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Nicholas will be 5 months old on the 20th. I am ok with the fact he doesnt sleep through the night and I dont expect him to. However its getting frustrating that he wont lay down for a nap or to go to sleep. Basically I nurse him to sleep, put him down in his crib or bassinet, or my bed, and maybe 10-15 mins later he wakes back up. Sometimes he wakes up instantly. Its really frustrating for me because I need some time to myself, I'm with him 24/7. How do I teach him when he lays down he can go to sleep? If I am not laying down with him he wakes up and has a look of fear on his face.
I really dont want to let him cry it out. It kills me to hear him cry. But maybe some sort of variation? Any advice?
Howabout using distance? e.g. put him in his bassinet - if he wakes up, rub his belly slowly until he nods off again. If he works himself up into crying, pick him up and rock him/sing to him/whatever you normally do to calm him down, then try again. Once he's got that down, move to a nearby chair. Stay where he can see you. Hopefully he'll wake up, see you're there, and go back to sleep. A few nights to get used to that, then move the chair further away - to the door, or the opposite side of the room, where he can hear you breathing (knows you're there) but can't necessarily see you. If he wakes up and panics, pop over and do the belly rub to reassure him that you're nearby and will come to him if he needs you. When he's got that figured out, try leaving the room after he's asleep. With any luck, he'll remember that you're close by and won't be afraid to wake up without you. It's not a very fast process, but hopefully it'll get you some 'you' time eventually.
I did something like this with Caitie. She was weird about sleeping when she was little-little... I think I ended up trying every 'method' at least once. I finally gave up on trying to keep her asleep and worked instead on just making her comfortable with being in her bed by herself. I found that it helped if I DIDN'T sing or talk to her during the process. Just a slow, light belly rub and a smile seemed to work best. Every kid is different though! If he's happy when you sing, try humming a song while you're rubbing. If there's a nightlight in the room, try changing the brightness or color. Cait's still a big fan of pink light at night. (Tried to get her a purple nightlight not long ago and she had a total meltdown!)
In any case, don't give up! It's super frustrating sometimes, but everything will be okay.
^^This. And Also take a cloth and rub it around your neck and skin so it smells like you and put it near him. Sometimes it is just they want to know you are there. I had to do this with both girls when I worked midnights when they were babies.
I can put him down during the day, like his bouncer or playmat, but he doesnt like to lay down in his crib or anything. I let him whine but if he cries I get him.
Jenna thanks. I have been trying something like that but not consistently. We didnt always have this problem. He used to go down after nursing around 9pm and wake up at 3am, nurse, then either stay co-sleeping or go back to his crib til 7 or 8 am. Then he went through some really bad fevers and hasnt been the same since with sleeping. I'm assuming teething? I will have to work on this.
I didn't really go through this with my own, but I'm going through something similar with my babysitting kid. She's 14 months though. It sounds really mean, but I just don't have enough hands or time to snuggle her to sleep every day when I have two 3 year olds and a nearly 2 year old in the house too. I did basically what Jenna said. I started out laying her down already asleep and then just rubbing her face if she woke up again. Then I moved on to laying her down sleepy, but not asleep and just stay withing sight until she drifted off. Now, I can lay her down awake and she just puts herself to sleep. Her parents are actually really grateful that I've been working with her because she is a better sleeper all around now.
Do you have a swing or bouncy seat? My sister has had two kids out of four who napped really well in a bouncy seat or swing. Obviously, not all sleep can happen there, but sometimes a 2 hour nap is totally worth it.
I'm sorry hun, it can be SO frustrating when they won't sleep - or they will sleep, but only for very short periods of time. I started CIO with both of my girls at 6 months - as much as I hated it, but it DID work... I just made sure I went in and reassured them that Mummy was there, but that it was time for sleep.
When you do CIO and you go in there, what exactly do you do? He seems to get MORE worked up when I just rub his belly and DONT pick him up. But if I pick him up he is wide awake. Not sure how to go about it when/if I do use CIO.
How is he doing? In answer to your question above, you can just go in every 5 minutes so he knows you are there. You just rub the belly, recover with blanket, put back in soother (if applicable), tell him it's time for sleep and then leave quickly!! Don't hang around. That is probably why he is getting more upset...he thinks you are staying. You should be in there 30 seconds max. And you don't pick him up or you are basically restarting from scratch. If you do this consistently, all should be good within a week.
With Jamie I had to be near her untill she was almost asleep. I put a rocking chair by the crib and every night slid it a little closer to the door untill I was in the other room. This is the age where they want to see they are not missing anything.
Maybe he just doesn't feel comfortable in his crib? He sits and rolls and stands now, right? I'd say it's safe to put one small stuffed animal in there with him to play with.
You know what's really fun? Playing peek a boo in the crib. Gabe has a bumper in there (he got his leg stuck once and it scared the heck outta him AND me) and I hide down beside the crib where he can't see me and then pop up and yell Peek-a-Boo! We usually play in his crib for about 30 minutes a day. He loooooves it.
I'd second the distance thing. It's a slow process, but it leaves you with (hopefully) less of that heart-wrenching crying and it helps reassure them that you're still there. Maybe look into what age they learn object-permanence? I know that before a certain age babies don't understand that something still exists if it's not in sight.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. - Hellen Keller