To spend hundreds on a 'gentle' sleep trainer?(44 Posts)
Our baby is four months old and for the past seven weeks she will not sleep.
It's not the usual 'wakes every hour,' it's literally not sleeping in the first place. We have tried almost everything, we're now sleeping in shifts at the weekend with my husband doing 8-12 and 6-8 in the week so I get a few hours to enable me to function.
We've tried all the advise, bought all the sleep books, she has a bedtime routine, I kill myself to get her to nap three times a day which also doesn't really help, she's too young to do controlled crying .... I've been reading sarah ockwell smiths gentle sleep book and see she also does personal advise.
We don't really have the money but if it worked it would be worth it.
Has anyone used a 'gentle' sleep trainer? Would it help? I feel at this point just having someone tell us what to do would help, the baby is barely getting 6 hours of sleep over 24 hours and almost all of that is under an hour. It's not working for any of us.
Stop doing force nap listen to baby let her sleep when she wants .
Does she sleep on you? Is she breastfed and able to safely cosleep? Have you seen the HV/GP?
We don't force her to nap, we walk her at set times until she falls asleep. Without those, she genuinely won't sleep at all all day- she can go six, seven hours without a nap and then she really does get overtired but she can't fall asleep without help.
She will fall asleep feeding and sleep for longer being held, but even co-sleeping doesn't work and it's too dangerous to fall asleep holding her.
GP, HV etc have described her as an outlier but basically said as she doesn't seem distressed and is gaining weight well it may just be she needs less sleep/doesn't seem to be harming her and hopefully she'll grow out of it. Was given some sleep hygiene advice but we were following it all already.
Is she bottle fed? If so and you have anyone who could look after her for a couple of nights (maybe in your house while you sleep elsewhere and come back during the day) it might give you a chance to catch up on sleep. Being well rested might make it easier for you to find a way past the problem /work out what is going wrong
Have you tried white noise? I have a MyHummy bear which produces white noise for as long as you want. My 20 week old has slept much better since having this. I did also try Ewan the dream sheep, which is cheaper, but I preferred the MyHummy as it connects to my phone and comes on by itself in the night when my DS makes any noise.
Exclusively breast fed, I keep meaning to express but the few times we've done it she's either rejected the bottle or demanded another feed straight after and got super hyper. Mostly I feel I can't express on my own with her as it takes me at least 45 min and she usually needs attention and if someone else is watching her right now I want to use that time to nap/shower/do essential laundry. Should focus more time on expressing.
I do feel we're too tired to come up with a proper plan - hence the idea of paying someone to do it for us! She's wonderful and happy but there's just so little sleep.
When she was smaller she would go down in co sleeper cot no problem, she just suddenly regressed around Christmas and I prepared for it being the four month sleep regression early- she was two weeks overdue so that didn't seem crazy - but it's been two months since then and if anything it's getting worse. Until recently she'd eventually go down in the co sleeper for a couple of hours, last week nothing unless she's held. I know we're creating negative sleep associations at this point but all the 'right' things to do weren't working and now it's just about not getting so tired we can't care for her. I stopped driving a week or so ago as I genuinely don't think I'm safe on the road.
White noise doesn't seem to do anything- sorry I don't mean to sound like I'm shooting down suggestions. I know some combination of things must work, I don't think I have some unique baby but everything we've tried hasn't.
Swaddled, and lights and music/lullabies player
If you can't afford it then don't put yourself into financial difficulty hiring a sleep trainer.
All the sleep trainer will do is set a routine and put it into action while you get some rest. Is there a good friend or family member that could play that role for a couple of days/nights - perhaps someone with older children?
It won't work without ground rules though - you will need to back off and let that person be in control.
You can sleep train too, according to baby centre
Have a look at The Children's Sleep Charity - lots of help and advice on there.
Have you tried formula? Does she have a dummy?
I'm sorry OP, it sounds really difficult.
A sleep trainer will look at your set up, give you a schedule and coach you in the sleep training techniques. If they are described as gentle they will probably look at something like "shush pat" and gradual retreat. Maybe pick up put down.
They probably will say to make sure the room is very dark, and to try the technique for 45 minutes then an hour awake and then try again until it works in the day, and just keep trying at night until baby is asleep.
You might find value in having them there for support and to give you the conviction to stick to the schedule but they won't necessarily come up with anything groundbreaking. They would have a lot of experience though and might spot something in your routine or set up that can be changed to make a big difference.
I know of this from friends that have used sleep trainers but decided it's not for us. Our's was a terrible sleeper and although I started putting her down drowsy but awake and just comforted and distracted her so she didn't get upset and got used to going to sleep in her cot (previously rocked to sleep) we've never done any sleep training and it eventually got better. Baby was getting quite a bit more sleep than your's though and was just the up every 45 minute variety, your situation sounds very difficult to sustain.
I think I might take her to GP again if it continues to rule things out like reflux, maybe ask for a second opinion.
Have you tried a fabric sling? It was my saviour when DS was a bit smaller, and gave me my hands back to do laundry, Hoover, make a sandwich etc. He really likes it. As time goes on I can now hold him tightly and replicate the movement of the song and he'll usually go off in about five to ten minutes and sometimes I can even put him in his crib during the day! He is mainly sleeping in his crib at night too now in 3-5 hour chunks mostly, sometimes comes in with me if he is unsettled. I didn't think it would happen and people told me using a sling would 'make a rod for my own back', it hasn't.
If you can afford the trainer it can't hurt, but don't stretch yourself
When you're sleep deprived it's hard to focus on anything except how to get more sleep. But you're doing it, you're surviving and it won't be forever! You've got this.
I think spending £100s on sleep training is madness if you can't afford it. If you can comfortably afford it then go ahead but I'm cynical and imagine it would be full of lots of things you've already tried. Though because you've paid £££ for it you'll persevere and baby will naturally start to sleep better. But that's only my opinion.
My DC has always seemed to need less sleep than the 'recommended' hours. I stopped trying to do day time naps and if DC fell asleep on me I'd let them have 20 mins put them down and if they woke up so be it. This meant they had a lot less daytime sleep so slept better at night time. Would this be an option for you? Dropping a walk so therefore dropping a nap?
In the mean time
Look for a page on facebook/ twitter called "childcare is fun" an amazing lady called Fi ( star stone) runs a parenting advice service and helps many people including celebrities, she also has a fab book out. Her services are free she can definitely help with sleeping issues and her techniques are kind and gentle and best of all successful x
They go through a sleep regression around this time. No expert can fix that. Fwiw a friend used a gentle sleep trainer and, having overheard the advice, it was such basic, obvious stuff that I was astonished that a) my friend needed to be told it and b) there was someone charging £300 a go to rehash the same script.
Won't take a dummy. Is rolling so don't think we're allowed swaddle anymore.
Have tried music as part of wind down routine but not through the night. Have a special stupidly expensive night light with no blue light that is only on dimly during the night.
I realise I wasn't clear, he would sleep in minutes once in the sling even if really overtired, screaming, and nothing else worked for hours
I’m currently working with a sleep consultant and it is so so so worth it. Everyone can give all the advice in the world but unless they can work with you during every nap and night time sleep it’s bit going to help. Your baby is in a vicious cycle of being overtired and with negative sleep associations, you’re exhausted too, you need help to get back on track, but you need to find the right help for you, do your research and read as many reviews as you csn first
I think if she is literally getting six hours in 24 then you should press to see another GP, as that is so far outside the norm that I'd want to rule out medical issues. I suspect the GP didn't believe it was that little and thought you were exaggerating/lost perspective so writing down the times might be helpful.
I think this baby is too young for intervention.
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