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Please help! Grandparents do not understand our 'obsession' with DD's sleep

(102 Posts)
Dreemagurl Sun 12-Jun-11 10:14:51

Our DD (7.5 months) has never been a great sleeper. One of those hyper alert, easily stimulated babies smile She's very active - crawling already - and as a result tires quite easily and can only do 2 hours awake time max (often less). My mum and MIL do not understand why we appear to be constantly putting her to sleep! We use White noise and a snooze shade in the buggy to help her sleep as she does not sleep without them and are having massive arguments with said grandparents about the necessity of these 'props'. MIL has even gone so far as to say we are damaging DD's hearing with the White noise! I am desperately looking for some solid fact based information I can throw in their faces about babies' nap requirements and how things like the snooze shade and white noise will help. Please help! It sounds silly but it's starting to seriously damage the relationship with our parents as they just don't understand! TIA

SardineQueen Sun 12-Jun-11 10:25:43

Well, I do think that a sleep every two hours is quite a lot for a baby that age, so I think maybe what you need is something to back up the frequency of the sleeps rather than the paraphernalia you are using to get her to sleep.

Maybe look at some things saying how many naps a 7.5 month old needs and see if any match your baby and print it off?

TBH I am not surprised they are a bit confused.

Lavitabellissima Sun 12-Jun-11 10:26:17

What is your daily routine? how many naps a day does she have? do you have a bedtime routine? how does she sleep at night?

Sorry for all the questions, need a bit more info to answer smile

SardineQueen Sun 12-Jun-11 10:32:36

Those are good question lavita!

Bunbaker Sun 12-Jun-11 10:35:14

What is "white noise" exactly? When DD was a baby my auntie advised me to never try and make DD go to sleep when it was totally quiet or she would never be able to sleep with any form of background noise and we would make a rod for our own backs. She was absolutely right and DD would fall asleep whenever she was tired wherever she was.

Perhaps the GPs think you are trying too hard regarding your daughter's sleep. It always looks worse for you as you are the one who is sleep deprived and the one who has to deal with a fractious baby all the time.

Bucharest Sun 12-Jun-11 10:38:17

You do sound a bit obsessed tbh.

At 7 mths I think you can start to chill a bit.

There will come a time,where for whatever reason she can't have her nap with the synchronised watch. If she is used to it, you will have one feck of a meltdown on your hands.

reallytired Sun 12-Jun-11 10:39:34

I think that your MIL and mum are right. I don't think that your lo has a normal sleeping pattern. A seven month old baby does not need to nap every two hours. She is not a new born. She would benefit from learning to sleep without white noise. The snooze shade can be useful in summer, but it should not be a sleep prop.

From what I can remember both my children had two naps a day that age rather than lots of short cat naps.

I suggest that you talk to your health visitor on what is a sensible nap pattern for seven month old. She can advise you on establishing good sleep associations that are substainable in the long term.

Rather than thinking what you can throw in people's faces, you need to think about what is best for your child. I think your MIL and mother are right. They have had children as well.

Bucharest Sun 12-Jun-11 10:39:44

If she already can't sleep without the props, then I agree with the grandparents.

Rods and backs etc.

At 7mths dd had one morning nap for about 2 hrs, and 1 afternoon nap for about the same IIRC.

SardineQueen Sun 12-Jun-11 10:39:46

White noise is like a radio that's not tuned in or the hoover going. That sort of thing.

differentnameforthis Sun 12-Jun-11 10:40:59

White noise is like that sounds you get from an untuned radio, isn't it?

differentnameforthis Sun 12-Jun-11 10:43:05

*the sounds

Iggly Sun 12-Jun-11 10:44:19

Tell them and anyone else to get lost, you're doing what you think is best grin

Ok seriously, everyone has their views. Especially parents who have done it before - they either forget what it's like or take it as indirect criticism if you do it differently.

I use white noise for DS but doesn't stop him falling asleep in his pushchair or car when we're out. It does cut out the ridiculously loud rumble of trains (which wakes me up due to their randomness) and morning bird noise. We've gradually been turning it down and I doubt I'll be make a rod for my own back (hate that phrase).

Babies need a lot of sleep because they grow an incredible amount in such a short space of time. We don't do much growing when we're awake hmm you can google and find roughly how much sleep babies need in 24 hours. But TBH your mum and MIL will probably think it's just a new fangled thing <speaks from experience>

If you're having trouble with naps in the day etc it's worth considering a more structured routine now your DD is older - following tired signs doesn't always work and using set times can be more effective. Something like naps at 9, 12 and 3 ish.

