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Thread: A few settling questions

  1. #1

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    Default A few settling questions

    Maggie is now 6 months and still not the best at getting to sleep. Over a month ago I put a real effort into setting up a little sleep ritual to help her get to sleep. It was working really well and then suddenly one day she refused to go to sleep that way. I have not yet been able to work out the cause.

    Once again I have started another ritual, similar to the first, but different enough that she does not chuck a tanty when I try it. I hold her against my chest and jiggle her to the Robert Miles Dreamland cd. It has been nearly a week and she is already starting to fight it. Last night I could get her 90% asleep, but not all the way there. This morning she would wake when ever I put her down.



    I am trying to be as consistent as possible. If it does not work in the first 10 minutes I stop and put her down for some quiet play. Once she is looking tired again I try again. (I think originally if something didn't work I would jump to quickly to another method and I probably confused her).

    So my main questions are:
    What could cause a settling method to stop working?
    Is 10 minutes long enough to try settling, before taking a break and trying again? Before I used to keep on trying and trying and we both end up stressed.
    How long should I wait before altering a settling method? eg putting her in the cot with the music, no jiggling.

    Not sure if she is having a wonder week, as I have said another post I think she is having a wonder couple of months.

  2. #2

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    Astrid,

    Someone once posted something close to my heart in a midwifery thread, something like this,

    "First they would tell me they were just little and needed time. Then they told me he was teething. Then they told me it was a stage. Then he was sick. Then they told me this that and the other and before I knew it, he was 18 months. He is now 2 and starting to figure out the sleeping stuff, but it would really be so helpful if people could not say to me, 'its just a stage, they'll get over it' or 'its just teething, it'll settle soon' because it never did. Until now."

    I think the wonder weeks is useful because it can help you guide through the developmental stages and understand whats going on, it doesn't tell you what will fix it forever. But it's realistic and by gaining understanding it is great for sanity and a way you can try things they suggest for that time. In my experience also, there have never really been any quiet times after 4-5 months of age, after thinking exactly the same thing, 'oh it's a stage, but she'll get over it soon and it will be fine!!' How deflating and exhausting is it when it doesn't happen?!

    Of course we're all different, but it would be so great if we were all better prepared for the realiities of parenthood and to have more support - like I have discussed previously, communial living in the past provided an opportunity for girls and women to see and experience real life parenting and to help one another. Now, we are isolated and rely on books and internet sites. Sad really.

    I can't really offer any additional advice but to keep trying new things, if it isn't working try something else and find yourself good support, especially those who are interested in parenting the way you do. BellyBelly is a great start but you need contact with mums in the flesh too. All the best sweety. xo
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the post Kelly. I do have contact with other mums, but most of them are either into cc, (even though they think it isn't because it is going by another name), sleep schools or they just plain have a "good" baby. I have one who co-sleeps, but I don't get to see her often and the other thinks babies are good things to be competitive about.

    It is so frustrating to parent gently and to have it not seem to work. I know it does work, she is a very happy baby and is bright and alert, but in the sleep stakes she sucks. I think I find it frustrating as well because she used to sleep through (this is when she would only fall asleep on the breast) and then she refused the breast. I would go through the whole, it just a faze, when her reflux is treated etc, but nothing would help. She is also a 40-minute napper most days, so I need to get her to sleep quite often.

    I have had enough: smt022 I can't spend half my waking hours attempting to get her sleep or holding her because she refuses to be put down when she is tired. I know I could cope more if she would just be happy to sit quietly (even for 10 minutes) if she does not want to sleep yet. She is starting to crawl and just wont stop moving, even when I try to feed her lying down she wont be still, she tries to crawl off with my nipple. I think I need a book on "101 ways to deal with a Hyper baby"

    There is so much I need to do and want to do that I just can't get to them. Also I have the dreaded MIL coming over and she will of course be handing out her usual useless comments such as "let her cry" or "my boys slept through and they were on formula). I think I will just blame her difficulty on settling on the fact that she is visiting and it has upset her routine

    I'd go for a walk to calm down, but it is just too hot!

    Thanks for listening

  4. #4
    rivergirl424 Guest

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    Hi Astrid! :smt039 Good luck with the MIL....

    Have you heard of a product called "The Baby Hammock"?

    It looks like it would work wonders to get a little one to sleep.... We're thinking of ordering one, but I'm still working on gettin' pregnant!! ha

    Sending positive sleepy thoughts to your little one!

    Kelly

  5. #5

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    Awwww Astrid, huge hugs hon. Seriously hon, I found myself a right old mess when Elijah was 4-6 months, the whole craawling thing really seems to be a stumbling block for many mums and it's known to be a tricky time. Both my two stopped sleeping through and I wondered what was going on. I doubted my abilities, gentle parenting, even tried without success to get some routine but it just didn't work. Marisa was a huge challenge for me, rarely slept during the day, stopped at 12 months and never slept through the night until 2 years - it was awful, but Elijah is much different. I think some are just not good sleepers but they will be one day. I know it's incredibly hard to cope, you sound like you don't have much support either. It's the hardest thing to do without support.

    Hang in there sweety, keep posting on those hard days and hopefully we can help in some way. Gentle parenting isn't as popular as all the modern methods so hopefully more gentle parenters will join in and form a big support group soon, you can always email me privately if you need some personal words. I know it's bloody hard... sometimes I don't know how I have made it, but the end result is so worth it. If my word isn't enough, I know Pinky McKay has been speaking to and working with lots of people who were control cried, they have sleeping issues now they are older!

