Author Topic: Shush Pat isnít working - what am I doing wrong?  (Read 558 times)

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Offline Katkirch

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Shush Pat isnít working - what am I doing wrong?
« on: April 19, 2018, 17:41:48 pm »
Hi everyone. I have a 4 weeks old son. He joined our family through adoption and his birthmom was on methadone so he was in the NICU for the first 20 days as they weaned him. Because of this, I'm just starting to get him in a routine. At night he wakes every 2.5 to 3 hours to eat but goes right back to sleep after I change his diaper. Iím not too concerned about waking this often because heís still pretty small (he was just over 7 pounds a week ago). During the day, I have him on a 3 hour EASY although sometimes I let him sleep longer if I know he needs the sleep. The problem is that he fights his daytime naps so much. If I rock him or walk around with him, he cries and fusses for over an hour. When he finally goes to sleep, itís almost time to eat again so heís left super overtired by the afternoon and then will finally pass our for several hours. The last few days, I have been trying the shush pat method to get him to sleep but no matter what Iíve tried, he doesnít fall asleep. Could someone give me ideas for what I am doing wrong? When I see him yawn (usually between 40-60 minutes after waking), I swaddle him, being him upstairs to his room, tell him itís time for sleep, rock and sing him a lullaby and then lay him in his crib. I shush pat him for 45 minutes and he only fusses a bit but never falls asleep!  This last time, I tried shushing and putting a hand with firm pressure on him instead. I also used a hand to block the light and stop the pacifier from falling out. Within 10 minutes, he was calm, his eyes moved between shut and almost shut and he was sucking on his pacifier. I thought I had finally gotten it but then he stayed like this for another 35 minutes so I gave up. Should I be doing it for longer?  I also use an app for shushing because I was getting a little lightheaded from doing it so much. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. I am having a hard time finding time to eat even so I am desperate for him to go to sleep and stay asleep during naps.

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Re: Shush Pat isnít working - what am I doing wrong?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2018, 18:12:10 pm »
Welcome to BW forums and congratulations on the new addition to your family.
Do you have any other children or is this your first?

Honestly I do not think you are doing anything "wrong" at all.
The thing with shush/pat is it isn't a magic trick which puts babies to sleep, rather you catch them in their sleepy window as best you can and encourage the sleep to come. The main aspect though is that they know you are there, they know they are not alone or abandoned.  You really cannot force sleep you can only offer the best opportunity for it - and you are doing that already.

Your LO is ever so young even without the difficult beginning to his life.  I'd say most of the members here have not even considered routine or trying to get LO to sleep in a cot by this age.  Then take into account that as well as only being 4 wks he has spent 3 of those weeks in hospital going through a methadone wean so he is barely home. I would imagine there will be aspects of those weeks still lingering in some way too and that with lots of time and patience you are going to see him improve as the days and weeks go by.  He is likely still getting used to his new surroundings and environment at home too.
Where you able to visit and hold him during those weeks?
Sorry, I'm not familiar with the process he has gone through so please forgive my naive questions, I'm just trying to think of things which may be effecting him.  Was he sedated during the wean, or did he have anything resembling a routine in hospital?  Were you told of any effects he may have now?

I would suggest for now that you try bringing his milk earlier so that you avoid this difficulty of trying to get him to sleep all the way up to the next feed time, see if he will take a top up so that he has a better chance to make it through that nap time without starting to get hungry.
Then do what you are doing.  If he will settle in your arms in a dark room being held or rocked I would also do that for now too.  I realise you can't spend the entire day in a dark room with him but if you could help him nap for one nap per day that would really benefit him, and it would help greatly with your bond too.

I want to repeat that you are not doing anything wrong. Having a baby this young is hard work, I was exhausted with mine.  It does gradually get easier and you do eventually get time to eat/shower. Meanwhile if you have any support you can call in, do, people usually like to help if they are given a specific task. Ask someone to prepare food for you and to hold baby for a stretch of A time so you can have a nap or just a lay down for an hour yourself.

I hope this helps. We are here to support you.