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From tuckersmama: My copy of NCSS should be here Tuesday. It can't come soon enough. I went against all instincts today and let my son CIO for about fifteen minutes. I cannot describe the horrible feeling in my chest when I did that. When I went in to his room he was panic stricken. He looked at me with tears streaming down his face like he was saying, "How could you do this to me?" I am crying as I write this. I will NEVER do that again. How people do it routinely I can't comprehend
From twokats: I sat on the steps outside his room and cried with him through the ordeal, and when I went in to him (seemed like forever, but was probably only 20 minutes-1/2 hour) I was in shreds, as was he. I promised him I'd never do that to him again. I woke this morning at 6:00 refreshed, can you believe it??? My son woke at 11:30 last night and came into our bed, snuggled up and only nursed twice all night! Granted, he did give me a swift kick in the small of my back a couple of times, but hey, I've gotten so I can sleep through that! If anything, the book will teach you how to think about all this. Don't worry if you don't get the "pull-off" thing. My experience is that at this point, it just doesn't work. He can nurse to sleep--I don't mind. I'll tackle that one later.
From stargirl: Often, lately, I want to give up and chuck the book out the window, as well as any and all attempts to modify her sleep behavior. Sometimes I get the idea that my daughter just "naturally" knows the best way for her to get the most sleep and this behavior she has now is the "best" for her. But then I think that she is like this because of the way she and I went to sleep for the first 6 months of her life. So how do you tell what is really "her natural choice" and what is a "behavior" that I encouraged or imposed? I ask this because Juliana goes to bed so easily (knock on wood) at the beginning of the night. At first I thought "well, that's just her way" and that at least I wasn't getting in her way. But then I remembered that in her first few months it took her 2-3 hours to go to sleep. I have almost totally forgotten this - amazingly enough! Back then, I reacted by stocking up on a bunch of mysteries, getting the boppy pillow and sitting up in bed while she nursed herself to sleep over the period of an hour or two. I sure got a lot of reading done. I think that now this is why she goes to bed so easily - because I calmly sat with her for a month or two in the dimly lit quiet room. So actually, I think I had a lot to do with her first going-to-sleep behavior - and why she loves to sleep latched on. I know I'm rambling here! I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I'm struggling with whether trying to modify Juliana's sleep patterns is a good thing all in all for her. Most of the time, I think it is worthwhile and good, but then I read some criticism of this somewhere and read something like "good moms just tough it out" and I feel like a poor mom. Anyone else struggling with this? What do you think?
From twokats: Matty's sleep now is on and off. He is still doing well with his naps, but nighttime is still questionable. He is in the middle of teething right now, so my expectations aren't high. He sleeps best when i give him motrin before bed.
From Ewan's Mum: Stargirl - I went through exactly the same type of questioning. While I was on maternity leave I would go for long long walks ( 1 - 2 hours) twice a day because my son slept best while moving either in a pram or carried. Anyway I was so worried that because of this I gave him the habit of being rocked or "moved" to sleep. My memory is fuzzy but my husband definitely recalls that even before I started the walks, my son had problems falling asleep and staying asleep on his own. My conclusion - part is the babies' personality and part is how we respond.
From mary1: You are not the only one questioning. I keep asking my husband (usually in the middle of the night) if I have been doing something wrong since birth because my daughter does not sleep or go to sleep. But I have become convinced that I am just meeting her needs and loving her. I just now take heart in the fact that at some point she will go to sleep and this will be done. One thing mentioned earlier in the thread was about changing our attitude after reading the book. I think there is something to this. In the last few days, I have tried to be more mellow with the constant wakings and just let her body be active when it wants to instead of forcing sleep. This may not help her sleep but it sure makes me feel better. Another idea I have hit upon is my husband and I do not talk to people about our daughter's sleep habits anymore. When people ask us how she is we say fine. When they ask if she is sleeping we reply something to the affect that she is as much as a 10 month old should be expected to. By not communicating our stresses, and by extension our AP parenting style, we do not receive as much unsolicited cry-it-out advice. This has also made the sleep issue easier to deal with.
