Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Trying to Establish a Sleep Routine.. HELP!

Well, PB turns 10 weeks today, and so this week. while me madre is in town, I am getting brave and trying to establish a good sleep pattern for my little pigglet. You see we have run into some issues.
While I was pregnant,  I read BabyWise, loved it and thought that was exactly what we would do, but then he was born, and I became everything I ever said I wouldn't be.Everything.
So you take the fact that I have never been good with a routine/pre-planning, add to that my PB has some reflux and sprinkle on top the fact that I'm a softie and you've got yourself a baby who has no routine. Not really anyway.
Our current situation goes something like this: demand feeding generally every 3 hours, play and nap throughout the day as he feels like it and then he will go to bed around 8:30 and we let him sleep in his (GASP) swing because it helps with the reflux, and he loves it. I usually will sleep on the couch so that his waking during the night doesn't wake bubs when he has to go to work. He will wake up about Midnight and 5 am these days. OR midnight, 3 am and 6 am. He likes to shake it up every now and then to keep me on my toes.

Now I know how ridiculous all that sounds, and how NON babywise it is. But in the words of a friend, "having a newborn is a bit like being invaded by a foreign country". It's wild. Its crazy, and it is NOT routine or predictable. Sleep deprived parents, do not make rational decisions. And just when you think you have it all figured out, they switch it up! All you non parents reading this thinking you are gonna be different, chances are, you wont be! So read the comments and learn with me!
In the early days, he was sleeping in his crib and all was well, but then he started having reflux issues and needed to be elevated, (enter swing).

This week, we are trying to get him to sleep in his crib, so taking away the swinging motion and the cuddling that swing provides.  and WOAH. Talk about a shake up!
He has started going to sleep around 5pm for unknown reasons and waking up at midnight, I feed him, and then he is  READY.TO.PARTY.   It takes some work to get him back down and then he wakes up 467 times because the paci falls out. Now I don't know what to do! I am trying a few things like sleep sacs, sleep sacs with velcro arm holder-downers, sound machine, sleep positioner.... basically trying everything....

So I guess what I am asking of all you baby momma's out there is HOW do I get this established? How do I keep the paci in? How many nights of #fail does it take before it works? How much crying is involved? Please, for the LOVE, leave some comments , long ones with lots of details and discuss your methods!

We need a routine STAT.


Jessica said...

We used Happiest Baby on the Block, the 5 S's. It suggests treating the first 12 weeks, like the 4th trimester. Whatever it takes to soothe him is his thought. Now, I have a 2 year old running around all day, so Steven does not have much time to sleep during the day. We did not start anything other than demand feeding until about 12 weeks. Then, I started giving him a pacifier at night, because he only nursed for a minute. I knew he just wanted someone to hold him. You are doing great and you will get it to work. Enjoy your mom and rest!

The Macons said...

Ok Laura Lou, not that you have to but if you are going to do babywise, start it now. I will swear to you that I did it at 5 weeks, lay her down and walked away. She cried for 7 minutes and I never looked back. She slept better at night, naps, and ALL around. With that being said this is all live and learn, you will waste you LIFE trying to figure out what you did wrong the day before if you don't just do what works and stick to it! We have entered the infamous "sleep regression" and it has me questioning all day, shitty naps, no more swaddle, and she got over loving the swing. Now she just doesn't want to sleep period. ITS OK!! Guess who went to bed in her swing at 8 tonight??? WTF They will get over that, no habit worries. Have you tried the Miracle Blanket? I will bring you one Thanksgiving cause I have 2 and we are working on breaking it due to rolling over. Swear it is a LIFESAVER. Anyway call me tomorrow to chat and I will tell you what works for me and see if it helps!! Love the 3 of ya a ton!!

Angie in AZ said...

I did the Babywise thing with my first but not until I was about 5 weeks into it. I couldn't figure out how to get started if if he was up eating at 5:00 a.m. and I wanted to start our day at 6:00. So, I got his back up at 6:00 and started on a routine. And yes, there was some crying at bedtime. I remember being in my kitchen floor on my knees with my hands crasping the counter while I cried along with him. It was awful! But, I went by the book as closely as humanly possible and by 15 weeks, he was sleeping all the way through the night and was absolutely the easiest, most predictable, happy baby ever!

