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Another sleep schools question


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#1 MrsMammaB

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:18 AM

I have just put our name down at a few sleep schools in Melbourne. I'm kicking myself for not doing this sooner when I originally asked about them as the waits are crazy.
Anyhoo. My question is... I've been talking to other mums and watching videos on some of the techniques and I cannot see how they will work on my 5 months old DD. I feed her to sleep every time and need to change this. She goes down each time no worries but i know its going to become an issue and need to now break the habit. I wasn't open to CC previously but am now ready to try if I have to.
I tried putting her in her cot awake and leaving the room. It would have been a miracle if she went to sleep. She cracked it so I went through the patting through the bars techniques. My DD works herself up into such a state that there is no calming her down. They say to pat until they stop crying and leave the room again but there is no way she will stop crying. Her crying has always been on another level to friends babies. It's intense.
I need to try something before I get into sleep school as she is waking every 1.5/2 hours at the moment and slowly sending me mad. Any advice?

Edited by MrsMammaB, 11 February 2013 - 10:21 AM.


#2 lucky 2

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:47 AM

Hi there,

I have moved your topic to the Sleeping forum, the topic is still visible Birth-6 months and I hope this allows more members to help you with some sleep strategies.

All the best.

lucky 2
Moderator of the Birth-6 months forum

#3 Anonymous12

Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:05 AM

Hi,

This sounds like my daughter.

Controlled crying, patting, shushing etc. never worked for us. The only thing that did work was making sure she had a full tummy before she went to bed (even though everyone will tell you not to do this) and letting her cry until she went to sleep.

I know it sounds harsh but she would cry for 10-20 minutes, which feels like forever because it is such a hysterical cry. If I was in the room or walked past the door it just stimulated her so there was never any calming her down and leaving the room.

She would also sleep in the pram so I would walk her for three sleeps a day just to get her to sleep.

At night I just fed to sleep and just fed her when she woke up because it was the quickest and easiest way and I was so tired!

We didn't go to sleep school but I wish I had.

Also, I know everyone on EB hates Save our Sleep but I did find somethings in that book useful, you might as well.

#4 MrsMammaB

Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:14 PM

Thanks for this.

I definitely make sure she's full but just struggle to let her cry. I did it for 5 mins the other night and like you said it feels like eternity. Im open to a bit of crying at sleep school as I know they will use these methods. I just cave when Im at home.

Her day sleeps are fine thank god but just the nights need sorting.

#5 MrsMammaB

Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:03 PM

Thanks for this. I have tried waiting until she is really drowsy and put her down but she is onto me in a flash and cries as soon as she hits the mattress.

I have tried the PPO which has worked a few times. I really should try more often. Its so much easier to let her fall asleep as sometimes the thought of undoing all the work/time spent feeding her to sleep it too hard!

I have heard this age is common to regress but Im now in my 6th week! Is that normal?

QUOTE (Madame Protart @ 11/02/2013, 04:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi OP, would it help to know waking every 2 hours at this age is fairly 'normal'?  I say that because at a similar age I got a bit stressed out trying to 'fix' ds because he was waking every 2 hours but when I found other mothers were going through the same and not all babies sleep 8+ hours a night, I felt much better about it.  So much better that I didn't bother to do anything until much later about his waking.  Of course that doesn't work too well if you have other kids, or have to go to work.  IF possible, do catch up with naps yourself during the day and co sleeping helped me get the maximum amount of sleep.  I also fed to sleep and it's something he eventually grew out of on his own without me doing much.

In the situation you are talking about, I would continue to feed before sleep - wait until she's very drowsy and then put her down.  You might have to do it a few times before she stays down though.  If you want to keep to gentle techniques, look at Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution.  What might work for you is the 'Pantley pull-off'.

Edited by MrsMammaB, 11 February 2013 - 04:04 PM.


#6 harper_

Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:47 PM

It may sound when a baby/child screams that they are going through serious trauma, but with both my daughters, they would scream and scream until I would go in and invariably as soon as I opened the door, they would be standing in the cot grinning from ear to ear.

#7 PurpleNess

Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:54 PM

Im quite sure there are plenty of things you can try first before resorting to CC.

I used to bounce DS to sleep on a fitball, after a feed, he loved the motion. Then gradually over time we started to put him down just as he was dozing off. It does take time & consistency.

This is a great age to also start introducing a bed time routine so she starts to know it's time for her night sleep ( or day sleep) bath, boob, books, bounce bed or something similar. Use verbal cues to recognize her tired signs & start telling her it's nearly tie for bed etc.

Good Luck, they change so much in the first year!




