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When it was nap time for the children I had one little boy who could not be still. I had the children cut out numbers and shapes from colored construction paper. I taped these to the ceiling. I would lay next to the child at nap time and we would quietly play a game of find the numbers, find the shapes and find the colors or a combo of both. Some days we played until nap time was over most of the time he fell asleep.
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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!!
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.