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Stressful and Tearful Bedtime... Help!!!

  1. #1
    kyojee is offline Registered User
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    Stressful and Tearful Bedtime... Help!!!

    Hi,

    I have a 4 and a half month old, and our bedtime routine since she was 2 months old had been bath, light massage and breastfeed. It worked very well, and she dozed off peacefully into sleep and I could put her in her cot. Since a month ago, she would feed peacefully for 10 over minutes, and start to bob on and off the breast, arch her back and cry. I would hold her upright and talk/sing to her (she's cries even harder when held in the cradle position) and soothe her, and attempt to put her back to the breast. She takes it, and the same bobbing and crying repeats... until she gets so tired she eventually sleeps. This stressful bedtime would last 1-1.5 hours. I'm feeling so worn out every night and am really hoping to have a good bedtime with my baby again.

    Her naps are not very regularly, and only sleeps for 40-45 min each time, taking 3-4 naps a day. I usually rock her in the stroller and then put her in her cot. Last nap is usually 4-ish. Bath usually starts at 6.

    I hope to have her in bed by 7 (she wakes up 6.30-7am), but usually end up closer to 8, sometimes 8.30!

    Would anyone have any tips to share? I really don't know what has gone wrong wrong in the routine, would appreciate if anyone could share some advices on their babies' daily and bedtime routine.

    Also, does anyone have similar experiences with baby arching her back and crying while breastfeeding?

  2. #2
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    How long do you intend to breastfed? The reason I asked is because personally I feel that when I started on formula it was easier for me to "regulate" my daughters sleeping pattern because I knew exactly how many ounces she drank and the corresponding about of time. Perhaps she's not getting enough time, and all the sucking is making her tired...so she's unhappy (and can only show it by crying) because in fact she is still hungry....I'm really not sure....just a hypothesis I have! :)

    As for napping, my daughter never napped regularly...well, not say at 9am and 2pm for 1 hour and 2 hours each for example. She would always have a morning nap and then 1-2 afternoon naps depending on when she felt tired....I followed her cues so each day was different. Sleep time was 8pm and like you bath was at 6pm...but I made sure that she did not nap after 4:30 or else she would not be tired enough to sleep at 8pm. now my 1 year old daughter only naps 1 time in the am and 1 in the afternoon at the max and at times when you wants to (if you track it, you will find it is more or less the same...she sleeps at 8:45, wakes up at 7am, 1st nap at 9-10am for 1 hour, then 2nd nap around 2pm-3pm for 2 hours and then no more naps.
    For the bedtime routine, I just normally give her her last milk and then read her a story book...then a ****, tell her that i'll see her tomorrow and good night and then turn on the CD so she has lullabies to listen to. apart from the milk, I do the same for naps too...she wrestles a bit because she's not asleep yet, but I leave immediately and after doing it consistently she knows what to expect.

    Good luck with your baby! People do say though that when something is working, the baby will change it on you! Part of her growing up I guess...patience and consistency are the key! :)

  3. #3
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    It`s hard when our babies suddenly change for seemingly no reason. Mine is doing the same thing with his sleeping lately too, and he`s 7.5 months old.

    Usually, arching of the back indicates some kind of discontent - pain, doesn`t want breast anymore, wants a new breast, or just plain wants to sleep, for a few examples. Would it be possible to put her down as soon as she `finishes`? Does she seem to want to sleep? Also when was her last feed? Might she be full?
    When my baby was your baby`s age, his napping was like hers - 45 min at a time, 3-4 times a day. It`s gotten much better lately. I experimented with his bedtimes but found 7-8 to be ideal for him. I also found that he changed around that age too, developmentally, and woke up a bit to the world. My bedtime routine was and still is similar to yours, minus the massage. I`m thinking of throwing in a book to the mix soon - the 4 B`s.
    Good luck tonight. I know what you`re going through.

  4. #4
    kyojee is offline Registered User
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    hi Lesliefu & Shenzhennifer, thank you for your replies! Sorry for getting back so late. I was experimenting with some tweaks and changes in my bedtime to see if things could work better.

    I intend and hope to be able to breast feed for up to a year, yes, it does make feeding a little less regular than giving formula. It's indeed tough to know if she's fussing because she's hungry. I did some experiments and observations over the last 2 weeks and found out:

    1) if she refuses her last nap at about 4 ish, she's usually out of sorts by 6, so what I do is I push bath and bedtime to an hour earlier. She would be in bed by 6-ish, but she wakes 45 minutes later, thinking it's a nap, but I quickly breastfeed and let her sleep again. saves me and her an hours of angst and tears!

    2) i had been trying this method for a few weeks to get her to sleep w/o the breast. it's from the no-cry solution book by elizabeth pantley. basically, it is to gently remove the baby from your breast when she's relaxed, and not totally asleep, and push her chin upwards to close her mouth (so that baby get used to sleeping w/o breast in her mouth)

    well.... it seems this method isn't working well for me, or maybe i implemented it wrongly, because after several "removals" from my breast, she gets very upset and start tugging and arching her back, probably out of frustration.

    i aborted the "removal" plan the past 2 weeks, and she just bf peacefully to sleep. well, i think i am giving in to her comfort sucking (i'm quite a softie i admit!) for now. till she's weaned of night feeds, it's very hard for her not to associate the boob with sleep. =/

    i am glad bedtime is not teary anymore... fingers crossed! was trying to have her less dependent on the boob, but will take a baby step at one time. =)

  5. #5
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    yes - I think following the babies lead is sometimes the best since they know what they want and when they are ready for the next step she will gradually turn away from your boob...hang in there! good luck!

  6. #6
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    Kyojee -glad to see things are less tearful than before. Babies are really changing all the time - it`s hard for us moms to keep up with them.
    For your #1 - something that I do, which was actually instigated by my son, is when he is in need of a nap, I give him a feeding (which he wants) and that puts him to sleep. I then put him down and within 30 minutes he`s up again. Just a catnap and it take him through til bathtime

    For #2 - I just ordered that book through the library and am waiting for them to contact me to let me know it`s arrived. I don`t think that strategy would work for me either, removing him while still much awake. What I do is now I BF with the lights on, switch sides halfway through, and make sure he`s woken up by the action and light a bit so that when I put him down he is aware of it. Otherwise, he`ll wake up 45 minutes later screaming, all of a sudden all alone in a cold dark room when the last thing he knew he was together with mama on a warm breast. Poor thing, hehe. anyway, it makes a difference.

    I have no other advice because we`re still going through a bad sleeping stage, especially at night. I have no energy other than to rip out the breast. Sigh.

  7. #7
    babysmoothie is offline Registered User
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    have you try to massage your baby before her nap/ bedtime ... very relaxing for the baby

  8. #8
    megan2008 is offline Registered User
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    My daughter would wake and still does sometimes wake after 45 minutes of nap or at bed. Usually, I will try to rock her back to sleep or not go into her room right away to see if she will fall back to sleep. If she is still tired, she will fall back to sleep for over an hour at nap time or for the rest of the night at bed time. I can usually tell if she is tired when she wakes up because she is crying. If she isn't tired then she will babble. Every child is different and it took me a while to figure out what worked best for her.

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