Author Topic: Help me to start.... Late and embarrassed  (Read 655 times)

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Offline nads786

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Help me to start.... Late and embarrassed
« on: July 26, 2017, 15:09:29 pm »
Hi all

I am embarrassed to write this post but my son is 16 weeks old and I'm struggling with his sleep. We don't have a routine and I know that I might be too late but I really need to start. We have without knowing done EASY. However I have several big big issues.

1. I rock my son to sleep and he naps on me or in the sling
2. He opens his eyes constantly so I'm having to rock him back to sleep even in one sleep cycle
3. If I put him in the cot even before he is tired he can't self settle (my fault) he screams
4. I am able to put him in the cot as long as I rock him to sleep then transfer when he is in deep sleep
5. He wakes at the end of every sleep cycle or between 30 and 40 mins and can't be put back to sleep unless he is rocked again. Ssshhhh and pat don't work.
6. He can't connect sleep cycles at all independently

I realise this is all my fault.

He feeds roughly every 3 hours. I can successfully get 1.5 hour naps but only on me as I rock him as soon as he wakes.

His nights are awful. He wakes about 5 times in the night.

He seems to only be able to stay awake for 1 hour or 1h15mins before he needs his first nap of the day.

He naps ever 1h30 or 1h45 mins the rest of the day. He falls asleep easily for his nap but can't stay asleep.

Help! From an embarrassed and clueless mum

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Re: Help me to start.... Late and embarrassed
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2017, 18:13:01 pm »
Hello and welcome to BW forums :)

Please please do not be embarrassed, you have done nothing wrong! You've cared for your baby and given him lots of love and attention, what can be wrong with that?  No more talk of embarrassment, doing things "wrong" or "fault" - us Mummies dole ourselves a big enough serving of guilt anyway without an extra portion.

Your LO is now 4 months old, there is a sleep regression at this age which often leads to short naps. One of the things we quite often see too is the A time being a bit too short.  I'd suggest you keep him awake 15 mins longer than usual (so that's 1hr 30 before the first nap and 1hr 45 minimum and perhaps 2hrs before the other naps) this is an age appropriate time.  Your LO might be ready to stay awake for 2hrs each A time now but I'd suggest these times for now.

Many LOs begin to move to a longer time between E too. If your LO is showing less interest in his feeds you can move to 3hr 15 or 3hr 30 between feeds, even 4hrs but perhaps don't make that move all in one go.  Some LOs do still ned to eat every 3hrs though so this isn't about making your baby cry with hunger, it's about being aware of what developments could now happen.

Your routine is not bad at all :)  If you extend the A a bit as I said above you might find his naps get longer or are easier to resettle.

With regards to sleep training - do you feel ready to begin?  It isn't about LOs age so much as you being ready. Sleep training takes time and effort so it really does need to be at a time you really want to get on with it.  If you don't feel ready now you can wait a while and then start (no guilt!!  Many people do not start until their LOs are older, yes some start earlier - it is a personal preference).

If you do feel ready to start now there are a number of options as to how to go about it:
- you can go all-out start with the first nap of the day and work on self settling and sleep training for every nap and night sleep too
- you could choose to work on one nap per day (say nap 1) and continue to sling nap the others, once LO is going down more easily for nap 1 you could then introduce self settling for nap 2.  You can then work on extending nap 1 and nap 2 as needed (or one at a time)

If you feel ready to begin please record your EAS times throughout the day whilst you are getting support, as we only have limited information to go on we find it very helpful to see the real time that things happen and brief note about what happened, LOs mood, if you tried/failed a resettle and at what time that was, if a resettle worked what time LO went back to sleep and when LO woke up.
You can post in this format:
WU (wake up) 7.00
E 7.00
A 1hr 30
S 8.30 - 9.10 in cot tried to resettle, would only settle in arms (40 min)
S 9.30 - 10.10 in arms (40 min)
E 10.20
...etc...
including
BT (bed time)
DF (dream feed if you do one)
NF (night feed)
NW (times LO wakes but not for a feed)
and through to next WU

My own DS didn't like patting, it also seemed to cause him more discomfort for his reflux, I rocked and still sleep trained so I can talk you through this if you like. The key really is to keep reducing and reducing just like with shush/pat.  You can still read through the helpful FAQs about shush/pat as they will give you a good idea of the process even though you might adapt the shush/pat to a rocking motion.

