Exhausted and being tempted by baby-trainers - HELP!

Josie - posted on 01/15/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

10

32

2

Could really do with some advice from people I know will understand...



My beautiful 6 month high-need APed son Kai is an appalling sleeper and has been since birth (the max time he's slept in a row is 3 hours) but he's getting worse and worse and I'm absolutely at the end of my tether.



He will now only sleep on average 1-2 hour stretches, only go to sleep after a lot of crying, and need a lot of help settling back to sleep each time. Daytime naps are a complete battle and very short..



I'm desperate for some rest and getting ill and depressed from so little sleep. The baby-training techniques seem so appealing cause they all claim to work and all the talk of sleep associations and dependence on sleep props makes sense to me - I don't think Kai knows how to get to sleep anymore. But the minute they start talking about controlled crying and feeding on a schedule my inner AP alarm bell goes off.



Does anyone know of any techniques or sleep systems or books that would help me teach Kai a healthy attitude towards sleep but NOT by leaving him to scream all night? Co-sleeping doesn't work for us unfortunately for a number of reasons (no judgements please!). We tried the Pantley method but found it too vague and inconsistant.



Help!!!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Stasia - posted on 01/21/2009

590

16

49

I would defiinitely suggest "The Baby Sleep Book" by the Sears family. It is a woman Martha (RN) her husband (pediatrician) and their two sons who have followed in their dad's footsteps. They also raised eight kids of their own, and did so with attatchment parenting.

I really liked this book because they are always repeating how every baby is different and that there is no WRONG way to do things. That being said they are firm believers in Attatchment parenting and you will find nothing that would even hint that you let your child cry. In fact they provide research on why you SHOULDNT.

They dont tell you what you are doing is wrong. (example- I can no longer do the family bed because my daughter wakes every half hour smelling me and wanting to nurse) Instead she sleeps above/beside my bed in a hammock where we can see each other and i can rock/rub her if she wakes. She sleeps much better this way and as a result we all do.

In this book they give you many soft, no cry SUGGESTIONS and also some facts that might make you feel a little better about not having that myth child who "sleeps through the night sincve birth" The whole Sears collection was great i love them!!! hope you find something that works for you!!

Emily - posted on 01/16/2009

1,065

17

124

Elizabeth Pantley's books are by far my favorite on sleep habits... I'm sorry you found them so vague. You're absolutely right about sleep associations though. I believe this is Pantley's whole point. Her books are about trying to find positive sleep associations, so babies don't require input from mom and dad in the middle of the night. The trick is to do this without the controlled crying.

My first suggestion would be to make sure that he's doing okay physically. If he's teething, that could be messing with his sleep cycles, preparing to crawl, an ear infection or going through a growth spurt could also be messing up his sleep. Also check the temperature of the room and make sure he's not too hot or too cold. These are things that would not be addressed if you went with a sleep-training method.

Next, work on a consistent sleep routine. Find things that calm your son and consistently do them before naps and bedtime, in the same order. Example, bath, massage, swaddle, book, nurse, cuddle/rock to sleep. Once he learns to fall asleep at the end of a good routine like this, the routine itself will become his sleep cue and a positive sleep association. You can definitely use sleep props if that helps your son. Introduce a stuffed animal or other "lovey" during the bedtime routine and leave it with your son when he's sleeping. To start with, end the routine with whatever currently works to get him to sleep, then gradually leave him earlier, before he's completely asleep, and gradually cut out the parts of the routine that you don't want (only rock for 30 minutes instead of 45... then only rock for 15 minutes before putting him down, etc) If he cries, you can choose to pick him up again... or you can rub his back or belly to help him settle with less physical contact.

Finally, if co-sleeping all night or for naps doesn't work for you (I agree that it's not for everyone... even Dr. Sears says, "The best place for everyone to sleep, is where everyone sleeps best" which may or may not be all curled up together), can you consider an alternative? Maybe try moving his crib mattress to the floor and cuddling with him until he's asleep... then you can get up and leave without disturbing him. Or could you lay down with him in your bed until he's asleep, then move him to his crib? Obviously, these would be temporary solutions to get him to fall asleep faster at the end of your routine. I'm assuming your end goal is to have him fall asleep or at least stay asleep in his own bed.

As for daytime naps. Can you wear him in a sling or other baby carrier? A mei tai on your back is a great way to get older infants to sleep. When they're on your back, they can't interact with you as much and tend to fall asleep a bit quicker. Getting them off your back and staying asleep is a different story... but if you can keep him on for an hour or two, that could help him get more daytime sleep.

Lack of sleep and fighting sleep become a vicious cycle. Babies who are short on sleep, tend to become overtired and fight sleep more... which then means they miss out on even more sleep. It's important at this point to figure out how to get him to get some good rest before you work too much on any type of sleep system.

