Sleep Help — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Sleep Help

DD is 7.5 months old and is a craptastic napper.  She is an ok night sleeper, but a horrible napper.  Before going back to work, multiple friends told me not to stress too much and that our daycare would get her on a schedule.  They were wrong.  Our daycare is ready to pull their hair out over their attempts to get her to take a nap.  There are days that we pick her up and she has slept for a total of 30mins all day.

She takes slightly better naps on the weekends but we have to really work for it.  I feel like we've tried just about everything - we've rocked her all the way to sleep with ~50% success rate.  When we are unsuccesful it is b/c when we go to put her in her crib, she wakes up and starts screaming. It's crazy, her eyes pop WIDE open and she is no longer asleep, let alone drowsy. She is WIDE awake.  Same thing happens when we put her in her crib drowsy but awake. As soon as we lay her down, she is WIDE awake and unhappy.

We've tried going back in and rocking her back to sleep, with little success, we've tried letting her cry it out with periodic check-ins, with no success and we've just let her cry for a little with limited success.  With the CIO, sometimes she falls asleep after 10-15 mins, sometimes she falls asleep after 30-40 and sometimes not at all.  To clarify, when I say CIO, she isn't screaming the whole time, it's periods of screaming, whimpering, silence, etc. I wouldn't let me kid scream for 40 mins.

I know she needs to sleep as prior to starting naptime, she is rubbing her eyes, yawning and just generally getting cranky.  I've tried whisking her upstairs at the first signs of her being tired and I've also tried waiting until I see a few eye rubs or yawns. Doesn't seem to make a difference.

I hate that napping is such a struggle for her when she so clearly needs it.  Any advice?  TIA.

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Re: Sleep Help

  • Uhh, I'm sorry you are going through this. My daughter occasionally has similar issues where she will fall asleep in your arms but then wake up when you put her in the crib. We still put her in a Miracle blanket for every nap. I thought we would be done with swaddling by now but if we don't swaddle her, she starts thrashing about and wakes herself up. The other thing I do is that sometimes I stand over the crib with my hand on her tummy/hips and sort of jiggle her in the crib after I put her down. It seems to help with the transition from my arms to the crib and then it lets her sort of settle into the crib while I'm still there. We also feed her before her nap and do a nap time routine. I take her into her room, turn on the white noise, and feed her in the rocker and then put her down. That seems to help as well. I'm not sure if any of those ideas help as you are probably doing most of them. I hope it some how gets better for you.
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  • image hsbbride:
      When we are unsuccesful it is b/c when we go to put her in her crib, she wakes up and starts screaming. It's crazy, her eyes pop WIDE open and she is no longer asleep, let alone drowsy. She is WIDE awake.  Same thing happens when we put her in her crib drowsy but awake. As soon as we lay her down, she is WIDE awake and unhappy.

    This happens to us lately too (but only at bedtime, he's an easy drowsy-but-awake napper), and for some reason DS gives me a MUCH harder time than DH at bedtime.  So now, after nursing I hand DS over to DH to rock for a few minutes and put him in the crib drowsy but awake.  DH then sits in the rocking chair that faces DS's crib and pretends to be asleep until DS falls asleep.  For some reason if I try it, DS screams like crazy, but DH is able to do it and so is DCP. 

    Maybe try staying in the room but not interacting with LO and see how that works? 

    Do you have any kind of routine before bedtime (even an inadvertant one, like putting on jammies, saying goodnight, etc.) maybe try duplicating that prior to naps?  If not, you could start a short routine before naps - like put on sleep sack, one story (or bottle), then paicifier and rock for a minute, then into crib.

     

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  • Sorry for your troubles.  I have to pat DD#2 on her back before naps (she sleeps on her tummy) for 15-20 minutes usually.  If I stop too soon and try to leave, she pops right up.  She goes through phases though, one week she'll want to be rocked, the next week she'll want to be sung to, etc.  Maybe it is a transition thing too?  Do you play in her room at all during the day or before naps?  Or is her room just for sleeping?  I wonder if you took her to her room and sat with her awake for a little while, reading a book or something (if she'll sit still).  Do you use music during naps?  That helps us too.  Good luck. 
  • your DCP won't be able to do it but you can - on weekends; let him fall asleep in your arms in the glider and take a nap right there while he naps! I will sometimes cut nails too, as doing it while he naps works so much better than asleep.

    (I know this is not a real solution, but sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do in order for sleep to happen)

     

  • My kid has never been a good napper either. For a very long time, we either held him for naps, took him for walks in the stroller or Ergo, or drove around with him in the car. I know it's not ideal, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

    Something that worked for us to get him to nap in the crib is to put him down "drowsy but awake" and then sit in his room until he falls asleep. He would freak out if we put him in the crib and left the room (I have no idea why, because we do the same thing at night and he's fine), but if we stayed in the room, he was ok. He'd play a little bit, talk to himself, and periodically stand up and look out to make sure I was still there. But eventually he'd fall asleep.

