nearly 6 months and won't go to sleep

(11 Posts)
milkyjo Sun 01-Sep-13 19:54:02

We are at our wits end now. Dd will not go to sleep without crying for an hour non-stop for naps and bedtime. We have tried swing, sling, rocking, feeding, leaving, staying, picking up, cot everything! I usually breastfeed, tonight she's had a bottle in case it's hunger. I just don't know what to do! She won't even be cuddled. We've seen the doctor but there's nothing wrong with her. I've made sure she's not over tired or under tired. She's had the same routine for 3 months now. I want to go back in time and not get pregnant! She cried for 2 hours from 11 until 1 last night before finally passing out. This is CIO and I feel like a shit mum because my baby cries so much, and I read everywhere never to let them CIO. But what can I do if we've tried everything? Gag her?!

minipie Sun 01-Sep-13 20:01:01

ouch that sounds tough.

do you mean that she's been doing this for 3 months, or that she's had the same routine for 3 months and only recently started doing the crying?

if it's a recent change... how long has it been going on?

milkyjo Sun 01-Sep-13 20:23:35

3 months ago I could feed her to sleep. She will wake up before she's put down now and cry. We started the bedtime routine 3 months ago. She has never settled unless crying. I have just been giving her the benefit of getting older! I am more concerned with bedtime as she will sleep in pushchair for naps. She keeps ds (2.8) up at night and he is tired and tantruming all day! I also feel like a failure as she's had a bottle of formula when I was 100% breastfeeding.

grainmum Mon 02-Sep-13 12:05:10

marking my place.... confused by HV advice that 12 week DS should be put down sleepy but awake, then reassured if he cries - but is too young for controlled crying! So looking forward to some tips on how to settle these babies!

minipie Mon 02-Sep-13 14:58:26

my best guess would be overtiredness but you say you're sure she's not overtired... How long does she sleep in the day and at night?

grain I'd ignore the HV - I'd do whatever it takes (feeding rocking etc) to get a 12 week old to sleep, and worry about self settling later. If the whole sleepy but awake thing works for you then great but if it doesn't (and it doesn't for most) then do whatever works.

milkyjo Fri 06-Sep-13 12:51:24

Sorry I've been away, no Wi-Fi! She'll manage about 2 hours awake time but sometimes less. I go through the whole routine to calm her down, cuddle and some songs, dark room, feed. But then she eventually gets over tired from not going to sleep and screaming. She was awake for 5 hours on Wednesday afternoon - which I'm sure is far too long for 5 months! She has 30 minute naps And wakes up happy. I've tried extending them, even feeding her to sleep but she won't go back to sleep. Night times I feed her to sleep - or try - then lay her down asleep, she'll wake up in 30 minute intervals when I feed her back to sleep from 7pm - midnight, then usually 4 hours sleep, sleepy feed at 4am, back down asleep until 7am. I am going out for the day tomorrow and dh hasn't got boobs so she will have to cry herself to sleep. Oh and this week she has not gone to sleep in the pushchair so that's not an option anymore!

mewkins Fri 06-Sep-13 13:43:24

So what happens if she is left in her cot after a feed without being cuddled etc? How long til she falls asleep? I ask because I did some baby whisperer sleep trainibg with dd now 3. She was 6months at the time. She hated being picked up, rocked etc and still I persisted. Some babies it seems want to be left to get to sleep. I didn't appreciate that at the time. When you say you shouldn't let them cio a) you are not doing this - you are trying everything and you are present. You can't magically make a baby sleep, it is no reflection of your parenting and b) if that is what works for your dd (ie. To leave her to get to sleep if she needs to be left alone) then stick to that. some babies don't like props to get to sleep or grow out of them sooner rather than later.
Some suggestions for helping her to get herself to sleep quicker: have you tried introducing a blanket/teddy/ something she finds comfort in? Also much easier to grab than a dummy (and less likely to go astray).

Also the naps seem to fall into place after the 6 or 7 month mark so stick with it.

Another thing: some babies cry to self soothe - dd made a loud groaning etc and didn't grow out of that til about a year. Someone I know basically said that adults we rarely fall asleep when out heads hit the pillow. Babies sometimes cry or groan to wind down. I could always tell the difference between this and say a cry because of wind etc.

Hope that helps xx

minipie Fri 06-Sep-13 14:22:11

It really does sound like overtiredness esp the waking every 30 mins during the evening. unfortunately there is no cure except getting her more sleep, which of course is the one thing she won't do... confused

if she's only sleeping 30 mins at a time she will get tired quicker, you might try putting her down earlier eg 1.2 hours or 1.5, even if she doesn't look tired (overtired babies often don't look tired)? maybe get her in the buggy or car as often as you can for a few days, I know you say buggy hasn't worked this last week but it might after a longer walk? when dd was mega overtired she would sometimes take 30 mins of walking to go to sleep... but after a few days of long pram walks and some catch up sleep it got a lot easier.

your dd sounds a lot like mine - 30 min naps, wakes up happy, but gets overtired very easily - basically she likes to live on the least possible sleep but if she gets less than that she's immediately overtired <sigh>. I have found that it helps to do a few dats of long pram walks any time dd gets at all overtired, to get her some extra sleep and nip it in the bud before it gets worse. it does get a lot easier as they get older, they need less sleep and start to sleep longer periods at a time (this happened about 7 months with my dd).

oh and I agree what you are doing is not CIO.

milkyjo Sun 08-Sep-13 20:50:48

Thanks for all the replies. We have done a version of controlled crying using 2, 4, 8 minutes. We have never got to 8 minutes! This beats the crying for hours struggling to get her to sleep. We have been very strict on no more awake time than 2 hours as her cues are very subtle, cuddle and twinkle twinkle, white noise, put in cot with comforter and tummy rub then night night! We have been doing this for 2 days and so far so good, I actually feel more human and feel like the fog had lifted!

minipie Mon 09-Sep-13 09:32:56

that's great milky jo! so pleased you have all got some more sleep. I guess she is just a baby who needs to be left to fall asleep by herself, even if a few minutes of crying is her wind down, as you say that's so much better than her howling through your attempts to soothe her.

milkyjo Mon 09-Sep-13 15:02:54

Yes, and today her naps have been 2 hours long! I've had a lovely play with DS this morning, usually I have to hold her or keep her attention whilst I play with DS, and his behaviour seems to be much better!

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