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To be wary of the sleep clinic?

(21 Posts)
SuiGeneris Sat 27-Apr-13 20:14:30

DS, 12 months, has only slept 4 hours in a row 3-4 times in his life. Normally I feed him to sleep around 7.30, he wakes at 9 (10 if we are lucky) and from then on every 1.5 hours until the morning. I feed him back to sleep and he mostly sleeps in our bed.

At the 1-year-review the health visitor was horrified and has offered to put me in touch with some HVs wo have just done the Millpond Sleep course. I said yes but today I have looked up the clinic's website and seen that they seem to be anti-cosleeping and have many case studies that talk of babies being left to cry for 30 minutes.

WIBU not to chase the referral to the sleep HV or would I be denying DS the chance of learning to sleep better?

I've read the Millpond sleep book and it didn't seem CIO- based. It didn't really help much either though, as I wanted better sleep but I wasn't going to do any sort of CIO, or stop BF. So I just put up with it till he grew out of it mainly. I sort of started co-sleeping at around 12-13m and got more sleep that way.

CreatureRetorts Sat 27-Apr-13 20:17:43

Have you ruled out anything like reflux or tongue tie?

It's not good for you or him to have such broken sleep so I wouldn't rule it out. You can at least see what they've got to say?

OHforDUCKScake Sat 27-Apr-13 20:17:51

Speaking as a moth of a 23 month old who wakes hourly, and a son who has only just started sleeping through at 6 yo.
One I used cry-it-out with, the other AP and co-sleeping, I would totally avoid this 'sleep train clinic'.

I would be exploring other options. Like, intolerances for example? Are his poos green, mucousy, or acidic smelling? Does he have lines under his bottom eye lid?

If no to both these things then Id be inclined to just wait it out, if hes otherwise healthy.

So I would see what they suggest, and if you don't like it, don't do it <profound> grin

lucidlady Sat 27-Apr-13 20:25:14

What's the significance of lines under the eyelid ohforDUCKS?

DeputyDeputyChiefOfStaff Sat 27-Apr-13 20:34:01

Of course it's totally up to you, and it sounds as if you we're happy with the situation until the HV mentioned it. If you're happy co-sleeping and bf to sleep then IMO there's nothing wrong with that (it's what I've done with my children, and still do with the youngest). It is after all what children around the world do every night!

I don't know specifically about Millpond but I know people who've used sleep clinics and they all seem to involve some variation on leaving the child to cry. If you're not happy with that and you want to change your current set up, The No Cry Sleep Solution might be worth a look. It doesn't offer instant solutions but it is very gentle, and you create your own plan to suit you and your baby.

DeputyDeputyChiefOfStaff Sat 27-Apr-13 20:35:25

Grr at autocorrect - were and not we're in the first line blush

neolara Sat 27-Apr-13 20:36:54

I would go along and have a chat. You don't have to do what they suggest but they might have some helpful ideas.

Cloverer Sat 27-Apr-13 20:39:49

I would have thought the feeding to sleep is the issue? He is reliant on a boob to get to sleep and so needs to be fed back to sleep every time he moves between sleep cycles. You shouldn't need to do CIO to fix that.

nethunsreject Sat 27-Apr-13 20:39:52

If you're ok and your kid is ok, then everything is fine! It's not really your hv 's business unless you have specifically asked for help. Fwiw, your wee one sounds well within the range of normal to me.

EauRouge Sat 27-Apr-13 20:40:30

Have you had a look at Isis online? can't link as I'm on my phone but it's easy to find on Google and you might find it helpful.

Sizzlesthedog Sat 27-Apr-13 20:47:48

I used Millpond. They do not agree with cc. At no point did we cc in the sleep training.

SuiGeneris Sat 27-Apr-13 21:53:08

Sissles: that is very interesting. Was there no crying then? Both DH and I are great softies and cannot bear the thought of letting DS cry.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sat 27-Apr-13 22:03:50

I think it round he worth ruling out medical issues to start with, I think his waking Seems extreme although many will disagree and say its normal for a baby to feed that much at night and sleep so little.

You don't have to do anything they say its always going to be up to you. So nothing to loose by going for a chat at least.

If you think you can do it without ANY form of crying well I think that's not going to happen but obviously there's a difference between giving a few mins to settle and leaving for hours.

