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Thread: Help! How to get an overtired baby to sleep

  1. #1

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    Default Help! How to get an overtired baby to sleep

    Can someone provide some suggestions for me on this one? My little one hasn't slept properly since about 2pm this arvo, and she is screaming cause she is so tired. The only way to stop her screaming is to put her to the breast, which I do, then she falls asleep on me, and within 5 minutes wakes up screaming again

    Can someone please help? I dont know what else to do, and I'm getting very stressed out and teary!


  2. #2

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    Big big hugs hun! I go through this about once a week (gosh I sound like a bad mum!) so I know how upsetting it is.

    I just walk the halls with him in my arms saying soothing things and patting his bum. Sometimes some calming music helps, but not always. Eventually he gets tired enough that he goes to sleep PROPERLY, but it can take some time. He will doze off many times, but not be sound asleep. It's awful listening to him cry, but it's all you can do. Or just keep her on the breast, it will usually work eventually Rest assured, if one thing is certain, it's that she can't stay awake forever, she will have to sleep sometime!

    I hope she goes to sleep soon hun!

  3. #3

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    thanks Janie... DH has just taken her for a drive to see if that helps, I'm crossing my fingers it does! I have a splitting headache from the crying, and I sure hope this drive works!!

  4. #4

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    When my DS used to get like that as a newborn I would swaddle him up and go and sit in a dark cupboard with him....seriously!

    I'd shuussh in his ear and breastfeed him until he passed out. He just needed all stimulation to be cut off - so the darkness and swaddling him to stop him wriggling really helped.

    Good luck hon you'll get lots of suggestions, it's a process of elimination until you find something that works

  5. #5

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    Wrapping him up tightly and reducing stimulation worked for Angus. He never did settle with rocking, patting, walking etc, when he was overtired and overstimulated, he needed to be firmly swaddled then popped in bed in a dark room. Sometimes he would still cry for a little, but often that was all he needed. Took us a while to figure that out though!!!

  6. #6

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    I would walk up and down a cupboard with Pip. I'd also "force" him to bend around me - when he's overtired he's as stiff and straight as a board, the bending makes him relax his muscles and then its only a little while until he's asleep.

    But that little while feels like an eternity, specially when he's screaming the entire time.

    Good luck!

  7. #7

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    Feed, then upright into a sling/baby bjorn/hugabub.......then walk........the upright position should help get all the wind up, a sling means they are help tight against you/your heart, and a walk will generally lull them off........and if the screaming persists, it is easier to handle if you are in the great outdoors.........(speaks the woman who walked the length and breadth of Darwin with Olivia in a Baby Bjorn for the first 4 months....................so I feel your pain, I really do..........)

  8. #8

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    Did the drive work?
    I used to pace the hallway with Nina's head buried into my chest, quietly saying 'shoosh' over and over, and gently patting her back. It would always work a treat.
    Another thing to look out for is wind, she could be in pain.

  9. #9

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    Yep, I forgot to mention that we wrap (STILL!). And, like Kazbah, I wrap his little body firmly around mine. I figure being tucked right into me helps him to snooze sooner, it usually works.

  10. #10

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    Hi kellie,

    When Ella was a newborn and wouldn't settle we used to put her in the baby bjorn. I would pace the lounge room until she fell asleep. She had really bad wind so this helped with this also as she was upright. Now she is 6 months old, and when she gets overtired I either wrap her up tightly or just rock her in my arms with music on in the background. This seems to work most of the time.

    Good luck with your bub. I hope you get some rest soon.

  11. #11

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    i used to wrap my daughter and hold her against me, and i would run a fingertip across her eyebrows or down her forehead and nose, she would close her eyes each time, and then open them when i stpeed, eventually her eyes would just stay closed... Also my HAB worked wonders

    hope the drive worked yesterday xx

  12. #12

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    Ironically, when DS is overtired, my DH is the best at getting him to sleep. He bounces him around and loudly sings silly songs and then when DS stops in amazement to look at him DH will do something to make him laugh then will attempt to get him to sleep. I wouldnt have thought it would work but it consistently does..distraction, then something funny to get him to relax, then cuddles to sleep. If your bub is like ours it could work.

  13. #13

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    well the drive kind of worked, although when we got her out of the car she woke up and started crying again... she eventually fell asleep at about 9 on my breast with the sounds for silence cd playing in the background, and she stayed asleep until about 3am!

  14. #14

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    See if you can get yourself a copy of either sleeping like a baby or 100 ways to calm the crying.
    MJ was a dreadful daytime sleeper, and a few time there in the first 3 months he was awake and unhappy for a very long stretch of time (12 hours once).
    You sound like you did the best thing you could, in getting your DH to take her so you could have a break. Another thing to keep in mind if she is overtired is maybe a relaxing bath?

  15. #15

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    I have just been through this and all the calming and me holding him didn't help. I needed a break so I left him in his cot and walked out of his room, and he cried for a few minutes and then fell asleep. I think he needed a break from me as much as I did from him. I've noticed that he sometimes just needs to cry it out for a few minutes without an intervention. It all takes time to work out doesn't it. Bath always works for us too.

  16. #16

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    Hugs hon. I know how upsetting it is with a baby screaming in your ear. AFter an hour or so you feel yourself winding up inside and getting very frustrated. This affects how you hold and talk to bub, which they sense, and therefore don't relax either (just to make things even more difficult for us mums!). I have a very grumpy DS that seems to have tired signs almost all the time. I do the usual, walking, patting, singing, shushing, wrapping tightly etc. DH just puts him down and holds him still until he shuts up, which is usually alot quicker than with me! Perhaps some tiny controlled crying, which one poster mentioned, put bub in bed, go out for a few minutes to let her cry, then sneak back in and see if she has quietened, or is just whimpering.

    Good luck again. Do you have support available? Get a friend, relative to spend some time holding bubs to give you a break and allow your batteries to recharge. DHs are great, but after a few hours of juggling a crying baby, the both of you will be exhausted.

    *hugs*

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