Crap sleep advice people have given you

(65 Posts)
CyrilSneers Tue 01-Jan-13 21:03:14

I constantly get generously given crap, unsolicited I may add, advice on how to get my 6mo ds to 'sleep through the night'. My mum insists Farley's Rusks are the key to a good night's sleep as "all babies eat rusks". She also says I should give him formula as breast milk "isn't enough for some babies" and that he should have no naps and stay up until we go to bed so he's "nice and tired". That's just a few nuggets of wisdom from my mother; don't even get me started on health visitors. I'm beginning to understand why people falsely clain their LOs are sleeping through: my heart drops when I hear the phrase "Have you tried...?" Or am I just an ungrateful cow?

aimingtobeaperfectionist Tue 01-Jan-13 21:12:01

I'm getting the 'give her formula' ones at the minute. Not sure how that will help with her teething.

MrsRandom78 Tue 01-Jan-13 21:15:35

That des should be in his own bed - finally embraced co- sleeping this time last year and never looked back!!

MrsRandom78 Tue 01-Jan-13 21:16:09

Ds - sorry! Stupid auto-correct!

OneSliceOfSwissCheese Tue 01-Jan-13 21:17:10

I got the whole "Keep them awake in the day so they'll be exhausted come the night time" crap when DD was tiny. Worst mistake ever!!!

MeAndMyJoeNowHaveRowan Tue 01-Jan-13 21:28:34

Ahhh the old 'never feed or rock a baby to sleep, rod for your own back' bull shit. Had that from family and HV. I fed DS1 to sleep every night for 11 months when miraculously he just learned to settle himself, no sleep training, no crying, nothing. Do what works I say!!! I just smile and nod this time round!

teacher123 Tue 01-Jan-13 21:59:27

'Have you tried a routine?' Yes of course I've tried a bloody routine! More people have said that to me than I can count.

Mitsouko Wed 02-Jan-13 10:17:25

Oh, I've had it all. And it's all crap. Fortunately I only see the HV once a month when I take DD to clinic to be weighed. I've learned to lie and say she's sleeping just fine, waking a little to feed but mostly doing 7-7. This is true to some extent, but also involves resettling every hour or two on a bad night, 2-3 breast feeds, and co-sleeping half the night. She is 9 months. I know newborns who sleep for longer stretches...

Just back from MIL's and also got the rusks, stopping bf, and cutting out naps stuff. DD had two naps of about 45 minutes around 10 and 2. But apparently this is what's stopping her from sleeping through the night - like hers did from birth. However, FIL took me aside and said that DH and SIL were crap sleepers until age 2, but MIL has just blocked it out and can't remember! He also said that they didn't leave either of them to cry. MIL said to me (when DD was a 6 week old colicky, refluxy ball of distress) that I'd spoil her if I didn't let her "cry it out a bit". Having not done this we have now made a "rod for our own backs".

matana Wed 02-Jan-13 10:26:33

"Have you read Gina Ford?" when DS was a newborn and i was sleep deprived. This was followed by "Let him cry - he's manipulating you because he knows he'll get your attention" and "move him into his own room". Oh, and "don't feed him/ rock him to sleep/ you're making a rod for your back". I broke every single rule (including co-sleeping - best idea ever!) according to the advice i received and have been rewarded with a generally brilliant sleeper and a happy little boy who sleeps in his own bed and is not reliant on props (unless you count his teddies, as he has a habit of sucking the labels for comfort).

Suchanamateur Wed 02-Jan-13 14:13:04

YU to the routine advice. 'Put in place a solid bedtime routine- that'll sort it all out'. Thanks. Had a cast iron, excellent bedtime routine with DS. Made sod all difference. Same with DD although hers is a bit more random as she has to fit round DS. And if I hear the 'try formula' one once more I shall explode...

lorisparkle Wed 02-Jan-13 14:19:22

so true about routine - ds1 had great routine and terrible sleeper. ds3 had random routine as had to fit round other two and was the best sleeper of the lot!

Mitsouko Wed 02-Jan-13 14:24:32

Ditto routine. DD has a great daytime and bedtime routine. Two naps, three meals a day, mostly bf but mix fed at times. Self settles no problem for naps and at bedtime. All in all, quite a happy little baby, and rather cheerful during the day when not tired or cranky. Does any of this keep her from waking on average every two hours in the night? Nope.

Oh, try Gina ford/ Tizzie hall!

ffs, they're both shit. Who the hell would follow them when (Tizzy at least) they didn't use their own routines? co-sleeping wins!

