My 5 month old daughter fights going to sleep. She also cries for what seems to me no reason. I feed her, change her, rock her, give her kisses and hugs and still she cries. Can anyone help with these two problems. Can they be related?
Michelle from Des Moines, LA
By Lynn (Guest Post) 10/26/2006 Flag
Most babies do cry when you put them down. Give yourself an amount of time to wait. If she is still crying after 15 minutes, then go to her. Usually the babies are asleep long before the time is up. Also, do you know if she has colic?
The suggestion to do the bedtime routine and leave for a period of time is good. When you do go in to check, if she is still awake and crying, DO NOT pick her up. Pat her belly, talk softly, and after making sure she is OK leave the room again. Wait the allotted time again and repeat. You may need to do this several times but she will go to sleep on her own. Another trick is to not re-enter the room to check until she quiets down somewhat (to catch her breath or whatever). This rewards the quietness not the crying.
This is also useful for when she will wake up crying in the middle of the night. You may spend a sleepless night now but that is better than many broken-sleep nights later.
Kids this age are becoming more aware of themselves and need to learn to self-soothe. This is an essential tool for future independance. By checking on her, you let her learn that you are there but she also will be learning that she can go to sleep on her own. Keep the routine at bedtime consistant (dinner, bath, reading, singing, sleep) and she will begin to get sleepy during the routine. A consistant bedtime and wake up time are also important. No late nights on weekends and no sleeping in. Consistancy is key.
By Cheryl from Missouri (Guest Post) 10/26/2006 Flag
I had a daughter that fought sleep too. She was a night owl and I'm a morning person. I decided to find out what time she naturally got sleepy. I was putting her to bed at 9pm. I found out she got sleepy at 8:30pm and by 9 she'd gotten a second wind and that's why she fought bedtime. After that I made sure baths and the following quiet time ended at 8:30p. After developing this routine, bedtime was much smoother.
By Grandma Margie (Guest Post) 10/28/2006 Flag
Michelle, a visit to a doctor or pediatrician may be a good idea if only to quiet your fears and uncertainty. Some babies are just fussy but they are perfectly okay! I've always felt that the little ones can sense when Mommy is anxious or worried or even feeling impatient and they then get even more restless and fussy. It's hard work being a Mommy and I'll bet you are doing a great job and your baby is just being a normal baby. There are a lot of us old grandmas out here who wish we could just come and give you a break and some encouragement! Hang in there!
By Angel (Guest Post) 10/28/2006 Flag
Yes, self-soothing is important, but your baby is so young. Hold her, rock her, hug her, love her and cherish every moment. That first year of parenthood is kind of a fog for most new parents, little sleep, etc. But the most important thing you can do right now is provide that unconditional love. your child is not manipulating you, she just needs the closeness of mom (or dad). In time, she'll begin to sleep better. And the independance will come around age 1 1/2-2, not at 5 months. So do what you feel instictual, be a caring mom :) And, do hang in there, you'll get through it, and you'll be fine!
By Tahir (Guest Post) 07/02/2007 Flag
I am the father of a 5 month old beautiful baby girl that fights sleep and gets pretty fussy at times. I found playing music and rocking her in either a chair or my arms is the perfect baby sleeping pill for her. A little soft jazz can go a long way!!
By experienced mom of 5 (Guest Post) 07/13/2007 Flag
Routine, routine, routine, I used to do the "bath, bottle and bed" routine. Rocking chairs also help. Give plenty of loving and lots of kisses! Help your baby feel loved and secure.
By Missy (Guest Post) 07/21/2007 Flag
My baby did and sometimes does the same thing. I have found if he doesn't get enough sleep in the day then takes a later nap then he is fussy for bedtime. His bedtime is 6:30-7 so we start winding down at 4:30. If he needs a nap at 4 or 4:30 it throws him all off.
I assume your baby is healthy and doesn't have an ear infection, often there is no sign of this other than the baby is irritable. If you haven't had her checked out then I would do that to make sure it's nothing medical.
But maybe it's just that your baby needs a bit more play-time before going to sleep, she might not be tired, so why not play on the floor with her for a while to tire her out. This will also help if she has any wind which could be making her cry.
Crying isn't always a bad thing either, it's her only form of communicating at this stage. If she is just crying and whinging and you know there is nothing wrong with her try encouraging her to play with a teething toy. Hold it gently in her hand with her and show her to rub it up and down her lips, even while she's crying, if you start laughing at it she will probably start laughing too. Remember it'll take her a while to get good at doing this.
Another thing you could try out is, for a few days when your baby is most content play a music box for her, then she will associate it with being content. So when she is upset play the music for her and it might settle her down again.
Don't worry though, it might take a little while but you'll find what works for her.
