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Your best sleep tips


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#1 Jane Doe

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:57 PM

Ivy has never been a great sleeper, but she is getting progressively worse wacko.gif

She wakes anywhere between 5-8 times and will only settle again on the boob, sometimes within 5 mins, sometimes up to 2.5 hours (double wacko.gif )

Day sleeps are hit and miss. She used to have sporadic morning sleeps, but would sleep from 3-5.30 every afternoon, but that has recently gone to sh!t as well.

We do book, bath, sleep at 7pm (unless she's particularly feral/overtired and then it might start at 6.30) and she generally goes down pretty easily. I generally go to bed within half an hour of her going down, so a dreamfeed isn't really an option. Her first wake up of the night is usually around 10.30.

CC/CIO is not something we're comfortable with.

Any magic sleep solutions???
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#2 jantastic

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:20 PM

Firstly, Yikes! You're doing so well dealing with it calmly. Lack of sleep is hard.

I know all babies are different, but I will share what worked for us. The big tip my sister gave me was to start your new patterning at the end of the day - and make sure they are awake at 4pm, keep them awake till their 7pm bedtime. She said that it makes them sleep better at night.

I was extremely skeptical, but willing to try anything! Once we started with the 4pm wake up, he improved with sleeping through very quickly. I was only interested in 'baby led routine' and found that quickly after that he slotted into a very clearly defined flexible routine.

The other thing we did was once L was about 8 months old, it became DH's turn to settle him. DH was Not. Happy. but he did it and it only took a few sleeps for him to start sleeping through.

I did read "The No Cry Baby Sleep Solution", and I found it interesting. I think the only thing I took on board was introducing a 'sleep cue' - every night, even now, as I put L to sleep I say something along the lines of "ok, you know what time it is, it's sleep time. I love you very much and I'll see you in the morning". (It's a little longer than the recommended ones in the book laugh.gif) Initially, I only started saying that when I could see he was nodding off in the cot.

As an older baby and a toddler, every night he gets his books, and his last book every single night is "Time for Bed" by Mem Fox. Even now, I pick that book up and he starts rubbing his eyes, it's really quite funny. Little Pavlov's Dog cue going on! We only started that when he was around 12 months old.

Good luck, I hope you find something that works for you.

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#3 Avery

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:20 PM

I'm on my phone at the moment, so please excuse the shortness and any errors in my post.

We are a controlled comforting household. We did Tresillian with DD at 9 months old and it saved us. Honestly I'd hate to think where we would have been without our week there.

Having said that DS is a pretty good sleeper and settler, however we stick to a strict sleep routine which I think has helped.

He is 7 month and his sleep times are:
7pm-7am
9.15am- 10.30/11am
1pm-3pm
4.14-5.15pm (optional)

I honestly believe that some babies need a solid routine. We do let DS cry for short periods to give him the opportunity to self settle - but I know his cries extremely well, and well enough to know when he is distressed or when he is fooling (and fooling usually includes me going in, him seeing me and giggling lol)

We mostly use parental presence with him, and most of the time I'll pat/stroke his face long enough to calm him, then tell him it's time for sleep and sit in the rocking chair in his room for a while (without talking or eye contact)

We also have music playing as a sleep cue.

If your interested in routines we are using the SOS book which is similar to Tresillian routines. We do deviate from time to time but try and stick to it of we can.

I can't help you with the breastfeeding/settling aspect as both mine were bottlefed by 6 months but it sounds like that's her sleepcue. Maybe you could replace it with something else?

Hope some of that helps x
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#4 jantastic

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:23 PM

yes, what Avery said - sounds like breastfeeding is her sleep cue. I had the same with L, so I was saying my 'time for sleep' little cue for a while as he was falling asleep on the boob, then later switched it.

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#5 Jane Doe

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:24 PM

Thanks ladies, I'm off to bed now, will repond properly in the morning.

Wish me luck...
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#6 Amelia Jane

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:19 PM

Gosh sleep deprivation is hard. sad.gif I was completely jack of it by 9 months and I read Save Our Sleep. I didn't follow the routines to the letter but the thing the book really helped me with is it gave me the confidence to listen to his cries and figure out what was serious and what was a protest, and gave me the confidence to let him cry for a few minutes. I know you said you aren't comfortable with CIO though and that's fine. Does Ivy use a dummy?

The things I changed at 9 months:
*I cut out the night feed which was usually about 3 or 4am. The first couple of nights I gave him a drink of water from a cup and then put his dummy back in and then left him to self settle. This seriously only took 2 nights of a few minutes of squirming before he was back to sleep. I was very worried about it but I was so pleasantly surprised by how easily he adjusted. I think he was well and truly ready to forgo the feed and was just waking from habit.
*I started using a sleeping bag because previously I had always fed him back to sleep and then tucked him under the blankets and he wouldn't move again til morning. I was worried about him being cold if he kicked the blankets off while settling.
*I started using a dummy chain so DS can find the dummy himself during the night.
*I introduced a dream feed at 10pm-ish.

