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PU/PD for 3 month old - info from consult with Tracy



Originally posted by Jenapple on the pu/pd board...

Hello Everyone -
Four days ago I thought I was on the verge of losing my sanity. I had used rocking, the swing, arm bouncing, and the pacifier, either separately or together at various times to put my son to sleep. At one point I had him going down with pat/sh (but also the pacifier) and falling asleep on his own, but as he got older that didn't last. Anyway, last week I decided to wean him from the pacifier. In hindsight, I made a number of mistakes...I tried to implement P/U P/D, but by Thursday I was ready to hand my child over to anyone who could fix him, and leave for a week. I hit my rock bottom and in desperation, called Tracy, hoping to fly her out to the East Coast to fix my baby. However, a phone consultation did the trick and today I am a like new woman, a new mother, a new person. I have a follow up call with Tracy tomorrow and I can't wait to tell her that I have my life back. Last night my son slept from 9pm to 7am in his crib, without a peep and today he is taking 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hour naps. It takes less thank 5 minutes to get him down, with little to no crying.

I am going to post this info to share with anyone who is having sleep issues with their baby. Some of it is info I gathered from the sleep interview and the book, some is clarification I got from Tracy. I'm sure most of it is applicable to a baby of any age, though with newborns the pat/sh is the soothing method. Please feel free to send me a message or post if you have any questions and I'll answer them if I can. Obviously I'm not Tracy or an expert of any kind, but I figure if it worked with my kid it can work with yours!!

*At his age, and because of the fact that my son was trying to suck his thumb, Tracy had me swaddle him tightly, with one arm out
*Establish a routine so the baby knows what comes next: at bedtime a bath, jammies etc. At naptime, I swaddled him, closed the curtains and sat for a minute to sing a song. I used the same song every time. I also did these things at bedtime.
*Use your voice - say "Jonah, we're just going to sleep now, I'll see you soon"
*Put the baby in the crib
*As soon as he cries, pick him up and repeat what you said
*Put him back down right away... DO NOT WAIT UNTIL BABY IS CALM
*Pick him up and repeat what you said
*Put him back down again
*Continue this over and over and over until you see cues or sense that he is trying to settle himself. For me the cues were: trying to find fingers, burrowing his head, cries getting weaker
*When you see signs of settling, leave him down and continue to reasurre/sooth him as well as keep physical contact. I would use shhhh in his ear as it got his attention and also talk to him "I know this is hard, we're just going to sleep, I know you can do it" etc.
*If you think he needs extra soothing or reassurance, go ahead and pick him up again, making sure to put him down again right away.
*Continue this until he falls asleep.

(The first night, I picked up my son 45 times and it took one hour. He finally fell asleep out of exhaustion)

Do this FOR ALL NAPS AND BEDTIME. If you can, have someone else sit in and watch you so that they can also learn how to do it and you can take a break. I had my dh, my MIL and my mom all help, as I was so stressed about the whole thing. I emphasized to them that the key is consistency. I also threw out the pacifiers before we even began, and good thing, because my mom went looking for one after a particularily long session.

As the days progress, and you see some improvement, you can begin to reassure the baby more and more in their crib and not pick them up as much. You need to be the judge and use your instincts as to whether picking them up will help or not. There were times where I thought it would, and it didn't, so I just continued to leave him in the crib and talk and touch him. If he was particularily upset and limbs were flailing, we also would hold his top arm gently to his chest (it was in the Aussie Swaddle) and put our elbow on his legs, until he calmed, then slowly release the pressure.

I have to say, one of the reasons I got so upset when I was trying to do it myself was because my son was trying to find his thumb and just couldn't get it consistently and I thought I would be doing this another month before he perfected it. I am thoroughly amazed how good he became in just 3 or 4 days at it, since he was working so hard! Now as soon as I start to wrap him the thumb goes in the mouth 

You should leave the room, or step back and observe, depending on your childs age, once their breathing is calm and regular, but they are not asleep. The idea is to have them fall asleep without you there, so watch for this fine line. I would stay and observe since he was not old enough to look around for me, and step back up if he needed more reassurance.

We saw improvements in night sleeping right away, but days took a bit longer. We started Thursday night and he did not sleep more than 30 minutes for a nap until Saturday evening. On Saturday I began to go into his room at the 25 minute mark and when he started shifting and shuffling, place a hand on him to help reassure and use my voice if necessary. As of Sunday afternoon, I no longer had to do this.

Tracy told us that usually if you do this consistently for 2 days and 2 nights you feel like you've cracked it. It took a bit longer for us, because he was perfecting his thumb sucking. We would also put him on his side with the thumb arm on the bottom to help him control it, and put rolled up towels on either side of him to not only keep him on his side, but to help keep his thumb arm from flailing.

As it says in the sleep interview, when they wake early from a nap, continue to try and get them to go back down for 40 minutes, take a break (5 min or so) then try again, until you come up to the next feedtime. Then skip the activity time (feeding and diapering becomes the activity) and go right back up to putting them to sleep. If you get them to sleep and it's only 15 min or whatever until the next feed time, wake them up to keep them on schedule.

I expressed my worry to Tracy that I was simply teaching him to cry as part of the bedtime routine. She reassured me that this would not be the case, and here we are 4 days later, and she's right.

Some key messages that also helped me get through this:
*If you are as consistent with the new method as you were with the old, it will change
*Don't start if you do not have the resolve to see it through and not give in. It's NOT FAIR to make a child cry for 40 min or longer, only to give them the pacifer, the rock, the swing, whatever.
*Turn the language around when they cry. Try not to see it as them crying out of anger or sadness, but they are just telling you in the only language they know that this is not what they're used to. Use your voice to reply that you are teaching them a better way to sleep.

I posted little notes to myself around the house "It wasn't any better before" "This leads to a better end" to help me deal with my anxiety when he cried. I was also so stressed that Tracy recommended some away time - On Friday I had some one on one time with my daughter for 3 hours, on Saturday I went to a movie with my mother and stayed over at her house for the night. Obviously I have family to help with these things, but even a few hours away, so you are not the only one working on this is so helpful.

I think that's all the info, sorry for the length  Please let me know if you have questions. Gotta run now, my son just woke up after sleeping for 2 hours 



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