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Old 10-29-2013, 08:55 AM   #1
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5 month old sleep help

Yes, another "help my baby sleep" post.

My 5 month old suddenly seems afraid of her room. We have a nap/bedtime routine and she typically goes down without too much trouble. Now when we go in, she gets agitated. Instead of falling asleep she works herself up into a frenzy. Last night at bedtime she cried if we nursed, cried if we rocked, walked, etc. DH came in and took over so I could eat dinner. She cried the entire time.

Finally I decided to lie down with her. She was exhausted and fell asleep within about 60 seconds, and stated asleep for 5 hours. We usually bedshare after her last nursing session (around 3am) but have only bedshared the entire night once or twice before. I don't want to bedshare full time for a variety of reasons, including hip and back pain.

A few more details: we swaddled through the 4 month sleep regression and she is battling the swaddle now but has trouble going down without it. She will take a pacifier but usually prefers it as a toy rather than as a soother. I would love to put her down sleepy but awake, but right now that is a mysterious mythical state. She's awake in her room and instantly asleep in my bed. We usually nurse to sleep and put her in her crib asleep. She wakes up 2-3 times a night. She just started the fifth "leap" in the wonder weeks. She doesn't seem to have teething/gum pain and is happy when she's awake.

Help? I'm willing to try almost anything. I don't want to CIO, and I don't think she's developmentally ready for it at 5 months anyway.

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Old 10-29-2013, 02:19 PM   #2
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Re: 5 month old sleep help

Did she just turn 5 months, or is she closer to 6? 6 months is a sleep regression. I would continue you're normal routine, modified as needed. Usually my LO nurses to sleep no problem in like 20 minutes. For the past week not so much. I try to get her to sleep. If she's really fighting it I will lay her down for a few minutes and let her fuss, then go back in to the dark room and nurse her. She usually realizes she's tired and nurses to sleep. Could potentially be an ear infection if there's a mild fever or lots of pulling on ears.
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:29 PM   #3
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She'll be 5 months tomorrow. I checked for a fever because her behavior was so abnormal but it wasn't that. Usually some fussy time wears her out too but last night NOTHING worked except nursing in my bed. Hoping it was just a bad night but I'm afraid it's more than that.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:58 PM   #4
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Re: 5 month old sleep help

Is her bed or room cold? Can you warm it up with a hot water bottle or warm the room? Can she sleep in your room, just not in your bed? We have the crib side-car'd to our bed. Also, infant mattresses are pretty firm while our beds are nice and soft. If you feel comfortable with it, you might want to consider a snugglewool topper. I have one on my son's mattress. I was worried at first but after smooshing my face in it numerous times, it's quite breathable, if you don't cover it with a sheet. Also try a while noise that is constant all night, and a soft night light. My son is 5 months too, but his probably is he's a super eater and wants to nurse every 2 hours.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:41 PM   #5
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Re: 5 month old sleep help

Hi,

My daughter was a terrible sleeper for basically the first year of her life! These are my observations I want to share with you, maybe one or two will help! Also, try to remember this is a phase and it will end. My daughter hit about a year and suddenly was the best sleeper ever! (Hopefully I don't jinx this )

1. We got a sound machine with nightlight. About $25 off amazon.
2. Installed an electric heater with thermometer control. Keep the room around 68-70 degrees.
3. Even though it is a complete no-no around 7 or 8 months we allowed her a stuffed animal to sleep with. She was allowed to hold it as she fell asleep in my arms and eventually she was fine to go down in her crib as long as she could hold it.
4. sometimes a few days later she developed a cold. I think she was sick, just not showing many symptoms (and no fever). It sometimes helped and was a good thing to give a dose of tylenol before bedtime.
5. We added an additional nightlight
6. We spent time in her room playing or putting away clothes during awake times (not just nap/sleep times).
7. Crying it out never worked for us. I tried it. It broke my heart and even if she fell asleep she would wake up crying and upset an hour later.
8. I started putting her down awake in her crib (around 10 months) and spending 20 min. reading to her. She often fell asleep by the time I finished.
9. I moved her bedtime up an hour.
10. I established a routine and stuck to it no matter what.
11. We started cluster feedings about 1-2 hours prior to bedtime (full belly=sleepy baby).

I am sure there were hundreds of things I tried (including laying on her floor next to the crib while she cried) and I can't remember all of them. These are the ones that really stand out to me.

I also remember how everyone kept saying to put her down drowsy and let her self-soothe. It took close to 10 months for her to be able to do that. I remember thinking "I just want her to sleep and I will do whatever it takes and if laying in my arms for 30 minutes is what it takes then so be it".

Good luck and this will pass. Follow your instincts and do what works best for you and your family.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by lfw802 View Post
She'll be 5 months tomorrow. I checked for a fever because her behavior was so abnormal but it wasn't that. Usually some fussy time wears her out too but last night NOTHING worked except nursing in my bed. Hoping it was just a bad night but I'm afraid it's more than that.
With babies it comes and goes. My 3rd LO is going through a rough patch. Sometimes there are bad nights. Last night we were up from 10-midnight. But frankly I don't worry unless its consistent over a week or 2. Sometimes the rough patch us right before getting sick. Or a growth spurt. I swear the full moon makes kids crazy too. I hope tonight is better!
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:01 AM   #7
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Thanks ladies for all the suggestions. Tonight was actually worse, and not just because of our new battle scars. We tried playing about ten minutes extra to make sure she was nice and sleepy. Then our normal full routine. Not counting bath time, it took from 7 until 8:30 to get her in the crib asleep. That includes about 20 minutes of "cry on daddy" time so that I could take a break to eat something. She would fall asleep then wake herself back up and cry and fight it again. Rinse and repeat.

By the time baby girl was asleep, I went to bed too. Exhausted and miserable.

Fwiw, I've been very actively checking for signs of illness, teething, etc. Nada. DH works in pediatrics and talked to our pediatrician, who of course said this is the right time to sleep train. 5 months just seems so young. But this is just a hellish battle every night and not healthy for any of us. It is really hard to love and resent such a tiny person all at the same time.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:21 PM   #8
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It is really hard to love and resent such a tiny person all at the same time.
This is parenting to me. To love and want to show love to little twerps who make things way more difficult than they should be.

As for the thread, I've tried to come up with solutions but I've not encountered this problem I'm so sorry.

Tell me... she's just agitated in her room? If you, for kicks and giggles, moved her crib in another room.... would she do the same? Can you move it in your room temporarily?

A friend of mine believes her daughter really disliked a certain crib sheet. Have you changed the bed lately?
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:04 AM   #9
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Great minds, Emily. We decided to move her back into a cosleeper in our room. I want to work on helping her feel secure about sleep first, then worry about the rest.

Good idea on the sheets too. I think a soft flannel sheet might be nice and warm for winter. We are having a hard time regulating the temperature in her room (first winter in this house), so at least in our room we can eliminate that as a factor.
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:43 PM   #10
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Hehe

Also do you ever play in her room? We always play in the bedrooms to make them fun cozy places.

Glad you've got a solution! !
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