Seriouslysleepdeprived Wed 02-Jan-13 15:03:31

I'm constantly getting unsolicited sleep advice from all & sundry.

Most common seems to be stop breastfeeding, why this would help i have no idea, especially as he has a cows milk allergy.

Shut the door & let him cry, which is tempting sometimes but would break my heart.

A new one - make more noise & he'll sleep better. The usual, follow a routine, don't follow a routine, don't let him sleep in the day, and my personal favourite - just try and forget about it, he'll fall asleep eventually...

Most of this from childless friends & family. No offers of actual help though.

teacher123 Wed 02-Jan-13 17:00:59

Oh my word, the whole 'don't be quiet when they go to bed, they have to learn to sleep through noise'. Yes ok BIL, but would you mind leaving the HOOVERING OUTSIDE HIS BEDROOM DOOR and THROWING POTS AND PANS into the sink until after he's dropped off? I know that people shouldn't have to be quiet for a sleeping baby, and it's really annoying, but DS is a light sleeper, so if you want us to come and stay, please just turn the telly down when he's gone to bed. Thanks.

HearMyRoar Wed 02-Jan-13 19:04:15

The amount of people who tried to get me to wean early as 'she just needs a bit of proper food in her stomach' was just too numerous to mention. Of course she is now 9 months and eats like a horse and her sleep is still awful. In fact if anything I would say weaning made her sleep substantially worse for quite a while.

Nightmoves Wed 02-Jan-13 20:12:25

"Have you tried putting him down awake?" Aaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh. Of course I bloody have, I've tried EVERYTHING!!!

ipswichwitch Wed 02-Jan-13 20:49:15

We got:
"You're bf too much" not sure I got their logic in that one other than they blamed bf for every problem
"Try formula at bedtime" so in a moment of despair I did, and if anything he was worse
"He'll sleep through in his own room" that didn't work but at least I got fitter trotting up and down the landing all night hmm
"He'll sleep through when he's on solids". Again, no, because he got severe constipation and screamed all night.
"Just leave him to cio" hmm
"Have you got a routine?"have you got a death wish?

What did work in the end was time. DS is almost 15 months and finally slept through at 13 months. All by himself. With no Gina whatsherface, sleep training, or bullshit theories. Yes he likes to wake at half 5 but I'm not complaining. And certainly dont need any unsolicited advice on that front thankyou

icravecheese Wed 02-Jan-13 23:30:04

'try offering water at night instead of milk'......yeah right, just tried it with DC3, she's now officially TOTALLY mad, instead of just slightly p'eed off.

Now I know why I never followed that cr&p piece of advice with DC1 or DOESN'T WORK!!!

munchkinmaster Thu 03-Jan-13 12:51:34

Appears stopping breast feeding is the secret to all sleep problems (according to my mum bottle feeding's the answer to world peace, the economy).

Apparently all my own making as I occasionally sat and watched tv while baby screamed at 1am in the first 2 weeks of life. Obviously 8 fucking months of sleep hygiene hasn't sorted out that catastrophic mistake.

I'm seriously pissed off at all the advice when maybe some practical help would be good. Have said lots of times I need to not feed her as much at night but this will involve some shitty nights. If only there was some one who, I don't know, lives close by, doesn't work, knows baby well, who could give me an hours help in the morning...... No much easier to hand out shitty advice, criticise and piss off at the first sign of trouble.

Mitsouko Thu 03-Jan-13 14:08:02

Some great posts here, especially Ipswichwitch. I've had every single one of those as well. You give me hope (DD is almost 10 months).

potas Thu 03-Jan-13 20:37:41

A friend asked - have you tried not making it fun when he wakes up in the night, like not playing with him or making it interesting........erm, its never fun....its not like I come into his room in a clown car and throw a bucket of confetti over him

Evilwater Thu 03-Jan-13 22:16:58

Ok ladies here has been the adivce so far:
Mum- farleys rusk in the milk, or a stronger milk. hmm
Sister- a good bed time routine. envy
Aunt- dip the dummy in brandy and honey. shock
Nan- keep him awake all day out I'd spite, or try whiskey. shock


DrCoconut Thu 03-Jan-13 22:40:49

DS2 doesn't sleep through at 21 months. We co sleep (DH agrees so it isn't killing our marriage) and it works for us for now. I am also still BF, again we have discussed this as a couple and it is our rather than my decision. I try not to get into conversations on the topic because everyone has something to say when they find out that he doesn't do 7-7 in his own room. DS1 never had his own room until he was 22 months and he BF etc. He's now 14 and has no trouble going to bed alone and sleeping so it won't be permanent whatever the doom mongers say! (He's slept well since the age of about 2).