#8 MrsMammaB

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:05 PM

Ahhh yes the fitball. I could'nt tell you how much we have bounced on that bloody fitball! My physio could tell you too!

We started a routine months ago of boob, bath, massage, boob, bed. The second boob is only there as it was all that worked besides bouncing sometimes. We have recently added solids before her bath also. She knows whats to come she just wants the boob to help her do it. I understand this is totally fair considering its all she knows.

Harper_ she stops as soon as I open the door. I know she isn't in pain. She does work herself up so much mind you that it doesn't sit right with me. She starts to cough and splutter and her nose gets all blocked up.

I really need some relief as I need a break. My DH is more than happy to get up and settle her but she just doesn't go down for him like she does with a boob. I guess it might have to get worse before it gets better. We both have terrible backaches from bouncing her to sleep but his is worse as its the only tool that works for him.

Edited by MrsMammaB, 11 February 2013 - 05:06 PM.


#9 harper_

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:12 PM

QUOTE (MrsMammaB @ 11/02/2013, 05:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ahhh yes the fitball. I could'nt tell you how much we have bounced on that bloody fitball! My physio could tell you too!

We started a routine months ago of boob, bath, massage, boob, bed. The second boob is only there as it was all that worked besides bouncing sometimes. We have recently added solids before her bath also. She knows whats to come she just wants the boob to help her do it. I understand this is totally fair considering its all she knows.

Harper_ she stops as soon as I open the door. I know she isn't in pain. She does work herself up so much mind you that it doesn't sit right with me. She starts to cough and splutter and her nose gets all blocked up.

I really need some relief as I need a break. My DH is more than happy to get up and settle her but she just doesn't go down for him like she does with a boob. I guess it might have to get worse before it gets better. We both have terrible backaches from bouncing her to sleep but his is worse as its the only tool that works for him.


Yeah it's difficult. With our first, we would go in when she cried and rock her to sleep. One night I was so tired, I just left her and she screamed for 20 minutes solid and then fell asleep. So the next night I decided to leave her, and after probably 10 minutes of crying she fell asleep. Within 10 days she was down to a 30 sec - 1 min cry then bang fast asleep. Not saying that would work for you, but that's what worked for us. I look back and now see that rocking her to sleep was basically making her dependent on it and not allowing her to learn to self settle - creating a sleep association. I know for some parents the above doesn't work, their child just cries and cries and cries, but that's what worked for us.

#10 RachealJane

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:16 PM

OP do you really need to rush these things? If she feeds to sleep why don't you continue with that and feed through the night too?
My DD fed to sleep til 2.5 yo. Was an awesome parenting tool to have original.gif

#11 katiebear26

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:24 PM

QUOTE (Anonymous12 @ 11/02/2013, 12:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At night I just fed to sleep and just fed her when she woke up because it was the quickest and easiest way and I was so tired!

....

Also, I know everyone on EB hates Save our Sleep but I did find somethings in that book useful, you might as well.


sounds like my 6mo as well. i hope we don't need to go to sleep school (maybe just my pride!) - i figure that she sleeps fairly well with a full tummy.

i tried save our sleep at 4 months and while she would never sleep for 2 hours during the day a few of the things made a lot of sense to me and she slept longer at night while i was doing it. i am a fan of the idea as it distinguishes between protest crying and real, 'something is wrong' crying.  

we got out of the routine for a while and i'm keen to go back to it, but like OP's bub DD screams hysterically when i put her in the cot while still asleep, and there are not enough pats in the world to get her back from that, i end up rocking her for ages.

i'm going to try a gradual approach - feeding when she's ready for sleep but keeping her just awake or slightly waking her on the way to the cot so she's sleepy but <hopefully> goes to sleep once i put her in. then we might try reading a book after the bottle and before putting her in the cot.

good luck OP :-)

Edited by katiebear26, 11 February 2013 - 05:24 PM.


#12 fun_fairz

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:33 PM

Personally I think if it is an issue for you then go to sleep school. It's does not matter if it is normal for other people, it totally matters how you feel.

For me, waking every two hours at night would not be acceptable (not sure if right word really) and in my circle of friends it would be considered a bad sleeper. I would say half of the babies i know were sleeping through by 6 months (10 to 12 hours a night without a feed or resettle) and 90% by a year. The only one still not sleeping through at 18 months co slept.

I am not saying this to make you feel bad or to brag, I feel you are thinking you need to do something and I am supporting your decision because it is how you feel, you have tried CC and in my experience the only people who have done that are people who have tried the alternatives and really need to make a change for their family.

