Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baby Sleep Methods

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Another hot topic seems to be having a baby that sleeps thru the night and all the various ways to get that.

The one thing I've realized about parenting books is that they all seem to think that whatever method they have is the only one to follow. It could drive a person insane trying to guess which is right and which is wrong.

The only thing left to do is figure out which is right for you and which is wrong for you.

Oddly it doesn't seem to be something that parents often talk about. It might be because people do feel so strongly about the various methods.

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Ferber, Baby Wise, Sears, Pantley, Sleepeasy, Weissbluth, Karp, Mindell, Nighttime Parenting, and so on and so forth.

Let them cry it out so they don't require having you soothe them to sleep. Don't give them any "crutches" or they will become needy, spoiled beings. Don't let your baby cry it out or they will become evil, untrusting beings. Sleep with your child, don't sleep with your child, sleep with them in the room, get them in their own room ASAP. Rock your child to sleep, don't rock your child to sleep.

Are you tired yet? Of course you are... everyone but the children are ready to go to sleep.

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So heres the deal in the clapping household. We're completely guilty of using any and all crutches to get Peanut to sleep. I rock him, nurse him, give him a pacifier or any combination of. He used to wake the minute we put him down in the bassinet (which is right by my side of the bed) so I started using a heating pad to warm the sheets before I put him down. It worked and he stays asleep. Oh and the Sleep Sheep, gotta love that.

Don't forget the ceremonial sleep dance done every first Thursday following every other full moon. I've found if this very helpful.

When he cries I pick him up. Actually when he cries at night it's just to eat and then he goes back to sleep. At what point do you stop feeding in the middle of the night anyway? Is this totally going to bite me in the arse later? Probably.

On Christmas day he slept for 4 1/2 hours straight and I was excited. Every day after that he started sleeping longer and longer until we worked our way up to a consistent 7 hours a night. A few days of that and we actually had one 8 hour night. For some reason the last couple of nights he has been waking up every 3 or 4 hours but I expected him to go thru different phases of sleep patterns.

As is, we don't have much of a schedule. He doesn't go to sleep at a particular time each night. Sometimes he is wide awake until late and sometimes I couldn't keep him awake if I tried. I know we need to get into more of a groove and am undecided on where to go from here.

What about your experiences? Did you use a particular sleep method? Did you try a sleep method? Did your kids sleep well? Were your kids on a schedule? At what age were they on a schedule?

Do tell :)

17 comments:

  1. Ryder is so cute!!! Hope you are getting some sleep too! luvuallbye

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  2. If I remember right 3 month seems to be that magical age when things seem way more doable and finally settle into somewhat of a schedule. We did read Baby Wise and followed it very loosely. We appreciated the whole eat,wake-time, then sleep routine. Sort of took out some guesswork as to why they were fussy. Our girls were both thumb-suckers (blessing and a curse) so that was their crutch. On the other hand, just follow your mommy instinct. You know your baby best. It's the strongest, purest advice out there.

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  3. With Q, I tried reading Baby Wise and put it into practice. It was a nightmare, so I threw it out and we did what worked for us. Sprig was sleeping sooooo good, and within the past few days has started waking up often again. They go through growth spurts and change all the time it seems. Right now what I'm dealing with is initially getting her to sleep. We nurse to sleep usually, and she can be so out of it but within 10 minutes of being in her bed she wakes up screaming. Sometimes she cries it out, sometimes I rock her, sometimes that makes her even more mad. It's getting tiring, but I just tell myself this will pass. She's not going to be 3 months old forever! She's quit taking her paci, too. Which is so uncool. I was hoping she'd befriend it so that way people could tell me how awful it was and how I was going to ruin her future teeth and make her a codependent adult. ;)

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  4. We actually used Baby Wise...she cried at first and then like magic it worked. It's not easy to let them cry, but it's a gift to teach them to fall asleep on their own.

