Author Topic: Spirited baby sleep help!  (Read 750 times)

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Offline Aimes12

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Spirited baby sleep help!
« on: October 12, 2018, 12:51:11 pm »
This is my first time posting and I am in some desperate need of help! Some background- my LO is 11 weeks old and has had some accidental parenting along the way. He is what I believe to be a spirited/textbook baby. Around 6 weeks he stopped going to sleep easily and being a FTM I did things like nurse to sleep, wear him to aleep, and let him sleep on my chest. Now, 5 weeks later and horrible sleep I feel like Iím cracking so Iíve read the BW book and am trying not out. He also cries in his car seat so life has been very isolating and rough lately. He is usually pretty happy when awake and loves things like music, walks, and the bath.
My LO is ok with night time sleep once I get him settled, which is often the boob unfortunately. He will wake twice and I believe once is due to hunger and the other is waking just to get the boob. My main issue is naps and just getting him to sleep in general. He has been a horrible napper since 6 weeks and has literally never napped not on me for longer than 20 minutes. When I try to get him to sleep he SCREAMS bloody murder. No matter what the routine is- he catches on that we are putting him to sleep and freaks out. Today I woke him at 7:15 to start our day. By 8:15 he was cranky (even though I hoped to keep him up until about 8:45) so I swaddled his bottom half (he has found his fingers and sometimes uses them for soothing) and sat in the rocker to read a sleepy book which is part of the routine Iím trying. Iíve tried this routine for about 2 days now. As soon as I pick up the book he starts screaming. I read 2 pages and then close the curtains and try and sit with him for 5 minutes. And he screams the entire time. Eventually I calm him and lay him down and he freaks out again. So I pick him up. This goes on sometimes for 1.5 hrs. Every time I pick him up I am almost punished with harder and more screaming in my arms which makes me want to give up. Today I did give up and let him sleep on my chest again so I could write this post. He is not hungry as that is going well and I do worry maybe heís not having enough A time but he seems consistently tired after an hour. I do have trouble reading his sleep clues and he just generally seems to prefer staying awake even when heís exhausted as he doesnít want to miss out. I have his personality trait too so I do get it.

How can I get through the PUPD or shush pat without the constant screaming and crying? What do I do to make this transition easier? I thought I was doing ok as he is still fairly young but I guess not. I know it sounds silly but I find him smiling less at me since this has started and I worry itís damaging him or our relationship. 

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Spirited baby sleep help!
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2018, 08:01:39 am »
Hello and welcome to BW forums :)

When he starts screaming at wind down he could be saying he is not yet ready to sleep, or that he needs to sleep sooner, or that he doesn't like the book or routine of the wind down.  It's not easy to know which it is but you can experiment a bit with timing and switching your wind down routine.  I think I'd try a wind down similar to what you were doing previously rather than the book if that's triggering his crying.
When you shush/pat in arms you can initially shush/pat all the way to sleep, see if you can do it near the cot, and then continue to shush/pat as you lay him down and keep on going with the shush/pat until he is in a deep sleep in the cot.  Chances are even when he is asleep in your arms he will stir as you lay him down, that's expected, keep patting and keep reassuring him that you are there.  You might need to continue right through the nap at first, then as things calm down more you can begin to pat a little less each time.
I wouldn't continue with the process for 1.5 hrs, he is likely exhausted and too worked up by the crying to get to sleep by then, we usually suggest 45 mins and then take LO out to do something else. Of course if he is close to sleep at 45 mins you can continue a bit longer to see if he'll go off.
The BW methods are not cry-free methods, but you always stay with LO and the idea is to try to reassure LO that you are still there and show him the way to sleep, gradually getting that sleep in the cot.
You could also try for one cot-nap per day and do the others in the sling if that's what he is used to, it would give you both a break.  To avoid confusion you would do the same nap each day so the habit is built.

With the nights, it is normal for a LO this age to need 2 night feeds or even more.

I know it sounds silly but I find him smiling less at me since this has started and I worry itís damaging him or our relationship. 
It doesn't sound silly at all.  You can talk to him about how you feel, let him know you are trying this new way for sleep because you both need a good rest.  When my DS was little I sometimes took him for his nap too early and he would scream blue murder, I just said "oh dear looks like I got it wrong, sorry, let's go for another play and try again later" he usually stop screaming the moment we left the bedroom and would be more ready for sleep 15 mins or so later.  We don't have to be perfect parents.  Your LO knows you are trying your best for him.