Finally (sorry this is so long... I've been there many times. :) ), since Kai is a high-need baby (I hope you've read "The Fussy Baby Book", that one has some great suggestions too), I would definitely steer clear of baby-training, controlled crying methods... high-need kids are more likely to become withdrawn and depressed with cry-it-out techniques than other babies.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

11 Comments

View replies by

Aicha - posted on 03/29/2010

1,533

320

323

You should read a book called BABY WHISPER it is very helpful and it can be used with AP

Dillon - posted on 10/31/2009

5

10

0

Let me tell you first that I am sorry and I hope you get more sleep soon!!!

I am experiencing a similar thing. My son is 7 months old and wont sleep more than 2 hours at a time. Arggg.. it is rough!

We have had success with the Dr. Sears Book. We found he has a natural nap time "rhythm" so to speak. We just needed to find it. So naps are now successful as long as we stay to his schedule. Keeping with his nap schedule helps with putting him down at bed time, however he still wakes every about ever 1 1/2 to 2 hours at night! We are working on that. Could be dairy in my diet, I am lazy about cutting it out completely. It is hard!!

So, try Dr. Sears book and dont give up hope!

Here's to more sleep!!

Jennifer - posted on 10/14/2009

223

59

11

You might love the "Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp.

www.thehappiestbaby.com/

Margaux - posted on 09/26/2009

9

9

1

Quoting Stasia:

I would defiinitely suggest "The Baby Sleep Book" by the Sears family. It is a woman Martha (RN) her husband (pediatrician) and their two sons who have followed in their dad's footsteps. They also raised eight kids of their own, and did so with attatchment parenting.

I really liked this book because they are always repeating how every baby is different and that there is no WRONG way to do things. That being said they are firm believers in Attatchment parenting and you will find nothing that would even hint that you let your child cry. In fact they provide research on why you SHOULDNT.

They dont tell you what you are doing is wrong. (example- I can no longer do the family bed because my daughter wakes every half hour smelling me and wanting to nurse) Instead she sleeps above/beside my bed in a hammock where we can see each other and i can rock/rub her if she wakes. She sleeps much better this way and as a result we all do.

In this book they give you many soft, no cry SUGGESTIONS and also some facts that might make you feel a little better about not having that myth child who "sleeps through the night sincve birth" The whole Sears collection was great i love them!!! hope you find something that works for you!!


I agree-the Sears family books are wonderful and really helpful.

Elizabeth - posted on 07/06/2009

32

1

2

Here are some things we tried that worked:
Cut out dairy from my diet (including butter, goat's and sheep's milk) - HUGE difference

glider rocking chair holding baby upright, head on shoulder (usually includes singing)
Rain Forest baby swing
Parent sits on a yoga ball holding baby upright, bouncing (we took turns at this)
co-sleeping
nursing on demand
If you can nurse while in glider or on Yoga ball, that helps too. Also, using an Ergo baby carrier to walk around and nurse, or nurse while on yoga ball or glider chair makes it easier on your back. And if you get a really comfy glider chair with footrest, it's possible to sleep like this.

I know how hard to can be, and how desperate it can feel. We didn't sleep for about 4 days straight till I got off of dairy. And his stomach pain didn't completely go away for a few weeks after that. But using all of those techniques made it so easy. Has been easy ever since. hope this works for you. Good luck and good sleeps!

Lisa - posted on 02/02/2009

7

15

0

I have been having a very similar issue with my daughter. I am breastfeeding so I cut out all dairy and wheat from my diet and have seen a huge change. Dairy is the most common intolerance in babies. If you try this it can take up to 4 weeks to see any results. I find that if she doesn't have very good naps then the night is more of a challenge for her. So I try to make sure that she gets a decent amount of sleep during the day as much as possible. Hope things get better for you!

Stasia - posted on 01/28/2009

590

16

49

the "Kanoe" is also a really great baby hammock, we have one and love it. It has helped with our daughters reflux as well because you can adjust the incline quite a bit

Lindsay - posted on 01/27/2009

93

28

11

You mention that co-sleeping doesn't work for you - is your son in his own room, or does he room-in with you?  Is he in a crib?  If so you may want to try a baby hammock such as an Amby Baby (http://www.ambybaby.com). 



Have you looked into reflux issues?  If he has silent reflux, laying down will be painful for him as it will bring stomach acid up the esophogus and cause a burning sensation.  My daughter had reflux in the first few months (she's outgrown it now), and really hated to be reclined.  She slept best on a bit of an incline, or being worn upright. 



Good luck!

Rachael - posted on 01/18/2009

115

3

25

I had a high needs AP baby, and its draining so I totally get it! We co-slept but I have a friend who was in the same boat you are. They found using a swing was thier best solution since it can rock the baby and I know very few babies who dont like it. I used to use one with her for naps otherwise she wouldnt nap unless I was holding her! Period!



 



Now as my AP baby is not much of a baby anymore and I wont co-sleep much (she kicks!) I have found that a constant and very structured bedtime is the best way to go. On nights we are out late or something happens so that her routine isnt followed she is back to the nightmare of getting her to sleep again and it drives me insane!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms