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  #1  
Old 10-13-2014, 01:54 PM
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Default Demanding Infant

I'm not a daycare provider. Rather I'm the parent of a 4 mo old who just started daycare last week. She has always been a very demanding child - wanting lots of attention and entertainment, and hating to be put down. We've been trying for a while to get her more used to putting her down and self-entertaining, but she doesn't really take to it much. It's hard to just let her cry, even with smoothing, especially because she's before the 6 month mark where people talk about that working. My wife may be a bit more of a softy than me, but it's not easy for me either.

This is making daycare harder on her, on us (esp my wife), and on the people who work there.

Everything (well almost everything) you read in parenting books and website says "you can't spoil a baby, you can't spoil a baby, you can't spoil a baby". "If they cry, comfort them, it's good for their development and self-confidence". "Being left to try can undermine their sense of self", etc. Or maybe it's just what I read, but I'm talking about major sites/books, like What to Expect, Baby Center, Baby411, etc. I feel mislead!! (I think?) Okay, maybe you can't make them a spoiled kid? But it sure seems you can set them up for getting 'accustomed to' unreasonable expectations?

But I also realize that in daycare they can't hold her all the time, and she's going to need to learn to self-soothe and not have the constant attention of multiple adults. I don't want her to get the reputation as the screaming difficult baby that none of the workers like. When she's happy she's adorable, communicative (coo'ing, etc), and friendly. But neither do I want it to be traumatizing on her, even if she won't explictly remember it later. Last week she brokje a blood vessel in her eye (presumably crying).

Further, when she gets home from daycare she's exhausted, so it doesn't seem like a time to be training/teaching anything in the evenings.

From your point of view on the other end of the situation, what should I be doing as a parent to help both her and her infant care teachers? While still not feeling like/being a horrible parent to her?
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:02 PM
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Trust in the daycare provider you and your wife have chosen to care for your child. Your child will adapt although it may seem like she is struggling through separation anxiety in the short term.

Last edited by Michael; 10-13-2014 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:06 PM
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How and where does she sleep?

The single most determining factor #1 for her success at daycare is that she is able to sleep alone, on her back, without being rocked or held or in a swing, and long enough to get restorative sleep.

If that happens, the rest will fall in to place. If she's sleeping independently, she'll be happier awake, kwim?

So, make her sleep routines at home as much like at daycare as you can, and it will help her tremendously.


The broken blood vessel leads me to believe that she's crying excessively. I have had some pretty intense kiddos here, but that's never happened. Maybe some of the other provider's have other experiences with that.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:26 PM
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She sleeps alone, on her back, but needs to be (at least one of the following): held/rocked/pacifier-ed to sleep. The only way for her to fall sleep without objection is to do all of them. Do one of them and she'll cry herself to sleep after several minutes. You can put her down just as she dozes off, she'll awake and often object briefly, but if you give her a pacifier she'll doze back off.
(*Most* of the time... again, my wife had a tendency to hold her to nap at least once a day or so... it was a long time before I got her to the point of not holding her for most of her naps).

That is actually a *vast* improvement. A handful of weeks ago, you had to sneak her into her crib well asleep or she'd wake and start wailing.

She is also however, a catnapper. A long nap is an hourish. Yesterday she did 45 min in the morning and an hour in the afternoon and that was a great day (plus a couple shorter ones - most are half an hourish - usually one sleep cycle). She often wakes up unhappy.

She has not yet learned to self-soothe. If you put her down awake, she'll cry. Soothing - short of a pacifier or picking up - has no effect. You can stand there rubbing her head, and shushing her, and holder her hand, for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and she just wails, arches her back and thrashes around (I don't really think it's a sign of reflux... just her own little tantrum. Sometimes she's fine being on her back, when she's already in a good mood, she can lay there and 'talk' with you and smile... so it's not like back=cry all the time)

I've been trying to work on this for months - esp the last month - and have made some, but modest-at-best, progress.

Everything (almost everything?) I read say crying-it-out is inappropriate before 6 months. I know it would hurt my wife to do it even then, but I don't think we should do it even yet.


I do trust the daycare. It's a high quality national brand and a very nice local franchise. But her main caretaker is actually telling us we shouldn't pick her up as much at home. I'm willing to consider it, but I wanted to hear opinions from others as well if that made sense, or what we should be doing/not doing.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:33 PM
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Three more things...
1) The daycare provider has been fine holding and pacifiering her to sleep. Their sleep logs mirror what we experience at home (a little better even - although we wonder if they're counting settling down time). So she's (reportedly) sleeping. It's just when she's awake that's the problem.

2) I don't think it's 'separation anxiety' per say. She's perfectly happy to be dropped off. She's fine being cared for/watched by our parents as well. I don't think she's old enough to really 'miss us', as long as she's being cared for. I think it's 'not being coddled' anxiety. I just don't know what a healthy way is to make her less dependent.

3) Yes, she's pretty intense when she cries/screams. I'm not sure the provided noticed the red spot, so it's possible it did happen to you and you didn't notice .
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:24 PM
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Experienced mother and provider here. And my grandson is ten months and has been "raised" as you mention. You CAN spoil a baby. To the point I have refused to keep my grandson anymore unless they bring him to me at least three days a week so he can learn that he can't always be picked up, entertained, air-planed, sang to, played with every time he whimpers. Last time I had him, he did nothing but cry for five hours. I had to let him cry and yes it broke my heart, and yes it breaks my heart that I had to put my foot down. But I just can't do it. Please work with your child at home, and trust your provider to work with you child there. They can learn the differences between two places, even at a very young age. Kuddos to you for realizing it is an issue and I think you can solve it with your open mind!