From twokats: Here is something to consider / try for a week. I know it has helped us a lot. We have our biggest trouble when my son has 1. not had his proper naps during the day, and 2. has not had enough active time during the day. Just like us, babies sleep better when they have had exercise and fresh air. I started making a point of taking Matty to the park every nice afternoon we get, and if the weather isn't nice or we go to Target (my favorite store ) or someplace where he likes to go where there is a lot of things to see and / or watch. Today, for instance, we played in his pool outside. by the time he has played hard and had fresh air or at the very least a change of scenery, it is much easier (and seems almost a relief to him) to get home, come inside and follow our routine to sleep. Today, he slept for two 1 1/2 hour naps. It's just an idea, but along with your NCSS changes, it might help to pare down your schedule and just spend a week focusing on figuring out how much level of activity your little one needs to foster a healthy appetite for sleep. It's helped us tons. Matty (when he is not hurting from his teeth) is waking about 1-2 times a night now, and I can live with that for now. I know that eventually this will work out. Giving him motrin before bed makes a huge difference. He sleeps much more soundly than when he has not had anything for his teething pain. I'm starting to wonder if this second incisor is ever going to come through! He's a snaggletooth right now!
From tuckersmama: My book arrived today, and I'm going to go start it now. The last couple of days have been hard. Tucker is not napping well at all. The longest he stays asleep is about 30 minutes. He is tired and cranky, but just won't give in!! It's taken 1-2 hours to get him to sleep at night. For instance, tonight it took about an hour and fifteen minutes. He's been down a total of 3 hours, but has already woken twice, for brief periods (both times I've nursed him back down.) I'm really hoping for some insight from this book!! I know that you ladies have helped me tremendously . . . just reading your stories and knowing I'm not alone in this sleepless world!! Tucker is teething also. I've tried Motrin, and it does seem to ease his pain, but it certainly doesn't help as much as it does Matty!! Thanks for the tip about activity during the day.
From mary1: Interesting idea about going out. I will give it a try for a couple weeks. You also mentioned motrin. When I give my daughter Benadryl, she never sleeps. Do you give motrin as a sleep inducer or just for teething pain? Last night when I was awake and rocking Monica for the umpteenth time in her room, I made up a not so nice lullaby to the tune of Edelweiss. I sing her Edelweiss from The Sound Of Music as a lullaby. Anyway, after getting back into bed after Monica finally went to sleep, my husband said he liked the song (heard it through the monitor) because he felt the same way. I sometimes forget how this affects him too.
From stargirl: Great idea about the activity. Juliana has slept the best after we've had big parties. It is still chilly here, though. I'm tired of Minnesota! I don't like to take her out on a walk unless it's at least 55 outside. But maybe I'll start taking her on errands with me. I would love to have Juliana only waking up twice a night. That sounds like a dream to me. She seems to be getting worse - and waking every 45 minutes or so all night long. Aargh. Fortunately, I am getting much better at getting back to sleep right away.
From tuckersmama: I'm already halfway through the book. I was pretty psyched earlier today because Tucker's morning nap lasted ONE HOUR AND 45 MINUTES!!! Of course I assumed it was because I followed his sleep cues, etc, but then this afternoon's nap was his typical 20 minute job Well, I'm still hopeful!! Eventually, I am convinced, we will ALL get some much needed sleep around here. By the way, when your kids nap, where do they nap at (If you are cosleepers)?
From mauraweb: Hi, I've been lurking here for a while. It's so nice to read that I am not the only one with big sleep problems! My heart goes out to all of you - you must be so tired. My son Gus is 6 months old and now wakes every 1-2 hours during the night (up from every 3-4 hours when he was a newborn!). This week it has been every hour, though I think that's because he's teething, had a growth spurt, and started crawling. I got the book and have been sort of flirting with it. We had a lot of travel and family stuff and now teething, so we're thinking of waiting to start for real (hopefully the end of the week). But there are a few things we've been doing consistently - some are working and some not. For me, the big issues are completely inconsistent naps and frequent night waking. Gus' naps are a mess - completely variable in both timing and length. Lately he's been fighting naps lots, too, so I often end up taking an hour to get him to sleep (which, since I work at home, can trash my day). We have a sitter but he usually won't go to sleep for her. Have any of you tried to get a sub (not your partner) to get them to nap? And how do you get them to nap when they fight it? He acts sooooo tired, and we respond very quickly, just like she says. We try everything: nurse, rock, sling, swing, stroller, bounce, walk, dance, sing, lie in bed. I've tried to get a nap routine but can't really get a consistent one going because his responses are so varied (some days he hates the sling, others he passes out the second you put him in it). Also he won't be still for stories (he is *very* active).