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  • image WinesNotWhines:

    Something that worked for us to get him to nap in the crib is to put him down "drowsy but awake" and then sit in his room until he falls asleep. He would freak out if we put him in the crib and left the room (I have no idea why, because we do the same thing at night and he's fine), but if we stayed in the room, he was ok. He'd play a little bit, talk to himself, and periodically stand up and look out to make sure I was still there. But eventually he'd fall asleep.

    this is where we've been with DS for the last month+ at night and it's killing me. and when I say "we," I mean me.

     

  • image Sofka:
    image WinesNotWhines:

    Something that worked for us to get him to nap in the crib is to put him down "drowsy but awake" and then sit in his room until he falls asleep. He would freak out if we put him in the crib and left the room (I have no idea why, because we do the same thing at night and he's fine), but if we stayed in the room, he was ok. He'd play a little bit, talk to himself, and periodically stand up and look out to make sure I was still there. But eventually he'd fall asleep.

    this is where we've been with DS for the last month+ at night and it's killing me. and when I say "we," I mean me.

     



    How long does it take him to fall asleep? I usually only have to wait for 15-20 minutes. I read a book or play on my phone, so it's not too bad.
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  • To be honest you may need to let your DD just scream it out.  DS was a horrible napper and sleeper until my pediatrician said you're going to have to be hard core with him and it's going to be hard at first, but in the long run it will work.  He would do the same thing as your DD with me trying to put him down.  Sometimes he would even go down and then wake up 30 min. later and start a vicious cycle of me going in and trying to soothe him back to sleep.

     I guess it was around 6 months I put him down and just let him scream, cry, whimper whatever until he went to sleep for as long as need be without me going in.  I think the first night (I started with night sleeping) he carried on for about 1 hr. 15 min. The next night it was 50 min. The third night it was about 30 min.  By the fourth night there was some minor fussing and then silence and after that we were good to go.  I seemed to work right along into his naps except he wouldn't scream as long then before falling asleep.

    Best of luck!  It is tough, but it had to be done for both of our benefits.

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  • I'm sure you've already done this, but have you read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Children or Ferber's book? I think you would find a lot of good info in there, and it would help you come up with a plan for how to deal with things consistently. I hate to say it, but I agree with a PP. You may  just need to let DD CIO as long as it takes to get DD to sleep, but you need a plan for how you'll deal with the crying and being consistent, which those books will help you with. 

  • image WinesNotWhines:
    image Sofka:
    image WinesNotWhines:

    Something that worked for us to get him to nap in the crib is to put him down "drowsy but awake" and then sit in his room until he falls asleep. He would freak out if we put him in the crib and left the room (I have no idea why, because we do the same thing at night and he's fine), but if we stayed in the room, he was ok. He'd play a little bit, talk to himself, and periodically stand up and look out to make sure I was still there. But eventually he'd fall asleep.

    this is where we've been with DS for the last month+ at night and it's killing me. and when I say "we," I mean me.

     



    How long does it take him to fall asleep? I usually only have to wait for 15-20 minutes. I read a book or play on my phone, so it's not too bad.

    sometimes upto an hour! I can't do anything that requires any light. What I've started doing is some stretching, exercises (push-ups, core workouts), and flossing.

    We will re-Ferber after the New Year if this continues.

     

  • Thanks ladies. I really appreciate the feedback/advice.  We've basically tried everything you guys have mentioned except for staying in the room while she falls asleep, so maybe we'll give that a try.

    For those of you with older kids, when did sleep become less of a struggle?  Or is it once a crappy sleeper/napper, always a crappy sleeper/napper?

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  • image hsbbride:

    Thanks ladies. I really appreciate the feedback/advice.  We've basically tried everything you guys have mentioned except for staying in the room while she falls asleep, so maybe we'll give that a try.

    For those of you with older kids, when did sleep become less of a struggle?  Or is it once a crappy sleeper/napper, always a crappy sleeper/napper?

    DD has gone in a ton of different directions on sleep.  She slept through the night early, yay!, but then she really struggled during growth spurts, transitions like moving, and all the wakeful periods.  Now at 33 months, once she falls asleep she is an excellent sleeper BUT she stalls sleeping every night.  Wanting one more story, or one more doll, one more song, one more cup of water, one last trip to the bathroom, or she plays with her toys in the room after we leave or wants one of us to cuddle her.....  the list is never ending.  I was like this too as a child so I am not surprised.    

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