Putting 5 Mo. Old Baby to Sleep - Crying Until She Vomits

Updated on June 08, 2011
S.L. asks from New York, NY
50 answers

Ladies, I have a 5 mo. old daughter whom I've rocked to bed every day nap and every night. I am unable to continue this routine as it is physically and mentally draining. She will fall asleep in my arms, but will wake up as soon as I lay her down and refuses to stop crying until I pick her back up. Last night, I fed her 7pm feed and held her until she fell asleep and then laid her down. She cried and so I tucked her in and let her cry it out whilst checking in on her every minute, then 2, then 3 etc. until finally she vomited because she was crying so hard. I cleaned her up and my husband and I settled her down (singing, rocking and playing) so that I could feed her again since she can't sleep hungry. After her feed, my husband took her and laid her down after a few minutes (she was so tired from all the crying she didn't have the energy to protest). My question is: are we doing the right thing? No doubt, she will vomit again, and we cannot avoid it since she feeds approx every 3 hours during the day (exclusive breastfeeding) and her sleep schedule follows her feeds. Any advice, similar experiences or support is much appreciated.

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So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone who responded to my request. I'm happy to say that I've been able to avoid the vomiting by simply holding her for approx an hour after her feed. I've let her "cry it out" (while checking in on her every 5, 10, 15 minutes) for the past couple of nights, and I can see some progress, but I'm not entirely sure whether it's due to her learning or whether she's just so exhausted from the crying. In any event, I'm going to see our pediatrician to rule out any other reasons for her inability to sleep alone. Just so everyone knows, I really have tried everything (falling asleep on the breast, routine, bath/massage, white noise, music, and co-sleeping until recently). She is able to sleep in someone's arms, but wakes up immediately when laid down, so I know she is able to sleep! My first priority is being a good mother to her, and to those of you who think I am resentful of her or placing my interests before hers, I can assure you it's not the case. Yes, I'm frustrated and over-tired, but what kills me is to see her struggle. She struggles when she can't sleep comfortably on her back, as I'm only able to hold her lopsided, one leg higher than the other and her back hunched over. The rare instances she sleeps on her back and has a good sleep, she is such a happy baby when she wakes up with lots of energy. I know this is what she needs. I shall update you again next week. Thank you once again for your time to write to me.

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S.L.

answers from Binghamton on

I had a very hard putting my 5 month to sleep (now 13 months)and putting her down. What did I do? I changed my attitude. We had tried different "plans", gentle ones like Pantley (NO-cry sleep solution) and while it gave me good ideas it didn't really "work". I realized that my baby is just a baby and she needs me at nighttime too. I would nurse her sidelying in our bed (we co-sleep). When she was deeply asleep we could move her into her crib which we use as a co-sleeper.

For those who think that doing this would mean she would never fall asleep on her own, guess what? Around 12 months she started falling asleep on her own, just like that. Not only that but she looks forward to going to sleep, no tears. It may seem hard to let nature take its course in terms of when they learn to sleep on their own but I wouldn't have rushed it for anything. I know that my daughter has a healthy attitude towards sleep.

I know many people beleive that crying it out has no affect on the baby but I wonder if it manifests in other ways later on; fighting going to bed as a toddler and child, nightmares, bedwetting etc.

So S., I know it's hard to change gears from being a lawyer to being a mom of a normal 5 month old but this too will pass. I would recommend chosing that path that puts you in the least amount of conflict with her because that will make you resent her more, not good for you or for her.

Good luck

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A.M.

answers from New York on

i am 30 yrs old and have a 3 yr old and 2 month old. first, NEVER LET A BABY CRY UNTIL IT VOMITS. no matter what someone says, that is not healthy for your baby. although, some could debate it, there are scientific studies to show why it is unhealthy to let a child cry it out, however no one can prove it is a healthy to do so. parents in our society sometimes act as if their child sleeping thru the night is a reflection on them as a parent. the truth is every child is different and we as parents must accept that. crying it out does not "teach" an infant to sleep. babies cry because they need something and crying is a natural response for survival. babies who are not left to cry actually cry less than babies who are left.
my first daughter was an extremely light sleeper. she took naps of only 20-45 her whole first year which was exhausting as i could get nothing done. if i didnt face her when in a bouncy seat she would cry. for the first 3 months she screamed from 5 or 6pm until 7pm. i would say she was high needs.
for you, i think you should def do a few things matter what. feed, play, sleep during the day. just make sure you dont allow her to get too tired, as this will make it harder for her to sleep. feed her as the last thing before sleep. have a set routine before bed everynight, with playtime, bath, book, ect. you will probaly enjoy this as much as her.
some things to try. she is a little old to start, but you can experiment with swaddling(just legs, just arms, or both). preheat her bed with a heating pad, or even put a wrap up hot water bottle next to her blanket. when you lay a baby down anywhere, there will be a great change of temperature which may be enough to disturb her. if you dont already use one, introduce a pacifier(at this point it wont interefere with breastfeeding at all). you may have to try different ones before you find one she finally takes. you can use the pacifier to soothe her. at naptime, give her the pacifier as you rock her and then put her down with it. white noise is wonderful at soothing a baby and drowning out all the little noises that may wake her up. cosleep- i cannot tell you how well your baby will sleep thru the night, and even if she wakes, you will be able to get to her before she is completely upset. you will both get much more sleep, and if you read up on studies, children who cosleep are just as or more independant as those who dont. another thing i would highly recommend is finding a baby sling(and i dont mean a bjorn). go to thebabywearer.com and find what suits you. that way, if nothing else works, you will at least be able to move around as she falls asleep and she will stay asleep. i know its not helping you with her falling asleep, but it will help you with your time and exhaustion.
sorry if this is all jumbled, im just trying to think of everything. you said she doesnt eat solids yet, right? we wait until 6 months, but when you do, that might change up alot of things.
with my first daughter, in the beginning i fed her and she fell asleep so i put her down- woke up in 10 minutes. so then i would feed her, play, then she would get cranky, so i rocked her with a pacifier, swaddled (till 9 months!), with a white noise machine on. went to sleep right away. i only had difficulty if she was overtired. she slept for 30-45 mins. for night, i fed her, then did the other things. it took longer. she was an incredibly alert baby, even doctors and nurses commented. her entire life, her sleep averages have been about 3 hours less than the norm.
it is exhausting being the mother of an infant. but it does get easier. it seems like you have alot of factors going on at the same time, and that can only make things harder for you. i wish you all the luck in the world, but it really does get easier.

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J.G.

answers from Albany on

Get the book Good Night, Sleep Tight. It's a no-cry method. You sound like perfect candidates. I breastfed exclusively too and had no sleep for 9 months! Finally, my doctor told me to give my son (now 14 months) the t-shirt I wore that day and a bottle of water in his crib at night. It worked like a charm. He went into the crib drowsy, found my shirt, curled up on it and fell asleep. Later that night, he woke up, found the water bottle, took a drink and went back to sleep. It was a dream! Of course I wouldn't do the t-shirt thing with your daughter just yet (too young and not strong enough) but maybe if you set her in the crib during the day - not for naps - but with a favorite toy, while you put away her clothes, she wouldn't see it as a bad place. I also have the Fisher Price Aquarium. It has lights and music and fish that move. My son loves it. Now he can turn it on and off and change the music. Maybe something like that would help as well. I feel your pain. I was there for 9 months!

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S.L.

answers from New York on

What works for me is nursing her (4 1/2 month old) while we are in bed, then pulling the nipple away and she stays asleep. Actually, i did that for my other kids (12 yr, 3 yr). For me I prefer to sleep with them because i have a hard time waking up and having to go get them out of a crib etc. It started with my first because he was similar to yours. But do begin a regular routine in the evening. That way they get to know what's supposed to happen and expect that bedtime is coming up. Personally, i have a difficult time with letting a baby "cry it out". Babies cry for specific reasons, not like toddlers who cry for attention. If she experienced trama at birth, who knows how much is branded into her brain about pain and things, and being held is her way of coping. I feel for you! Difficult babies are a real trial. I know, i had two of them and then came along my baby now, and she's a dream (even tho she had to undergo surgery at 1 month)! Good luck.

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M.S.

answers from New York on

Wow. I"ve been there, so I know it can be tough. The trick is to slowly transition her from rocking with you there to being alone and falling asleep (and being able to go back to sleep). What I mean by transitioning is changing the routine a tiny bit at a time - leaving her to cry isn't necessary. For example, rock less but add singing at bedtime so that you can still be singing (and perhaps stroking her back) as you teach her to settle in her crib instead of in your arms. Also, how about letting her sleep in your bed after your middle of the night nursings, so she learns to fall asleep while lying still, albeit with you close to her. Then you can transition to falling sleep next to you but in a bassinet. The trick is to make the transitions small, so she can learn to still be comfortable in a gradually changing situation. I remember going through a phase where I would rock and sing, and then my daughter (who could by then stand) as put in her crib. I would stay and sing, and cuddle her while she was standing up if she cried, but I wouldn't pick her up again. She knew I loved her and wasn't leaving her, but learned she had to lie down and go to sleep ( I would stroke her back). You can slowly teach her that she can be soothed without rocking. Also, once she's bigger, very slowly cut back on the amount she nurses during the night. She will have the habit of being hungry in the middle of the night even after she can make it through a longer night without eating. Good luck! - M

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Y.S.

answers from New York on

Hi S. L.

My son had a traumatic birth too and I use to hold him until he fell asleep too. I know what you are talking about. Your heart goes out to them. However, you are right it can't go on they need to learn how to sleep on their own for you and for them.

Don't leave the room when you put her in the crib. Sit on the floor across the room from the crib. Don't look at her. She will cry but after 4 - 5 nights of doing this it will get better. Each night you move closer to the door. I got this from the Nanny Tv show and believe me it works. I did this for my first.

Good luck and hope it gets better.

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C.G.

answers from New York on

I am a mother of four and I feel your pain. My first child was was similar. At 6 mo. I started to put him down at night with a regular routine, I nursed him until he fell asleep, put him in his crib. If he woke up I would pat him on his back for a min. and try to walk away. This didn't work but I was sending him a message, it is bedtime. Then I would let him fuss for a couple of minutes an then take him out of the crib in his dark room and sit him on the edge of my lap. I was supportive but distant. I didn't make eye contact, rock him or rub his back. The idea is to let them know that night time is sleep time and day time is play time... Babies sense their mothers stress so relax while you are doing this. If he wiggled off my lap, I placed him on the floor without any stimulus ie, toys bottle,... eventually he would get bored and I would put him back into the crib pat him on his back for a min. and try to seek out. I would repeat this when needed until he realized that there was no payoff for staying up.

It doesn't work the first couple of days but by the end of the week he was sleeping on his own and so was I!!

Please make sure that your baby doesn't have gas or other problems first. Good luck, she is still young but she will sleep through the night sooner or later!

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L.O.

answers from New York on

S.,

I am sorry to hear about your rough transition into parenthood. A traumatic birth is traumatic for both mother and baby. Be kind to yourself. Listen to your instincts. It sounds like you want your baby to be comforted but it is exhausting you. Many families find they get better sleep if the baby is close to the parents - either in bed or next to the bed in a bassinet.
Have you tried side lying while nursing and/or co-sleeping?

That is what humans have done throughout history - and in currently in most parts of the world. It cannot be good for anyone - old or young to be left crying.

I have found that when I put myself in my child's place it give me a good perspective.
Have you tried taking a nap together in the afternoon?

Try to connect with other moms. It can be a life saver.

Good luck and enjoy your baby!

L. Anne
mom of three

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M.L.

answers from New York on

Hi S.-

I also exclusively breastfeed, and the birth was traumatic for both my son and me.

Never let any baby or child cry until they vomit, ever. They cry because something is wrong, not to manipulate you. They don't learn to do that until at least 1 year old, and at that point, you can tell if it is a true cry for a need or a whine cry for what they want. And even still, crying should be addressed, and not ignored.

Having been in your shoes, I know this can be tough. Remember that you are not spoiling your baby, and even though she is very demanding now, things will change.

Before I had my son I was working as a server (waitress) 60-70 hours a week. I am used to running nonstop and being in a high demand/stress environment. 1 year later, I can tell you that going back to working part time is all I would be capable of with my son at this point, unless I had the money for a nanny, which I don't. So I stay home, and as much as I miss my job ( coworkers, regulars, & actually feeling like I accomplished something) I am better off. But I digress...

