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Thread: Need help please!

  1. #1

    Default Need help please!

    OK, current bedtime routine:

    1. Bath
    2. Dry and massage
    3. Feed and read The Very Hungry Caterpillar
    4. Rock to sleep with lullaby machine on, whilst humming along
    5. Put into bed 20-30 mins later (or when the snoring starts) and pray he stays asleep
    If he wakes, feed, rock and lullabies (my voice was going hoarse without this!) until he's asleep, then try putting him down again.
    If he wakes up and I'm in bed, bring into bed with me because I need sleep.

    Ideal bedtime routine:
    1. Bath
    2. Dry and massage
    3. Feed and read The Very Hungry Caterpillar (or story of choice when he's older)
    4. Put to bed with lullaby machine on
    If he wakes, feed then back to bed with machine on.

    We'll cut down the amount of time the machine is on over time, then have no machine eventually. Plus I want him sleeping all night, so will look at not feeding at night when he's ready for that.

    I've tried putting him to bed before he's fully asleep and rocking for 20 mins, then sitting for 10 mins with the machine on checking he doesn't stir... but when I leave him, he's crying five minutes later. Some nights we can do this, others we can't... but although he didn't want to sleep (then cried due to over-tiredness) last night, he did sleep 9-4ish. I don't mind feeding him overnight, I just want to give my back a break before it breaks (and no, DH is not willing to help me bounce and rock DS to sleep; I envy you girls whose DH will do something like that!).

    So, any hints as to how I can get my son to go to sleep without me rocking him? I don't mind sitting with him for now while he sleeps, just I'm so tired by the end of the day I really don't want to have to hold DS for half an hour or more whilst walking the floor or rocking. And I hate having to be in the bedroom for over an hour with no-one to talk to! I need company too, but DH is in front of the TV to recover from his "stressful" day.

    ETA: I have a dirty t-shirt of mine in his crib so he can smell me, the matress is on an incline due to reflux, he also has a hotwater bottle in there before I put him in so the bed isn't cold.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Down by the ocean


    Will he go so sleep on the boob Ryn?

  3. #3


    nup - wakes up 3-5 mins later. if we're co-sleeping he's OK and re-settles, but not if we're not in my bed.

  4. #4


    I had this exact problem when Nina was around 4 months old, which lasted for about 6 weeks (sorry!). We had a very similar bedtime routine to what you do. I just kept trying with putting her to bed awake, until one night it worked. She would whinge first, not cry, but then went back to sleep.
    It sounds like once awake, he can't put himself back to sleep. The only thing I can suggest is keep trying with it. Does he have a comforter - dummy, teddy or something? Or how about a top up with EBM, while he's still in his cot? I'll keep thinking of what we tried at the time and come back to you.

  5. #5


    Dummy - cries when it goes in, then sucks happily, then spits out and cries for it back (daft lad) - he has started to find his fist so I'm trying to encourage that. He has once gone to sleep from awake in the crib - at 6am with me propped up on pillows so he could see my face. He will sleep with mild rocking in his chair and carseat/pram seat too, so he doesn't need my arms... just I need sleep! He sicks up over any teddy I try him with!

    6 weeks isn't so bad, if there's an end-time that's good! I'll just persevere then and hope it doesn't take quite that long. I may try the ebm and even see if DH will give it (ha, DS will be sleeping through by himself by then!). He does start with whimpers, but soon progresses to crying.

  6. #6


    That sounds sooo much like Nina, would only fall asleep with movement!!

    Give the EBM a go and see if that works, also do you think he may be teething? I know he's only young, but nina started at 8 weeks. Another thing is, is he ready for bed for the night do you think? That was another thing we looked at. We would start the bedtime routine at around 6.30, but then realised that was too late, and therefore nina was getting over-tired, so now we start between 5.30-6pm.

  7. #7


    We've moved bathtime to 7pm, not 8, and may move it earlier; DS would want to sleep at 7.30 before.

