Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Open Forum- Getting your baby to sleep!

I have had a lot of questions about how to get baby to sleep, nap, etc. I don't have all the answers as each child is so different. Share what worked/didn't work for you with your babies. You can do it anonymously if you would like, but please share! Let's brainstorm lots of ideas for struggling moms to read. ****Leave a comment!*****


Tim, Crista and Addy said...

My baby sleeps sooooo well and I have to say I owe it to Babywise. I know there is controversy over this method.
Adilyn was sleeping through the night at approx. 6-8 weeks. She has been good with a nap and now sleeps 12 hours at night and has for months. She is, however, getting more alert and older so the naps are cutting down some days...my child is notorious for the "45 min. intruder"!!!

I've had many nurses, Dr's and care workers say she is a very independent and confident baby. (ps...I say many nurses and dr's because in the military we've been at 3 locations and she's only 10 months old).

Babywise is all about sleep, eat, wake, repeat. I TOTALLY understand that mom's do what works for them and their baby so NOBODY take offense if it didn't work for them. It just worked for us. My girlfriend holds her baby for naps because the baby "loves to cuddle" and she wonders why she won't sleep on her own...the baby is almost 4 months old. I guess it works for her though, just not me.

I hope ya'll have as much luck as we've had with sleep:).

Erica said...

Thanks Crista! My first baby was babywise, and he was the same way as your daughter. He slept well, napped well, and was very well adjusted. My second was supposed to be the same and well.... he just is a toughy. My baby is babywise without the schedule. We do the sleep, eat, wake thing, but we don't have set times. He slept through the night very early, and is a happy little guy. I too think babywise is great, but I agree you have to do what works. With our second child we just held on for dear life!

Any more commments? What worked for you?

Adam & Tiff said...

Erica, you know I am totally a babywise girl too. It has been working great with baby two so far also. I have to say though, I think setting specific times is important too. I just think about how my body works - when I was teaching and school started it was hard for me to eat lunch at 11:30 with my students because I just wasn't hungry that early. Then, a few weeks into school I would notice that even on the weekends I was starving at 11:30. It seems like our bodies like to know what to expect and do better when things are predictable. I am not way strict, but I do try to stick pretty closely to a schedule and I think it makes a big difference. Brooklyn was A LOT harder than Cameron at first, but once I got her into a routine she improved a ton. Now she sleeps 10 hours straight and has since she was 4 weeks old.

I also think it is important to start from the beginning putting them in bed awake - that way they learn to fall asleep on their own. A few times Brooklyn has woken up in the middle of the night, grunts for a few minutes and goes back to sleep. She is used to falling asleep without my help so it is no big deal. If you start from the beginning it doesn't have to involve crying.

Like you both said though - everyone and every baby is different. I am looking forward to hearing what everyone else has to say.

Trisha said...

I did babywise with Naomi too- as well as would work:) She's a bit on the independent side too. Also, I learned that my schedule for her just has to be tweaked a bit to work for her personality too. She's a fabulous sleeper now and has been pretty good from early on.
With baby number 2 due soon I'm hoping I can find some sort of balance that will work since we will be moving quite a bit this summer.
As far as getting babies to sleep... schedules like babywise suggests are great for a lot of people and babies but other things are important and helpful too. Like all the things you read about: swaddling was essential for Naomi for about the first 6 months. And I mean SWADDLING- no getting arms out:) And bedtime routine was mega important. Binki's worked for us for the first while.
Hmm. But what about those first few weeks when it's schedule-schmedule??
I say use anything and everything. Drives, walks, white noise (we still use this, very nice), music, rocking, bouncing, singing- all of the above at once! SOMETHING eventually works and then you just work your way toward what you would like to use to get your baby to sleep all the time.
Anyway, fun post. Let's get some more ideas here.

Tim, Crista and Addy said...

Tiff...yes, I did what you suggested about sticking to a "time" a little bit better and it did help. Mostly, I think it helped ME but Adilyn was good with it too. Who knows how baby #2 will be.

So...Tiff, question....(I'm just thinking about some family/friends experiences and also to prepare me for baby #2 one day). Did you start from day 1 putting her to bed awake? Or, did you ever hold and cuddle her to fall asleep, or use a swing for a couple weeks or something?

This is fun...keep going! :)

Jocee Bergeson said...

Babywise Babywise Babywise. This has been the best book I've ever read and has made my first 18 mo. as a mother much better than it otherwise would have been. Sage slept through the night at 8 weeks and although there are frequently sicknesses, teething, etc. she has been an AWESOME night & nap sleeper. I will do it again on baby #2 and hope for the same result. I know it doesn't work the same on every child, but it really is the best chance you have at getting a good sleeper. I love it!!

Erica said...

