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How to make a screaming baby go to sleep???

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by ellesabe, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. AARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!! She does it most nights from about 7pm (supposedly bedtime) until 10pm. Part of me is intrigued how long she would be able to scream for if I just left her to it but the other part of me can't bear to hear her so upset. How long do you leave a baby to cry for and how the heck can I get her to sleep anywhere other than in my arms for this hideous time of the day??
  2. How old is your baby? This makes quite a bit of difference as to whether she will be able to settle herself and how long she could be left.
    Also does bedtime have to be at 7? I have found that my LO creates her own time when she is ready. It used to be about 10.30pm but has got gradually earlier. She then sleeps much better than if I try to put her down before that.
  3. In the dim and distant past I used this technique with my children, as recommended by my health visitor. She said that this shows you are listening, you do care, but that this is not play time and the child should only cry when they need something:

    set kitchen timer for 10 minutes
    go upstairs, do not speak to the child but pick them up and feed them. Put them back to bed.
    set kitchen timer for 10 munites
    go upstairs, do not speak but pick them up and change them. Put them back to bed.
    repeat until she goes to sleep.

    After a few nights she only screamed when something was wrong.

  4. Have you tried massage/reading aloud/music?
    Our son was the same so after bath time we used to massage him and then read a chapter of a book when we laid him down. Then we left a relaxation CD playing just outside his room.
    I know it sounds stupid reading a chap book to a baby but it did work, obviously just the voice droning quietly on and on led to boredom.[​IMG] He still asks for us to read to him now he is 11 and falls asleep with his CD player.
    My friend does massage too with her daughter and has lavender drops on a hanky hanging in the room away from the cot.
    Hope this helps [​IMG]
  5. no magic answers, but just wanted to say hope you don't feel too stressed.
    People do it differently, I don't leave mine for more than 5 mins at a time or couple of minutes of real screaming. I try and settle him in his room for routine but definately have times when we give up and bring him to watch tv with us, in the end he is a good sleeper even if we give in sometimes.
    Good luck
  6. I agree with what someone else said elle - generally if I tried to put my LO down at 7, I would have a guaranteed period of screaming - however much later and he tends to settle - is your LO sleeping in the day? - I am just getting to the end of LO sleeping in my arms all of the time - making usre that we put him down in his crib repeatedly even if he is only there for 10 mins to start with - he is beginning to get the hint and is staying there happily for longer.
    Someone I know has got the hang of getting her LO to sleep at 15 weeks - put her into bed awake and left her cry. aparently she cried for 15 minutes the first night, 5 mins the second night and then goes off by herself no problem - however in the night she is a little so and so.

  7. Hi, how old is your LO? Ours was like thisuntil about 3 months old when he gradually started being ready for bed earlier. At around 4 months he was going down at 7.30, our ideal bedtime hurrah! But until then he was only ready for bed around 10.30-11pm. The few times we tried to put him down earlier he just screamed as you described, Good luck x
  8. Our baby still wouldn't settle at 7.30, she has a natural bed time of about 9pm now- though it is gradually getting earlier. Your baby may be suffering from colic? In that case, there is little you can do- try infacol etc.... At the moment, I do not let my daughter cry it out... good luck and don't let the screaming get you down.
  9. I would echo the people who say 7 pm may be too early and try not to enforce a bedtime at this young age. Work with her and put her down when she's tired. We looked for a pattern and after she'd fallen alseep at 8.30 3 nights in a row, started bedtime routine at 7.30 and this has now moved to 7 pm with bedtime of 8 pm. I don't agree with letting them cry it out- that's just my personal view but there you go! We let her cry for 5 mins maximum before intervening with a cuddle/ picking up and putting down.
  10. Oh and up until then bedtime was usually the same time as us, ie about 10 or 11. Pretty uch the same as what fleur says above!
  11. IMHO I'm all for luvinit's approach. We do a similar thing. One night when she was 3wks old, she cried from 20.30-02.00 when we had done everything possible to soothe her (nappy, feeding, comforting etc).
    She cries a little bit when we put her down at 19.30 but for 10-12mins tops. We do leave her to cry and she often settles herself. On the times when she cries beyond 10mins we go in to calm her, hand softly on chest, remind her it's bedtime and then leave again. We're lucky in that we rarely have to go in a 2nd time to settle her. I know that others don't agree with this method but it works for us and it doesn't seem to do her any harm.
    Maybe ask me again when she's a teenager to see if it has affected her ;-)
    Good luck with whatever method you choose to use
  12. Depending on how old your baby is, why don't you just let her sleep in your arms at this time or would she sleep in her pram if you pushed her? I know this approach isn't for everyone, but my personal opinion is that they aren't little for long - why not just work with them? I also agree with what others have said about the timing. My LO is 7 months and has only really just started to settle easily at 7 and he's fallen into that routine pretty much by himself. I personally feel that trying to stick to any sort of routine before about 4 months is just far too traumatic.
    Another thought is, does she seem in discomfort at all (sometimes difficult to tell, I know)? If she could be, then it is VERY common for young babies to be colicky like this in the evening - ours certainly was. The main things that helped were baths, endlessly being carried round the house (yes, it's tedious), The Colid Hold and being in the pram. Many a night my husband even took him for a long drive just so that he'd calm down. Don't put so much pressure on yourself and don't expect miracles - it sounds like your baby is quite young and, if so, the first few months are largely just about survival. To be honest, some days still are now!
    Hang in there and good luck x
  13. We bath at 7 and put LO down at 7.30- she's 6 weeks. I never put her down screaming- if she cries while I'm still in the room I pick her straight back up and offer more milk and winding. If she starts when I am downstairs I leave her 5 minutes- I know by the end of 5 minutes if it is a full on scream, in which case I go back and offer more milk and winding, settle and put her back down. If it is 'crying down' or whatever you want to call it, it is intermittent and half-hearted then I leave her! Sometimes she cries for about 30 seconds every ten minutes or so for up to an hour but I think this is just her way of getting to sleep as I have been in and her eyes are shut and she is asleep the minute she stops so I wouldn't pick her up anyway!
    If she was full on screaming at this time I echo others and say I would be putting her to bed later. We started with 9.30 bed time at 3 weeks and have gradually got earlier and this has worked. You will know if you need bed time to be later if you keep her up and she is wide awake in the evening- I delay bed time if LO has not shown signs of tiredness like eye rubbing and yawning- there would be no point! Thankfully she is quite clockwork and hasn't gone down after 8 in a week.
  14. does your baby not need as much sleep as the books say?
    mine were both rubbish at sleeping, and like others on this thread, after a few foul weeks with miss post, i gave up and never bothered trying to get them to sleep if they weren't ready - they were allowed to fossick with us till their eyes were drooping - if you want to read or chat or watch tv, babies don't get in the way much - if they're fretful, put them in a sling and go for a walk - in this chilly weather, walk round inside whilst watching tv, or put them in a car seat and go for a drive - you can have music or the radio or, or can chat
    mine were rubbish at early nights even as toddlers - i used to save best beloved toys for 8pm onwards for a little peace for myself
    now they're teenagers, they still don't need much sleep, which is handy for them for study and hobbies, and i'm glad i didn't train them, as some folk i knew did, into sleeping longer than they needed for my sake

  15. Thank you for all of the replies, it's really useful to hear what works for others and just to have the chance to review the way we are doing things.
    My daughter is only 6 weeks old so whilst we are still very much guided by what she seems to need, it is so often difficult to know what to do for the best and we really want to make things as easy as we can for her!
    She was quite colicky for the first couple of weeks but this seems so have passed and she now just seems to have a reluctance to be left in her cot. However I did realise that she had started to become sleep immediatley before we gave her a bath so I wondered if she was perhaps over-tired by the time we had finished. SO last night I put her down for a sleep at 5:30pm when she started looking tired and the gave her a bath when she woke up. Then later at 8pm she went down without a problem! She did however then wake up at 10pm and stayed awake until 2am [​IMG]
    Oh well - you win some, you lose some!

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