Help Me Rhonda!

Or Jill.  Or Kate.  Or Susan.  I’m not picky at this point.  I just need someone to tell me why, after seven months of sleeping through the night, my son, my sweet little angel, suddenly screams like a banshee whenever we put him in his crib?

Perhaps it’s because we got smug.  I would listen to my friends tell their woes of sleepless nights and I would silently pat myself on the back for having such a good sleeper.  When old ladies in the store asked how he was sleeping, I would smile and modestly say that we have had no problems at all since the second month.

And now it’s coming back to bite me in the tushy.

If I had to guess I’d say that it has something to do with separation anxiety which he has been experiencing in recent weeks.  I think it’s exacerbated by the fact that he’s now standing in the crib.  It’s much harder to calm him down once he stands and cries versus sitting and crying.  Maybe it takes more effort?  Perhaps he feels it’s a more strategic position to make sure that his cries are heard?  Whatever it is, it’s not helping the problem.

taken during quieter times

To date, I have tried letting him “cry it out,” (which I can’t do past an hour, honestly), I have tried rocking him to sleep, (which doesn’t work as well as it did when he was tiny), and yesterday I even brought him into our room and laid down with him out of sheer desperation.

So I’m begging.  I’m pleading.  I’m asking: what should I do?  How do you get a baby with no prior sleeping issues to go to sleep unaided?  For the love of my sanity, please somebody help me!



Suzanne @ Window On The Prairie - December 7, 2010 - 8:29 pm

Because he’s decided, “enough already, I want to see what the world has to offer, no more sleeping for me” :)
.-= Suzanne @ Window On The Prairie´s last blog ..Kitty Finds The Warmest Spot =-.

joy - December 7, 2010 - 9:45 pm

It could be teething or he’s going through a growth spurt. I am not sure what time you are putting him to bed, but you could let him stay up a little longer. Do you think he might still be hungry? Sometimes when they go through a growth spurt, they get hungrier. Is he still taking his naps? Are they the same amount of time or longer? If they are longer, he might need shorter naps. If they are shorter, maybe he’s overtired. Does he have a friend he sleeps with? Maybe he needs to have a friend in the crib with him. Jack has a seahorse that plays music. It could be lots of things. Hopefully you can figure it out and get more rest soon…

Nan - December 7, 2010 - 10:34 pm

We had something similar happen. She was a champion sleeper; started sleeping 9 hours at 2 months. Then at 5 months she was up every two hours!!! Granted, we moved cities and I started staying home with her, so there were many changes in her life. We just started swaddling her again, and that seems to be working very very well. We also added warmer clothes under the swaddle, so it may have been a combo? Good luck!

Patty - December 8, 2010 - 4:19 am

Make sure he doesn’t have an ear infection. Sometimes when they do it hurts soooo bad when they lay down???

Julie - December 8, 2010 - 4:24 am

I had one like that when I worked daycare. Was a great sleeper forever then one day he would scream and scream and then he would only nap for like 20 minutes. For him, he thought he was missing something if he went to sleep. Do you have a calming sounds CD? That can help even at this age. Do you rub his back when you put him in the crib? That could help too. If he tries to get up while rubbing his back, just keep laying him back down. That with the music/sounds and you staying calm during it all should start to help. It will take time but it should hopefully start to work. Every kid is different so it may not but it is worth the try.
.-= Julie´s last blog ..A Japanese Transister Radio =-.

Tammy - December 8, 2010 - 4:57 am

This lady is amazing a lovely:

admin - December 8, 2010 - 5:12 am

All good questions… I don’t think it’s an ear infection as there are no other signs and he’s happy during the rest of the day/evening. I thought maybe it was teething but don’t see any other evidence of that. Swaddling’s not a bad idea – I need to see if he’ll let us put him in one because it’s been a long time since we’ve used it, but it’s definitely worth a try!

Last night my husband satt in a chair by the crib and for 20 minutes he rubbed his back (Henry loves that). It took a while, but he finally fell asleep. If that works, that’s great. I guess I just worry about whether we’re doing more harm than good after all I’ve read about the importance of babies being able to “self soothe” themselves to sleep.

ps – thanks for the link, Tammy, I’ll check it out!

punkinnoodle - December 8, 2010 - 5:25 am

the boy needs FOOD! With all my nieces and nephews, about this age they have a HUGE growth spurt. Cereal is a great thing at this age to keep them nice and full and ready to sleep. Food is my vote.

Mindee@ourfrontdoor - December 8, 2010 - 5:33 am

I’ll second the recommendations about adjusting his food and bed time. Or maybe he’s ready to go to one nap during the day. Whatever the reason, this too shall pass IF you don’t “give in” and create bad habits now. I know how incredibly hard it is to do the right thing at 2 a.m. when all you want is to go back to sleep though!
.-= Mindee@ourfrontdoor´s last blog ..My Christmas Wish List =-.

Nicole - December 8, 2010 - 7:19 am

I feel for you! This is the same story as my first, Colton. It was all the changes and development he was going through. He started challenging bedtime! I know we went through a lot more crying at bedtime (both of us!) but he did finally adjust. Good luck!
.-= Nicole´s last blog ..CHRISTMAS – DAY 6 =-.

