Author Topic: Need so much help :) Especially with sleep cycle transitions  (Read 699 times)

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Offline CaliforniaMama

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Need so much help :) Especially with sleep cycle transitions
« on: October 18, 2018, 05:06:42 am »
Hi Everyone!  I'm new to this forum although have been using the PU/PD and pat/sush methods for a few weeks now.  Some background: my little one is 3 months and for the most part is an angel baby.  With the one exception of sleep.  From the beginning, in the hospital, she didn't/couldn't sleep.  She wouldn't cry, she would just lie there.  (She also broke out of the swaddle from birth and no nurse could keep her swaddled in the hospital.  We worked for 6 weeks to help her tolerate it hoping it would improve her sleep, and it didn't.  Now I've stopped swaddling her, and it made no difference.) The only way she slept from the beginning was by nursing.  Then my mother came to visit and held her a lot, and she fell asleep in her arms.  And so a new method of accidental parenting was born.  I worked really hard, even then, to have her sleep in her bassinet, but she would just lie and play.  And we knew how important sleep was, so we tried every which way to help her sleep.  Even when we hold her, she often doesn't sleep.  Now I'm trying these methods and I hope they're helping.  She cries more before bedtime than ever before - in fact starts screaming when I start sleeptime routine (I've never done CIO or anything like that, so I'm not sure why she's screaming as she's usually really calm and happy), but after about 20 minutes of screaming and with my help she calms down.  Note: We'd never given the pacifier and tried to a couple times yesterday and today, and it helped her to calm down before sleeping.  Perhaps I should have used it from the beginning, but I was scared to create another sleep prop. 

Anyhow, although so many ongoing challenges remain, one main one is that she only sleeps up to 45 minutes for most naps.  This has been the case since she was about 5-6 weeks.  We tried everything to help extend them, and rarely are we successful.  The pat/sush and pu/pd only worked once in the past three days, as an example.  Any tips?  I really want to extend her naps, as she's so much happier when she's rested!  (One note: She sleeps really well at night, often about 13 hours though does wake in that time to eat).

Thanks for your help!

Offline deb

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Re: Need so much help :) Especially with sleep cycle transitions
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 16:45:48 pm »
Have a look - might anything here apply to you? https://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=649.0

Offline CaliforniaMama

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Re: Need so much help :) Especially with sleep cycle transitions
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 17:51:31 pm »
Thanks so much for writing, Deb!  Yes, I saw your post before and wasn't sure how to apply it, but I've read through it again several times and have a few ideas.  I do keep her up 1.5 hrs before starting the sleep process, and usually by the 2hr mark she's asleep.  We haven't been using a pacifier except for the past 2 days to get energy out before sleep, though I do wonder if that would help her sleep longer.  She's sleeping right now, so what I might try is at the 40 minute mark putting the paci in and seeing if it helps extend the nap.  Do you think I should also do the light feed before she sleeps?  I do wonder if part of the problem is that if she's on a 3-hr cycle (I think she's starting to move to 4-hr gradually), then by the time she falls asleep there's only 1 hr to go until the next time she's likely to be hungry.  So if I feed before, it might help extend the nap.  But then won't she learn to associate the two? I think she already would love to fall asleep nursing - she really needs to suck, and I hadn't been giving her a paci. :( I have to work hard to not let her sleep nursing, so I don't know how I'd feed before nap without associating the two.

The dream feed also has never worked for us - she sleeps right through and won't wake.  She sleeps around 6 hrs now and then wakes for food (which I don't get, because she used to go at least 8 hrs if not 10 or 11 without eating.  This started about a week before she hit 3 mo.  Maybe a growth spurt? Or the 4-month sleep regression hitting us early?) . I totally agree about blocking lights - I think it's a huge distraction for her.  How do you make the room dark?  I have blackout shades and it's still not that dark during the day.

And the wind down I think helps her fall asleep, though not stay asleep.  I've started the past two days staying still for 5 minutes before putting her down.  She SCREAMS when I do that.  I don't know why!  She never used to scream before bed until I started these methods.  :( . Am I torturing her?  Or is she letting out energy?  Or saying - hey Mom, that's not how we do it!  I don't know - she's not usually a crier or screamer and tends to be very flexible, so this is throwing me and breaking my mommy heart :( . I hope we'll figure it out soon though!  Today she went down for a nap without as much screaming or crying - no tears at least.  So maybe it's working.  She just seems to have so much energy that she just lies in bed grunting and moaning to herself and not being able to settle for a long while.  But maybe that's just part of what happens in the 20-minutes it takes to fall asleep?  And then it escalates and I come and soothe her, leave her alone, and we repeat it until she closes those pretty little eyes :)

Thanks again for your help!!!

Offline CaliforniaMama

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Re: Need so much help :) Especially with sleep cycle transitions
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 18:09:26 pm »
So, update on last post...sigh.  It didn't work.  Putting the paci in just woke her up (after 30 minutes :(), and I can't get her back to sleep.  I'm on the brink of tears - it's so exhausting for me.  Also, how in the world am I supposed to do 100% one-on-one time with her during Activity time if I'm also with her so much trying to get her to sleep?  I only get 40 minutes of Y time a couple times a day, and that's when I cook and do laundry.  So there's no actual me time :( . I love being a Mom, don't get me wrong.  I'm just really tired and have never figured out a way to fix the naps.

By the way, did your baby ever extend to 90 minutes alone?  Or do you always have to go in and help extend it?

Offline deb

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Re: Need so much help :) Especially with sleep cycle transitions
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2018, 11:24:33 am »
Sorry to be so long getting back - it's been a busy couple of days here (my 'babies" are now very busy teens!)!

I think it was maybe after a couple of days of extending naps that we had some success with her extending her naps on her own. I wouldn't go in and re-insert at 30 minutes, but wait until she stirs and just began to notice it was missing, which was when normally she would wake fully if I didn't re-insert it at THAT point (the 45-minute mark).

We had to tweak the DF time a few times to find a place in her sleep cycle where she would stir JUUUUST enough to take the feed without waking fully. We found after a while though - I want to say a couple of weeks? - that her food intake during the day had increased enough that we no longer needed it, so we ended up dropping it eventually.

What does your EASY look like right now?

Offline RahelW

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Re: Need so much help :) Especially with sleep cycle transitions
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2018, 12:21:19 pm »
Iím having similar issues - my LO will always wake up after 35-45 min since about 8 weeks - she is now 4.5 months. I have been going in since maybe 6 weeks and put her paci back in and hold her hand ( Iím so glad to see that Tracy actually recommended that to you as well and that it wasnít me messing her up;) )
The problem is it doesnít work every time and when it doesnít she usually just lays in her crib and wants to play or starts talking and I just donít know what I should do then. Pay/PD? Even though she isnít crying? If I leave the room she will start crying eventually so then I could go in and do it but it hasnít really helped as of yet :( I have no idea what to do when I go back to work and have others take care of her...

Offline deb

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Re: Need so much help :) Especially with sleep cycle transitions
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 13:24:14 pm »
The trick for me was to re-insert it before she even knew it was missing, so she never woke fully, just kind of rolled over and went back to sleep. That meant sneaking in around the 40-minute mark and waiting for her to stretch between sleep cycles, at which point she invariably would involuntarily spit it out, and then her mouth would root for it. Once she found it right away, she'd go back to sleep 9 times out of 10.