Won't go to sleep unless I'm holding him! - BabyUniversity.com - Baby and parenting forums and reviews
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#1 of 14 Old 11-18-2000, 03:18 PM - Thead Starter
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My 8 month old is driving me nuts lately! He will only go to sleep if someone is holding him, then wakes up the second you stand up to go lay him in his crib or at the least little noise.

I suppose I created this problem myself somewhere along the line, but can't figure out how to fix it. He's so tired that he's a pure crab, but refuses to nap. Yesterday, he finally took his first nap at 6:00 pm other than a quickie in the car (which of course, he woke up the second we walked in the house).

I thought I was going to go nuts by mid-afternoon! I swear I remember laying my daughter down at this age with a bottle and her putting herself to sleep. Or am I imagining? LOL
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#2 of 14 Old 11-20-2000, 03:25 PM
 
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Hi Dawn

I know you are probably not going to like this idea but when Alyssa was that age she did the same thing. We had to just let her cry herself to sleep. Of course we went in there about every five minutes and increased it slowly. Make sure you set the timer because when you are listening to your baby crying you would swear that 1 minute was 5. I remember sitting right outside her door waiting for the timer to go off. But within a week she was taking two naps a day and going to sleep at night by herself.
Good luck, no matter what you do is going to be hard on you.
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#3 of 14 Old 11-21-2000, 07:36 PM - Thead Starter
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Yes, I'm sure you're right. That doesn't mean it's easy. I've tried several times, and it amazes me just how long he can scream for.

What ends up happening is he'll wake up when I lay him down, but is still drowsy. If I let him lay there and cry, he wakes up fully then I have to start over. If I pick him back up, he'll drift back off to sleep and I may have a chance to put him down again.

I actually let him cry himself to sleep earlier, but then he only napped for about 1/2 hour, compared to his 1 hour minimum. As a matter of fact, I hear him now. LOL
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#4 of 14 Old 11-21-2000, 07:51 PM
 
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Hi Dawn,

You know Jordan did that for a while. That is until she started taking a pacifier. Now sometimes all we have to do is give back her pacifier. But sometimes that doesn't work and we just try to hold her still in her crib because she will thrash around until she wakes herself up fully. You could try getting as close to him as possible in the crib to see if that works. But since he is probably on the lowest setting I don't know if that work work to well unless you are really tall.
Also instead of trying to lay him down when is sleeping have you tried like rocking him until he almost asleep then laying him down. All of my kids have also had to have some kind of noise in their room in order for them go to sleep. So I have a radio that is turned down quite a bit at night but I turn it up during the day to help block out the noise of the other kids. Good luck I know I am not looking forward to going through that again when Jordan gets older.
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#5 of 14 Old 11-21-2000, 08:05 PM - Thead Starter
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The noise idea sounds like a good one. I'll give that a shot this evening! Thanks!
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#6 of 14 Old 11-22-2000, 06:23 PM
 
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Hi Dawn,

Did the noise work any better for your son? I hope it did because I know how hard it is to listen to your kids cry. But I did think of one more idea. Does he sit still when you read to him? If so you can lay him down when he is tired and read a book to him. It normally settles older kids down if you are lucky so maybe it work for him.
A 15 watt bulb works great for reading to the kids at bedtime if you happen to have a lamp in his room.
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#7 of 14 Old 11-26-2000, 11:45 PM - Thead Starter
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Actually, the noise seems to keep him awake. I did finally let him cry himself to sleep one day, but I was so stressed out by that time that I couldn't stand it.

His problem is that he never sits still and he's so afraid he's going to miss something. He literally goes until he can't go anymore.

I had the same problem today -- I finally got him to fall asleep in my lap this afternoon, but my daughter came in the room and whispered something, and he woke right up. He only had one nap today, and that was this morning. Then he was so tired and crabby that he wouldn't even eat this evening.

I'll try reading to him tomorrow. I did notice that the nightlight in his room burned out and hubby replaced it with a much dimmer one. Maybe he needs a brighter bulb.

Maybe I just imagined laying my daughter down in her crib with a bottle at this age. But, I know she was weaned by 14 months, so she couldn't have been much older than he is!