I think you owe yourselves and your son the chance to try for an improvement at least and the chance to sleep on his own without relying on the boob as maybe at 12 months that seems ok but if it carries on then the feeding at night could inhibit eating during the day and lead to health issues.

Cloverer Sat 27-Apr-13 22:09:26

Agree that if you want to change sleep habits from something the child wants to do (feed to sleep) to something you want to do, there almost certainly will be crying. You don't have to leave them alone to cry though.

If you are happy feeding back to sleep every time though, there is no reason to change things. Sometimes children do grow out of it themselves in toddlerhood.

SuiGeneris Sat 27-Apr-13 22:25:38

Eaurouge: thank you for the tip re ISIS online: I love it and it has reinforced my and DH's convinction not to force matters. I also like that it highlights that babies who do not cry might not necessarily be content: I have always hated the word "settle" (as in"leave DS alone to settle") and the article helped me articulate why I am so uncomfortable with it.

I am on the phone so cannot scroll up but I do not think feeding to sleep is the issue: DS(2) goes to sleep without the breast during the day and DS1 (now 3) was breastfed to sleep until 23 months and slept 4-5 hours in a row at 2 weeks.

To the person who mentioned AP: we do it too, have done it with both kids. Frankly did not realise there was another way (both sets of grandparents must have done AP before Dr Sears wrote his book) until somebody lent us Gina Ford/Tracey baby whisperer etc. We were very surprised to find ourselves at the "hippy" end of the spectrum (though I was quite pleased too).

DS did have severe reflux as a small baby, so he needed to be help upright for an hour after each feed and feeds were short and frequent. Going in the cot almost always resulted in vomit, so he has almost always slept in my arms. I love watching his sleeping face, snuggling up together and seeing him wake up and smile when he sees me. Unfortunately I am also very very tired- which is probably why the kind HV suggested the sleep colleagues...

WeavingLoom Sat 27-Apr-13 22:44:13

We used Millpond when DS1 was 20 months, and I was expecting DS2. I had been getting DS to fall asleep next to me in bed and then moving him to his cot once asleep, and repeating this several times a night. Like you, I was very reluctant to do any sort of controlled crying but was becoming increasingly exhausted and realised it would be very difficult to carry on in this way when DS2 arrived.

I found Millpond, and the regular phone contact they offer, really helpful and reassuring, and you can take it at your own pace. For me I needed someone to keep pushing me to make a change as I was very reluctant, even though I knew I had to do something about it.

After weeks of making very small steps such as moving further away from him on our bed, I took the plunge and put him down in his cot rather than in our bed first. We had three nights of initial crying, which was really really tough but didn't last a hugely long time, and the fourth night he said 'cot', pointed at the cot and I lay him down without any protest whatsoever! 6 months on he will sleep most nights 10 hours in his cot without us going into him at all which I thought would never happen.

I wouldn't have felt able to leave him to cry but somehow being in the same room didn't seem as bad and it really was only for 3 nights.

I would say there's no harm talking to Millpond, I found them to be gentle and they didn't push me to do anything I didn't feel comfortable with. However if you are happy with your current arrangement then don't worry about what the HV thinks, you can make any changes as and when it feels right for you.

StealthToddler Sat 27-Apr-13 22:48:42

We used millpond for ds2 who was very similar. Millpond will support you in the strategies you are comfortable with and for me that was not CIO.

GadaboutTheGreat Sat 27-Apr-13 22:58:24

We used Millpond for DD when she was 17 months and I was in first trimester with DS. Saved my sanity smile
The consultant really advised me to do cc (I was at my tethers end) but I'm anti cc so we did Gradual Retreat instead (moving further from the bed every few days).

Tbh I don't think you'd need to go to Millpond, just google the technique. It's much more gentle, minimal crying. smile

EauRouge Sun 28-Apr-13 07:18:08

Glad you find ISIS helpful.

You won't be denying your DS anything if you don't go to the sleep clinic. Children do not need to 'learn' to sleep, they do it naturally. There's a wide spectrum of what is normal and I think in our culture it's been forgotten.

As others have said, if you are happy with the way things are then you don't need to change anything. You don't have to alter your parenting methods or do anything you don't feel comfortable with. You might change your mind in a few months, you might not- but don't feel you have to do anything right now.

BTW it's normal for adults to wake up several times a night too, it's just that we go right back to sleep and rarely remember it.

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