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9 month old who hates crib

not sleeping

My daughter, who will be 9 months in 2.5 weeks has begun to hate being put in her crib. She has always been on a schedule with consistent nap and bed times and been put to sleep drowsy and at around 5 months I let her self soothe and she has been sleeping through the nights since then. However getting her to fall asleep has become quite difficult. Sometimes she will fall asleep on the breast and other times she will fall asleep drowsy with minimal interaction but more often than not she is refusing to sleep. She cries and stands in her crib and pleads to be picked up. I've tried not going in for days, I've tried going in and putting her back down or telling her it's time to sleep etc. Eventually she falls asleep but only after an enormous amount of crying. This is going on for a while and I hate to see her cry unnecessarily. I'm stumped, once I realized that CIO wasn't working I tried holding her, (she perks up and wants to play) rocking her (she stands up and cries) and I'm lost as to what to do.

I agree this is an unusual situation.  In my experience, at her age most sleep issues happen because children have not learned to fall asleep on their own.  This causes problems at bedtime and then throughout the night as these children cannot settle themselves back down after normal night wakings.  Is she waking throughout the night? If she is able to put herself back to sleep in the middle of the night then I agree that she does know how to put herself to sleep.

It is common that our children who have recently learned to pull up, pull up and cry at bedtime. Often they do so since (early on) they are not able to let go and lay down.  During this stage, we will go through a couple week period where we have to go in, lay them back down and give them a paci.

While I'm happy to hear that she is on a schedule - maybe the schedule is part of the problem.  Is she really tired when you are putting her down for bed? It sounds like she is not ready to go to sleep at the current bedtime. How many naps is she getting a day? When is her last nap of the day?  Most 9 month olds take 2 naps totaling about 3 hours.

You need to make sure is ready for bedtime. A few things to try:
1.)  A later bedtime
2.) Decreased number of naps
3.) Decreased length of her last nap
4.) Getting outside between her last nap and bedtime.

Once you do begin the bedtime process you must stick with the routine. If you consistently give into her crying you will create a habitual crier.

 

 

Written May 2016 by
Gregory Gordon MD, Orlando Pediatrician

 

 

 

 

 

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