I'll let you know how the nightlight and reading go tomorrow! Thanks for the suggestions!
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#8 of 14 Old 11-27-2000, 01:02 AM
 
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Good Luck Dawn,

I hope something works for you pretty soon. Since my kids all took pacifiers I never had to worry about them going to sleep with a bottle. As far as the thing about him not sitting still, that is definitly Alyssa and it worse when she is tired. When she was younger we had to physically hold her down in her bed to get her to lay still long enough so she could fall asleep. But she was a year old when we had to do that because we switched her to a toddler bed. But I guess if you are really desperate you could try holding him down long enough for him to realize that he is tired. But as a warning they do scream and boy do I mean scream while you are doing it. But there is one plus side you will be right there beside him and can talk or sing to him.
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#9 of 14 Old 11-30-2000, 03:39 AM
 
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Hi Dawn

Has anything worked for your son yet. I hope something has worked for you. I think I would be close to losing my sanity by this time.
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#10 of 14 Old 11-30-2000, 04:05 AM
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Ok, here goes...JMHO, and I hope no one flames me for this...

I do believe in the "cry it out" process. With my youngest, I was getting up with him 4 - 5 times a night and holding or breastfeeding him. I also had a toddler, so this was waking him up too. Not a pretty sight!

Anyway, at 10 months, I bit the bullet and let him cry it out. Thankfully he was like the kid in the textbooks...cried for about a half hour...then less each night...not too bad really. He was sleeping through the night in about a week.

On the other hand, my first child was MUCH more difficult in this area. He could cry all night. It was just too difficult to let him go through the process...so I didn't. As a result, he didn't sleep through the night until he was 2 1/2 or so. In retrospect, I do think he would have done just fine if I had continued the "cry it out" process. It may have taken a while, but he would have learned to put himself to sleep (which is, IMHO, a good thing).

It is a very personal choice and no one can tell you what is right for you and your child. I just wanted to share my view and wish you the very best in whatever you choose. You obviously sound like a caring, sensitive parent...I'm sure you'll know what to do.
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#11 of 14 Old 11-30-2000, 10:32 AM - Thead Starter
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I think the general consensus is to let him cry it out. I've done that a few times, and it's worked, but others, he seems to completely wake himself up and then it's back to starting over.

My problem is partially selfish. The only time I really get to work on this site is when he's sleeping or after everyone has gone to bed. Therefore, at least in the afternoon, it makes more sense for me to do it his way.

I am at least letting him try to cry it out if he wakes up after I've laid him down. My mom was watching the kids for a few hours yesterday and he did the same thing to her. She just threw a few of his toys in the crib and pulled the door up, and he played quietly for about an hour.

This was great since my sick 4 yr old was sleeping at this time.

I guess we're getting there, but it seems much more difficult this time around. Perhaps because I'm with him all but 3 hours a day and with my first, I was away from her a good 9 hours a day. Those 6 hours really make a difference! And I wouldn't change it for anything!
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#12 of 14 Old 11-30-2000, 03:21 PM
 
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Good luck Dawn and before you know it Cody will be sleeping so well you won't even believe that he used to be so cranky at bedtime.
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#13 of 14 Old 12-27-2000, 02:27 PM
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I know from reading the other posts that I am in the minority on this subject, but I'll post this anyway...
I never felt comfortable with the cry-it-out approach after my baby was born, becuase we had what we called a "High-maintenance" baby. She wanted to be held constantly and became very distressed if ever she was left alone. I tried leaving her to cry it out a couple of times, but had to rescue her after about 15 minutes because it made me cry to listen to her distressed wails. So, I got an "Over the Shoulder Baby Holder" sling (the most comfortable sling I found), and all of our lives have been happy ever since. I'm no longer fighting her need to be near us (Yes it is a need, and not a want, when they need to be near Momma or Daddy).
Now she is 14 months old and goes to sleep on our lap in the rocker after about only 5 minutes of rocking, then we lay her down in her crib and she sleeps like a champ. Up until she was about 11 months, though, she would fall asleep in the sling and stay there napping while we did other things with our hands. At night she stayed in the sling until she was in a deep sleep (about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes) then we layed her down in her crib.
I believe she's so easy to put to sleep now because she never learned any negative sleep associations and sees sleep as pleasant and not a time when she is exiled from everyone.
So I've said it. I really believe it's just as easy to do it this way as it is to make them put themselves to sleep, only this way nobody has to cry. Maybe this will help-? I hope so...
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#14 of 14 Old 12-28-2000, 11:43 PM - Thead Starter
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Just wanted to let everyone know how the sleep thing is going. I've pretty much figured out that he has 2 distinct cries when it comes to going to sleep. He has one because he's so tired he can't stand it and another because he has absolutely no intention of sleeping.

If he seems so tired that he *can't* go to sleep, I can usually lay him down in his crib and close his door, and he'll fall asleep within a few minutes.

If he has no intention of going to sleep, there's not much I can do anyway. So it is getting a little easier. Maybe one day soon I'll be able to simply put him down for a nap and not have to stress at all!

Thanks for all of the suggestions!
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