IslaValargeone Sun 12-Jun-11 10:44:22

Genuine question, but if you are having to use all these 'props' as your parents refer to them, does your baby really need a nap every two hours?
If she is active and then tired following these periods of activity wouldn't she just fall asleep anyway? You have said she won't sleep without them, but that would suggest to me that maybe she isn't actually that tired? smile

WorzselMummage Sun 12-Jun-11 10:45:12

Have you considered that maybe your parents are right ?

At 7 months my daughter was having 2 2 hour naps in the day while at the same age my son was barely sleep at all during the day. All babies need different amounts of sleep.

If your DD is tired she will sleep.

Introducing props sounds like you could be setting her up for a lifetime or difficulty sleeping.

Bucharest Sun 12-Jun-11 10:45:44

Iggly, I have a feeling the "routine" and obsession therewith, is already in place, and that's the problem.

Iggly Sun 12-Jun-11 10:47:52

Maybe you're right Bucharest. I should have said a flexible routine. So baby has time to sleep within a particular window but it's not the end of the world if she sleeps earlier or later!

Dreemagurl Sun 12-Jun-11 10:48:23

Hi, thanks for the replies. She rarely sleeps longer than 30 mins for her naps which is part of the problem. Rough routine is as follows:

7 ish wake. Breakfast (solids) and play on mat.
8.30 bf and nap (takes up to 30 mins for her to settle which is why I put her down so early. She's already yawning and rubbing eyes by 8 and if we wait any later she gets overtired and won't settle)
Nap 9-9.30
11.30 bf and nap (nap 12 - 12.30)
12.30 lunch (solids)
2.30 bf and nap (nap 3 - 3.30)
Bedtime 6.30 (asleep by 7). Have a solid routine of bf, bath, bf, bed.
The above is on a good day (!) and can vary a lot.
Night time sleep also varies, depending on how her daytime sleep is. She has once slept through 6.30 till 6.30 but usually we have at least 2 or 3 wakings, one of which I will bf her.

Bunbaker white noise is like static meant to replicate the swooshing sound of the womb. You might be right about making a rod for our own backs as DD is a very light sleeper, but not sure how to change it!

Iggly Sun 12-Jun-11 10:49:20

Trying to nap every two hours can be stressful! I gave up after a time.

differentnameforthis Sun 12-Jun-11 10:49:56

I do agree though, napping every 2 hours is extreme. By now, she should be able to stay awake longer, with you reading her cues as to when she needs a nap. how do you manage on a day out?

I would be interested to know what her night-time sleep is like. Especially as you say she isn't a great sleep, does this mean at night? because if so, I feel the reason is her excessive sleep in the day time.

So you have gotten yourselves into a routine of bad night time sleep, tired during the day = more naps in day = less sleep at night...ad infinitum!

Bucharest Sun 12-Jun-11 10:52:56

I reckon if it's taking her that long to settle, she isn't tired.

The early morning one- I mean, apart from eating breakfast, what's she really doing to warrant her being tired again?

Is she a GF baby by any chance? That daily routine looks a bit like it?

I'd try and go for longer naps, less often. Surely with only brief kips she isn't getting the proper rest either that would come with a longer sleep?

It will probably be hell for a few days while you change the routine, but it sounds very stressful at the moment.

To me,remembering dd, the amount of sleep sounds right, but not distributed in the right way IYSWIM?

Dreemagurl Sun 12-Jun-11 10:53:14

X posted with a lot of replies!

God I wish my DD would have 2 hour naps! We have tried keeping her awake for longer but it just turns into a mega meltdown.

Bucharest Sun 12-Jun-11 10:54:04

Just do it slowly. 10minutes a day more awake, and you've gained a whole hour in less than a week. smile

Lavitabellissima Sun 12-Jun-11 10:54:25

My twins are the same age and my routine is pretty much the same as yours, although timings can vary. They were 6 weeks premature though so are still quite sleepy and still need an afternoon nap.

Does she fall asleep by herself in the pram/car? or are you using white noise then confused

I think if she's a light sleeper anyway, I would cut out the white noise, it's not working is it (if you wanted 1 hour or more naps).

Dreemagurl Sun 12-Jun-11 10:54:46

And how am I supposed to get her to nap for longer??! I'd love to!

Not a GF baby at all, that routine is one we've just fallen into.

SardineQueen Sun 12-Jun-11 10:55:14

Sounds like lots of half hour naps add up to the same amount of time asleep as two longer naps. I think mine have one nap in the morning and one i the afternoon at that age, with one of them being shortish and the other a bit longer. It's hard to remember! I do know that both of mine stopped napping entirely as a special present for their 1st birthday hmm but I know that is young.

I would probably be trying to keep her awake a bit longer and go down for two proper naps TBH.That might help with the night-time situation as well.

It does sound like you have a poor sleeper generally though <sympathy>

Still, trying to change things around a bit might improve matters and it can't do any harm smile

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