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would you Go to Sleep School in this situation?

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#1 MissM86

Posted 20 March 2012 - 06:20 PM

I'm a first time mum and after some advice about what you would do in this situation:

My DD (6 months) was, about 3 months ago, sleeping up to 10 hours a night. For about 3 months she has been going to bed about 7pm and waking up at 2-3am. In this time she has learnt to sit, crawl and has grown 2 teeth. She is waking up crawling around the cot then bumping her head and crying. Initially I was co-sleeping with her from her first wake up and it was fine. We then decided to start patting her back to sleep in the cot which we would be doing hourly from 2am-6am before we just get up. Exhausting! The co-sleeping is not working anymore as she is crawling around the bed, bumping her head, bumping my head/Dh head and almost falling out.

MCHN suggested sleep school (actually, Mother Baby Unit at a private hospital). We are booked in next week. Would you go? Have you been and did it help? We try to parent our baby 'gently' and am very nervous about the controlled crying aspect etc.

I thought this was just a phase of bad sleeping and she would grow out of it but the MCHN has made me quite nervous about the whole thing. What do you lovely experienced mums think?

#2 Baggy

Posted 20 March 2012 - 06:52 PM

You could probably work it out in time yourself,  but sometimes it helps to have another opinion. There is no harm in trying out this sleep school. If it is too much for you then just leave original.gif

There are lots of different books and methods on sleeping,  find something you are comfortable with,  then roll with it.

Both my DDs went through bad phases of sleeping and it all ways works out in the end. DD1 started sleeping through consistently at two and DD2 slept though consistently at 9months.

#3 Guest_Hoggle_*

Posted 20 March 2012 - 06:53 PM

For me, I'd just wait it out as it sounds normal to me. I don't really think it is bad sleeping. 7pm-2/3am is pretty good for 6 months I think. I found for my 3 the age of 4 months until about 9 months we had a lot of wakeful periods during the night.

But, in saying that, it wouldn't hurt to go along and see what they have to say. You don't have to take their advice if you don't like it.

#4 Tall Poppy

Posted 20 March 2012 - 06:54 PM

I would seek some clarity around what you are being admitted for. Ionly know of one MBU & it is for mental illness in the mother of a baby. It may not be in this instance though, I'd check just in case though.
As for sleep school, you need to be happy with the method they use and whether you are happy to do it once you are back at home. I agree that you don't have to use the methods that they recommend if you don't want, don't feel pressured.
In sounds normal to me. Neither of my children would have slept for that long at that age. If you need help though, go for it. What is right for one family may not be for another.
Good luck, having not enough sleep is very hard. I hope it improves for you soon.
Edited for clarity.

Edited by BadKitteh, 20 March 2012 - 06:57 PM.

#5 cinnabubble

Posted 20 March 2012 - 07:02 PM

No. It would have to be so bad that it was impacting on my or my baby's health in a serious and ongoing manner before I would consider sleep school.

#6 dejoey

Posted 20 March 2012 - 07:30 PM

If you think you can get some benefits from there you could try it. My humble advice would be to have firm ideas on what outcomes you are hoping for. You will be going in sleep deprived yourself, and it can be harmful to an already low self esteem if you let it (not saying you have low self esteem, but just that when I am severely sleep deprived, any criticism seems like the end of the world).

I went to one with my youngest when she was 5 months old, as she is a highly strung baby who, with any disruption from the normal day to day, can take weeks to get back into a sleeping rhythm. I only went there as I had tried all the things I did with the older two and nothing worked. The others were preschoolers, so I needed some help as none of us were getting any sleep (hubby works away). I left there feeling like the most incompetent parent in the whole world. I was told I was severely depressed, that my husband must be emotionally abusive, and that my baby wasn't sleeping because I was failing to meet her nutritional needs. It took me a few weeks to get over all that. I was not depressed, as I went to a psychologist that nicely told me that I was simply suffering from lack of sleep. She also said that the fact that I was so tired led me to cry at the drop of a hat which is why the school thought I was emotionally abused. My baby was breastfed, and was not malnourished, she was simply regulating her weight (as they do at this age I have since been told) they came to this conclusion by licking her foot and saying it tasted salty. They made me comp feed her, and introduce solids (which almost compromised my milk supply) and I now have a huge 1 year old that I can barely pick up.

I really don't want to scare you, and I think there is a real benefit from these places. I just wanted to warn you to have some outcomes besides just get my child to sleep. Have your feeding patterns etc all written down, and stand firm to your ideas on what kind of mothering you want to provide your child. I found it quite a daunting and intimidating experience (although I am a bit of a doormat).

I wish you all the best, and hope you get a good night sleep tonight original.gif

#7 LynnyP

Posted 20 March 2012 - 07:40 PM

Sounds pretty normal to me.  I think you have been very fortunate in the sleeper you have had up to now.  I wouldn't go to sleep school.

#8 EBeditor

Posted 20 March 2012 - 07:48 PM

Did they offer you a day stay first? I would probably try to get some advice on routines to try at home first, unless my mental health was affected or I felt my child's development was being compromised due to lack of sleep.

