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Need help to unwind a 4 month old - sorry long post

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  • Need help to unwind a 4 month old - sorry long post

    The struggle happened since DS refused to take a dummy. Now it takes at least 30 mins of cuddling & singing, story reading, nursing and sometimes walking in a sling to get DS to fall asleep at all hours of the day. The last few nights it has taken over an hour . DS is clearly tired, he is yawning and rubbing his eyes (to the point they are puffy) and getting very jerky, but he wouldn't stop moving or looking around! I've tried everything I can think of- Swaddling didn't help as DS would wriggle out of it as soon as I tucked him. Bath is also too stimulating for him (he splashes water everywhere!). I used to be able to rock him to sleep but now the minute I cradle him he would arch him back, turns his head and looks around. Playing music helps him to stay asleep but not to fall asleep..

    This has been going for a month now I'm getting frustrated. Every sleep DS will cry for something to suck. Nursing him to sleep works most of time but very often he would poo in the middle of it, or protest about the fast letdown, or bang on my chest when I 'ran out' of milk (happens when I have to nurse him repeatedly). If I or DH tried to wear him down he would protest when we tried to cover him up, and he would kept looking and not sleep at all. I've also tried just cuddling him,he seems to be unwinding himself by rubbing against my top but minutes later he would again turn his head and start looking around. If I put him down to bed he would whinge and ask to nurse, and when I delay the nursing the whinge would turn to scream.

    I'm exhausted and DS is clearly overtired. Now he can't stay asleep unless I help him get over the first sleep cycle. Is there other ways to help DS to fall asleep?

  • #2
    Have you tried nursing him laying down in the bed?
    Or walking him to sleep in a carrier or stroller?
    Sometimes I would get very agitated when my children were this age- frustrated with the same thing you are. My aggitation spread to them and would make it hard for them to sleep. It seemed like what ever I did would just awaken him more when I was desperate for him to go to sleep. With my second son at 4 months I would pace back and forth between two rooms with him in a mei-tai and all the lights had to be off and I was "shushing" him!
    The good news is it seems like this stage is short!

    Your baby seems tired, but he also seems interested in stuff and that is probably what is keeping him up. Maybe he's thinking "what is mom and dad going to do next? I am so tired but they are so interesting!" When my oldest was 1 year old sometimes we had to bore him to sleep by talking in monotone about the least interesting subject. The new baby is sometimes bored to sleep when I lay next to him and try to fall asleep myself!
    Anything you try is not going to work right away. Try it for a week so he figures out "this is what mom does when its time to go to sleep" even if you have to do other things to finally help him fall asleep, put that 'thing' in there so he's getting your resting time cues.

    I am sure your milk flow might be making it difficult for him to fall asleep while nursing.
    Here are some articles to possibly remedy that.
    Forceful Let-down (Milk Ejection Reflex) & Oversupply
    By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

    Nursing to Sleep and Other Comfort Nursing

    keep your chin up!


    • #3
      Poor you! I remember that age all too well. The world is just so interesting now that why would they want to go to sleep!?!?!

      One thing that we found helpful at this stage was one of those night lights where it has the moving pictures, we had one that just ticked around on the nightlight itself, although I think that one that put the pictures on the wall would work well too. It would mesmerize DS to sleep. Still took awhile and he still needed us right there to help him drift off, but it really helped with the "what am I going to look at now" stage. I turned the music off on ours and just sang to him while he watched the pictures. Because you have the room dark they cannot help but look at the brightly shining pictures.

      Hope it might work for you too. Remember though that this is - just like everything else - just a stage. It will pass.

      Last edited by mumtoone; 02-26-2009, 05:11 PM. Reason: adding things


      • #4
        i remember this with my daughter. I remember getting so stressed out thinking "Your tired! Why are you not sleeping??!". I agree with naomi, the more stressed out i got the harder it was to get her to sleep. I finally gave up on the "You have to go to sleep" instead i started doing things like. Wrapping her up in a wrap, grabbing a seat in the rocking chair (cause my legs were so tired from pacing) and just rocking back and forth at a steady pace meditating while humming, or trying to calm her. I found that eventually when i calmed down she calmed down. I also remember that nursing her to sleep laying down/ in a sling helped her at that age. She also refused her pacifier around that age and now has returned to using it reguarly and is the only way i can get her to sleep on her own now.
        Remember when he does finally go to sleep lay down with him and ignore the dishes, laundry or anthing else your tempted to do. The more well rested you are the better able you'll be to manage those challenging times. GOOD LUCK


        • #5
          Thank you so much for the replies. It is wonderful to be able to get support here as all the mothers I know have all taken the CIO route. When I mentioned my situation to my health nurse she told me I'm in control and the baby should be learn to be independent and to self-settle.

          It's reassuring to know that my baby is not acting strangely and hopefully this phrase would pass soon. The last few days I've decided to just let DS takes his time looking around and we've success in getting him to sleep without much protesting. However this would result with DS staying awake for more than 2 hours, but at least now I'm feeling less frustrated.

          smurfsammy - How do you get your baby to retake a dummy? DS want to suck to sleep but is unable to soothe himself by sucking his fingers, there are times when he would choke or induce a vomit . I would love to be able to give him other option other than feeding him (am worry he would get overfed and i'm also getting sore (.)(.) from the constant sucking).


          • #6
            As usual, I'm chiming in a bit late here.... Oops.

            But I was just wondering if you've tried NOT putting him to bed/sleep. Just carting him around with you and letting him fall asleep whenever. Some babies would rather be in the thick of things when they fall asleep and not in the dark and quiet. (I realize this not what what you're asking and of course there are downsides to this but it can also work really well.)

            I've found with my two that it's really hard to get any kind of nap/sleep routine until they are 6-8 months and thus not worth me worry about until that age.

            Also, if I find myself alternately rocking, patting, nursing, and walking with my fussing child in order to get them to sleep it is sometimes because they need to have a little cry and release a little tensoin. I just let myself be still WITH them for 30 seconds or a minute while they cry. I'm not sure how AP this is but for me it feels like I'm allowing them to fulfill the need to "decompress" which I have been thwarting with constant jiggling, patting, and nursing.


            • #7
              i did two different things to try and get her to retake her dummy. She was the type of baby that as soon as i would remove my breast she would immediatly start rooting (no matter how deep of a sleep she was in) so when she hit that almost into a deep sleep i would slip myself out and slip her soother in Sometimes it didn't work but most of the time it did. When she was in the wrap i would just keep offering it, until eventually she just started accepting it, if it wouldn't work i would unwrap her and nurse her but eventually she just started taking it. hope this helps