Sleeping Problem with My 6 Month Old.

Updated on January 13, 2008
J.H. asks from Dubuque, IA
15 answers

My son who is 6 months old just recently got over a cold before the cold I had him in bed by 8:30 and sleeping at the lastest 9:00. I would put him to bed he would cry for 10 min then i would go in and pat his back and he would calm down and be out in 10-15 mintues after that and sleep until 3 in the morning or later. When he got sick he got held a lot b/c all he would do is cry unless I had him and he slept alot either on me or he slept in bed with me (he would start coughing and end up throwing up so I liked him near me). Well now he wont' sleep in his crib he thinks I have to hold him. I love holding him but now his bedtime routine I was using isn't working anymore he won't calm down if I go in there unless I pick him up and as soon as I do that he is out but as soon as I put him down he wakes up again. I have been letting him CIO for the last three days b/c I don't know what else to do. He isn't getting to sleep til after 10:00 and I can't stand to let him CIO I feel so bad doing this. I don't know what to do to get him to want to sleep in his crib again. Is CIO the only way to get him back in there. I have tried holding him til he is alseep but as soon as I put him in teh crib he wakes and and cries. He has never had to CIO except those first 10 min but then he usually went to sleep right when i came in. Everyone my sister, husband, mom says to leave him CIO I seriously am having a hard time doing this. I usually feel like crying right a long with him. Any help would be great. I have no clue what else to do to get him back in his crib. Also he has been so clingy to me during the day to the point he doesn't want to be put down and wants me to hold him which also started after he got his cold. He has also gotten to the point he wont' go to his dad either. I am not really for CIO but at this point I have no clue what else to do.

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for your help. The last two days I have put music on in the room and also added a night light thinking that it was too dark for him. I also get him drowsy and make sure that he wants to go to sleep first then I will go lay him in his crib and gently pat his back and once he calms down I just sit in there til i know he is sleeping. It has worked the last two nights so I am just going to keep trying this for now. He now will go in his crib without freaking out also. The CIO method just isn't for me.

Featured Answers



answers from Rochester on

There is a book that has worked for every sleep related problem I have had with my daughter, it's called "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child". I hope it helps!

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answers from Sioux Falls on

Listen to your mama instincts. If you don't feel right letting him cry and cry, then don't. The reason that CIO eventually works is that babies give up expressing their needs because they learn that you won't be there for them and nobody cares if they're sad, hurt or lonely. That's a lifelong message. To me, it wasn't worth it.

I have heard good things about the book _The No Cry Sleep Solution_ and Dr. Sears has a book called something like _Nighttime Parenting_ that may help.

If you increase the cuddle time during the day, that may help too. It sounds like he really feels a need for extra love and physical comfort right now. He may be teething, still feeling a little sick or just want more of the most fabulous person in his life. :)

Also keep in mind that he may be in very real pain from something related to the cold or something else. He may have an ear infection or raw throat from the build up of fluids or he may have teeth coming in, which can be very painful for some babies. Don't assume he's just being clingy. He might want more of you in order to deal with feeling awful. One way to find out if this is the case is to give him a dose of children's Tylenol before bedtime and see if things go any better. If so, then you know to look for something physical going on.

As for co-sleeping leading to problemss, we co-slept with all of our children and what I've found is that kids all have their own sleep habits no matter what you do. Two of ours (4 and 9) happily sleep all night in their beds and one (7) wakes in the night and comes to us a lot. It's just how she is, and I've met lots of mamas whose kids never slept in their beds who had the same issue. Our 8 month old baby sleeps with us now and we get a lot more sleep that way, but I know that's a very personal decision.

I don't think the only choices are co-sleeping or crying it out, but it can take a little trial and error to find new routines that work as babies grow and change.

