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Urgent sleep help needed!

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from summerbride09. Show summerbride09's posts

    Urgent sleep help needed!

    DD is 6 months. Bedtime is becoming an absolute horiffic nightmare and DH and I are at an utter loss of what to do. She has been rocked to sleep since birth. We've had the same bedtime routine for months and bedtime went fine up until this week. Now when we put her down she'll usually wake up screaming bloody murder. Or she'll laugh and tug at us trying to get us to interact thinking it's time to play. DH and I take turns trying to soothe her and try to give her a little while (5-10 mins) to soothe herself.

    She is 100% capable of falling asleep when put down awake; she does this for 2 naps a day at daycare, and will fall back asleep totally on her own if she wakes up super early in the AM.

     Any advice or recommended sleep training methods, etc is desperately needed. I know rocking her has created a bad habit. I don't know if I can do any of the CIO methods since I literally feel sick and like my skin is crawling when she cries so hard.

     ETA: I realize now it may be teething. This happened last night and tonight. Today she was drooling more than usual, and the past couple days has taken to making what sound like terrified shrieks and squeals out of nowhere and it's hard to tell if she's happy or upset while doing it. I plan on calling her pedi tomorrow for advice. In any event...any tips, ideas, advice are welcome!

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostongrl. Show bostongrl's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    summer... if it is teething pain, a little tylenol might help.  If you think it is just a disruption to your routine... I totally sympathize.  We are going through the same thing right now.  I rock DD to sleep, carefully put her into her crib, tip toe out the door... and as soon as I close the door she starts crying.  This evening I spent 1.5 hrs patting her bum, shushing her, just sitting next to the crib, and finally rocking her again ... and after all that ... it is 10:45 and she is currently playing with daddy (happy as can be, giggling, smiling, screaching with joy).  For us it started out over the weekend with a very ill-timed nap that had her up until midnight Saturday, since then she has been sleeping until 9:30am and staying up much too late. 


    What I plan on doing tomorrow is to wake her up early (7:00) and just try to force her back onto her schedule.  If that doesn't work, plan B is to keep her up a bit late (extra 30-45 mins) and just hope that she is a bit extra tired.  I'll let you know how it goes ... so no real advice, just sympathy.

  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from beachgal68. Show beachgal68's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    I don't have much advice, but I can sympathize. My DD is 13 months, and I never did any kind of sleep training at night with her. She falls asleep on her own at daycare no problem, but with me and DH- forget it. Every night its about 20- 30 minutes of cuddling, sometimes rocking to get her to sleep. Some nights I am fine with it, but other nights I would just like to lay her down and leave the room! Any others just not sleep train at all and have toddlers/preschoolers with good sleep habits?

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from memes98. Show memes98's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    My DD is almost 2.5 now, and I have a hard time remembering the specifics of her sleep when she was much younger, but I did want to offer you all some hope.  She now sleeps 11-12 hours at night with no wake ups (and she goes down awake) and naps about 2-3 hours per day.  She has been doing this schedule for about a year now.  But, I did all the "wrong" things when she was little.  I definitely nursed her to sleep a lot, and rocked her to sleep (sometimes for an hour) all the time.  She just slowly grew out of these things and figured it out on her own.  I was never a fan of CIO (though I do understand that it works for others), but I did let her fuss a bit on her own.  I got good at distinguishing the cries and deciding when to go in.  I know that we had bad nights and good nights, but the good nights got more frequent as she got older.  Good luck to you all.

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    Summer, if you have had success with rocking up until this past week, I wouldn't make any drastic changes and hope that her screaming is just a phase she's going through.  The past few weeks in my house were so crazy and different than usual with the holidays, different nap schedules and vacations from work etc. and both my kids (ages almost 3 and 5 months) had some disrupted sleep as a result. Is it possible that your DD is reacting to a change in her schedule? If so, she may get over it now that the holidays are over and things are back to normal.  It also sounds from your ETA that it may be teething, and there isn't much you can do for that, unfortunately, but teething usually goes in spurts of a few days so if it is teething, she should be fine soon. My guess is she is probably going through a developmental milestone that is disrupting her sleep. I found that when my DD1 was close to achieving a physical milestone like sitting up, crawling etc. or a mental milestone like talking, gaining new words, developing new fears of separation etc.  she often went through a bad sleep stretch for a week or two. You said she was 6  months old - is she close to sitting etc.?