ETA at that age, I would happily give the pacifier.
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:36 PM
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She sleeps alone, on her back, but needs to be (at least one of the following): held/rocked/pacifier-ed to sleep. The only way for her to fall sleep without objection is to do all of them. Do one of them and she'll cry herself to sleep after several minutes. You can put her down just as she dozes off, she'll awake and often object briefly, but if you give her a pacifier she'll doze back off.
(*Most* of the time... again, my wife had a tendency to hold her to nap at least once a day or so... it was a long time before I got her to the point of not holding her for most of her naps).

That is actually a *vast* improvement. A handful of weeks ago, you had to sneak her into her crib well asleep or she'd wake and start wailing.

She is also however, a catnapper. A long nap is an hourish. Yesterday she did 45 min in the morning and an hour in the afternoon and that was a great day (plus a couple shorter ones - most are half an hourish - usually one sleep cycle). She often wakes up unhappy.

She has not yet learned to self-soothe. If you put her down awake, she'll cry. Soothing - short of a pacifier or picking up - has no effect. You can stand there rubbing her head, and shushing her, and holder her hand, for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and she just wails, arches her back and thrashes around (I don't really think it's a sign of reflux... just her own little tantrum. Sometimes she's fine being on her back, when she's already in a good mood, she can lay there and 'talk' with you and smile... so it's not like back=cry all the time)

I've been trying to work on this for months - esp the last month - and have made some, but modest-at-best, progress.

Everything (almost everything?) I read say crying-it-out is inappropriate before 6 months. I know it would hurt my wife to do it even then, but I don't think we should do it even yet.


I do trust the daycare. It's a high quality national brand and a very nice local franchise. But her main caretaker is actually telling us we shouldn't pick her up as much at home. I'm willing to consider it, but I wanted to hear opinions from others as well if that made sense, or what we should be doing/not doing.
One thing I'm noticing here is you mention tht she doesn't nap very long at a time and she wakes unhappy which I'm assuming means she isn't getting restorative sleep.

In my experience that is the definition of Baby who is held or entertained to sleep. The. What happens is as they arouse wake, they need to be held or entertained back to sleep. Which means they are not getting adequate sleep.

What needs to happen is she needs to be put to bed wide awake. She shouldn't be allowed to fall sleep in a swing, bouncer, or anything else.

Until she can learn to go to sleep alone and stay asleep alone, she isn't going to get good sleep. And she isn't going to do great at dycare.

She's tired when you pick her up because the daycare workers can't entertain every infant to sleep. So she's allowed to cry some there. Which is understandable in group care.

They may be trying to help her self soothe but as long as y'all are entertaining her to sleep, it just isn't going to go well.

Last edited by Michael; 10-13-2014 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:14 PM
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One thing I'm noticing here is you mention tht she doesn't nap very long at a time and she wakes unhappy which I'm assuming means she isn't getting restorative sleep.

In my experience that is the definition of Baby who is held or entertained to sleep. The. What happens is as they arouse wake, they need to be held or entertained back to sleep. Which means they are not getting adequate sleep.

What needs to happen is she needs to be put to bed wide awake. She shouldn't be allowed to fall sleep in a swing, bouncer, or anything else.

Until she can learn to go to sleep alone and stay asleep alone, she isn't going to get good sleep. And she isn't going to do great at dycare.

She's tired when you pick her up because the daycare workers can't entertain every infant to sleep. So she's allowed to cry some there. Which is understandable in group care.

They may be trying to help her self soothe but as long as y'all are entertaining her to sleep, it just isn't going to go well.


Agree 100 percent. And the longer it goes on, the worse it will get. She will change from a demanding infant to a demanding toddler. This isn't natural, it is taught.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:18 PM
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She sleeps alone, on her back, but needs to be (at least one of the following): held/rocked/pacifier-ed to sleep. The only way for her to fall sleep without objection is to do all of them. Do one of them and she'll cry herself to sleep after several minutes. You can put her down just as she dozes off, she'll awake and often object briefly, but if you give her a pacifier she'll doze back off.
(*Most* of the time... again, my wife had a tendency to hold her to nap at least once a day or so... it was a long time before I got her to the point of not holding her for most of her naps).

That is actually a *vast* improvement. A handful of weeks ago, you had to sneak her into her crib well asleep or she'd wake and start wailing.

She is also however, a catnapper. A long nap is an hourish. Yesterday she did 45 min in the morning and an hour in the afternoon and that was a great day (plus a couple shorter ones - most are half an hourish - usually one sleep cycle). She often wakes up unhappy.

She has not yet learned to self-soothe. If you put her down awake, she'll cry. Soothing - short of a pacifier or picking up - has no effect. You can stand there rubbing her head, and shushing her, and holder her hand, for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and she just wails, arches her back and thrashes around (I don't really think it's a sign of reflux... just her own little tantrum. Sometimes she's fine being on her back, when she's already in a good mood, she can lay there and 'talk' with you and smile... so it's not like back=cry all the time)

I've been trying to work on this for months - esp the last month - and have made some, but modest-at-best, progress.