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  5. Just wanted to say how cute and adorable your baby is.

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  6. I fed them often during the day. I never let them sleep through a feeding during the day.
    With all three, who were different in every other way, they slept through the night around 2 months. 8 hours at first and around 4 months 10. The usual schedule was feedings at 7a, 10a, 12noon,5p,9p. When they were small and still wanted a nighttime feeding I made sure that I didn't turn on any lights and just fed. Unless they had a dirty diaper I also didn't change them. We used disposables, so that was not a problem for us. When they were ready to drop a feeding I made sure it wasn't a nighttime one by not skipping a feeding during the day.
    Babies will sleep through the night when they are getting enough calories during the day and not before. Cereal won't help, no matter what anyone tells you and can cause problems with allergies and constipation.
    After they were sleeping through and were increasing thier daytime feedings, then if they dropped that mid-morning feeding I let them.
    Only my son did this. Both my girls kept it until they weaned.
    The first two slept in thier own room, the last one slept in our room due, albeit in her own bed, due to a space issue. She stills crawls into our bed several nights a week and she's 7. The others would never have done that unless they were sick. Maybe I shot myself in the foot there, but hubby loves it.
    Whatever works for you it what you should do.
    I loved the nighttime feedings. It was the most precious time. Just me and the baby snuggled up in the middle of the night while the rest of the house was asleep. I was a little sad when they ended, but only a little.
    You are doing a great job. Every time Peanut smiles it shows how much you and B love him.

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  7. Chrystal hit the nail on the head! That's exactly what we did with our first.. worked like a charm. It worked good with our second at first, but now...not so much. But I know it's because he's not getting enough during the day. This child seems more interested in keeping up with his bigger brother, and eating is so not as much fun. :) But like her I don't really mind the night time feedings. (well, now that he's 13 months... they really really DO NEED TO GO! HA!) For me it was always good for my milk supply since I decided to start training hard for 1/2 marathons. So I felt like I needed that extra feeding. My issue now is weaning. Isn't it always something?

    He's adorable, good work momma (and daddy). He's lucky to have a mommy like you.

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  8. He is so precious :) It honestly has been so long since our son was a baby, I don't remember. We had a system, but I do recall that system involved me getting up in the night. Sometimes frequently. Sweet dreams ~ sounds like everything is going well ;) -Tammy

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  9. Our three kids were all sleeping through the night by three months old or earlier. Don't hate me. The only "rule" was I didn't keep them in our bed all night long, because. . . well, I just don't like having all those people in my bed! so it was purely selfish. I gave them middle of the night feedings until they didn't want them anymore. I rocked them to sleep if they wanted it, put them in the crib awake if they didn't want to be rocked. I just let them decide, and they all eventually started sleeping through the night. Of course they would all go through phases of waking up a few nights in a row, but it never lasted long.

    I think you are on the right track. Do what works for you! As long as everyone is getting rest, you're doing it right.

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  10. What a cutie!!! He looks like an angel sleeping all peacefully! We used Weissbluth. We were the mean parents-no crutches. hehee. We have great sleepers now. But I think every child is different and like you said--you just do what is right for your family! Bravo Mamma! You are doing wonderfully!

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  11. PS I think I should clarify--we used crutches in the beginning. I mean, they're so little and sweet and you naturally just wanna comfort them. We rocked and walked and nursed to sleep a lot. When we got "mean", they were older and able to sleep through the night. I had to lay down the law. But not at Peanut's age. :o)

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  12. You have got to be the bravest woman alive! Posting about breastfeeding AND sleep routines?!!!!

    I read Babywise and got some very helpful ideas from it but hid it in a drawer when it made me feel sad in the HARD early weeks. Our kids have been soooo different. Dan slept through at 9 weeks and then gave up once he turned one (argh, still working our way through that!) Jemima didn't drop her night feed consistently until very late and only started sleeping through at 7months.