Great comments... Thanks! Any more babywise moms? How about any other techniques? Keep them coming!

Adam & Tiff said...

Crista, I pretty much try to do that from day 1. Babies are so sleepy at first that it is not hard for them to fall asleep wherever they are. It seems to me that the first few weeks are the best time to create the kind of habits you want so that you don't have to fix problems later.

I also agree with what you said about a schedule helping mom just as much as baby. With Cameron I needed him to eat at certain times because I went back to school. With Brooklyn sticking to specific times has been nice because I was able to plan her schedule around Cameron's. That way I get a block of time when they are both napping, and avoid times when they both need me at the same time.

One more thing - I am also a big fan of swaddling and the bedtime routine like Trisha said. We have done the same things in the same order with Cameron every night since he was tiny. The swaddling/bedtime routine are cues that let their bodies know it is time to sleep.

Christie said...

I was not a Babywise fan. It was too strict for me & I could never do the "cry it out" thing.

I think routine is very important-- stick to bedtime as much as possible and set a simple routine that's the same every day. My 2nd boy learned to fall asleep when I put him down awake just because I'd lay him down to go do something else and he'd just doze off before I came back.

I know some people freak out about it, but we let our babies sleep with us some too. I put them down in their own bed, bring them in with me to nurse if they wake in the night.. we all fall back to sleep & we're all rested, happy people :-). Then they just gradually start sleeping longer in their own bed without waking in the night.

Its just different for every kid & every parent. You just really have to trust what your instincts tell you.

Tim, Crista and Addy said...

The "letting them cry it out" thing is sometimes hard, I agree! I must say, I did do it with Addy but it never was too bad because we started the schedule early.

My sis-in-law, however, tried to do babywise with #2 and her girlie will not follow ANYTHING! She's called many times in tears and frustration. Syd is now almost 5 months and last month her Dr. said to her "you let that baby cry it out, you are letting that baby wrap you around her finger.....blah, blah, blah". I must say I was surprised. Anyhoo, Syd is better at sleep but it wasn't easy to let her cry it out.

Thanks Tiff for your last post. Good to know how you did it with baby #2. Erica, how have you worked schedule's with babies 2 and 3? I'm thinking that'll be the hardest thing (for ME) with future babies. I'm finally at such a great point of feeling confident in my schedule and routine with cooking, cleaning, baby, hubby, etc.

Carrie Kirk said...

So I emailed a couple of my friends who had babies about two weeks ago to tell them to go to Preggot. The both read through this entry and responded to me with questions. They are both great questions so I am posting them here for your thoughts.

"I am trying babywise with Audrey, and the schedule has been a life saver for me. One of the girls commented that her baby slept through the night at 4 weeks? I thought that was a no-no for a breast-fed baby. I think Audrey would sleep at least 6 or 7 hours straight at night if I didn't wake her to feed her. What are your thoughts on this? "

"We are seriously trying to use it [Babywise], but are struggling with the nighttime
- I almost think I don't produce enough milk for her at this time - have you
heard of this?"

I was not really sure the answer for either of them. I guess I am rusty.

Tim, Crista and Addy said...

To answer the question about milk supply...NOT that I am an expert but I've had 3 friends going through this currently.

If you are questioning milk supply, I would suggest talking to the Dr. or supplementing a little with formula. I know I personally didn't have a problem but I know the nurses where I was made it seem like I'd be a bad parent if I gave formula, even a little! I didn't need to but a friend now has to totally stop nursing and give formula only. Her baby has made SUCH a difference now that she is eating and is full! She is sleeping better and actually her development and really taken a jump, just in the last 2 weeks because she's getting enough.

I have 2 other friends who had babies who went from around the 75% in weight to almost the 5th% because of lack of milk supply and they didn't do much about it because they were first time mom's and thought it was normal. (don't get me wrong, they're great mom's, they're babies just weren't getting enough).

Those are just my thoughts...don't know if they help and I'm sure the rest of ya'll have more to give....

Erica said...

Congratulations to *Audrey's* mom! We're so happy for you. As far as the sleeping through the night thing, I think Tiff's baby is bottle fed? Is she Tiff? It is not recommended to let the baby sleep too long while breastfeeding.

So to answer your question, yes it is a breastfeeding no-no to let baby sleep through the night before 6 weeks. But that said, I can't claim I never let my babies sleep longer than 3 hours. My third boy wanted to sleep through the night since birth too. I HAD to wake him up to eat so I could flush his jaundice out and since he was premature. It's so painful to set your alarm in the night! But as soon as the jaundice went away, I let him sleep a little longer in the night.

I'd feel it out if I were you. If you can get away with letting her sleep one long stretch at night and still have enough milk after a few days, I'd say you're fine. Some people dry up easily, and some people make more milk than they know what to do with. Feel it out, and do what works best for you.