    RE: Crying it out.  We did it with my first daughter who was unbearable at night.  She never would go to sleep on her own without us rocking/nursing her to dead weight and then sneaking her in her crib.  When she was about 5 months old we had enough and let her CIO for a few nights.  It was horrible, but it worked.  With DD2, I haven't had to do it (yet) because she goes down at night and for naps willingly.  (Her issue is she's still waking up to eat two times/night, which I don't like at all, but I haven't had the heart to let her CIO in the middle of the night. I know that the first year is full of ups and downs for sleep and I'm hoping that DD2 will do longer stretches soon!

  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    I could have written Memes' post.  My 2.5 year old daughter we rocked or nursed to sleep quite a lot, and never did a real CIO (I don't object to it; it just wasn't for us with this particular LO at that particular time).  She now goes down awake for bed and naps and sleeps well.  Maybe once a week she'll wake up with a bad dream or something and cry, but I give her a kiss and one song to calm her down and can leave again while she's still awake and she's fine.  I will say that we had sleep ups and downs until about 18 or 20 months.  Maybe we could have done something differently, but to Beachgal - it doesn't always last forever!

    Anyway, lots of sympathy but very little real help.  My only real advice is (1) read Ferber's book - I thought it would be all about CIO, but it's totally not.  It's all about understanding sleep, and lots of case studies of different issues and strategies.  CIO is a teeny beeny piece.  And (2) things you can try change as your child gets older.  This is not so much for the OP, but for Beachgal with the 13 month old - personally, even though we never did CIO, we did have to start making limits at about that age, similar to the kinds of limits she could understand during daytime hours.  Anyway, whatever works for the whole family is the right choice.  GL!

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    In addition to the routine disruption issue (ah, 'tis the season!) and the teething, she might be hitting a developmental milestone too.  My 6.5-month-old started having trouble a few weeks ago and she's been an absolute dream child when it comes to sleep up until now.  We did CIO with my oldest because she really did need some sleep training.  It was hard work and we had to be VERY consistent or she'd regress and lose weeks worth of progress after just a day or two of slip-ups.  CIO worked for us with DD#1 and we had to do it for her sake and ours.  DD#2 has slept like a drunken frat boy (soundly, without a care in the world, regardless of whatever she's leaked on herself) since an early age and we haven't had to do anything besides put her down, awake in her crib, and turn off the light.

    Now, at about the same age as your little one, she's getting resistant to being put down as well as waking up in the middle of the night and fussing instead of going back to sleep.  In the past she's self-soothed with her fingers and just gone back to sleep.  Now she has been screaming bloody murder at 1AM and then giggling and wanting to play when I go in there.  My hypothesis is it's linked to language development.  She's starting to develop different cries and she's babbling a lot.  I think she's experimenting with getting attention.  Also, she's got a HUGE separation anxiety thing going on.  I made dinner with her in the backpack last night because being more than 3 feet from me was apparently traumatic. So part of us for us is she's just mad I'm leaving her in her crib.  She passes out after about 5 minutes when I put her down at bed time but in the middle of the night she's been more tenacious.

    Anyway, it's understandable if you don't think you can completely CIO.  You can try gradually increasing the amount of time in between when you go in to try to soothe her.  I usually wait 5 minutes before going in at all, then wait 10 minutes between the 1st trip and the 2nd, then 15 after that.  After 3 trips in I send DH.  Usually she's unconscious by then and he doesn't have to go in, but when he goes in he paces with her until she's out, which usually doesn't take too long.  This was what we did with DD#1 but it took a lot longer and she was much more resilient--she had incredible endurance.  DD#2 just passes out.  All kids are different.  I, personally, found the times helped me be just as resilient.  Some times a minute seems like an hour, so it's good to keep an eye on the clock and know that the kid is fine, she's only been alone for 3 minutes.  Other times you doze off and then you realize she's really been in there for 40 minutes and you can afford to go in an check on her.  But if the times stress you out, just do what feels right.  Whatever you do, don't feed her, even though it is a miracle that gets her to pass out.  She'll be waking up wanting to eat all the time when she used to not need a feeding until the morning.

