9mths, no sleep. This is it.(8 Posts)
I want to go for it, overhaul the routine and get DD sorted out once and for all. I'm all for co-sleeping and feeding all night if it makes us happy, but it's no longer working for us. DD is waking every 1-3 hours and starting to have trouble falling asleep after the one feed so just as I get back to sleep, she's crying for more.
She's just come down a bit from 91st centile so no worries about growth, but she's not great with food. She does manage a lot of fruit and seems to like most of what we eat, she just seems bored of it after a couple of spoonfuls. We do let her get stuck in with her hands but she's mostly chucking it all on the floor. I think we're stuck in a cycle where she's feeding so much to settle herself to sleep, but then is too full to eat in the day.
So this is the plan. Any comments welcome- I hope it doesn't seem harsh, but I'm struggling to keep my cool with her at night.
-Convert co-sleeper to full cot, she's crawling now and has never seemed that bothered about cuddling up, she's all about the boob.
-Down at 6.30pm after bath, book and feed, Pantley Pull-off method so I can put her down awake.
-ShushPat to settle, aiming to do less each night and eventually be able to leave the room.
-Initially limit feeds to 4 hourly, but if she learns to self settle, stretching this out an hour at a time.
-Daytime routine- try and space milk feeds and solids by about an hour. No naps after 3.30pm. Lots of fresh air and stimulation in the daytime.
I'm also thinking about DP and I sleeping in the front room to see if that helps, though maybe not a long term solution. I guess if it helps, we could find a more permanent solution, like partitioning off a bit of the bedroom. She's often woken by one of us rolling over in bed and worse since mumsnet made us buy posh cotton sheets
Anything else I can do? She's a lovely, easygoing, little girl in the daytime and I'm not going to feel good about letting her cry when it could be solved easily by feeding her, but I think she's got into a habit that she can't break herself.
Your plan sounds good, I would definitely plan to sleep in another room from her though if you can.
Just wait to do it until you are feeling emotionally strong. When we have had to try anything like that, like taking the dummy away we have waited until a Friday night of a quiet weekend, so if it goes badly and you are feeling tired and upset the next day there isn't anything disrupted.
Remember that she WILL get upset but thats ok, it will be different to what she is used to and she won't like it. Don't underestimate how long she might be upset for and have a plan to deal with it between DP and yourself so neither of you get stuck doing it all.
Remember, you know her better than anyone else and that you think it is what is best for her so stick to it, within a few days I bet you'll see a massive change. Hope it goes ok, good luck!
Hi hotchip, I'm a mum of one so not ever so experienced but just wanted to mention that you will find some claiming that 9 months often signals a development leap which plays havoc for sleep even for good sleepers, so it might explain some of the extra wakings and might make it a little more challenging to achieve what you want to at this time.
Your plan looks good to me, I would just suggest that you stagger the changes a bit, along with what you want to achieve so it is not too much at one time for you and baby and do what you can in the day as no one is their best in the middle of the night. For me at 5 months I stopped dead feeding to sleep and worked on self settling during the day for naps using the methods you mention and the night wakings improved on their own as a consequence, it just took a few weeks once she the feeding to sleep was a thing of the past. Try to get help too, if it takes a while to get where you want to it might begin to wear you down especially if you are already tired. That said I have a friend who fed on demand and co slept and was feeding every two hours and at 8.5 months put her in her own room her own cot and she slept 13 hours through that night - so maybe going for gold is worth a try too!
Night wakings also improved when we moved dd at 5 and a bit months into her own room, she was disturbing us and us her. Only other thing I'd add is, stick to your plan for the sake of consistency even if you feel you are getting no where for a while because it will only confuse baby to keep changing things about. All the best its not fun doing this bit but worth it in the long run!
Thanks for the support, in my sleep deprived state it's hard to know what's right.
I'd wait till the 8/9 month sleep regression is over, although there's another one around 11 months. Sleep goes down the pan in the month or so before developmental leaps at 37 and 46 weeks. Even babies who are 'good' sleepers and self-settle wake frequently during sleep regressions.
That said, you can try making changes if you're desperate, but don't be too dismayed if they don't work right now - they may work once the developmental leap is past. The 8/9 months regression is often one of the worst IME.
Theres more info here, here and here.
Just wanted to wish you luck, and also to add that it might be a good idea to wait until you have a week or two weeks that you can dedicate entirely to this and avoid doing things like going out if you are trying to get into a nap routine.
I have used some of the stuff in the Baby Whisperer, although the book is relatively inconsistent in places and it would be too extreme a place to start for you, the routines may work nicely once you have taught your DD to self settle.
Just re-read and see you mention shush pat. It'd be worth checking out the baby whisperer forums. I don't think Tracy Hogg recommends shush pat after 6 months, but if it works for you then go for it.
Just to update, things seem to be going well.
She's been eating better now we've got more of a daytime routine. She's not needing to be fed to sleep, so DP is sharing the night wakings, and she seems to be waking less maybe because she know's she's not guaranteed to get milk. She's been waking 3 hourly which is an improvement, but last night I tried a dream feed at 11.45pm. She woke a bit after 1am, DP settled her. When she woke at 4.40am I fed her and she didn't get up till 9am!
Jolly you're right about shush-pat, it only makes her cry more! We're just rocking her in our arms, but always giving her the same blanket near her face and will hopefully be able to use this to help her settle herself in time.
AngelDog sounds like good advice for a normal baby! I figure if it's not sleep regresssions, it'll be separation anxiety or nursery bugs or jetlag from holidays in September.
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