Everything (almost everything?) I read say crying-it-out is inappropriate before 6 months. I know it would hurt my wife to do it even then, but I don't think we should do it even yet.


I do trust the daycare. It's a high quality national brand and a very nice local franchise. But her main caretaker is actually telling us we shouldn't pick her up as much at home. I'm willing to consider it, but I wanted to hear opinions from others as well if that made sense, or what we should be doing/not doing.
CIO is something I actually only use with MUCH older infants if all else fails. So, yes, she is too young. But, lets clarify what CIO is: Putting a child to bed, saying good night, and then leaving them to cry, regardless of how long it takes. Honestly, if you take your baby now, and fast-forward 6 months, you MAY be in a position where you have no other choice. Let's try something else.

She is used to falling asleep with physical contact, motion, and a pacifier. That's THREE things she is convinced she needs to go to sleep. Does she NEED them? Probably not...but she certainly thinks she does!

Here is what I would do (and have done with countless babies).

1. Set up a sleep routine. (Bath, bottle), snuggle in her quiet, mostly dark room. Sing the same song each night (make one up or use a classic), then sit silently with her as she calms and relaxes (no longer than 10 minutes at first...shorten later). Keep the movement to a minimum.

2. Lay her in her bed, quietly say "nighty night", tuck her in, give her paci, and walk out. Wait 5 minutes while she makes a horrendous, indignant fuss.

3. Go in (turn off lights in hallway if they're on). Pat her tummy for a minute or so, replace paci, quietly say night night, and walk out. Now, wait 7 minutes.

Rinse and repeat, extending the time between "visits" each time. You want to let her know you're there, you love her, you support her, but she CAN do this. You're going to have to do that about 3000 more times in the next 18 years.

Tell the daycare what you are doing so they can do the same.

Once she learns to fall asleep alone, she will be a way happier baby. I KNOW this. Well rested babies equal content babies.

One morning, you will wake up, and realize she not only slept through the night, but she's in her bed, wide awake, talking to herself. Imagine!

I don't know how many times in the last 24 years I've said this: If you don't get her sleeping independently now, you won't do it when she's 6 months old either. Then, imagine she can sit up, screaming to the heavens in outrage. Now, imagine her 9 months old, STANDING in her crib, again outraged. Will you (or dear wife) be able to let her cry then? After all, she could fall and bump her head!

See where it's leading? How about a 2 year old that can climb out?

You are really setting a precedent here. You can do it lovingly and gently and kindly and respectfully now, or you can call "super nanny" in a few years when you have 3 kiddos running amok.

Oh...one more thing. If you want her to use a pacifier (I'm pro-pacifier myself), then teach her how to get it in her mouth. Hold it out in front of her, and say "use your hands" until she grasps it. Then, help her put it in her own mouth. It'll probably take a few weeks yet, but if you teach her how, she can use this skill at naps or at night. We used to "sprinkle" several in our babies beds. As tummy sleepers (years ago), they could already find them by 2 months or so. It takes a little longer with back-sleeping, but eventually you'll be out of the loop there.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:25 PM
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Agree 100 percent. And the longer it goes on, the worse it will get. She will change from a demanding infant to a demanding toddler. This isn't natural, it is taught.
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One thing I'm noticing here is you mention tht she doesn't nap very long at a time and she wakes unhappy which I'm assuming means she isn't getting restorative sleep.

In my experience that is the definition of Baby who is held or entertained to sleep. The. What happens is as they arouse wake, they need to be held or entertained back to sleep. Which means they are not getting adequate sleep.

What needs to happen is she needs to be put to bed wide awake. She shouldn't be allowed to fall sleep in a swing, bouncer, or anything else.

Until she can learn to go to sleep alone and stay asleep alone, she isn't going to get good sleep. And she isn't going to do great at dycare.

She's tired when you pick her up because the daycare workers can't entertain every infant to sleep. So she's allowed to cry some there. Which is understandable in group care.

They may be trying to help her self soothe but as long as y'all are entertaining her to sleep, it just isn't going to go well.
yep, yep, yep!

If you spend much time reading these boards, you can see this "ain't our first rodeo". In the daycare biz, we see this a lot!
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:02 PM
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One thing I'm noticing here is you mention tht she doesn't nap very long at a time and she wakes unhappy which I'm assuming means she isn't getting restorative sleep.

In my experience that is the definition of Baby who is held or entertained to sleep. The. What happens is as they arouse wake, they need to be held or entertained back to sleep. Which means they are not getting adequate sleep.

What needs to happen is she needs to be put to bed wide awake. She shouldn't be allowed to fall sleep in a swing, bouncer, or anything else.

Until she can learn to go to sleep alone and stay asleep alone, she isn't going to get good sleep. And she isn't going to do great at dycare.

She's tired when you pick her up because the daycare workers can't entertain every infant to sleep. So she's allowed to cry some there. Which is understandable in group care.

They may be trying to help her self soothe but as long as y'all are entertaining her to sleep, it just isn't going to go well.
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:08 PM
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Here is what I would do (and have done with countless babies).

1. Set up a sleep routine. (Bath, bottle), snuggle in her quiet, mostly dark room. Sing the same song each night (make one up or use a classic), then sit silently with her as she calms and relaxes (no longer than 10 minutes at first...shorten later). Keep the movement to a minimum.

2. Lay her in her bed, quietly say "nighty night", tuck her in, give her paci, and walk out. Wait 5 minutes while she makes a horrendous, indignant fuss.

