Attachment Parenting

What to do when baby won't sleep but is exhausted?

I have a baby who is one month old. Yesterday was BRUTAL. She was SO exhausted that she couldn't figure out what she wanted-- she had trouble nursing, falling asleep, staying asleep, etc. She was basically inconsolable, but I could tell that she just really needed to sleep. Around 11pm (her typical bedtime) she fell asleep and she was so tired that she slept until 7am, nursed, and then went back down until 9am. She has NEVER gone this long, so I am pretty sure that she was catching up on all the sleep that she missed during the day...

Anyway, I would like to be more prepared for this in the future. What do you do when baby is super tired but just can't sleep?

Re: What to do when baby won't sleep but is exhausted?

  • Usually I'd put him in the carrier and go for a walk. The closeness to mom and motion usually comforted him and knocked him out. My baby was also a car sleeper so a car ride would also work sometimes.
  • When LO was that young I wore him a lot during the day and he loved napping in the moby. Movement really was the key - lots of swaying and holding him upright seemed to work better than holding him cradled. Occasionally the swing would work too but he seemed to prefer being held/worn.

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  • imageEllaHella:

    DH would load up the stroller (he slept better there than in a carrier) and would walk through the neighborhood at 10pm.  We also utilized the swing on sleepless nights.

    ETA- and it doesn't help for after the fact but try to learn your LO's sleep cues and put her down to sleep before she gets overtired.  Easier said than done, I know.

    About the sleep cues-- I think that I have them down pretty well, but yesterday we had a pediatrician's appointment, so I had to disturb her morning nap to get her there... and then she ended up nursing later than she wanted to (and she didn't nurse too well because she wasn't at home), and from there, everything just went downhill. 

  • DS would fall asleep in the car.  If he absolutely needed to fall asleep (usually for naps though) I would go for a drive.  I think he was a bit older than a month when I would do that.

    Otherwise we did a lot of tips from Happiest Baby on the Block.  Swaddling, and I can't remember the exact other ones...the rocking one and sshh'ing in his ear. 

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