Author Topic: Am I making it worse?  (Read 863 times)

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Offline Stepharak

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Am I making it worse?
« on: September 24, 2006, 09:42:51 am »
Hello everyone,

My LO is now 3 months old and he has lots of troubles going to sleep.
I have no problem admitting that this is a case of accidental parenting, I have been rocking him and bouncing him to sleep since he was born, as from day 1 in hospital, he wouldn't sleep in his little bassinet, and the midwife put him in bed with me for that first night.

About 3 or 4 weeks ago, I moved him to his own room, in his cot (he was sleeping in a little crib by our bed until then) I started using the Shhh-pat method, but everytime I'd take him to bed, he would cry and cry until he'd fall asleep. I also installed a routine, I don't swaddle as I didn't do it at the beginning, and nobody really told me to ( as nobody told me how to help my baby go to sleep on his own... I thought I was doing the right thing, helping him to feel safe, in my arms... anyway !)

He only had a sleeping problem during the day, as at night, he would fall asleep and then sleep for 6-7 hours , and at 8 weeks, he'd wake up just once, at around 5am, for a feed.
Since I started shh-patting, and sleep training in general, things got worse !! I guess I'm doing something wrong... to be honest with you, I gave up shh-patting after 3 weeks, and now I'm rocking him again... I am too tired to cope with his constant crying everytime I take him to bed (he is not just fussing, he is screaming if I put him down in his cot... and it's not cot phobia, it's just because of his sleeping associations... sleeping should be in mummy's arms)

But now, the night time has become a big problem. Let me explain :
He was on a 3hr EASY, and is a very hungry baby. The health visitor ( in the UK) advised me to move him to a new formula for hungrier babies, which I did, and it seems to agree with him. He now feeds every 4 hours ( roughly : 8:00 / 12:00 / 16:00 / 20:00 ),  7 oz each time , but now, he won't go anylonger than 4 hours at night.  So basically, he's asleep by 21:00, and he will wake at 1:00 for a feed, and then at 5:00 for another feed... I tried giving him water, but he wouldn't settle until he was given formula, and would drink the whole bottle : it was genuine hunger !

Now, things have become even worse !! After his first night feed at 1:00, he now wakes every hour, and needs me to rock him back to sleep ! I don't know what to do, I feel awfully guilty, I feel I'm enabling him and not helping the situation at all.. I feel like a bad parent who hasn't taught her child to fall asleep on his own... not to mention that I'm exhausted, like most of you here...

A few nights ago, I thought I might try introducing baby rice in his last bottle. As he's such a hungry baby, I thought this might get rid of the hunger at night, and help me cope with the rest of the situation. Well, he was less hungry, by the 3rd night, he didn't feed at all, I gave him water instead... but he still woke every hour, and it was harder to put him back to sleep (whereas before, he'd barely wake up for his feed).
I just concluded that the cereals are not a solution, if he's still going to wake at night, then I should avoid giving them to him. That's what I did last night, and so, he fed twice during the night, but woke many many times... it's a pattern, it's always the same pattern, the exact same times, like a little clock !

Oh, and during the day, he has lots of short naps, at regular times, and very occasionally he will sleep for 2 hours in the afternoon... I always make sure he gets at least 4 hours of sleep during the day, and I'm always very careful to avoid him being over tired or over stimulated.
During the day, he either sleeps in his cot ( takes longer for him to settle,  he will jolt a lot,  I'm always next to him, ready to pat, but i know this is not helpful in the long run) or he will fall asleep very easily in the car (like lots of babies) or in his pram when I have to go out, and can't do otherwise. Sometimes, I CHOSE to go out, because I know it will be easier for him to settle and I won't have to cope with the crying.... :(

I don't know if this is a sleeping or an eating problem anymore... I know I made and still make mistakes but I cannot bear the thought of leaving my baby to CIO... I'd rather rock him until he's 18 loool !! only kidding, this has to stop, my back is killing me, and I really need some sleep.
What can I do? what should I do? should I try the W2S? any other alternative to shh-pat?? is he a bit too young for the pupd?? PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME !!
Thank you so much for your support, and help.


Offline litomi

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Re: Am I making it worse?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2006, 11:05:11 am »
{{{{HUGS}}}} Well, welcome to motherhood. Don't worry about making mistakes.... it's not mistakes, it's more like trial and error. We all learn from expereiences. Our LO is different everyday! The main thing is to read your LO's cues very carefully.
4hr maybe too long for your LO. Do you want to move back to 3hr EASY. You can feed him less, like 5-6oz and give him more feed. Rice cereal is not the answer to your feeding problem. It just makes your LO very gassy and uncomfortable in the night.
I used to rock my LO to sleep.... it was killing me. She's BIG baby. And once you rock babies to sleep, they wake up in their REM sleep and don't know how to settle themselves back to sleep. Your LO needs to learn to fall asleep without you as being a prop. You have to look for your LO's sleep window, and find the way your LO can sooth himself (fingers, paci, etc.) I use my version of shh-pat. I didn't pat my LO, it's too stimulating for her and she connects with burping :P. So I just hold my LO and make shh sound until she is really calm and put her down in her cot. I then put my hand on her belly or her back to assure her that I'm there for her. If she cries, I pick her up and soothe her again.
Try to swaddle your baby. Before 4-5mo, babies can't control their arms yet and sometimes may triggar Moro (falling) reflex and wake them up. Swaddling helps your baby keep their arms still and makes them sleep better.
Got to run... feeding time  ;)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2006, 08:02:26 am by litomi »

Offline mrsrobbo

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Re: Am I making it worse?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2006, 00:59:23 am »
Sounds like you are having a rough time! Im sure babies know that sleep deprevation is a form of torture!
Have you tried dreamfeeding? I did this with Bradley, he would have a bottle at 8pm then would want one around midnight to 1am, at 6 weeks I started and it worked! He would have his 8pm bottle, then as we were going to bed at around 10.30pm I would go into his room, keep it dark, gently pick him up and slip the bottle in. he would usually drink it all then he would sleep through until 6.30! After a while he used to wake up while feeding but I didnt talk to him or even look at him so i didnt stimulate him, and he would go straight back off. He was such a hungry baby, he was on the hungry formula too.

I agree that swaddling might help too, if he is used to the comfort of being in your arms then he might adapt well to the swaddle as his arms and legs cant move.

Good luck!

Offline Freya

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Re: Am I making it worse?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2006, 04:38:04 am »
have you tried lightly holding your hand over LOs eyes while singing softly and rhythmically? That works sometimes with DS. In the daytime, I used to have to thump his chest rhythmically, sing, and hold the hand over his eyes (this is my sh-pat, as he never responded well to that). i have gotten it to the point now where he can fall asleep with a few lines of music and my hand over his eyes (I am working towards just using the hand).

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