Just a day stay was very helpful for my first child.

Second child failed sleep school but we got there in the end.

#9 Natttmumm

Posted 20 March 2012 - 07:54 PM

Going to go against the other posts here, if you can get a spot in sleep school give it a go. We went when DD was 6 months and I loved it. So supportive and nice to be with others in the same boat. I hated DD crying and we where up all night since birth. It was a horrible situation as I was tears all the time from lack of sleep, DD cried most of the day and DH didn't know what to do. Although sleep school didn't completely solve the problems it taught me how to confidently deal with my very challenging baby. They helped me establish a flexible routine that suited her unusual pattern and whilst it dd involve her crying a bit she was not left to cry alone. I comforted her and taught her to sleep. When we came home she was not fantastic but what I would call good. She would wake about 2 to 3 times once to feed and twice to stick in a dummy. Far better than 10 to 20 times.
Give it a go you can always leave if you don't like it

#10 TotesFeral

Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:00 PM

Waking 10 to 20 times is a lot different then waking a few times a night.
In the OPs case, no I wouldn't go. It seems very normal to me and I don't think sleep school is going to teach you anything different than what you are already doing to help settle her.

#11 Pop-to-the-shops

Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:08 PM

If you have the chance just go, and make the most of it.

You don't have to take on board all the advice they give, so it it can't hurt.

#12 lucky 2

Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:29 PM

I went to an early parenting centre (aka sleep school) with dd twice, I found it a support, it did help, I didn't do anything I didn't want to do, I appreciated the support, there was no crying it out and not really controlled crying.
More about having someone with me when I was putting her to bed and helping work out what to do. I was very stressed at the time so I appreciated it. It didn't "fix" everything (ie I went twice!) but I needed the help, I wasn't coping well.
If you think you need some more emotional and physcal support and you have talked with someone from the "sleep school" and it sounds appealing to you then you can go. As others have said you are not a captive and can leave early if you want.
I went to one run by a public maternity hospital. I don't know much about private centres.

dejoey, I have read of your experience  before, it just sounds so horrible. I'm sorry you went through that. Something is very wrong with what went on in the place you attended. I hope it isn't a common experience, mine certainly wasn't like that.

All the best OP.

#13 katewillknit

Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:30 PM

I'd give it a go, but we had a great experience with DD at a sleep school at 6 months. I never felt uncomfortable about what was going on, and it really seemed to be me working with the nurses there. To be honest, if I was having to resettle a baby every hour from 2 till 6, I would really be struggling to think straight, and know what was best for bub (I remember having that problem at times with my two).

I was nervous about going with DD (after some stories I'd heard), but found it a great experience, and really wished I'd gone with DS.

#14 libbylu

Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:36 PM

Well it can't hurt, but I also think that 2 - 3 wake ups over night is perfectly normal in a 6 month old baby.  I assume you feed her at 2am when she wakes up?  
At 6 months, my DS was waking at 1am, 3.30am, 6am then 7.30am for the day.  This dropped down to 2 wakes by about 8 months and then finally to one wake by 10 months.
Waiting it out would be another option, but if you have the opportunity to go and you can afford it then why not give it a try.

ETA that some babies I know went through a protracted stage of waking up HOURLY from 1am.  Now that's when it gets really disfunctional for all involved and sleep school is a must.

Edited by libbylu, 20 March 2012 - 09:38 PM.

#15 DadOfPidgeons

Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:42 PM

QUOTE (MissM86 @ 20/03/2012, 07:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Would you go? Have you been and did it help?
Yes, yes and yes.

#16 antsy

Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:51 PM

Yes I would go. I went with my first child and the advice they gave me was amazing. My DD had reflux and they took this into account and gave me strategies to lessen her pain while sleeping and feeding. Within a few days DD was sleeping in her cot on her own, and this was coming from a baby that wouldnt sleep anywhere but in a sling during the day or on my chest in bed. I was a wreck before going in, but afterwards I felt so much more confident and happy and was finally able to enjoy my child.

OP if the sleep deprivation is affecting your ability to cope and affecting your relationship with your child, then give it a go. I dont know why so many people are against it.

#17 MissM86

Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:53 PM

Thank you so much for your replies. I should add that she does wake hourly (actually, more like every 20 mins or so, its like she never actually goes back to sleep) and stays awake crawling etc for a looong time. Its not 'wake up, cry, feed, re-settle'. She is not hungry and won't take a bottle. I think I will go, like some posters said, I can always leave if I feel uncomfortable. The sleep deprivation is affecting my life in that I feel foggy, emotional and totally resentful towards anyone and everyone for no reason...

DD has been a 'challenging' baby (I hate calling her that, its not her fault) in that she has bad reflux, breast refusal, bottle refusal to the point of dehydration and so forth.Wont bore you with the details! We have come through a very tough early few months and to be hit with this sleep deprivation feels like a big step back. Its reassuring to hear that its all 'normal' though! Love hearing I'm not the only one.