For me, we used a lot of in cot settling and limited cc. I also found it hard. We did get some help and had someone come to our home and help with settling techniques. It worked for us and having someone show me the techniques was priceless.

My second child I treated very differently, feeding to sleep was the exception rather then the norm and he slept through without help very early.

If you are fine doing what you are doing then don't feel you need to change it either. No "technique" will work unless you are ready for the change. And as I said first up, it is only a problem if you feel like it is.

#13 hoohoobump

Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:51 PM

Go with your gut and what works for your family.

My DS was also a baby who fought sleep and all this talk of fitballs, wakin the minute they hit the mattress etc bring it all back.

We did sleep school at 5 months, where we learned some different settling techniques and he was given a full medical check to make sure there wasn't anything else (reflux).

He's the same. He has never done a 'low grade whinge/cry' to sleep. He would cry and scream until he was hoarse/vomiting, so I didn't persist.

We just worked on calming right down before sleep, transitioning to bed/sleep etc. I think he used the BF as contact with Mum to relax. His need for cuddles didn't lessen when he changed to formula at 7 months for my medical reasons.

He still needs our assistance to calm before sleep. We now do a story, cuddle and sit beside him while he chats himself to sleep. Can your DH do all the non-BF settling so you can rest?

I found Dr Sears 'Fussy Baby' stuff and 'Raising your Spirited Child' helpful for understanding his intensity.



#14 MrsMammaB

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:59 PM

QUOTE (RachealJane @ 11/02/2013, 06:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OP do you really need to rush these things? If she feeds to sleep why don't you continue with that and feed through the night too?
My DD fed to sleep til 2.5 yo. Was an awesome parenting tool to have original.gif


For my sanity yes I do. I need my husband to be able to settle her or someone else if they happen to look after her. Or if I need a break. Waking every 2 hours plus then the time it takes me to fall back asleep isnt working. Ill lose my mind!
I dont believe she needs a feed each time she wakes but she now expects it when she does as opposed to possibly self settling. Maybe.. I dont know anymore.

#15 MrsMammaB

Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:08 PM

Hoohoobump, thanks for this. Yes DH does the solids feed, bath and massage then I take over. He takes her as soon as he gets home from work so I can have a sleep and he takes her so I can sleep in on weekends.

fun_fairz yes I am ready for change. I need change. I wasn't open to any CC but its gotten to the point I need to mix it up and try something different. I feel some comfort in doing it at sleep school under the watch of professionals so that Im not doing her harm. Until now there was no point trying because I didnt want to.

God luck to katiebear26. I briefly skimmed save our sleep and can see that there are some points that would work for us. I dont like the idea of such a strict routine but could loosely base things around it. She already does the day sleeps to a tee its just the nights!

#16 mandala

Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:16 PM

I found that at sleep school they did use those techniques you see on the videos. However, patting never worked for my DS (at least from me) and the nurses had to help me figure out what hands on settling techniques actually did calm him down. However, once they had figured it out, we did basically what you see on the videos - get DS calm, leave, give him an opportunity to settle, go in, repeat as necessary.

I couldn't have done it at home - I was at a loss for ideas to calm DS, and we both would just get so upset. The nurses were calm and had so many different techniques. They'd just cycle through the list until they found one that worked.

It did take a while to get there. It was hard work, and the support of the nurses and other mums was invaluable.

#17 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:25 PM

QUOTE (KRT @ 11/02/2013, 08:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I found that at sleep school they did use those techniques you see on the videos. However, patting never worked for my DS (at least from me) and the nurses had to help me figure out what hands on settling techniques actually did calm him down. However, once they had figured it out, we did basically what you see on the videos - get DS calm, leave, give him an opportunity to settle, go in, repeat as necessary.

I couldn't have done it at home - I was at a loss for ideas to calm DS, and we both would just get so upset. The nurses were calm and had so many different techniques. They'd just cycle through the list until they found one that worked.

It did take a while to get there. It was hard work, and the support of the nurses and other mums was invaluable.


This is my experience too.  The nurses have so much experience, and are quite good at reading the babies and what will suit them.  My son couldn't handle patting but would settle with a rock until his eyes fluttered and then scratching the mattress with my nails near his head.  

Absolute worst case is that you realise it's not for you, and that will give you the freedom to accept your current path without feeling torn in two directions.  I gave up on resettling for day sleeps when none of the nurses could do it 5 days straight.  I figured I had no chance and just accepted the catnapping.   Their methods did help the nights though.  He's never been a champion sleeper but its stayed this side of manageable.

#18 fun_fairz

Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:26 PM

I found my settling techniques were too mild, when I had help her techniques were a lot more obvious.

