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A question for you Parents out there...

I need some advice. Katie has gotten her days and nights swapped. When I try to settle her for the night she fusses and cries unless I hold her right through about 4 am. Then she'll settle and sleep in 2 to 4 hour chunks until I want to go to bed and it starts again. During the day she is perfectly happy being carried around or napping in the stroller. I've tried lights on, lights off, with the radio on music, on talk. Doesn't matter. She screams and fusses from midnight to 4 am.
I know the part about sleep when the baby sleeps, but I would like to see some of the world. And I occasionally would like to sleep with her dad.

Any suggestions?



( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 27th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
We went through the same thing with Alex. Sandy can probably tell you more... but my recollection is that we didn't really do anything... he sort of just finally figured it out eventually. We may have tried forcing him to stay awake during the day but nothing overt. We also did the car ride when he'd wake up in the middle of the night to convince him to go back to sleep. Or let him sleep in a swing for that matter. He would be all wide awake and screaming but as soon as we put him in the swing he'd settle down and fall asleep. There were many nights we just left him in the swing all night.

Of course when he was at his worst of having his days and nights mixed up... turned out he had a raging ear infection that we didn't catch on to.
Nov. 27th, 2006 05:14 pm (UTC)
I had the same problem with Tom. One thing that I did, when he absolutely refused to wake up during the day, was to undress him and lay him on his back on a table. They hate that; it wakes them right up, and does them no real harm.

Good luck!
Nov. 27th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
Ah... welcome to parent hood.

No, not much you can do about it. When she wakes at night, keep things low key, quiet. It will slowly help instill in her that night time is quiet time, day time is for up and moving.

Another thing is don't make thing ultra quiet while during nap times. Too much of that and she'll only be able to sleep when its ultra quiet. She'll sleep through hurricanes if she needs to sleep.
Nov. 27th, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC)
Definitely - in fact, vacuum during naps. Gets them used to the noise and makes it so that, later, you can vacuum while they are sleeping.
Nov. 27th, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
My brothers and I can sleep through the bagpipes -- Dad never let our naptime stop him practicing! ;]
Nov. 27th, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC)
Oh! Bravo.
BTW the sweater came. It's darling.
A real Thank you note will follow when I get my act together.

Nov. 27th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
A long drive just before bedtime sometimes works. (It worked better with our older daughter than with our younger one.)

Or you could take a nap in the afternoon, stay up until 4am, and let Dad handle the 6am feeding because he should be getting up about then anyway. That's what we did with the Y.D.)
Nov. 27th, 2006 05:44 pm (UTC)
Advice I never quite used
Mainly, anything that lets you survive a couple months is ok, but my MIL had a suggestion that you should wake the baby if she sleeps more than 4 hours at a stretch during the day. That would be enough sleep (plenty, really) to keep her good tempered while awake for several hours, but still be gently encouraging the really LONG rest to move towards the night.

The day/night mixup seems more normal than not. Somehow the mother's regular movement is more lulling than the non-movement of Mom's sleep (gets boring and the child-in-womb is more likely to make their own action at night).

If you're interested but timid, I could ask my SIL if she ever did that, and if it worked. Then again, maybe she remembers that period as poorly as I do. As I said, remember it's temporary, and you will survive.
Nov. 27th, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC)
A couple of things . . .

1) Keep a log for about three days of her eating, sleeping, diaper changes and play activities. That will give you an idea of her schedule. You might think you know her schedule, but I bet you're pretty tired too, so probably not. Once you've got an idea of her schedule, you can start working on changing it.

2) If you are, do *not* rock her to sleep. I know it's tempting, but you're teaching her to go to sleep to movement. Instead follow the same process every time she goes down for a nap, for the night, etc. and just lay her down in her crib and walk away. It's more important that you follow the *same" process every time, versus what the process is (I always used the same words, used a specific instrument CD, a nightlight, etc. whatever works for you).

3) I know it's a pop book, but the process taught in "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" of learning your baby's schedule and using it understand what they want (and to avoid going nuts yourself) saved my butt. Here's a link to the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Baby-Whisperer-Connect-Communicate/dp/0345440900/sr=1-1/qid=1164650240/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-7809669-7801712?ie=UTF8&s=books

Sending you energy and creativity!
Nov. 28th, 2006 02:51 am (UTC)
Ritual is good -- I used to sing the kids to sleep. Our Katy really liked the lullabye I wrote for her; her younger sister hated hers and preferred "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda". No accounting for taste.
Nov. 27th, 2006 07:11 pm (UTC)
If you don't yet own a copy of What to Expect the First Year, now would be a good time to accquire one.

As far as the schedule...there's not a lot you can do, really. I'd keep her from napping more than a couple of hours during the day, but she WILL get up during the night to be fed.

Welcome to the joys of sleep-deprivation parenthood!
Nov. 27th, 2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
I always have the same suggestion for new parents: Soundproofing.

(Good luck)
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 27th, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
I tried. Sometimes that works.
Sometimes she screams.

Nov. 30th, 2006 10:10 pm (UTC)
have you checked out the Dr. Sears books? I really liked the attachement parenting philosophy. It's what we use with Meredith.

Check out http://askdrsears.com/store/products.asp?cat=20
Nov. 27th, 2006 09:45 pm (UTC)
If she likes to sleep in her carseat, let her, even at night. She'll outgrow it soon enough that it's not really an issue.

