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Thread: Gentle Parenting Success!!

  1. #1

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    Default Gentle Parenting Success!!

    Woot!! Was able to google my thread and save it after BB crashed so am posting it again in the hopes it might give some others who are struggling with sleep hope in the future

    I was just talking with DH the other day about how good of a sleeper DD is now and how we are really proud of how we've handled it. So I thought I might share and maybe give someone some hope. And probably come back and read this myself in a year when I'm back there and about to lose it, LOL.

    Since DD was born she was never a good sleeper. For the first couple of weeks she was ok because she was a newborn and most of the time they sleep!! But she always wanted to be near me and sleeping on me so very quickly she was having all of her day sleeps in the Hug-a-bub. This was ok for a few months but then I got really tired of it. I felt like she was on me ALL THE TIME, which she was, lol. And everyone was telling me she should be sleeping on her own and it was 'ridiculous' what I was doing At night she would wake every few hrs for a feed and sometimes went straight back to sleep or we would spend a while trying to settle her. She slept in a basinette next to our bed. Before she was born I thought I'd co-sleep but I couldn't get comfortable and was always paranoid DH would roll on her or something.

    From then on the night sleep got worse and worse she was waking all the time! A good night was only 3 wake-ups, mostly it was 5 or more. From 6-9 months was the worst! DH and I were stressed out bc of lack of sleep and we thought we were doing something wrong. I thought I had caused all the problems from using the HAB so much, so I tried to stop using it during the day. I had to rock her to sleep and then very gently put her down on a mattress, she didn't like the cot at all. Eventually she slept longer and longer after being put down during the day and I didn't have to use the HAB anymore, but I did have to rock this very heavy baby to sleep all the time! This didn't help the night sleep though. I wrote numerous threads asking for help and got lots of good advice. Lots of people shared their experiences and what worked for them but I remember thinking that DD was a worse sleeper than any of them bc none of the things I tried worked! I felt like there was no hope and no one understood just how bad she was. I got the NCSS book and tried the whole plan properly and we didn't even get past step one!! She was a tough case.

    So, DH and I gave up!! We obviously couldn't change her so we just decided to give up on it and do what she wanted. We started co-sleeping more and more. I was much more comfortable now she was a bit bigger I knew she wouldn't let me squash her and she liked cuddling up to me and feeding and I could just go back to sleep. We were all a lot more rested! DD was much happier even though she was still waking 3+ times a night. Finally, we had stopped listening to people telling us what DD 'should' be doing and did what our instincts told us. Next time I will just do this from the beginning because there was no stress and a lot more sleep! I won't worry about creating bad habits at all!

    A couple of months after DD turned one we decided to try night-weaning. We noticed she was not drinking much during the night but instead waking was becoming more of a habit. We knew there was no way of forcing her to change so we decided to just try for a week and if nothing had changed we wouldn't push it. We did it very gradually and gently, just lengthening the time between feeds and settling her in other ways. And amazingly it worked!! DD started sleeping for longer stretches. We really couldn't believe it, lol. She just must have been ready for night-weaning.

    So, now that she's 18 months old she just continues to improve with her sleep! She now goes to bed between 8 and 8.30pm and wakes at around 4.30am for a feed and hops into bed with us and we wake up at about 6am. She likes going to bed and tells us when she's tired and runs down the hallway to get into our bed for a feed. We never thought this would happen!! She first slept through the night at 16 months and now does every night! Everyone told me she should be sleeping through at 4 months and thought we were crazy to still be 'putting up with' her sleeping habits.

    She still doesn't self-settle but there is no struggle with getting her to sleep, it's just a quick feed or a cuddle and she's out so I don't think self-settling is far off. She 'gets' the whole sleep thing now and lies down on her bed and closes her eyes ready to go to sleep, lol.

    DH and I are so proud of sticking to our gentle parenting philosophy and hanging in there because it really was worth it. DD is just a beautiful little girl. She is always happy, she's so affectionate and caring, she is just a delight! I'm glad we could teach her to sleep in a way that made her feel loved and secure and she knows we will always be there for her.

    Thankyou to everyone on BB who read my many threads on BB and encouraged me and kept me sane!!


  2. #2

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    That is so awesome! You guys have done a great job and she sounds like such a sweetheart too - how cute!
    Thanks for sharing! It is always nice to hear other parents truly enjoying their kids. xo

  3. #3

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    Yeah, Heaven, I loved reading your post - it really gives me good vibes about what we are doing with DD at the moment.

    Sue xxx

  4. #4

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    UPDATE!!!!

    We moved DD into her own room at night on the first of January. No dramas. She sleeps in there all night: 8.30pm to 5.30am !!

    And the biggest thing........she now SELF SETTLES!!!!!!!!! I never thought this day would come. I always fed her to sleep but because DD2 was coming I decided to try and make it so I at least didn't have to feed her to sleep and I could just sit next to her. So mid-jan I started trying to do this. I did it very slowly and just explained it to her. The first day I just told her 'ok, today lets do something different, instead of having booby before sleep, lets have booby when you wake up' and to my surprise she just said 'yes! do it!' and hopped into bed. So I would lie down with her and she would talk to me for a bit and have a cuddle then roll over and go to sleep. Then I moved to sitting on the end of her bed. Then sitting on the floor. And the last 3 days I have just told her it's sleep time and kissed her and left and she has gone to sleep all by herself!!!!

    Pretty amazing considering what she used to be like. I never thought this day would come and I'm very proud of her

    Yay for gentle parenting!!!!

  5. #5

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    Awesome!

  6. #6

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    Well done Heaven!!

  7. #7

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    Aw Heaven that is such a lovely end to this story

    Well done!

  8. #8

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    Heaven,

    So glad to read your story, i love happy endings!!

    We're experiencing something similar with DS. For the first five months he had all his day sleeps in my arms, basically on the boob! Eventually I was able to feed him to sleep then transfer him to our bed, and then the next step was getting him to settle himself on our bed with me next to him. Now at eight months he sometimes self settles in his cot but mostly I feed him to sleep or sit next to his cot while he falls asleep. He has day sleeps of up to two hours and often sleeps through at night.

    I too never thought this day would happen and am so so glad that DH and I never let him cry himself to sleep like so many people suggested. We knew that he would do it in his own time, which he has. A much better feeling

  9. #9

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    Thankyou for sharing. My DS sounds a lot like your DD (maybe not quite as bad!) you give me hope that I won't have to resort to things like CC or CIO to get him out of it like some people have suggested!

  10. #10

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    Yay heaven - way to go!!
    Helle - I could never do CC or CIO. DD now sleeps from about 9:30pm to 7am and usually only wakes once or twice but goes back to sleep straight away - it's usually because she has kicked the blankets off..

  11. #11

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    Thank you so much for sharing!! And, thanks for the update. It does give me hope!

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