Sleep Woes

I have been having so much trouble with getting Olivia to sleep.  Once she is asleep, she does fantastic, only waking up once or twice at night, and I know that she is hungry when she wakes, so it’s ok for me.  But *putting* her to sleep has been like roasting myself on a spit over a fire.

When she was younger, Olivia had colic every night, so we had to carry her around on her tummy for 1-2 hours every evening while she cried.  If we held her any other way she would scream and stiffen her entire body as straight as a board.  We felt so bad for her, it almost made us cry just to watch her have to go through that.  It was a tough phase, and lasted for about 2 months, but we learned how to deal with it and how to minimize her pain.  Still, we rarely got to bed before 1 in the morning.

Even now that colic is over, she still has a lot of problems burping, and that seems to be the root of all the problems.  If she doesn’t burp out ALL of the trapped air, she simply can’t go to sleep.   I have been working on this problem, spending more and more time burping her, and trying lots of different methods.  But it often takes me 30-45 minutes to get those burps out, by which time she is seriously overtired and it becomes even harder to put her to bed.  Picture me holding poor Olivia in one position, patting her, turning her over, patting her more, rubbing her back, setting her on the floor tummy down,  then picking her up again, more patting… repeat, repeat repeat for half an hour.  You can’t do anything else during that time, and it is seriously boring.    And even if I do get a burp, there’s no way to tell if there are more buried in there or not.  I can only tell after spending more than a half-hour trying to rock her to sleep, only to find that once in the bed she is still in pain.

But… is it pain?  or is it just her being fussy for no reason?  Or is it a potty alert?  It’s so hard to tell, and I spend all my time doubting myself.  I try letting her settle down in the crib by singing or patting her, or rubbing her tummy.  Or I try just letting her calm herself down  (that actually worked once, but normally it doesn’t.)  After some time it becomes clear that she is uncomfortable, so I try offering the potty.  Often she will go in the potty, making me think that was the answer.  But then we come right back to the same problems as before, and I finally decide that she still has some trapped burps, so up she comes again to be burped.  By this point an hour or more may have passed, and sometimes she is already hungry again.  And with eating come even more burps.  ArrrrggghH!!!!

Can you see how this can drive a person up the wall?!

Olivia really is a very good baby – she hardly cries, and in fact she really is very easy-going, especially in the mornings.  In the mornings I can leave her for quite a long time on the floor and she will entertain herself while I take a shower, eat and get ready for the day.  She definitely isn’t spoiled.  But having tummy pains is no fun, and I can understand why she won’t sleep when she has them.  And it is really starting to take it’s toll on me.  If we’ve had a lot of burping troubles in a given day, I have been known to snap at her by the time bedtime rolls around.   I always feel terrible afterwards!! And I am a fairly patient person, too.  I can’t imagine what this would be like if I weren’t.

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2 Responses to “Sleep Woes”


  1. 2 christiana83 June 13, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Thanks Dad! I tried the 360 degree burping method and it works! Well, sometimes, anyways. It did go much better today.


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