I know that every child is different, and I've even made myself believe that nothing will actually help her except for Time. All of the reading and research and tips and tricks are only serving as a distraction, and after a year of trying everything, she'll have outgrown her hatred of sleep and I won't know who to credit because I have indeed tried everything.
But here I am, looking for help. I know you moms have lots if ideas, and I'm willing to try them.
First, you need to know what I am doing and what I have tried.
Here is a pretty good idea of what her day looks like:
I follow a general Eat/Activity/Sleep routine. No need to read the details if you don't care. She's on about a 3 hour schedule.
7:30am: (and she's always happy - good sign) Milk
7:40-9 or 9:30: play & 10 minutes of quiet time before nap
9-10:30: Nap with a little help after 45 minutes. I sneak in and gently jiggle the crib mattress. She calms down right away, and often sleeps for another 30-60 minutes.
10:30ish: cereal/vegetable <--just started veggies
11:00: milk/formula (6 oz)
11:10-1ish: drooling, squealing, blowing raspberries, tummy time, loving life.
1-2:30ish: nap time! Same story as above - sometimes she sleeps straight for an hour and a half, other times she needs help.
2:30 or 3: milk/formula (6 oz)
3-4:30: kicking, cooing, avoiding smiling at the camera, general baby shenanigans
4:30: short nap (meaning, I don't work to make it longer)
5:30: Milk + formula I know my supply is low since going back to work. I tank her up at night with both so I know she's full before bed time.
Play until 7:30 or shows signs of sleepiness.
Bedtime routine is about a 1/2 hour total consisting of bathtime (doesn't happen every day), Peanut Butter Jammie Time!, snuggling in the rocker and maybe reading or singing
7:30: to bed for the night. <---she's always put down while she's still awake, and puts herself to sleep without any problem.
After this, she might sleep straight until 11 when I feed her again (because I know then she can make it to morning without a problem). OR, She might wake 5 times by 11. Then after I feed her, she is awake at least every two hours. Many times, we can give her paci back and she's right back to sleep.
My habit of late is to go in, give her a paci, and go back to bed. I do not intentionally let her cry, but I don't go in and pick her up and rock her either.
Here is what I have tried, and does not work, but should mention I do not want to make a habit of it either:
- Checking Diaper
- Bringing her into my bed (which takes a while to get her back to sleep and then I can't sleep comfortably
- Hearing her cry, waiting 5 minutes, going in and giving her paci back. (she then goes back to sleep for an hour or two - so never get to build up more time letting her cry)
- Hearing her cry, and turning down the monitor so I can only hear her quietly over a fan and through two doors, and waiting to see how long she cries. I usually fall asleep, but wake a half hour later to her (still?) crying (again?)
She is swaddled at night (and has rolled over onto her belly while swaddled! Can also roll belly to back while swaddled)
She is not swaddled for naps.
She freaks out and does not sleep well on her back anymore, so she sleeps on her side or her tummy.
I've tried cereal in a bottle before bed. Inconsistent results. Sometimes it seems she slept better, other times it's still Open Crib Party!!
What I feel is kind of crazy, is that she wakes SO happy in the morning! But I am bleary eyed and exhausted.
All I want is like 4 hours in a row of sleep. Each night. I don't feel that that's asking too much of a 5 month old. There have been plenty of nights where she's giving 7-9 hour stretches and I love love love it....but then it's followed by No Sleep. I just want a little consistency.
I'm asking for your help. Even if you don't know me or have never commented, I'd love to hear your suggestions.
BTW, She's napping now. She woke after a half hour. Took her a good half hour of crying on and off (with my help) to finally go back to sleep and it's been close to two hours now.
She clearly hates sleep. One of the best gifts from God, and she hates it.
Is the pacifier the bad guy? Swaddling? Do I move up a size in her diaper at night? (she's often wet in the morning these days) Is her bedtime the right time?
I would be okay if your suggestion was for me to take up drinking. Because I've already done that.
Thank you in advance.