    He may be teething - my sister was an early teether too - as he bites quite a bit and drools soooo much (soaks the front of his t-shirt in 2 hours). Shame he's not got the hang of holding things as he has a teething ring he can't do anything with!

    I may try DS going to bed earlier next week - this means DH has to agree to eat dinner after 7pm or making his own dinner and eating while I put DS to bed. Then I have to make and eat dinner when I'm worn out from bed-time too.

    DS sleeps most of the morning on my lap, so it would mean shifting his day-pattern. Might be for the best, but then DH would miss everything. Then again, he wanted to watch the fishtank rather than DS's first roll-over last night, even though I tried to get him to watch DS almost succeeding just 3 seconds before.

  8. #8


    I know what you mean about DH missing out on some things. My DH comes home from work between 4.30 & 5, nina is in bed by 6.30, he gets only 1 hr with her a day.
    As for teething, have you tried a wet washer, or something cold that he can grip onto? That worked for Nina.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!


    Sounds like Olivia when she was of the same 4 months, she was as right as rain. She needed to be "walked" to sleep in the Baby Bjorn.....I walked the house for 40 mins every night reading a novel in dim light! Then transferred her when she was DEEPLY asleep.

    By 4 months old she was fine, and I would do boob and bed and she would sleep for 12 hours straight........

    My only other suggestion Ryn, would be to read first, then feed in dim light, then have him on your shoulder for 5 mins just patting.........

  10. #10


    OK, I hate that blasted machine! An hour and a half later and I'm sooo sleepy I'm annoyed DS is still awake and crying because he's over-tired, but not sleeping. He was just a little sleepy at 7.15, when we started. DH takes over as I'm a bit crabby, but that doesn't work, so he ends up back in the sitting room, wide awake, watching X-files repeats, for an hour until 10 when I just put him to bed with me.

    On the plus-side, for the last two nights he has slept until 4am, better than his usual 2am. He may be starting to sleep through more, if only we could get him to sleep now! I will persevere and be strong - DH is working 12-hour days from next week, getting home at 8pm, so I'm hoping DS is asleep by then as he always gets super-excited whenever he sees Daddy.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Coburg -Melbourne


    Hey RYn, I feel your pain!
    My DS has been a shocking sleeper since day 1. Co-slept at night with us even from the day he was born as would just scream when placed in crib. We have reflux issues too.
    What are his day sleeps like? They do say "sleep breeds sleep" and for the most part I do believe it. Until recently, we had real issues with day sleeping - only catnapping for 45mins and waking up screaming, still tired but unable to get back to sleep unless I laid down with him and satyed there for at least 30-60mins. I used the HAB sling A LOT as DS would sleep better in that and at least i got things done. It does bedome very drainign as they get older, however.
    Have you thought of using a hammock? Wasn't a miracle for us but certainly heaps better than carrying him all the time. Your DS may feel more secure in the hammock, plus the element of movement is there even if your not ie when he stirs, the hammock moves. I am able to get my DS to sleep in the hammock bouncing it one handed whilst reading or using the computer with the other.
    I do understand the lonliness of setling a baby on your own - My DH is not very involved either and I dread to think how many hrs I have spent alone in the bedroom bouncing, patting or BFing DS to sleep. MY DH did do the hammock bouncing a few times as at least it is not that hard and no "I don;t have boobies" excuses.
    At 4.5mths my DS can now sleep in a cot (head elevated and sleeping on left side) and is relatively easy to settle with dummy in, wrapped and patting and/or stroking his head. The patting actually replaces movement as it is not the touch that settles him but the fact that the mattress vibrates when he is patted. I could "thump" the mattress itself and would probably work just as well. Not nearly as draining as rocking in arms!
    Wish i could say he also sleeps through the night but we are still struggling - we have 2 feeds overnight plus a few other wake ups and sometimes over an hr to resettle especially around 3-4am.
    I hope things improve a bit quicker for you!
    My only other suggestion would be to try massage prior to bath as some bubs are stimulated more by the massage.
    we do:-
    quiet play
    bed b/n 7-7.30pm

    Sorry for the long post but I know exactly how you feel and hoping something might help. Each baby is differet and you just have to keep tring til you find what works.
    In the end, is co-sleeping for awhile longer a real problem? I would continue but DS now doesn't sleep any better in with us or not. I have the cot right next to the bed so I can stroke his head in a half daze!!

