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I've been a regular on several baby sleep forums around town (including this one in the our site community). I'm obsessed with my son's sleep. I've tried different techniques to help him fall asleep. Why?
No matter what I do he has to cry to sleep.
I can't take it anymore! It doesn't matter if I rock him, or bounce with him, or rub his back, or do any of the sweet things a mother should do. He still cries the same as when I just leave him in his crib. The only way to effectively get him to fall asleep without crying is to nurse him to sleep and then not dare move a muscle. That is simply not practical and not good for anyone in the house.
I can't stand the tears anymore though. I know his wake times are correct for his age. He is not typically overtired as he is clocking 12-14 hours of sleep a day (not bad for a 4 month old who is just learning to sleep). His overnight sleep totals about 10.5 hours, and daytime sleep varies. He is getting in naps, sometimes with me laying with him but mostly on his own in the crib. I can't figure out what's wrong.
At night he has a bath and clean diaper, then I feed him and burp him before gently laying him down in his crib very drowsy. He immediately wakes up fully and does his dinosaur shriek. If I rock him he just gets angrier and flails his arms and legs. If I leave him he rolls around and freaks out. The best solution we have found is to follow this method:
Put down. Wait 2 minutes of crying. Reinsert pacifier and don't leave until he is calm. Leave. Wait 4 minutes of crying. Repeat. Wait 8 minutes of crying. Rub his back as he shrieks and cries and rolls around until he finally falls asleep, exhausted.
It seems to result in the least amount of crying (when compared to rocking, leaving him completely alone, or rubbing his back from the first put down).
My jaw is clenched for an hour a night as I try to make him stop crying and fall asleep. I immediately get stressed out, and I imagine, from his cries, that he is pretty distressed too.
Every now and again he will go in the crib and just babble for awhile before falling asleep, but it is really rare.
Sabrina, of RhodeyGirl Tests, had her first boy in September 2011 with her husband Trig. At the time of this post Raffi was 4 months old. You can read other related posts on her blog.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.