking her at about 6 months old was to let her fuss for about 5 minutes then try to quietly calm her without picking her up tlak quietly rub her back ect. ( we did have to pick her up a time or two) then leave the room while she was still awake. let her fuss for 8 to 10 minutes this time the repeat the above process, then leave the room again. and let her fuss for 13 to 15 minutes. usually by hten they have worn themselves out and fall alseep but if not just increase the time before you go back in to 20 minutes. it took us about 5 days for her to start falling asleep at the 5 minute interval. this way lets them cry it out but also reassures them you will be there. your not abondoning you child just showing they are okay if you aren't there. and it was a very long week. lots of disagreement between my husband and I but I assure if you stick to it you both agree ona game plan and follow it it will pay off. if you giev in half way through then it will be even harder then before. good luck and i hope you find something that works for you. A.
1 mom found this helpful
M.H. answers from Portland on February 05, 2008
We had almost an identical problem with out 6 mo, only she wouldn't put herself to sleep ever. We implemented The Baby Whisperer plan, a 4 hr eat, activity, sleep routine. It is flexible which is what I like. But it solved the problems for our sensitive 6 mo who woke about every 1/2 hr. Good luck!!!
D.D. answers from Seattle on February 05, 2008
Yep, been through this. I kept hte little guy up for 4-5 hours at a stretch playing games, rolling on the floor, looking at picture books, spinning him around - whatever it took! And then he would finally sleep for a couple of hours at a time. It took a little over a week to get him into the new routine, but with devoted attention for those nine days, we made a lasting change that allowed me to get a block of free time to myself each afternoon.
A.Z. answers from Spokane on February 05, 2008
As hard as it is to let your child cry it out in the middle of the night that is what it takes for them to learn that you are not going to come running every time they cry throughout the night. Of course you'll want to check to make sure he is okay but once you have determined that then let him cry. My husband and I have had nights where our daughter would cry for an hour or more before she would fall asleep. It's a horrible feeling but the little bit of effort now will pay off quickly.
R.P. answers from Portland on February 06, 2008
I've read Ferber and Healthy Sleep Habits. A far better, more compassionate book is Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution. I got this book at around 10 months when my son was still waking up several times a night. It took my son a year to get it right, but at 12 months he started sleeping through the night. We never did the "cry it out" solution. (Disclaimer: There were a few times of monumental frustration and sleep deprivation where we let him cry a little. But never enough to amount to a pattern.) Hang in there. It's terribly hard, I know. If you're heart says not to let him cry, follow it. I followed Pantley's advice and my 17-month old has great sleep habits.
J.B. answers from Portland on February 05, 2008
I'm in the same boat! I'm going to track this post and hopefully we can get some sleep soon! Good luck, Mama!
J.L. answers from Spokane on February 05, 2008
Check out the book "On Becoming Babywise" by Steven Ezzo (I think that's the author). My kids have all been good sleepers, and I attribute it to this book.
H.B. answers from Seattle on February 05, 2008
I also used Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, and couldn't recommend it highly enough. My 19 month old and 3 year old have both slept a solid 12 hour night since 8-10 months old (still had 1-2 night feedings up until that time, but not hourly!) and are great nappers too. Both love their beds, go down easily at reliable times each day/night, and wake up happy. I can tell when they haven't gotten enough sleep at naptimes, and will sometimes put them back in bed and they'll sleep some more. Personally I am the "rip the bandaid" approach type of person, I'd rather deal with an issue head on because I believe it is less painful than dragging it out, exhausting us all in the procses.
That said, I have heard that no matter what approach you choose from the many out there, if you stick to it with consistency, it will work. So just choose what is in your comfort level, and something you know you can stick to, and then have confidence and do it. Good luck, I hate being up in the night, too - you feel like such a zombie, and it's hard to be a good mom in the daytime when you are exhausted!!
Oh, we also used swaddling up to about 8 months (or until they would consistently bust out), white noise to reduce wakeups from household and street noise, darken the room for naps, and pacifiers and lovies (the same blankets and stuffed animals all the time). The white noise is a great sleep cue, put it on repeat, but they couldn't have cared less about loveys until after 15 months or so. And maybe encourage your hubby to use earplugs if you decide to do cry it out, so he can still function at work.
K.S. answers from Seattle on February 05, 2008
I just want to second something I read already here...if your little guy is "sensitive" or "spirited" - frequently babies/kids are both - then cry-it-out probably will not work well for you.
Also, if you suspect teething, have you tried offering Tylenol? I also found at around that same time frame (my daughter always had at least 3 teeth come in at once) that Motrin worked better if she had multiple teeth coming in - and you can give it to babies over 6 months old.