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NSW South Coast


    Hi There,

    Sorry you are having sleep issues, i know exactly where you are coming from, i have had a 40min sleeper since birth and he is only now starting to sleep in a decent block through the night (still wakes at least twice)

    Ok, the thing that worked for us, and i know its not really what you are supposed to do. But we got a blanket or a muslin wrap and put it in bed next to his face and he would burrow into it and go straight to sleep. Its strange, its really a comfort thing for him. after a few minutes i would go in and take it away. He didnt seem to care once he was asleep. Now we just leave it in there with him, he is old enough now to find it in the night and move it back up to his face.

    Anyway, give it a go if all else fails.

    Good luck

  13. #13


    Daytime sleeps - only in the carrier or on my knee. If I try to put him down he wakes up screaming his little head off.

    Face covering - DS does this himself if it's light and he's in the crib (which is a moses basket on a rocker, so it rocks when he stirs). he snores and talks in his sleep so I'm not concerned unless he's quiet. The head is elevated and he has a dirty T shirt as a pillow... not sure if I should be happy about a pink pillow!

    Last night we were out at the inlaws and I had to tell DH we were leaving at 7.30 - it really sh*ts me that when Niece was 2m old everyone had to tip-toe around and obey her parents' every whim (even though her parents did control crying and just let Niece cry herself to sleep), like being quiet after dinner, but DS isn't important enough to even keep the evenings for quiet toys - MiL got out xylaphones and other loud toys after dinner! And yes, I did say something. Anyway, DS was overtired but awake in the car home, sucking on my finger, then bath, feed, bedroom, rocking to lullabys 10 mins, bed, more rocking for 20 mins... sleep! So he was in bed at 9pm, slept until 11.30, then 3.30, then 6.30... but he then pooed so much it was on his sleepsuit, so he is now up for the day (and asleep on my knee - may put him back to bed soon).

    As of Tuesday, DH will be leaving for work at 7am and getting home at 8pm... until August. So I won't have any help, but I won't feel left out. He'll be around on weekends. Co-sleeping is out for the long-term because DH is left on a camp-bed in DS's room and that's not fair on him, I want DS to be in his own room in his cotbed when he outgrows his crib so DH can have a good night's sleep. If DS isn't sleeping through then I'll be on the camp-bed, but DS can't join me on that. DS is a loud wrigglebum when asleep, we can't all sleep together as DH doesn't get any sleep then. (Plus we'll both be pushed out of bed.)

  14. #14


    Hey ryn,,
    It is so hard when bubs dont sleep.
    I had a similar problem. recently i invested in a grobag coz i thought he might be to cold that helped a bit.
    Yesterday I went to hire a hammock and it worked wonders...
    I know you have something similar but this cocoons bub nice and snug. i didnt hear a peep from him.
    Mind you tho we spent 3 hrs in A&E coz bubs was sick. he may have slept well coz he was over tired....
    I also tried a vapouriser with lavender oil in our room and it really made a difference too. I also found that mobiles and music aggravated nixon and went to sleep when it was a bit quieter...

    all the best !!

  15. #15


    Lea just reminded me of something else, Nina too didn't like the musical mobile on to go to sleep, but loves her lullably music playing in the CD player. I sometimes think it's on too loud, but she sleeps better with it on.
    Another thing that worked wonders for Nina was making her room darker. I used to have venetian blinds and a curtain (without backing), and some light would come in, even at night. I have since changed it to a dark red with backing, and since the day I did that she started sleeping better.
    And yet another thing was feeding her ebm (now formula) while she's lying in her cot. Once she was finished, we pop the dummy in and she turns over and goes to sleep.

