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« how does your garden grow? | Main | too busy for words »

July 28, 2008


Beth (bLemon)

That's what Zadie did almost every day for 6 weeks! It was so hard to get her to nap. The only thing that worked was to put her in the bouncer in the same place every day (facing the same spot on the couch so there was no stimulation). Then I gently rock the bouncer (with pacifier in mouth if she is crying) until her eyes get heavy. She usually would fall asleep this way in the morning. Afternoons, we'd have to go somewhere as she'd always sleep in the car and usually stay asleep in stores. This ended two days ago and she has napped fabulously since. Good luck!


well, I hope she rediscovers the joy of sleeping!


This is a great book that has really helped, without CIO.


Charlotte pulls that every.time. she's about to go through a growth spurt... and from 2-5 months, it seems like one constant growth spurt. She did it all last week, too. Like you - I can't let her CIO. It feels wrong and I won't. I've now read a couple of "gentle sleep training" books, but just when I get geared up to start putting them into effect - she sleeps again. That said, I like The Lull-A-Baby Sleep Plan by Dr. Tobin.

As for practical advice for now? Take a deep breath, and hang in there. Everything they do at this age is a phase of some sort, so this too shall pass... take it one day at a time.


Just wanted to say the picture is so cute! I don't really have any advice on the sleeping as I won't be a mommy for another 4 months or so but I wish you all the best! The advice I have been given is let them cry themselves to sleep but that doesn't sound like a method you want to try. I hope you find something that gives your little one relief and sleep soon!


I just read Kelly's advice "Hang in there . . . this too shall pass". It's so true. Do what you can to get some more sleep & survive, stay well nourished; keep up your "baby watching" skills to see if she has some natural rhythms forming; slowly begin to try and establish some semblance of a routine - which might simply be that she nurses to sleep for naps and at bedtime she gets a bath, jammies, lights low, maybe a sound machine and nursed/rocked/walked to sleep. Around 3/4 months, Skye would let us put her down once she fell asleep. But, Erica, our first, wanted to be in our arms 24/7. Trust yourself and your instincts. You're doing a great job.


yep, I agree with Allison. My kids tend to skip sleep in favor of practicing new skills and having growth spurts too. Thea's brain is wiring and rewiring and doing all sort of miraculous things all the time due to all the things she is learning and physically doing. I think their brains just can't shut down for a period of time. It is very frustrating but it will pass. you have to do whatever works. I am not a fan of cry it out either. So I guess you could wear her again. But have you tried a swing??? Let her cry in the swing for a few minutes or until you feel like its getting more worked up and not less. It works for my baby girl almost every time. don't be afraid to use it!
I also agree with the routine idea. start calming things down and maybe incorporate a bath into your daily routine. Start dimming lights or keeping activity minimal and confined to only her room starting at like 730 or 8 or whatever works well. Roaming the house always stirs up my daughter. My son never cared! I think its a chick thing. She's already looking around going "this needs to be done, that needs to be done, let's make a list and obsess, Mommy..." and my boy was like "hey boobie in this room, boobie in that room...who cares?"

whatever works for YOU!


Kelly, you crack me up. Reading your comments on our sites almost makes the exhaustion worth it. (For the record, my subconscious response to Thea's daytime restlessnesss is that I have been waking up at 2 am for the past month, unable to get back to sleep until 4. And then up at 5:30 for work! Yay!)


Maybe try a mobile or some other soothing, crib-mount thing that plays music and maybe some lights. We have one of those aquarium things and also the baby mp3 player. I used to be able to turn the aquarium on and she'd focus on that and settle down. Now I have to use the mp3 player, but it is similar in how it just gets her to settle down.

Trying routine will possibly help too. Otherwise, I'm all out of ideas. Good luck!


Nikole, Your little girl is beautiful. When RJ was a baby, he would often wake up 6 or seven times at night, making it hard on us to get the rest we need to be rejuvinated in the morning. After talking to his pediatrician, I brought up the idea of "cluster feeding" that I had read in one of the myriad of baby books that I read at that time. She okayed it, and it worked miracles. Apparently, my little one was just entirely too hungry to sleep, even though he was fed 2 hours prior. So we began increasing the amount of milk we gave him before bedtime and he slept like a champ. The book that I got the idea from was The Baby Whisperer. Also, he used his baby einstein mobile (without the hanging parts)until he was 2 years old! The classical music that it played put him out everytime. Much luck!


sounds to me almost like a growth/learning spurt. lilah dug the classical music for quite a long time, she'd even turn it on herself once she figured out how. (now she turns on the xm radio downstairs!) lavender lotion helped too. we pretty much went with the cry it out method, which worked for us because it usually didn't last very long (i wore earplugs at first). she's been on a pretty strict schedule ever since and is perfectly capable of self-soothing and putting herself to sleep. i'm definitely in the minority here, i know, but it worked and most importantly, it kept us sane. i liked 'the baby whisperer' too as well as 'the happiest baby on the block.' good luck, and just know, this difficulty will pass (to be replaced by a new and different one!) xoxo


