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Thread: Waking with tears every time...

  1. #1

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    Question Waking with tears every time...

    Over the past couple of weeks I have managed to get DD to sleep on her own during the day - that's right, no more only sleeping on me. It all happened when she learnt to roll over from her back to her front just the other week. I was trying to get her to have a day nap in our bed (we co-sleep) and she was trying to roll onto her belly. I moved so she could and less than 30 seconds later she was asleep.

    I now put her on her belly straight away when I can see she's ready for a sleep. 9 times out of 10 she will go straight to sleep.

    The problem is when she wakes up though. I could set my clock by her in that she wakes exactly 45 minutes after going down, which is apparently the sleep cycle, but she wakes up crying. Or actually, she's not yet fully awake when she's crying. There's no stirring, just full on tears and the "meh... meh... meh" sound of being really upset. (As apposed to the squeels and general fussy sounds).

    She occasionally did this even when sleeping on me, and I would cuddle and whisper "it's ok, mummies here, you're ok" and she would drift off back to sleep after a minute or two. When she's in the bed though, I can't get her to stop crying and go back to sleep unless I pick her up. Any cuddling, lying down beside her, patting, sshhh'ing etc doesn't help and she ends up waking herself up fully.

    After I have picked her up she'll go back to sleep ok, but I can't put her back down again. No matter how long I leave it, or how many times I try, after that first 45 minute sleep on her own, she'll only stay asleep on me. She will stay asleep for 2 - 3 hours on me (which does get in a full movie lol) Any attempts to put her down result in immediate tears and her waking up. I pick her back up and she stops again and goes back to sleep.

    What might be causing the crying? Do babies have bad dreams? Could that be it? I first thought it might be her realising she is alone, but she's not even really awake when she's crying...


  2. #2

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    I probably can't offer any solutions to the problem, but could it be a developmental thing that she's going through at this age, where she's just finding it difficult to get through that 1st sleep cycle and on to the next??? Perhaps the crying is that she's upset that she's woken - my DD has often done this and still does, so I know the type of cry you mean.

    Perhaps check the Wonder Weeks book - I don't own a copy, but it is going to be my 1st investment for my next pregnancy (if/when that happens...). Maybe just knowing that it has a time limit and she'll get through it will help you both cope???

    And perhaps when sleeping on you, its easier for her to transition to the next sleep cycle. Have you thought of playing a heartbeat CD to try to get her through???

    My DD has never been a great sleeper, so I'm not really one for good "advice"! But I do know that when sleep "problems" arise they do have a lifespan and tend to work themselves out.

    All the best.

  3. #3

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    How is it all going Haydies?

    Does she have anything in the cot to look at? I've heard that babies can cry when they wake from their first sleep cycle and they're still tired...but I wonder if she had something to stare at til she drifts back off again, whether that would help?

    Our Riv seems fine at home, but I found that he would wake from a sleep cycle and cry when we were on holidays (guess just waking in an unfamiliar place, without the usual things to look at/play with) - until I took along one of those fibre optic lamps, that slowly changes colour. That seemed to give him something to look at until he could resettle. You might also have a lava lamp or something lying around? Even a mobile could do?

    All the best anyway!

  4. #4

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    I wondered if it might be developmental thing, I really need to get my hands on something that tells me what the different stages are. There doesn't seem to be any consistency with time however - sometimes it happens after she's been asleep for 20 minutes, other times an hour. I've also heard her stir, go back to sleep, and then the next time she wakes she does it with tears.

    I've never heard of a heartbeat CD though... maybe that's something I should look into. Although she does seem to be getting better...

    Today was a better day. She woke once and did quiet little "meh meh" sounds first. I've gotten good at moving through the house at lightning speed now though and got there before the full on crying started. Unfortunately when I tried to just settle her back to sleep the crying kicked in.

    It's almost like she's realised she fell asleep and it's upsetting her...

    She doesn't normally have anything but Mr Blankey with her in bed. I tried putting her Giraffe in there that she loves, but we didn't get a chance to test it today - this afternoon was a fighting sleep day.