One Pantley thing we have been doing consistently for a month is intervening to help him nap longer. This hasn't really helped, though, which is frustrating. Sometimes I can get him to go back to sleep when he wakes after 20-30 minutes, but just as often I can't. This happens even if I am sleeping with him. For the nighttime sleep, one thing that is working for us is a routine. Gus usually goes to sleep pretty easily at night. The problem is the waking all through the night. Sometimes he wants to eat a full meal, but usually it's just a quick nurse to get back to sleep (though lately even nursing doesn't always work, which I assume is teething). I think this weekend we're going to start having my husband comfort him if he doesn't seem to be hungry - hopefully that will work.
For us the PPO is not the magic charm she makes it out to be, but I will say that after a month of use it is getting easier to do the PPO so I guess it's working a little bit. I guess that may be the key for us, since usually it's how we settle Gus back to sleep. My husband is great and helps out tons, but ultimately I have the boobies so the nightwaking really affects me much more. Like you all most days I can keep it together by reminding myself that this too shall pass, and delighting in my son's growth and development. But lots of days I feel so mental and wasted, so frustrated and resentful. I know the Pantley solution isn't a quick fix but it's so hard to wait when you're so tired!
From tuckersmama: I just wanted to add that I got to the PPO, and I hate to say it, but I've been doing that for MONTHS now~to no avail. I've always removed my nipple as soon as his sucking slows down and his breathing gets calmer. Some days he resists, others he just pulls off as soon as I put my finger in the corner of his mouth. Hopefully the PPO will work for some of you, but I know that it is a moot point for us.
From twokats: First let me say "welcome" to mauraweb...you're not alone. At first I did not have a nap routine, either. It was sort of hit or miss, and I couldn't really read his daytime sleepy cues. One thing that i have read several places, though, and find be true is this--sleep fosters sleep. The more and better naps that my son takes, the more and better he sleeps at night. The more and better he sleeps at night, the better his naps during the day. Also, the way babies' sleep patterns work is that they need to go back to sleep fairly soon after they get up, like two hours after they get up in the morning. When i read that, i started observing my son, and sure enough, like clockwork, he winds down and wants to sleep 2 or 2 1/2 hours after he gets up in the morning. He naps now for 1 1/2 to 2 hours every morning from 9:30 or 10:00. Yes, for this i am very happy. He also needs another nap about 4 hours later, somewhere around 3:00. Then he sleeps another 1 to 2 hours. I was very strict with myself for a while to be sure to honor his naptimes by being home and making sure my schedule was clear so that I could facilitate his need for sleep. I nurse, rock him to sleep and put him in his crib. At first he didn't always want to go in his crib (would wake up when he felt me laying him down), but now he doesn't mind at all. He craves the routine and responds very well to it.
Here is my theory on the PPO--it took her a while to get her son to "agree" to the pull-off. Did he just grow out of needing to nurse to sleep??? It's not working for us, either.
From mary1: Welcome Maura! Join the club of the sleepless zombies. I have found naps much easier than nighttime sleeping. I think that either I have more patience during the day or it is the psychology that during the day this is my job and my husband has his job at "work" and during the night I change my mindset or what. Whatever it is, naps are easier than night sleep. Like Kelly, I schedule my day according to naps. If she needs to sleep, I am home, home, home. Somedays I go nowhere because it is a challenging sleep day. I am thrilled though that last night when I got Monica down at 9:33 pm, she slept until 12:52 am. This is pure bliss!!! But then rough and tumble until final awakening at 4:35 am. I took her for a long ride, tried nursing and rocking and then gave up. She finally went down after playing at about 7:20 am.
From stargirl: How did you get Matty to sleep by himself for naps and at beginning of the night?
From Ewan's Mum: In regards to whoever wrote about the PPO not working, it didn't work for us either. After weeks and weeks, it didn't make an iota of difference. We had to go "cold turkey" for night weaning. We tried the cold turkey method a couple times but gave up as his strong reaction indicated to us that he wasn't ready. We tried again around one year; it was only then that he really showed signs of being ready. He fussed and cried maybe 10 minutes then dropped off. Once he was night weaned we worked on naps. But all the time we gave lots of cuddles and singing Puff the Magic Dragon worked like a charm. But I think I overdid it because now he hates this song! Now he is really into feeding himself and as a result gets bored before he has eaten enough and he is teething. For the past 3 nights he has woken up hungry and in pain. He doesn't want to nurse which would be so much easier. He wants applesauce, porridge or a rusk - in his chair, in the kitchen, feeding himself all over his PJ's. Great, nothing like a cold kitchen at 3:00 am. Sigh . . . maybe we shouldn't have night weaned.
