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We have an 8 month old, who after a rough first few months has been sleeping relatively well for about 4 months now. She consistently sleeps 12 hours at night, and has a regular day time nap schedule, and bedtime schedule. She's generally quiet/calm during the day, and only really gets upset if she is late for a nap for some reason. She usually falls to sleep after about 5 minutes of wind-down in the crib. She has eaten before going to sleep her entire life.

Lately, the past 2-3 weeks, she has been crying for about 2 hours about 20-30 minutes after going to sleep. She seems to drift to sleep and wake back up. At first we thought teething, but the timing seems off as two bottom front teeth came through without much crying already, and now it starts after when no others seem to be starting. She had some possible light blood in her night-drool about 3 weeks ago, which we suspected the teething, but hasn't had it in a couple weeks now. We tried the dr's ibuprofen, which seemed to help her fall asleep immediately but she still woke crying.

The cry is generally different than her former cry, as it very loud and screeching, like she is in pain. If we let her cry she does eventually cry back to sleep, but it has been taking hours. The times we've checked on her with some rocking, it didn't do much of anything for her, nor does it help her sleep if she's returned to the crib.

Curious of any thoughts what this could be or approaches to figuring out solutions? Evenings have been rough again here.

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Just anedoctal: we had the same problem, lasted more or less a month and a half, taking her in our arms, rocking her, etc., made she sleep earlier. I think there might be similar questions in the sight, but I can't search them right now. –  woliveirajr May 5 at 13:23

2 Answers 2

Two things I want to say:

  • don't let her cry alone for two hours. Maybe it doesn't help her falling asleep when you carry her in your arms, but at least she isn't alone facing pain or fear or whatever it is.

  • possible reasons: teething (the back teeth are very painful, the fact that she didn't complain much for the other doesn't mean that she doesn't suffer now) ; reflux (try putting her to sleep on an inclined bed -- with pillows under the mattress for instance) ; not sleepy any more (yes she was sleeping a lot, but now she is growing and maybe she sleeps too much during the day) ; too tired (she felt asleep too quickly and she panicks when she wakes up even though she is still tired) ; nightmares... Many possible reasons, really.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

We were able to solve this through a bit of trial and error guessing. We tried adding an additional lunch baby-food feeding to her existing bottle+baby food schedule, and slightly increasing the dinner baby food intake. She then slept without a whimper again, starting that very night. (for a few weeks now at least)

This made us feel really guilty of course not knowing to increase the food then, but it is a learning experience.

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