Last, at 5.5 months old, our daughter started having problems sleeping, and would be nearly inconsolable at times even when we would pick her up. To be honest, I had been sort of shocked at how well she had slept prior to that time so it was a pretty dramatic change. We found out she had GERD (chronic acid reflux). The symptoms are much worse when lying flat, so she would go to sleep, then wake up in pain.
So, I would encourage you to RULE OUT MEDICAL REASONS before trying cry-it-out as well. I can assure you, even though I didn't try having her cry it out, I felt pretty bad that I didn't take her to the doctor sooner than I did....we only waited a couple of weeks, but still.....I had assumed it was a phase, and it turned out to be medical.
N.F. answers from Seattle on February 06, 2008
If you haven't already, you HAVE to get the book Healty Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, MD. My neighbor recommended it to me when my son, now 11 months, wasn't napping and was becoming increasingly cranky and tired. We started when he was 8 months and he has slept through the night ever since and takes two good naps during the day. We did have to do the cry it out method, and it wasn't easy, but it did work. And, it really didn't take too long. I know it will feel horrible for you and your husband at first, but know that you are doing what is in your son's best interest by teaching him good sleep habits. It will have a lifetime impact on him. The book is also good because it gives a lot of encouragement. I used to read certain sections over and over to console myself while my son wailed in the next room. Now, he is a happy and well rested kid. Please try this, I know many moms who swear by it. Good luck! N., Redmond WA
D.B. answers from Spokane on February 05, 2008
I'm wondering if there could be some other issues going on. Did your little boy nap and sleep better prior to beginning to teeth? He has got to be exhausted. Waking up as often as he does, makes me think it is something more than just wanting your undivided attention. My thought is that he is not sleeping because something is upsetting his stomach, or he has developed acid reflux. If this was not a problem previously, perhaps it would be worth looking at his diet. Could he be wheat, dairy or soy intolerant? 2 out of my 4 children have been exceptionally cranky. One was very allergic to dairy and the other has had issues with acid reflux. In fact he is busy crying himself to sleep right now. Good luck. I hope you and your husband have a special night away planned for Valentine's !
K.J. answers from Portland on February 05, 2008
It sucks but the crying it out thing really works. i have three boys and it works everytime, it only took one night for my boys to catch on.
Y.B. answers from Seattle on February 05, 2008
I must agree the the other posting that recommended Elizabeth Pantley's No cry Sleep Solution I swear by it. My 8 month old baby was waking up every hour and taking 10 min naps and within a month he is now taking 2 hour naps and only wakes 2 times at night to eat. You can also check out her website www. pantley.com. Good Luck
B.K. answers from Seattle on February 05, 2008
I feel your pain! I'm a mom to two children. My son didn't sleep through the night until he was 9 months and my daughter didn't sleep through the night until she was 12 mos (she's 13 months now). My daughter took 30 minute naps and woke multiple times during the night. It was so stressful and exhausting but like you, I just can't let my kids "cry it out". I know that it's an approach that has worked for many parents but it just doesn't feel right to me. I've read MANY sleep books and my two favorite are "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley and "Good Night, Sleep Tight" by Kim West. Two different approaches. One worked better for my son and the other worked better for my daughter. The good news is that my son became an awesome sleeper and my daughter has just recently turned into a sleep champ. She sleeps a minimum of 11 hours at night and takes a 2 hour nap in the afternoon. I'm still pinching myself. I'm happy and well-rested! Your baby can learn to sleep well it just takes time. Also, there is an endless list of issues that can disrupt sleep even after it seems that your child has become a great sleeper. Just hang in there and do what seems right to you. Good Luck!
C.D. answers from Seattle on February 05, 2008
Try Richard Ferber's "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems", or the most recent edition of that book. Yes, it's a cry-it-out regime but remember that you are setting your child's sleep patterns for life, and as you and your husband can attest, good, sound sleep is vital. It's not "cruel", it's sensible and your child deserves it. You will teach him many things in his life. One should be how to get back to sleep quickly and on his own. Children suffer greatly from not enough sleep, especially later on when they start school. Good sleep for the entire family creates a happier family, better parents, and less stressed little kids. My two cents, I know this can be controversial. Good luck.
T.K. answers from Seattle on February 05, 2008
I have sympathy for you! I'll tell you what worked for us... First off I used Healthy Sleep Habirs Happy Child book as my guide book. At about 4-1/2 months old, we started a sleep routine for naps and night time. I would put him down to sleep awake so he'd learn to put himself to sleep. He would cry for a while but he would eventually go to sleep. The first night we let him cry (when we took the night feeding away) he cried for 22 minutes. It was soooo hard to hear him crying! But I knew I wanted him to learn to go back to sleep. The next night was 8 min. of crying and the next night was only 3 minutes. It took another week or two when he's wake for only about 1 min. and fuss a bit anf then go back to sleep.
