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Shush pat for 4mo: are we doing this right?

(5 Posts)
snowrevolution Thu 22-Nov-12 19:16:21

Some background: DS2 (16 weeks) has been an awful sleeper since birth, but if anything seems to be getting worse. He used at least to go down for his first sleep of the night fairly easily (fed to sleep), but now wakes multiple times before eventually conking out (after much rocking and pacing each time he wakes). He stays down initially for about 3 hours, then is up at least every 2 hours through until 7ish in the morning, when he's up for the day. At each night waking I feed him to sleep, but he often wakes when I put him in his cot or soon after. So each waking it takes between 1-2 hours to get him to sleep. He has 3 reasonable naps in the day, but will only take these in the sling. He has reflux: I'm avoiding dairy and this, combined with infant gaviscon, seems to be keeping the vomiting under control.

I'm shattered / starting to feel quite ill from lack of sleep and need something to change. We've tried co-sleeping, but it doesn't work for either of us. I thought the BW shush pat method might help to get him to (eventually) self settle a little better; the problem at the moment seems to be that he is completely reliant on feeding / rocking to sleep, so can't get himself back to sleep whenever he (frequently) startles or stirs during the night.

I've ordered the BW book, but have already started trying a new shush pat "regime" and would like to know from any experts out there if I'm doing this right.

We've basically decided to focus on night-time sleeping for now, and make sure he gets some decent daytime naps in his sling in the meantime. So after bathing / feeding / winding down at around 7pm, DP sits holding but not rocking him and shush-patting. At this point, DS starts crying. He cried for 1 hour last night (whilst being held) and 30 minutes tonight before conking out. He only woke three times last night, and I'm waiting to see what happens tonight. When he woke during the night, I fed him to sleep, as I couldn't bring myself to wake him and then try to shush-pat him to sleep in the middle of the night.

Does this sound broadly along the right lines? The crying period at the start of the night is very stressful, but the only thing which will stop it is an endless cycle of rocking. And are we doing the right thing by focusing on his night-time sleep before trying to sort out his day-time naps? And should I be doing shush-pat in the middle of the night (really can't see how this would work at the moment, given the amount of crying at the start of the night).

amazingmumof6 Thu 22-Nov-12 21:46:01

I know the method, sounds like you are doing it right, but I think day time naps are easier to sort - same with toddlers!!!

from memory you should do shush-pat every time, at night as well (I think of it as the baby version of pickup/putdown)

if you swaddle him he won't wake himself up with wild limb movements, so that's worth a try

also make sure you wind him properly

another thought - reflux/digestive problems can sometimes improve after cranial osteopathy sessions.
I'll talk to my osteopath tomorrow (or Monday, if he's not in tomorrow) and ask what he thinks, I'll get back to you asap

snowrevolution Fri 23-Nov-12 08:56:53

amazingmum - thanks for replying to my overlong post! Will gear up to tackle naps this weekend; need DP's help with this! I've heard rave reviews of cranial osteopathy from a few people, but unfortunately don't have access to this as we're overseas.

SamSmalaidh Fri 23-Nov-12 09:02:21

What I did to stop feeding to sleep was this:
First went from me feeding to sleep to DH rocking to sleep
Then from rocking to just holding (yes, DS did cry at first)
Then pick-up/put-down

While doing pick-up/put-down we shush patted in the cot - so laid DS on his side and patted his bum quite firmly while shushing past his ear. It only took a couple of nights of picking up before we could just lay him in his cot and pat him bum a few times and he would fall asleep.

Within a couple of months he stopped needing to be patted to sleep too, but I would still use it occasionally if he struggled to settle and it was like magic.

amazingmumof6 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:33:31

mine is private practice in UK so not NHS anyway...

you are welcome, yes you need to do this together - when we have to do something like this we also do what I call the " changing of the guards" - one sleeps while the other one deals with the problem, then swap!

good luck!

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