Friday, December 21, 2007

Avoiding Sleep Problems

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How to avoid sleep problems

First, don't hold the baby too much. Now, this is up to you, yada yada. If it is your first baby, it might be your only chance to just sit and hold the baby, but if you hold the baby too much, it will backfire. Here is my real-life example. We moved in with my parents for about two weeks after Brayden's birth. Between me, my mom, my sister, and visitors, he basically never slept alone. He was always held. Even at night my mom would take him for half the night, which really was glorious for me, but she held him the whole time. So once we were on our own, he still wanted to be held to sleep. This was pretty extreme, but I think that being held a lot can be a common thing with first-born children. This is a luxury you can have with your child that is a lot harder to come by when you have older children to take care of. So I think it is good to get it in, but I would caution to not over do it. Remember the key words were TOO MUCH. You can do what you want, but don't be surprised when you reap what you sow.
Second, CIO (Cry It Out). The earlier, the better. Do it as soon as your are committed to it. See the CIO posts for more input (Should You Do CIO: and CIO Bootcamp:
Third, don't even start with the sleep props. Just don't do it. Some day you are going to have to wean the baby. Do you think it is easier to not give a pacifier to a 1 week old for a nap, or to take it away from a 1 year old? If you think the latter, you haven't yet met a 1 year old. Do everyone a favor and don't do it. Just my opinion. Again, do what you want, yada yada.
Fourth, let the baby sleep in his or her bed as much as possible.


Jack's Mom said...

I love your blog. So much. Thank you! I've followed BW from day one. Jack is 11 weeks today and a few nights ago he dropped the middle of the night feeding: his Dad gave him a bottle at midnight and then he slept until 6:45a. But then the following TWO nights he's been up at 3, not seeming hungry just fussy, then again at 4 and 5:30! At first I didn't feed him because I was sure from his having dropped the feeding that he was waking from habit, not for food. I gave him the pacifier instead. (But he kept dropping it, and now I know it's a prop and I have to stop) Then last night at 3am I just was so tired I fed him to get him to go back to sleep. Have I brought us two steps back? As I said, I've been pretty good about following BW from the beginning, but two days a week I have a sitter and I think she let's him snack on bottles all day -- could this be the culprit? Also I have been in the car more often so his naps have been long and in the carseat -- could this be effecting his nighttime sleep adversely? HELP! Your posts are so helpful.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks :)

It sounds like there are many possible contributors. Yes, the babysitter is a very likely culprit. Also, sleeping in the car is also a prop, so he might not be able to really soothe himeslf. When it is night and he is still without a paci, he might not be able to get back to sleep without help.

There is also the possibility of a growth spurt, so be sure to look into that first.

Carlee said...

I have my 16 week old son, he was sleeping consistently 5-6 hours straight at night by 8-10 weeks, but at 16 weeks he started teething, we went on vacation, had brochiolitis and had a growth spurt. He was held a lot during this time. We are now having problems sleeping through the night. Currently, we go to bed at 7:30 or 8, he CIO for about 3-4 min before soothing self to sleep, but will wake up maybe an hour later. What do I do? Let him CIO or feed him and put him back to bed? He also wakes up at 2:30 wanting to eat again? what should I do there? He then will wake up at 5 or 6am, ready to play. HELP? How do I get control of his sleep problems? Also he is CIO for naps in the day and is doing a good job of soothing to sleep. He eats every 3 hours but sometimes can't make it 2.5. Would love to hear your suggestions. I also don't understand the eat, play, sleep. My son will barely take a 30 min nap in the day so if I were to feed him after he wakes he would be eating every hour or so. So if he does wake after 30 min, then we play and I wait until 2.5 or 3 hour mark feed him and keep playing if not tired yet and then continue with the routine. Is that okay? Thanks!

Darcy said...

