2 Month old refuses to sleep during day. Trying the Gina crying down method.(12 Posts)
Hi. Our 2 month old refuses to sleep during the day. We are following the 'Gina Ford' routines which have been working out well in terms of his weight gain, although he has never fallen asleep on his own unless he is fed, rocked, patted, taken out in a sling, pram or car etc etc. By 7pm he is so exhausted that he goes to sleep usually and sleeps pretty well throughout the night with feeds included etc. We have seen in Gina's 'Contented Baby' book and her seperate sleep guide book that you should always put the baby into the cot whilst still awake (but ready for sleep..well fed, winded etc) so that they learn to go to sleep on their own. She states that a *crying down* period should be allowed where most young babies should cry down within 10 to 30 minutes. The parents should check them every 10-15 mins. Our baby is very fretful however and the opposite happens where he cries up to a top level scream which goes on and on with no sign of stopping. The longest we have tried this for is about 40 mins by which time if we pick him up he eventually drops off on our shoulder after much choking and sobbing. Gina does not state how long the crying down should go on for and also what should you do after the crying down period? Also is this not just a watered down form of controlled crying (which Gina states should not be started until 6 months)?
We are getting desperate and have really reached our limits in terms of the feeding, rocking etc that we have to do that takes hours and know that our baby must learn to go to sleep by himself.
Could anyone give advice? Has anyone following the Gina routine found the same problem?
Thanks Pupuce, We try to put him down after he has been awake for about two hours and shows signs of getting tired ie cranky and yawning.
I did a similar thing with ds, but instead of going in and out (because he became hysterical) I went in after 5 mins and shushes and stroked him. Longest was about 40 mins I think (seemed like 2 hours). Later I just left him for up to 15 mins. Didn't do that till 4 or 5 months though.
But I've noticed with my 2 that the 2 hour "rule" can actually be between an hour and a half and 2 and a half hours. You may find you get better results if you put him down a little earlier (i.e. before he is really tired) or a little later.
OK Saxo.... I am a doula and work a lot (well all the time with mums of newborns) so I see this a lot.
Here are my thoughts (and BTW I do know GFs methods very well, did it with great success with my first born but I think it doesnt always work if the parameters arent right and yours dont sound right at the moment). Also with more experience I am more critical of her methods too.
First it is key to put baby to bed BEFORE he is tired.... and that is at the VERY latest 2 hours after his last sleep.
You need to put him down with confidence - have faith that he can go to sleep. I would definitely stop using the rocking, sling and pram to sleep method as this baby is now use to it from what I understand. This is a bad habit (if it isnt what you like to do.... I dont think it is bad at all if you are OK with this - I know plenty of mothers who love having their babies fall asleep in slings and thats fine).
You put him down 1h45 mins after he fed and talk to him saying now its time to go to sleep baby, its all fine, you have a nap now....
You put him down, kiss him and leave (room to be dark).
He will (presumably cry).... leave him for 30 secs, come back, calm him down by whispering, stroking tummy (or in your arms if in a right state).... talk to him again with confidence baby you need your sleep, its all right mummy is here but you must nap. Put him down, leave.... go back in 60 secs after crying starts.... and do this routine for as long as needed.... I would say you must remain calm... the first couple of times it will be hard and long...... but it works. You may need to do it 5 times in a row but you need to do it consistently otherwise you are wasting your time.
Thanks both of you for your advice. Pupuce, with regard to the routine, could you explain what you mean about our baby not meeting the right parameters? It is very difficult to keep to a routine if your baby refuses to sleep although I know there are babies that quite happily doze on and off throughout the day...I guess these would be the ideal babies for the routine. We are very nervous about leaving him to cry at the moment (at 5-6 months we would be happier) but we know we are not going to get very far unless we can figure out a way to get him to sleep that suits all of us. To tell you the truth we would be at a loss if we did not have the routine and would not really know what to do. We are carrying on in good faith as we know so many people who the routine has worked for with the most difficult of babies.
By not in parameters I mean you are unable to have the baby easily go down for its sleep.... once you achieve that, her routine are very easy.
mine was like that - the key was to put him down before he got too tired - sometimes only an hour after waking up - usually he wouldn't last longer thatn 2 hours between sleeps. By the time he was yawning and rubbing his eyes he was overtired and wouldn't sleep.
Hope you crack it soon.
Thanks throckenholt, how long did it take you to get your baby to go down well?
Saxo, my baby is also very fretful, and I found at 2mths that if left, DD would easily cry non-stop (with older DS unavoidable at times). In fact, the only way she would go to sleep was by being held and would wake whenever I tried to put her down. However, once she got to 10wks, I found that she would go to sleep if she was swaddled, laid on her side and gently rocked. She still screamed, but eventually got to sleep like this (and importantly, so did I!). After a couple of weeks of this, I switched to a baby sleeping bag and put her on her back to get off to sleep as she was getting out of the swaddle, then rolling on her back and crying. I still put my hand on her and gently rock her off until her eyes are closing but she is not actually asleep. If she starts to fuss again, I go back and do a bit more rocking. I've found that the amount of soothing I do has gradually reduced and have been able to leave DD when she is calm, but not actually asleep. The next step should be to put her down without lots of rocking. This is a more graduated approach, and hopefully she'll learn to go off by herself eventually. There's a good description in the Pantley book The No-Cry Sleep Solution of a similar graduated approach (somewhat more gentle than mine as if I picked up DD whenever she cried I'd never ever be able to put her down!). Also, 2mths is very young - I think that for fretful babies you do need to wait until they have matured a bit and all that fussiness fades to try to get them into a better routine. You will probably find that in a few weeks time your baby will respond very differently. Good luck! Let's hope in 3mths time we are both posting about our brilliant sleepers!
Saxo, my dd started refusing to go down in her cot in the day at around 2 months also. However she would go down at night awake and drop off to sleep herself, so it is different from your situation. What worked for me though was laying her in her cot and stroking her head and saying 'its ok , mummys still here'. I knew she was tired and that she just wanted me , so I stayed close all the time until she stopped crying and then dropped off.
Thanks Cuppy and florenceuk. florenceuk...our babies sound very similar I think you are right about a more graduated approach as we have already noticed that he is becoming more confident in lots of ways generally week by week. I think we will suspend the crying down for now...I will check out that book which sounds good and do a bit more research before we attempt any form of controlled crying. We want to be confident that we know what we are doing, that it is right for his age and that it will be successful before we start.
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