You need to let her lie in her crib when it's *not* bedtime, so she gets acquainted with the space. Otherwise, from her point of view, you're laying her down in a strange place and going away. No mom, weird place, AIEEE!!!

Make sure you put something that smells like you in the crib. (See note about weird space; babies want comforting smells, too.)

Put the crib in the same room where you're sleeping, so she can still hear you even if you're out of 'touch' distance.

She will sleep well if she can still hear and smell you nearby. I suspect it's the being alone that's bothering her. Note that I am NOT advocating that you have her sleep in the same bed as you. I think it's best that babies get accustomed to the Way It's Going To Be as early as possible.
Nov. 27th, 2006 10:27 pm (UTC)
Ooo! I hadn't thought about the smell thing. I'll give it a try.

Unfortunately, we can't move the crib without removing a couple of doors.
But I'll try the carseat. She seems to like it.

Nov. 27th, 2006 11:18 pm (UTC)
I know it's yet another piece of gear but either a bassinet or pack'n'play could probably be set up in your room and let her sleep near you and yet in her own space. Saving you the trek down the hall as well.
Nov. 28th, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
We bought a gizmo from One Step Ahead that's made out of flannel. Maybe if you slept with a receiving blanket or toy for a couple nights that would help :)
Nov. 28th, 2006 02:47 am (UTC)
We used a stroller -- more generally useful than a bassinet and more of a familiar space. Unlike the carseat, you could lower the back to make a reasonably flat sleeping surface.
Nov. 27th, 2006 10:25 pm (UTC)
We were given a heartbeat-bear, http://www.amazon.com/Dex-Products-Womb-Sounds-Mommy/dp/B00067AUNY/sr=8-1/qid=1164666151/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-8771058-3614235?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products which proved to be a godsend. We set that so that when the baby was on his side, the bear was at his back, soft warm prop that had an audible heartbeat. Sometimes we also put him to sleep in his punkin-seat. He seemed to sleep considerably better at that angle than lying on any sort of flat surface. But as everyone else has been saying - they all seem to start out with their days and nights backwards, and they all get it straightened out eventually.

And we did rock our son. We also kept him in our room for his first 4 months. If he started to fuss, I could soothe him by voice without getting out of bed unless something was really wrong.

Hang in there.
Nov. 27th, 2006 10:28 pm (UTC)
I know my sister and brother in law swore by "healthy sleep habits, happy child".
Nov. 27th, 2006 11:24 pm (UTC)
I woke Alex up every few hours during the day and tried to make sure that we didn't get in the car when he was awake because that would for sure put him straight back to sleep.

Mostly, kiddos outgrow it and you just have to suffer a little until they do.

And I did nurse/rock Alex to sleep. I know that alot of people don't advocate it, but they're only little for so long...
Nov. 27th, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to add that we're having no problems getting him to bed now even after a year of rocking to sleep :)
Nov. 27th, 2006 11:35 pm (UTC)
Our baby slept best with vigorous movement. Did you see the modified bouncy seat at Capricon? It looked like it would catapult him, but that's how he slept best for the first few months.

The Happiest Baby on the Block has some good advice. It explains the difference between vigorous movement and shaken baby syndrome, in case you're worried. And swaddling was a huge help, though I could never get their method. Really Any method will do. Babies R Us has swaddle blankets with velcro to make it easy.

When our baby's in his crib we stay close by until he falls asleep. The re-assurance that he's not being left alone helps calm him. But he didn't even use his crib until he was 3 or 4 months old.

Some things our Dr. suggested:
Put the baby in the carseat and hold it on top of the running dryer.
Take the baby for a drive. (Something I never felt safe to do at midnight.)
Take the baby for a walk in the stroller. (Too cold for me to do.)
Let the baby cry for 10-15 minutes to see if they calm down on their own. That took until he was close to 9 months, though.

It seems like forever right now, but mostly you just have to ride it out until she grows out of it.
Nov. 28th, 2006 12:02 am (UTC)
As has been said before at this age babies don't understand the difference between night and day. She won't for a few more weeks. That said probably not letting her sleep over 3-4 hours during a day nap and all of the sleep aids (something to smell etc.) are helpful. Caetlin woke up everytime I put her in the bassinet if I had been holding her when she fell asleep. I finally figured out it was the lack of warmth, and we would put the heating pad in the bassinet for a couple of minutes before we put her into bed.

Most of what I have read and experienced says that a baby at this age can't be spoiled, so rocking them to sleep every night won't hurt because they are to young to establish paterns. In my opion (and a few doctors I've talked to) she is also to young to cry it out. When babies that age cry it is for a reason. Even if that reason is just comfort. She isn't trying to control you she just doesn't understand what is going on.

The one other thing is you should mention it to her doctor. I'm sure it is nothing, but that is generally the time of night that babies who have colic tend to have issues. ALWAYS mention the little things to the doctor, because that is what you pay for.

Call me if you want to talk about anything, or if you need some sleep time or something during the day, and the girls and I are happy to babysit anytime.
Nov. 28th, 2006 03:11 am (UTC)
When I was "governessing" many years ago, the driving in the car thing worked Also, putting the baby in the car seat and putting the car seat on the dryer (on, of course) worked equally well if I was too tired to drive.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )