The CC debate (part two!)(30 Posts)
Hello again! <waves> Thanks once more for the last thread. Lots of experience to draw from.
Demand feeding, co-sleeping and bf-ing definitely go together. If a mother is alright with this combination and not totally sleep deprived by it, then I find this way easier and more natural than dummies, expressing, trying to boost supply and shoehorn baby into longer stretches between feeds and bigger feeds - something the baby will do in their own time anyway. Different strokes, eh?
The research out there is how you want to interpret it and believe, if that sort of thing is important to you.
I think a lot depends on how your baby is when it is born re what kind of feeder it is going to be. Mine always went a while between feeds and only ever fed for 10 mins-ish so that was the pattern we followed. If they'd demanded more often I would have fed them more often I suppose.
Especially with your first baby, cos you have to just go with it.
Hi again girls,
Blueshoes: what you say is exactly what I thought so far- i.e. co-sleeping, demand feeding & breastfeeding go together. In fact, that's what we did for 4 months, leading in our case (unfortunately) to horrible sleepless nights & days where our baby would go for hours & hours without feeding, making up in the night. I'm sure others find this acceptable or normal, but in our case the situation was getting unlivable. We weren't enjoying the co-sleeping, nor the breastfeeding, & were just obsessed with getting more sleep! Plus, we interpreted our problem as a 'dummmy' problem, when in fact with a few mild 'techniques' (yes, expressing & trying to boost supply in the day) we've already got our boy down to one feed per night, and I feel completely restored, & am enjoying time with my boy much much more. As I said, I realize that for many people things don't go this way; either (as Neenz says) babies go longer between feeds naturally, & take bigger amounts, or some babies regardless of demand feeding sleep well at night. Also, I realize some parents think it's fine to breastfeed all through the night. But yes, different strokes. I'm just explaining my experience because I think it may be useful for others who may be on the road to considering sleep training when in fact some very simple measures of structuring feeding/sleeping may resolve their problem!
I also realize that many people wouldn't accept expressing & giving EBM in top-up bottles. I know for a fact many people think those kind of practices harm breastfeeding. In my case (again, I think my experience may be useful to some) these practices have actually INCREASED my milk supply, in only a few short days. I'm sure the extra sleep is also doing no harm . Finally, I firmly believe that at 4-5 months using bottles as top-ups, just to make sure the baby is getting enough to eat during the day, is fine; I don't believe nipple confusion can happen at this point. So again, different strokes... I'm sure many would disagree, but it's working beautifully in our case, & incredibly, our boy seems more & more indifferent towards his dummy!!
Good for you Maria2007. Extra sleep makes a big difference to baby's happiness too.
<lugs self full of roasted nuts, posh cheese and clementines over to new thread>
Maria and blueshoes - so its just a matter of faith then - the cosleeping/demand feeding/ approach is something that people embark on out of a belief that its best for the baby (and fair enough if thats what you think).
Then all the things that I would see as not as good for the family as a whole that can come from that are explained away as being natural. Therefore its not to be questioned even if you're dogtired and its not really working out because its optimal for the babies emotional development?
I wonder how many people would be as brave and openminded as Maria and change their views (or maybe not their views but their practice) when it doesnt turn out the way that they thought - and well done for doing that btw. I know a few people who have gone the other way.
we didnt express btw but we did top up with the milk in shells from the other breast when feeding if you see what I mean - wee collected it during the day and then fed it in the evening after the bedtime feed. Now we use it for porridge in the morning as well.
I always expressed before feeds in the mornings and gave ebm in the evenings and before bed and it worked for us. Maria, what you have done is basically Gina Ford - I think she talks a lot of sense. It would be very difficult to stick rigidly to her routine but you don;t have to - the theory is enough to give you enough hints and tip about how to look after your baby in the day in order to sleep more at night. I'm so glad things have improved so much!
FWIW, I think that if you are breastfeeding on demand and co-sleeping but also giving a dummy, then you just can't expect it all to come together. The dummy necessarily interferes with the whole "getting in tune" with your baby. So I wouldn't consider any experience/experiment of this type as telling one anything at all about how to successfully breastfeed on demand and co-sleep.
Ah, Christmas! And a new thread, very nice.
Just finished reading the rest of the previous thread
and was delighted to see Maria's update - I am so pleased
your son is back on track, what a wonderful Christmas present that must be!!
