Why does my baby cry a lot, is hard to settle and tired all the time and not getting the sleep that he/she needs?
Most babies settling/sleep difficulties are due to a preference for going to sleep in a particular way e.g. being held or rocked, fed to sleep or being patted or lying next to Mum or Dad. The more this has happened (and been effective), the more your baby expects it. Research shows that during sleep, we have shallow and deep cycles, so that when the baby is rousing in a shallow sleep cycle, she/he will expect the condition or sleep association to happen again, so she/he can resettle.
So if you want to change the sleep routines of your baby, I recommend that she/he be helped to learn to settle to sleep on her/his own and the more this happens the more baby will resettle herself/himself.
You should allow about 3 difficult days and nights (for you and baby) before you see any improvement in sleep behaviour. To be fair on baby, be as consistent as you can for the next 2 weeks. By then your baby should have settled into more of a predictable sleeping/feeding/awake-time routine, which should work better for both you and baby.
There are no rules here. You can give your baby an overnight feed at any age if he/she seems to need it. However, if there are sleep problems, take care not to use the feed as a resettling technique, that is feed him/her while they are awake and return him/her to the cot still awake.
You can give your baby lots of cuddles and treat the symptoms with appropriate gum gels or analgesics, but teething is normal and ongoing and your baby can still settle to sleep on her/his own.
No. It’s a myth that having full tummies makes for a better sleep. Remember all babies rouse normally during sleep, and the sleep problem is usually inability to resettle themselves. I certainly do not sleep better if I have had a huge late meal.
I do not think so but I do know that the ongoing difficulties and stresses caused from poor sleeping patterns of your baby can leave bad memories! When everyone in the family is getting good sleep, everyone is happier.
No, not if you remember to consistently have your baby settling and resettling to sleep on her/his own. As time goes on, normal things like teething, minor illnesses, holidays, nightmares and other disruptions will occur, so you can always attend to your child overnight, but remember to leave him/her to resettle self.
No, all babies are different. As a general rule, from early on if healthy babies are settled into their cots having had all their needs met, tired but still awake, and settle to sleep without prolonged soothing, they should not develop sleep problems.
No, you did what seemed right at the time. You can change your sleep/settling management of your baby now if you’re ready, and your baby can learn to settle to sleep more independently.
Yes, if you really want to. Or, you can change how you offer the dummy to baby – keeping it only for sleep times, and being slower to jump in offering the dummy, so that your baby learns more control over his/her dummy and can use it as a self comforter.
The short answer is: no – because some people’s idea of controlled crying is close to torture!
The long answer is: When you stop soothing your baby to sleep and start giving him/her the message to self-settle when tired, he/she will cry. I can help parents with a plan of action so the crying can be managed by all and the crying over and done within a few days.
My charges are a very reasonable set fee according to the time spent with you. I am happy to discuss charges when you phone.