My son will be 11 weeks this Friday. We have been implementing babywise, to an extent, since he was 7 weeks. I say, to an extent, because crying it out just doesn’t work for him. Believe me, we’ve tried, and all we got was a baby who cried for hours and hours – 9 to be exact – with no sleep, and I have tried this several days. Anyways, we know how to get him to sleep now, he’s eating well and is now on zantac to control his GERD which was an issue. After I was more strict with his schedule starting at 7 weeks he dropped his 2 middle of the night feedings (around 1am and 4am) down to 1 (3am) within days. AWESOME! He was sleeping 4-5 hour stretches every night. HOWEVER, over the past week and a half or so, he has reverted back to waking up about 2am and 5am to eat. I can’t get him to sleep longer than 2.5-3 hours at night and for the past few weeks it has been a struggle to get him to nap longer than 30 minutes. As soon as he wakes, I feed and I start his naptime ‘routine’ after he’s been awake for an hour. He finally konks out and goes down about 15 -20 minutes later, but then wakes up 30 minutes in. It’s not every time, but it seems like it’s hit or miss. Most of the time it’s only 30 minutes, but sometimes, on a rare occasion, we get up to 2 hours out of him. I am going nuts! Any advice!?!? He should be sleeping much longer stretches at night (he has done it before and is capable to sleep 8 hours at this age!) and for his naps. What should I do?!?!?! My husband thinks it’s because he’s such a big boy and needs more food and is set on starting him on rice cereal (which I say NO to because it’s WAY TOO SOON). He is definitely getting full feeds – even did a measured/bottle feed last night for his 11pm to see if that helped (4.5oz!) and it didn’t. HELP!!!!!!!!

Valerie Plowman said...

It could be a few things. One is that he needs his reflux meds adjusted. It could be a growth spurt. It could be that he just can't fall asleep on his own. Babies wake every 45 minutes, so if they wake fully and can't self-soothe, they will need help. You might look into soemthing like "the no cry sleep solution" or "the four S's" or "pick up/put down" (last two are from Tracy Hogg). Those are sleep solutions that don't require crying.

Melissa Hogarty said...

Help! My daughter will be 8 weeks in a few days. On and off she has started to wake up around 1:30/2 am. I try to let her CIO but after 20/30 minutes I go in. Usually she needs to be re-wrapped or her binky has fallen out. Once I fix one of those problems she'll fall back asleep until 3/4am. She's not so sensitive to either being wrapped or her binky during naps during the day, but maybe because naps are shorter. Is this normal? I feel like I'm moving backwards getting up twice at night, rather than getting closer to STTN. Any suggestions?

Valerie Plowman said...

It isn't necessarily abnormal. Is she getting too strong for her swaddle blanket? She might need a stronger blanket. She also could need to drop the swaddle, though I would say she is on the young side.

This is a situation where you decide if you want to keep helping her or if you want to wean her. It is personal preference, though when it comes to swaddling, I wouldn't wean unless she is ready.

Ashley said...

I have a 7 week old daughter. We've been doing BW for a little over a week. Before we implemented the schedule, she wanted to eat like every 20 to 45 min. I am working even harder now to keep her awake. Before, she would fall asleep from nursing and if she was out enough and didn't wake up I could then move her to her bassinet. Now, she fights sleep. We are doing CIO and I do let her cry. But she only takes naps in the swing or she will sit in the bassinet for an hour and a half looking around with intermittent fussing and crying. Now she does this in the swing. I try to rock and sing her every time. Even if she falls asleep she will wake up immediately upon laying her down in either the bassinet or swing. Today she fought so long looking around with the intermittent crying and fussing she fell asleep at 630 and our usual next feeding is 7. Her wake times are an hour, that's when I start to see yawns which so far are the only signs I can tell to show me she is tired. I've even tried putting her in the swing with nothing and she will still fight it. She has started a coping mechanism of rubbing this super soft blanket on her face (basically burying her face in it). But at night she will do a lot of screaming after the 1030 dream feed failed - tried for 30 minutes and wouldn't wake up enough to eat, laid her down and she woke up completely) so it has become a usual feeding. But after she finally falls asleep at 11-12 she sleeps for about 6 hours, eats and then plays a bit in her crib when I lay her back down and sleeps another 4-4 1/2 hours. What can I do to get her to GO to sleep? She is throwing the schedule off by not falling asleep till an hour or 30 minutes before the next feed. And do I wake her on schedule? She isn't getting enough sleep if I do. I love how the night times are working (after she falls asleep) but I don't want her to get overtired because she won't fall asleep. She's only 7 weeks old, I can't just drop a nap! Thank you for any advice!

Ashley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Valerie Plowman said...

Ashley, I would guess the waketime is too long for her. Yawning is probably a "too late" cue for her rather than an "it's time" cue.

I would spend a few days doing whatever it takes to get her to sleep so she can not be behind on her sleep.

Then see this post:

Rosaana Romona said...

Hello! My 3 month-old (first born) somehow synced her schedule with her dad's (he works the night shift). I had her sleeping fine before that but now she sleeps from 5 am - 3 pm. She's up for a few hrs after that, eats every 2-3 hrs and takes short naps. Around 10 pm, she starts sleeping in 2 hr increments, only waking up to have 5-6 oz formula and then going back to sleep. I don't know where to start to fix this. Any suggestions???


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