At the same Maria's lo has been a great case study for
when sleep training in general and CC in particular is NOT appropriate.
I do agree with the CC sceptics that there are still too many people
who suggest 'let him cry' too readily.
Controlled Crying is not some kind of sleep panacea but is recommended
in very specific circumstances:
If you are not happy that your child can only fall asleep using you
as a prop then CC can be way of teaching self-settling.
However, before embarking on sleep training you need to be confident
that everything else - health, feeding - is ok.
And, yes, it would help if you could tell the difference between
protest crying (that turns into settling crying) and terrified crying
(that turns into full-blown hysteria).
If you are a parent who is pressured to do CC use the above arguments
to get the knobs off your back, e.g. tell them that whenever you let lo cry
he completely wakes up and cries for hours instead of drifting off after a while..
That's not a lie btw. We observed that with our dd during the unsuccessful attempts at CC.
Hi everyone again, and merry christmas to all.
Just a little point: Anna, with respect I have to disagree with what you've written. I actually think what you're suggesting very problematic- i.e., if I understand correctly, that co-sleeping & breastfeeding have to exist in some kind of 'perfect, ideal' setting where things like dummies don't exist. Well, here's a little story. When my baby was newborn, and until he was 6 weeks, he would only- ONLY- settle to sleep with his mouth attached to my breasts. When I made a movement- any movement- he would wake up screaming. This led to me being absolutely exhausted (not unusual I suppose for new mums) but more importantly, it led to my boy being irritable with all this completely fragmented sleep. This boob-in-mouth / mummy-moving / DS & mummy waking up situation went on & on for hours each evening, & for every nap time. Apart from the fact that I could do nothing else whenever DS was trying to sleep, I could literally not move in my bed, & however much I asked for advice, I never could find any advice that could help in our situation. One evening I said ok, that's it, & we gave the dummy, which initially was a liberation. I guess what I'm saying Anna is that there's no such thing as perfect 'getting in tune' with your baby, however perfect intentions we all have, because there will necessarily be times when mummy & baby's needs will be different. And by the way, in our situation I don't even think my baby's needs were served by me acting as human dummy, he was- clearly to me- very irritated by this constant effort to keep the boob in his mouth.
We still co-sleep (late at night) with your boy, and it's easier now that he's sleeping noticeably better... I also still breastfeed, although I do give some top-ups in bottles, including formula milk once in a while. I'm proud & happy that I've managed to breastfeed this long (DS is almost 5 months) but it hasn't been a picnic (no-one said it would be) & I'm not one of those people who will do anything- even if it means complete lack of sleep- to persevere with exclusive breastfeeding at all costs. Maybe that makes me a worse mother, I don't know, but I'm just trying to describe the real-life situations people get themselves into. I'm not aiming for any kind of 'pure', 'all-natural' brand of parenting, which 'doesn't interfere with the process of co-sleeping & breastfeeding' at the cost of my mental health, my parent's mental health & ultimately our boy's mental health (because what good are 2 parents who can't see straight from lack of sleep). I'm glad we've avoided going down the sleep-training route (and yes, DaddyJ, I agree that sleep-training has to be for sleep association issues only)... and I'm glad we're managing to gradually resolve our sleeping/feeding issues, even if it is in a way that's not ideal for breastfeeding (perhaps). What's most important for me is that we stop feeling depressed, exhausted, and demoralized...and I'm hopeful that we're on our way to better days & nights. And hopefully our boy is too. Anyway. Merry christmas again to everyone...
On the subject of recognising different cries
I do remember when dd was very little (< 3 months)
all her cries somehow sounded the same - "come to me NOOOWWWW!!!"
Sometime between month 3 and 4 her communication became
more differentiated and she also found her own sleep/feeding rhythm.
That's when it became possible to tell what she was trying to say
and thus sleep training became an option.
And there was one more point to address from the previous thread:
Sakura, I didn't mean to anger you but both the evolutionary and
the anthropological angles are red herrings in the CC debate.
It's interesting to find out how our ancestors did things or
how the Japanese bring up their children, wonderful stuff and certainly quite useful,
but that's about it. It has no further relevance.
I agree with Daddy J. I really don't see how something that was done by 'cave men' is relevant to today's modern world, with all its complexities & particularities.
DaddyJ, you say CC should only be used in specific circs - what are these?