    Oooh I might look for one of those fibre optic lamps though, she loves looking at things like that. I actually want to get a little fish tank when we move into our new place (we're building), as she will stare for hours when I take her to the pet store. Just don't know if that would be safe in her room... I thought she could lie in the cot and watch them, might help her drift off to sleep on her own too.

  5. #5

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    I reckon that's worth a shot Haydies, as long as those fish are nice and safe for when she gets to the stage mine's at (shaking every table, lamp, chair, who knows why).
    The noise of a water filter could be nice and relaxing too!

  6. #6

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    Don't know if this is helpful but I saw the 'baby whisperer' on Sunrise the other day and she had an example of a child that needed his mum to feed him so he would go to sleep. He was about 12 months. Basically he was being picked up too soon upon waking and didn't realise it was ok to be alone in his cot. The way they solved it was teaching him it was alright to play in his cot. This made hime feel more secure.

    Like I said I don't know if this will help but anything's worth a try.

  7. #7

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    Don't know if this is helpful but I saw the 'baby whisperer' on Sunrise the other day and she had an example of a child that needed his mum to feed him so he would go to sleep. He was about 12 months. Basically he was being picked up too soon upon waking and didn't realise it was ok to be alone in his cot. The way they solved it was teaching him it was alright to play in his cot. This made hime feel more secure.

    Like I said I don't know if this will help but anything's worth a try.

  8. #8

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    The problem is, she's in full blown tears mode before she's even really awake. That's what made me question if babies can have bad dreams, as she seems so upset before she's even realised she's fully awake. And it's also happened when she's been asleep on me before - ie she's been happily asleep on my shoulder, and wakes up crying. And also the not letting me put her back down after it happens also makes me wonder if its bad dreams... it's like she's too scared to go back on her own.

    She's quiet ok with her cot too - she spends half an hour or more, twice a day at least in there with no nappy on just kicking around. Chewing on her toys, looking into the mirror, rolling every which way from Sunday etc.

    This only seems to be happening during the day time too. At night she sometimes stirs and goes back to sleep on her own fine. The good thing though is that we seem to have broken (for now, touching wood) the 45 minute to the dot waking that was happening in my first post. Yesterday she was down for an hour before it happened, Saturday was an hour and a half...

  9. #9

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    Hi Haydies,

    I can't help I'm sorry...because we are having the exact same problem. Our DD is about 3 weeks younger than yours but does the same sobby/screaming/teary wake up during the day. She wakes up after her 40-45min sleep cycle like clockwork but ONLY during the day.

    She's started sending herself off to sleep if we catch the tired signs & pop her into bed early enough...but it hasn't affected the length of her sleeps or the way she wakes up. I know that she's still too tired to be awake but won't resettle on her own or with our help. Very occasionally her sleep will extend to an hour but it doesn't appear to improve her waking.

    In our case, it's something associated with being in her cot because she'll sleep & wake beautifully when we are out with the pram.

    I'm hoping it's just a 'stage' but would love to hear any suggestions for avoiding it altogether. I think the fish tank idea is brilliant - they're so tranquil and relaxing, so I will definitely give that a go too.

    Good luck & take care,

    AJ.

  10. #10

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    The good thing though is that we seem to have broken (for now, touching wood) the 45 minute to the dot waking that was happening in my first post. Yesterday she was down for an hour before it happened, Saturday was an hour and a half...
    I should learn not to speak so soon... seems that was a weekend thing.

    ajw0108 - just thinking with the pram sleeping, does she go back ok because she can immediately see you when she wakes? I know Savannah sleeps wonderfully when we're out...

  11. #11

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    Haydies - She can't always see me/us when where out & about in the pram..Because it's forward facing, she can see us only when she's lying down and the hood is folded back. But whatever we're doing, if she's in the pram, her eyes pop open and she's immediately happy. It's very strange, I hope it doesn't last long.

    Shame about the mini sleep too, they keep us guessing, don't they!

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