From twokats: How i got Matty to sleep in his crib for a while before bed . . . well, we started out that way. He always slept in his bassinet for the first part of the night as a newborn, and then when he got too big for that, we put him in his crib. We did this because I have never been able to fall asleep with him in bed. I can sleep fine if he joins me later, but to start out with him there, forget it. It came to a point, however, that he would not go in his crib at all at night, and that's when I started losing it because I was getting so little sleep. What I did was move his crib up against a single bed which we have in his room, and I would lie down on that bed and nurse him to sleep, but only after trying several times to get him to go down in the crib. I use the same basic routine for bed that we use for naps, just a little quieter and darker. I don't know what made him revolt against the crib at night for that time, but eventually he stopped. I think the main thing that has helped is that I figured out that he is not ready for bed at 7:30 / 8:00 on daylight saving time. that is his standard time bedtime, and now he goes down at 9:00, and he's fine. He does wake up about every hour or so until we bring him to bed with us, still, but I can quickly scoop him up and rock him back to sleep. I don't nurse him back to sleep at these times. Some nights it happens more than others. I guess I should add that I do rock / nurse him to sleep. When we have difficulties is when I lay him down in his crib. If he is not ready to lie down there, he'll jump right back up and we have to start over, though it's usually just another few minutes, not very long to get him to go back down.
From stargirl: Ewan's Mum - That is so funny about Puff the Magic Dragon! The same thing happened to us. We used to have success with that song during diaper changes and showers and whatnot. Then we had to quit because she just started crying every time we used it. So we had a ban in effect for that song for 2 months! Now she looks at us funny when we sing it and it seems to have its magic back. But we use it (and other songs) sparingly. I think we got a negative association going with that when we overused it. Kelly - thanks for telling me about your routines. You know, I think I was on the right track initially, but abandoned it. I used to also have Juliana sleep in the bassinet next to me until she was too big for that. She would usually sleep 2-3 (sometimes 7!) hours in a row then, but I didn't know that was a good deal. I think I will reflect on that time period and try the same techniques, but now put her in the side-car instead of the bassinet. I remember that I used to sometimes have to try to put her down several times before she stayed asleep. I, also, was too afraid to sleep with her next to me when she was just born. I had a c-section and still had drugs for the first week and then it just seemed too scary for me. Hey, I feel a little better after reading these posts because the gentle removal (pull-off) *has* worked for us. It's made a big difference, and was relatively easy to implement. So I shall count that as a success.
From mauraweb: Thanks again, everyone, for your tips and tricks. I want to echo twokats, too, in thanking ewan's mom for her notes from the "other side" - reading them has really helped me gain some perspective. I was thinking a lot about your mentioning that you used to miss Matty's sleep cues for naps so today I watched *really* closely and, surprise surprise, for the first nap I got my son to sleep in 10 minutes and slept for 1.75 hrs, no resettling needed! I was sleeping with him because I was wiped and don't have to work on Thursdays, so not sure how much that helped. But we both feel tons better (well, I do. My son is still a teething mess most of the time recently). The one thing that worries me about today is that since he was up at 6:30am, his nap was 8:30-10:15am, and thus he's napping again now (since 12:30-ish). I'm a little worried that he will want to sleep too much today - can't see how he'll make it to bedtime without a 3rd nap - and we'll have a bad night tonight. But on the other hand, he has been waking hourly at night for almost the past 2 weeks, and probably needs the sleep lots. This afternoon is his 6 month checkup so the vaccination pain will probably interrupt our sleep anyway.
I too have often wondered if trying to change my son's sleeping patterns is best for him or just best for me (i'm *really* type a, which I've been working on toning down a lot since this crazy, active, probably-also-type-a baby has come into my life). I do admit that getting him to take two, 1.5-2 hour naps/day at predictable times would be heavenly for me. But also on the days that he does manage that feat (or close to it) he really genuinely seems to be a better baby for it - much happier playtimes and less cranky overall. Also longer playtimes - when we get the 30 minute catnaps he gets cranky again much more quickly after waking. So I do think that it's better for him and for me.