In my very uneducated opinion, I think she is waking at 10:30 from hunger, and from then on from habit. Could you set an alarm and wake up to give her a dream feed, and then no more feeds for the rest of the night? I think once she realises mum isn't going to play any more then she will pretty quickly adjust to not waking for milk she knows she won't get now.

We went cold turkey on the dream feed at 11.5 months when DS weaned himself out of the blue, and I was very worried about that too, but he didn't wake for the dream feed or later in the night and he now sleeps 7-7 every night. Maybe once a week he will wake up during the night and I always give him a couple of minutes to see what he's going to do and 90% of the time he puts himself back to sleep within 5 minutes. Lately we've had a couple of 5am nappy changes but I can tell from his cry if his nappy is bothering him, it's a stop-start grizzle so I know I need to get up and change his nappy!

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#7 Thelma

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:52 PM

It's so hard hey. And at the time you just do whatever just so you can get back to sleep, but you need to tell yourself that short term pain equals long term gain.

I didn't do CC or CIO, however it is normal for babies to cry/grizzle of some sort when heading off to sleep. I read somewhere that that's their way of winding down. I know that I could quite easily tell what was a little grizzle/protest cry, and what was a genuine needy cry or a 'worked up' type cry.

Other than that, just the same tips as what the other girls have already said.

#8 Myst

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:56 PM

I don’t really have any magical tips as my DD (two weeks shy of 2) has only recently started sleeping through consistently but I just wanted to offer some support.

My DD went through a stage at around 7 or 8 months when she would wake 8+ times a night and would only get back to sleep with a breastfeed. It was terrible and that stage lasted around 8 weeks. We made some very minor changes but mostly we just waited it out as I just wasn’t comfortable with CIO. It did get better but TBH she was a crappy sleeper from around 7 months to 21 months. Now, she sleeps like a champ!

I also read the No Cry Sleep Solution which I found really helpful. It is more about very gradual and gentle progress but that is what I felt comfortable with. It is especially good if you are feeding/rocking to sleep or co-sleeping which we were at the time.

It's tough not getting any sleep. The one good thing is that it won’t last forever (no matter how you choose to tackle it) and once you have become use to that sort of broken sleep, anything is progress and a few hours of unbroken sleep seems like bliss!!

Good Luck with whatever you decide to do smile.gif
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#9 Tigridia

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:34 AM

Sleep is really hard and it seems to be quite individual to the baby!

You may have tried most of these suggestions so ignore if you have:

*use a wrap/sleeping bag
* use a comfort item (piece of cloth/toy etc)
* have a consistant routine for every sleep, i.e. nappy change, put into sleeping bag, say 'time for sleep' or something similar
* put to bed awake. I know this one is tough when they are used to falling asleep on the boob, but at Ivy's age I'd be feeding her, having some play time then put her to bed awake. At night the play time might just be a story but going to bed awake is the key.
* keep them up from 4pm(ish) til bed time.
*try a dream feed at 10/10.30 (seems like she is waking then anyway), or maybe dream feed when she is about to wake. Can you get your DH to do this feed? Express a bottle for him. Then you might get a decent block of sleep for the first bit of the night. I used to go to bed straight after DD went down for the night and my hubby did the DF and then I was more able to deal with any rest of the night wake=-ups.
* Try some more structured sleeping times during the day, don't let her cat-nap between feeds. Might mean you have to keep her up by going out somewhere but if she gets in the habit of 'sleep time' it might settle her down more.
* I used SOS loosely and it seemed to work for me. I was more gentle in my approach to self-settling. When she was younger I would stay in the room with her til she drifted off. I stopped needing to do that after awhile. I don't really do CC or CIO either. But, I do know her cries and if she is trying it on I know it and will leave her for awhile, if it's a genuine distressed cry I'll go in. Learning the different cries is useful, if you haven't already.

Finally, I would consider getting a referral to a sleep clinic - Tresillian or whatever is your local one. It can take awhile to get in and you can always cancel if you don't need it.

Hope some of that helps (even a little) smile.gif
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#10 Jane Doe

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:43 AM

Thanks so much for all your wonderful support and great ideas.

I must admit, I feel like a complete fraud... in the 2 nights since I wrote that post, Ivy has woken up a total of 3 times, twice the first night, then last night only once biggrin.gif

Both days she only had 2 day sleeps where she'd usually have three, and she was awake longer between her last sleep and going down to bed. I also gave her a dreamfeed last night at 8.30, because she was in bed by 7, and I decided to go all out and have a 'late night' lol!!

So we have everything crossed that maybe the crappy sleeping was just a bit of an extended phase (apparently there is a long wonder week at 26 weeks??) and the patterns of these last few nights are going to continue!

Thanks again wub.gif

ETA: I am still going to work on getting her to settle off the boob, and eventually be able to be put to bed awake, but now that we're actually sleeping more, it gives me some time to take a bit more of a gentle and gradual approach, which I think will work best for us.
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