Beck - posted on 03/23/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )
I am writing this because I have posted similar responses to several posts of Mums who have bubs of various ages having trouble sleeping. I thought I would put it all in one spot and if you were having troubles maybe something I say would help.
My son was an angel child, he would sleep and eat happily for those first few months. I fed him to sleep all of the time and in the end we were co sleeping, one because I loves snuggling with my bub and two because it was SOOO Hard to lug my legs out of bed for yet ANOTHER night time feed!
By 5 and a half months we were OVER it, I was cranky cos I wasn't getting enough sleep, we were worried about my husbands health cos he needs sleep due to risk of seizures and we NEEDED to FIT our gorgous boy!! Corey was still in our bed waking every 45mins-hour and to get him back to sleep quickly I would feed him, over and over and over! This would mean during the afternoon we would flop into bed together and sleep all arvo.
I knew there was a sleep school in a near by town but I knew they did controlled crying at at 6mths I couldn't do it! BUT I knew that if nothing else worked we would HAVE to do it. I went out and brought several 'no cry sleep solution' books. The one that changed our life was DREAM BABY GUIDE by Shayne Rowling. An Austrlian author. It is 700+pages long and uses a lot of tecniques within the whole 24hrs to lead to healthy sleep patterns. I dont believe tht controlled crying is the only way!!!! and wanted to do what ever I could to help his sleep without it. My husband took three days off work and we planned nothing so we could tag team for three days if thats what it took. We started using the routines from the book and within 2 days we had a complete different bub! My husband even thought about going back to work cos we had him sorted with no tears!
I will tell you a few things from the book that may help you but obviously to get the full effect you would need to buy the book. Now I am not saying we have a 'perfect' sleeping bub all of the time, teething still effects his sleep from now and then BUT we have come a huge way and taught him many skills.
My bub is a low sleep requirement baby, meaning they only need 8-14hrs sleep in 24hrs. We do the following and it works a treat!! plus its getting better and better!! The book goes into lots about sleep requirments and the different nap times for different ages but if you are just after info re sleep routines this would help.
Corey, now 12mths, wakes usually around 7am (sometimes he sleeps in however I wake him by 7.30 to keep the day on track) he has a bfeed then breakfast (cereal and fruit)
9.30 milk (bfeed) and fruit for morning tea
11.20 lunch - meat, vegies, carb (rice / pasta / potato) then desert (yoghurt)
12noon bed time (usually sleeps 2-2.5hrs!!)
2.30 milk (bfeed) and arvo tea (cheese on toast / avacardo and ham on crackers, piklets etc)
5.20 tea (vegies and carb)
6pm Nudie time (clothes off play)
6.15 bath time
6.30 out of bath
6.35 milk (bfeed)
6.45 story time
6.55 into cot
Its the sleep time routine that makes the difference, my Mum and sister in law can also follow this and we do the same where ever we are so Corey always knows what is expected.
We also do the nappy change, story then bedtime routine at 11.45 before lunch time sleep.
Cuddle on couch whilst reading - household calm, whilst reading we say before, during and after we say "nearly time for nigh, nigh" "nearly time to find teddy" etc
We say good night to anyone at home - kiss
then into bed room
We lay bub in our arms and rock him whilst we sing twinkle, twinkle, (often now he wants to get into his cot cos he knows he is tired and ready for sleep) then lay him in his cot with his teddy (loves his bedtime ted)
We tuck him in tight - shoving a towel rolled up down either side to keep him in firm. Corey starts on his side. We dont have to tuck him as tight now that he sleeps so well.
We then rub his back and legs and say
"sshh, sshh, sshh, sshh time to sleep"
" sshh, sshh, sshh, sshh mummy and daddy love you"
"sshh, sshh, sshh, sshh nigh, nigh"
we repeat this twice, then stop rubbing and walk out. Corey now never needs re settleing but at first if he did put up a fight we would go in, after a couple of minutes only - shut the door behind us so there is no confusion that he is getting up then repeat the sshh, shh..... and out. It only ever took going in twice maybe three times (usually if he was over tired). We never have to go in twice now.
When he wakes and has had a decent sleep (if he ever wakes under and hour we do the sshh, sshh to get him back off for at least 1hr 20mins though usually he goes solid for the 2hrs 2.5hrs) we walk in and say "good sleeping bubba" happy and bright and get him up. This way he knows the difference between when you are expecting him to go back off and when he can hop up.
If he wakes during the night we go in (maybe give him a sip of water), re plug the dummy, re tuck him in and do the sshh, sshh - we are in and out in under 1 min and he always (except when teething and needs a shot of panadol) settles in one go.
He seems to know now when he needs more sleep and that he needs to go back off. He can now resettle himself too which he could never do, occasionally he will yell out once then go back off. We now wait, he will yell out, we wait, he may yell once or twice more and go back off. We were rushing in and therfore always helping him back to sleep. Now we wait only a minute or two and he goes back off. Anymore than that and we go in. Some people wait longer.
We must make sure he doesn't sleep when we are out in the pram or car before 12noon otherwise it can muck it up (occasionally its fine we have learnt to addapt) but we try to hold him out til 12 so he has one good sleep.
We dont follow the routine completly (there is more to it in the book) anymore, we still use many of the day time communication cues etc There is way to much to go into here!! I would recomend that you buy the book (hehehe I am earning no commision I just LOVE it as does a friend and many more people I would say!)
Good luck everyone, its so hard. You try and do the right thing by your bub but sometimes it leads to 'not helping them'. Corey was such a restless sleeper, I actually thought something was WRONG with him!! It was just that he didn't know 'how' to self settle or re settle between sleep cycles.
P.S I never thought Corey would cut all his night feeds (at 6mths) as like you he was still feeding several times a night in our bed just to get him back to sleep. He did in one night! of course I was up still pumping cos I had been used to feeding but that only lasted a few nights. I kept up at dream feed for another month but I dont think he necessarily needed it. After 6mths unless there is a medical condition bubs DONT need feeds over night! (no matter what people tell you... I know I am leaving my self open to 'different opinions on this one!!) I am sure Corey would still take a feed some nights if I offered it but he doesn't want it, when he has been unsettled due to teething some times I have tried of offer it and he isn't interested! :-( ... a dummy or a sip of water does the same job. The first few nights if he did wake his Dad would go in, after that he has been happy to take water from me. Its all about creating sleep associations and the same environment so when they go to sleep its the same when they wake up so they can think 'ok, all the same, goodo, off to sleep again!" This is why its important to be out of the room when they go to sleep, cos of course if you have them back in their cot you are not there when they wake between sleep cycles. We were expecting to HAVE to use controlled crying with Corey at 6mths but never had to using this above routine (and many more hints from the book) - like having a heater in his room set at 21degrees in winter, using a sleeping bag etc and lots of other day time communication things. This is just a wrap up for you... would love to think it works for you like it does us.... fingers crossed for you!!!
Email me for more info if you would like
Sorry, I could go on all day!!
WOW, THIS WOULD HAVE TO BE ONE OF THE BIGGEST POSTS EVER!!
I hope someone gets something from this to help them and their bub get a good night sleep. Don't expect too much though, bubs still need us and it very rare for any bub to sleep 12hrs straight! But for us, we were just dying for 4 hours sleep straight! Now, we hear no peep from Corey from 7pm til 5.30 (when Hubby is up getting ready for work) then he goes back off til 7-7.30am!!! ahhhh Bliss!!!