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Getting 10 week old to sleep...

(47 Posts)
ImogensMumJess Mon 29-Oct-12 16:43:36

My beautiful daughter will only fall asleep on me breastfeeding her at night. As much as I love the cuddles, it's hard work for me, I'm knackered and her dad then doesn't and can't get involved. He has encouraged me to express, but when I have, she has drunk it in seconds and still wanted boob after.

I've read that controlled crying shouldn't be done till they are about 6 months, and it seems so harsh, I can't bare to hear her cry knowing a cuddle can sooth it! Do I just need to grow some balls?!!!

It generally takes about 2 hours to feed her and get her into a deep sleep where I can put her down in her cot and not wake her up...

Any advice appreciated!!!

Fairylea Mon 29-Oct-12 16:49:57

Noooooo much too young for controlled crying! 6 months minimum !!

Basically sorry to say this but it's all normal at this stage.. they feed, suck, sleep, poop and cry and that's about it. And then they cry a bit more.

If you were formula feeding I'd suggest a dummy (worked wonders for ds) and swaddling.. but I'm not sure about dummy use while breastfeeding. Maybe someone else can advise...

I am sorry.. I do know how awful it is. Ds is now 4 months and was Velcro baby in the beginning. I also have dd aged 9 years though so I am lucky to know that it does pass.. eventually !

J4D3 Mon 29-Oct-12 17:09:53

I wouldn't attempt controlled crying, she needs milk and comfort to sleep and there's nothing wrong with that. My DD is 15 wo and still needs to nurse to sleep.

I did find that taking her upstairs in a dark room, swaddling her tightly made her fall asleep quicker. It was also much easier to put her down after the feed and her not waking up. I think swaddling stops her flapping arms and legs when she's put down. I've also noticed she's in a much deeper sleep when swaddled.

mummysmellsofsick Mon 29-Oct-12 20:09:49

No don't let her cry. Love her and cuddle her and learn to feed her lying down if you haven't already. Your dp can do lots of other things and enjoy being her favourite person while it lasts. It's knackering but it does pass. My DS only wants daddy now but I loved being the centre of his life while he was ebf

easytiger12 Mon 29-Oct-12 20:27:50

I know that at 10 weeks old it seems really early to let her cry, and in principle I totally agree! However, I too have a 10 week old DD and a 15 month old DS so early on found myself in situations where I HAD to leave DD crying during the day whilst I dealt with DS .... I hated it but usually found that within a few minutes she'd dropped off to sleep!

So now, at night, if she does start to cry when I put her down after a feed, I will leave her for a bit and 90% of the time she will drift off to sleep. I time 5 minutes and always pick her up if she still hasn't settled after that amount of time. Try it.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 29-Oct-12 21:37:45

It is hard but is totally normal. She has spent 9 months tucked up inside you, all warm and snuggled up, it's only natural that she wants that now toosmile.

The fact that she wanted you after the Ebm is perfectly normal too. Bfing is about warmth, comfort as well as food. If she is with you she is much more likely to survive and thrive, so she's a clever little girl.

If DH wants to help, could he do the baths, nappies and cooking when he is home? Would putting dd in bed with you and going to bed early help with your sleep deprivation?

If you do want her in the Moses basket, could DH do some of the cuddling? Have you tried warming the Moses basket before you put her in, putting one of Dhs used thirst in there, swaddling and white noise?

Can't do links at the moment but try googling askdrsears 31 ways to get your baby to sleep, I think it may help and is much better than CC.

Rhubarbgarden Mon 29-Oct-12 22:34:52

I second what Easytiger says. Let her cry for five minutes. It'll feel like an age, but time it and you'll see how short it is. Mine would usually fall asleep within this time; they'd ratchet up and up and up, and then quite suddenly pass out. Second babies usually have to wait a few minutes for their cries to be answered as you can't always drop everything for them - you might be wiping a toddler's bum or something; and they are often much better sleepers because of it. You could also try the shush-pat technique (google it) which can be very effective.

I personally think it's kinder to let a small baby cry for a few minutes to let them learn to self soothe, than to suddenly do controlled crying on a nine month old by which time they are much more aware of what you are doing and when they can cry for hours.

noseynoonoo Mon 29-Oct-12 22:46:51

At the moment, your baby needs you, and your warmth, and the sound of you. To be honest, apart from milk she could get the rest from your DH sp perhaps he could help afterall.

Controlled crying / shush-pat etc doesn't help babies self-soothe. What it does is show babies that you are not going to come. Initially they scream the house down, and get really worked up and it's exhausting for them. Finally they realise that you are not going to come whether they scream or not so they stop screaming. They may well be quiet but it doesn't mean that they are asleep. Often this approach leads to insecruity that presents itself some months later.

Do you have a BabyCalm teacher near you? They do a colic and crying workshop that could be handy.