From twokats: One step at a time . . . what I found was that when I started watching Matty's cues carefully, I found that he needs a lot more sleep than I previously thought. You will probably find that if you accommodate his sleep needs, he will fall into a very regular routine. Start watching for him to be tired 2 to 2 1/2 hours after he gets up in the morning. I'm willing to bet that you'll start getting a solid nap out of him almost every morning.
From iushan: Maura, I just wanted to let you know that regarding naps, my son took 2 longer naps (1.5-2 hours - often needing help in the PM to make nap longer) and a third short nap to get by until bedtime until he was at least 9 months old--also I agree that the morning nap is KEY--- about 2 hours. After my son (now 12 months) wakes, he is ready to go back down--I make sure he gets that nap no matter what or else the day usually bombs.
From Terrilein: Hmm, I don't know if I've got a fluke to report, but in the last two days Lauren slept two hours straight at naptime instead of waking up after a half hour needing to be nursed to sleep again, and is going down at night within 40 minutes and staying asleep until we come to bed. Is it a fluke or am I jinxing myself by mentioning it? Maybe I should knock on wood!
From twokats: Terri, if you've been working on this, it's probably not a fluke, but don't be distressed or disappointed if you have a set-back for a night or two. Once the little ones start sleeping better, they are able to continue sleeping better. I really think that in our busy lives, we have missed how exhausted our little ones can get. Tiredness inhibits sleep--not enhances it. I just reread the title of this post and thought it might be more aptly named, "the no-sleep cry solution" thread!
From mauraweb: I definitely feel like it's the no-sleep cry solution this am! UGH! I got him down quickly and easily for a nap, but he woke after 45 minutes and after 45 minutes of resettling attempts I gave up. Those of you who do need to resettle frequently, how long do you try to do it before you give up? I know he's still tired now, but I felt like after a while I had to let him come out and play since he was crying while we were in the bedroom. And of course he's crawling around now like some wired zombie baby. I really hate how frustrated I get when he won't go back to sleep -- blargh, it just makes me mental! I just need to keep telling myself that I'll try again for the next nap, I guess.
From Michelle: Maura, when I resettle I don't try very long. It isn't a matter of minutes as much as how many times that I have to lay her back down. Usually I'll know right away whether or not she is willing to continue resting. Sometimes she'll lie down but want to play with my hair, etc. and if that's the case I give up after about five minutes. The longer she remains awake the less likely it is we can continue napping. I know, it is so frustrating when you know they are tired and wired and won't sleep! Stargirl, yes, I can soo relate. That's just how my daughter was, not wanting to nurse but waking often and needing someone nearby. My husband and I had to operate on shifts - I'd go down with her at 8pm and at 11pm he'd come to bed and take over. I promise it does get better. My daughter has been sleeping so wonderfully this week that I'm afraid you'd all hate me if I talked about it but I wonder, as Ewan's Mum suggests, if it has less to do with the NCSS and instead that she is maturing and learning to self-soothe. As I read these posts I think that our troubles are minimal and then I notice the baby's age and recall that my daughter was the same way at that age too. One thing I started was to wait a minute or two after she woke before tending to her. She would sometimes find her own way back to sleep. As mentioned above my husband was a big help too! I hope you get a nice loooong nap this afternoon.
From mary1: Hello all. here is our update. I am working on changing Monica's sleep association. We have become iron clad about our bedtime routine - not the time mind you, but the routine. We still have found that it is better to let her stay up later than to force her to bed earlier. And, I am trying to instill key words and music associations. Slow go here. One big problem is that she wakes up for the first time at night within one hour of going down. If my husband goes in to get her at this time she screams. So, I nurse her back down in her room. This is new. We just started last night, and plan on continuing, having my husband go to her at the first awakening after we go to bed, which is usually her second or third awakening. At that point I know she is not hungry and just wants to suck to fall asleep. We are trying to get her less dependent on sucking to sleep. We plan on being serious about this change also. Not only because the book advises it, but also because I need sleep!! We may be over optimistic, but we are hoping to see a change in the night waking in about two weeks. Not elimination, but just less frequent. One Ray of Hope -- Early this morning (4:30 am) my daughter was wiggling all around our bed. So, my husband picked her up and put her in her crib. She slept until a little after 7 am! Yeah!!