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baby cannot get to sleep

(10 Posts)
bria Fri 02-Aug-02 09:41:09

My DD who is three months old cannot get herself to sleep - unless I rock her vigourously in my arms - whilst I am rocking her she cries on and off - the more vigourously I rock her, the less she cries. Is this normal? Sometimes it can take up to two hours to get her to sleep! with lots of crying, writhing and rocking in between. When I finally get her off to sleep and put her down - she wakes up, so I have to start the process all over again, as you can imagine I am worn out! During the night, she wakes about three times for a feed, everything is dones quietly and quickly so as not to disturb her too much - she falls asleep almost straight away. Initially I thought it would be easier to just put her down and let her cry herself to sleep, but she seems to be incapable of getting off to sleep without my help. I give her a dummy but she sucks it for a short while then spits it out. She is a whingy baby, but this is probably due to continuous lack of sleep, after a nights sleep she is usually smiley.I desperately need some advice on what I can do, obviously I need to break this cycle.

Girly Fri 02-Aug-02 10:05:03

Memories are flooding back to me mt dd used to do the same thing, we used to rock her in our arms for 7 months to get her to sleep! I found early on that music would calm her down, esp Whitney Houston! By the 2nd track she would be drowsy and asleep by the third (can't stand whintney now).

We had to do controlled crying in the end, when she was 7 months, this worked, took about 4-5 days, gradually. After about a week she started sleeping through as she was not hungry in the night, she would wake up from habit.

3 months is a bit young, so you could put her in her cot, in a darkened room and sit next to her, hold her hand until she calms and do not pick her up unless she is really distressed, then only a quick cuddle and back down again, they learn eventually, once this works try moving the chair further away until you get to the door. Have minimum eye contact as this can over stimulate them, I used to potter around upstairs and this she found comforting as they think you are still around and have not abandoned them. Good luck!

peanut Fri 02-Aug-02 10:05:39

It may be a stupid question, but have you tried just putting her down and leaving her for 5/10 mins so she can try and settle herself ???

mears Fri 02-Aug-02 11:03:40

Put her in the pram and push it up and down fairly quickly - she will fall asleep. That way once she is sleeping you will not disturb her in the way you are just now by trying to put her down. She may well cry initially but she will settle.

GillW Fri 02-Aug-02 14:24:27

You could try an electric (battery powered) nursery swing - the combination of movement and hum from the motor used to work wonders getting DS off to sleep at about this age.

threeangels Fri 02-Aug-02 14:44:33

I had the same problem with my youngest. I can say from my case he did not like his crib. I made the mistake of putting him on the couch to sleep when I first came home. I think he got so used to the noise in the house and the sleeping atmosphere he would not go in his crib. This problem of crying is so normal. I think the majority go through this at some time when their babies are small. I tried so many things. Nothing ever seemed to work. Your baby is to me too young to let cry herself to sleep. Rocking is good and I did it my self a lot. But sometimes babies can get to dependent on the rocking motion to go to sleep. I had once made a comment to my mom about using a radio to help my ds get to sleep and she and my dh said not to get him to dependent on the music to fall a sleep. I know babies love to be rocked but it can be dependency if used all the time to fall asleep. The problem seems that the rocking puts her to sleep but she only wakes up again when the rocking stops. She will eventually outgrow this sleeping problem just hang in there.

SueDonim Fri 02-Aug-02 19:39:19

If you're meaning daytime, then you could have her in a sling with you, so she is close to you but you can still get on with something else. At night you could try tucking her in to sleep besides you. Most babies crave contact and love to be snuggled up to you.

ionesmum Fri 02-Aug-02 21:17:24

Our dd was like this up until very recently - now she drops off really easily on her own. She's 5 mo and was just like yours at that age. She liked being rocked too, also a vibrating bouncy chair, being pushed in the pram and music - I found Classic FM did wonders for my sanity. Oh, and when putting her down we put a hand on her chest and stroked her head with the other - it kept her settled apart from the odd wriggle. Re dummies, our dd cannot keep those nice little orthodontic ones in and prefers the old-fashioned cherry-teat ones. You can get them in old-fashioned chemists and are well worth hunting out - it's made a huge difference to us. And DD has been more unsettled in the hot weather.

It will get better, I promise! Keep strong!

Elf Sat 03-Aug-02 19:40:55

I agree with Girly - put her in her cot, darkened room and hold her hand, pat her back, stroke her back, sing softly, whatever feels right.

I did similar things with dd and although you have to spend time doing all this stuff it is worth it in the end. After a while you will see her send herself to sleep and you will feel better because you will see that she can do it.

ONce dd had got used to the whole idea of going to sleep lying in her cot with me there, I gradually tried leaving her to do it on her own. Again it was gradual and I had to keep going back but I reckon it took about 3 months or 4 maybe of sleep just getting easier and easier and now, about 8/10 times I can do the sleep routine, ie new nappy, two books, dark, kiss, and leave her to it and there's not even a whimper. Bliss! Patience and confidence. Good luck. Your dd is very young but she'll no doubt gradually become more aware as you keep going through the weeks.

musica Sat 03-Aug-02 20:32:29

Has she got a cot mobile? We got one and it saved our lives!

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