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We typically start our nighttime bed routine at around 6:30. We bathe her, breast feed her and then try to put her to bed. We know that she is tired because she will rub her eyes.

However, she fusses a lot. We hold her in our arms to try to calm/rock her to sleep, but she fusses quite a bit. It would take us 45 - 60 minutes to get her to bed. She probably tires herself out from fussing.

She doesn't really take a pacifier.

We can't figure out why she doesn't go down as easy at night as her naps during the day. During the day, she sleeps in a rocker. We usually rock on the highest setting, play one of the songs that the rocker somes with and also use a white noise machine. (we usually have the white noise machine going as we are trying to put her to bed at night, too.) I've even attempted to record the rocker song and play it back for her...and that doesn't do anything.

We would be grateful for any help or suggestions.

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I'm not there yet, but have you tried any of the five 'S'-es from Happiest Baby on the Block? You're already using two during naptime and it sounds like for night sleep you cut out swinging. –  justkt Feb 22 '12 at 13:55
    
Good suggestion @justky. Side/Stomach doesn't calm her anymore. Swaddle only works some of the time because now she wants her arms free to suck on her hand. –  milesmeow Feb 24 '12 at 17:12
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4 Answers

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child says it's important to have babies sleep without movement. Apparently sleeping in a rocker, stroller, carseat, etc. is not decent sleep. So if your baby falls asleep in the rocker, maybe turn it off once she falls asleep? That could be what is preventing her from sleeping in her crib. If you create a routine with her napping in her crib during the day it may make it easier to put her down at night.

When does she have her last nap during the day? Is it possible she's overtired? Eye-rubbing is a sign that a baby is past being tired and moving into over-tired zone. I give my 4 1/2 month old a 30 minute nap at 5pm to make sure she's not overtired by 7pm.

When you say "we" bathe her and breastfeed her...is more than one person involved in her nighttime routine? Maybe try having just you doing it and see if that helps? Perhaps she's over-stimulated by multiple people?

Are you keeping your routine exactly the same every night? I find my daughter is very sensitive to any change.

Do you swaddle her still? Have you tried different types of pacifiers? It took us three or four tries to find one she likes and it's extremely helpful for getting her to sleep.

Anyway, just some ideas. I'm having the opposite problem in that my daughter won't sleep in her crib during the day but is a champ at night. Good luck!

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One more variant: Put her in manduca or other carrier of the sort and do what you need whith her tied on your back or side or breast. So she is kept tightly enough and feels you are near. Mostly that's enough.

Maybe she sleeps at day too long? Every person has her own norm of sleep.

I hope, you are not letting her fall asleep being in bed alone? No child will ever like it. (they can be accustomed though)

Lullabyes are fine. Or tell her some poem. Learn by heart Hayawata or something else and tell her every evening. The plot is not important - she only needs to hear your voice. And one more very important thing - thus she learns to listen - extremely important quality later in life.

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The 5 S's would be great for you to try. They are 1. Swaddling, 2. Side/Stomach, 3. Shhhh, 4. Swinging, and 5. Sucking. You're already doing the swinging and shushing, and she doesn't like a pacifier, but swaddling could really help. If she is flailing her arms and legs a bit while she is fussing, she may calm down by having them wrapped tightly at her sides.

http://drphil.com/articles/article/274

That website explains a bit more about the steps.

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5 S's are great. We used it but she grew out of a Side/Stomach...she doesn't feel calm when on her side or stomach anymore. We swaddle her but now she fights it a lot more because she likes her arms to be out so that she can suck on her hand. 3,4 & 5 are still great. :) –  milesmeow Feb 24 '12 at 17:11
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The answers on this question on getting 6-month-olds to sleep could help you - headlines include:

  • Establish a routine
  • Cry it out (possibly not so useful for a younger infant)
  • Look at when they have naps
  • Strongly segregate night and day

We got ours used to us spending less and less time beside the cot shushing and shoogling them until they slept just fine. We wouldn't pick them up when they were just grouching and not sleeping, so they wouldn't get accustomed to a cry being rewarded with a cuddle.

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You do not let a four-month-old cry it out! –  Martha Feb 23 '12 at 17:45
    
I think that will depend on your definition. Limited it can be very useful. And as I said, more useful when they get older. –  Rory Alsop Feb 23 '12 at 19:06
    
We're trying very hard to not let her cry it out. Fussing is ok, but not crying. –  milesmeow Feb 24 '12 at 17:13
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