3. Go in (turn off lights in hallway if they're on). Pat her tummy for a minute or so, replace paci, quietly say night night, and walk out.
I didn't mean to get into technicalities here of "cry it out" vs Feberizing.

What you describe is exactly how I understand Feberizing, aka: "gradual extinction" to work. Correct?

If so I'll repeat my statement that I've read that Feberizing isn't appropriate until they are developmentally ready, which may not be until 6 months. Isn't this too early??
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Old 10-14-2014, 06:43 AM
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This is only to early if you don't mind having the same issue in six months or a year or two years. NO it isn't to early. It will be far easier on everyone if you do it now. It sounds like you are over thinking this and trying to be a perfect parent. While I applaud you for wanting to be a good parent, keep in mind that the perfect one doesn't exist. It sounds to me like you are having fears over this whole sleep thing. We love kids and wouldn't ask you to mistreat one, but perhaps you would feel better if you went to the doctor and discussed it with them. They will likely tell you just what we are, but it may make you feel better. Also keep in mind that researching and reading books is great, but every child is different and books can't account for that.
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Old 10-14-2014, 06:55 AM
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I didn't mean to get into technicalities here of "cry it out" vs Feberizing.

What you describe is exactly how I understand Feberizing, aka: "gradual extinction" to work. Correct?

If so I'll repeat my statement that I've read that Feberizing isn't appropriate until they are developmentally ready, which may not be until 6 months. Isn't this too early??
No, I don't think it's too early. As long as you are gentle about it.

Babies are born with the ability to fall asleep. That part is not a learned skill. Your LO has learned she needs lots of help to fall asleep. She is competent to do this; you just have to help her get there and trust her.

You, as a parent, can decide that it's just too early, or feels to harsh. But, it's a trade off. She cries less for you, but at daycare, where they can't replicate one-on-one (or two-on-one, for that matter) care, she's crying MORE.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:13 AM
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Yep!

Either way, there is training going on.
We can train them in to a healthy, workable pattern, that results in a healthy happy, well-rested baby.
Or they can train us to let them take a long time to go to sleep with many nighttime wakings, resulting in eventual lack of sleep for everyone.
From birth we are helping them form patterns. It's just that sometimes they realize it before we do.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:56 PM
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No, I don't think it's too early. As long as you are gentle about it.

Babies are born with the ability to fall asleep. That part is not a learned skill. Your LO has learned she needs lots of help to fall asleep. She is competent to do this; you just have to help her get there and trust her.

You, as a parent, can decide that it's just too early, or feels to harsh. But, it's a trade off. She cries less for you, but at daycare, where they can't replicate one-on-one (or two-on-one, for that matter) care, she's crying MORE.
Im working with a set of parents to sleep train their 4.5 month old. They were very open to my suggestions and I can tell they are doing their part at home.

It really has to be a partnership and a willingness on both parts to come to a resolution that really IS better for the kiddo and all parties involved.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:15 PM
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Im working with a set of parents to sleep train their 4.5 month old. They were very open to my suggestions and I can tell they are doing their part at home.

It really has to be a partnership and a willingness on both parts to come to a resolution that really IS better for the kiddo and all parties involved.
Yes!

I am going to go back to my original point, which was that if she's crying hard enough to bust a vein, she is really struggling at daycare. She may NEVER cry at home; but the trade off, she's BUSTING A VEIN because she's so overwhelmed by the home/daycare disparity.

So, if she is too young to "sleep train", then she's too young to leave mom/dad at all, or she needs a one-on-one caregiver. That's my take on it.
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:13 PM
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I would add that it will get worse before it gets better. At this point, she is most certainly sleep deprived and it is showing. At that age, I would have a daycare child sleeping three naps from 90 minutes to 2 hours each (in a 10 hour period). If you can get the sleep worked out, I assure you you will see a huge difference.

Also, dont be too hard on yourself! This isnt going to happen overnight. And an experienced provider will have seen more than their fair share of crying babies so I would bet the caregivers tolerance is about 100 times more than what you (and wife) can handle. A crying baby is no big deal at daycare. Not to minimize your concern, only to point out that you dont need to worry so much about the provider thinking your child is too needy. For four months, she sounds perfectly on track....that is the age where babies need some help falling into predictable sleep patterns. Sleep isn't learned.....but good sleep habits ARE learned behaviors.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:00 PM
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You've already taken a great first step by recognizing that this behavior is taxing on everyone involved, and reaching out for support. I worked in an infant room at a center for six years, and in my experience if the parents acknowledged that their child was fussy, and expressed gratitude to us, instead of being defensive or trying to insinuate we were to blame, then putting up with the crying was much easier. A larger center makes it easier to have cranky babies, because when the crying gets to much for one teacher, another one can step in. Our director used to take babies for walks inside the building just to give us, and the baby, a little break.
So even though it may not make her cry less, it might make the teachers feel better if you continue to keep open communication lines, and let them know you are working on it at home. Also, remember that soon she will learn to sit up, and that can really help a baby calm down, because she's entertained just by having a bigger field of vision. Hold out hope that it will help her a little.
Then, as for sleeping, have you tried white noise? You could test it with a hair dryer, or a white noise app on your phone. Even static on the radio. Some babies just need that extra distraction, and it can become a cue for her if you are implementing a sleep time routine. Also, is she swaddled or in a woombie? If she can use those at daycare (not in my state, but some) that could help as well. And remember that babies and children feed off of our emotions, so if you or your wife is feeling stressed while you are by her crib trying to sooth her, it could backfire. Even with my preschoolers, I often had to make an effort to breath deeply, block out the thoughts of "Why won't they just sleep?" and pretend that it wasn't important if they slept or not.
While awake, keep trying to get her to play on her own. Lay down next to her, manipulate the toys so she sees how they work, and just get her used to being on the ground. Perhaps if she get used to being there with you, she won't feel alone when you move away?
I applaud you for taking the initiative to fix this, and hope you can hang in there. This too shall pass. (Sorry this was so long!)
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:21 PM
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Babies are born with the ability to fall asleep. That part is not a learned skill. Your LO has learned she needs lots of help to fall asleep. She is competent to do this; you just have to help her get there and trust her.
Eek, this is simply not true. If you want to sleep-train, please use a gentle method before 6 months, and do a lot of research on babies and sleep beforehand.

