High Needs baby with Sleep Training

Nicole - posted on 10/30/2011 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I have a 4.5mo old baby girl who really needs to be sleep trained. I dont sleep well with her and so I do not wish to cosleep. I have read that high needs (Dr.Sears) babies "need to cosleep" and that they are incapeable of sleep training that involves any crying. I do not want to have my baby cry however I just can not get her to sleep without a fight (squealing, arching, pinching or clawing at my skin and swinging her arm like a propeller Ha!) My poor angel is extremely OVERTIRED and I think also OVERSTIMULATED. She does fall exactly into the High needs catagory that Dr.Sears explains in his Fussy Baby book, she is not the type to just lay and snuggle, she wants to play and kick her legs constantly, and I have to rock, bounce etc. to get her to relax for bedtimes.
Issues: short naps (45min on the dot), putting her down is a fight (I watch for signs of tired but pretty much every time its still a fight), at night she is inconsistant with her waking which Im sure is because Im inconsistant with her bedtimes, however she wakes approx 1hr after first laydown, then 4hours, then every 2 to 3. I feed her at the one after 4hours and would like to wein her off that too, and she WONT take a bottle and she wont let her dad soothe her, put her to bed or feed her. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Has anyone done the SLEEP EASY SOLUTION with a high needs baby?

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Nicole - posted on 11/08/2011

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I feel your comments should end here. We as moms come here to get support from other moms, not negativity. If you do not agree with my style of parenting, thats okay, we all do things differently...doesnt mean we dont love our children the same.

Merry - posted on 11/07/2011

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By 'doing excellent' do you mean she isn't getting her emotions ignored? I really am sorry but 'sleep training' sickens me unless there's literally no crying involved for a baby under a year or so. How are you training your baby to sleep?

Merry - posted on 11/08/2011

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Not left to cry or not crying?. Sorry to nit pick, I do understand that she's fine but aare the books you're suggesting books that tell you to let babies cry?
And honestly I'd never ask a pediatrician about sleep training. Their medical doctors, they do not have training in parenting methods.

Nicole - posted on 11/08/2011

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Shes fine, I've been advised by our pediatrician to do this because she was SO Overtired, shes doing excellent. I've been dreamfeeding her during the night and shes fine. Thanks for your input. P.S. - She is not left to cry and I give her lots of attention. She is very healthy, in the 90th percentile for height and weight, shes advanced in her milestones, (able to sit up, roll both ways etc.) Babies this age NEED to sleep alot at night for brain development, my baby was not sleeping enough and Im so glad I did it.
You can find out more info on the amount babies need to sleep from your pediatrician, or read The Sleep Ladys Good Night Sleep Tight book by Kim West, Solve your Childs Sleep Problems, Dr Ferber, The Sleep Easy Solution or Bed Timing.

Fleetwood - posted on 11/01/2011

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4.5 months is not old enough to be sleep trained. they still need you. suck it up

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Laressa - posted on 11/07/2011

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I am sure you are working closely with your doctor but MAKE SURE your daughter continues to gain weight properly. Babies need to eat frequently around the clock. Babies need lots of attention. Fact of life.

Nicole - posted on 11/06/2011

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Just wanted to update this post, we are on our 5th night of sleep training with recommendations from 1 pediatrician, and 2 sleep trainers/parenting consultants...shes doing excellent...sleeping 3.5hours in the day and 11hours at night...its amazing!

Carline - posted on 11/03/2011

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My little girl was the same at first a good bed time routine worked for us starting at arouund 6 babies are never to young for a story which dad can do start to feed her so she does not need as much at bedtime a nice bath with things getting calmer then a nice massage which again dad can be part of then a quick top up feed this should stop her waking after an hour then try dream feeding again at 11ish this really worked for myself and the dream feeding my sister in law told me about only had to be done for about 3/4 weeks then she was going though good luck the other thing I would say is that all babies are different and there is no set routines or milestone some times the baby will just do their thing then before you know it they will sleep though so relax don't stress over it as that can make it worse x

Merry - posted on 11/02/2011

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When my daughter was that age I had to wrap her arms to her chest tightly with a blanket and then bounce her roughly in the bouncy seat. She would struggle a bit, scream a few times but quickly relaxed with the movement and slept. Now I was stuck bouncing her for an hour or more but it was worth it to me to get her decent naps.

Now she's almost 6 months and doesn't like bouncing or wrapping anymore, she falls asleep like a normal baby while she breastfeeds. Now I still hold her through every nap but that's my choice because I just want her to get the best sleep possible and I can entertain my son ok even while I'm stuck to the couch.

I treat every nap like its important so I could never sleep train her because I don't think babies benefit from 'in the long run' I think they need prompt attending to and every need is important to me. So yes that means I end up holding my babies through naps until they prefer to be set down. My son got to that age sometime around8-10 months he would wiggle around uncomfortably in my lap and he would settle better if I nursed him to sleep and set him down. So I'm sure my daughter will get to an age where she too. prefers to sleep on a bed. But until then I'll hold her.

I feel like that's my job, I created her I should be doing my best to do exactly what she needs.

Sure sometimes I have to wake her or put her down, like I'd my son is poopy or something but in general I consider her naps a high priority.

Aleks - posted on 11/01/2011

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My daughter used to have 45min naps when a baby. That is before we discovered FOOD INTOLLERANCES.
We knew of the dairy intollerance which we then eliminated, but while we were doing that she seemed better in some of the other things which dairy affected her (colic, spitting up, bloody stools, reflux, etc). However, what we didn't know until she was closer to 13-14mths of age that she was also intollerant of soy. THAT played huge havoc with her sleep! Once that was eliminated her sleep improved a 1000 fold. No, not perfect. She still wakes (acquired habbit I guess, what after 2yrs of diet issues playing havoc with sleep, its bound to have an effect, but I digress), but her sleep hugely improved after the culprits have been eliminated.
Sometimes "high needs" as you put it, babies are like that due to many reasons. However, I don't see anything you have described as high needs, just like Liz above me, she seems normal 4.5mth baby, which like Fleetwood above mentioned IS too young to be sleep trained (for many of the reasons that Liz mentioned,ie, because their sleep patterns frequently change for all sorts of reasons which were mentioned by that previous poster).
Also, just remember, if you are stressed during putting baby to sleep time, she will sense that, get all stressed too and *will not want to go to sleep* because she is stressed (we all know how hard it is to fall asleep while stressed) and because she may also be wound up and upset because her most important thing in the world is stressed (and angry???).
May be if you put less effort and "importance" in her going to sleep on a few (try it for a day or two) occassions and see what happens. You just never know, and if it doesn't work you haven't lost anything, really.
Also, night sleeping pattern sounds NORMAL 4.5mth old and night weaning at this age is too young.

Good luck and try to relax a little bit :-)
Enjoy her babyness and its needs. In not too long she will be telling you to go away. So, may be don't suck it up, but SUCK IT IN :-)

Laressa - posted on 10/31/2011

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The baby books also all say a newborn baby sleeps 20 hours in a 24 hr period. Ha. My daughter was no textbook baby. She fought sleep from day one. Hardly even slept in her hospital bassinet. Hated to be swaddled and was colicky. She is very intelligent and ahead of her age group in many things. Sometimes I wonder if that is a result of all the one on one mommy time she had as an infant.

Laressa - posted on 10/31/2011

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Sounds just like my daughter. She is now 2 and has started regularly sleeping through the night recently. For now learn to cope. Sleep when the baby does. I mean it. When she has those 45 min naps. Go to bed. Or at least put up your feet and relax. My daughter co slept with us till around a year old. No we didn't sleep like we did pre baby but I am sure we slept better that way than if she would have been in her own bed. We tried various sleep training methods with her and it didn't really help till she was weaned around 13 months. If you are getting one 4 hr stretch of sleep count your blessings. My 9 mo old don doesn't even do that now that he is teething and he is a good sleeper generally. Accept her for who she is and how she's programmed. Interrupted nights are part of a mom's job description.