Now, with my second, it was not so easy. He came home with a cold from the hospital and had colic. He was NOT a happy baby and nothing was easy with him. I felt like I'd been thrown into a hurricane of exhaustion. He slept in one of those little vibrating seats. He was extremely difficult to get on a schedule and his cries were harder for me to read. I was in major survival mode with that one. I did the babywise thing with him too but learned that sometimes I had to be flexible.

Now they are almost 9 and 11. Number one son has always been a great sleeper and still is. Number 2 son never was, had to stop naps at age 2 because I couldn't get him to sleep, and I still have trouble getting him to sleep. But, I also found that he is ADHD and it explains so, so much about his babyhood and all his sleep issues. I just didn't know then. Hind sight is always 20/20. Have you considered using drops of Melatonin if he isn't sleeping? Or drops for his tummy from the health food store? I can't even remember what I used but they worked.

Never did pacies with either of mine because I didn't want to have to get up finding it in the middle of the night. My oldest found his thumb and that worked like a dream. Second son never got attached to anything.

Just remember, this too shall pass.

jenn said...

uuuummmmm, sounds pretty normal to me. I think that the best part of having a baby is you're too tired to remember what you did after about a year. (seriously, I can't remember) I know that I had many nights in the guest bed proped up on pillows sleeping and holding Nicholas (I know, I know, bad, bad, bad.) but hey, it worked for us and it seemed like all of the sudden he was in his crib. I think that I always started him off in his crib and then whatever I had to do to sleep is what happened. He's a great sleeper now so I don't think that how he sleeps now will be an indicator of what happens in the next months.... IMO. ;)
I'm bringing the menace over soon to play.
good luck with sleep!

Alison @ One Lucky Monkey said...

I could have written every word of this post. Actually last week I wrote a post very similar begging for help. Rowan, for the most part, hates her crib with a vengence I don't understand and everyone that says. "I did babywise and my baby cried for 10 minutes then slept wonderfully," has never met my baby. She will screech and scream and work herself into a blue faced oblivion if I leave her in that crib to "soothe herself to sleep." I'm still at a loss after 2 weeks of trying? ME! Row is currently sleeping sweetly in her swing with her mouth stuffed with a binkie. I'm hoping to learn something new from your commenters but just know that you're not alone!

PS My husband sent us 2 woombies (he's deployed) and after some initial fussing she loved them. They are nice because she can't startle herself but she can still move around a bit...she's been a bit more tolerable of her crib (and it's vast non-cuddly space) since starting to use them.

Anonymous said...

Hey Laura,
Honestly, things will get better in time and I'm like you, a sucker for a crying...hungry baby. My kids have major reflux issues and I bought the 14.00 wedge at baby's r us and that helps get them off their backs in the crib. You could also stick books or something under the mattress to elevate one side. Don't buy the 200 sling..I have it and it didn't work with Wesley. I started out putting my newborn in his crib at night and that helped but Matthew is on your sleep routine too. If his reflux is really bad, try putting rice cereal in his bottle..I think it's 1 tablespoon per ounce or 2 ounces (call your doc) of milk. It helped Wesley but was annoying to fix. Good luck. just do what your intuition tells you to do.-Love. Nancy Moore

~Kristen~ said...

L, I am right there with you! Wynn won't sleep in anything but his Rock n Play sleeper. He is now 12 weeks and can't sleep in it forever, so I am trying desperately to get him used to being on his back in a crib but reflux is making it tough. That Rock n Play sleeper has been a lifesaver but I hope Wynn can learn to love sleeping in his crib!!! Keep me updated on what works for y'all and I will do the same. :)

LG said...

Ladies you have many good ideas and great feedback! Thanks and keep it coming!! we had some mild success last night with
Sound machine, sleep wedge and sleep sac with velcro arm holders.
He woke up at 12:23 for feeding
1:45 for a paci fall out
and 6:20 for a feeding/daytime.

That's good stuff!

ashley said...

The two best things my pediatrician ever told me were 1) don't let the breast nazis get to you (I couldn't breast feed and the peer pressure to do so is kinda crazy) and 2) let him cry it out. Oh, and one more — put him in the crib while he's still awake. And don't tiptoe around — go on about your business like he's not there so that he can sleep through anything. The real deal, though, is putting him to bed while he's still awake. I did that with my second and third babies, and it was really emancipating to be able to read them a bedtime story, put them in the crib, and let them drift off to sleep by themselves. Hang in there though. It feels monumental right now, but you'll be fine. Just set a routine and stick to it. Keep PB awake until YOU decide it's bedtime. YOU are the mommy, and you run the show (well, you and your husband). Establishing this now will carry over into all sorts of things later on in the parenting scope. like with discipline ... see? it's a never-ending learning process. Trust your gut. And if your gut says let him sleep in the swing, then do it; tune out the know-it-alls who try to pretend they have it all figured out. Hang in there. You're doing a great job!!!

Alana Gwinner said...

What Jenn said is so true! I can barely remember how we started a routine with our #1. But somehow we (as unorganized and unroutine-y as we are) did it. And you will too! Whatever works for him and for you two!

From what I do remember with #1, we co-slept for about 3 months or so. His crib was also in our room so we would sometimes put him in there to get acquainted with it. We'd put him in there for naps as well. I think they make some of those positioner things at an angle.

Around 5 months, we moved to a bigger place and he had his own room. That was very different because he was always in our room, either in our bed or his crib. We would do bath time, and you can usually see it in his face when he was tired. His eyes would just get these dark circles underneath-almost to the point where it looked like he got punched! haha So we'd look at the cues from him. We'd fix a bottle, feed him, and lay him down. We'd also turn on this musical thing that we attached to his crib. It plays music, lights up, and has jungle animals moving inside. We'd also lay his lovie in his bed with him, a green zebra pillow his Nana made him (he still LOVES that thing to this day-he's about 18 months, takes it everywhere!). Daycare also helped get him on a sleep schedule. He'd have his morning/afternoon naps there. Have an evening nap about 5:30/6. And then be in bed by 8-9, sometimes 9:30 at the latest.

With #2, it seems a bit more difficult getting her into a routine. We co-slept with her when I was nursing. Now that I'm not nursing, she sleeps in her crib in our room. Since Bro sleeps through the night, we don't want to put Naomi in the same room and wake him up and then have to deal with two crying babies. :) When I was still on leave, she had her nights and days mixed up. So I tried keeping her awake much more during the day and that helped her sleep longer during the night. She's 8 weeks today and gets up one, sometimes two, times a night. She'll just want to feed and then go back to sleep.

Have you tried a bath, then bottle, then bed? Sometimes you just have to go with the flow of things. He'll get into a routine, don't fret over it. :) It will all fall into place.

Mrs. Holder said...

I'm reading all these out loud for Chad because we are interested in what peeps tell you. I can't get W to sleep in the crib at night...naps he will go down for his 30 minutes, but the big B (bedtime) he fights it like crazy. BabyWise doesn't work for us because of the 30 minutes naps...so I just watch for his sleepy signs and then put him down for a nap. That is usually about 1-2 hours after he wakes up. I'll do the same thing every time. Swaddle, music, rocking/singing and then when he closes his eyes I stand up and put him in the crib. Yesterday I let him cry for 5-7 minutes and then tried again. I plan on doing that again and again. It's dancing on my patience, but keeping things consistent is important.

As for bedtime...I'm stumped. I put W in his swing until 10:00, do the dreamfeed and then put him in his crib. Babies are deep in sleep around 9-10pm and it's easiest to get them back to sleep at that time. Last night he wailed until 8:30 because Chad put him down...Chad does not have the touch. At all. :(

We will be starting CIO again also. I hate it! But, it must be done, documented and analyzed. This baby sleep thing is tough, but I think Fenn will adapt after a week of whatever you do. He's a laid back dude.


Julie Bray said...

Girl! We are having the exact same problems! We were a bit late in putting Ben in his crib- just started this week.... He was just so little he still looks small in his bassinet, but we thought at 3 months we'd better go ahead and start the crib sleeping. He did great the first night, slept 6 hrs straight, ate, slept another 3 hrs- just like he did in the bassinet. Well, that has not happened since. He will go to bed at 8 or 9 (we keep him up by trying to entertain him or play, until he gets so fussy he's fighting sleep or just over stimulated). Try to stretch out his time between feedings during the day to work out to him eating later then 5, maybe after a couple times he will get into routine of eating later and going to bed later.

We used the Miracle Swaddling Blanket "The Macons" mentioned in their comment. It was WONDERFUL!!! But we had to stop using it because Ben is long and no longer fits in it. He can get out of it too easily now.

In the crib we just put Ben in a sleeper outfit with socks. We think one night he kept waking up because he was cold. After putting socks and a half wrap on him he slept well (5 hrs).

Sorry about the reflux issues! I have heard from many people to either do like Nancy said and put books under the mattress to elevate it or to put bricks under the crib itself to elevate it.

Does that "Sleep Nanny" thing work? I think someone told me to use it for naps for a collicy baby or reflux baby.

Someone told me about some wedges you can get from WalMart that snuggles the baby too. That may help Fenn. They said they are not loose so you don't have to worry about baby suffocating and hold baby in tight. I haven't had the chance to look at them myself.....

I don't understand why you think there is something wrong with Fenn sleeping in his swing....... Ben sleeps in his bouncy seat all the time during the day (crib is just for night time sleep right now, will do naps in it when he's older- but this is how we help distinguish day from night for now) Ben also sleeps in a swing at day care. They leave them in whatever they fall asleep in. They also have cribs, but if they fall asleep in a bouncy or swing, they leave them there.

I really can't wait to see a comment on how to keep that dang pacifier in his mouth! We get up several times a night to just put that thing back in. He goes straight back to sleep as soon as it put back. I seriously hope he sucks his thumb!!! (GASP!)

AndreaLeigh said...

Cooper was 10 weeks when he slept through the night. I credit this with a few things:

-swaddling with blankets
-bedtime routine: bath, singing, bottle, bed
-set schedule of naps during the day

I don't know, L! I think it is different for BF babies. PB, please sleep for your mama!

Erica said...

I haven't read BabyWise and I'm no expert on sleeping. But, I just wanted to chime in, and say I feel your pain. Kirsten is a weird sleeper. She sleeps through the night (like 10-12 hours through the night) for a couple of weeks. She did it at 8 weeks old. We get all excited and comfortable finally sleeping, and then, she stops. For, like months. Then she'll do it again, magically, for another couple of weeks, and then she stops. Again. So basically, whatever you learn and if it works, SHARE! :-) Cry it out has worked for us. It takes a night or two (Ferber-type) but then she sleeps well after two nights of crying. The trouble for us is when she goes into a teething phase she wakes up again during the night. And, I can't let her cry it out when she's crying because her teeth hurt! Then, we get back in the routine of waking up. That's been our story so far, I'm really hoping for an end to this teething business (or a break) and we all can get some good sleep. Good luck!

grizaham said...

Popular subject.
Just go with your instincts and don't stress it.. Keep that little guy smiling..



Did you read that thing I emailed you "Moms on Call Guide". Great for sample schedules. From that book, I learned these things that worked for us...
-SWADDLING - after miracle blanket, get a swaddledesigns (very big). We swaddled P 'til 6 or 7 mos (! likely not rec by any ped, but worked for us) then moved to halo sleep sack. btw, If you aren't wondering whether you might squeeze the life out of your kid, you haven't swaddled well enough. :)
-SLEEP MACHINE on full blast!
-CONSISTENT BEDTIME with a ROUTINE (like a bath, a book, rocking... whatever your kid likes)

Don't worry Fenn will not be scarred for life if you let the him cry it out. In fact, he will have a better chance of being a well-adjusted child/adult if he develops good sleeping skills. All this according to my other sleep bible - Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book - some great tips for going through this process.
- It also says if you're child has trouble sleeping, baby may actually more sleep through a better nap schedule or earlier bedtime.
- It suggests putting a baby to bed 20-30 min earlier (and earlier and earlier) to see if that helps prolong the night sleep. At one point I think we moved up P's bedtime like 2 hrs.

And of course, every kid is different. :)

Just call me...

Susannah said...

Oh friend, I'm glad you've seen the light on babywise-and it's okay that you are doing everything you said you wouldn't! Everyone changes when they have kids! Just do what works for y'all-if he likes the swaddle, keep him in it, if he likes the swing, keep it up. There is no "rule" that says he should be in his crib. It's what you and Erik want. I had to do it b/c I was going back to work. The paci thing-sorry to say-is just gonna happen. And if he is addicted to it like Emma is/was, then you'll just have to go put it back in. But eventually, he will learn to sleep without it (or sleep thru it falling out.)

Y'all will find your groove-be patient and be consistent.

Lindsey said...

Please don't judge me---Jack sleeps on his tummy. I've talked to his doctor about it. Jack has reflux and sleeps better on his tummy. He has nothing else in the crib with him. Harper was the same way.

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