Sleep is a tough one. Lily's naps are few and far between and they don't last long. It all started when she was about the same age as Thea. They are more interested in the world around them and less interested in sleep. Here's what worked for Lily and still works for night time. We consistently put her to bed between 7 and 7:30. We have a routine of rocking, feeding, pacifer. She goes down really easy and sleeps mostly through the night in her crib until 5ish. We had to let her cry it out but it only last one (very hard) night because the nighttime routine was taking way too long. I don't think I could have handled a second night. I'm not a huge advocate of crying it out but you have to do what works. Naps are still a trouble spot for us but she manages to get a few in each day. Just do the best you can.


White noise -- really, really loud white noise -- works for our baby when she's fighting sleep. That's my only trick.

Sleeping problems are the worst, in my naive opinion. They throw off the whole day, baby-related or not. Hang in there!


White noise -- really, really loud white noise -- works for our baby when she's fighting sleep. That's my only trick.

Sleeping problems are the worst, in my naive opinion. They throw off the whole day, baby-related or not. Hang in there!


Hello, doll. My heart goes out to you. You must be exhausted. Welcome among the parents of Children-Who-Wilst-Not-Sleep (which can feel like Shakespearean tragedy). Much of the advice is good here, especially just to hear that other people have been through these trenches. It seems like there's always someone out there to say something along the lines of "Well, my little angel is just the perfect sleeper! Naps perfectly, sleeps through the night, wakes smiling all the time! I just give her lots of love and she falls asleep!" Even if you haven't met that person directly, she's out there, culturally, telling you you're doing something wrong. (Trust me, we hate her, and hope she develops a raging case of insomnia in years to come, as universal justice. ;)) The truth is Thea is exactly at the point where she's waking up out of newbornhood into being a baby out in the world. Who would want to sleep when there's so much good stuff going on?
Naps worked best when we kept to a routine--that's a little different from schedule by the clock. Weissbluth's idea about the sleep window proved really important. Watch with eagle eyes for signs of sleepiness--slowing down, glazy eyes with less alertness, rubbing ears or eyes--about an hour or two after waking in the morning. If we got her down at the right time, she was fine. If we missed the window, that was it. Night sleep worked better once the naps got into some place.
And as for the crying it out thing, I'm actually enjoying the Ferber book. Whether you agree in the end with his solutions, his diagnoses of the problems seem spot on to me, and he's clearly been woefully misrepresented in what his actual arguments are. (As a teacher of rhetoric, I've been fascinated to see how each of these authors takes great care to "disprove" other theories, often through misrepresentation--and I have to remind myself that each of these people is selling books and has to argue stridently for new and different, because they're creating a brand, just like a product...) The Weissbluth book was helpful in the first year, just to understand what was happening developmentally and what the sleep patterns were likely to be.
That said, I think it's just a new sleep challenge at each stage, and that what works at one time won't work another. (Bringing E to bed to cosleep after her 4 AM waking worked wonders for months, until she discovered the desire to catapult off the bed and jump on the dog's head instead of sleeping. Then? Not so much an elegant solution anymore...).
Lastly: don't be afraid to call on a good friend and ask for him/her to watch the little one while you take a nap for a few hours. There's nothing like that 24/7 responsibility to make you exhausted in the best of situations, but if you're not sleeping, fuggedaboutit. I swear I was a whole new human being on days that I was actually able to squeeze in just a little more sleep for myself.
XO, Christy


My 7m old son still is a terrible sleeper, it seemed to begin around 2-3m (when I went back to work, of course). He still naps half the time in his swing, and only sleeps there for 30-45m. If he's in his crib, he only lasts 30m. He naps ideally 3x/day- but at daycare, he only gets in 2 naps and then sleeps coming and going in the car. We swaddle (still!), paci, and rock to sleep. I hold him for about 5-7min, then gently place him in the crib. And (still!) he wakes up about half the time and we start over. I know this prob isn't so helpful- just know you are not alone. Music/white noise sometimes helps, watching his tired cues definately helps (we rarely can get him to nap after 3pm, he's usu so overtired by then). He does sleep better when I curl up with him, but of course I can only do that on weekends. At night, he nurses to sleep, then I hold him for 5-10m, then gently transfer to crib. He wakes up about half the time now with the transfer. Sometimes we just take him downstairs and use the swing, or I hold/rock him downstairs til I'm ready for bed. He fights sleep so much, if we leave the nursery or turn on a light, he often stops screaming and calms down because he thinks he can stay up. We cosleep at night after his first waking, even then he rarely goes longer than 2h before waking. He is just so restless in his sleep. Thea is entering the non-stop growth spurt phase, just do what you can to get her to sleep and try to squeeze in as much extra sleep for yourself as possible. With age and time she'll figure it out and you both will rest better. I am reading no cry sleep solution and it has excellent ideas/tips to gently encourage sleep without CIO. But Thea is still so young, sleeping in the arms, carrier/sling, stroller, car- do what you have to do. Try to begin a short bedtime routine, even if she doesn't sleep right away, she'll eventually learn the routine signals sleep, which eventually will be a peaceful connection.GL mama, you are doing such a great job!