Cristina - December 8, 2010 - 9:46 am

I definetely think it’s the fact that he can stand now. When Liliana started being able to roll from side to side easily, she randomly started waking up in the middle of the night. They get scared in teh middle of the night at their ability to move so well. So, it might take a little while, but I’d think he’ll be able to get used to it! This being said, I have no clue if I’m right, this is just a total guess.

Also, about the teething thing, Liliana had two rough nights BEFORE any of the teething symptoms started appearing, so it could be that too!

Just rub the back if not though! It’s like you’ve mentioned, whatever works…

Carey - December 8, 2010 - 11:59 am

It will definitely pass. Both my girls have been champion sleepers and turned into screamers for a bit (at different ages).
One book that I loved was “The No Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley, she’s big on routine and that made a huge difference for us, also keeping lights really dim and using some celtic lullabies. Dr Sears also had some good suggestions in “The Baby Book” kinda similar ideas of routine and so on.
Growth spurt or teething could also be happening. My eldest “teethed” for a long time before anything popped through. If he seems hungry I would try feeding him. I know mine would cluster feed for a week before each growth spurt then go back to normal. Kind of annoying but it passes quickly. Trust your gut, you know whats best for this little man.
.-= Carey´s last blog ..Skipping Thanksgiving =-.

genevieve - December 8, 2010 - 2:38 pm

I’ve no idea. :-)
I do remember that about this time with my 2 we cut the nipples of the bottles and put a LOAD of cereal in with their formula. Heh, heh. That was one thick mixture!

Heather - December 8, 2010 - 6:00 pm

I think you have a lot of great ideas here. Hunger, growth spurts, routines, ear infections, constipation, etc- any of those could be coming into play here.
I would look at what if anything has changed in your lives as a family in the last month or so. Have your routines changes? Has his diet or yours changed? Is he being held more than he used to be, and now he knows if he cries, he will be picked up? I know you mentioned on a previous post that you quit your job recently. Do you think that now that Henry has access to you all the time that this has contributed to or increased his separation anxiety?
Go with your gut to figure out what is wrong, then do your research to figure out how to deal with it.

Mary L. Snelgrove - December 8, 2010 - 6:31 pm

A nice healthy dose of a good old fashioned hot castor oil rub should do the trick. Too many in your generation forget about the tried and true remedies. Who is Rhonda? Is that a Dear Abby for the WORLD WIDE WEB page?

- Mary L.

El - December 9, 2010 - 8:15 am

Just a thought – when he stands up, does he now how to get back down? My son started that when he started standing in his crib, and once we showed him how to sit back down then lay down, the problem went away pretty quick.

erin - December 9, 2010 - 2:12 pm

If you can find it, there is a great book called “The Wonder Weeks” that is about cognitive growth spurts, when babies are learning all kinds of new things all of a sudden, and their whole world is basically turned upside down and it stresses them out. That’s the theory anyway. If it isn’t a physical growth spurt, it could be a cognitive one.

One thing we did with Hannah right from the start (well, 7 weeks old at least) was play white noise for her at night, the same thing, every night all night long. And at naptime. We use water sounds, like rain and the ocean, and I also have a CD of a stream running over rocks or something. The water sounds go on when it is time to sleep. My hope was that it would be kind of Pavlovian, she hears it and gets tired, and it (sort of) works. It’s made the times when she doesn’t want to sleep quite a bit easier, and the CD I can play in the car to help her nap easier on long car rides. Added bonus, we don’t have to be hush-hush and silent for fear of waking the baby, because the white noise “drowns out” our voices talking or watching a movie after she goes to bed.

Good luck!! Sleep issues are the worst. The son of one of my girlfriends did not sleep through the night (at all, EVER) until he was 11 months old. I hope Henry does not do that to you!
.-= erin´s last blog ..busy like a bee =-.

Lindsey - December 29, 2010 - 3:36 pm

Esther is 11 months, 2 weeks.
It’s important to note that she was/is breastfed. My friends that formula feed don’t understand my sleeping issues with Esther… I am Esther’s comfort. Nursing is her comfort. She doesn’t have an attachment item yet, just her Momma.
She slept like a champ until 6 months. It was like someone flipped a switch and all of a sudden she decided that she needed to nurse every 2 hours. It got worse, she sometimes started waking up every 30 minutes. I let things go on for two months. I would get up every time she cried and gave her what she wanted. At 8 months I was done, I was so exhausted, emotionally and physically. I decided it was time to let her cry it out. And let me tell you, it sucked. We had tried it a few weeks prior, but it didn’t last long. I caved in and went in after an hour and gave up. The first night she cried for two hours. It wasn’t until two weeks when we saw mass improvement. Things aren’t perfect, she still wakes up in the middle of the night to nurse, but it’s not every 30-120 minutes.
Then it was time to conquer the naps. She would wake up after 30 minutes. She was still exhausted, you could tell. I decided I was going to start letting her cry herself back to sleep. It took two days and she started sleeping longer than 30 minutes at nap time. I had a happier, rested baby. Bliss.
An important thing… get both you and your husband on board. It’s me who gets up in the middle of the night, etc. Not because my husband is a punk, but because Esther is a nursing baby and needs her Mommy. BUT I needed the support of my husband.
Keep us posted on how things are going!

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