I understand that gentler parenting methods don't always mesh with daycare; but it sounds like you (and your wife?) are ok with training. I have nothing against it per se, but please don't be fooled into thinking that babies are born knowing how to sleep on their own and we somehow mess them up by comforting them when they cry and are clearly showing signs of distress (most babies need some help to sleep, it's a simple fact).

There are plenty of daycares out there whose staff are willing to put some time and energy into helping babies (and even toddlers!) get to sleep in a peaceful manner; it's not mandatory that a baby cry it out in order to fit into a daycare provider's schedule.
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Old 10-25-2014, 12:05 AM
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Eek, this is simply not true... I have nothing against it per se, but please don't be fooled into thinking that babies are born knowing how to sleep on their own and we somehow mess them up by comforting them when they cry and are clearly showing signs of distress (most babies need some help to sleep, it's a simple fact)
It IS absolutely true that babies are born knowing how to sleep. It is just common sense. Do you think that they don't sleep while they are in utero? They have been self soothing for many months before they are even born!

I know you are a new first time mom, but something that you will hopefully eventually learn is that we are always training our children. The only question is, what are we training them to do? If we hold them and cuddle them and feed them to sleep, we teach them that they NEED these things to be able to sleep. Teaching a child to self soothe is one of the best gifts that we can ever give them.
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Old 10-25-2014, 05:17 AM
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Do not put me down for being a first time mom. I'm 35, completely literate, and supplied with a great set of instincts. Which I listen to, rather than suppressing in order to fit my baby into my busy life.

Babies in utero are rocked and swaddled to sleep by the womb and movement of mom. Do you really think a baby just left on it's back, day one, no swaddle, no comfort, nothing, is likely to just drift off to sleep? That we're just weak women being controlled by our manipulative infants?

Children left to do so on their own timeline will eventually learn to self soothe. If that's taking too long (as it does for most modern people in modern society ) we can sleep-train. But it's NOT the only option, and NOT necessary to do if the parents don't want or need to.

I honestly have nothing against parents who decide to sleep train; it's just not feasible for everyone to continue to give their child the help they need to sleep for as long as they need it. It may not be feasible for me, but only because of daycare. It's worked fine up until now (almost 2)!

What I do have a problem with is the idea that the only option is to force a baby (especially one under 6 months!) to "learn" how to sleep on their own. Many daycares are open to helping children of all ages get to sleep by spending a few to several minutes rubbing their backs in a calm environment. Yes, they all adjust to the routine, and that REALLY helps, but not all babies are required to be trained to sleep on their own with no help.

This dad doesn't sound like he wants to take forever letting his child learn to self-soothe on her own, and I understand that, but 4 months is too young to be leaving a baby alone to cry who obviously needs some help sleeping.
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Old 10-25-2014, 10:14 PM
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Do not put me down for being a first time mom. I'm 35, completely literate, and supplied with a great set of instincts. Which I listen to, rather than suppressing in order to fit my baby into my busy life.

Babies in utero are rocked and swaddled to sleep by the womb and movement of mom. Do you really think a baby just left on it's back, day one, no swaddle, no comfort, nothing, is likely to just drift off to sleep? That we're just weak women being controlled by our manipulative infants?

Children left to do so on their own timeline will eventually learn to self soothe. If that's taking too long (as it does for most modern people in modern society ) we can sleep-train. But it's NOT the only option, and NOT necessary to do if the parents don't want or need to.

I honestly have nothing against parents who decide to sleep train; it's just not feasible for everyone to continue to give their child the help they need to sleep for as long as they need it. It may not be feasible for me, but only because of daycare. It's worked fine up until now (almost 2)!

What I do have a problem with is the idea that the only option is to force a baby (especially one under 6 months!) to "learn" how to sleep on their own. Many daycares are open to helping children of all ages get to sleep by spending a few to several minutes rubbing their backs in a calm environment. Yes, they all adjust to the routine, and that REALLY helps, but not all babies are required to be trained to sleep on their own with no help.

This dad doesn't sound like he wants to take forever letting his child learn to self-soothe on her own, and I understand that, but 4 months is too young to be leaving a baby alone to cry who obviously needs some help sleeping.
I agree with this. I think 4 months is too young.

