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Old 07-31-2006, 10:47 AM   #1
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Sleep help, I dont know what to do!

My 8 month old dd is suddenly starting to have real sleep issues.

I used to be lucky... she used to just lay down in her crib and fall asleep by herself. It was what she prefered, we tried rocking to sleep, laying down next to her, etc, and she would fuss until put in her own bed. She would grab her blanket, suck on it, and go right to sleep.

Now over the past week or so, she is a real bear aroudn nap time. If I so much as walk with her next to her crib she starts howling. If I put her in bed, she is hysterical from the second she touches it. I try to play with her while she is in there to distract her and she is fine until I stop playing. On the occasion she doesnt cry right away, she will be ok for a few minutes then start to cry. Then I go get her right away. If she is still crying after maybe a minute when I put her down I will go get her, b/c sometimes its just me in the room that keeps her upset, and she stops crying and goes to sleep as soon as I leave the room.

I dont want to traumatize her adn leave her to cry. I dont know what to do. I need suggestions! The poor kid is exhausted. She is rubbing her eyes and really cranky b/c she needs sleep. My dh worries that by picking her up when she cries and taking her out to join the rest of the family we are teaching her that nap time is no fun and the rest of us are having fun so she should cry to get out of the crib. He thinks maybe sit with her in her room and have quite time when she cries to try to keep her calm and help her sleep, he agrees that we should not leave her to cry. Sure it sounds like a great idea but it doesnt work! LOL!

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Old 07-31-2006, 01:10 PM   #2
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Re: Sleep help, I dont know what to do!

Your daughter sounds just like my son! Used to just go down and go to sleep! Then one day around 8-9 months he was more interested in socializing and even though he was exhausted would protest against napping. He has gone through a couple of these "phases" again since then.

I have done different things to get through these phases but I always start off the same way- close curtains, put on lullabye CD, rock and nurse, then put him down to sleep.

When he popped up and cried I think the first time I fell into a back rubbing routine. I would pat and soothe him until he fell asleep.

There were times though where he would just keep popping up and standing and so I couldn't rub his back. He really wanted me to pick him up so I tried rocking him again to calm him down and either he fell asleep on my shoulder or I put him down calm and rubbed his back until he went to sleep.

Recently he started protesting again and this time I would just hug him while he stood in his crib and try to comfort him for just a quick minute. While hugging him I had a little "mantra" i would repeat. "You're okay, mama's here, it's time for nite-nite, lay down." And I would just say it quietly then I would walk away and say nite-nite and close the door. If he kept crying I would go back in after a couple of minutes and repeat the comforting routine then leave again. I tried to go longer and longer between going in but really just went with my instincts. After a few times he would usually lay down and go to sleep. (a variation on crying it out I guess)

If he got really upset and wasn't calming down at all I would do the comforting routine but instead of leaving the room, I'd lay down in the bed in the room and "go to sleep." I tried not to interact with him at all but if he was really upset I might calmly and quietly repeat my mantra from the bed without making eye contact with him.

The one thing I never did and asked his dad never to do (if he got tired of comforting he could tell me and I would take over) was to pick up my ds and take him out of his room without him napping. The same went for bedtime!

It is a little bit of work and dedication to not giving in - being consistent- but it can work!

Good luck!
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Old 07-31-2006, 01:32 PM   #3
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Re: Sleep help, I dont know what to do!

This response probably isn't going to make me more popular, but I think you should leave her to nap by herself. The age she is at is a critical one for children learning to sleep on their own. It may help to try at first and make sure that she can't hear the rest of you talking and playing together while she is trying to fall asleep. I think your Dh is right--she knows the rest of the family is together and wants to play. Children would rather play than sleep at the age but they NEED to sleep. It sounds like your DD has a natural instinct to be a "good sleeper" and to me, it would be worth a few rough days of crying during nap time to get her back in that groove. We went through this at six months and my children now run to their crib at nap time saying "nap nap." They don't always sleep right away, but they do sleep each and every day for 1-2 hours. They are happy, exuberant, bright little boys and show no signs of being traumatized, just well-rested!
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Old 07-31-2006, 01:41 PM   #4
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Re: Sleep help, I dont know what to do!