CyrilSneers Fri 04-Jan-13 18:39:33

Thought I couldn't be alone in the crap advice receiving. Didn't realise the rusks, formula and routine were such classics. Remembered two more gems of wisdom from friends whose babies 'sleep' through the night: get earplugs and turn the baby monitor off...

munchkinmaster Fri 04-Jan-13 19:29:59

That last one would work I think

The one I always get is "she's got to learn"

What she is supposed to learn, I don't know, because whenever anyone says it it is literally all they say. What is it that she has to learn, exactly?

String theory?
The names of all the pokemon?

I wish they'd tell me.

Anothercuppatea Fri 04-Jan-13 20:12:36

We've had all these too!
Let him scream for a bit
Have you tried the bath just before bed
Keep him up for ages so he's really tired - our parents generation are all convinced that that is the key!

Yep, had all of these. And if one more person tells me how Controlled Crying is the answer to every fucking problem i will kill them.

Stopped going to my local childrens centre last year after one of the support workers had me in tears because I was so exhausted and she was shouting at me because CC didn't work for us.

Nancy54 Fri 04-Jan-13 20:25:54

Yep had the lot too.

Potas, the clown confetti thing really made me laugh smile

lorisparkle Fri 04-Jan-13 20:36:59

I was told by one health visitors assistant when ds1 was only 5 weeks - just leave him to cry. a rather enlightened health visitor at 4 months suggested co-sleeping.

CyrilSneers Fri 04-Jan-13 22:10:05

Yeah, I've got one thanks Munchkin. Doesn't stop my ds being hungry unfortunately.

CyrilSneers Fri 04-Jan-13 22:14:11

Sorry Munchkin, just reread and thought you were telling me a routine would work. How defensive am I?!

KittyBreadfan Fri 04-Jan-13 22:17:16

Our dc2 isn't even a bad sleeper but whenever we mentioned that we were co sleeping we got all the "rod for your own back" comments. It was truly wonderful to tell them once we moved house and put dc2 in his own room he instantly started sleeping through the night by himself,having co slept up until a couple of weeks beforehand.
We were also "advised" by a couple of friends in their late twenties to put rusk/any biscuit in the milk. It was shocking, I thought that kind of nonsense was only spouted by the older generation! And the patronising tone.. "well what you want to do Kitty is dissolve some biscuits in the bedtime bottle. Makes it all thick so they don't wake up hungry in the night." There was a lot of nodding and smiling...

sweetkitty Fri 04-Jan-13 22:27:53

Had these all too by the time your on number four no one gives you advice anymore or your better at ignoring it.

Formula does not make any difference
Solids do not make a difference
If cosleeping they will not be sleeping with you at age 5, you will not make a rid for your own back
CIO is just horrible and only teaches babies not to cry as no one will come to them anyway

Four of mine coslept for at least a year, breastfed on demand and even on 3 meals a day plus snacks wouldn't go for longer than 3 hours at night, it's tough now when you have a bad sleeper but all 4 sleep great now in their own beds, I cannot remember the last time one woke me up, it's usually me getting them up in the morning.

Their is light at the end of the sleep deprived tunnel

KatieLily12 Fri 04-Jan-13 22:56:34

I've noticed the advice often comes with 1 or both of the following: is she good? (She's too small to find her own nose but you think she is capable of controlling her eating and sleeping. Interesting)


'Dont be one of THOSE parents' I'm still at a loss as to who 'they' are. Perhaps there's a membership badge?

changeforthebetter Fri 04-Jan-13 23:00:35

"Harden your heart" - shit advice from a health visitor. She, umm, had eczema, which required treatment. Stupid effing cow angry (I ignored her, second time mum etc, )but hate to think how many vulnerable first time mums were exposed to her crappy "advice" sad

NanoNinja Sat 05-Jan-13 07:46:41

Sort of sleep related, and a bit contentious but I really had to bite my tongue when my boss said that dummies were a bad idea because 'they get used to them'. Fine, his opinion. But he then followed this with a description of the problems he was having trying to get his seven year old to stop sucking his thumb. And I doubt he had never had a screaming 3 month old battering his breast because he wants to suck and suck and suck, but not his nipple.

Oh, and the usual keep him awake during the day. Oh, and a stunner from mil - let him scream for up to 45 minutes! That's probably my favourite so far.

Nancy54 Sat 05-Jan-13 09:54:23

haha nano, we start should t a new thread of 'annoyin things the MIL said. Mine has said so many!! The latest one is that i shouldn't take my twins out in the pushchair because of exhaust fumes.....