    For us, developing the habit of being able to go to sleep without rocking or nursing was very important.  It really paid off now that DD#1 is older, especially with the baby making things more complicated. 

  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from summerbride09. Show summerbride09's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    Thanks for all of the support and sympathy. I know nothing lasts forever (good or bad, hopefully!). It's just hard because bedtime was relatively easy...we'll see how it goes the rest of this week, since she'll be back at daycare and on her regular schedule.

  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    Summer - I wish I had some helpful advice for you because I know how awful it is to go without sleep!!  It's all such a blur.  Clearly other people have better memories and were able to offer me advice!

    I did want to say though, that at 6 months you have not developed any habits that can't be undeveloped, so don't beat yourself up about rocking her to sleep.

    I went back to work when DD was 13 weeks old.  I seem to recall that she slowly went to bed earlier and earlier - like it was 8 pm when I first went back, but a month or two later it was 6:30 pm.  Could it be that your DD needs an earlier bedtime?

  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from clc51510. Show clc51510's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    Summer - we've been playing the fun game of DS being dead asleep in my arms and then freaking out as soon as he touches the crib.  I tried something new yesterday that seemed to work for us (he took his first nap ever in his crib for me).  I also rock DS to sleep so while rocking I had a small blank around his back.  When I went to put him in the crib I put the blanket down first and then laid him to sleep on top of the blanket.  I think a combination of the familiar smell and warm blanket helped keep him asleep.  He ended up napping for 90 minutes yesterday afternoon and STTN last night.  If you are comfortable with her having a small blanket in the crib this might be a good option for you.

  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    Lissa - what you describe with gradually increasing interludes IS the CIO method.  Ferber does not advocate just letting a baby cry without end.  Just FYI for those of you considering your sleep training options.

  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    Good to know. 

    I never ready any of the books.  I just did what my mom told me to do and it worked so I stuck with it.  I wasn't sure exactly what CIO was.  Some people (one coworker/friend in particular) are so against it I just kind of assumed it must be some sort of draconian torture system ;)


    Fram--good idea. 

  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    Summer - you are getting lots of good advice here and I don't have much by way of something different to add, but just wanted to say - anyone I've ever known who tried CIO (myself included) was physically ill at the prospect of doing so. It's totally normal to feel horrible about it, even if you are choosing to try it. (haha, isn't it fun being a parent??)  I recognize that it is not for everyone, but choosing to try it unfortunately doesn't make it any less awful to go through. For us with DD (now 2), we only had to go through one really difficult night (maybe an hour or so) and that was enough to help with our sleep issues. But even 5 minutes of letting your baby cry while you cringe in the next room can be tortuous.  But it can work!! Good luck! I hope it gets better soon.

    CLC - I started doing that same blanket routine with DS and have also found it seems to be comforting to him.

    I have to say, it's amazing how differently I'm doing things with baby #2! With DD, she was held and rocked to sleep all the time (my MIL would let her nap on her for hours). With DS, I was very firm - every nap he must be in the bassinet and he must be put down awake! It's like a miracle, it works every time. I know this won't always be the case (and we're still dealing with constant wake-ups to eat all night long) but I am REALLY hoping to not have to do that rock-until-asleep-sneak-out-of-the-room thing with another child!



  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    Poppy, I am with you on the way we treat #2...our DS is sooooo much better at sleep already (at 4 months) than DD is at 2 years!  Part of it is he has no choice but to be more flexible, since we don't have undivided attention to give him, and part of it is my confidence as a parent.  But he'll put himself to sleep every night, and (don't hate me!) has been sleeping at least 6 hours a night, and as many as 10 for at least a month. 