Sometimes what works best for me is to remember "This too shall pass" too. They really do grow up so fast, but that's hard to remember at 1 a.m. :) Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

Hello. I too hate CIO. My 9 month old sleeps with me at night. However, I used a technique to get her used to being put in her crib which worked for us and she takes all of her naps in there. She too is clingy and does not want to let go when being put in the crib. I realized when putting her in while the rail was up, she felt like she was "falling" when being put down and made the separation harder. So, I put the railing down first, wait until she is really sleepy, hold her tight and keep her tight, my face next to her cheek until she is on the mattress. Then I make sure she is still asleep and I slowly let go and pull up the railing. If she opens her eyes, I put my face right back next to hers and she goes back to sleep. Just remember to pull the rail back up. It seems to make the transition from arms to bed easier for us. Maybe it can help you! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lincoln on

If you feel strongly about having your baby on a sleeping schedule please consider reading Elizabeth Pantley's "NO CRY SLEEP SOLUTION". This book is an easy read and gives gentle techniques and tools to use to get your baby to sleep on a schedule without having to let your baby cry it out.

Another good book is "NIGHTTIME PARENTING" by Dr. Sears. This book discusses many different nightime options, options to scheduling.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boise on

Personally, I am not a fan letting a baby CIO. I have never done so with any of my four kids. Our babies always sleep with my husband and me until they are almost two, and then we have always been able to transition them into a toddler bed. None of our kids have any sleeping problems (Seems people always warn you that they will if you co-sleep with your babies.) If you are not interested in co-sleeping, I would do whatever you can to get him to sleep without letting him CIO (holding, rocking). Babies go through all sorts of changes in the first couple of years that disrupt their "routine" (teething, colds, growth spurts) so it's not surprising that yours doesn't go to sleep like he did a few weeks ago. Don't worry about what other people tell you to do. You are the mommy and your gut will tell you what is the right thing for your baby.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

First i think you should examine your assumption that babies should sleep by themselves, alone, all night, like an adult. This is the ideal that you are operating on, and this is simply not true. Babies do not have fully developed nervous systems, nor do the have the metabolism to go that long without eating. Second, trust your instincts...if letting your baby cry it out feels wrong, don't do it. Don't listen to what others say. Listen to what feels right for you. Our babies are our flesh and blood, and spent almost 10 months growing inside of our bodies...then to expect them to sleep alone does not make sense to me at all. Humans need touch to survive, and it sounds to me like your baby just needs to be close to you. Try wearing your baby in a sling, back-pack, or carrier during the day while you do housework. Babies naturally want to be comforted when they are sick, this is totally natural behavior for your child to want to be held. I would also recommend bringing your baby to bed with you and sleeping with him. Everyone sleeps better. having a side-car or crib right next to your bed, or even a mattress on the floor works too, if your bed isn't big enough. And most of all, remember, every phase is temporary....this too shall pass. I believe if we give the love our children need when they are young, they will grow up to be more self-confident adults. Our culture doesn't honor each stage of life as it happens, we are always pushing ahead to the fast fast, hurry up and grow up already is how a lot of people feel. Well, that's just not natural and babies and children grow and learn very slowly. Accepting the pace of life that they live is hard for us adults sometimes! (I know it's hard for me to slow down and walk at the pace of my 4 year old when we walk down the street.) Some children don't sleep all night until they are 4, or 5, or 8, or 10! Remember that each child and parent relationship is unique, do what feels right for you.



answers from Grand Rapids on

I had that same problem 3 months ago. I started doing the exact same thing of bringing my son to sleep with my husband and I because that was the only way he would sleep when he was sick and we had to work the next day. We ended up paying dearly for it. It was awful getting him to sleep in his crib again. We just finally got there last week. The only thing that worked was letting him cry through the night. It was terrible and we felt guilty in the beginning, but then we realized that if he was falling asleep on us as soon as we picked him up that this was a battle of wills. I would always go and check on him every 10-15 mins or so and eventually it worked. We never picked him up though and at first I would put my hand on his back and then he just came to expect that and would wake up every hour and want me in there so finally we just let him cry. It took almost 2 weeks but he is finally sleeping through the night. Not the same as before he was sick, he seems to be getting up earlier now but at least he will sleep there. Good luck.



answers from Madison on

You might want to check the Baby Whisperer book. She has a pick up/put down method that's gentler than CIO. Basically, you pick you son up as soon as he starts to cry, but put him down as soon as he stops crying. As you can imagine, you'll be picking him up and putting him down 100+ times the first few days, but I know people who say this is worked really well for them.

