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thread: Confused about Sleeping First time Mum

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    1,240

    Confused about Sleeping First time Mum

    Hi Guys,

    I'm really confused about sleeping. I'm all for gentle parenting, I don't believe in CIO personally or controlled crying (much to my familes distain) and want to be as supportive of my new DD and future children as possible. I'm not getting much help from my family all I get is "your making a rod for your back" sigh

    I've been trying to start following Tresillian's recommendation of Self Settle training, as soon as DD yawns after a feed I take her upstairs, change her nappy if needed talk to her about getting into her PJ's and tell her its time for bed and put her down in bed. I put on music for her as she loves music and I have a Sleepy Sheep that makes waves sounds. I leave her unless she gets upset, as soon as she cries I'm in reassuring here and trying to settle her but TBH after their recommended 20mins of this in and out I end up needing to use a dummy or patting her to sleep in the cot or using the swing to get her to sleep. Majority of the time I have to pick her up to comfort her, as she dosent calm down after starting to cry being in the cot. Rocking to sleep stopped working when she was about 5 weeks old, which is what I used to do prior, and she also used to feed to sleep however we have stopped that now as we were giving some dodgy advise in hospital, being told that sucking hands means food, when in fact for my DD it means she is tired. So we were overfeeding and causing more issues :/

    I fell like there has to be a better way? She is 8 weeks old, and while I would like her to be confident enough for sleep not to be a drama, it is even worthwhile doing at this age? Tresillan says yes, but I find sleep time very frustrating not because DD can't sleep but because it seems to just be upsetting. She is a more high needs baby I guess, she is very demaning of my time and I don't mind but my family keep telling me to make her more easy going (however you do that) and how easy going I was as a baby blah blah. There only soloutions so far have been CIO, Feed to Sleep and Dummy. So no real support there.



    Before 5 weeks old we could either rock to sleep or just place her down as she was asleep in our arms and she woudl stay alseep, now even if I rock to sleep and she is sound asleep she will wake when I place her in her bed.

    We did have her in the bassinette but she is rolling around now in her sleep quite alot sometimes so I feel it may be dangerous to keep her in there much longer is this right? Or should I keep her in the Bassinette a while longer? She seems to like the space in the Cot and is the length of the bassinette mattress now. She can't yet roll over when she is awake, and we have recently descovered she is a side sleeper, which was one of the reasons she didn't like going to sleep, as it was on her back as educated by the hospital. She never changed position in the Womb so it makes sense to me after sleeping for 9 months there she would want to be on her side. She is also a star fish and hates wrapping, so we have bought wraps that zip up and let her star fish which she is happier about, otherwise she just sits fighting the wrap and getting upset.

    DP is very frustrated at all of this, as before 5 weeks old she was easy to get to sleep and over the weeks it is getting progressivly harder and harder and it now seems like he can't get DD off to sleep no matter what he does and he is starting resent sleep times and not be involved in them which is a shame because DD just loves her Daddy and wants to be with him alot. I try and get him to do other things like Bath and Nappy times, but he is struggling becuase Sleep is so hard. This in turn makes it more difficult for me because I feel like I have to do it all.

    Can anyone offer some suggestions? Especially for day sleeps, she seems to have a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep, but from what I've read that isn't uncommon. Night sleeps are usually much better as she seems to have an easier time getting to sleep with less need for me.
    I would Co Sleep, but and uneasy about having her in our bed due to fear of something happening to her. We did have her bassinette up against our bed when she was in our room but I dont think the cot will fit in our room.

    I really would like sleep times to be a stress free event, both for DD and for me and my husband but everything I read is so conflicting. I'm not sure really what I should do.

    Thanks for listening guys.

    L

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Oct 2009
    Bonbeach, Melbourne
    7,177

    I would strongly suggest reading up about safe cosleeping. Are you uneasy because you're not actually 100% sure about what risks there are, how likely they are an how you can do it safely? Because I've found cosleeping an absolute lifeline for sleep. The only other advice I have is to learn more about sleepy signs. Yawning, rubbing eyes etc are actually late sleepy signs, it's important to try and get in before those late signs kick in. you've dealt awesomely with parenting hurdles this far and I'm sure you'll get through this rough time too. Do you have the wonder weeks book or app? This too was a big lifesaver for me in terms of understanding what DD was going through, and reassuring me that 'this too will pass'.

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    1,240

    Thanks PZ, my DD pretty much yawns not long after eating latley, she seems to only give that sign. If I let it go longer she just cries. I dont get rubbing eyes or ears or anything. My DD is pretty hard to guage becuase she will do a tiny sign, and then go full scale crying, there is not many body language signs in between.

    During the day is the only time she seems to have issue, Night times seem ok, she slept from 12 - 6:30 am last night in her cot. It's just her days. They are really really hard atm.

    DP isn't keen on Co Sleeping either really.

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Oct 2009
    Bonbeach, Melbourne
    7,177

    My DD is having a tough time day sleeping too. Getting her down is a nightmare lately. The one thing motherhood has taught me is just when I think I've found my stride, DD will change it up on me! Suddenly she won't respond to what she used to, and I'll have to find a whole different approach.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Feb 2005
    Sydney
    2,597

    Lollipigs- firstly Congrats on your little girl! beautiful name

    I would move all sleeps to the cot, I did this with Annabel and she started sleeping much better, particularly if your little Lily rolls its time to move her from the bassinette. If you dont want to try cosleeping, try to fit the cot in your room, as she may settle better knowing you are there iykwim. When she gets a bit older ie, 4months old or so she will start to recognise her sleep cues, ie, putting her in her sleeping bag or wrap with the zip. Yawning and rubbing eyes are the usual tired signs we get here, If I miss them Annabel is so hard to settle. We have a swing that helps us settle her, they are great. Also if nothing else works I do settle her with a BF. If you want to talk just pm me When my 2 older girls are at school and preschool happy to meetup with you!

