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How do you get an overtired baby to sleep?

My DS is almost 5 months old. I'm trying to work on getting him into a good sleep schedule, but we can't get past the over tired thing. He won't nap for more than 30 minutes at a time during the day. He wakes up 4-6 times a night. He won't let me rock him, he just fusses and writhes around. I try to just lay him down when I know he's tired and he just screams and cries himself into a fit, that's when he lets me rock him and he just passes out immediately. I'm so exhausted I'm in tears. He's breastfed and doing great with that. We started on solids but it gave him diarrhea so we are holding off on those for a little longer. I'm trying to fix this problem of him being overtired but he won't let me. I'm at a total loss as to what to try next.

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pixiemom78

Asked by pixiemom78 at 12:12 PM on Oct. 3, 2008 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (8)
  • You are welcome to join us in our group "Common Sense Parenting" where we discuss exactly these same issues. :) Remember that the human body builds energy every day. Even little ones need to expend this energy in order for their brain and their body to relax & rest. Be sure and take him for a brisk stroller ride for 30-40 min. every day. This will stimulate his brain. Sing with him and talk about everything you see as you walk. This will be good for both of you. For more ideas feel free to join us. :)
    lifeasinoit

    Answer by lifeasinoit at 12:19 PM on Oct. 3, 2008

  • I know what you mean! It's a catch-22... he won't sleep when he's overtired, which makes him more tired.
    One of the problems I've found is that they are actually in pain when they get that tired. You can try giving him a small dose of pain killer or you can try teething tablets. Both help take the edge off the discomfort and irritability that is keeping him from resting.

    On a different note, please remember this experience a year or two from now. Lots of moms will start to tell you to drop his last nap so he'll sleep better at night. You now know how silly that advice is for your child.
    kaycee14

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:35 PM on Oct. 3, 2008

  • Oh, and I agree with the activity. Get him into sunlight within an hour of his waking in the morning and get him some activitiy (mental or physical) about 2 hours before bedtime.
    kaycee14

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:36 PM on Oct. 3, 2008

  • I agree about the teething tablets, they are wonderful. I had the same problem with my daughter when she was pretty much that same age. Afte night after night of fighting her, I let her cry herself to sleep and it was the best thing I ever did for myself and for her. She will now go to bed and take her nap without the fight.
    bbennington1

    Answer by bbennington1 at 12:42 PM on Oct. 3, 2008

  • hugs!! do you have a night time routine for your son? We started one as soon as he was out of his little bed and into his crib, that was about 4-5 weeks of age. My bf and I give our son a bath around 8, and then follow it up with a bedtime massage, then he's dressed for bed, we read him a story, and then we put him on his tummy to sleep, and i make a couple trips to pat his back, and then say goodnight, and leave, i only do it about 3 times, sometimes 4, and then leave, he falls asleep easily and sleeps from about 9pm til about 5, lately its been 6. Babies love routine, when I get ready for bed, about two hours later, I roll him over onto his back, I know there is alot of people against tummy sleeping, but this is what works for us, and we have a very happy boy.
    sweetscrappin

    Answer by sweetscrappin at 1:17 PM on Oct. 3, 2008

  • Try putting him down when you start to see the first signs of sleepiness rather than letting him get overly tired. Routine and scheduling is important from what I've learned. My DD is the same age and I just got rid of her pacifier and started "sleep training" this week. She slept through the night uninterrupted for the first time last night and is taking great naps! She fusses a bit when I put her down for a nap but is putting herself to sleep now and doesn't rely on a paci or me to help her sleep and I think that's the key. If you get him on a good schedule he'll know what to expect and won't fight it. His little body will get used to going to sleep at a certain time (for naps and night time) and you'll know when he's tired and needs to go down... scheduling makes everyone's life easier.
    flalbert

    Answer by flalbert at 1:23 PM on Oct. 3, 2008

  • i give my baby girl a bath every night and shut of all lights and put somthing on tv for her and play with her for 20 minutes feed her then put her to bed.she sleeps all night til 7am.she does get lke that sometimes and i have to take her for a walk but its been getting to cold.take em to a window to look out of ..my baby only sleeps in a diaper.if that helps.
    angelairelan

    Answer by angelairelan at 5:23 PM on Oct. 3, 2008

  • Check out www.magicsleepsuit.com
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:02 PM on Oct. 5, 2008

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