Can you get her to fall asleep before you put her in her crib? Maybe rock her or put her in a sling and walk around.

My friend used to put her babe in a stroller and push her back and forth in the bedroom until her babe passed out.

You're right in not wanting to leave her to cry though.
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Old 07-31-2006, 01:56 PM   #5
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Re: Sleep help, I dont know what to do!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrie
This response probably isn't going to make me more popular, but I think you should leave her to nap by herself. The age she is at is a critical one for children learning to sleep on their own. It may help to try at first and make sure that she can't hear the rest of you talking and playing together while she is trying to fall asleep. I think your Dh is right--she knows the rest of the family is together and wants to play. Children would rather play than sleep at the age but they NEED to sleep. It sounds like your DD has a natural instinct to be a "good sleeper" and to me, it would be worth a few rough days of crying during nap time to get her back in that groove. We went through this at six months and my children now run to their crib at nap time saying "nap nap." They don't always sleep right away, but they do sleep each and every day for 1-2 hours. They are happy, exuberant, bright little boys and show no signs of being traumatized, just well-rested!
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:06 PM   #6
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Re: Sleep help, I dont know what to do!

At night we have a 10 minute rule and dh finally goes along with it. If she is still crying one of us will go get her and i will feed her again just to make her extra sleepy. She hardly ever cries for 10 minutes(usuall only 1-5 minutes).
I don't stay in the room with her because that makes things worse. She sees us and thinks well there you are so come and pick me up.
For nap time i go by her cues. If she is rubbing her eyes, laying on her side, fussing with her eyes shut and just all around cranky i put her in her crib for a nap and leave the room. I think it is ok to let them cry for a little while. I want her to be able to get to sleep on her own.
She is just over 10 months. She isn't the best sleeper and now does a weird yelling thing in the morning at 6-7am. So we have sleep issues here as well. Guess who has a bedtime the same as dd's tonight
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:12 PM   #7
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Re: Sleep help, I dont know what to do!

Thanks, Rach! It is so hard putting out opinions about topics that are controversial.
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Old 07-31-2006, 05:52 PM   #8
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Re: Sleep help, I dont know what to do!

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Originally Posted by Carrie
Thanks, Rach! It is so hard putting out opinions about topics that are controversial.

Thankyou! I appreciate you putting up some advise that you think is helpul, even though it is contraversial!
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Old 07-31-2006, 06:08 PM   #9
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Re: Sleep help, I dont know what to do!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrie
This response probably isn't going to make me more popular, but I think you should leave her to nap by herself. The age she is at is a critical one for children learning to sleep on their own. It may help to try at first and make sure that she can't hear the rest of you talking and playing together while she is trying to fall asleep. I think your Dh is right--she knows the rest of the family is together and wants to play. Children would rather play than sleep at the age but they NEED to sleep. It sounds like your DD has a natural instinct to be a "good sleeper" and to me, it would be worth a few rough days of crying during nap time to get her back in that groove. We went through this at six months and my children now run to their crib at nap time saying "nap nap." They don't always sleep right away, but they do sleep each and every day for 1-2 hours. They are happy, exuberant, bright little boys and show no signs of being traumatized, just well-rested!
I agree with you too!
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Old 08-03-2006, 11:44 PM   #10
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Re: Sleep help, I dont know what to do!

Hi again! I sorta feel like I'm stalking you cause I've responded to a few of your posts today! There is a great book called the No Cry Sleep Solution that many of my friends swear by... talks alot about calming down, diming lights, etc before sleeping time... If this is something that interests you, you might even be able to find it at the library... Hope the nap boycot ends & she is back to sleeping peacefully soon!
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