I need help!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-19-2008
I need help!!!
5
Wed, 09-22-2010 - 1:33pm

Hi everyone,

I just need to get some input as to how to help my DD sleep better, and a plan on how to go about it. DD is 7 1/2 months old, and is exclusively bf. I am a working mom so she's at home with our nanny from 8-3 pm and I go home to nurse her around 12 because she refuses to take a bottle. During the day she hardly naps with my nanny, and if she does, she hold her or rocks her in the stroller until she goes down. When she does nap, she only naps for a very short time, about 30 minutes max.

At night time, a week ago I decided that we would CIO. She did great the first 5 nights. And woke up after about 6 hours of sleep and then I would bring her to bed with me and nurse on demand until it was time to wake up (around 6 am) At around day 5, she flat out refused to sleep in the crib. She cried and screamed for about an hour, which was so different from what she had done the previous nights. What happened??? I have still been putting her down for the night in her crib (we were previously co-sleeping) but has been waking up only after 3 hours and then I bring her to bed with me. I know I shouldn't be doing that, so what is the alternative? What should I be doing? Should I not be nursing her at all, do I go back in her room and lay her down, or do I just leave her to cry?

At this point, I need help with both nap training and night time ST. And I'm open and willing to doing anything, as long as it helps her sleep better. She's a very crabby baby and I think it's because she's tired and needs more sleep.

Thank you so much for your input!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2008
In reply to: lnestler
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 8:25pm

Hi there, and welcome to the board! Are you ready to dive right in and do nap & night training at the same time? Is your nanny willing to do the same?

Here is some basic advice. At 7 months old your baby should be doing 3 naps a day and 11-12 hours at night. The naps (in a perfect world) would be 1.5 hours long for the morning/afternoon naps and a catnap early evening. Bedtime should relate to wakeup time, so if she starts her day at 6am, bedtime should be 6-7pm. Since she doesn't nap well and takes short naps, she is overtired and you could go with 4 naps a day, or you can bite the bullet and try napping her by the clock and get her on a schedule. I'm torn on what to give you for advice. Typically if you catch a baby at the right 'window' where they first show you sleepy signs, they will fall asleep more easily making CIO much less painful. But, some babies at that age will respond better to BTC because their bodies become used to sleeping at a given time.

Here are a few options...
1. Start by 'sleep training', you do a little nap routine and lay her down awake, in her crib for naps the minute she is showing you sleepy cues. Keep her wake time short. 2 hours or less. Once she's mastered self soothing and has caught up on some sleep, you put her on a schedule.
2. Just go straight to the schedule and keep her up until the next nap time regardless of how long her last nap was.

A typical schedule would be:

6am Wake
8am Nap #1
12pm Nap #2
3pm Catnap
6pm Bedtime

Make bedtime early!! Or at least figure out an ideal bedtime. My DS only does an 11 hour night, unless he's skipped naps, then I can put him down earlier. He did awesome with a 7pm bedtime, where DD (so far) is a night owl and will simply 'nap' if I put her down early.

For nights - I have a rocking chair in my baby's room and I feed and lay back down to sleep in the crib. I know how nice it is to bring them to bed with you and nurse laying down (I've done my share of that with Julia), but if you are sleep training it is important to stay consistent. Otherwise your baby will (and has) started waking earlier and earlier to get into bed with you.

For the night feeding - since your baby is used to feeding at night, just stick to sleep training. So for night wakings, feed and lay back down. Hopefully those night wakings will just go away once she's mastered self soothing and figures out that night feeds are all business. After a few weeks, you can re-asses and decide if you want to try and phase out the night feeds.

Good luck and HTH!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2009
Thu, 10-07-2010 - 8:43pm

I've been fairly lucky in that my DD (who JUST turned 1) has been an excellent sleeper for MOST of her short life. We have had some bumps, however. Our situation was a little different than yours in that we never co-slept...ever. DD was in her crib from night one, and has been there ever since, so I'm not sure how co-sleeping affects sleeping patterns (though most people who I know that co-sleep don't have babies that STTN...I'm not sure that I could STTN lol!) I BFed exclusively until DD was 8 months, and then weaned her for a month, and went through periods where I wondered if she was getting enough milk from me, and would therefore feed her in the middle of the night. When I told her pedi this at her 6-month appt., he told me that even if babies are going through growth spurts, they will simply eat more during the day, and that I should never,. EVER feed her in the middle of the night unless I wanted it to become a habit. Well, I tried CIO around the 6-month mark (DD had the dreaded "4-month sleep regression"), and after night 3, all was good. If you stick strictly to the CIO method, then no feeding is involved...ever. You simply go in, talk calmly to your baby/rub her back, and then leave. Babies at this age generally have the capability of sleeping 10-12 hours straight, so don't think you have to settle for just 6. Personally, nighttime sleeping has always been a bit more important to me than napping, so I would probably try to work on the nighttime sleep before tackling the naps (I always feel like one battle at a time is easier!) Also, my DD has NEVER taken more than 2 naps/day, and in the past 2 months has transitioned to one long nap/day (2-3 hours). Also, I've tried different things, like putting DD down 3-4 hours after she first wakes up for her morning nap, and that seems to work. Best of luck!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2010
Tue, 12-21-2010 - 6:03pm

I am not too sure what has changed or how to specifically help you out with your situation but here are some sleepng tips that may give you a few ideas as how to go about getting your LO sleeping better...hope it helps and you all get good sleep soon!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2008
Wed, 12-29-2010 - 7:38pm
Our situation sounds very similiar. Co-slept until recently b/c DD wouldn't sleep in crib. Started CIO at night 2 wks ago. She still cries when put into the crib, but has stopped waking up after 1 hr of sleep. She now sleeps 3o 4 hrs before waking up to nurse. Some nights are better than others. For naps, CIO has been harder & hasn't worked at all. I read in some book to get nighttime sleep under control before trying to tackle a schedule for naps. Good luck!

Carey

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2010
Thu, 02-17-2011 - 8:06pm

Sleep training always seems to be a rough thing to get started and habitually work well.