It may take longer for you and your son because he's used to you coming in when he cries. He CAN do this if you can :) It's really hard but it worked for us in only a few nights. NOw my son sleeps 12-13 hrs. every night without waking up and he naps about 2 hrs/day. He will often reach for his bed and say "Bed"
Good luck to you!
J.H. answers from Portland on February 05, 2008
Definitely put some sort of white noise or music in his room. My daughter had a lullaby cd on repeat for 2 years. My son has a sound machine playing the ocean. He's 5mos and has been putting himself back to sleep since he was 3mos. Both started 10hr nights at 3mos on their own! Also make sure he is falling asleep in the crib at bedtime/naptime rather than putting him in there after he falls asleep nursing/rocking/etc. He's not too old to swaddle if you want to try that too, the Swaddle Me blankets (sz L) are great for my 16 pounder. I just leave out one hand so he can suck his thumb.
C.L. answers from Seattle on February 05, 2008
I couldn't agree more with Suzzane W. Healthy Sleep Habits/Happy Child is the book most recommended to me after not sleeping for 5 months. After I let her "cry it out," she slept 11 hours through the night, plus 2 90 minute naps, and 1 30 minute nap. She's 13 months now and still is a good sleeper. It's the best thing I ever did for her and me. Good luck.
S.D. answers from Eugene on February 05, 2008
The "Crying it Out" that people talk about, in my opinion, is cruel and neglectful to any infant. Always listen to YOUR gut and heart.
Get the book The Magic Years by Selma Fraiberg, it will help you understand what your baby is going through developmentally. That book has kept me sane and you will see your baby in a whole different light.
J.N. answers from Seattle on February 06, 2008
I feel you pain! My daughter was a very ppo sleeper at this age! At about 9 months old we started to do the gradual cry it out. I just couldn't so the full on extinguish version! It would ahve killed me! Anyway, what worked for us was to slowly extend the time we allowed her to cry. We started with 5 minutes and then every 2 days we added another 5 minutes. My daughter was a 25 minute crier. At 25 mintutes, she stopped and fell asleep. If it was more than 25 minutes, we knew something was wrong and went right in! After a few weeks of drying for 25 minutes, she stoped! She had learned to put herself to sleep. It was wonderful! it takes longer than the extinguish method, but it was worth it. She is still a great sleeper at 3 years old!
C.R. answers from Portland on February 05, 2008
I have 3 children, ages 4, 3, and 2. Each one had different sleep habits. My middle child was one of those that was up every hour. One thing that helped as an infant was to take a shirt I'd worn that was soft and comfy and tuck it in around his mattress and have him sleep on it. He was having nightmares, which I didn't realize until he was nearly 2. A nightlite also helped. When he did wake up I'd go to him as soon as possible to settle him right away, because if he cried too long it was harder to get him back to sleep. When he looked out of his crib I think shadows and shapes scared him, so I would hang a quilt on the side and ends of his crib to block his view of the room. White noise also helped. Ask his pediatrician about sleep apnea. Which I have and my son may also have, right when you hit the dream state your airway relaxes too much and makes it difficult to breath and your brain can kick you out of sleep. He will most likely grow out of this stage, just offer reassurance that he's safe and not alone and he'll start to understand that mommys close by. be predictable. Remember he's only been around for 6 months and he's still learning about life.
A.E. answers from Portland on February 08, 2008
I read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and I follow it religiously. It is based on the science of the sleep. Fortunately I read it before my 1.5-year-old was born and haven't had many sleep issues. Teething causes her to wake up more. Overtiredness is often the culprit of the short naps because adrenaline in their systems keeps them from sleeping well. Letting your son cry it out may be the best option. They DO NOT hold it against you. Think of it this way...you are respecting your child's need for sleep when you help them learn to sleep on their own. One thing we did was not nurse to sleep....eat, activity, sleep. Put your son down when he is sleepy but don't let it get to the overtired stage. Learn sleepy signs and pay attention to them...eye-rubbing, glazed stare, slowing in activity, fussiness. Also, respect their sleepiness....don't go on errands or out for your own desires. STay home, let him sleep, and stick to a rhythm. I could go on and on, but that book says it best. Pleas feel free to ask me specifically. Good luck.
K.S. answers from Eugene on February 05, 2008
We had similar problems and unfortunately the only thing that did work, was to let my son cry for 2 nights. That was all it took. I'd put him to bed and if he cried because he wanted me to rock him to sleep I would sit on my bed in the next room and let him cry. I also had to do the same for middle of the night crying. But after just a couple of nights, we now put him in his crib with his same music cd at the exact same time each night after the exact same routine of nighttime procedure and he will lay there quietly listening to his music until he goes to sleep. He will sometimes wake in the night (I can hear him babble), but he does not cry and he'll go right back to sleep. I know it is hard and it breaks your heart, but you dont want him running your schedule. He must work around yours. Schedule and consistency were the two things that saved my precious sleep. I also work full time with 2 step children, so I needed that sleep. My son is a dream to deal with now when it comes to sleep times. Good luck!