NanoNinja Sat 05-Jan-13 13:58:43

Oh, I haven't had that one. I did get that I should keep him inside for four months though. And that I would need to add in formula at four months because I wouldn't be able to make enough breast milk.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Sat 05-Jan-13 14:02:16

ooh, yes, i am still getting questions asking if she's still in our bed!

considering that yes, at 12.75 mo she is still waking in the night, then, no, i won't be putting her in her own bed.
i have to get up in the morning and i really don't want the hassle.

it's been bugging me recently.
why do so many people give a fuck how my baby sleeps?
wtf has it got to do with them?
it works for my family, and i'll do it until it no longer works for us.
i want an easy life, and i don't care if it doesn't fit in with what random other people believe.

Nancy54 Sat 05-Jan-13 14:06:12

haha! mine told me to keep them in for 6 months!

nickelbabylyinginamanger Sat 05-Jan-13 14:09:45

"'try offering water at night instead of milk'......yeah right, just tried it with DC3, she's now officially TOTALLY mad, instead of just slightly p'eed off.

DD is poorly at the moment, and is basically BFing all night [sigh]
I have tried to fob her off with water, but she just goes "wwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" as if i'm trying to poison her. then it takes longer to calm her down and put her on the breast than if i'd just given her what she wanted in the first place. (i only tried to fob her off because she was suckling so long my nipples were sore)

MewlingQuim Sat 05-Jan-13 14:18:33

What is it with all the 'rod for your own back' comments? Arrgh, shut up DM !

I remember 'she'll sleep through once she's on solids'


CyrilSneers Sat 05-Jan-13 18:29:48

I honestly don't know why other people are so interested in how often my baby wakes in the night! I could understand if I was moaning about being tired (which I am obviously, but try not to bang on about it too much), or if friends with young LOs themselves are asking, but it seems like the first question every Tom, Dick and Harry ask. I need a witty retort to the dreaded 'Is he good at night?' but I'm too tired to think of one

HearMyRoar Sat 05-Jan-13 19:52:56

I've got so fed up with random people asking how dd sleeps (why is it OK to ask this about a baby but if I started a conversation with them by asking if they had slept all night I would be considered mad and probably rude?) I am now brutally honest and simply say 'it's a disaster!'. This seems to surprise people so much they don't know what to say and I can change the subject sharpish grin

Signet2012 Sat 05-Jan-13 19:55:52

I just say " I don't care that she doesn't sleep through. She is only a baby!"

I find once people take it in that you don't care (it does need repeating numerous times) they shut up.

Signet2012 Sat 05-Jan-13 19:57:50

It's the "is she good?" That's get me!!she is 4 months old, What exactly can she do that's good or not good?

I normally just answer that we have had to have a few talks about manners but other than that yes. grin

Is she good ... Pah!

nickelbabylyinginamanger Sat 05-Jan-13 22:14:59

Hearmyroar -- yes! As soon as you actually say it's a problem, they don't want to know! They just want you to nod and agree

KatieLily12 Sun 06-Jan-13 03:13:26

I like using the reply 'yes and sometimes she sleeps too' when asked 'is she good?'

Zara1984 Sun 06-Jan-13 09:14:35

LOL whatever it is you're doing, nosy people want to tell you to do the opposite!

For those that are getting the (bollocks) "give them formula" advice, the crap advice runs both ways! DS is FF, MIL keeps telling me that the guaranteed way to get babies to sleep is to get them to fall asleep on the breast. WOW! Great! Thanks! Because nobody with a bf baby has any sleep issues whatsoever! Really fucking useful advice (not) given that she was staying with us at time of DS's birth and saw me struggle with bf latching issues and had to switch to formula because I was having self-harm thoughts for failing at bf. She might as well suggest I hire Angelina Jolie's nanny to do the bedtime routine FFS.

Have also heard the "he sleeps too much during the day!" bollocks too.

Zara1984 Sun 06-Jan-13 09:16:10

Also, like another poster said, my DMIL has forgotten all the problems she had with getting her kids to sleep and just simperingly says at me "I never had this problem with my children...". DFIL tells me otherwise, though!

He'll sleep if you ff. Nope. He'll sleep if you give solids. Nope. He'll sleep when he's crawling. Nope. He'll sleep when he's walking. Nope. He'll sleep if you give water not milk in the night. Nope. He'll sleep if DH goes to him not you. Nope. He's not tired enough. He's overtired. More naps. Less naps. Get out, fresh air. Keep him in, less stimulus. We hardly ever told people we coslept as the sleep judginess was magnified 20 fold. Arrrrgh.