    And also wanted to echo that you continue to have opportunities to change sleep habits and patterns as your kids get older.  Dropping the nighttime milk, moving to a new bed, brushing teeth, baths: change any one thing and it begins a new routine for it for a solid week, and they're usually okay with the changes. 

    I'm already looking forward to when we move in a few weeks, as an opportunity to change some of our routines...start to transition DD to the big bed, DS to his own room, changing bedtime routines since we'll have bedrooms on a different floor now. 

  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from luckinlife. Show luckinlife's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    Summer - sorry you are going through this.  With DD #1 we definitely had to do CIO and at an early age . She just would not sleep without waking up every 30 minutes for a pacifier.  Even now at age 2 she still requires occ crying to reset every now and then. The vast majority of times it is no more than a few minutes and then she sleeps all night and naps are 2-3 hours long.


    DD #2 is now 7 months.  Up until now you could literally throw her in a crib and run away and she would be fine (thank God since we have 2 little ones).  Now she is more resistent b/c she doesn't want us to leave (the whole object permanence/separation anxiety thing).  We have definitely had to implement a little CIO - but with some soothing if persists. Unlike DD #1, it appears that some soothing does not then make her worse.  With DD #1, if we go in there, rest assured that the next night will be more difficult.

    I do believe that CIO in general leads to WAY less crying and stress on both the parents and the infant if there are sleep difficulties to begin with.

    I recommend "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child" by Weissbluth.  He goes over all strategies and normal sleep patterns by age.  I now give it to every expectant mother.

  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Micromom. Show Micromom's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    Sleep issues can be so challenging for the whole family.  It's hard for me to be clearheaded or rational when I'm exhausted, so I sympathize.  Sounds like teething could be the culprit, with doctor's permission, try some tylenol and see if it helps at all.  

    Also, you didn't mention what time the baby goes down, but when mine had sleep issues, a friend recommended the counterintuive idea of putting the baby down EARLIER than usual.  The thinking being that it avoids an overtired and impossible baby at bedtime.  I thought she was crazy, but it really worked for us.  Six months brings a lot of developmental milestones, and holiday mayhem could contribute as well, both may have brought some new stimulation into your world, so some quiet time and extra rest might help.

    Try to stick to a consistent routine, having a plan will help you feel in control and less likely to react emotionally.  There are a lot of strong opinions on CIO, you know yourself and your baby best, so do what feels right to you.  Don't panic, THIS WILL PASS.  I know, it feels like ohmygod this is my new forever?!  It's not, just a new phase in the ongoing evolution of your little sweetbean.  


  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from clc51510. Show clc51510's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    Summer - any improvement over the past few days?  Also, one other thought, have you introduced a new food?  One NYE we tried yogurt with DS and it really upset his stomach.  He was inconsolable all night and I ended up bringing him into bed with us because it seemed that snuggling was the only thing that made him happy and mama needed some sleep.  Perhaps it was something in your DD's diet?

  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from summerbride09. Show summerbride09's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    In response to clc51510's comment:

    Summer - any improvement over the past few days?  Also, one other thought, have you introduced a new food?  One NYE we tried yogurt with DS and it really upset his stomach.  He was inconsolable all night and I ended up bringing him into bed with us because it seemed that snuggling was the only thing that made him happy and mama needed some sleep.  Perhaps it was something in your DD's diet?

    The past 3 nights have been way better. I think it's because she's back at daycare and on her normal schedule, plus she's tuckered out :) Thanks for checking back in!

    Now I'm just scared for when teething really starts...all in a day's work, right?

  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from purplecow89. Show purplecow89's posts

    Re: Urgent sleep help needed!

    Some people DO interpret CIO as circle D-Day on the calendar, unceremoniously dump the kid in the crib and let them scream for 2-3 hours, bonus points if they vomit.  They are not many, but they are vocal, and they give the whole enterprise a bad name.

    A moderate version--put them down sleepy but not asleep, let them fuss for a bit, etc, comfort briefly but not pick up if they're really going off the deep end, each night give them longer alone, etc.--works for a lot of people.  They just don't go around acting superior to everyone else about it, because it's not flashy or controversial.