I also don't believe in cry it out so I could be biased.
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Old 10-26-2014, 01:27 PM
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Interesting views on this . Because I am in a center , even though I work with 3 and 4 year olds, all of us have training on infant development . I'm going to look over my paperwork and join this conversation a little later .
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Old 10-26-2014, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Elko View Post
Do not put me down for being a first time mom. I'm 35, completely literate, and supplied with a great set of instincts. Which I listen to, rather than suppressing in order to fit my baby into my busy life.

Babies in utero are rocked and swaddled to sleep by the womb and movement of mom. Do you really think a baby just left on it's back, day one, no swaddle, no comfort, nothing, is likely to just drift off to sleep? That we're just weak women being controlled by our manipulative infants?

Children left to do so on their own timeline will eventually learn to self soothe. If that's taking too long (as it does for most modern people in modern society ) we can sleep-train. But it's NOT the only option, and NOT necessary to do if the parents don't want or need to.

I honestly have nothing against parents who decide to sleep train; it's just not feasible for everyone to continue to give their child the help they need to sleep for as long as they need it. It may not be feasible for me, but only because of daycare. It's worked fine up until now (almost 2)!

What I do have a problem with is the idea that the only option is to force a baby (especially one under 6 months!) to "learn" how to sleep on their own. Many daycares are open to helping children of all ages get to sleep by spending a few to several minutes rubbing their backs in a calm environment. Yes, they all adjust to the routine, and that REALLY helps, but not all babies are required to be trained to sleep on their own with no help.

This dad doesn't sound like he wants to take forever letting his child learn to self-soothe on her own, and I understand that, but 4 months is too young to be leaving a baby alone to cry who obviously needs some help sleeping.
See, at NO point would I suggest that they just throw her in bed, walk away, and say "whatever, she'll sleep".

In the 3 elaborations I made on my suggestions, I used the word gentle about 50 times, I think (I'm not rereading them now, so that's a wild guess).

I DO believe babies are born with the ability to fall asleep. But of course, conditions need to be right. Every baby in our area is sent home with a swaddle sack (which we can also use under our regs). We are also able to use blankets, as long as they are secured around the crib mattress. Some of the providers in other states can't even do that. It honestly doesn't even sound remotely cozy to me.

In the first couple weeks, there is so much sleeping, it's hard to separate the sleeping, feeding, and eliminating. But slowly, there is a point when baby is laid down, that some fuss or protest instead of just dozing off.

That is the turning point. That is when a parent can either do the most possible in terms of intervention right away, or they can stand back and observe. They can gently place a hand on baby's tummy and take a moment to figure out what baby needs, support and communicate vs. immediate rescue.

I can't tell you how many 3-4 month old children I've seen crying while parents are jiggling, bouncing, and shushing them in a public place or a room full of people. Baby is just getting more and more wound up, and no one is listening to why.

If I take that same infant into a quiet, cool room, lay her on her back, cover her securely, offer a pacifier or thumb or fist, and put gentle pressure on her tummy, I'd bet money MOST of them will be calm/alert or asleep in less than 10 minutes. I've had babies in my program who's parents tell me "she won't sleep", and yet they sleep here. All alone, in a bed, no rocking or nursing to sleep (full belly, a good burp or two, and a clean diaper).

Last year, I had one who I termed because while she slept perfectly and without fussing for me, her parents were sure that she didn't sleep at home because of my daycare practices. WAIT...WHAT? She also nursed for hours because I was overfeeding her (5 oz every 3-4 hours, on demand).

She's 22 months old now, they sometimes visit, and mom recently shared that they spent a half of a night driving around the countryside because she wouldn't sleep. Well, I guess that was my fault too?

There is no one way to do "this". The man asked for advice. I gave him mine based on 24 years of experience as a mother and DCP working with several dozen infants. He can take it or not take it; that's his choice.
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:14 PM
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See, at NO point would I suggest that they just throw her in bed, walk away, and say "whatever, she'll sleep".

In the 3 elaborations I made on my suggestions, I used the word gentle about 50 times, I think (I'm not rereading them now, so that's a wild guess).

I DO believe babies are born with the ability to fall asleep. But of course, conditions need to be right. Every baby in our area is sent home with a swaddle sack (which we can also use under our regs). We are also able to use blankets, as long as they are secured around the crib mattress. Some of the providers in other states can't even do that. It honestly doesn't even sound remotely cozy to me.

In the first couple weeks, there is so much sleeping, it's hard to separate the sleeping, feeding, and eliminating. But slowly, there is a point when baby is laid down, that some fuss or protest instead of just dozing off.

That is the turning point. That is when a parent can either do the most possible in terms of intervention right away, or they can stand back and observe. They can gently place a hand on baby's tummy and take a moment to figure out what baby needs, support and communicate vs. immediate rescue.

I can't tell you how many 3-4 month old children I've seen crying while parents are jiggling, bouncing, and shushing them in a public place or a room full of people. Baby is just getting more and more wound up, and no one is listening to why.

If I take that same infant into a quiet, cool room, lay her on her back, cover her securely, offer a pacifier or thumb or fist, and put gentle pressure on her tummy, I'd bet money MOST of them will be calm/alert or asleep in less than 10 minutes. I've had babies in my program who's parents tell me "she won't sleep", and yet they sleep here. All alone, in a bed, no rocking or nursing to sleep (full belly, a good burp or two, and a clean diaper).