But I will say that it's a great sign that she sleeps so well at such a young age. You have some well rested nights in your near future! If only they all came like that.

Adam & Tiff said...

Yes, I am just bottle feeding this baby - Breast feeding is just not for me. I did breast feed Cameron though and was waking him up to eat at night until my doctor told me to stop at 4 weeks. He said just what Erica did - pay attention to how you feel and to your supply. If you are not too uncomfortable and your baby is doing well, let him/her sleep! I didn't have a problem with my supply and he was sleeping 8 hours at night by 5 weeks. A healthy baby will let you know when he/she needs to eat.

I agree with Crista too - no more guilt for supplementing with formula if you need to, or bottle feeding. People have been so mean to me about my choice to bottle feed this time around - you can still be a good mom and formula feed!! Sorry, that is a whole other topic! :) I love hearing everyones advice! Thanks again for getting all this going Erica!

The McKellars said...

So I love this topic because being a first time mom, my 2 main concerns are eating and sleeping for my little girl! I read the babywise and my little girl did it for a few days around 3-4 weeks old, but then she suddenly stopped doing the set 1- 1/2 hr naps and so now she's a little off with her schedule. I still do the eat, wake, nap but it usually is has a second wake time between the nap and eat because she'll only nap for like 20 mins sometimes. I'll let her cry it out a lot, but there's just no going back to sleep for her! Right now (10weeks old) she's still doing a 2 am feeding (nurses at 9ish @ night and then 7ish in the morning) and I was wondering if anyone's had to "break" out of the middle of the night feeding. She's at a bout 2 1/2 - 3 hr nursing during the day... As for the low milk, I pumped and it didn't seem to help much but my OB prescribed me some stuff to help increase my supply and it really has helped. I too tried doing the extra formula for a few weeks to make sure that wasn't what was keeping her from sleeping but it didn't make much difference. Oh and one other thing... she's more of a swing sleeper with LOTS of white noise! Whether for reflux or colic she needed lots of swaddling, noise and movement! We're still in the process of transitioning from swing to crib, practicing with naps during the day... wish us luck!

Tim, Crista and Addy said...

Tiff...I won't be mean to you about bottle feeding!:) Isn't is crazy how INTENSE some people can get about their belief's on parenting? That's why I prefaced my comments with "this is what worked for me and what I beleive, it may not be for you". Personally, I love nursing, but maybe it won't be for me next time.

This blog sure gives me lots to think about for the next time around. Thanks from me too, Erica! Wish I had more advice, I think I'm dried up for now!

OH! My little girl also wakes early from naps, depending on the day. So, to the gal who has hers waking early...this suggestion came to me from Tiff months ago when Addy started waking early. Well, wait, maybe your baby is too young, I think 10 months. OK, nevermind, sorry!!! :)

ps....Erica, where do you find your coupons?

John and Amber said...

I did Babywise with Taylor, and he slept great, but was not a happy or flexible baby. It totally could be that he is just a hard/feisty/moody child. He would not sleep ANYWHERE except his crib, so after him, I was desperate to try something else. I didn't love Babywise as much as most moms. I did it a little w/Sophia, like the eat, wake, sleep part. She has been so happy and flexible. She will sleep in a stroller, car, at church, playpen, so outings and trips are so much better. Sophia started sleeping through the night at about 11 weeks, but then started waking once a night on and off.

Finally, I put my foot down and made her cry herself to sleep at about 8 months old, 2 nights in a row. They say it should only take 3 nights. She still tests me and if I go give her a bottle, it gets worse the next night. So basically what I am saying is that I liked some of Babywise, but I thought it was to extreme. I think it is worth reading and has lots of great hints. You will just have to find out the way YOU want to parent, and decide which is for you. But in order to make that decision, you should investigate many different parenting styles.
To the other comments, I bottle fed Taylor and Breast fed Sophia, and also did not feel like I had enough milk, so I just supplemented when I felt I needed to with formula, and it was great! I felt so much more confident and relaxed with my second baby, I just did what I wanted! Isn't that whats best? Having a happy mom is more important than having a "breast fed only" baby. Formula is so popular, and so healthy now a days for a reason! Those who had a hard time breast feeding, check out one of my past blogs about How to Prepare for Nursing. It will make you laugh! Hope this helps someone...

The McKellars said...

Thank goodness i'm not the only one who isn't absolutely in love with nursing. I do it, but I must say, I think partly because of the pressure to do so becuase it has really been a struggle for my and my little one! I'm glad to hear that other moms have felt the same way, because I to have wanted to mix up the nursing with some formula, but didn't want to "ruin things" like some people might say! And i'm curious, has anyone that's tried one and the other noticed a difference between their bottle vs. breast fed child? (whether it's been the same kid or 2 different kids)

Erica said...

