Baby Sleep Problems

Sleep Baby, Sleep - Please!

As I write this I am so annoyed that my baby just wont go to sleep when she is tired! Oh, it's ok if she is in the car, or being rocked in her pushchair, but will she just close her eyes and go to sleep on her own in her cot! Not today!! And usually with a lot of protestation on any other days!

Baby Sleep Problems

I never realised until I had a baby, how difficult it is to get the little tinkers to sleep. Of course you hear of other peoples babies just closing their eyes and sleeping where ever and when ever they feel like it, but not mine! We seem to have a problem!

Don't get me wrong, I love my little girl with all my heart. But crikey, can she push my buttons when she won't sleep!

Eight months ago I gave birth to our gorgeous baby daughter. Unfortunately, for the first three months of her life she suffered from very bad colic, which caused her to scream and cry constantly. The only way we could get her to sleep was standing up and rocking her in our arms. The minute you sat down she would somehow know and open her eyes and start screaming again until you stood up and rocked her! My partner and I were like zombies. All I could hope for during these times (besides the obvious of getting our daughter to sleep) was that all of the standing and jigging would kick start my weight loss process!

After the colic started to settle down, she did start sleeping a little better. I would have to put her down at night, only after she had fallen asleep at the breast. During the day was a nightmare. A lot of pushing and rocking in her pram, along with my awful singing was the only way she would sleep during the day. It would take approximately forty odd minutes to get her to sleep in this manner, but the problem was that then she would only sleep for thirty minutes!

Controlled Comforting

Exasperated, I asked the health visitor for advice on our problems. She gave me an article on "Controlled Comforting". This involved putting your baby in her cot when she was ready for a sleep. The baby needed to be swaddled tightly and then laid on her side facing away from you. The method was then to sit, either with your hand on the baby or tapping the baby for 15minutes until the baby went to sleep. Of course the baby cries and screams and writhes around during this time! After 15minutes, if the baby hasn't gone to sleep, you then give them a cuddle and settle them down, lay them on their other side and start the whole process again.

One must be very emotionally strong when commencing this, as it is heart breaking and frustrating hearing your baby in such distress. Our daughter took an hour and a half the first time we tried this, and then ever so slowly over the following week reduced her time to about ten minutes before going to sleep. We thought we had cracked it by the second week, but then she decided she was having none of this and went back to her old ways. By the third week it took about two hours of this "controlled comforting" to get her down! I had had enough, and found it absolutely awful allowing my daughter to get herself into such a state in a vain attempt to make her sleep. So we went back to pushing and rocking her in the pram.

By the time she was five months old she finally started sleeping for a longer period during the day! Usually about 40minutes to 2hours in the morning and then another 40minutes to 2hours in the afternoon. It was absolute bliss for me! I could finally set about getting some serious housework done, or if I had been up to our daughter through the night, I could catch up on some sleep myself. She was still being pushed in the pram to get her to sleep during the day, and then either falling asleep on my breast at night or being rocked to sleep before being put in her cot for her night sleep.

Knowing that we had to get baby used to falling asleep on her own, and also in desperation for her to sleep through the night we changed our patterns a bit when she was 7 half months old.

Baby had been going to sleep for the night at about 7.30pm and then waking from anywhere between 3am and 5am. I was then getting up to her and giving her my breast, which she was really using only as a dummy to comfort herself back to sleep - she wasn't hungry.

So we decided to keep her up a little later in hope that she would sleep through to a better hour in the morning, and (touchwood!) it seems to be working! We are now putting her to bed at about 8.30-9pm and she is sleeping through to about 6-7am. It is wonderful to finally have a full night's sleep! She did wake the other night at about 4.30am, so I sent my partner in to try and settle her. After about an hour of grizzling she finally got herself to sleep. We are also putting her down to bed when she is still awake and she is generally quite good at putting herself to sleep. If she is grizzling, we leave her for 10 minutes and then go in and comfort her and leave her again.

After doing this routine change to her night sleeps, we decided it was time to stop using the pushchair through the day for her naps too. This has not been as easy - hence today! Depending on how tired baby is, she is taking a little while to put herself to sleep during the day. All we can do is leave her for 10minutes, comfort her and then leave her again until she sleeps. Generally though, she is falling asleep after about 8 minutes of grizzling, which we think is not too bad!

I guess in years to come we will be doing the opposite and trying to get her awake and out of bed for school! I only hope that this will be easier than trying to get her to sleep!

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"My daughter has just turned 6 months and I have problems getting her to sleep in her cot during the day, thankfully we do not have the issue at night, so can\'t complain! Her routine for the past 3 months has been 1hour sleep in morning (cot) hour at around midday (pram) and then down for the night at 7.30 at the latest. A night time routine is critical for a baby and should be started as early as possible- bath/feed/bed no matter how grisly you baby may be. "


"this is all good and well if this works for you, but should a 7 month baby really go all day without sleep and then be put to bed at 9pm??? "


"my daughter is 5 months and never sleeps, i have 2 older boys and i really worry about her waking them if i use the controlled crying method, we are putting her in her own room to see if this might help her, if not i don\'t know what else to do"

erin's mum

"This is identical to my story - she cries for 45 minutes before going to sleep on her own at night. Nothing comforts her. I don\'t know what to do. I don\'t think controlled anything will hep. HELP!!!!"