Last year, I had one who I termed because while she slept perfectly and without fussing for me, her parents were sure that she didn't sleep at home because of my daycare practices. WAIT...WHAT? She also nursed for hours because I was overfeeding her (5 oz every 3-4 hours, on demand).

She's 22 months old now, they sometimes visit, and mom recently shared that they spent a half of a night driving around the countryside because she wouldn't sleep. Well, I guess that was my fault too?

There is no one way to do "this". The man asked for advice. I gave him mine based on 24 years of experience as a mother and DCP working with several dozen infants. He can take it or not take it; that's his choice.
this exactly.
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:21 AM
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I was mostly replying to Josie Jo, who implied that I'm a clueless first time mom being manipulated by my baby, and I can't be expected to understand unless I work for years with other peoples' children.

I'm just saying, all babies are different in what they need, and it's too simplistic to say that one method will work for all babies. My point is it's not necessary to train babies to sleep on their own. They'll figure it out on their own, even if you cater to their every "whim" (Everyone also disagrees as to what is considered a need vs. a whim when it comes to comfort, but it's not really important to my point).

Most people don't have the ability to just wait it out though, especially if they need to put their child in daycare. Most babies will accept different, and even less comfort from a provider than they will from their parents. It's just how it is. So even though you are obviously skilled and knowledgable in your field, it's not fair to claim that parents are causing sleeping issues in their infants and you can almost always fix them. It's not accurate.

We have an infant whose parents definitely don't coddle him, but he sleeps almost instantly for us and takes a lot longer for them. That should not be seen as manipulation, but a baby knowing who his parents are, and feeling comfortable asking for more time and comfort from them.

I agree that this dad is looking for advice on training, and I'm just giving a different perspective. I know, even though I'd love to think everyone wants my super unique and interesting point of view, that's not really the case. But maybe it's partly selfish. I'd like more people to know that there are other ways to do things, so people like me won't feel bullied about our parenting as often (yes that sounds dramatic, but it's how it feels. Not here, in real life).
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:44 AM
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Do not put me down for being a first time mom. I'm 35, completely literate, and supplied with a great set of instincts. Which I listen to, rather than suppressing in order to fit my baby into my busy life.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elko View Post
I was mostly replying to Josie Jo, who implied that I'm a clueless first time mom being manipulated by my baby, and I can't be expected to understand unless I work for years with other peoples' children.


I didn't read anywhere in JosieJo's reply that she was putting you down for being a first time mom or implying you were clueless

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Old 10-27-2014, 10:44 AM
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Here is some really good info about sleep and babies

http://www.pediatricservices.com/parents/pc-13.htm
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:58 AM
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I was mostly replying to Josie Jo, who implied that I'm a clueless first time mom being manipulated by my baby, and I can't be expected to understand unless I work for years with other peoples' children.

I'm just saying, all babies are different in what they need, and it's too simplistic to say that one method will work for all babies. My point is it's not necessary to train babies to sleep on their own. They'll figure it out on their own, even if you cater to their every "whim" (Everyone also disagrees as to what is considered a need vs. a whim when it comes to comfort, but it's not really important to my point).

Most people don't have the ability to just wait it out though, especially if they need to put their child in daycare. Most babies will accept different, and even less comfort from a provider than they will from their parents. It's just how it is. So even though you are obviously skilled and knowledgable in your field, it's not fair to claim that parents are causing sleeping issues in their infants and you can almost always fix them. It's not accurate.

We have an infant whose parents definitely don't coddle him, but he sleeps almost instantly for us and takes a lot longer for them. That should not be seen as manipulation, but a baby knowing who his parents are, and feeling comfortable asking for more time and comfort from them.

I agree that this dad is looking for advice on training, and I'm just giving a different perspective. I know, even though I'd love to think everyone wants my super unique and interesting point of view, that's not really the case. But maybe it's partly selfish. I'd like more people to know that there are other ways to do things, so people like me won't feel bullied about our parenting as often (yes that sounds dramatic, but it's how it feels. Not here, in real life).
I absolutely support your methods. As long as they work for you and your child, you should do what you feel is best and people should mind their own business.

However; there are a few situations I don't understand (not directed at you, just random other people).

First, folks who use these AP techniques, but then complain about their lack of sleep, how drained they are, or how their marriage is suffering because mom wants baby in the bed and dad is sleeping on a twin in the other room. I think they co-sleep because it's easiest in the short run and then sort of get stuck. KWIM? I have a hard time with people being martyrs, I guess.

I will also say that the argument that children learn different things at home and daycare is valid to a point. But, if a baby is capable of learning all that, why aren't they capable of learning to sleep without intervention? I'd also say that while it can happen, it's usually much harder on the baby. Consistency and predictability is way easier on the kid than extremes, and the younger the more that's true. The toddlers I have here are way different with their parents (mostly whinier) than with me, but the youngest ones do better with consistency.

If you doubt that, search for "sleep problems" on this board, and you'll find one after the other after the other of threads where a provider has a 4, 5, 6, 8, or 11 month old that won't sleep, cries endlessly, and is driving someone bonkers.

Elko, you sound like a wonderful mom, and I don't think anyone here is arguing that you should do anything different. She's YOUR child, not ours. Those people that may try to suggest that it's an experience thing are not saying you're stupid. They're coming from a different place is all. Taking care of one child of your own for 2 years is a very different experience than taking care of 4-10 children year after year.