My baby is a swing sleeper too. It's just too easy to wrap him up and stick him in the swing. He falls right asleep every time. We too do the white noise.

I'm a bottle loving mom. My first was weaned at 7 months, my second at 4 months. They loved bottles and I pushed nursing as long as I could, and then gave up. But I always preferred bottles. I find nursing to be difficult to work around my lifestyle. It's very inconvenient except when I'm at home.

This baby WON'T take a bottle. I left him the other night, and he just went to bed that night without and milk because he refused the bottle. How sad! Anyway, I find myself having to be really brave and nurse in places I really don't want to. I have to admit though, it's much easier to nurse a baby who loves it. I like it more since it makes him so happy. My first would just scream at me when I tried to nurse him.

As far as formula, my husband comes from a family of 7 kids, all formula fed. They are smart, healthy, and you would never know the difference. Formula has come a long way since then, so I figure there can't be much of a noticeable difference. I think the biggest difference is in the immunity that breastmilk has. I think as a tiny baby, they are less likely to get sick if they're breastfed. I love formula, and I really wonder if I'm going to have to nurse for a full year with this little guy!

Adam & Tiff said...

Thanks for all the comments on formula! I needed that - I have been totally shocked at how mean people have been to me. I love bottle feeding! I hated every minute of breastfeeding Cameron and so did he! Not that I have anything against anyone else doing it! It is funny though, Cameron has had a cold constantly since he was a few weeks old! So much for the immunity factor for him! :)

Anyway, I just thought of one other piece of advice my sister gave me for when a baby gets day and night mixed up. It is tempting when your baby has been up at night to let them sleep for long stretches during the day just so you can have a break. She said, and I remember reading this as well, that after 2-3 hours of sleep your body goes into a deeper/more restful sleep. So, if you let your baby sleep longer than 3 hours at a time during the day they won't be tired enough to go that long at night. So, wake him/her up after 2-3 hours even if it is just for a short stretch. If you make sure you do this during the day, you baby will be ready for the deeper sleep at night. I've never had to do this, but it worked for a friend of mine. I think it only took her a day or two of this before her baby got his days/nights back in order.

Crista, what advice did I give you at 10 months? I can't remember! :)

Tim, Crista and Addy said...

Wow, so many points brought up I never thought about...it totally makes sense now...Adilyn loves to nurse and was SO easy at it. Therefore, I love to nurse her. She never took a bottle because she hated it. She's 11 months and though I will be weaning her a bit, I am sad to think of stopping. And, the other thing I didn't think about....she has only been sick 1 day of her life! Things I forgot.

Anyway, I love these comments.

Tiff....the advice you gave me was to stick to the times. Addy would wake early from what "should" be like a 2 hour nap. I wasn't sure what to do because according to Babywise you feed once they wake up.
Anyway, this is where you have to be flexible with the book because kids are different. Now she's taking shorter naps as she gets older but I still stick mostly to the time and when she's hungry. Hope this wasn't confusing.

To those who have babies who will sleep anywhere....lucky you! Addy will mostly only sleep in her crib. That makes outings, trips and especially church, VERY difficult. It's OK though, she's such a happy baby it doesn't matter too much.

Adam and Cassie Pierson said...

The schedule from the book Babywise worked great for me. My daughter was sleeping great through the night by 4 months, and at 3 is still napping great. I'm curious to see if my next little boy will be as privy to the schedule. I sure hope so. I also nanny a little girl and it worked wonders with her. She was sleeping through the night and taking great naps by 5 months.

Andersons said...

I think the mckellars are doing an awesome job. :-)

John and Amber said...

About Nursing one baby and not the other... Neither of my babies ever really got sick. Taylor (formula) was always kinda moody, but I never thought it was the formula, and still don't. It's just his temperament. Neither baby has ever had an ear infection, and it took me 15 mths to loose my baby weight w/ Taylor and it looks to be the same w/ Sophia (she is 13mths). I also felt pressure about nursing with Taylor, and therefore had major guilt about quitting with him. I always was explaining to people why I didn't nurse, etc. but w/ Sophia I was like "I need to be happy, so whatever I want to do, I'll do it!" And so I think it's funny I ended up being successful nursing her till 8 mths! I was always saying that I was going to quit soon, and then just never did! There is some great advantages to both! I will continue my feeding attitude with my next babies. Erica, maybe you should start a feeding thread or just how to support nursing or bottle feeding mom's! I have gotten off the subject of this sleeping subject. Sorry! Just do what's best for you and what you feel in your heart you want to do with both sleeping habits and feeding!