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thread: Screaming before a nap

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Jan 2011
    Perth
    3,268

    Screaming before a nap

    So my 9 week old DD sleeps beautifully at night- she only wakes once or twice after we do the last feed and settle around 6:30-7pm. If she wakes in the night she self settles or if she's hungry she lets me know, I feed her back to sleep and all is good.

    Daytime however is another story. We do a loose freed play sleep routine but she will not only never self settle but she always screams before falling asleep exhausted. This is not grizzling or even loud crying but literally screaming hysterically for 10 to 20 minutes until she falls asleep exhausted. This happens regardless of if I'm cuddling/rocking her to sleep or if I put her in the cot awake. I thought maybe she was hungry hence the screaming but if I do offer a second feed she takes a tiny bit then falls asleep or dozes then wakes. I also thought it was because she was not yet tired and wanted to stay up- she is usually up for an hour and a half before I try to settle her but she does fall asleep eventually and the crying starts on cue around the 1.5 hour mark anyway. I also then thought maybe she's over tired as she shows minimal tired signs before the screaming so they are easy to miss. But if I put her in bed earlier she stays awake in the cot gurgling etc until the usual awake time has elapsed then screams.

    Any advice? She also only really naps for 40-60 mins at a time so it seems she uses a lot of energy being hysterical for not a long time asleep. Comforting her does not help


  2. #2
    Registered User

    Nov 2006
    brisbane
    3,975

    It can really upsetting and stressful to hear your baby crying especially at such a young age. Self settling is not really recommended for babies before 6 months of age. Maybe she is over tired. Are you letting her lead when she wants to sleep and eat?.
    Hope you can work it out soon. she is still just learning about her surroundings so try to just let her lead.
    Do you ahve a baby carrier or sling? This can help when she unsettled.

    Good luck x

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Feb 2006
    melbourne
    11,462

    Sounds like she's overtired by the time she goes down , how long is she up for at a time? I'd reduce that time

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Jan 2011
    Perth
    3,268

    She's usually up for about an hour and a half, and hour and 40 before this starts. The thing is, I've tried a couple of times to preempt the hissy fit by swaddling her to let her know it's sleepy time then putting her in the cot BEFORE she gets upset or before the hour and a half is up but then she lies in the cot fully awake and plays (looks alertly at everything, gurgles etc) until she is tired and or bored (not sure which sometimes) then screams. Same happens if i swaddle her as per usual but then just hold her in my arms- shes alert and happy then she's not. I feel like I can't avoid it.

    I do cue feed, yes. It tends to be every two to three hours. If she's up and happy i'll let three, three and a half hours pass but any longer then that and I'll pop her on the breast even if she's not telling me she's hungry.

    I've tried putting her on the breast if she's screaming at nap time in case it is hunger- sometimes it is but 8 times out of 10 she's not hungry.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006
    11,633

    she probably just needs your help to get her to sleep before she's reached the screaming point. you could try wearing her or feeding her 10-20 minutes before the 90 minute mark and see how you go. Bit of trial and error and you'll figure it out.

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Jan 2011
    Perth
    3,268

    MadB you always come to the rescue with my questions! I must seem so clueless!

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006
    11,633

    nope. not at all. EVERYBODY has btdt. cross my heart

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Sep 2011
    Melbourne
    403

    DD did that too & still does sometimes.
    I know sometimes it's overtired. But for a long time I fought her to sleep. I realised at some point she just isn't ready to sleep. I thought she is. Even though she's sleeping not as much as other babies. Because I thought that's how much she needed to sleep I tried to get her to. I think she was screaming coz she wanted to 'play' more. By the time she's done screaming, it's when she's tired anyways. I'm not saying that's what your baby is doing. Just something to think abt. And as madb said a bit of trial & error sorta got there. So your best bet is to try different things. Don't let what's supposed to be 'norm' restrict you, just follow LO's cues. Good luck!


    Sent from my smart phone using Tapatalk.(Occasional fat fingers syndrome might occur)

  9. #9
    2014 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Feb 2010
    Gold Coast
    2,117

    Ah, Ladylove. MadB is right. Everyone has BTDT. Everyone who's ever had a 9 week old, that is

    My DS was like this with his day sleeps. I never did figure out the reason for his screaming. He just kind of stopped doing it every single sleep, then not every single day, then before I knew it a week or two would go by without any screaming at naptimes.

    When he was little like your DD is, I had a few tricks up my sleeves. I too couldn't find a way to avoid the crying no matter what combination of things I tried. So I came up with ways to ease my stress and make life easier for myself instead.

    -Use a sling wherever possible. I'd even pop him in there in the cradle hold and sleep sitting upright if I'd had no sleep and was going insane.
    -Co-sleep if you feel the need, any time of day. If I wasn't in the mood for sitting upright holding DS while he snoozed for hours, I'd lie down with him. He would wake if I moved the tiniest bit, so I decided I'd take advantage of having to be so still and have a much needed sleep. Sometimes we'd spend two 3 hour blocks napping on the couch for days at a time.
    - Build a nest. Have your favourite pillow/s, blanket, slippers, on hand wherever you find yourself sitting the most with bub. Other things I also had in my goody basket: Various remotes, my phone, a tablet pc (to chat on BB of course!), reading glasses, a cloth nappy in case of sudden spew incidents, something to drink, and I kept a small table nearby so I could keep anything I needed for DS close by. Dummies etc.
    -Stay in your nest as much as you can on the hard days. At first I felt lazy for doing this. But then I remembered that while DP sleeps all night for an 8hr stretch or more, I was doing the marathon of night-feeds and wakings, sometimes getting up hourly or even less. So I cut myself some slack. Having a newborn is hard work, so give yourself plenty of time to just rest and cuddle with DD.
    - The housework will wait. It really will. Mine did. In fact, some of it is still waiting for me. Yes, I transported a large basket of dirty linen etc when we moved house 4 months ago, and I still haven't gotten around to it. But whatever. I'm far too busy nurturing my baby to care about boring superfluous chores like that! (besides if I don't miss or know what's in the basket, can't I just throw it away??? lol) Basically, prioritize your chores into 3 categories. Hell yes, Maybe baby, and Hell no. Eg. Making sure there's at least one clean plate to eat from and a glass to drink from? Hell yes. Doing 3 weeks worth of built up laundry in one day? Hell no. Mopping the floor? Maybe, baby. Maybe I'll just sweep it and mop tomorrow. YKWIM.
    - Follow DD's lead as much as possible. Try new things when you're feeling brave. Coocoon yourself in your nest when you're feeling drained and not up to a challenging day. If you're tired of the nest, take baby out for a walk, preferably past your favourite cafe so you can grab a coffee/hot chocolate/other comforting drink. Go easy on yourself!


    That's about all I can think of for now. I hope there's something useful in there for you. These are just the things I did to get through some intense sleep-deprivation and prolonged bouts of wild screaming and unsettledness. Sometimes DS cried too. LOL, that was a joke. And remember, "This too shall pass". I chanted this for many months. It really did pass.

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Nov 2008
    Perth
    3,686

    I haven't read the other replies so sorry if I'm repeating what others have said...

    Huge hugs. It's so tough when they just won't settle! The two things I thought were

    A. at 9 weeks, my DD2 was only up for 45 minutes then back to sleep so your DD may very well be overtired. And if she's stimulated, you may be missing the cues or she may be hiding them as she's too interested in whatever else is happening. I'd try 45 minutes of awake time then back to bed.

    B. reflux. It's often at its worst 90 minutes after a feed so your DD could very well be in pain from the acid rising. My DD1 had silent reflux and rarely slept during the day until 6ish months unless she was in the sling. Even the pram didn't cut it for her! DD2 has reflux also (but it's not silent, she is a spewer) and the acid attacks are awful but she does settle well for sleeps however I have to be onto her or she very quickly gets overtired and extremely hard to settle. It's only been the past maybe 4 weeks (possibly less) that she's gone to 1.5hrs of awake time between naps.

    HTH a little. Hugs again.

  11. #11
    Registered User

    Jan 2011
    Perth
    3,268

    Taurean and Forshelby thank you for your heartfelt replies. I have been building a nest for us but I admit feeling guilty about this new way of life. I know it's worthy and so important of course! But I've come from a strong career background and a society (as we all do) that does not overtly value or reward pure nurturing. Lying on the couch breastfeeding my baby with a hot chocolate while watching Frasier or Miss Marple seems too good to be true!!

    Taurean I think you're on the money with DD hiding her tired signs. She is a very alert and interested baby. It's like her head is on a swivel because there's always something to look at. So when I do swaddle her before she gets cranky she continues to crane her neck and look around and 'talk' to the world until it's all too much for her.

    I actually think she does get reflux but that it doesn't always bother her. She has days where she dribbles a lot of milk but it doesn't bother her. But sometimes after a feed- immediately after- she screams blue murder. Not all the time though. So maybe she does get a rerun of reflux at the 90 minute mark.

  12. #12
    2014 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Feb 2010
    Gold Coast
    2,117

    Ladylove - It might seem too good to be true, but believe it baby- this is what you're supposed to do. Soak up this special time and don't feel guilty for one second. It's over all too fast and you'll find yourself back at work looking at pictures of your DD and wondering where the time went. True story hehe. I'm going through this part right now, it's such a weird feeling to go to work 9-5 and not be with my baby all the time. Your nest sounds awesome by the way, get in there woman and don't come out for 3 months lol

    I forgot to mention my DS also had silent reflux. Let me just pause to say how fricken excited I am that I actually FORGOT to mention the reflux. That just shows the difficult times are becoming a distant memory, and we're beginning to heal from some of the scariness that is being a new parent... (That too did pass!!!) Anyway, back on topic... I found elevating the head of DS's beds helped immensely. He spent a lot of time in the bassinette, so I popped my pregnancy tummy wedge pillow under the mattress at the top. Worked like a charm. He also ended up being medicated as well, but sometimes just keeping bubs head elevated as much as possible will do the trick. So the sling is also your friend if reflux is the case.

    Let us know how you go over the next few weeks. I can't wait for updates on life from the nest. xoxo

  13. #13
    Registered User

    Jan 2011
    Perth
    3,268

    Yep I've had her cot mattress elevated. Did I also mention she's become aerodynamic? One night I got up to feed her to find her parallel with the bottom of the cot and her blanket completely covering her face and body. I completely freaked out but I knew she was fine as I could hear her talking under there and it was just a light breathable bamboo blanket. Still, SIDS alarm bells went off and she is a very wriggly baby so I bought a Swaddle Me Up swaddle so she wouldn't need a loose blanket... Anyway she loves her new swaddle but it's made her aerodynamic like a Speedo because now I ALWAYS find her in odd places in the cot. Upside down, sideways, at the bottom... Anyway nothing to do with her nap time hysterics but gosh babies are funny sometimes.

  14. #14
    2014 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Feb 2010
    Gold Coast
    2,117

    that's hilarious! Funny you should mention that, I'm actually in the process of making a baby coocoon type swaddle thing right now. I love bedtime antics. Just the other morning I found DS asleep in his cot straddling his pillow like it was a horse or something... lol. If she's already wiggling all over the place you're going to have some amusing nights to come in the future lol.

  15. #15
    Registered User

    Jan 2011
    Perth
    3,268

    I know - she's never ever still. She doesn't really move about on the floor, after all she's not even rolling over yet, but even the way she moves about my body when I'm holding her. She'll be over one shoulder after a feed and if I don't pay attention she will somehow work her way back down without me noticing so suddenly I'm still holding her but she's down low in the middle of my chest and tummy.

  16. #16
    Registered User

    Nov 2008
    Perth
    3,686

    LOL! It is amazing where babies get to in their sleep! We've got a Boori bassinet for DD2 and although they are big, they aren't ridiculously wide but somehow wide enough for DD2 to end up upside down in it the other day I was most confused for a second when I went to pick her up! How she managed to do a 180 has got me buggered!

    Keep us posted on how your DD goes Ladylove

  17. #17
    Registered User

    Oct 2008
    Newport, VIC
    1,885

    You need to commit to watching an entire TV show. I watched all 10 seasons of Stargate SG:1. It meant that I was committed to my couch and hanging out with my little man. He only slept in the sling for the first 4 months so I got lots of watching done then. As he got more active and started sleeping longer than 40 minutes (around 8 months when he moved to two longer sleeps) I watched less then realised I was going back to work soon so re-prioritised!

    I know it sounds dumb but it means that you will be around at home, just with your little man.

  18. #18
    2014 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Feb 2010
    Gold Coast
    2,117

    I watched the entire series of Seinfeld during feed times. Day and night. TBH it actually made night-time feeds less frustrating. I'd wake up to him at 1am and think 'better pop in the next DVD and snuggle up' lol.

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