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HV has recommended getting rid of dummy to help six month old DS sleep...your thoughts?

(19 Posts)
waterrat Fri 09-Nov-12 07:11:27

DS is absolutely appalling sleeper it is destroying us! I spoke to a HV (not our own, friend of friend who is sleep specialist) and she was very kind and helpful - but main recommendation was get rid of the dummy - she said there will be two nights of more crying then she guaruntees he will sleep much better.

Does anyone have any experience of this? She gave other tips such as not picking up out of cot but soothing in cot which does seem to make sense as when we pick him up he gets very distressed as soon as we return him to the cot. I can see the dummy falling out wakes him but am nervous of not having it as back up..

btw..his sleep pattern is currently waking every hour until about 1am then being so wide awake we have to bring him into bed in order to avoid hours of crying and settling. Even feeding doesn't settle him......though I have reduced BF to twice a night.....

Lavendersbluedillydilly1969 Fri 09-Nov-12 07:18:59

Never had a really bad sleeper so can't really help on that one but DS1 and DD2 both had a dummy between 4 and 6 months when they were going through a bad patch. Both times I got rid at 6 months as I'd read somewhere that after 6 months it became much harder to stop dependence on the dummy and I didn't want to have to wait till they were toddlers.
It really was just a couple of nights then absolutely fine and have slept through since so it worked for us.

Coops79 Fri 09-Nov-12 07:19:49

I got rid of the dummy at sixteen weeks. We had a really difficult 3 days but now he can sleep through without it and I don't have to keep getting up to put it back in. I found the most difficult part was no longer having a guaranteed method of calming him but we are finding new ways and I'm listening more carefully to his cues. HTH.

Fivemoreminutesmummy Fri 09-Nov-12 08:27:42

We had exactly the same problem with DS1. He wasn't waking due to hunger, more so because he had lost the dummy. We went cold turkey and it was really tough the first few nights but within a week we'd cracked it. Funnily enough he kept the dummy for daytime sleeps and when he needed comfort until he was almost 2 but never cried/ asked for it again at night. Good luck!

SavoyCabbage Fri 09-Nov-12 08:36:17

My dd was a bad sleeper when she had a dummy as it dropped out when she was asleep and then she woke up because she didn't have it any more.

ZuleikaD Fri 09-Nov-12 08:36:20

I would get rid of the dummy and feed him more. It's entirely possible he's waking because he's hungry and most babies are still feeding at night for at least another couple of months.

worldgonecrazy Fri 09-Nov-12 08:41:35

It is normal for babies to stir at night. Is he waking up and crying for his dummy? An average breastfed baby will still be waking for a night time feed so cosleeping may help you get more sleep as he is getting to the age where he will latch on himself and you won't need to wake up.

My DD started waking every hour around 6 months - it was just the 6 month massive growth spurt which happens because they are not only physically having a big growth spurt, they are also having a mental growth spurt and their brains are developing massively, as your son becomes aware that you and he are separate beings, up until now in his head you've been one person, now he is realising he is "other" than you, so it's also quite a scary time for them as they begin to realise the world is big and they are tiny. This only lasted a couple of weeks and we were back to normality again.

What qualifications does this HV have to make her a "sleep specialist"?

I think there are a lot of questions that need answering before you, or anyone else can say "get rid of the dummy to solve your problem".

waterrat Fri 09-Nov-12 09:12:47

thanks people, all really helpful thoughts.

re. feeding/ co sleeping - I have been doing both. He is still fed frequently at night! Definitely not denying him breastmilk - although I have tried to cut down - have done a few nights of feeding at 1am and 5 am recently....but last night, was so tired fed much more than that..... I am feeding on demand during day as well as him eating food....

Co sleeping has worked over past few months - but it really really isn't something I want to keep doing,..I hate it now to be honest.

I was in tears sobbing with exhaustion last night with him next to me in bed. It is really a shallow kind of sleep I get with him next to me - and I end up with him permanently attached to my boob to stop him wriggling and crying which I really really sure it suits some people, but I have done enough of it to know it is leaving me absolutely exhausted.

I am happy to keep feeding at night - but it doesn't get him back to sleep anyway, so the sleep issue is separate. But - yes, will keep a couple of night feeds so I know hunger isn't an issue. Often it's after a feed that he is up and wide awake for hours!

the dummy in his mouth gets his eyes rolling and his head lolling back - as soon as it falls out he jerks awake and starts to cry.

think it will have to go - it just is such a back up for me when out and about..! an I see older kids with dummies so think presumably it can't be such a bad sleep prop for others or everyone would ditch it?

waterrat Fri 09-Nov-12 09:13:54

worldgonecrazy you are right to ask all those questions - but DS has been waking all night since he was 16 weeks...I totally went with it - but last couple weeks I have felt absolutely on the edge, and he often cries all morning with tiredness....its been about 2 and a half months of it now...

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 09-Nov-12 10:07:01

water do you think he could be reverse cycling?