For now be easy on yourself. Don't try to be superwoman. If your house is messy so be it. There will be plenty of years to clean when your baby is older. I tried doing it all (job, perfect house, travelling, moving,in my daughter's first year. Plus I got pregnant when she was 8 months old. I totally crashed emotionally. I wish I would have just relaxed and enjoyed her babyhood. She grew up so fast.

Nicole - posted on 10/31/2011

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Yes Ania thats what I have been doing the past couple nights, starting earlier but I think because shes SO tired, thats why we battle till 9pm...its rough! Then she wakes 1hr or 2hrs later upset wanting to suckle the breast for 2-3min then back to sleep for 4hours...and REPEAT ha! I will accept the 45min nap from now on, I guess reading all the baby books saying babies should be napping up to 2hours at a tiime really had me worried. But ive had so many moms here tell me their kids napped only 45min and were fine and healthy and met all their milestones.

Ania - posted on 10/31/2011

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45 min naps are great. She probably needs 3- 4 of those a day. I could never follow my son's sleeping signs, because he was always tired. I fought a battle with sleep for the first 9 months, then it got better. To be honest with you you just have to keep doing what you are doing. Maybe 7pm is too late for her at the moment. try 6:30 on the dot every night. Start at 6 and leave 30 min for the battle.

Nicole - posted on 10/31/2011

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Thanks Liz, I did get a professional opinion after I suspected she was high needs and it was confirmed by a Parenting Consultant, and shes definately overtired and overstimulated. I wish I could get her to sleep without a fight, I watch for her sleep signs and go as fast as I can to not miss the window, it works sometimes but rarely. Thank you for the positive outlook, its hard to be positive when your SO tired and SO drained. I know it will pass.

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You know, other than the "battles" at sleep time (which could be because you're trying to put her down awake), she sounds normal to me and not high needs.



45 minute naps at this age are normal.



Frequently nightwaking is normal too. A 4-5 hour stretch is actually really good.



Imo, she's too young for a schedule, especially since she's breastfed. And she's definitely too young to be night-weaned.



Babies are remarkable at regulating themselves. And of course she's growing and developing -- her patterns will keep changing for the next 2 years!



Hang in there! This time in a child's life is very short, and it'll be over before you know it.



I can't believe my son is already 1yo! I love toddler him, but I miss baby him, and baby him is gone forever. :(



I can't really remember how he slept in the first year -- there were times when he was sleeping a 5-8 hour stretch (rare), and there were lots of times when he was waking EVERY SINGLE HOUR (growth spurts, separation anxiety, teeth, working on new skills like crawling/cruising, and loads of mental development). There were times when he was happy to nap by himself, other times he wouldn't nap at all unless I lied there with him.



But I can't really remember, I can't even remember very well all the sweet moments. I know it's hard, but try to enjoy it while you can, mama.

Nicole - posted on 10/30/2011

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She refuses to be swaddled, I usually have to nurse to sleep I'm trying the whole put down drowsy but its been hard. I just need to get organized and have her on a schedule but don't even know where to begin. I could try dream feeding so waking up at 11pm and feeding and seeing if it helps. I'm sooo tired too I've only had about 4hrs sleep since she was born

Amy - posted on 10/30/2011

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Sleeping patterns change all the time my daughter slept through the night with only a feeding until she started teething then we were lucky if we got an hour of sleep in between the wakings. Some babies are capable of sleeping longer but many are not. Do you swaddle her at night? Have you ever tried doing a dream feed? I used to feed my daughter before I went to work in the morning so I wouldn't have to pump but you can just as easily do it at night before you go to bed it might get you some extra sleep at night.

Nicole - posted on 10/30/2011

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Sorry Amy Im tired myself ha! Ok so I put her down at 7pm and she wakes 1hr later I have to soothe her usually dont have to feed sometimes I do. Then she wakes again 4 hours later to feed approx midnight, then every two or 3 hours. I thought she was capeable of up to 5 hours at night, shes done it before but it stopped. shes 15lbs

Amy - posted on 10/30/2011

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Your post is kind of confusing, from the time you put her down at night to the first time you actually feed her how many hours is it? She's only 4 1/2 months old breastfee babies feed every 2-3 hours if a mom gets more then that at night they are lucky.

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