I exclusively breastfed my son until he started on solids, at about 6 1/2 months. When he was 6 days old, we had to bring him back into the hospital because he was jaundice, and he was in an incubator under a bili-light for 16 hours. I could only give him a pumped bottle because I couldn't take him out. He refused bottles ever since. Before this happened, I was also able to put him down as he was falling asleep or right after he fell asleep, but the whole being in the incubator for 16 straight hours and not being held messed that up too.Up until he was about 4 months old I was holding him while he slept and he would wake up and cry as soon as I tried to put him down. He refused bottles and would cry and gag until he got me.

I was losing my sanity, trying all sorts of things; putting him down drowsy, putting him down asleep, putting him down with a toy, putting him in a bassinet, crib, and our bed, nothing worked. My pediatrician recommended nursing him down in a side lying position, so the baby is on the bed, not in your arms, and get up but leave the baby there after he fell asleep. That is the only thing that worked for me. Just make sure you wait until you can pick up a limb and let it go and it falls like a rag doll's would, otherwise the baby is not in a deep enough sleep and will wake up.

My son is now 1 year old and will fall asleep in my or my husbands arms and then we put him in his crib. He is still waking up in the middle of the night to nurse (just once) and as soon as he falls back asleep I move him back to his crib, if I'm still awake :) He also will only stay with my husband, I can not leave him with anyone else for more than an hour, otherwise he goes into hysterics because I am not there and cries until I return. This is why I would only be able to go back part time to work. I have found that other mothers that exclusively breastfed without bottles have similar experiences and extremely strongly attached babies.

If you really want/need to return to work, your best bet is to pump and give bottles for day feedings and only breastfeed for night feedings. I could never get my son to take a bottle, I tried this myself when my son was 3 months old. My husband tried to feed him at least once a day up until that point, which never really worked after his hospital visit. Then when we switched to trying it at every daytime feeding he started screaming until he was red in the face as soon as the bottle went in his mouth. That's when I completely gave up on pumping, bottles, & returning to work any time soon. It has worked for other people, just not me. For the people that do get this to work, most of them say the baby nurses more at night, probably to make up for missing you during the day.

I have also had other mothers that had a baby refuse a bottle of breastmilk be quite content with a bottle of formula. One of my coworkers would give her son formula during the day and breastfeed him at night, and it was the only way she could get him to take a bottle & return to work.

Being a Mom is not an easy undertaking when you are used to running your own life the way you want. I know how hard it is to give that control up, I've done it. The best thing I have done is to find a balance that works for me. Instead of going back to work, I started doing direct sales and I babysit a 9 year old girl until she gets on the schoolbus in the morning, and brought the work to me. I can do it around my home schedule. It definitely is not the same as going back, but it works for me in the meantime. Find your balance. Maybe that is finding a nanny that will bring your daughter to you during lunch so you can breastfeed her, or maybe that is working from home some days if you can. If you need help figuring that out, feel free to email me.

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L.W.

answers from New York on

Hi S.!

Congratulations to you!

My daughter was very gasy as a baby. You may want to try Mylacon drops. Katie would do the same and my ped told me once you lay them flat their tummy may hurt. Curled up in you arms releives the gas.

We had our daughter sleep in her car seat in the crib. THis way she was up right.

Hope this helps.

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A.P.

answers from New York on

My grandaughter is 5 months old today she is also breastfeed, she also needs rocking and swaying to sleep. I try to play with her till she is so tired her will to fight is cut short. When I put her down I put a small pillow between her legs and swaddle her (they need to be snug) She does not move and she sleeps better for me then her mommy. My daughter has three children, she is more to handle then the boys were, I wish you luck, you are not alone and yes this too shall pass.
Many deep breaths.

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J.O.

answers from New York on

I sympathize with how difficult this must be with your daughter. I'm no expert I have a 2 month old, my first. But have you thought about sleeping with your baby? This may seem like the opposite of the direction you want to go in. But it may cut down on the crying and give you more sleep while being able to give your daughter the comfort she needs.

I recommend going to Dr. Sears' site.
www.askdrsears.com/

I've found it very useful so far...
I sympathize and now how difficult it can be to be a new mom, as I'm going through it right now.
Keep the faith you will find a solution.

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D.V.

answers from New York on

S.,

this may sound like a crazy take, but is it possible that the baby is hurting in some way? I ask because i experienced a similiar situation with my second child who is now 13 months (my first was a breeze). Every night when I would get ready to put my daughter to bed I would go through the same routine, a bottle, rocking singing, she would snuggle up and I would put her in her crib. She would wake up and act exactly as your little one is behaving. I too thought it was her being difficult about her crib. Then I started holding a little longer after she feel asleep and she would still wake up screaming. I would rock her she would snuglle I would hold her, not transfer to the crib, and within 10 minutes she would wake up screaming. I soon began to realize the only reason she was sleeping at all (1o minut intervals) is because she was being held and really wanted to sleep. She could not find comfort on her own. There were nights where this would go on for hours. She wanted to sleep, she was exhausted but something was making her hurt. Many nights I took her to the emergency room, where the doctors would look at me like I had three heads, after all I was a sleep deprived mom bringing in an infant "because she can't sleep"...Anyway, finally a doctor saw her little body bounce out of her sleep ( by the was the only way she could sleep was upright) and thought she might have acid reflux. No one had come up with the solution before becuase she was not vomiting regularly. In the end, I had to make some chnanges, she took AXID for her stomache and she still has a hard time sleeping laying down. Most importantly is that she is no loger in pain. just so you know I am a person who is anti medication when i can be, so i was not thrilled with having to give my baby medication, but i did not want to see her suffer.

i hope that your little one is just fighting the crib, whhich will pass with all the desciplines that you have been told to follow. however, if she seems like she is in pain at all, only you can be pay attention to what she is trying to communicate. good Luck

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D.V.

answers from Elmira on

Hi! S.! I think you are going in the right direction. I am 50 and have had 10 babies! Yes, some are easy and just go with the flow but some take a bit more energy to soothe and get into a good sleep cycle.

