Babies: 3 - 6 Months

Help! ... 4.5 month old fights sleep

It takes us over an hour each evening to put our DD down to sleep. We have our bedtime routine, bath, nurse..she usually falls asleep nursing and then as soon as I put her down in her crib she wakes up and then crying begins. She fights going to sleep. I don't want to let her CIO. What can I do?? :(
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Re: Help! ... 4.5 month old fights sleep

  • I wish I had an answer for you, but sadly I do not. I have a almost 5 month old doing the exact same thing. I'm looking forward to responses too.
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  • What time are you putting them down? I was rocking for sometimes 45 minutes when I finally tried the bedtime routine a little earlier. Lately it hasn't been as bad as it was for awhile there. If he doesn't fall asleep after his bottle we just rock for a few minutes and he seems to just sort of konk out.

    I did try CIO for a few days out of desperation and exhaustion from rocking/carrying LO bc he is getting so heavy! But he wasn't ready/able to soothe himself to sleep. 

  • I am not breast feeding anymore, but when I was I read a book (?) that talked about the "dead arm". I followed this. The rule is, if you are nursing baby to sleep then you need to wait until you lift their arm and it just drops, "dead arm", before you can put them in their crib.

    I am now FF and I put her down awake (5 months old). The first week, we let her cry for 10 minutes and then offered a pacifier. Now we put her to bed awake and she is out!

  • Also I found it helps if you don't take both your hands off of them when you set them down. I usually keep my hands on him after he is down and then take one hand away and leave the other one for a few moments, who knows if this actually works but I feel as if they can sense you and it helps them relax if there not fully asleep. One hand is usually behind his head and one on his belly.
  • We start our bedtime routine usually at 6:30 in the hopes that she is asleep around 7pm .. But after all the crying, she usually falls asleep around 8pm.
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  • That was us too. Now I give him a bath right when I walk in the door from work, around 5:15-5:30. I let him play and feed him at 6. It feels SO early and I feel bad the my H doesn't get to see him, but LO was becoming so fussy around the 7pm time I was feeding him and then trying to get him down was exhausting. He was always an early riser, so even if I put him down at 7:30/8pm he would wake at 5:45-6am. So now that he goes down at 6:30 he is still waking at the same time.  
  • Our five year old was the same way when she was that age, so we were determined to not make the same mistakes with our 4 month old. It is all about the routine. It helps during the day to let them have some alone time to find out what puts them asleep. We start dinner, bath, then by 6:30 i am keeping him awake to feed him one last time. He sleeps all night. I put him down asleep or awake and let him self sooth. It will be hard at first but it gets easier when they have to CIO.
  • My daughter does this if she is over tired. She has to cat nap at about 7:00ish to go to bed at 8:30 or 9. and I'm sure I'm the minority here but I use CIO and did with DD2 also. DD1 I didn't and I would rock her for an hour until she fell asleep every night and as soon as I would start to stand she would scream. She slept in my bed until she was almost 4. DD2 we very rarely rocked to sleep, she learn very early how to put herself to sleep, we would lay her in bed when she was almost asleep and she would fall asleep on her own. We do the same with DD3. Sometimes she cries a few minutes but mostly she just sucks her hand or paci and goes to sleep. Good luck!
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  • Thanks for posting this I am in the same position.  He gets so mad at himself for falling aseleep.  I am waiting the right chance to let him just cry it out....I am not quite ready for it yet though.
  • My DD occasionally (at least once a day for naps) doesn't fall asleep nursing, she's drowsy, but just won't go the full distance. This is what has been working for me.

    Lay her in crib - she'll start to cry right away

    Immediately pick her back up and pat her back for 1 min

    Lay her down (she'll start to cry), and keep my hands on her for 30 sec, then pick up and pat her back again.

    Pat back for 2 min and lay her down.

    Rinse repeat, increasing the time after each pickup that I pat her back, and increasing the time I let her cry with my hands on her when I lay her down.

    Usually after 3-4 cycles of this, when I lay her down, she just doesn't cry, or she'll quiet herself while I have my hands on her.  

    Edit: just to add, when I first started this pick up/put down routine it took about 30 min to put her to sleep (max hold time was about 3 min, just kept the same time periods). 2nd day it took about 20 min, now she is generally asleep in 5-10 minutes. I can see a time where I lay her down and I don't have to pick her up at all, she's fallen asleep twice now on first lay down.


    Derek - February 2013        Caelyn April 2011

  • You don't want to let her CIO but there isn't really a way that she's going to learn to go to sleep without some crying. At her age, she's aware of her surroundings and KNOWS when you put her down. Some babies can be put to sleep with gentle sh-pat, no cry solution but it doesn't sound like that's your babe. It sure as hel! wasn't mine so I did CIO (was taking up to 4 hours a night to put him down). Do some research and read some books (Ferber, Weisbluth, Mindell) and find what works for you.

    Here's a quick Weisbluth primer:

    First night: Choose an early bedtime, the earlier the better and go through a short bedtime routine (book, song, done). Put baby down, say goodnight, love you and leave the room. Wait 3 minutes and check back placing your hand on baby, say good night, love you and leave. Wait 5 minutes, repeat, then wait 10. Go back in intervals of 10 until asleep.

    Second night: Early to bed! Start with 5 minutes, then 10, and max out at 15 until baby sleeps. This night will be hardest, probably. It was for us.

    Third night: Intervals of 10, 15, 20.

    Fourth night and beyond (if you even need it): Start with 15, 20, 25. But you are probably not going to need it.

    There will be crying and it will SUCK the first few nights but it does work. 

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  • i have an idea for you that mite just help as you notice babys getting tired if you have internet set a playlist on www.playlist,com of sleeping songs for her i have a 18 week old little girl and it works for me play enya songs her voice is really calm its puts baby into a deeper sleep as your listening tho it will make u tired also so have a radio with headphones for u handy with music that you enjoy after 10 min baby should be asleep please try it it should help
  • Thank you for all your posts... I think eventually we will have to try CIO but I may wait until she is at least 5 months.
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