I need help because my 7-month-old baby won’t sleep without me and I am exhausted!
What happens is that my baby will fall asleep only when I’m holding him or nursing him. To make matters worse, he wakes up as soon as I lay him down unless I lie down with him and nurse him.
He naps at 10 am and 2 pm and he goes to bed at 9 pm TO 8 AM but wakes several times at night to nurse for a few minutes.
The problem is I have to be with him the WHOLE time and he wakes up as soon as lying him down and will not go back to sleep.
HELP PLEASE! He has no interest in a pacifier or bottle. All I have going right now is the schedule.
Tips When Baby Won’t Sleep Alone
What a cute baby and lovely family photo! Your son looks so happy, it does look like, at least, he is getting enough sleep! :-)
At his age, 7 months old, babies often experience separation anxiety. They are beginning to realize that they are a separate being from their mother and that makes them very uncertain and scared. Sleep problems are really common at around this age (7-11 months or so).
I don’t know if your baby has done this (need to be close to you and feed frequently) from the start or if it is a new phase. If it is new, you could try to just ride it out and he is likely to get back to more normal behaviors in a while.
But if it is too exhausting or frustrating for you, of course, you can try to change his behavior. I am no fan of the “cry-it-out” method at all, and especially not during those sensitive months (7-11 months or so). Your baby cries for you for a reason.
But one thing that has been effective, at least with my children are stroller walks. You mention that your routines work well with your son; that’s great. Get him dressed and out in the stroller some 15 minutes before his nap time. Take a brisk walk – great exercise for you too. Then when he’s been asleep for at least 20 minutes, you can go back in. Don’t lift him up! Either place his stroller on the porch or balcony if you can (if it is cold outside) or open up his clothes enough to make him comfortable.
Grab a coffee and a nice book – and stay close to the stroller.
Now, here comes the key to improve his sleep pattern: Immediately when he starts to make noise, start rolling the stroller back and forth quite firmly, to help him get back to sleep. Continue this exercise each time he starts to wake up until he really wakes up or you think it is time for him to wake up.
This method usually helps even the most reluctant babies to go to sleep without mommy and without nursing.
Once it works in the daytime, you can use it for bedtime at night too. Just don’t let him sleep in the stroller the whole night since he is old enough to fall out. But if he goes to bed before you and you can keep an eye and ear on the stroller, you might be able to get rid of at least the first feeding this way.
Hope this helps! You can find more sleep tips in our baby sleep section here.
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