If I were you I would start working the nap time first. I have used a method(my own) that is similar to babywise and I have enjoyed the Super Nanny book...basically have a plan just like you have started and keep with it. Babies will adjust. Another book I love to use is Boundaries for children. Some emotions we have toward are babies crying is nt really about the baby but about us and our needs or hurst in our life. A baby that cries for 10-15 and settles into a deep sleep will wake up happy smiling glad to see you. They don't wake up mad at you? Do you see we think adult thoughts, they are not thinking like us.

It is good that you spent time rocking and loving on her. I would switch gears to a nap schedule esp. if you will be working and a daycare person will more than likely put the baby on some schedule. It will get easier.

The night time is another situation, most 5 month olds get up as a pattern not from hunger. If she is gaining well it may be time to cut out one night feeding by rocking holding or having your husband go in, to soothe her. Once again make a plan and stick with it...5 days and then reevaluate to see what might help her switch gears.

I hope it goes well for you. She will thank you for making plans for her.~D.

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M.Z.

answers from New York on

S.
My third child Elizabeth was exactly like your little one. She would scream if I didn't rock her to sleep and because of reflux would vomit every time I made her cry it out. It was my fault because I never taught her how to fall asleep on her own. Having nursed all three of my children I also learned it was my job to teach her how to drink from a bottle, as the breast was her preference. I would pump milk for my husband to feed her but she would scream and not take it. I think it's time to get her on some cereal and her sleeping situation will improve. If she won't take a bottle, teach her by you feeding her and maybe even putting some cereal in the bottle. Next, try with sleepy times to put her in the crib and play some soft music and sit by her crib so she knows you're there. That worked with my daughter--I would reassure her with comforting words and she did learn how to fall asleep on her own. I know how hard this is--I'm sure breastfeeding experts wouldn't agree with me but having a baby who would have projectile vomiting by crying it out, I was a desperate woman! I heard a pediatrician on the Today show yesterday say that 4-6 months is enough time to nurse a baby. That is your option, good luck! It will get better!
M. Ann

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K.T.

answers from Rochester on

S.,
I have never been a fan of crying it out. It seems like it would be so scary to be so little and to be left to cry. We are always told that they cry because they need something.

I am going to recommend purchasing or borrowing from your local library the book by Elizabeth Pantley entitled "No Cry Sleep Solutions". I was amazed when I read this book about how many things can make a baby/toddler wake in the night. Her methods are all very gentle and loving.

Remember that breast milk isn't as heavy as formula so breastfeed babies will need more feedings than formula fed babies. Please ask your doctor about other things that you can do or locate a local lactation consultant.

Good luck!

K.

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M.F.

answers from New York on

I just read your message and I totally relate to you as I have also had a very similar road. I know it is mentally and physically a bear but you are doing the best thing for your child.
She needs your comfort for whatever reason and trust me, she will grow out of most of this very soon. Trust your gut and know that if she is getting so upset that she vomits-it is not the right thing for her at this time. A strong willed child has different demands than other kids and I also never (and still have never) let my child "cry it out." I too was unable to go back to work at the time I had planned so I applaud you for recognizing that this was not the time to leave her. Stick with her and get yourself some extra rest during the day when you can so you can get stronger to handle it all. Her well being is worth it and so is yours-hope this truly helps.

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M.D.

answers from New York on

Have you tried sleeping with your baby? Our baby never cries (at bedtime)and sleeps through the night right next to us. I often nurse the baby to sleep and if ever the baby wakes up in the middle of the night we nurse in our sleep. It is a great way to spend extra time with your baby especially when working. I have never slept so good as a mother since I accepted co-sleeping. I loved the Dr. Sears books for sleep advice and his website. Good luck.

M., mom to 5 month old Alan

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J.S.

answers from New York on

Hi S.,

I'm so sorry to hear about the troubles you're having with getting your daughter to sleep. To start with, instead of rocking your daughter to sleep, why don't you try sitting with her in the glider/rocker and not rocking, and do that until she falls asleep. Then once you have gotten her out of the habit of rocking, you can start transitioning to putting her down drowsy but awake. It's not going to be an overnight miracle (no pun intended) but you will get there.

There is a board on BabyCenter which is great for sleep issues. Read the first post and if, as you go through, you still have questions, post a question to BabeGirlMom and she will respond to you directly - she is very helpful and knowledgeable on getting babies to sleep.

http://boards.babycenter.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?tsn=1&n...

Hang in there and good luck!!

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J.G.

answers from New York on

Hi S.,

I know how difficult it must seem for you. I am a mother of a two year old and a four year old. I hate to recommend a book, but this book really worked for me with both my children, and it was highly recommended by other mothers. It teaches you how to put your child in a routine that works. The book is "On Becoming Baby Wise" by Gary Ezzo. It's a short easy read. There are some things I didn't agree with, but overall it was very helpful. Good luck and don't be in a hurry to get back to work, your child will grow really fast and work will always be there.

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K.Z.

answers from New York on

If you haven't already, I would start her with a set nighttime routine. Give her a bath, dress her into her jammies, read a book, listen to quiet music, snuggle with mommy and daddy, and then feed her. Once you are done with the feeding, put her to bed when she is sleepy but not asleep. She's probably old enough to start to put herself to sleep, but it does take time. If she cries uncontrollably and vomits, then she may not yet be ready to settle herself. Wait a week and try again.

I would definitely start with the nighttime routine. My son was sleeping through the night at seven months, but we started his routine at around four months. It's the same (or a slight variation) every night, so he knows when it is his bedtime and he doesn't fuss too much about it.

Good luck!

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M.B.

answers from Syracuse on

Hi S.,
I think you are aware that your little one has you trained quite well. I can understand why you rock her to sleep but now she is smart and is demanding that attention. You absolutely need to let her cry it out. and in the day time run the vacuum while she cries herself to sleep. That will help you to not want to run in there and it will let her know that you are not at her beck and call. I might also suggest that at night you put her to bed and play some music. That might calm her or at least when she learns that you will not be in to pick her up she will eventually stop crying and hear the music.
If she vomits, do not go in and rock her or nurse her again. Clean her up and put her down, tell her you love her and turn out the light. After a few days she will adjust and you will all be better for it.
M. - pediatric nurse and mom and grandma

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E.D.

answers from New York on

I used a book called Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby, by Weissbluth. It helped us.....