The daytime clinginess be a developmental milestone. When my 1st child turned 6 months, it was great. I could set her down on a blanket with some toys and walk away for a few minutes. My 3rd child, on the other hand, was the exact opposite. She needed to be held all of the time. I finally bought a sling to make that possible.

Good luck!



answers from Jackson on

Leaving a young baby to CIO is unnecessary and Cruel. Babies cry because they need something. He obviously still needs comfort from you. Listen to your Momma instincts and not what everyone else is telling you to do. You are the only expert on your child. It is VERY normal for a child under a year to be very "clingy" it's not clinginess its the desire for connection, comfort, and socialization that he is desiring. Meet his needs and everyone will be much happier healthier and sleeping better.



answers from Missoula on

If you like take one bottle and put some baby cearil in it at night it will help the baby sleep longer.



answers from Saginaw on

I had a problem with my son sleeping at all until he was 13 mos. old. I found that every time he got sick routines went straight out the window and he was sick alot... The best thing I found was the sit in routine. Most people say it take 3 or 4 days with my child it took 5 weeks but it was much perferable to the cry it out thing I can't do that either. The sit in routine is when you put him in his crib find a space in his room close to the crib do not speak or make eye contact with him and he will settle down just knowing your there. but I repeat do not make eye contact or talk to him he will use that as a weakness to make you pick him up. and every night sit a little closer to the door, until finally you'll be sitting in the hallway and then you'll be able to walk right out and leave and he will know it's time to lay down and go to sleep... I hope this works for you. I never thought in a million years it would work for me, but it did, and I'm so grateful.. Bed time used to take 2 or 3 hours of rocking and cuddling. with this I sat in his room at longest 45 minutes a few nights and now I just lay him down and leave he does the rest.



answers from Missoula on

I dont like crying it out either. This book helped so much: The No Cry Sleep Solution. Full of practical advice, you should trying borrowing it from the library. Aslo, my baby girl got her first teeth at 6 months so that could be an issue as well.



answers from Benton Harbor on

My son went through this too. I ended up letting him CIO. As long as he knew that I would come into the room if he cried, than he would cried. Why not? Mommy's coming if I do... When he would CIO I would go downstairs or somewhere where I couldnt hear him so it wouldnt upset me. But you know him better than anybody else. I learned from my daughter, that letting her stay in my room or sleep in my bed, still causes problems now that she is 7 and if you are married, can cause problems there too. CIO won't hurt him, but whatever you decide to do just make sure you are consistant in it. Good Luck!!



answers from Milwaukee on

I wish I had some good advice for you, but the only thing I can suggest is a sleep positioner. My son likes to fall asleep in my arms and I had the same problem with him waking up when I put him in his crib. I used the sleep posistioner and a light blanket wrapped around it and it helped him. I think it made him feel like he was still being held. Also, when my daughter was a baby (around 6 months), her doctor gave me the advice to take a long blanket, lay it over her and tuck it under her mattress. I guess babies like the pressure.
Hope this helps. Good luck!



answers from Grand Rapids on

What I did to eventually get out of rocking my son to sleep was to lay down on the floor next to the crib after I put him in. I would pretend I was asleep when he cried for me, but surprisingly he didn't actually cry for long since he could see me. It was comforting enough, and he eventually (after about 20 minutes of standing up, laying down, standing up) lay down and fell asleep. After a few days I got closer to the door and after a few weeks he was sleeping so quickly after I put him down I didn't even need to stay in his room. He was 13 months at this time, so I don't know how it may change for a baby, but I wanted to share how effective it was for me so you could try it. Since 13 months, I never had a problem getting him to sleep and he's 3. Good luck!

By the way, there are plenty of moms who say it's cruel to let your baby cry, but sleeping well is a healthy habit for the entire family, physically and psychologically. If their babies cried for ice cream all day, would they give it to them for every meal? Sometimes letting them cry for a week in order to start a lifelong healthy habit is healthier than allowing them to call you all hours and expect it through toddlerhood/childhood. I agree that for very young babies there are comforting needs that must be met at all hours, but your baby is at the stage where he can start to do this himself.

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