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when your baby is crying but you've covered everything...

(109 Posts)
mogwai Thu 28-Jul-05 09:33:57

A question about letting your baby cry....sorry, long post

my dd is just coming up to 4 weeks old. We've been loosely using the "Baby Whisperer" techniques, ie Eat, Activity, Sleep. She's a good feeder, takes 4oz every three hours (formula)

It works well all day, though when we go on a trip out, she tends to sleep throughout, so sometimes gets more sleep during the day than she probably needs.

She has no problem being in her moses basket during the night. Strangely, so won't nap in it during the day. She doesn't seem to want the activity after night feeds. We dream feed her about 11pm and we go to her as soon as she stirs during the night (about 3am). She tends to feed very well and go straight back to sleep. We are up for about 30 mins on average.

We have a bit of a problem getting her down in the evening however. Our routine is generally food, activity, bath every other night, cuddle, bedtime. We put her down sometime around 7pm. She simply cries and cries when we put her down for this particular sleep. We know she's fed, clean, cuddled, not too warm or hot. She doesn't want the dummy, doesn't want more cuddles, will take more bottle (which we give as a last resort - she's putting on good amounts of weight) but immediately falls asleep on it. We've tried a musical mobile, we've tried a bit of lavender oil on a comforter at the foot of her basket.We've tried winding her more, but wind doesn't seem to be the problem (has wind at other times - obvious tummy discomfort - we are using infacol and colief). She looks knackered but can't be placated. I really don't think it's colic. DH is a doctor, he agrees.

We have concluded that she wants to go to sleep but doesn't know how to. We don't want to get into rocking her to sleep (and anyway, I tried it, it doesn't stop her on-off crying). We have started coming downstairs and sitting down, with the monitor on. The first night she cried for 15 mins on and off, nothing frantic, then she slept.

Last night, however, she cried for 30 mins. The crying escalated, unlike the previous night. She kicked off all her covers, I replaced them. My dh thinks we are doing the right thing. After all, if you try everything and nothing works, what else can you do? However, as her mum, I find the crying hard to ignore. I don't want to get her into bad habits, I don't want her to rely on us to get her to sleep every night (doesn't need it at other times). I'm concerned I won't have the will power not to pick her up when dh is working nights, he'll be gone when she goes to bed.

Would you let her cry and hope she learns how to get to sleep? 4 weeks seems very early, I know they don't really learn at this stage, so I'm not suggesting controlled crying, just at a loss what else to do.

hoxtonchick Thu 28-Jul-05 09:39:31

i would cuddle her to sleep. i have a 4 week old & that's what we do. in fact, she more often than not sleeps on me/dp.

mogwai Thu 28-Jul-05 09:41:37

but don't you think she will always have to be cuddled to sleep? I've seen friends do this, and it became a very difficult habit to break....they ended up with 18month old babies who were sleeping on their chest every night.

In any case, the cuddling doesn't seem to help her after she starts crying. She starts crying before she goes to bed, so cuddling to sleep doesn't seem an option.

aloha Thu 28-Jul-05 09:42:29

Gosh, no I would never let a four week old baby cry. She's SO INCREDIBLY NORMAL! This is honestly what four week old babies do, they cry in the evening if you leave them in their cot. Just about every tiny baby I have heard of has unsettled spells in the evening when they just want to be held and fed.
I think you are expecting an awful lot of a tiny weeny human who, until four weeks ago, (as Tiktok once said) was lying curled up inside you, eating and sleeping whenever she felt like it. Don't ignore her crying. You are right, it is instinctive to pick her up, for good reason! It's normal! You love her. She won't learn bad habits, she will just learn that she has been born into a world where she is loved and her voice is listened to. Your instincts are IMO absolutely right.

flamesparrow Thu 28-Jul-05 09:42:35

I'm with hoxton... enjoy your teeny one while she is still teeny - there is plenty of time for routine later


aloha Thu 28-Jul-05 09:42:48

Oh, and bugger the routine. She's four weeks old. Go with the flow and enjoy her!

Tinker Thu 28-Jul-05 09:43:51

I'd just cuddle her. 4 weeks is so tiny.

aloha Thu 28-Jul-05 09:43:54

It is impossible ime to make any predictions about what a child will be doing later on from their behaviour at 4weeks. She is barely out of the womb. Do you think she got into bad habits there?

aloha Thu 28-Jul-05 09:45:36

Sometimes small babies just cry in the evening even if you hold them etc, but IMO it is still better that they are being held and comforted rather than left uncomforted. Btw I thought the definition of colic is evening crying.

WigWamBam Thu 28-Jul-05 09:45:41

Agree with aloha. She's a newborn - cuddling her or rocking her to sleep isn't getting her into bad habits, it's what she needs right now.

throckenholt Thu 28-Jul-05 09:46:05

is it possible that she is overtired - overstimulated by all that pre-bed activity ?