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A.K.

answers from New York on

Hi S.,
I'm sorry to hear about your baby girls sleeping patterns.
I have a two and a half year old and a six month old boys. I do the whole bath,lullaby routine that really works, but maybe your little girl is teething or has an ear infection. This just happened to me, my six month old woke up the same way but never had a fever, he went to the doctor and he had an ear infection, I cried the whole visit and next day because I just thought it was teeth or a new pattern. He is all better now and he is back on track,I also used a crib wedge,it goes under the crib sheet to elevate them. She might like that.I really hope it all works out for you, I know how crazyyyyy it feels when you cant sleep.Good Luck

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A.C.

answers from New York on

Hi S.,

I just wanted to commiserate -- I have a 5 month old son who sounds *just* like your daughter. Unfortunately, I don't have any advice for you! I'm feeling a bit lost and defeated myself. I end up bringing him into bed with us just so we can get some sleep. I keep telling myself that it can't last forever and that it's just a phase. I think we just need to listen to our motherly instincts and hope for the best!

Good luck~

A.

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J.C.

answers from New York on

My son did the same thing. The vomiting is alarming, but for my son in particular, I beleive it was just from the crying. Don't let her fall asleep in your arms. Do the nighttime routine and after her feeding, burp her very well, several times if possible and gently put down. I put some classical music on and a little blankie with a light scent of my perfume. Initially, my son cried for almost 2 weeks on and off before he learned to sleep through the night. It helps to not be so apprehensive because they pick up on your feelings. Once he slept through the night, I stopped experiencing any guilt and realized that although it's hard, I did him a huge favor. Children need to learn to sleep on their own as children, otherwise as adults, they will have sleep problems.

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A.L.

answers from New York on

S.,

I am so sorry to hear what a rough time you are having. I just feel compelled to respond to you--and to those who have responded to you....

I think we have to be very careful not to insist that an infant be on an adult's schedule. While it can be draining for the adults involved, allowing an infant to cry until vomiting takes place seems inappropriate as well as dangerous. Babies can easily aspirate when choking. Psychologically, as a therapist, I would advise any parent to avoid allowing their child to get to this place if they can at all accomodate their child's needs (which is certainly not always easy).

As for eating every 3 hours? Well, it sounds like your daughter knows her nutritional needs.

I urge you to speak to your pediatrician and maybe get some psychological support for yourself. Going from a wonderful career as an attorney to a wonderful career as a mommy is not seemless for anyone. You obviously have brilliance in both areas but are sounding wiped out and I truly feel for you!

I wish you peace and hope that this all falls into place for you quickly.

Best,
A.

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A.S.

answers from New York on

You might want to try modifying your routine: instead of having her nurse before going to sleep, try nursing as soon as she wakes up. Until someone suggested the "sleep, feed, play" routine to me, my daughter would fall asleep while nursing and I could never get her out of my arms to actually nap somewhere else. If you feed her right when she wakes up, she is less likely to fall asleep while nursing. Then you can have a little play time and put her down for a nap as soon as you see her start to yawn or rub her eyes. You don't need an hour or two of play time -- even just 15 or 20 minutes. This way she'll have had a little time to digest but won't be hungry when she is starting to get tired. She still may cry when you put her down (but hopefully not vomit), since she has grown accustomed to falling asleep in the comfort of your arms (who wouldn't protest at losing that!). When I started doing this with my daughter, I planned to go in to her after she cried for 10 minutes, but I never even had to do that. The first time she fell asleep after about 9 minutes (using a timer helps), and each time after that it decreased rapidly until she didn't cry at all. The key is to put her down when you know that she is tired but not hungry, wet, overtired, too hot/too cold, sick, or needing anything else. Babies cry - that's what they do - but if you are responsive to her needs in general (and recognize that what she needs now is to sleep), she will not be traumatized by crying for a few minutes. Once your daughter starts to get used to a new bedtime/naptime routine (like reading a book then listening to music before going into her crib) she won't have to rely on you in the same way to get to sleep. Doing things in this order is not the same as having a "schedule" -- you should still be able to feed her as often as she needs to, assuming that she will be hungry whenever she wakes up. I found that following this routine really worked well for both of us, because it helped my daughter learn to go to sleep on her own and truly gave me a break and the freedom to do whatever I wanted while she slept. Hope this is helpful. Good luck!

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J.K.

answers from Glens Falls on

It sound like she's being put down too soon before she's had time to settle what she ate....
You can try adding rice cereal to a bottle of "milk" if she would take it.(It will need to happen eventually...soon if you need to go back to work!) She could be going thru a growth spurt so Everything is off. Try having a temp. nanny. even if it's a friend or realative staying with you for a bit(someone who has had kids)maybe just overnights, and a few days a for about 2 weeks. being that you're being stetched it might be a good change!
Good luck! J.

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G.L.

answers from New York on

Dear S.
Patience! Patience! Patience! I am the mother of 4 and I went through something similar. I had to face the fact that she was testing me! Yes at 5 months! Make sure that she is comfortable, well fed and dry and then let her cry! I promise you that she will cry herself to sleep a few times and then sleep comfortably. It is much more stressful on you then her. And trust me she will not grow up remembering that mommy was a mean mommy who wouldn't pick her up when she cried! She will learn to take care of herself, be more confident and sleep on her own.

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D.M.

answers from New York on

Hi S.,

It's been a while for me, my son is now 2, but I exclusively breastfet him for the first year (well, introduced solids during that year on the usual shedule, but he drank only breast milk until a little after age 1), so I understand what you're going through. You should pick up a book called "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" by Tracy Hogg. She talks about a system called E.A.S.Y. -- Eat, Activity, Sleep, Your time. It will be a little tough to break the routine you are already in, but a lot of the work she did as a nanny was undoing all the habits parents started with that are no longer working for them. I recall her saying that it's not the best idea to put a baby to sleep directly after eating, and she likened it to ourselves -- do we lie down to sleep immediately after eating dinner? There should be some activity time to stimulate them, and ultimately make them tired enough to sleep. Again, it's been a while, so I'm not quoting it perfectly, but I do advise you read the book, I found it very helpful.