    I also found out that my mum used to resort to ani-histamine to help to ge me to sleep recently :shock: So I feel a whole lot better knowing I have coped without doing stuff like that!!!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  6. #6

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    oh Astrid *hugs* its so hard! Matilda really hates sleep, and has always fought us. We still sometimes take an hour to get her to sleep.... I have tried so many different settling technique & everytime I do I give it at least 5-7 nights of consistency where I try the same thing everynight.

    I even went to sleep school when Matilda was only 10 weeks to try and get help with settling, and while the techniques used were not control crying they were close enough, and really it worked for a few weeks, only to have to go through the whole thing again when she was 4 months because she was starting to crawl soon after that.

    I have found that usually following my heart works best. I read Pinky McKay's book on Parenting by Heart & that helped me gain confidence in what I was doing. DH & I took turns at night getting her to sleep. ATM she sleeps through the night, and one of us puts her to sleep at night with a bottle & cuddle on her bed. We lay down with her and just have a cuddle until she is asleep, this takes around 20 minutes now which is so much more pleasurable than 20 minutes of screaming & crying as it used to be. When she was younger she refused to be held to sleep & it was awful, but now we are finding as she grows up its getting easier.

    *hugs* and like Kelly said, come & vent because some of us understand all too well how frustrating & emotional it can be to have a baby that fights sleep.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the hugs . Well I am probably posting to soon, but she actually settled by 8pm and woke an hour later to be easily fed back to sleep. I have kept her in the lounge with me though, so I could get to her before she woke to quickly. I also found that if she fights sleep all I have to do is go back to the old sleep method (which she now hates) for a minute, wait for her to complain, then go back to the new one and she will then sleep. She probably thinks "well if mummy is going to force me to sleep, then I may as well sleep the way I like it" So here hoping it continues to work.

    Have decided for now to co-sleep full-time overnight, normally I would put her in the cot at the start of the night and then move her to bed when she woke. If she is a bit clingy, then hopefully this might help her. Also DH has been bringing her to me when she wakes. Sounds good, but I have only just found out that he has no recollection of doing this! So he must be doing it in his sleep, but he seem awake at the time as he talks to me.

    Feeling much calmer now, better go and catch up on some sleep. :sleeping:

  8. #8
    Melinda Guest

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    Astrid,

    I just wanted to come in to say hello. Jacob had always been a lovely sleeper.....until 6.5m!! Then his sleep went totally haywire. He was tired all the time (as were we!) but it seemed that nothing we did helped and we were all going out of our minds!

    Thankfully, here in Hobart, there is a Mother & Baby Unit where CC is not practised at all - they help you understand your baby's cues more and teach you lots of different settling techniques and work with you one on one - above all, they always told us to go to Jacob if he was upset so that he knew we were always there for him. I found this very comforting as it's what we had always done and wanted to continue doing. I really gained a lot from it, in that I gained some self-confidence and learnt to understand Jacob a bit better. I wouldn't say my stay there with Jacob was a raging success, in that he doesn't sleep through every night etc etc but he sleeps a lot better now than what he did then. For us, we found that giving sleep cues helped - he seems to be a creature of habit (like me!) who needs/benefits from the predictability factor and having the same thing happen at sleep time each time really helped him. Obviously this doesn't work for everybody, I know....it's just what worked for us, plus some wind-down time and persisting with settling him for sleep if he was still tired.

    It's been really hard work as we've all been tired and cranky on plenty of occasions, but we have persisted with our comforted sleeping techniques and we go to him whenever he needs us so that he knows Mummy and Daddy are always there. I can honestly say, that he has a lot more confidence in putting himself to sleep now than what he once did. Sure, he's 16.5m old now and we started this when he was 9.5m (the time we went to the M&B Unit), so it's taken a long time, but it has worked. I like that he knows we are there for him if he has trouble going to sleep or wakes up and needs help going back to sleep. He goes through stages where his sleep becomes unsettled, and then the next week, it will be great again. So I really believe that gentle parenting works, particularly when it comes to sleep - they gain confidence in themselves (and you gain confidence in yourself!) and you can tell how much they love and trust you for it!

    Sorry to have waffled on......and take from this whatever you will Astrid, I just wanted to share our sleep journey with you and to let you know that I appreciate how hard it can be!

  9. #9

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    I do kind of wish there was a gentle sleep school here.

    Maggie has been really up and down with sleep. Some of her day naps she will go to sleep quite quickly, but as the day progresses it gets harder. Also her clinginess has increased. DH has commented on how much of a mummy's girl she has become.

    Just trying to be patient for now and I am trying to nap more when she naps. Not only do I get some rest, but she tends to nap longer.

    Kelly, I remember now that mum had me on Valium as a toddler. Apparently I was a night baby and get up at night and create havoc. Not sure how true that is as she tended to over-dramatise everything. I am sure she got more pleasure out of complaining how bad we were as children, rather than how good. Anyway, now I am really bad at sleeping, I cannot switch my brain off and I am sure that is part of Maggie's problem as well, she is so interested in everything.

  10. #10

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    LOL Astrid, mum said that about me too, I was nocturnal, wanted to party at night and was full of beans. Were you a first child too? These first child girls I tell you We're trouble
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  11. #11

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    Last child to both my parents individually, but first child to both of them together. So what does that make me? I know not unusual these days, but it was when I was a kid.

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