So, we just all have different perspectives. I can guarantee that at some point in your life, you will look at another parent (probably your own daughter) and say "yep, I could have told you that, but you wouldn't believe me...".
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:41 PM
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Oh i totally understand that there's a huge difference between me having one child and having to take care of, really any more than one :-) it is a more demanding way of doing things at least in the first few years. I'm not sleep deprived at all, except in case of illness or teething, which probably isn't that different from parents who sleep train. It does take more time and effort to get her down, which sometimes is totally annoying but usually is a nice little relaxing time of my day where we get to cuddle and reconnect after a busy day of toddler life.

I definitely understand that it doesn't easily mesh with daycare, as you've gathered from my posts :-) i just have a problem with the idea that in general, it's doing baby and parents a disservice to help kids get to sleep as long as they need it. There are places that manage to spend some time, but i assume they have plenty of staff available.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:36 AM
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I definitely understand that it doesn't easily mesh with daycare, as you've gathered from my posts :-)
I think this is the main point of the entire thread. It's much different if the parents want to cuddle their child to sleep, etc and they are home to care for her (or working in the same daycare with her ).

Bottom line, it doesn't work in daycare, for the vast majority.

Sounds like the dad who posted this realizes this. Unfortunately they DO have to work and they DO have to send their baby to daycare. So yes, they will have to at some point train the baby to sleep, the sooner the better.

Yes, there are some places that will spend more time soothing a baby to sleep, but they are VERY few and far between around here. So unless the parents are wanting to completely uproot the child and search for the perfect daycare, helping her learn to soothe herself gently is the best way to go.

They may find a daycare that soothes the baby to sleep, but the trade off may be 10 other things that they dislike, but were happy with at the first daycare.

Training to self soothe does not hurt the child. It benefits them greatly! I have 3 kids of my own. My first child I stayed home with and cuddled and rocked and the whole nine yards. The other 2 didn't have that option, I had to work. Looking back I wish I had done things different with her, the other 2 were much happier babies. Although at the time I would swear up and down that she was perfectly happy, but I had nothing to compare it to
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Old 11-07-2014, 10:26 AM
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CIO is something I actually only use with MUCH older infants if all else fails. So, yes, she is too young. But, lets clarify what CIO is: Putting a child to bed, saying good night, and then leaving them to cry, regardless of how long it takes. Honestly, if you take your baby now, and fast-forward 6 months, you MAY be in a position where you have no other choice. Let's try something else.

She is used to falling asleep with physical contact, motion, and a pacifier. That's THREE things she is convinced she needs to go to sleep. Does she NEED them? Probably not...but she certainly thinks she does!

Here is what I would do (and have done with countless babies).

1. Set up a sleep routine. (Bath, bottle), snuggle in her quiet, mostly dark room. Sing the same song each night (make one up or use a classic), then sit silently with her as she calms and relaxes (no longer than 10 minutes at first...shorten later). Keep the movement to a minimum.

2. Lay her in her bed, quietly say "nighty night", tuck her in, give her paci, and walk out. Wait 5 minutes while she makes a horrendous, indignant fuss.

3. Go in (turn off lights in hallway if they're on). Pat her tummy for a minute or so, replace paci, quietly say night night, and walk out. Now, wait 7 minutes.

Rinse and repeat, extending the time between "visits" each time. You want to let her know you're there, you love her, you support her, but she CAN do this. You're going to have to do that about 3000 more times in the next 18 years.

Tell the daycare what you are doing so they can do the same.

Once she learns to fall asleep alone, she will be a way happier baby. I KNOW this. Well rested babies equal content babies.

One morning, you will wake up, and realize she not only slept through the night, but she's in her bed, wide awake, talking to herself. Imagine!

I don't know how many times in the last 24 years I've said this: If you don't get her sleeping independently now, you won't do it when she's 6 months old either. Then, imagine she can sit up, screaming to the heavens in outrage. Now, imagine her 9 months old, STANDING in her crib, again outraged. Will you (or dear wife) be able to let her cry then? After all, she could fall and bump her head!

See where it's leading? How about a 2 year old that can climb out?

You are really setting a precedent here. You can do it lovingly and gently and kindly and respectfully now, or you can call "super nanny" in a few years when you have 3 kiddos running amok.

Oh...one more thing. If you want her to use a pacifier (I'm pro-pacifier myself), then teach her how to get it in her mouth. Hold it out in front of her, and say "use your hands" until she grasps it. Then, help her put it in her own mouth. It'll probably take a few weeks yet, but if you teach her how, she can use this skill at naps or at night. We used to "sprinkle" several in our babies beds. As tummy sleepers (years ago), they could already find them by 2 months or so. It takes a little longer with back-sleeping, but eventually you'll be out of the loop there.
Just to chime in, your method absolutely works, and you are a life saver! I had an infant that would.not.nap longer than 15-30 mins because she just expected someone to come in, and help her fall back asleep. Frustrating to say the least, unless you are one on one with just the infant, as the child is exhausted and tired baby equals cranky baby. Fortunately, your method worked wonders, and she now takes 1-2 hour naps, twice a day. Worth mentioning also, is I told her parents over and over about putting baby to sleep while awake, gently patting, but not picking up/rocking. They did not listen at all, because they just wanted to do the fastest method to get the baby to stay asleep. It never worked, obviously, because she would wake up and need to be "helped" back to sleep. Finally, after months and months, they are using this method, and the baby is overall so much more happy and rested.
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