When you sleep train LO is not likely to be happy about it all the time, it is not necessarily a no-cry method but you stay with LO throughout, never leaving him to cry alone, whilst he learns how to sleep in his cot, fall to sleep in his cot and then stay asleep in his cot.  Whilst sleep training some of the A times might end up longer than you planned because when LO fusses and resists sleep the A time naturally lengthens whilst you are trying to settle him, there can be some OT and this is absolutely normal.

4. I am able to put him in the cot as long as I rock him to sleep then transfer when he is in deep sleep
This sounds like one of the early stages of sleep training. I would suggest:
- your reduce the amount of rocking in arms aiming to be still, or only tiny rocking when he nods off
- you begin to put him down earlier, when he is calm and nodding off in your arms
- when you put him down keep a firm hand on him and rock your hand, this little rocking movement will help him stay asleep or go to sleep, continue all the way to deep sleep if needed in the early days
- this firm hand and small rocking motion is gradually reduced like shush/pat and eventually is still as LO nods off, then is lighter and not firm before LO nods off, then is hands off before LO nods off...over a period of time this is how you teach LO to go to sleep without being held.

Here's a link to W2S (wake to sleep) which is another tool for sleep training, before LO wakes at 30 you go in and put your firm hand back on him, start your rocking and continue right through to deep sleep.  Please have a read and particularly at the section naps option 1
https://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=223809.0
This should help you keep LO in the cot for a longer nap - if he fully wakes and is crying hard you will pick up and resettle in arms then put down again when fully calm (or even asleep) and continue the firm hand and rocking in the cot.

Hope this helps.  Please feel free to ask any questions.


Offline nads786

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Re: Help me to start.... Late and embarrassed
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2017, 18:59:45 pm »
Thank you so much for your reply, I really appreciate it!

Do you think i should start working in stages?

Maybe longer A time first and let him nap on me? See how this goes.

Then work on putting him down if he can cope for the first nap.

Whenever I've left him 2hours he has cried himself to sleep and it's been a battle but should I keep doing it so he adjusts?

Also what happens if he only takes 40 minute naps and I can't resettle him? Is the aim for each nap to be 1.5 hours?

Thank you so much!


Offline Katet

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Re: Help me to start.... Late and embarrassed
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2017, 22:59:30 pm »
I was reading your title name & thought "please don't be embarrassed" & so came to post that.

I'm the Mum of older children &  parenting is one continual learning curve, you are never too later to make efforts to improve the balance of family life and there is never a "perfect" way to parent, as it is a balance. I know many wonderful families, but we ALL make mistakes regularly that we wish we'd done differently.

I struggled with my DS1's sleep on off until he was 4yo, in hindsight I could see a number of reasons were outside our control... he had mild glue ear and food allergies that weren't diagnosed... Drs & nurses telling you that's babies & people telling you that you were too "soft" & you should let him CIO etc,

Whenever I've left him 2hours he has cried himself to sleep and it's been a battle but should I keep doing it so he adjusts?
Has he cried himself to sleep with you in physical & verbal contact, comforting him, because it's important for them to have trust in you & if you leave him to cry alone you break that trust.

Also what happens if he only takes 40 minute naps and I can't resettle him? Is the aim for each nap to be 1.5 hours?
The aim is for longer sleep cycles, but sometimes it just doesn't happen & that's when you look for whether they need an earlier nap next time.

I've been on the parenting path 14years (plus my DH with another 18 on top of that with his older children) & I can honestly say it's often a case of  2 steps forward one step back etc... and find it's often a case of looking back & seeing how far you've come rather than looking at what isn't working, to realise you are getting there.
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

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Re: Help me to start.... Late and embarrassed
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2017, 08:33:17 am »
Do you think i should start working in stages?

Maybe longer A time first and let him nap on me? See how this goes.
Really it's up to you - as I said in my previous post, if you feel ready to begin then go for it, if not then you can wait a while, give it some thought and prepare yourself.  Begin when you are ready because it can be tiring when sleep training.

If you feel ready then really that answer to number 4 above is the way I'd go, you can already get him down when asleep so I'd start there and begin to put down earlier in stages.
LOs take a few days to adapt to a slightly longer A time and there cna be some fussing or crying, you will stay with him soothing in arms or in the cot to support him through this.  See how you go for a few days.

Also what happens if he only takes 40 minute naps and I can't resettle him? Is the aim for each nap to be 1.5 hours?
Yes, we consider a nap to be restorative if it is 1.5 or 2hrs long.  If you don't have luck with W2S and LO fully wakes try to resettle but if you cannot resettle a 40 min nap in the cot you can either let him take a longer nap in arms to avoid OT or just get him up and move on with the day.