February 24, 2008,
S.S. asks from Scotts Valley, CA on February 19, 2008
Baby Crying When Put to Bed.
Hi all, I am having some sleep troubles with my 7 week old baby girl...when my husband or I put her to bed she cries uncontrollably for an hour to two hours and then finally crashes and then is a perfect angel until the next night. This has only been going on for the past four nights. I guess I have been lucky because she never cried up until now. Nothing has changed from her routine either. It just kills me to hear her cry and everyone keeps telling me to let her "cry it out." I agree to some extent, but when your baby cries for almost two hours straight I start to cry because I can't do anything for her and I feel 100% helpless. Does anyone have ideas on how to soothe her. (She isn't a fan of pacifiers at all.) Thanks in advance.
D.W. answers from Modesto on February 20, 2008
I think that letting them cry it out is ok to a certain extent. Are you putting her to bed in her own room. At 7 weeks old they don't necessarily need a bed time yet. But if you want her to have bedtime I would rock her to sleep and then put her in bed, she is probably crying because she wants to be snuggled until she falls asleep. That makes them feel safe. I didn't make my daughter sleep in her own room until about 2 years old, by then she was talking and could tell me how she felt about it. It only took about 2 weeks and she was fine with falling asleep in there by herself. It will get easier soon, Good luck! =)
T.C. answers from San Francisco on February 20, 2008
I had a similar situation with my daughter who is now 20 months. Unlike yours she did like the pacifier which is hard to transition her from now so don't be so bummed out.
The only thing that saved me was a book called baby wise. I heard about many other books out there but couldn't find one that I agreed with more than this one. I am on toddler wise now and find the books very helpful.
I didn't really start trying until she was 3 1/2 months old. I think 7 months is still a little too young. Browse through the book and see if you think it's the right book for you.
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D.W. answers from San Francisco on February 20, 2008
I cannot honestly think of any professional, even advocates of "crying it out," who would recommend allowing a 7 week old to cry for 2 hours. Your baby is simply too young to be "trained" in this manner.
For some reason many babies go through a fussy period from around 6 weeks to 3 months old, where it gets completely impossible to figure out what is making them cry. One theory I've heard is sensory overload, but I don't think the cause really matters. Understand that is completely normal for an infant to suddenly change in reactions and expectations as they enter new developmental phases, and you simply do your best to cope. A lactation consultant I worked with used to call this early age fussy period the "witching hour." I actually became addicted to internet posting when my daughter was in her witching hour phase, because the only way I could keep from going insane after having tried every possible way to calm her was to put her on my lap in a boppy, and start chatting on the internet! She would cry, I would chat, and eventually the clicking of the keys in the darkened room would put her to sleep.
One possibility to eliminate is if your infant may be experiencing gas. Often gas causes the infant to become uncomfortable when laid down. If your baby seems happy when held upright, but cries when placed horizontally, gas would be something to consider.
More likely than not, however, this is simply a developmental issue. Comfort your infant through it anyway you can. Nothing will be gained at this age by pressing the schedule and asking her to cry it out.
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C.V. answers from Yuba City on February 20, 2008
Wow! What great advice. I had Baby Wise also but it wasn't my favorite. If I've learned nothing else about being a mom I have learned to FOLLOW MY GUT. This is your beautiful daughter and you CAN NOT spoil a 7 week old baby!
I totally agree with trying things like swaddling, confirming if she has something else going on, etc. I would also recommend that you take a lovey of some kind - even if it's a simple cloth diaper and sleep with it for several nights. Then every time she cries give it to her. Put it in bed with her at night as well. My daughter is 2.5 years now. The lovey that I slept with when I was pregnant with her is completely in ruins but now I can switch it out no problem. She's been sleeping through the night since she was 2 months and I credit a lot of that to the lovey.
But again, no matter what anyone tells you, only you know that sweet little girl so you give her whatever she needs.
When she gets older you can try again and she may cry but another way to handle that is to go in to comfort her in increasing increments. So... you put baby down, she cries for 2 minutes. You go in and talk to her, pat her back, whatever to soothe her without picking her up. When she's calm you leave. If she starts crying again you wait 5 minutes this time and try again. If you've increased increments up to 30 minutes or the baby gets absolutely hysterical, pick her up and do whatever she needs to go to sleep. Then try again the next night. I've never heard of using this successfully on babies younger than 3 months so you've got time! :)
J.C. answers from San Francisco on February 20, 2008
Great responses so far! You can also try swaddling her and make sure she is not wiggling out as soon as you put her down. She is only 7 weeks old and should not be crying for 2 hours! When babies cry uncontrollably for 20 minutes or more they begin depriving their brains of oxygen.The oxygen they take in is immediately expelled in order to cry and does not get circulated through the blood stream.
If she is sleeping through the night after the cry out like it sounds like she is, then maybe she is just not ready to go to sleep yet when you put her down. That is what the initial cry may be…however after she realizes no one is coming, then it becomes a completely different cry for a different reason and it needs to be answered. If you continue to not answer her cry then she will learn that once she is put down for the night no one will come to her aid so she will become harder to put down at night because of her fear of separation and abandonment will increase.
Try doing some tummy time and some songs with motions like Patty-Cake and This Little Piggy before doing your quiet night time routine and her last feeding to put her to sleep. You also need to be sure she is not over tired. If babies are not getting enough sleep during the day and are over stimulated and too tired at bed time then they will not fall asleep till they pass out. During the day you don’t really care how awake they are and think it is a good thing, but really it is a positive negative. Be aware of any changes I her clothing, position of her bed, eating, etc. too…her crying has a reason.
S.S. answers from San Francisco on February 20, 2008
I guess i agree with everyone about not letting her cry it out, at least not at 7 weeks and no more than 15-20 mins, however there are a few things which worked with both my sons( 2 and 4 1/2), they both used to cry when i put them to bed as well. I bought a soft teddy that i would just leave beside them in bed it worked wonders!! after a while they get attached to it-- both sons still have them!!
you can try giving her a pacifier, play some sort of soft music and best of all we used to shake their crib just for a few mins ....I know it all seems too much but after a while they get used to the whole sleeping in the crib idea and they sleep on their own. maybe by about 3 months....hope this helps.
C.C. answers from Fresno on February 20, 2008
I am a huge fan of Baby Wise. Worked like a charm for us with our second child (and I wish I had known about it for my first)! The bottom line of the book is that you as the parent need to decide what the schedule is going to be, and then guide your baby toward staying on that schedule (for eating, playing, and sleeping). Over time it will become very easy for your baby to predict what is going to happen next, and because the same thing happens at the same time every day, she will not cry about going to bed because she will not be confused about what's happening. Also the book talks a lot about knowing when she is crying because she is hungry (in which case, obviously, you would feed her), bored, tired, etc. Also, one other "aha!" moment I had while reading Baby Wise was not to let the baby fall asleep while nursing. Many times this will keep them from eating a full meal, and also they do not learn the very important skill of getting themselves to sleep - so when they wake up in a dark room they don't know what to do or how to go back to sleep! I hope this helps you, and best of luck with your baby!
J.G. answers from Sacramento on February 20, 2008
Mine was the same way. My opinion, she is WAY too young to be 'crying it out'. She doesn't know how to manipulate you, she just wants to feel you there with her or to be held. Domani (my baby girl, now 6 months) loves human contact, and once I was able to 'convince' her that one of us would always be there for her, she calmed down and was fine with going to bed. She's been in her crib since she was about 2 months old... She doesn't even have to be put to sleep anymore, we lay her in there when she's tired and she plays until she falls asleep.
Once your little one knows that you will always be there to soothe her and comfort her, she will be more at ease with going to bed and you won't have the problem anymore. She's not being manipulative so letting her cry it out will only worsen the problem.
C.T. answers from San Francisco on February 20, 2008
I agree, 7 weeks it too young to cry it out, that'll come in time. What worked for us is a combination of the 5 S's and the 'deciphering your babies cry'. The 5 S's helps simulate the mothers womb for them, usually helps calm them down - the five S's: Swaddling, Side/stomach positioning in the parents' arms, Shushing, Swinging, and Sucking. Check this article out for more info on each. I'd do all 5 of them, for sucking, try your pinky finger if she's not a fan of the paci. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/514376
Now the other - was like a heaven sent for us- it really worked for us to be able to tell what our baby wanted. Priscilla Dunstan nailed it down, read this article and try to start listening to her cries, the first few minutes are the impt ones to hear the cues. http://www.parenthood.com/articles.html?article_id=10302 - The five sounds in the Dunstan Baby Language are:
• “Neh” – meaning, “I’m hungry”
• “Owh” – meaning, “I’m tired”
• “Heh” – meaning, “I’m uncomfortable”
• “Eairh” – meaning, “I have lower gas”
• “Eh” – meaning, “I need to burp
Our son usually only made Neh, Heh and Eh. Maybe she needs to burp, maybe she has gas... I hope this helps you help the precious little girly.