Good luck!
D. M

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N.M.

answers from New York on

i had a very similar experience with my son and i ended up exhausted and drained, like you. she is used to depending on you now for falling asleep and as hard as it will be she needs to learn to do it herself. for both of you! i used to stand at the cribside and pat my son's back for 15-20 minutes until he was asleep and although this was a step up from rocking him, it was also tiring. there are many methods out there that are helpful and i think you should just start trying some out and see what helps. maybe the whole crying it out thing is too hard on your daughter and she needs a gentler approach. vomiting is never a positive sign. :)
there's a book out there called "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" and i found it to be the most helpful. it's gentle and reasonable and i think may suit your daughter's needs. when you're really tired and at your wit's end, just have a little laugh to yourself. it's the best medicine and i have found it to relieve many tearful moments. blessings to you!

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J.T.

answers from New York on

Hi S.,
I think you should talk to your pediatrician about this. It could be reflux. It could be gas, or it could be that she may need a little more time before she can soothe herself. We can speculate, but nip it in the bud and talk to your doctor. Follow your gut instinct. MY gut instinct saved my daughter's life. It is freaky how it "the force" really is "with you" specially when one becomes a mom.
ONe more thing...MAKE time for you--alone time!! It will be your saving grace! I know how you feel, I miss my job too (occupational therapist) but this time with your daughter is precious no matter how rough things get. My daughter is now 19 months old and every day is amazing. I am still nursing due to her dietary needs, and she is doing well. That is all that matters. I wish you all sleep FULL nights or power naps too--at this stage take what you can!OH you may want to start a log of her feedings and her mood before and after each feeding along with the time/duration of nursing. The more info the doctor has, the easier it is to pinpoint.

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L.D.

answers from Albany on

Unfortunately I don't have any advice for you because I am against crying it out, had a son who would vomit if he cried too hard but just enjoyed the cuddle time knowing it wouldn't last forever. He's 7 now and goes to sleep by himself without a problem and has for years just like his 4 year old brother who I did the same with. Personally I can't help but think that there is something going on like some of the other posters have said...reflux, apnea, ear problems...could she have fluid on her ears? My 7 month old had that problem for a few weeks and we found out that was his problem.

The thing I wanted to comment on is that just because a baby learns to put himself to sleep doesn't mean he isn't going to have sleep problems as an adult as another poster said. My husband's mom went back to work when he was a baby and demanded a lot from him from day one. He wasn't coddled at any age based on the stories and pictures I hear and see including from her and as an adult, he has a HORRIBLE time sleeping. He can't sleep alone at all but even with me next to him, he gets up often and has trouble going to sleep. I hate to say it but sleep issues aren't the only things he's had problems with and most things he relates back to mom.

I am not saying you are a bad mom by any means nor am I saying you don't love your daughter but reading your "little about me" paragraph raised some flags for me because it just sounds like you have a little resentment towards your daughter between her being demanding and you wanting to get back to work. Just be careful those aren't feelings she picks up on as she gets older because that is kind of what happened with my MIL and husband. BTW, she could just be feeding off your feelings which could be what is stressing her out.

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J.R.

answers from New York on

I went through the EXACT SAME THING!!! Tramatic birth, not sleeping, trying to get her to cry it out, breastfeeding etc...
End result, at 9 months she would wake up at 3am BLUE! She had sleep apnea caused by enlarged adenoids. (this we found out later and by a Drs Assistant, not her crappy Dr.)
It started around 3-4 months. She stopped eating, wouldnt take any bottles, and eventually had 4 months of no growth and splotchy hair. We tried to let her cry it out a lot and it seemed to make the situation worse, like your daughter. Also because of the enlarged adenoids, there was no fluid drainage so at 1 year, they shaved her adenoids and put tubes in her ears. Within 2 weeks we saw a totally different baby!
We lived in the city then and saw an amazing ENT - Michael Rothschild (UES).
So, letting a baby 'cry it out' is not the answer for everyone. Do you co sleep? We went back to that so that all of us could get some sleep. After her surgery, she took to her bed easily and at 18 months was in a twin bed and is a great sleeper. You are not alone and yes it is exhausting. Emotionally and physically. Be patient, it gets better eventually, just try to enjoy the good times she is giving you and your husband.
Also, can she sleep in the swing or vibrating chair? Like I said, do what you need to do now, the habits you can break later and its not as bad as I thought it would be.

Mommy of a 23 month old and another on the way!

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J.N.

answers from Albany on

I know everyone has different suggestions, and every baby is different, but the system in the book, "Babywise," worked really well for us. We started it around 4 weeks, but it says you can start implementing it anytime.

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C.L.

answers from Jamestown on

Hi S.,

Try noise... Fan, Vacuum cleaner, Music, ...

Put her down and put your hand on her back and rock her gently for a couple minutes. Then leave your hand there for a while longer.

When my boys got older, I spent a few minutes each night with human touch -- for one it was tracing a finger from the bridge of the nose over the eyebrows or up the forehead; for the other, it was foot massage ... a few minutes each night to get them to relax helped them go to sleep faster. Now, I don't do it all the time (they are teenagers), but if they have trouble sleeping, I do -- and it really helps!

Warm Regards,
C.

*
(: have an awesome day :)
*

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A.E.

