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Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Message Board

Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Board Index

Hello All.

I'm having problems getting my 4-month old DD to nap during the day - she will literally be awake from 8am to 4pm! She does get tired during the day and as soon as I see her yawn or rub her eyes I take her upstairs and try to lay her down in her cot. Sometimes this works and she takes herself off to sleep but most of the time she just screams blue-murder as soon as I put her I pick her up again. Then she will drop off in my arms but as soon as I go to lay her down she starts crying and is screaming at full volume by the time I take my hands away. So I pick her up again and start over. After four or five cycles of that she will sometimes stay asleep when I lay her down or sometimes just goes through the sleepy phase and gets all awake and happy again without having a nap.

My Health Visitor has told me that I'm not giving her a chance to go to sleep because the instant she cries I rush in and pick her up. But we're not talking about a bit of fussing here we're talking about full-volume screams.

The Health Visitor has suggested that I try controlled crying (leave her 2 minutes then go in and soothe without picking her up, leave in a bit longer next time etc). I tried it tonight and gave up quite quickly because firstly it was tearing my heart out and secondly I didn't know if I was doing it right...and that's where I need the help. I can understand that if the baby is happy when you put them down you can walk away and if they start crying give them a few minutes to see if they settle themselves rather than rushing straight in, but my baby is screaming as soon as she feels herself being laid down. I'm surely not supposed to walk out of the room when she's like that am I?! :confused: Plus when I go back in she is inconsolable and won't stop howling until I pick her up. As soon as I pick her up she calms down but starts to scream as soon as I try to lay her down again.

I'm thinking that this is a technique that is only going to work when she is reasonably calm when I first lay her down right? I can't see any way that she is going to go off to sleep when she is screaming at full volume. Do I just accept that when she has reached the level of tiredness that she screams as soon as I put her down then I'm just going to have to rock her to sleep? But I can try to be a bit more firm when she isn't so over-tired?

Any advice or comments would be much appreciated. I only tried for about 3 lots of 2 minutes tonight but I felt physically sick and tearfull by the end of that time and if that's what I'm supposed to do then I can't do it! :p


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