    Have you given the ebm a try yet?

  16. #16


    Didn't get a chance to last night - OK, didn't need to - but we were out so I didn't express while we were there. I just fed in front of everyone, haha! Don't think they realised I was doing it until after I'd started so couldn't complain LOL.

    DS is used to music from the radio all day and the lullabies are quiet, may have to cut off the radio if it is a problem.

  17. #17
    julesr Guest


    Ryn - how's your diet? We had terrible problems with my DS taking ages to go to sleep and then waking up after a few minutes, needing more resettling. To my great displeasure I have found that cutting out tea, cola and chocolate worked wonders - 24 hours later, he was already a different baby. 48 hours later, he was sleeping beautifully (but not through the night). Also no packet food like flavoured pasta and rice.

    I felt terrible for a few days while suffering through the withdrawal but at least DS was sleeping better! I also cannot have any alcohol whatsoever. My MCHN recommended a glass of wine half an hour before the last breastfeed but DS is "opposite boy" and could be up for 4 hours or more after that.

    We had a phase a little while ago when DS recommenced this behaviour and DH demanded to know what I'd been eating. I thought for a minute. Icecream. I'd been tucking into icecream for about 3 days after we had people over and they brought icecream that never got eaten. Cut that out, sleeping improved again. So I don't have anything very sugary either. Sigh.

    I make sure I eat meat at least once a day and have plenty of fruit and veg. On the bright side my pre-pregnancy jeans fit beautifully and I have lovely skin!

    A couple of tips I gleaned from various baby books that worked for me are: I would also try bring forward bath and bedtime and aim to get your DS in bed by 7pm-ish - apparently this is when babies and children naturally get tired. Try not to let your DS be up for more than 2 hours maximum during the day. Could you also try taking him out at least once a day to give him new things to look at and therefore tire him out more? And the biggie for us - if he hasn't gone to sleep in about 20 minutes of feeding off to sleep, rocking or patting then it is highly unlikely he will do so. Give up, get him up again, and try again in a while. This "20 minute rule" has really been true for us. We use a lullaby CD and if DS is not asleep by the end of Track 2 we know he's not going to sleep right now. Believe me, I understand how BORING it is being in their room for ages and ages trying to get the baby to sleep! Try humming instead of singing, maybe in time to a lullaby CD? The lullaby CD might be nicer for you to listen to as well rather than the tinkly music from those machines!

    In terms of bedtime routine, definitely keep up the reading. My DS is now 6 months and loooves The Very Hungry Caterpillar. As soon as he sees the book he reaches out and smiles and as I read "In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf..." the smile gets bigger, which is SO rewarding!
    Last edited by julesr; April 15th, 2007 at 09:03 PM.

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Coburg -Melbourne


    Another vote for the 7pmish rule. DS has naturally fallen into pattern of wanting 7pm as bedtime. I tried pushing it to 8pm hoping he would wake later for feed but actually stuffed the whole night up and he was even worse.
    I would also agree with not staying up more than 2hrs during the day - they do get overtired and then even harder to get to sleep. I made the mistake of thinking DS looked very "alert" a lot of the time and hence didn't push trying to get him to sleep.
    NOw I realise that "alert" babies are often waaaaay overtired (buzzing in fact). Makes it 100x harder to get them to sleep.
    We have a lullaby CD on repeat play all night. Not sure if it helps but at least nice for me to listen to!
    Final suggestion - would you consider getting mattress to put on floor in his or your room. Then you could ly down with him to get him off to sleep and just get up once he is off. That way, no moving him to anothe bed. We were about to start doing this just to get my DS out of our bed but he has taken to the cot so no need.

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