In the meantime, remember that 'this too will pass'. Just enjoy the snuggles for now and help her to understand that you are always there for her. She'll feel more secure and perhaps not wake you so often because she has learned that you're there for her if she needs you.

Rhubarbgarden Mon 29-Oct-12 22:53:46

How does shush-pat show a baby you are not going to come?? You are right there, shushing and patting! hmm

Letting a small baby cry for a few minutes is not the same as abandoning them to exhaustion. And I can testify that my babies were not just quiet, they were sound asleep. It's not like you don't check them every few minutes!

noseynoonoo Tue 30-Oct-12 13:58:39

A baby wants you to come to it, pick it up so it can hear you, smell you etc.

The baby doesn't get that when you shush-pat - it gets to be near you but you don't respond in a way that keeps them feeling secure.

Obviously it is much much kinder than pure controlled crying but there is still a detachment involved.

ZuleikaD Tue 30-Oct-12 15:08:30

Shush-pat is almost worse in a way because you're close by but still denying them what they really need - physical contact.

ImogensMumJess Tue 30-Oct-12 18:49:26

Thanks for your advice and answers mums! I am just letting her go with what is coming naturally at the moment, I have put her down a couple of times when she is really sleepy but awake and she has slept.
Swaddling isn't really an option - she is a wriggler and likes to sleep with her arms up by her head, like me! grin
In the middle of the night, she feeds in the dark then sleeps so I'm happy with how that's going.
Boyf does stuff at home, cooking and cleaning etc so is pulling his weight, he just feels that I'm the only one that can sooth her at the mo.

It's all a massive learning curve!! blushsmile

easytiger12 Tue 30-Oct-12 19:03:06

I would never leave my child to "scream the house down" to the point of exhaustion! I'm talking about giving them a few minutes as quite often they are crying BECAUSE they are tired and the tiredness will take over and they'll drop off. This is something I've only 'discovered' since having two quite simply because sometimes I CAN'T pick up the baby.

I used shush-pat with DS who's now 16 months old. I started to use it when he was about 3 months old. By the time he was 4/5 months he would happily be put down wide awake .... we'd listen to him cooing and singing for few minutes before he dropped off to sleep. This continues today - he lies there in the dark babbling away to his teddy and giggling before nodding off. In the last year I reckon we've had problems getting him to sleep either at bedtime or after a feed (when he was still having night feeds) maybe 3 times. Honestly. Even when teething or suffering with a cold or something.

Rhubarbgarden Tue 30-Oct-12 20:44:58

Shush-pat is magic. Saying you are denying them the physical contact they want is total rubbish - you are in physical contact and they find it instantly soothing. When I used it with ds he would go from full pelt scream to silent within seconds, then very quickly his eyelids would start drooping and he would nod off. I'd keep up the shushing and patting more softly for another 10 mins then I could walk away leaving him deeply asleep. It didn't take long to move from that to being able to put him down wide awake and he would contentedly furtle around and go to sleep by himself, just as Easytiger describes. It definitely helped that his bedtime routine was identical every night - bath, milk, bed at exactly the same time each evening with exactly the same cues.

The only annoyance was that dh couldn't help out with shush pat because he's very tall and he claimed bending over the cot hurt his back. hmm

ThePinkNinja Tue 30-Oct-12 20:53:35

I'm with most of the others, please don't let your baby cry to sleep at this age.

Needing mummy is what it's all about at this age.... I know how you're feeling tho, and I was ready to help ds1 learn to sleep by that age too. At about 4 months we did pick up / put down (similar to shush pat I think) just google it. It worked for us, and it has options for as baby gets older (ie instead of picking up after age1 you just out down andk later it moves to something called "walk in walk out") at any rate, we never left ds1 to cry (read the book why love matters for more info re controlled crying etc), and although it was v v hard work, it was worth it knowing we've always been there for him, and he has never been left to cry. Totally accept though that different things work for other families.

When I was desperado for ds1 to start learning I read dr sears/ baby whisperer/ anothe no cry sleep solution. I made my own plan from these dong what I felt was right For ds1. The main things for us were:
Being there to support him to sleep
Not offering stimulation (ie no eye contact , lights off, quiet voices etc)
Being consistent and believing that eventually he would go to sleep.
Shushing
Pats
Pick up when crying, place into cot when settled but awake. Repeat until baby settles.... (for the first week this took HOURS on occasion and we ate tea inthebedroom taking turns picking ds1 up and putting him down) after 10 days ds1 was happy to go into cot and generally would go in awake and go to sleep.... (it's about teaching that the cot is a safe and happy place).

Anyway private message me if you want more.... I thought I was going to go out of my mind (ds1 didn't sleep, screamed from colic and reflux and breasted night and day like a fiend), so I know where you're at. Put some time in at this age to decide what sleep solution is for your family, as you'll need to stick with it as time goes on ....