I used a combination of save our sleep and babybliss, babybliss is not so strict routine wise and is a more gentle approach - no CC. There are some clips on YouTube from babybliss which shows some of her settling techniques. I think these will be similar to what you will use at sleep school.

Good luck.

#19 mandala

Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:35 PM

QUOTE (meggs1 @ 11/02/2013, 08:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I gave up on resettling for day sleeps when none of the nurses could do it 5 days straight.  I figured I had no chance and just accepted the catnapping.


We had two nights when all of the nurses took it in turns, one after the other, and all gave up. It was so nice to have 'permission' to get DS up for a quiet cuddle when nothing worked, and not feel that I personally had failed.  We still do this today if he can't settle himself - he has a go, I try to help, and if it doesn't work we have some nice quiet cuddles. I think it's a nice lesson that it's important to try things (like sleeping), but it's okay if it doesn't work.

#20 MrsMammaB

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:22 PM

I've just been doing some reading on controlled crying as I want to prepare myself a little. Heres my problem. Everyone says put them to bed and leave the room. If they start crying you can go in after x amount of time and settle them whilst still in the cot.

She cries as soon as she hits the mattress awake. So I would have to leave the room with her crying. After x amount of time I enter the room and start the settling/patting/shushing process. 'They' say to do this until they stop crying and you leave the room again. She never stops crying. There isn't a time that she stops for me to leave the room again. So what then?

I think sleep school are going to have their work cut out for them...

#21 happycookie

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:02 PM

Hi OP, we had a similar issue with our now 7 month old.  From 4.5 months she started waking every 45 mins or 1 1/2 hours throughout the night, often staying awake for two hours and then refusing to sleep during the day.  We ended up using Dr Weissbluth's book.  He gives a range of strategies, depending on your child's temperament.  It was helpful because we found that going in to soothe her just stimulated her further.  We had to leave her alone so she could get herself to sleep.  This was after she could no longer be fed to sleep and would take hours to go down to sleep at night.


Good luck, it's such a difficult time and the sleep deprivation is awful - for all of you!

#22 Taystee

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:13 PM

We went to sleep school at around the same age and I had many of the same questions. What they have at sleep school that you don't have is shifts, tea breaks, and a full night/day's sleep up their sleeves...

Things we changed from sleep school:
ditched the wrap
settled on the side
patted WAY more firmly- often with a double pat (bum and shoulder)
loud LOUD shushing

we continued our routine and continued white noise

When she started resisting the patting we would do the "In and Out". There was no controlled crying, just how much noise we could bear.

We never got her up out of the cot (that happened later, haha, when she got sick with her 9000 colds over winter).

Eventually, when we were at home, after a few months of persisting, we allowed her to cry for 5-10 mins at a time (but generally only 1-2 times) before cuddles/milk.

She has, at 17 months, just started sleeping through the night, but has only been waking generally once overnight for months, which is totally doable.

And don't worry about what's "normal". It doesn't matter. You have identified you need help- it's there, we're very luck, take it! I wish we had taken it much much earlier- but I listened to everyone telling me it was normal and thus thinking that I was an utter failure for being unable to cope.

Good luck. If you call up the sleep schools frequently and cry it can really help push you up the list!

#23 hoohoobump

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:22 PM

QUOTE (KRT @ 11/02/2013, 07:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We had two nights when all of the nurses took it in turns, one after the other, and all gave up. It was so nice to have 'permission' to get DS up for a quiet cuddle when nothing worked, and not feel that I personally had failed.  We still do this today if he can't settle himself - he has a go, I try to help, and if it doesn't work we have some nice quiet cuddles. I think it's a nice lesson that it's important to try things (like sleeping), but it's okay if it doesn't work.



Sounds like us too...

Good luck OP, whatever you decide.

#24 MrsMammaB

Posted 12 February 2013 - 06:54 AM

Thanks so much everyone. It so just helps to vent a little and know that others have been in the same boat. Last night was 3 hourly so not as bad. Feeding to sleep mind you.
Interesting point on unwrapping. I have wondered if I should start with one arm out for now but was hesitant because I thought I should tackle one thing at a time. Can't hurt trying I guess.
Oh and yes I've already had a little teary over the phone to one school!

#25 sophiasmum

Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:10 AM

I don't have any suggestions for what to do in the waiting period, but wanted to reassure you sleep school is fantastic & the staff are experts & will work miracles. We stayed for a week when DD1 was 3 mths old for various reasons, & I feel I came home with a different baby. Relaxed, content, happy, in a routine, sleeping without aid. It was fantastic. I've also consulted them for DS & DD2. Best thing you will ever do.



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