Oh, she is so cute! And sleepless! I can so relate. Each and every nap is still a bit of a struggle here (our baby girl is 6 months). The bouncer works during the day - as a previous poster mentioned, I also face her in the same direction to give her a bit of a ritual, and help her with a pacifier or by having her suck on my pinky (she is very much addicted to that, which isn't the best thing). But it's hit and miss, and she does need a lot of help. She just can't seem to shut her brain off.

At night things are getting better though. At around 4 months we started a routine, and at around 5 months she started letting me put her down in the crib once she was asleep. Still has to fall asleep in my arms most nights. But she falls asleep quickly and she stays down afterwards. A ritual helped a lot - warm bath, apricot oil rubbing, pj songs, pacifier/pinky. Those are the signals she needs now, and off she goes.

Crying it out works for some, but we're not going down that path (at least not yet). I think it really depends on the temperament of the parties involved. I know my personal tolerance to having her crying by herself is very limited, and I cannot stand the thought of knowing that she is confused and stressed out in the dark, all by herself. As another previous poster said, what works at one stage won't work at another, and so on. For right now, I'd say do whatever allows your family to get the most sleep! For example, I never thought I'd be having a family bed, but here we are, all snuggling together for a couple of hours after the 5 am waking...and I find it just lovely.


Swaddle if she will let you (the miracle blanket is great), loud white noise, sitting in the bathroom with the tub running - I know that sounds crazy, but it works. Best of luck to you.


Hey Doll (well, actually all three of you dolls, and Rilo too!)

You've gotten great tips and empathy, so really we have close to nothing to add. What worked for us (to take or leave, and with two, we did really have to implement something!) was the controlled cry/consolation with regular routine method. I think from what I've heard it's somewhat similar to Ferber in that you allow very limited duration "cries" in which you give them an opportunity to self-soothe and then predictably go in on a timetable to reassure and love on without picking up (and MAN, it is HARD...SOOOO Hard!)--but truly, it worked well for us. You WILL find something that works for you all...sometimes ultimately necessity for sleep forces your hand/options a bit.PLEASE don't ever feel "defeated" if you decide to attempt something you thought you never are loving, loving parents of a beautiful, beautiful girl. As so many above have said, this WILL pass! (and sleep WILL return!)


I'm all for sleep plans - and boy am I going to need one - but my daughter isn't quite old enough for me to be comfy letting her "cry it out".
I understand completely about the not sleeping at all during the day unless she is held. I feel for you because mine is the same way. She falls asleep for 15 minutes in her crib, then is up for hours, until she's miserable.
I went to a friend's house 3 weeks ago, and she had a swing for her 3 month old son. I put Ellery in it for 5 minutes and she was passed out cold!
It's the Fisher Price Aquarium Cradle Swing, and it's the best $130 I've ever spent. She naps in it every single day, and loves it!
It's the kind that swings either from side to side, or front to back - and the only way she likes it is side to side.
I realize that this isn't a long term solution, and gradually she sleeps a few minutes longer in her crib each day, but for her sanity and mine - for now the swing is a god-send.
Good luck!

boho girl

no advice, as you obviously know i am yet to be a mommy but i just wanted to send you some hugs.

i also wanted to say i love your daughters name!! one of my very best friend's name is Thea and i've never met another one.



I am reading your posts and keeping up with your family. Everything changes, I try to remember that and there one challenge turns into another. I try to face it with a smile.


I am reading your posts and keeping up with your family. Everything changes, I try to remember that and there one challenge turns into another. I try to face it with a smile.


Man, these two are long lost siblings! Nigel fights sleep a lot, too. He's actually sleeping through the night now, but his day time sleep is sporadic. Maybe they need a slumber party?!?! Hope to see ya soon!


Put me in the "it's a growth spurt" camp. When my daughter did the same thing. How did we get through it? Soothing tones, swaying, singing in a dark room, nursing.

In my opinion CIO in any form should not be attmepted until at least 6 months. We did a modified CIO with our daughter and worked like a charm.

She is now 18 months and sleeps very well.

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