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Running out of options : 7 month-old won't be rocked or get to sleep in cot

(11 Posts)
Parsnipnibbler7 Thu 13-Nov-14 15:45:46

Hello, my first post (tho I'm an avid reader, esp of the sleep boards, they are addictive!).

Normally find answers to my questions on previous threads, but this one has me stumped. My seven month old dd has never been one for getting drowsy, and always needed to be sung and rocked or walked to sleep (used to breast feed to sleep when younger and still does at 3/4/5 am when she wakes and comes out of her cot and we co sleep for rest of night). She does get tired, I can spot the cues now, but seems to get more agitated the more tired she gets, rather than drowsy.

These days she doesn't want to be held or rocked or walked. She wriggles, squirms around, pushes away from me, and eventually cries and screams. But I've tried putting her in the cot at the end of the relaxing routine (bath, bottle and breast feed, books, song) and sing and stroke and repeat 'sleepy time now' etc, and keep turning her on to her front (how she sleeps) and rubbing and patting back, but she just plays, and rolls onto her back, and eventually starts crying and then works up to red faced screaming if I don't pick her up.

I've tried a leaving the room for a couple minutes at a time and then picking up and comforting until she stops crying and putting down again version, and a staying with her and soothing while she stays in cot, but she never seems to get to a drowsy point.

I can get her off in the sling quite quickly but when I put her down (v carefully!) she wakes after 30 mins and can be hard to get back to sleep again.

She also wakes a few times through the night but can usually be patted or cuddled back to sleep quite easily until 3/4/5 am when my boyfriend (who sleeps in her room on a spare bed so I can get some rest) hands her over to me if she won't go back down again, as we assume she might be hungry and figure it is too soon for night weaning.

Naps; another story, always been a 30min catnapper in cot, but have recently been able to get longer naps in the buggy with lots of jiggling at the 30 min mark. Would love longer cot naps and have tried resettling and wake to sleep but she wakes up, bing! Happy and won't be soothed back again.

Right, I will stop this rambling essay now!

Thanks so much in advance for any advice.

Parsnipnibbler7 Sat 15-Nov-14 14:06:53

Any advice at all? Would really appreciate.

RedRose27 Sat 15-Nov-14 16:06:08

Parsnip I read your post when you first posted it and I have lots of sympathy as in very similar situation to you with 4.5 month old, but no real advice I'm afraid sad
DD occasionally does drowsy, but mostly just gets agitated when tired. Has to be rocked to sleep for all naps, fights and kicks and cries the whole time. Only advice I could give is that I've started holding her and just gently swaying with her, while playing white noise and singing softly. After about 20 mins she had gotten drowsy and her eyes drooped and she's fallen asleep. But only managed this successfully a couple of times (perhaps I've timed it wrong the other times it failed, who knows). She will only nap for 30 mins once put down in cot, but I think this is because she wakes up somewhere different to where she fell asleep, as she will sleep longer sometimes in pram or car.
Her night sleep is terrible so if we EVER get an improvement with that, I will try tackling naps, but at the moment I figure it's more important she sleeps.
At night, I have also tried staying with her and letting her cry, as it sounds awful but it's only the same as her crying when I'm holding her. It took me 1 hour of sitting with her the first time, but she DID get herself to sleep, and the next time she woke I tried it again and took 20mins. I don't think there's another way for us as she has to learn to get herself to sleep, so I'm determined to persist with this now at night.

GeorgeTheGiraffe Tue 18-Nov-14 09:30:45

Best bit of advice/info I was given is this:
When the parent runs out of tools for getting child to sleep, that is the time for sleep training!