Ive rambled. And my brain isn't working (sleep deprivation as ds2 is 6 weeks old!) hope it helps some x

easytiger12 Tue 30-Oct-12 21:24:05

I am not suggesting you leave a distressed child to "scream the house down" or "cry themselves to sleep". I am suggesting that you give them a few minutes to settle themselves, and failing that, comfort them through patting/stroking rather than allowing them to get into the habit of being cuddled/rocked/fed to sleep which is no good for anybody - including them.

In the long run, your child will have more and better-quality sleep, making them happier and healthier. So will you, making you a more patient, fun and relaxed mummy.

Iggly Tue 30-Oct-12 21:37:42

I have two and didn't leave dd to cry herself to sleep (she's the younger). Mainly because she was hard to settle because she has reflux so would be uncomfy. I used a sling to carry her or held her with me while doing DS's bedtime. Ds was around 2 when she arrived though.

Even when ds was smaller, I didn't leave him to cry either (reflux again).

But ds learned to self settle (which is what this is about, right?) when older and dd is on her way to learning (she's 11 months) without any CC. It'll come naturally when they're ready.

Rhubarbgarden Tue 30-Oct-12 21:55:37

It doesn't always come naturally, though, does it? I know plenty of two and three year olds who have difficulty going to bed or who can't get back to sleep when they wake up in the night without summoning mum or dad. These boards are full of desperate parents asking how they can get older children to learn to go to sleep.

ZuleikaD Wed 31-Oct-12 05:45:04

Actually, tiger, being rocked to sleep is extremely good for babies - it's a myth that it's somehow a parenting 'fail'. We and babies have evolved to rock and be rocked because it's exactly the right thing to do for best brain development. It's why it's so instinctive - for us to do it and babies to need it. Any author who claims that rocking babies to sleep is the wrong thing to do doesn't know their onions.

Iggly Wed 31-Oct-12 06:26:50

Er that's normal for 2-3 year olds too. They start having nightmares etc at that age, fear of the dark sets in so even when they can self settle, they want mummy or daddy.

You don't see any 15 years olds having the same issue.

Iggly Wed 31-Oct-12 06:31:48

Do you have/had a toddler rhubarb? I'm willing to bet if you don't that your baby will, when he/she is older will need your help settling at some point again.

Violet77 Wed 31-Oct-12 06:40:02

I always fed mine to sleep, lovely way to drop off to sleep :-)
Babies need love, food etc it's all so natural, normal.

It will pass, babies are hard work.

neontetra Wed 31-Oct-12 07:11:24

This feeding for a long time before sleep will help ensure she is full, so that she wakes less often at night, and/or is easier to settle when she does wake. Or so I am told. Therefore, in my opinion, it is a good and natural thing. My six month old dd often still bfs to sleep - I have no problem with this. I lie on the sofa and bf in front of the telly, and thereby avoid the washing up!

broodylicious Wed 31-Oct-12 08:16:26

I have a 7 month old dd and i feed her to sleep often. When we know she's full but won't drop off, or wakes quickly from being put down, DH sees to her and rocks her to sleep. We do not see any harm in this because we want her to feel loved, secure and that she can trust us to always be there for her. We put her down when she's drowsy so she knows she's in her cot and if she starts to squirm or wriggle, we hold her hand and shush. It's easier when she's on her back as we can put our other hand on her tummy but as she's got silent reflux, she prefers sleeping on her front. When she was on her back, we taught her to suck her fingers as a self soothe method and that worked really well for us - if you're pro dummy, I'm sure that would work just as good.

We never have and never would do CC/CIO regardless of age - the stress hormone that is released when baby cries stays in their system for five hours...who wants their little bundles to still be stressed five hours down the line? Not us. My parents and sister think that us not doing cc/CIO is making life difficult for ourselves because Poppy depends on us and can manipulate us. Our response? We're her parents! It's in our job description to be there for her! If all she wants is a cuddle to get her back to sleep at 3am, we are not going to be cross - yes it's tiring but isn't being a parent about unconditional love?

However, each to their own; parenting is incredibly personal and everyone has their own ideas about how to raise a child. You need to do what works for you. Only thing I'd advise, as someone else has said, is that you choose a solution now and stick with it/refine it for you ASAP - sleep regression, separation anxiety and teething will throw all kinds of spanners in the works but if you've got a plan nailed now, life will be much easier in the long run.

Good luck! smile

Rhubarbgarden Wed 31-Oct-12 23:04:58

Yes I do have a toddler, Iggly. She is an excellent sleeper. Of course she sometimes has nightmares and needs comforting. I don't expect her to deal with those on her own. But that's not the same thing as learning to self settle as a normal day to day thing. We taught her to do that when she was tiny, through shushing, head stroking, etc etc etc and she has been a very good sleeper ever since. She loves going to bed.

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