What do you do when your self soother won't self soothe?

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by Mom2VLS, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Mom2VLS

    Mom2VLS Well-Known Member

    From an early age I put the twins down drowsy but awake to help them learn to self soothe and the learned it well. Perhaps too well. Every once in awhile there will be a night where one of them just can't sleep for whatever reason. When those nights come along nothing I do seems to help. I can't rock, sing, nurse, pat, or shush them to sleep. I never found a real solution to this with Vivi but it wasn't as big of a deal with her.

    But nights like tonight are just plain miserable. Sophie has been teething or something and han't slept since 11 pm. It is now almost 1:30 am and she has woken Livie up several times. They are currently both crying in their cribs - feeding off each other. I did finally give Sophie Motrin betting that it is teething keeping her up and once that kicks in she will fall asleep (and Livie along with her). But this is not the first time it has been an issue nor will it be the last.

    So all that rambling to ask: if you did sleep training or your babies generally self soothe how do you help them on the odd occassion that they need help?
  2. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    My babies are like yours.. they self sooth and holding them often keeps them awake.

    If i suspect their teeth have been bothering them during the day i ALWAYS give them a dose of Motrin or Tylenol before bed and remember the time so i know when it is ok to give more. (although i have never had to)
    If the Motrin helped Sophie last night then it probably was teeth.

    The most common reason for my LOs to wake at night is because they are overtired.

    Do you recognize the cry that says, 'i am so miserable, i wish i was asleep, why am i not asleep, I WANT TO BE ASLEEP?' My SIL calls it the 'leave me the f*** alone cry'. That cry sounds frantic to me and always makes me want to comfort them. i know that the comforting would be for me, not for them. they will go to sleep faster without my interference, which really stinks because when they are like that i would really love to hold them and rock them to sleep... but they do not fall asleep in arms.

    I do NOT go in if they are crying unless i suspect that it is medical.. like teeth or they are sick. A few times, i have gone in for DS because his cry is so alarming and when i pick him up he cries harder. He acts almost like I startled him awake. I don't know if that is night terrors or crying in his sleep but anything i do makes it worse. If i leave him be he will usually fall back to sleep fairly quickly (2 minutes). occasionally it has taken him 30 minutes to fall back to sleep. Going in seems to lengthen the episode.

    Now if they are sick all bets are off. I can't stand for them to be sick or painful without comfort from me even though comforting them is not necessarily going to help them sleep. I still usually give them sometime to re-settle (30,45 minutes) and then go in (hopefully with motrin, etc.). I have had one time where DS was frantic when i went in and i held him for a while in the room (in the dark). he didn't fall back to sleep while i was holding him. But once calmer, i could lay him down and he only cry for a minute before falling asleep. I would not do this unless he was sick as it could very quickly become an ugly pattern.
    And twice while they were sick i brought the crying child into our bed, in the hopes that i would only have one over tired child to deal with the next day.

    So that is the long way to say.. the best way i have found to handle this is to make sure they are medically comfortable and then make sure i am not disturbing their sleep.

    I don't know if any of this is helpful. No babies have perfect sleep, there are nights when there isn't much you can do to make it better.

    It is so frustrating when babies have trouble sleeping. We all know and hate that feeling of debating what is the best strategy and holding our breaths when there is a pause in the crying... and then not being able to go to sleep b/c we are laying there listening.. waiting!
  3. Mom2VLS

    Mom2VLS Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the response. Teething turns out to not have been the issue as Motrin made no difference. I tried just letting her cry but she would go 30+ minutes and wake up Livie. Since I wasn't going to sleep regardless I figured it would be better to have 1 exhausted baby instead of 2. I tried bringing Sophie to bed but she would eat for a bit and then just babble and babble and babble. Ultimately I ended up pressing her against my chest and patting her back for an extended time and then v e r y slowly putting her in the crib. At 3 am. She still woke up at the normal time and wouldn't nap well (because she was overtired). I am thinking that maybe she is hitting a developmental milestone and that may be causing some separation anxiety?

    I am kind of baffled because while she does normally wake up once in the night to eat she has NEVER had a problem with self soothing. The only sleep trouble she has had up until now involved teething. It was just weird. And me and weird don't get along too well after midnight these days.

    That said we have had colds going around the house this week and I had a nasty stomach bug Thursday night through Friday. So I know my supply likely took a dip and she may have been fighting it too. Blech. Am
  4. Mom2VLS

    Mom2VLS Well-Known Member

    Darn. Posted too soon. I am hoping that I can chalk it up to unknown medical/developmental milestone and have this be a funny thing that I hold against her when she's 16. But I'm not holding my breath either. ;)

    Again thank you for your response!
  5. AimeeThomp

    AimeeThomp Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    So she woke up last night or didn't wake up.

    Either way, sounds like you are handling it well. With babies it's always a guessing game.
  6. Mom2VLS

    Mom2VLS Well-Known Member

    Sophie woke up once but that's normal. The only lasting effect it seems is that if I lay her down on her back she fusses but then when I give her a nudge she rolls on her belly and sleeps fine. Not sure why she suddenly forgot that she can easily get in that position without prompting but if the solution is that easy, I'll take it.

    Just frustrating because I swore with the twins that I would have some way to help them sleep. They in turn decided to not even take pacifiers. Oh well. If this only happens once every couple of months, I can deal.
  7. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    glad your night was better :)
  8. twinkler

    twinkler Well-Known Member

    I haven't read through the other replies and perhaps by now you've solved your issue. But I found with my little ones, that if I held them very tightly while they had their crying fit, after about 5mins they would just drop off to sleep. This, mind you, was when it was due from overtiredness. Just thought I'd mentioned in case you want to give that a try..
  9. Mom2VLS

    Mom2VLS Well-Known Member

    Actually, it was pretty timely. Sophie did it to me again last night. She woke up around 11 so I fed her and then I pumped after I put her back down. Wouldn't that be the night that she wakes up 30 minutes later? It took a while but between Motrin, holding her close, and patting her back it only took 1 or 1.5 hours to get her down. Certainly improvement over 4. She did wake up Livie but after I put Sophie down it was a simple matter of nursing Livie for 5 minutes. Thanks for the advice everyone!
Similar Threads Forum Date
Me myself and I The First Year Nov 10, 2018
11 weeks pregnant with identical twins and identical twin myself Pregnancy Help Feb 6, 2015
Do twins usually self wean at the same time? The First Year Sep 9, 2013
Talking to himself The Toddler Years(1-3) Sep 7, 2013
I can't get over myself! Childhood and Beyond (4+) Sep 3, 2013

Share This Page