I can't seem to get my 4 month old boy to settle in his cot for naps. I have had to feed him to sleep, hold him for a while and then transistion him to his cot - in which he would just wake up 15 mins later screaming. Most of the time it's because he needs to burp (I do try to burp him and also feed him in an upright position to minimise burps).

Note: Night times are ok. I do feed to sleep and he wakes a couple of times (before I go to bed) to burp but at some point he just goes to sleep on my breast and I put him in his cot and he wakes either twice, once or not until morning for a feed.

I have ended up for months just holding him while he sleeps because id prefer him to nap and get quality sleep than to just have a total of 45 mins to 1.5hrs a day across his 3 naps.

I tried CIO today without a feed before hand - following the eat, play, sleep routine. First nap he cried for 2 hours and I really wanted to follow my sleep schedule so I got him out of his cot at the time he's supposed to be up - fed and played with him. He seemed happy but I knew he was tired.

Second nap was the same. Screamed when I put him down (rocking doesn't work with this kid) and he cried for 1hr 10 mins before I needed to pick him up because my 2 year old son was also trying to nap. I ended up feeding him and he napped for 30mins before needing a burp. Putting him back in this cot resulted in more screaming.

Third nap he was rubbing his eyes so I put him down in his cot straight away and he screamed until it was bath time. 1.5 hrs later.

Without feeding him, how do I get him to settle himself even when he's hysterical? I have picked him up and soothed him a couple of times but he just smiles at me. I've tried patting but he just cries, I've tried white noise and he doesn't care. Should I just continue the CIO even though he's taking hours and still not remotely close to falling asleep? i know I've only done it for one day but it just seems like he's not going to give in.

Any help would be fantastic.



1 Answer 1


You might try putting a receiving blanket in between you and your baby while you hold him as he falls asleep. Babies notice the loss of body temperature when they get put down in their crib, so if you let the blanket absorb the warmth and keep as much contact with him as you put him down, the blanket will help maintain the temperature he fell asleep to.

On a related note, the 1.5 hr times you're encountering sound VERY similar to what my husband and I encountered when our triplets were about 3 months old. We spent at least 2 relentless months rocking and burping babies for 1.5 - 2 hrs a night and it was driving us insane.

We had a night time routine that started at the same time every day: bath, story, bottle, burp...and burp, and burp, and rock, and rock, and oh my LORD. They just wouldn't go down. They had this issue with naps sometimes, too. Always in 1.5 hr bouts that spiraled the whole day. It was just awful.

In total desperation, I read this book: The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program

Very basically, babies have a 90 minute rhythm that we were missing. We had no idea we were overshooting their sleep window, so when we did not get any one baby 'down' 80 minutes after they first woke up, their next 90 minute cycle would kick in and BLAM: we ended up burping/rocking/etc. until they hit the next sleep window (80 minutes later).

And that's how you end up with a baby that's awake for nearly 3 hrs straight.

This book changed our life. I HIGHLY recommend it. It's straighforward, easy to read, talks about CIO (pros & cons, what it really is, how to do it effectively if you choose to try it) and how kid's sleep schedules change as they age (provides schedule examples).

Having first-hand proof that this method absolutely worked, I think this book could make a world of difference for you.

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