answers from Panama City on

First of all... yes it is ok to let your baby cry it out, as long as you do go and check on them to reassure them that you are still there and they are safe. Babies cry because that is the only way they can communicate they are unhappy. The cry it out method teaches your little one, eventually, techniques that work for them that help them self soothe and get back to sleep when the awaken or first get put to bed. Allowing your child to learn techniques to put themselves to sleep teaches them autonomy and with a parent's reassurance, they become more confident in themselves. A baby has alot of brain development during sleep and sleep deprived children have a poor appetite and may have delays in their developmental milestones. A baby needs to learn what it means to feel "tired" and if you rock them or nurse them to sleep every night, they only learn that is how they should go to back to sleep when they wake up... this is fine for parents who don't have other children or who don't have to go to work, but for the rest of us...teaching a baby to self soothe is the best answer in the scenario. Would I like to hold my son all night and get up with him with every little peep? Yes I would, but realistically I can't. People may tell you that this is "just a phase and they will grow out of it" but that isn't true. Research shows that a child who learns poor sleep habits holds onto them for up to 5 years...so no, they will not grow out of it. Every parent is different, every child is different... do what works best for you and your family. Your baby needs to learn good sleeping habits not because the parents want a good night sleep, but research shows adequate sleep aids in growth, development, and maturity...so it is best for the baby to sleep well...even if the learning process, which may take 2-4 weeks, is hard. Yes they may vomit...the sphincter muscle in the esophagus is immature and crying increases chest cavity pressure which in turns increases abdominal pressure and they baby will vomit..not uncommon. That will pass..as long as your baby isn't losing weight..it is fine. They get upset,,,they vomit...we do too. I am in the process of teaching my 9 month old a new sleep routine..the 2 hour wakings through the night are not realistic for my family. He is in his 3rd day and has slept more and is much more happy and active during the day. It is still a work in progress but our entire family has gotten more sleep in the last 2 days than in the last 2 weeks. He has vomited and we clean him up, love on him for a few minutes and place in back in the crib. This isn't torture...it is teaching. If you would like more advice, specific plan..let me know.
[email protected]____.com
**REMEMBER the parents who say you are an awful mother and you are being selfish... just know they are no better than you as a parent, they just have a different style that works for them.

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T.S.

answers from New York on

Hi there S.. I think all transitions of motherhood are difficult. I have two girls 15 months apart. I am a teacher and I had my second last summer. So I was home with both. It was so difficult! But getting to your question, first, do u have a glider that reclines? I found that although it was the most expensive of all of my gifts, it was the best used! I rocked them both to sleep until almost nine months and I was able to get my rest as well. I also nursed in my bed while I half-slept. I always had the ability to be aware of the baby while I slept. I don't recommend this because you hear of a thousand horror stories. But the truth is that "roll over" and "accidental suffocation" is rare and suspect. Mommies and babies have slept together from the beginning of time. I always equate it to most other animals in nature. Almost all species sleep with their young. You will know when they are ready to transition. Follow your gut and your rules, don't listen to what people say is "right" or "wrong" because it will probably change in a few years anyway. You intuitively know what is best. I hope my advice was a help, and good luck.

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L.R.

answers from New York on

Good Night, Sleep Tight is the book you need. it explains, in very doable, flexible terms, how to teach your baby to go to sleep on her own, while you're there. there will likely be tears, but you will be right there every step of the way. i'd be surprised if she'd vomit or cry so hard if she knew you were right there and could hear you.

i had quite the challenging sleeper, starting at 5mos. My son was fine before then but then it took btwn 3-4 hrs every night (yes really!) to get him to sleep. i'd read every book, tried every program except for CIO and then found Kim West. Had a 2hour phone consult with her which was a huge help and then 3 wks later her book came out. save your money on the consult - just get the book. you don't have to read the whole thing, just her philosophy in the intro, and then the age-appropriate chapter.

you may contact me if i can be of any more help!
good luck, you can do it!
L.

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J.G.

answers from New York on

I would not feed her right before she goes to sleep give her some time after her feeding to put her down.

We use to hold my son to put him to sleep, then it went to lying on the floor next his bed (I would fall asleep before him) - we gave him a TV in his room It was the biggest mistake that we made. And daytime naps forget about never took those ever.Finally we let him cry himself to sleep it took about a week and he didn't need us anymore but he still does need a TV to go to sleep.

The second child we learned our lesson and did things much differently. We just put her in her crib and even if she cried a little she eventually went to sleep - she was and still is a great sleeper - 2 naps a day and never had a TV in her room.

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P.T.

answers from Albany on

I would suggest speaking with your pediatrician, but I'm fairly certain that she know longer should need to feed every three hours at five months. In fact, they usually also recommend starting solid food between four and six months. That might ease some of the problem. I struggled with this for a long time, being older (than you!) and also a professional woman. Decided I couldn't do the crying it out thing. I decided also that my son was too big to continue to rock to sleep (and knew it had to end sometime!) so I started opening the crib side and standing, half laying in the crib with him until he was asleep. At a year I got him a twin bed and laid down with him until he fell asleep. Just this year (he's two and a half) I have weaned him and started sitting next to the bed and rubbing his back to get him to go to sleep. It is a long process, but I don't think I could have taken seeing him so upset that he cried until he threw up.

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J.J.

answers from New York on

hi S.;

you are in a very common but difficult spot, which is the recognition that the babies do not function on our schedule, we need to function on thiers. i have a nearly 3 yr old and a 1 yr old who neither go to sleep by themselves nor do they sleep consistently thrut the night, and that's normal.

i really congratulate you on continuing to nurse. that's the most imporant gift you can give your baby, and it will serve you both in the long run. the longer you nurse, the stronger the bond between you and the baby, the higher the baby's intelligence and better her nutrition and health, and the lower your risk for reproductive cancers.

i'm glad that your heart is telling you that crying it out is the wrong choice; please don't let your child cry alone again. no matter how "normal" this practice may have become, the truth is that children can, as you have sadly seen, vomit, choke, and go into respiratory arrest from excessive crying. it's simply unsafe, especially for such a young baby as yours; and it's unneccesary. there are other ways.

if you want to read more about some 'systems', you could try Weisbluth's 'Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child,' which has a lot of good stuff about preparing and sticking with bed time rituals. Also, Pantley's 'No Cry Sleep Solution' may offer some health. i would also suggest the Dr. Jay Gordon webstite, as well as Askmoxie.com and Kellymom.com. You might also look up your local La Leche League Intl. chapter, easy to do on the web.

But you might just be looking at a baby who needs her mom to help her go to sleep, and the bottom line will be that you'll just have to adapt; believe me, you can adapt. My nearly-3 year old son just about 4 or 5 months ago began being able to go to sleep without nursing when his dad puts him to bed, and my 1 yr old daughter has no indication of putting herself to sleep in sight, and truthfully, that's ok with me. it's a pain, but it's normal, and it's not forever. it's certainly better than the danger, and guilt, of fighting nature.

i think the most important thing to remember, when we feel like, "I can't go on like this," is that, as my dad says, "Remember, when the going gets tough; YOU invited THEM," meaning the babies. being a mother is all about being an adult, and that means putting the babies' needs ahead of our own comfort.

hang in there. it will get better.