I am using CC at the mo to get my twins to sleep through the night without BFs. After five nights away from home over Christmas and NY I spent most nights with them in bed with me and/or attached to my breasts to try to shut them up/get them back to sleep without disturbing everyone else in the house! It got to a stage where they were feeding five or six times in the night between them (and then not demanding many BFs in the daytime). This has been going on for about four weeks - the waking in the night and feeding back to sleep has got gradually worse since they got a cold a few weeks ago. They are eight months old.
So now we are back home and they are well again I am trying to get them back on track. The first night they went down at 7pm and cried (cos they had got used to sleeping with me/being picked up when they cried). I fed them both once more to try to settle them but to no avail. They eventually fell asleep at 9pm. Then DT2 woke at 12.45, I offered her water but she was not impressed, then she cried for 45 mins before falling back to sleep until morning. DT1 woke once, for about three mins, and went back to sleep till morning! Last night they went down fine at 7pm (10 mins crying from DT2) then DT2 woke at 1.15am and cried for 25 mins and has been asleep since (I have not, hence being on MN at this hour!). DT1 has not woken!
I expect in a couple of days they won't be waking at all, or will be re-settling themselves quickly. I got the feeling that cos I have used CC on them before, they are familiar with what is happening and are responding to it quickly and with little fuss. I expected hours of crying from both of them but it has been really easy. I have two SILs with babies who wake in the night and they are opposed to CC, but I really cannot agree that they are doing something better for their kids that I am doing for mine. Perhaps my success with CC and the fact it hasn't been too traumatic this time is because the twins have pretty much always settled themselves to sleep so are much better at going to sleep on their own. Using CC 'cold' when a baby has always been cuddled to sleep and never left to cry is probably much worse!
" both the evolutionary and
the anthropological angles are red herrings in the CC debate."
why? <scratches head>
Yes, why daddyj? Please explain....
Oh, you resurrected this!
Will come back to it at the weekend!
neentz, one of the problems with CC is that people
can become evangelical about it and suggest it as a panacea
in any kind of situation where another parent is unhappy with
her child's sleep patterns.
That's not very wise and old Ferber ('inventor' of CC)
has tried hard to explain that it really is only recommended
where you have a classic sleep association and all other factors
have been dealt with.
I agree with your thoughts on your twins' sleeping habits.
Glad things are back on track!
I am very curious how other cultures or our ancestors do/did things
not just with regard to parenting.
However, I would never argue that we ought to do something
just because some other culture does it.
Nor the opposite:
'CC is a bad thing because, say, the Japanese (allegedly) don't do it.'
That in itself does not mean anything.
I have a 15 month old dd. She has always been a bad sleeper. Many people told me to try CC when she was younger. I did, it didn't work! I have tried it a few times and have come to the conclusion that CC doesn't work if you have a child like mine who is a light sleeper and wakes in the night but cannot self soothe to sleep again. She refuses a dummy and is breastfed.
This is/was roughly her pattern...We put her down to sleep at 7 and she sleeps well. She always wakes up when we come up to bed at about 11ish, I then feed her back to sleep and she will wake up 1-2 times at approx 3 and 5 or just at 4am before waking permanently at 7am.
Usually I just feed her for 5 mins and she drops back to sleep very quickly or sometimes I just put her back in her cot and stroke her for a few mins and she dozes off. However whenever I have tried CC (ie leaving to cry and going in every few mins to resettle and then leave again) She does eventually go to sleep after about 10-15 mins of crying however because she is so upset she ends up waking every hour through the night as a result, I think it may have something to do with the way she is falling asleep ie exhausted/unhappy/distressed which makes her sleep even lighter and therefore she wakes even more frequently than normal. BTW 10-15 mins crying doesn't sound very long but on the occasions (3 nights total each time) I've tried it, it feels like a lifetime.
Personally I think that her problem is one that CC cannot solve...she is a light sleeper and not a self soother. I am sorry I listened to my relatives who told me that it was the solution because all it did was distress me and her.
It does annoy me that some people think CC is a quick fix. It may work for some but all babies are different. If the goal of CC is to make a baby sleep through, it has the opposite effect on mine.
hello am new here . we are try cc i think it depends on wat mood the baby is in . i found that sometime it works. 2night it not working i feel really bad. i left baby 4 20min and she cry till i got her pick up. am hoping she sleep soon as we have been at work alnight
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