    Mikey was put in a great routine by his foster carers- I definitely recommend that as the best solution!

    You're clearly doing a fantastic job - keep going! Xxx

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  13. Do what you feel is best for you, B, and Peanut. :)

    With J, we attempted Ferber, but quickly learned that me and C are not tough enough ourselves to see it through. Crutches = me. I nursed J until he was 18 months and Z up until last Aug (3 yrs and 4 mos!) What we did, though, was get both of them out of our our room, out of their crib by 6 months and into their own room / "bed." At the time, it was a huge mattress on the floor with padding all around. C and I could easily lie down with them and cuddle. :) When Z was about 1+, we got them a trundle bed. We still cuddle with them now every bedtime (me with Z and C with J) until they fall asleep. On occasions when C and I couldn't do that (nights out or sick...), they've been fine. When C is away, I do double duty --Z first and then J, but usually by the time Z is asleep, J is, too! =)

    We didn't "plan" on any of the above... we just sort of went with the flow. A lot of what I'd "planned" on doing when I was still pregnant (e.g. Gina Ford routine, etc.)? I just didn't have the discipline to follow through.

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  14. We used Babywise and it worked really well for us. With twins, we had to be super organized and in agreement about how we were going to get the munchkins to start sleeping. Babywise helped us get them on an easy schedule. We fed them every 3 hours around the clock and when they were ready, they would drop a feeding during the night. On the day they turned 2 months old, they slept through the night and I think it was for 12 hours. We started using Babywise right away because we were completely overwhelmed at having twins.

    The boys had cribs in the bedroom right next to ours and kept them in cribs until they were 2 years old and a family member needed a crib.

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  15. Nothing like a sleeping baby, so adorable.

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  16. We used Babywise religiously with our first. They seemed so sure of themselves with all their statistics and promises. Wasn't it something like 98% of babies sleep through the night by 12 weeks? Well, when my little overachiever was in that other 2%, I was a little pissed! Something about listening to him cry while my milk squirted out, and I cried, and then it didn't even work! This preacher's wife was moved to cussing, I tell you! So, I threw that out, and decided I would do what I wanted to, so there!

    So, I basically followed their basic principle of the feed, wake, sleep routine and kept feeding him every 3 hours during the day, and let him sleep as long as he would at night. I rocked him to sleep if that's what he wanted, but if he would let me put him down without crying, I would do that. And, eventually, when he was about 4 or 5 months old, I did end up letting him cry it out at night, but only after I felt comfortable that he COULD sleep through the night. And then he started sleeping 12 hours at night, and everyone was happy. And basically, that is what I had to do with all our boys. Lily-Grace was the only one who gave up her night-time feedings on her own, without any crying. So, I guess I basically did do Babywise, but I lowered my expectations, and didn't just put them in their crib to cry until they fell asleep.

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  17. Judah spent the first 3 months sleeping in his car seat. In less than 2 hour increments most of the time.

    So then I started sleeping him on his tummy and he went right to 4 hour stretches. and gradually longer stretches than that which was awesome.

    Judah also went to sleep for the night at 6:00...so for a long time I'd wake him myself at 10 to do a "sleep feed" and then lay him back down and he'd sleep till around 4:00am. That was a good system for me. Eventually he dropped the 10 feeding, but the 4 am feeding continued until...about 2 weeks ago...and I am not sure it is really gone. He is 22 months.
    When he was waking up for the 4 am feed, he would then sleep until 7:30 or 8...now that he doesn't wake up at 4, he sleeps till 6:00. Which I am not sure is better. haha. I would prefer sleeping later even interrupted but maybe I'm crazy :)

    we are also still nursing...and I never did CIO (fuss it out yes) and picked him up any time he cried...it was good for us :)

    so that's my story :)

    oh how I loved those middle of the night cuddles...swaying in his nursery, smelling his little baby head and setting him down with a pat on his bum. nothing like it in the world.

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