E.N. answers from Eugene on February 05, 2008
I have a 5.5 month old son who for the last month wakes himself 2-3 hours after I put him down asleep and swaddled- ugh! However, so far, he either gets back to sleep on his own (within just a few minutes I can tell), or I quickly go (of course upstairs, opposite corner of the house!- thank goodness for video monitors!) and slip him a pacifier before he's hysterical, and that seems to work so far...sometimes I have to give it to him twice, as he wakes back up after he loses is the first time (been lucky with just once lately). I'll be keeping tabs on your question and responses in case I end up in the same boat! I saw one person suggest swaddling- my doctor said it was fine as long as it seemed to work for my son! I use the "miracle blanket", dreading the day he outgrows it- 17.5 lbs now though and still fits fine, and then I put a sleep positioner under him as well so he doesn't feel like he's floating (always used rolled blankets beside him in his bassinet). Good luck!
R.K. answers from Seattle on February 05, 2008
You're describing me, 27 years ago. Found out that our son was dairy allergic. Takes 2 weeks to get it out of their system - including if you're having dairy. Our doc said, "try him without dairy," so we did... for 3-4 days, not being instructed about the lingering effect. Finally got that figured out at 9 months. But it was horrid for 9 months, poor little guy screaming, us not sleeping.
worth a try, anyhow. zzzzzh.
J.B. answers from Portland on February 05, 2008
Oh boy, does this sound familiar. I almost cringed when I read this, thinking back to how stressful it is when no one gets sleep. We went through the same thing when my son was 6 months: he'd wake up wanting to nurse about every 40 minutes-hour. My husband and I were miserable, and like your son, mine would cry so hard he'd end up with hives all over his face.
We ended up getting a mobile he really loves (still uses it now at 18 months) that projects stars and moons while it turns around, and it seems to sooth him. What worked for us was letting him cry for 15 minutes the first time (and believe me, they are a painful 15 minutes to bear), then nursing him for no more than 5 minutes before putting him back down and turning on the mobile. He'd still cry for another 10 minutes, but then he'd go to sleep for a few hours. Next time he woke up that same night, I'd let him cry a little longer, maybe 20-25 minutes, then nurse for 5 and back down with the mobile. Each time brought a small success, and after about 3 nights of this, he was down to waking up maybe once a night. By the time he was 9 months, he was sleeping for 11 hours straight through the night.
I understand how hard this is, and how it feels like your little guy will never do it! Try to take it one step at a time, and be consistent. I feel for you! Please don't hesitate to contact me if you want any more info or details.
Best of Luck!
E.C. answers from Portland on February 04, 2008
I have a seven month old who does the same thing. She did just push through seven teeth, so I attributed much of her fussiness to that. She takes 2-3 30 minute naps during the day, but wakes every hour or so at night. She nurses/suckles and then its back to sleep. However, I too, feel the effects of disrupted sleep and am not sure if I should continue to meet her needs at night while I'm still nursing or try to curtail it sooner. My son was the same way and at one year when I stopped nursing, he was more independent at night.
M.E. answers from Portland on February 06, 2008
I feel for you. Our son is still like that at 15 months. Some children are just more sensitive and some children are better sleepers. It might not be something that you can totally controll, but you might be able to improve thier sleep patterrns, once you understand them better. We have made progress using the book the No Cry Sleep Solution. I think some of the progress is based on our improved parenting, but some of it is just based on his changin needs and personality. He sleeps better now some nights...and we are greatly relieved. Other nights he still wakes up every hour. The teething goes on for a long time. Our son is getting his third Molar right now...We got lots of advice about the cry it out "method" - and the theory that babies need to learn to "self soothe." We disagreed. We felt he was crying for comfort because he wanted comfort from us and we felt like we, not the pacifiers or the loveys, were the ones to he should be getting it from. It has been hard to thrive with such disturbed sleep, but the book has lots of good techniques to empower yourself and to help foster new postive associations with sleep. Sadly , I think a lot of the "self soothing" is really just the baby learing that his "people" are not there for him, so babies resign themsleves to stop asking for comfort after a while. Not really self soothing - more like giving up asking for their needs to be met...seems kind of depressing. I think babies are meant to be close to us and that is why they cry out for us. My theory is that our baby is training us to be dedicated to him, and I feel this total surrender will pay off big dividends in bonding and attachment for us in the long run, so I think this is actually a good process, rather than us training him to not bother us....which doesn't seem like it would pay off any big dividends in bonding and attachment... Just my thoughts.