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Unsettled period
What worked for you?

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#1 Toothfairy01

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:52 PM

I know there are many threads on settling but specifically, what has worked for those of you who had/have a baby who would settle reasonably easily with picking up or rocking but would refuse to be put down??

We have a 5 wk old and for the past 3 weeks, usually around 9pm till 2am, will cry and fuss unless she is picked up, not only cuddled, but needs to be rocked, bounced and jiggled. She will settle within seconds to minutes, seem to start falling asleep, we'll gently lower her to the cradle, she might stay there for maximum 10min and then start crying again. She's fed, clean, dry, etc.

This seems to only happen during this time of day (our arsenic hour, I guess).

Do any of you have any techniques which have worked?

We understand the peak crying etc and I've been reading the purple crying website, so we are willing to ride it out but any tips in the meantime would be great.


#2 SilverSky

Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:03 PM

Unfortunately nothing worked for us, we just had to ride it out until about 12 weeks when DD started to settle into a 7.30pm bedtime and sleep at least 3 hours.

There is not going to be a next time for us, but IF there was going to be, I would get one of those co-sleeper things (which you put in your bed) and have my hand on the baby and when they woke, just roll them back and forth gently. I am not a fan of co-sleeping but I think sometimes this is the only option that works.

#3 bubzillaiscoming

Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:03 PM

I actually had a sleep nanny come to our house (highly recommended if you're in Melbourne). We had the most success with putting DD on her side (I know it is against SIDS but we had all cotton sheets, good firm bedding etc) tucking a sheet very firmly over her so that her arms were contained, (although your bub is probs still swaddled) and then very firmly patting her bottom with the other hand firmly holding her shoulder.

If she got upset then I was told to sing very loudly (twinkle twinkle is my fave) all the while holding and patting and to gradually drop the singing to shhhh, shhhh and slowly soften patting and the shoulder hold but to keep the shushing until I was out of the room. One horrible night I counted over 300 pats!!!

Good luck - it does get easier ...eventually!! original.gif

#4 bubzillaiscoming

Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:04 PM

I should add that if DD settled well I would slide her onto her back ... for the SIDS thing

#5 lucky 2

Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:30 PM

Hi Toothfairy01, you might also find some tips in the pinned settling thread in this forum.
It's probably a situation of riding it out though, the behaviour of your baby sounds very typical.
I hope you find something that helps.

#6 agdp07

Posted 22 December 2012 - 11:06 PM

We have a 4 week old that doesn't like being put down so I have tried a few different things which have all worked sometimes and failed sometimes.
When I put her down I keep my hand under her head for a few minutes. (Might not help if your getting 10 minutes straight up)
While in hospital the midwives had a little battery operated white noise machine. They put it in the cot and it played the sound of breaking waves.
Instead of buying one I downloaded a few Apps on my ipad that do this and I place it in her cot with a timer set. (Ipad is on flight mode so no wireless signals near my baby.)
Surprisingly this gives us the most success.
We also use the zipper swaddles that put her hands up next to her ears as she escapes from being swaddled with a blanket.
They are nowhere near as firm holding as a midwife swaddling with a blanket but seems to help with her hands up. Also not as hot which works well in QLD when its 28 degrees all night this time of year.

#7 Charli73

Posted 23 December 2012 - 06:48 AM

My DS was like this.. I used the fit ball for hours to settle him sometimes and he used to always wake up too once he went down.  I had some success with baby 2 by warming the bassinet with a heat bag so she felt warm like she was still being held and playing 'music for dreaming' or white noise apps on my iPhone...
Warming the cot/bassinet worked a treat for us though...

Hope this helps a little..

#8 Toothfairy01

Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:19 AM

Thank you so much for your replies.

We've tried a lot of what has been suggested, except a heart beat machine. She seems oblivious to white noise. We always swaddle for sleep and I think the Love to Dream swaddle has made a slight different in that it's less faffing to get her into it so if she's lightly asleep, then she's more likely to stay asleep.

Plus, as she matures, things that used to work, don't anymore.

We drove home late from an Xmas celebration tonight and we thought the car had done the trick but she stirred and started crying when taken out of the car seat. I guess this is when a capsule would come in handy but I don't like the thought of leaving her to sleep in it for longer than necessary.

Most of the time, it seems like we just have to ride it out until between 1am and 3am, it's like she's just not ready to go down until then. I just wish she would prefer to sleep a little earlier as  once she's down, she'll wake for feeds but pretty much go back to sleep without too much fuss. We then need to catch up on sleep in the morning, which is fine, unless we have somewhere to be or having visitors and then we lose a sleep between feeds.

#9 nen-c

Posted 26 December 2012 - 12:41 PM

My first was like this for probably 2-3 months after birth - I think it is pretty common. I gave up putting him in the cot for a while, and would get him to sleep while moving about, wait for a while and then was able to sit on the couch and rest while holding him until he either woke up for another feed, or I felt like I could put him to bed. Sometimes if I lay on my side in bed and let him feed/comfort suck until he was sleeping then I could get up and leave him there. Also I would always wrap for the witching hour - seems to help keep feeling a bit more calm and secure.

She will get there OP - just keep riding it out for a bit longer.

#10 Toothfairy01

Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:09 PM

QUOTE (nen-c @ 26/12/2012, 01:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My first was like this for probably 2-3 months after birth - I think it is pretty common. I gave up putting him in the cot for a while, and would get him to sleep while moving about, wait for a while and then was able to sit on the couch and rest while holding him until he either woke up for another feed, or I felt like I could put him to bed. Sometimes if I lay on my side in bed and let him feed/comfort suck until he was sleeping then I could get up and leave him there. Also I would always wrap for the witching hour - seems to help keep feeling a bit more calm and secure.