J.

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A.R.

answers from New York on

if you are nursing, just take her to the bed with you. you will sleep so so so much better, even while she is feeding or otherwise awake, because although you will respond your body will not have to fully wake up, and thus be way more rested in the morning.... i know most moms using formula dont have a choice, but i think originally the cry-it-out dogma came from mothers who were exhausted *because* they had to really wake up to feed their babies in the middle of the night, vs rolling over to nurse. i think human beings are meant to sleep with their babies until their babies wean. otherwise it would be easy for them to sleep by themselves. dont believe moms who say their kid mirculously sleeps through the night at that age, i think it takes some amount of crying and, often, vomitting because they cry so hard, with every baby. that may just be the way it is??? best of luck!

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R.N.

answers from Albany on

Wow I feel your stress! I think you received great advice. We let my son cry it out when he was around 6 months old. He cried so hard it was very difficult for us. After less than a week he was over it and is now 2.5 and still goes to sleep on his own. He only vomited once on us and he would have convulsions at first. We felt terrible. But I think it was worth it. One UNCONVENTIONAL approach my chiropractor says that babies with traumatic births who turn out colicky benefit a lot from chiropractic visits. Even as little as newborn. I found this out just recently so I never tested it out, but it's worth a shot??? GOOD LUCK!

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C.S.

answers from Syracuse on

(((S.)))

You're making a difficult transition from working woman to working mom, and I think that's half your problem. I have 3 children (the youngest is 2 1/2 months), and I was a mental & emotional wreck after the birth of the 1st one. You are going through a huge change in how you view yourself, and I was afraid the identity of "me" was going to be forever lost. Well, I'm still me, but with a few other hats, too. ;o) Once you get your view of yourself taken care of (and possibly release a littly resentment, b/c things will never be quite the same as they were before), you'll be able to handle your DD's issues better.

Personally, I'm not a fan of CIO; I tried it with my older 2 a couple times each, and it really did nothing positive. With my youngest, I've been carrying her/wearing her as much as humanly possible (I have a bad back, so sometimes the swing has to take over for me, lol), and we've had no issues whatsoever with her going to sleep. There are some days when she's just plain cranky and she won't sleep unless she's being held; I just assume there's some reason for it and meet her need to be held. You mentioned your DD had a traumatic birth (my 1st & 2nd did also, and we had a harder time getting them to sleep & stay asleep than we've had with our 3rd one who had a normal birth), and that could be the reason your DD has a specific need to be held so much. If I were in your shoes, I'd hold and rock that baby as much as she wanted! I know everyone else is probably saying this, but they grow up *so* fast, and you can never recapture these moments. Also, a change in perspective may help. :o) I know that caring for a high-needs baby is exhausting beyond measure and it seems as if you'll always be doing it, but in the grand scheme of things, it's for a fairly short time. Your baby wouldn't be crying to be held if she didn't have a tremendous need for it.

Again, (((hugs))) and best wishes to you and your sweet (needy) little one.

~C.~

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J.N.

answers from New York on

We went throught the same thing with our 1st child.(she is now 13!). We also had a difficult birth: I ended up with a broken pelvis & her head was so molded she looked like a martian baby...we have both recovered and she is strong and healthy. (I wanted to share that with you so you would know that we can understand where you are right now!)
First of all, even with a beautiful,cuddly little baby you need to start laying down the ground work about who is the boss! You and your husband need to decide how YOU want to put your baby to sleep! If you don't want to rock her to sleep then stop it now...it will only get worse when she is older and can talk! Also, are you burping her after she eats? If she has a residual gas buble then that will bring up the vomit when she starts crying...or she could be crying in part because of some gas pains from not being burped well enough! Ultimately here is how we put all (we have 4) babies to bed: (after changing & p.j.s on)1. feed them 2. burp them 3. read to them ("pat the bunny" or a black & white book)4. kiss them goodnight 5. put them in bed & cover them 6. LEAVE!
Every night do the same thing at the same time...it's called a routine. It's great for the baby (she will know what to exspect) and even better for the parents...if she vomits then go in clean her up (and the vomit sheets) then put her back in bed with no cuddles, playing, talking...just business. It may sound harsh (it did to me when I was a first time mother). She needs to cry it out...and LEARN that she can settle herself! You are giving her a gift that lasts forever: SELF RELIANCE and the gift of SLEEP! I believe that the teaching can start very early...the earlier the better! You can do it and so can she...and I bet, with a little more sleep for everyone, your daughter will not seem so demanding!

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M.L.

answers from New York on

Sleep problems are so hard on the whole family.
Have you been swaddling? Kiddopotamus makes a sufficient swaddler w velcro which comes in a large. My very active 3 and a half month daughter fits better into a Miracle Blanket (not using the foot pocket).
My first child also woke all night, did not always fall back asleep by breastfeeding, and noticed soon after he was laid down, if not immediately. I did become somewhat resentful,or at least hopeless and frustrated. He cried so much and and strongly. We were rocking and walking a whole lot at all hours. The main things I regret are not taking time away from my baby for fear that time for myself would later somehow make my baby more anxious, and add to the whole troulbe sleeping thing. The other is not giving swaddling enough importance. Do you have a sling, or better, an ergobaby carrier? Then you can walk around and still be rocking her, but have your hands free. Thinking of you.

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J.D.

answers from Albany on

I think the vomiting thing is because she's just been fed. What time does she go to bed? how long after she's been fed? What i would do with the crying situation is just totally let her cry it out. It will make her realise that just because she cries doesn't mean she can get your attention that way. i totally sympathise with you, and hope you find a solution...

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J.W.

answers from Albany on

I would highly recommend "The Sleepeasy Solution" book by J. Waldberger & Jill Spivack. They also have a website with some video and info from the book: http://www.sleepyplanet.com/ My daughter had a very difficult time sleeping for the first several months and this book really helped me to understand both her need to learn how to fall asleep on her own and how to do so in a way that was completely emotionally healthy for her. Also I quickly realized that sleeping for children (and thus their parents) is NEVER going to be like is was pre-child - just when things are going smoothly and you're in a good groove, things change - it keeps life interesting! I hope this helps you!

Jen

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