Mine always found it hard to go to sleep when they were overtired.

Maybe try bringing that sleep forward a bit, and maybe cutting out some of the activity for a few weeks and then slowly reintroducing it.

I think babies of that age just get brain overload sometimes even by things that to us seem very mundane and boring. Don't forget it is all still very new to a 4 week old.

mogwai Thu 28-Jul-05 09:46:44

so this is something that is typical in the evening? It just seems odd that she falls asleep by herself after every other feed, day and night.

At what point would I actually put her into the basket? Say she falls asleep having a cuddle at 7pm, will need another feed at 8.30. If I keep her up, she will only go into bed at 10pm, after the 8.30 feed. Won't we have the same problem at 10pm?

Twiglett Thu 28-Jul-05 09:46:57

I think you are right that 4 weeks is too early

personally I wouldn't try to give a 4 week old a bedtime I would just leave her in her moses basket whereever you are until you go to bed and then take her up with you

a 4 week old needs to know that when they cry you'll be there to comfort them there's plenty of time to instill routines at a later stage, say over 3 or 6 months

throckenholt Thu 28-Jul-05 09:47:26

I think cuddling would exaccerbate the problem - in that she really needs to sleep and cuddling may well be just too stimulating at that particular time.

Definitely try earlier, or doing less before that bedtime.

Blackduck Thu 28-Jul-05 09:48:26

I used to take ds into a darken room tuck him up so his head was under my chin and just say shhhhhhhh......As Aloha has pointed out they have spent 9 months physically tied to you and we expect them to deal with separation almost instantly.....

kama Thu 28-Jul-05 09:48:37

Message withdrawn

flamesparrow Thu 28-Jul-05 09:49:02

Its not colic is it?

Tessiebear Thu 28-Jul-05 09:49:11

Babys dont recognise a sleep association routine until they are about 3 months old - and she certainly wont "learn" anything from a controlled crying kind of thing atm.
My DS is 2 weeks and in the evening he crys a lot (basically very tired i think). I just feed him and feed him until he eventually drops off.
This usually involves a good hour or so of feeding, putting him down - him waking up 10 mins later - me feeding him again etc until he drops off.
Night time is no problem, i think the evenings are worse because they have had activity in the day and are basically very tired.
I am a great one for not making a rod for my own back - but in the first few months i do whatever i can - feeding , rocking etc just to get them to settle and be happy

Tessiebear Thu 28-Jul-05 09:51:19

I also co -sleep with DS a lot if he is unsettled - as everyone says - they just want to be with you. (hormonal mum coming over all teary now!!! )

mogwai Thu 28-Jul-05 09:51:24

thanks for the advice. Throckenholt, I might try that.

I'm not following the baby whisperer book to the letter, but it does suggest routine helps from the very beginning. We all find it useful, it also helps us plan our day. I feel much calmer since we itroduced it. I'm just flummoxed by this evening thing.

Yes, Aloha, we know the definition of colic . But crying, by itself, is not indicative of colic, simply because it occurs in the evening. Overtired, overstimulated or not knowing how to get to sleep are more likely in this case, given what we have observed

Kelly1978 Thu 28-Jul-05 09:52:09

nearly all babies cry int he evening, and with mine I have found, like you think it is because they are overtired. If she will go to sleep being fed then go with it. My twins are now 4 mnths and are in a routine of a bottle in the dark at bedtime every night. It is not a bad thing, a nice cuddle and bottle of warm milk (or bf) at nightime. They then sleep til abt 5 (with a dream feed at 10). Once they get into the habit of going to sleep at a particular time they drop off really easy, but they will need a bedtime bottle for a long while to come anyway, so I don't see it as a bad habit.

mogwai Thu 28-Jul-05 09:56:26

ok, so it seems to be typical newborn evening behaviour. That now makes more sense and I can deal with it in different ways.

As I said in my post, I do know that she won't learn. I am not trying to do controlled crying. I also know she has spent 9 months inside me.

I knew if I posted this, simply wanting advice, some people would start shouting (in capital letters) . No need to shout, ladies.

I wonder what Tracey Hogg would say?

flamesparrow Thu 28-Jul-05 09:57:31

DD was a nightmare in the evenings... partly due to being overtired, but we then went to a chiropractor and found out she had a kink in her neck that was hurting more in the evenings (as most pains do).

It was put down as being "colic" because it was evenings, but the treatments with the chiro fixed everything, and we had a happy, sleeping baby.

mogwai Thu 28-Jul-05 09:57:43

kelly - twins!! Whoa!

Do you wind them just before you put them down? This tends to wake my little one up

flamesparrow Thu 28-Jul-05 09:59:04

I wonder what the punch up would have been like if you'd locked Tracy Hogg and Gina Ford in a room together....

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