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Falling asleep

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  • Falling asleep

    My 8 month old has sleeping problems. It's a struggle to get her to sleep, whether for naps, or nighttime. She will sometimes fall asleep in the swing, but she's about 10 days from outgrowing that. I nurse, rock, walk, and sing, but she does everything in her power to stay awake. Sometimes, it takes 4 or more hours just to get her to sleep. She wakes up between 5 and 6 no matter what time she actually falls asleep. So, if she finally falls asleep at 11, she only gets 6 hours that night. She doesn't get near the 14 - 16 hours of sleep the books say she should be sleeping. Some days, she barely gets 8 hours in a 24 hour period. Does anybody have any suggestions as to how to help her fall asleep?

  • #2
    i'm new to all of this, and i'm actually seeking advice for this, not at night...but with my caregiver (my parents).

    at night, we have a routine, and it really seems to help. every night, we give her a bath, then rock her to sleep. she now knows, that when she takes her bath, it's time for bed soon and calms herself down.

    i think it's important to read her "sleepy" signs.. my little ruth rubs her ear when she's tired. or, she'll start to whine/cry while playing with us. when she does these things, i know to give her a little bit. i talk to her a lot, and let her know we're going to change her diaper then it's bath time. don't try to make her sleep when she's not ready...or keep her up when she's showing signs. it's important to pay attention to what she's telling you, so she can learn what she's doing by following your lead... she might be showing signs of being tire, but she doesn't know she's doing them. when you catch on to what she's subconsciously saying, and follow through and answer her needs, it helps her understand.

    i highly suggest starting a routine, and sticking with it.
    Good luck

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    • #3
      I really feel for your situation. When my first child was little I was so determined to have him sleep well....I read " the no-cry sleep solution" and was fixated on him sleeping. I would pace the garden for hours with him in his push chair, it was such a battle. What I wanted to share with you was my realization that the battle was in my mind, he really didn't care to sleep when I thought he needed to. The book I mentioned has some really good tips, but honestly I would just try and relax around her sleeping. Go on with your day and night, be ready with open arms when she needs to rest but try and ignore the clock and give yourself a break for a few days at least.
      With my second child I threw the book out the window, slept with him in my bed from day 1, let him nap when he wanted, often in my arms....and despite others telling me I was making a rod for my own back and that he was much too clingy to me, at 2 he now naps peacefully and sleeps well at night. I don't know if you co-sleep or if that is an option for you, but I found that making the bed safe and cosleeping with both my kids has allowed me to relax and get much more rest. Often I am asleep before them which seems to help them nod off.
      I remember the hours and hours of pacing with my eldest , getting more and more frustrated, desperate for him to get the sleep he "needed" and I contrast this with the time I have spent snuggling in the dark with my youngest, nursing him to sleep or just holding him while he chattered quietly and it really is night and day. My eldest started sleeping more about a week after we brought him into our bed too.
      One other point to mention is that my eldest is nearly 4 now and still does not sleep as much as the books recommend. Whereas my youngest would happily sleep a couple of hours more...we are all different in that way.
      A few other suggestions.... White noise really helped with my eldest and we gradually phased it out, bath or tv around bed time stimulate him way too much, I have always kept the room dark at night, as I am close my kids do not seem to mind it, although I have read others especially those in their own rooms may like a nightlight, my niece started sleeping on her own once her fear of the dark was addressed. I would also recommend turning off or removing any electronics from the bedroom, some people, babies can be especially sensitive to the radiation even from electric clocks, wireless Internet etc.
      Lastly, do not underestimate the discomfort of teething, even if they are not crying about it...I found with both of mine that they would have weeks when they really struggled to sleep, and it nearly always co-incided with teeth coming in. Obviously ensure that she is physically comfortable.
      Hope some of this is useful to you, as they all say...this too shall pass. It will get easier, or at least the problems will change with time! I do recommend the book for a good range of tips to help babies and toddlers sleep, especially if you are determined to have her sleep at certain times, by herself. But if you can relax around it I would suggest just letting go, following her cues and trying bringing her to bed with you when you are ready, even if it means bringing your own bed time forward for a while.
      Good luck
      Katherine

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