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Losing my mind over baby's sleep routine

  1. #1
    anotherone is offline Registered User
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    Angry Losing my mind over baby's sleep routine

    Hi

    Just wondering if anyone's got any suggestions.

    Our baby has never been a good sleeper. I put him on the Gina Ford routine from 6 weeks on and he gets fed at the same time everyday, but he has never got the hang of the napping part. Each nap is a fight and he would never do the 2-hour midday stretch. A lot of the times he would simply cry and cry till someone picks him up and stops "forcing" him to have a nap.

    He started sleeping 7pm - 5.30am from 4 months on. So my first question is: does that count as "sleeping through the night"? And apart from trying to improve his napping and his self-soothing skills (trust me, we've tried both), is there anything else we should try, or should we just give up on the naps and be content that he's sleeping more or less 10 hours at night? He has recently started solids, and he gets a dreamfeed at around 11pm, so there shouldn't be any hunger issues.

    Lately he's been crying a lot in his dreams. I read from here that he's too young (6 months old) to be having night terrors. But when that happens it can really escalate - last night for example my husband and I were kept awake 3am - 7am. He first started off screaming in his sleep, then woke himself up completely around 4am, and never fell asleep again till 7am.

    We have seen a sleep consultant already but frankly she didn't tell us anything that we haven't read from the books already. She also did not recommend CIO.

    Help?

  2. #2
    LOJITT is offline Registered User
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    Sleeping through the night basically means a continuous stretch of 5-6 hours, so if your baby is getting fed at 11pm and then sleeping till 5.30am, then yes, he is "sleeping through".

    CIO/CC is always going to be controversial. I think you have to decide for yourself if you're prepared to do it. Some people are fine with it. Others could never contemplate it. Personally I would do CC if required, over 6 mths old, but CIO is prob a bit stressful, even though it works faster. If he's just started on solids, could it be that he woke up hungry? Apparently this can happen in the early weeks of weaning as the solid foods they are eating are less calorific than milk, even in babies that dropped night feeds previously.

    Finally, re the naps, what's he like if he doesnt nap in the day? If he's not grizzly, then you might have to accept that he's not a daytime napper, but I agree that 10hrs per day isnt a hige amount of sleep for a baby.

  3. #3
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    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    When my baby wakes up in the middle of the night, I would give him the pacifier to see if he would calm down and go back to sleep. When he doesn't, I would feed him. Even if you have dreamfed him, you cannot be sure that he is not hungry cause he may be going through a growth spurt, IMO.
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    oi0io is offline Registered User
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    It's not easy to force a baby to nap. I would just read their sleepy cues of rubbing eyes, yawning, back arching, rubbing their heads against you, fussing etc... if you see these, it's a great window of opportunity to put them down for a nap. When they are tired, they will nap.

    As LOJITT mentioned, 5-6 hours of continuous sleep is sleeping through the night.

    At 6 months, I would let them cry a little. CIO is indeed controversial and it's not something I would want to do. I use CC instead. I only let them cry for 10 mins max. then I would go and check on my son to make sure he doesn't have a poopy diaper and offer some comfort. I'll put him down again and if he's still crying for another 10 mins, I would guess he might be hungry and would offer him a bottle (half of what he would normally drink just enough so that he's not hungry, yet it will not affect his morning bottle). If all fails, I may suspect he's teething, so I may offer him some homeopathic teething meds and comfort him for 10-15 mins so that the meds would kick in.

    Also at 6 months, babies start to get a bit more mobile hence they may be stuck somewhere in the crib and crying for help. Sometimes I just don't know how my son can turn 180 degrees in the crib. I wish I had a video monitor just to record what he does in the crib.

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    anotherone is offline Registered User
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    Thanks ladies. Will post a more thought-out reply over lunch today (am at work at the mo).

    A quick update: after being up 3-7am on Saturday night / Sunday morning, the baby woke at 4 this morning ready to rock. A bit of water, back to bed round 4.40am, only to wake up AGAIN at 5am. Then he never went back to sleep again.

    I am losing my mind, slowly but surely....

  6. #6
    yonge is offline Registered User
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    I'm not convinced the Gina Ford schedule works for every baby. Didn't work for my two older ones, so I'm not going to try with my third, a newborn. My older two children didn't sleep for 2 hours stretches until they were nearly two years old. I think they needed to get more physically exhausted before they could sleep so much. At night they would only sleep 8-9 hours in aggregate, not counting time spent nursing, pretty much since they came home from the hospital. As they get older and require fewer feeds at night, the bedtimes would just naturally move later and later. Have you tried slowly pushing back his bedtime, maybe half an hour every week or so, until he wakes up at a time that better for the both of you? Our 2 year old and 5 year old go to bed at 10:00pm and wake up at 7:00am, which we prefer to them going to sleep at 7:00pm and waking up at 4:00am!

  7. #7
    BLWC is offline Registered User
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    I hope things have improved since your last post but I wanted to add something just in case. My son was a terrible sleeper. He now sleeps quite well (at 12 months) but occasionally gets into the habit of waking at the same time every night. I never did cc, I would leave him in his cot but stay in the room, only picking him up if was really distressed, sometimes he had a bit of separation anxiety in the night and just needed to know I was there. When he was habitually waking at 4 am we also tried a technique called "wake-to-sleep" from the Baby Whisperer. We woke him an hour before he usually woke up then put him back to sleep. It's a risky technique but it actually worked, it resets their body clock somehow. Not sure if that helps at all but hope you get some sleep soon.

    http://typhoonsandtantrums.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    won't force the naps on your little one - just watch for the cues...my daughters (28mth old and 6mth old) take about 10-15 mins to fall asleep on their own when they are tired - literally see 1 yawn and I put them into bed, the don't complain. sometimes when it's getting late (say past 4pm) and I am desperate for them to nap (because they can't last until 8pm without a nap), then I will try to force them to nap - it doesn't normally work as well though. both my daughters sleep 10hours (9-7pm) with the 6mth old getting a midnight feeding at 12mn -1am. there total hours of sleep are 14-15hours (6mth old cause she has 2-3 naps) and 11-12 hours (1 nap)

    i use the CC in the first few months and i find it really works - my babies are not big criers though in general so they never cry for longer than 5mins then stop and either play in their crib / bed and eventually fall asleep. my older one "sucks" on her blanket and my baby has a pacifier to help them sleep. don't know how good that is - but at least for me they are soothing themselves in someway (older daughter never used a pacifier).

    good luck! :)

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