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I feel like a failure.

My son will not sleep, unless he cries himself to sleep for at least 20 minutes every time I put him down, and then he will sleep at the most 30 minutes. I think I have done something terrible by allowing him to get used to 'motion sleep,' because I gave in a few months back when I couldn't take his screams anymore when I put him to sleep in his crib. So I started to let him fall asleep in a motion swing. It is the only way he will go down without excessive screaming that just breaks my heart.

Anyways, I was informed by many people/doctors that the motion sleep was not as restorative to him, and frankly I believe them, because he wakes up at the slightest noise or the second I turn it off, so he can't be that far into dreamland.

Anyways, I have tried once before to wean him off of the swing, and he refused to do it. Furthermore, he refuses to fall asleep in my or my husband's arms, because he will try to play with us for hours instead. A very cantakerous play, but play nonetheless.

He is an extremely overtired baby, and I feel like somehow it is my fault. I am trying to train him to sleep in his crib, and it is taking everything out of me. When he appears tired, I try for 2-3 naps a day after a similar naptime routine (story, lullaby, rocking), and he starts crying like crazy a couple of minutes after I leave for a duration of anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour (I check on him every 20 minutes to calm myself down.) I have come to the conclusion, that this is the only way he will get any sleep right now, and I just don't know what to do about it.

He sleeps fine at night, sometimes takes about 20-30 minutes to fall asleep with gentle crying, but stays asleep for a good 6-8 hours, is fed, falls back asleep with little problem until 4-5, is fed again. I know that sounds kind of difficult as he is 6 months old, but if you folks only knew where we have come from, you would be so happy he is not getting up the 5-10 times he used to.

Anyways, I basically just need to know that someone understands. I don't need any magic fairy dust to fix all my problems, just a proverbial shoulder to lay on. I feel like a failure. I love my son more than anything in the world, and I hate to see him suffer this way.

Thanks for the ear. Any advice would be more than welcome.
Tracie
Dear Tracie,
I am a stepmother of a 8 year old - I don't have children of my own. I never had to have that situation of trying to get a baby to sleep, but I LOVE to watch SuperNanny or Nanny 911 on TV. They have dealt with children that won't sleep and it's amazing how the children end up sleeping in their crib with no problem. The mothers struggle very hard and they cry because it upsets them to hear their baby cry, but it works. The nanny has them put the baby in the crib and the parent sits beside the crib on the floor. The parent does NOT make any eye contact or voices to the baby. The baby will cry but it knows you are close by. If its a toddler and he climbs out, then you put him right back in WITHOUT saying anything to the toddler. Once you succeed if that a few nights, then you sit closer to the door each night and you will be finally sitting in the hall but the baby can see you. At sometime the baby will go off to sleep on its own without you being there in eye vision. It looks very tough and you have to be strong enough to sit there and hear your baby scream but in the long end you will have a baby that will sleep!!! It's only a suggestion, like I said it came from the TV show. It does make sense, but it's a long process too. Good luck!!





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