A website that really helped me was troublesome tots Alexis Dubief


1charlie1 Tue 18-Nov-14 11:36:15

OP, I had a similar situation until a few days ago. DS (6.5 months) had been sleeping reasonably well for months in a baby hammock, but all of a sudden started screaming when put down, and refusing his previously bullet proof morning nap. Night sleep went to pot as well, it was taking 2 hours to get him to sleep, then he was waking every 2 hours. We tried to transition to his cot (still in our room), which also went horribly, with loads of crying etc. We were all exhausted, so I started going to bed with him and co sleeping, but really didn't want to go to bed at 7.30 every night! He's always been a pretty terrible sleeper, but this felt unbearably bad.
We're now 3 days into some sleep training, and it's going better than I dare imagined. Yes, there has been some crying, but he has been crying so much lately anyway at bedtimes, and been miserable with tiredness during the day. I haven't left him alone at all, and I can touch him, talk softly to him, pat him, hold his hand etc to comfort him if he's upset.
I'm not picking him up to comfort him, because it makes him very upset when I then return him to the cot (we tried PUPD a couple of weeks ago - horrible, I lasted about 10 minutes.)
Unbelievably, he had two 2 hour naps today, and went peacefully to sleep within 10 minutes this evening. No tears for any of his sleeps for two days, and the improvement in his mood already is lovely. Over the next couple of weeks I will gradually retreat from the room when I put him in his cot, but I'm in no hurry as I am completely loving watching him snuggle down and drift off to sleep all by himself...
The book which has helped me a lot is Rowena Bennett's Your Sleepless Baby. I just borrowed it from the library. I'd heard nothing about it. I love her. grin

1charlie1 Tue 18-Nov-14 11:41:05

Ps please don't think I'm being smug, it is very early days for us here! But I honestly have been amazed at how quickly things have improved.

Parsnipnibbler7 Tue 18-Nov-14 12:46:11

Red rose thanks so much for taking the time to write. Feel bad for you, of course, but it is good to hear from someone who understands. So frustrating isn't it. I am thinking about trying to sit by the cot and just see how long it takes, but I'm worried that sitting there where she can see me and not picking up is even more mean in a way?! Oh I don't know.

George, yes you are probably right, when I get desperate enough I suppose I will have to leave her to cry. Have seen the troublesome tots website and it is definitely a good one. Thanks for recommending.

RedRose27 Tue 18-Nov-14 13:07:06

Hi Parsnip. I know what you mean about sitting by the cot being more mean! I just didn't want DD to think I'd abandoned her! Although I really do think it's trial and error. I had a disaster yesterday and it took 1 hour 40 mins to get her down for a morning nap! I started at 8:20 and she finally fell asleep at 10am. I did leave the room in the end and she fell asleep on her own in the cot, but still only slept for 30mins anyway... But have persisted at nights not picking her up. Doing same as Charlie has said! holding her hand and talking softly to her and it's taking her about 30mins to go back to sleep. Agree with George, we are at the point where something has to be done! although I do worry that DD is a bit young (20 weeks old tomorrow).
Also, my DD's cries when in the cot are no worse than they are when I'm holding her, which helps. Also, weirdly I find it easier in the night as it's pitch dark I can't actually see her crying which somehow feels less brutal. I have to keep telling myself that I am teaching her a crucial life skill and it's for her good and she needs to sleep! Let us know how you get on x

Parsnipnibbler7 Thu 20-Nov-14 15:02:52

Charlie- thanks for your story, really interesting and helpful. Good to hear throat about pupd too as I had been thinking the same. Your experience does give me hope!

Red rose, totally impressed with what you are doing, thanks for sharing your tips and keep up the good work.

You have both def inspired me to put a plan in place and stick to it.

Will let you know what happens!

carolinementzer Thu 20-Nov-14 18:38:23

We did a similar thing with my breast addicted daughter - it was cry it out with daddy. If I were there she'd just be agitated. But with him it only took a few nights and she was sleeping all night long- was blissful considering she was previously up 7 x a night. Here's our story -

I also found acupressure brilliant at calming her down to sleep when she was too wired -
Good luck and best wishes

Parsnipnibbler7 Thu 20-Nov-14 20:17:46

Thanks Caroline, v helpful

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