It is a Mother Baby Unit, not just a 'sleep school' so they will be able to help with the feeding issues etc too and help me get some confidence. I am a youngish mum and really struggle sometimes with knowing what the hell Im doing! After infertility, fertility treatment, postnatal anxiety and a breast abscess and reflux baby, I feel like Ive been thrown into motherhood head on.

Thanks again, I love EB in times like this!

Edited by MissM86, 20 March 2012 - 09:58 PM.

#18 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:08 PM

Depends on how long she is awake for and if it's affecting her/you. If she is only waking up once and going straight back to sleep then no I wouldn't go. But you mentioned you have to pat her back to sleep every hour from 2am and if that is the case then I would be going. Your DD has become reliant on a sleep aid (you patting her to sleep) and when she wakes up she needs you to help her go back to sleep. Sorry if I am wrong and this is not happening.

Sleep is very important for babies. A lot of growing and development happens at at night and they need their sleep. A baby who is waking up hourly or even 2-3 times per night (depending on age) is not getting quality sleep. And when a baby is not sleeping well it can affect the whole family.

We went to sleep school 4 weeks ago with our 18 month old. I was in two minds about going but it was the best thing I ever did! It was a hard week and harder with a toddler they are more resistant to change. But DD went from waking up for 2 hours in the middle of the night. Or if she slept though she would wake up really early, still needing more sleep and was very tired. I had to lay down with her during her day nap. It took 2 hours on a bad night to get her to bed... that's after rocking, walking and at least 2x 250mil bottles of milk.

When we came home she was going to bed without being rocked/me laying with her, no bottles, no night waking and self settling. And before SC she was a very unhappy child- she cried a lot, had terrible tantrums. She was such a different child when we came home. Tantrums were less frequent and she started getting on with her sister better.

We were having sleep issues at 6-8 months. Everyone told me it was normal and I assumed DD would grow out of it. She didn't and it got worse. It was much harder to deal with it when they are toddlers.

Only you can know how this is impacting on you and your child. You can always give it ago and go home if it's not for you. But I recommend staying for a few days because it's hard to really understand what the program is unless you have been there for at least a few days. And it can take a few days to start seeing some change. Good luck!

#19 DrDC

Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:12 PM

I think go with sleep school, based on the latest sleep patterns you are describing - it is so exhausting to feel you never get to your deep sleep place. As a hopefully reassuring aside, the recent changes in her sleep patterns may well relate to a new developmental stage - often when babies are learning something new during the day (like crawling or sitting up) they start doing it during their light sleep periods at night and the wake themselves standing or crawling or whatever and have trouble getting back to sleep (or back down from standing!). In these cases sleep will often return to normal once the new skill is mastered. There is a great book called 'Touchpoints" by Berry Brazelton (published in the 1990s - I'm showing my age!) but I think a more recent book called the Wonder Weeks may talk about similar periods of development. Sometimes knowing why something changed can help you cope !
I hope the sleep school helps.

#20 Guest_Hoggle_*

Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:16 PM

Just a thought, does she sleep in the room with you? I had DSs cot in our room and around 6 months the lack of sleep was doing my head in so I moved his cot to his room. He went from waking about 6 times per night to only once at 1am!

We did go through another rough patch around 8-9 months but once he got through that he started sleeping all night at 10 months

DDs I don't have as great a recollection as I was already tired and so just had them in my bed most of the night early on so I could sleep

#21 powertripper

Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:17 PM

I wouldn't go to Sleep "School" in any situation. I don't think you need a "school" to teach you to ignore your baby until it falls asleep. Save yourself the time and either make the choice to ignore its cries or ride out this period. Their sleep patterns and requirements change many times until they settle into a more regular routine around 3 years or so.

Don't let anyone, even a MCHN convince you that you have anything to be worried about in terms of sleep if you don't think you do.

#22 EBeditor

Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:40 PM

Powertripper, sleep schools, at least not reputable ones, do not leave  young babies to "cry it out" or to be ignored by their parents.

There is a lot you can do in between ignoring and resettling every hour.

Long-term sleep deprivation can cause depression and other horrible side effects in parents, which is why Mother and Baby units.

#23 lucky 2

Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:40 PM

It is a Mother Baby Unit, not just a 'sleep school' so they will be able to help with the feeding issues etc too and help me get some confidence.
Good luck with everything OP.
Just wanting to say that at a "sleep school" (early parenting centre) it is a part of the care to heip with all aspects of parenting, including feeding and confidence. That's why the title sleep school is inappropriate as it is only one aspect of the care offered.

#24 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:54 PM

Id give sleep school a shot, but my DD went through those 'wonder weeks' very roughly, and her sleep suffered (but always came good again

#25 powertripper

Posted 20 March 2012 - 11:00 PM

QUOTE (EBeditor @ 20/03/2012, 11:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Long-term sleep deprivation can cause depression and other horrible side effects in parents, which is why Mother and Baby units.

Yes. Long term affection and contact deprivation can cause depression, developmental delay, anxiety and other horrible side effects in children too. There are two sides to every story and I know for a fact that the "reputable sleep schools" in my home town advocate several variations on ignoring your baby to sleep. Not OK in my opinion.

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