Also did your HV friend mention the 6 month growth spurt or the fact that waking at 6 months is perfectly normal and actually helps protect against SIDS? Also, by 12 months half of all babies still wake, no matter how you feed or parent so he isn't doing anything really unusual.

There are things you can do though so don't panic. Have a read of 31 way to get your baby to sleep and stay asleep and 12 alternatives for the all night nurser. You might also find the No Cry Sleep Solution useful too.

Have you also tried things like putting one of DHs used tshirts in with him? Your won't work because they smell of your milk. Warming the crib, swaddling and white noise might help too. Are you looking after yourself, eating well and going to bed early? Can you have a lie in?

waterrat Fri 09-Nov-12 10:55:07

Thanks jilted - interesting about reverse cycling, definitely possible.

I dont want the HV to sound like an ogre - or it sound like we are being unrealistic in our expectations. I don't mind getting up a couple of times a night - and the HV didn't tell us to stop night feeds.

I am talking about almost constant waking - hourly - some nights every 15 minutes for hours on ends - feeding does not settle him. It's been going on a long time now and the attachment type solutions aren't working - he still rolls around awake in our bed - the best nights I have had actually are where I stroked him in the cot while lying nearby - and only fed a couple of times.

waterrat Fri 09-Nov-12 11:02:29

but...yes...true points about night waking being normal. at moment though one of us is with him soothing him for most of the night....and he is obviously tired.
We make heavy use of the dummy so wondered if that could be culprit ...

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 09-Nov-12 13:50:22

Did you get chance to read the links? I found the 12 alternatives one good. Have you read the no cry sleep solution too?

waterrat Fri 09-Nov-12 19:05:56

I just read through all of them - thank you it was good timing as we decided to get rid of the dummy tonight and I have been feeling really anxious all day! They are really nice - I have also read the NCSS and thought it was lovely - it actually made me cry because it was so kind - unlike so many other bossy books..!

I don't think hunger is what is waking him - I BF on demand and think I know him quite well hunger wise..and no matter how much I feed at night, it doesn't change his wakings. and he won't fall asleep feeding anyway.... incredible thing has just happened....I actually finished reading the 31 ways and DS was just starting to cry because he had been put in the cot with no dummy I went in and sat next to his cot holding his hand through the bars...

he was asleep within 5 minutes..! I can't believe it....actually much quicker than with the's hoping it will impact the rest of the night..

am in shock! thanks jilted- it was reading those 31 ways list that made me know it was right to stay with him as he fell asleep rather than try to let him cry....

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 09-Nov-12 20:51:49

So glad, hope the rest of the night is just as good smile

WillowB Sat 10-Nov-12 21:20:37

You post could have been written by me about 6 weeks ago. 6 month old DS was waking every hour through the night. We decided to get rid of the dummy but didn't want to go cold turkey as I felt it was a bit mean. I'd read NCSS & tried the 'pantley pull off' I let DS have his dummy till his eyes closed and he was about to fall asleep. Id count to 20 then take it out gently (helps if you put a finger under their chin). He would sometimes cry so I would put the dummy back in and repeat the process sometimes up to 5 times. Within 4 days he was self settling and doesn't need it any more. He sleeps through from his dream feed till 7am. I do still take it out with us I case he has a melt down but I've hardly had to use it.
Good luck with it all.

waterrat Sun 11-Nov-12 07:19:40

Willow it's really interesting to hear that - on the first night we took the dummy away it was incredible!

IT WORKED! - our boy slept so much better in one night alone.

If anyone is reading this in the same position - do it do it! He slept 6 hours from a feed at 1045 to 5am - He hadn't done that for about 3 months = I was not quite as gentle as you willow - we just chucked the dummy, but he fell asleep very easily without it at bedtime. He woke a couple of times shortly after and that was a bit tougher - but we shhhd/ patted/ cuddled (in the cot) and he was back asleep in ten mins.

I fed at 1030 - he slept till 5 - I fed again and he was fast asleep when we got up at 7......

THe next night was better in some ways - he slept from 7 until 10 - fed/ back slept until 3 - fed/ put back - took 10 mins to settle (again, didn't pick up but did soothe in cot) and he slept soundly till 630. leaving to cry, didn't have to refuse any feeds ..and he slept much longer stretches immediately.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 11-Nov-12 22:47:01

That is just brilliant smile

Lauriejane Thu 29-Nov-12 20:24:55

Last night i reached the end of my tether and decided i needed to take action. My son is 7 months and waking more and more frequently in the night. Had a chat with a good friend who agrees the dummy may be the problem. I am going to try taking it away tomorrow night (so the hubby can help as wont have work the next day). I was so pleased to read your post as I'm not looking forward to doing it, but good to know others know how awful it is not to sleep, especially as he used to be such a great sleeper.

How has it been going since? Is he still sleeping well?

Also, what is the basic gist of the 'no cry sleep solution'? I want to be prepared for when he cre for his dummy.

Thanks and well done!

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