She will get there OP - just keep riding it out for a bit longer.

Thanks nen-c! Did you do anything to "train" your bub? So many people are criticising us for spoiling her but we just cant put her down until she's ready or she screams the house down and then vomits.

She self-settles when she chooses, but never at that time.

#11 Guest_divineM_*

Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:22 PM

Don't listen to people telling you you're spoiling a 5 week old! That's such an outdated view. I ignored imPlied comments about how much time DD spent in a baby carrier. Guess what? She's 21 months and she doesn't use it anymore. We did have to do some traIning but we did it at the age appropriate time and in the age appropriate way. Hang in there. The first few weeks /months are hard.

#12 Feefifofum

Posted 30 December 2012 - 05:47 PM

Is she showing signs of reflux at all? (Google it, lots of info). The reason I ask is because reflux bubs often have trouble lying flat, as that's when the acidic refluxing starts, causing pain. My bub, who does have reflux, would settle when held because it was more vertical, but couldn't sleep lying down. We has a similar witching hour (four hours, actually), which would last until the wee hours, when she was so exhausted she just had to sleep. Apart from medication, some tricks that worked for me, that might help your baby (even if she isn't refluxing) were:

- Wearing her in a hug-a-bub during some sleep times, so she at least got some decent rest, and could then settle better. You might be able to manage this for a few hours before you also need to go to bed.

- Laying down with her nestled in the crook of my arm (which worked because it's not quite horizontal), rocking her if she stirred, then after she was sound asleep, lowering her on to the bed and letting her sleep there. This was safe for my bub because she didn't roll around. I'd fence her in with pillows.

- Tilting up one end of the bassinet/cot mattress so she wasn't completely flat helped a bit.

- Many a night I'd just stay in the bedroom and hold her on me while I sat in bed, or co-slept, and could re-settle her easily. An eReader, iPhone, and a water bottle kept me sane! I tried to view it as enforced time out for me :-)

I hope things get better for you, as it is really hard. It really is true what they say: "This too shall pass"

#13 nen-c

Posted 30 December 2012 - 06:06 PM

QUOTE (Toothfairy01 @ 27/12/2012, 07:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks nen-c! Did you do anything to "train" your bub? So many people are criticising us for spoiling her but we just cant put her down until she's ready or she screams the house down and then vomits.

She self-settles when she chooses, but never at that time.

Sorry OP - I forgot to check back in!!  I didn't do anything to "train" him until much later - like 8 or 10 months, with fairly limited success. He also got totally hysterical when we left the room or he was left to cry and took so long to calm down it was never worth it. I found it much less stressful to accept that he needed cuddles or a breast feed to settle and just go work on reducing the time it took to get him to sleep.
Good luck

Edited by nen-c, 30 December 2012 - 06:07 PM.

#14 FiFiLicious

Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:30 PM

OP! My baby is 7 months and remarkably my memory is fading already!!

I had DS in a portable bassinet for months. (pram bassinet to be perfectly honest!) so I could lift and wiggle and pat etc all whilst watching my fav friends episode.  I slept on the couch for 3 months to do this, it was just easier to accept that I wasn't " going to bed"  just resting my eyes...

If its not too late I recommend hiring a capsule, just gives you a bit more time to rest if you don't have to transfer. I didn't have one with my # 1 and swore I would with # 2 - 5 yrs later, I did and it was ( is) a godsend. At most, he was/is in there for 3 hrs once every couple of days. You learn when it's "safe" to do the transfer which you can do cot side rather than go from car to parent to bedroom ( and various stimulating moments on the way)

Sling always worked! Always. I never needed to use it at night but I did " cosleep" in the most dangerous way ( on the couch) in desperate moments. The white noise and snuggle bed were useless for us, he was happy ON me, hence the super dangerous cosleeping exercise ( by god it works though!!!)
But a sling and a rocking chair is the biz. ( until bub's gets too heavy)

My baby was 2 months prem so this phase lasted double the time.  I enlisted night nannies to give me a break ( best money spent even if you don't have any money!!) and my family were fantastic in just taking the baby for an hour during the day  and or pick up and drop off my Dd to school so that I didn't have to get dressed etc, as feeding in the early days took over an hour.  You need to learn to ask for help from those who are around. The majority of people do feel so good doing something to help so that you can deal better with this phase. Ask someone to come over and look after baby while you sleep that 3 hr block. Get earplugs!!

You don't say if your baby takes a dummy?  What a wonderful invention that one is. I use ours ( even now) when he needs it ( which for you might be the wee hours) never when he is awake and only as a settling tool.  Also don't unwrap prematurely, it's such a security and offer nothing " bad" that I can tell?.

And finally! It ends!! So do what you need to do to get through ( safely). NBs don't know time, night from day or the concept of spoiling. They are a bit like goldfish at this age and live moment by moment as long as you are there for them all. The. Time. - they are secure and don't need to remember how they got to sleep the nap before the last, as long as sleep came and boob not long after waking ( or in our case bottle)
It ended for us at about 4 months ( 2 months corrected) he did have reflux and in and out of hospital since birth but there was a significant shift for us at 4 months.  
No need to train your baby but it doesn't hurt to follow self settling techniques for age appropriate babies. Tresillian are a great resource for this so tap in via web if you can.


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