by Lisa (MD)
My family recently moved into a new home and have a 9 month old girl. In our old house she slept very well.
She would fall asleep in her own bed (in her own room), sometime between 4 and 6am she would wake up and we would bring her to bed with us.
We enjoy having her near and she enjoys waking up to us but we love having time to ourselves at night also.
Since we have moved (we have been here since Christmas)she refuses to sleep at all. she will not take more than a 10 minute nap and definitely will not even think about falling asleep in her bed.
On the rare occasion that she falls asleep in her bed, it's only a matter of time before she is wide awake and crying, gasping for air. My doctor has said to let her CIO but when I tried that it only made the situation much worse.
By the 3rd day she was so attached to me, she refused her father and would not let me stand up without holding her, I didn't even get a shower that day, it got so bad.
Not to mention that I am not even sure I have it in me to let her CIO. Our daughter is typically a very happy, lovable and independent baby.
What should we do? Is this dramatic change in her related to her age and/or the new house?
I would really love for her to be back in her bed for the first part of the night.
Any help would be beneficial.
It is really stressful when babies don't sleep, and it's especially hard when they go from being good sleepers to having a hard time.
I don't really have the heart to let a baby cry it out, either, and I have almost never found it effective during the few days of parenting I've been desperate enough to try it.
I just recently found myself in a place similar to yours – I really wanted Galen to go peacefully to sleep in his own bed, and give Scott and I some time without a baby in bed at night.
I decided to try a planned and focused approach to helping him sleep.(Hint: Would you like practical, no-nonsense, really-help-you-get-more sleep tips on handling nap time and bedtime with your little one? Check out the baby sleep crib sheet - no crib required - and get better sleep tonight. Get it here.)
It worked! Better than that, even, was it worked gently. Basically it involves you putting baby to bed then being close by in a chair, so baby can see you. And gradually each night you move the chair slight farther toward the door each night.
Galen “fussed” a little the first few nights, but he didn't actually cry. He seemed OK with me there. He'd babble a bit. At first it was taking him 10-20 minutes to fall asleep (this was after going through the bedtime “routine).
Then he got to where he'd fall asleep much faster, and was ok with me being almost to the doorway.
Now I put him in and he turns over and goes to sleep. I'm still at a point where I'm awed that he's gone from being impossible to put to bed to happily going to sleep in his bed, without me there – in just a couple of weeks.
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