DS woke every 2 hours until he was almost 3. DD1 woke every two hours until about 2 1/2. DD2 has just turned 2 and guess what she. does. not. sleep. I am now able to confidently say "We tried almost everything and I am under no illusion that the last thing we tried 'worked' my kids just grew out of it --now off you fuck with your advice--".

I do luff my second health visitor who said: Clever babies don't sleep. I don't believe her but could hug her for the total lack of judgement and lack of advice.

strikeout fail

HearMyRoar Sun 06-Jan-13 10:43:25

Dd is, of course , very clever. This must be the reason why she doesn't sleep. Well done sneaky! From now on I shall simply say 'well, she's terribly advanced you know' <sits back and gets to practicing her smug mummy face>

paperclips Sun 06-Jan-13 14:53:26

Nearly woke the baby laughing at these. He's just dropped off on my lap but I know he won't stay asleep.

My mum emailed me the other day to helpfully inform me the reason DS is mardy and fractious is because he's overtired. NO SHIT!

"Can you put him down when he's tired?" Ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

I just did the floppy arm test and he smiled. Nearly pissed myself.

beela Sun 06-Jan-13 15:09:53

sneakybiscuiteater I could have written your first paragraph!

However we only have one DS (2.3) and he will remain an only child unless he starts sleeping properly. Soon.

My favourite comment is from my stepfather (who has no children of his own), who always says 'well he's been running around all afternoon so he'll sleep well tonight' erm... actually no, he probably won't, he runs around all day every day and still doesn't sleep, but you would know that if you ever listened to me (sorry, another thread altogether!).

DreamingOfAWhiteChristmas Sun 06-Jan-13 15:21:26

Oh yes yes yes! To the ff, routine, putting down awake, not feeding, water at night comments.

I always admit its a total disaster here, though tbh I'm being driven to the edge by my non sleeping 9 month old dts (& I have DD 2.3) .

Co sleeping isn't/doesn't work for me though as mine are both light sleepers.

Can I add the really piss annoying twin ones?

-'they don't disturb each other' Mine do, they really do, please do come and help witness this if you don't believe me

-they must sleep better in the same place as its what they were used to in the womb' no, no they don't, eye gauging and general mauling each other doesn't help them sleep

-oh goodness, I'm glad I.don't have twins, ones bad enough . Why thank you, most helpful and lovely comment fuck off, fuck off, fuck off!

'I has twins and they were easier than my singleton' well mine aren't and now I feel like a twin mummy failure too, cheers...

munchkinmaster Sun 06-Jan-13 15:31:16

When my mother does the 'i never had a baby who cried, woke, left any dinner etc' speech my dad does occasionally mutter 'well maybe the first one....'

Aside from the blatant lying rose tinting effects of time. I do think that we may have slept better as babies as we were swaddled up in blankets in an ungodly heat, placed on our fronts etc. you are also not likely to recall babies gaving 20 min naps if you parked them 20ft down the garden. Products like infacol used to have alcohol in them too. So maybe thirty years ago babies did have less sleep problems - doesn't mean thing were better though.

paperclips Sun 06-Jan-13 17:30:50

Munchkinmaster- you are so right about what our parents say, both about the rose tinted effects and the things they did 30 odd years ago.

My mum is always telling me DS must not be warm enough, even though its over 20 degrees in here and he's well wrapped up.

And as for sleep fighting/ high needs babies being clever, I liked that until I realised I was the opposite, a very easy, sleepy baby.

munchkinmaster Sun 06-Jan-13 22:26:47

By the non sleeping = clever reasoning I've got mini fecking Sheldon Cooper next door checking her watch for her next scheduled wake up.

CyrilSneers Mon 07-Jan-13 08:54:30

grin munchkin

noblegiraffe Mon 07-Jan-13 09:08:01

'have you tried this singing seahorse?'
Ok, now he's awake and playing with the singing seahorse.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Mon 07-Jan-13 12:47:44

talking of sleep.
you know how you know they're asleep when they've fallen off your nipple? well, DD had just done this - except a tiny weeny bit of her mouth was still touching the nipple. (ow) so I pulled that last bit out of her mouth.
now she's fully awake and screaming. bad mummy.

ipswichwitch Tue 08-Jan-13 21:33:07

Oh yes. I had the "is he good?" one.
Replied with "we'll he's not quite ready for pinching cars and mugging old ladies yet, so yeah I suppose he is rather good"

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