Does she have any teeth yet? Whether she does or not, at 5 months, she's probably teething. They usually get fussy for a while before the tooth or teeth cut through. This can happen off an on for quite a while. They can also run a mild fever.
Susan from ThriftyFun
By chloe07 (Guest Post) 11/29/2007 Flag
My 5 month old was sleeping pretty well until the past few weeks; now she's back to waking up every 2-3 hours. I know part of it may be that we should be putting her to bed earlier, but I don't get home from work until 5 or 5:30 and I want to spend more than a couple of hours with her before bed. I'm not sure what to do either.
My 5 month old baby boy cries almost constantly especially when it is time to go sown for the night. I usually give him a bath, feed him, and then rock him. But he still doesn't stop crying and I tried the musical mobiles and other toys as well as a swing and he just wont stop. I need help from someone, any advice. I have also noticed he isn't teething yet and the doctors says he is perfectly fine and is not colicky. What do I do?
By (Guest Post) 02/28/2008 Flag
My five month old son did the same thing. He faught sleep yet he was so tired that he just cried and cried. I found that if he has 2 regular scheduled naps and a scheduled bed time he is a little better. To get him on a schedule I found that he is most tired 2 1/2 hours after he wakes up in the morning (1st nap) and then again about 3 to 4 hours later (2nd nap). His bedtime ritual (bath, change clothes and last feeding) are at 7:45 and he is down by 8:15. He will sleep until 7am which I considere awesome for a 5 month old. When I first started him on the schedule I had to do the tough love so he could learn to soothe himself to sleep. I put him in his bed and of course he cried. I would let him cry for at least 10 minutes and then I went and patted his tummy for 5 minutes and then left for another 10 minutes and then again patted his tummy for 5 minuts (never pick them up). I did this for 1 hour and 20 minutes the first time. And now after only doing that a couple of times, he is asleep after only 10 minutes of crying. Life is so much easier now.
By brooke (Guest Post) 01/28/2009 Flag
I think it happens to everyone at on stage my 5 and a half month old does it every time it time for him to go to bed he screams so much an even if I try rock him and not put him in bed he screams through himself around scratches me gets to a point he can't settle himself. I found it hard to get him into a routine always something happens so I found let him cry in bed for a bit. not to long then I go int here and pick him up put vegimite on his dummy turn him into my and rock him and hes goes straight to sleep most of the time hope this might help if not speak to the health nurse and they can give ya helpful tips and if you ask someone may come out and talk to you and show you diff ways of settling. It's goods that you asked most people don't good luck with it all good on ya for being a stay at home dad keep the good work up it takes a special dad to do the mum duties.
By tracy (Guest Post) 02/14/2009 Flag
I know my 5 month old will not sleep for anything she loves to play on the play mat at 3 o`clock in the morning.
BAby #5 is the only who goes to sleep by himself. All the rest I rocked to sleep and put in bed when I was sure they'd stay. One night baby boy was just crying and crying, and I knew he was tired but didn't know what to do. My husband said to put him in his playpen and see what happens. (duh) Lo and behold he went to sleep right away! So now when he's tired into the playpen he goes. He fusses a little bit and I always check on him, but he goes to sleep on his own now at 6 months. It's nice, but I'm kind of sad about, too.
I don't believe in letting a baby 'cry it out'. I think that's horrible. Take your cues from your baby and don't try to conform him to what you think should happen. Babies are only small for a very short time.
After ruling out anything medical, I would assume the little darling is trying to relieve stress and doesn't know how to soothe herself to self to sleep, which is an important skill to learn. After the four B's which are bath bottle bottom, and burp, and adding a little bit of warm water for her to drink that will pop any bubbles in its tummy, then I would go in and pat it without really making it hyper by playing or anything....after you put it to bed, then wait three minutes....go in and without a word, pat in on the back and cover it up.
Go back out. If the little dear is still crying, then wait another five minutes, and then go in and do the same thing.
If she is still crying, go in after 7 minutes, and do the same quiet, no word thing about settling her.
And then increase the time and see how well she is doing. Most of the time it takes a couple of day for this to work. It is not cruel and it is a learning experience.
This is very hard to do. Once the child learns to soothe itself to sleep, then she will be MUCH happier. If it is killing you to do this, than I wouldn't do it. It is hard to do for a new mom. This is tested and approved but it you have still a lot of problems with it I would consult a pediatricitan. Also is the baby full?
Hi, I have 3 kids all under age of 6 and they are all amazing sleepers! I cannot take credit - as it is only due to this book Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child by Dr Marc Wiesblooth. He believes healthy sleep affects a child's overall health and well being - you need to watch their natural rhythm and then 'teach' them how to sleep. I recommend reading - it just makes sense. Good luck!