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    1,240

    Is it a waste of time to try and continue to do the self settling at this age? Should I be more comforting her to sleep now and worrying about it at 3-4 months?

    It dosnt really seem to be working for My DD, she just cries.

    If we put her down in there now she just seems to cry.
    Last edited by Lolpigs; January 3rd, 2012 at 10:06 AM.

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Oct 2009
    Bonbeach, Melbourne
    7,177

    I personally think it's a little early to expect her to self settle, it's not really a concept they learn until a lot older. My DD is 6.5 months and is only sometimes settling herself. At the moment, you are her comfort and reassurance The best thing any parent can do IMO is let go of any expectations they have on their babies. Life is so much easier that way

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    1,240

    Thanks PZ I think I just needed to hear it, I've been under alot of pressure from family etc to have her behaving a certain way but it all came to a head this morning becuase it just dosent feel right to be doing it.

    They also are the ones suggesting CIO.. no thanks.

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2011
    ~~Off With The Fairies~~
    1,746

    The best thing any parent can do IMO is let go of any expectations they have on their babies. Life is so much easier that way
    Yep, totally in agreement with PZ

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2009
    In my own little fantasy world
    2,946

    I agree with PZ. It is important to be there for your baby. But, if you can, give her a chance to settle herself before helping her, at least on some sleeps. I made this mistake with my DS. I found I had to rock him to sleep every sleep until he was over 12 months. I believe this is because we never gave him a chance from an early age to learn that he could do it himself. My DD's 8mths now & she occasionally settles herself. Most times she needs a bit of help from us though, a feed, a cuddle, bum patting, whatever works.

  11. #11
    Registered User

    Oct 2009
    Bonbeach, Melbourne
    7,177

    DD only used to go to sleep if she was being bounced or rocked or fed. I slowly transitioned to lying next to her and singing, stroking her hair and massaging her, and then she'd fall asleep. Now, every now and then, I can pop her down next to me with her blankie, she'll have a little chat and off she'll go. I still can't pop her down and leave her, but that's okay, I don't really want to anyway, she'll get there. Trust your instincts and ignore outside 'advice'. Smile and nod and lie if that makes it easier. My mum was a huge commenter on how I'm making a rod in our back etc...my daughter has been sleeping 6+ hours overnight since 6 weeks old. She now sleeps 11 average. Anyone who has met her says how contented and happy she is, she's certainly not a rod in my back! Even her cry is quiet lol. Just trust your instincts, you know what's beat for your baby.

  12. #12
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2007
    Middle Victoria
    8,924

    Even those who advocate CIO techniques don't recommend starting until after 6 months. Your bub is so little and still finding her place outside the womb, at this stage she just wants you.

  13. #13
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006
    11,633

    You will know when she's ready for self settling - it doesn't sound like she is now. Most 8 week olds want to be with their mummies or daddies and that's fine. Many kids are well over 12 months old before they are ready to sleep on their own. It's quite normal and the best thing is simply to know your child and do what they need you to do.

  14. #14
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    1,240

    Thanks guys I think my confidence just got so undermind having them all say I was doing it wrong. My Aunty even suggested she had me "trained" becuase I went into her every time she cried.. sheesh.

    Last sleep was so easy I could have cried. I just took her upstairs when she yawned, read her a book quietly in her room with her music on and she just drifted off in my arms, I put her down and she fussed becuase she wanted to suck her hands (which she has been practising but isnt coordinated enough to do yet) so gave her dummy and off she went.

    I'll never doubt what I'm doing again. Thanks again.

  15. #15
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2009
    In my own little fantasy world
    2,946

    Well done Good on you for trusting yourself.

  16. #16
    Registered User

    Oct 2009
    Bonbeach, Melbourne
    7,177

    that's beautiful. Just gorgeous, good on you. Mummy always knows.

  17. #17
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2008
    Newport, VIC
    1,885

    How fabulous. I was very similar to you when my first was little. Then I realised I needed to do whatever made life easier. Yes, he might have self settled from a longer age if I'd done some sort of sleep training. But cuddling him to sleep was so quick and he barely cried so we kept that up until he was 15 months! It's not for everyone but it worked for us and that's all that matters. Lots of people judged us but I couldn't give a flying fruit bat and told them so.

    You might find it easier to lie - "yes my baby sleeps through the night, of course I've started solids he ate a steak last night, yes he sleeps in his bed all night every night". That got easier after a while.

    Best of luck. Mothering doesn't necessarily get any easier but you do get better at it.

  18. #18
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Nov 2008
    Melbourne
    2,008

    Firstly, sound like you are doing an amazing job!

    I haven't read the PP, so sorry if I am repeating anything. But, I just wanted to say - when it comes to parenting it is only a problem if it is a problem for you. It doesn't matter what you're family thinks. If you don't think patting her to sleep or giving her the dummy is a problem, then it isn't a problem. And, it's important to know that these sleep challenges are perfectly normal at this age. I still remember when DS 'woke up' at around 8 weeks and we had to start settling him.

    What I'm trying to say is that if you are happy to leave the self-settling for the time being (which by the sounds of it you are) then you should. But in the meantime try and get hold of a copy of 'The no cry sleep solution'. I think it is by Elizabeth Pantley, but could be wrong. It will give you a wonderful understanding of how baby sleep works, what they need to get to sleep and how you can gently encourage them to self-settle.

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