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Frustrated mum!!

(2 Posts)
mummalumma Tue 03-Nov-15 21:40:27

Hi there,

I am mum to 2 girls -- 4 and 14 weeks. We had major sleep issues with DD1 -- she didn't STTN until she was around 2.5 yrs, we'd spend HOURS each night trying to get her to sleep; she'd wake frequently and be awake for hours. I suffered with mild PND and I have no doubt in my mind that the sleep deprivation and lack of down-time was a primary cause.

Fast forward to DD2 and I am starting to get a little anxious about the amount of time it is taking to get her to sleep. She is, on the whole, a better sleeper (touch wood), which is wonderful. However, it takes me on average 2 hours to get her down at night. In the last few weeks there have been a handful of occasions where I have spent up to 3 hours to get her down. We have a consistent bed time routine in place and once she does eventually go down, she'll do a good 4-5 hours chunk of sleep, which is bliss.

I am well-versed on sleep-cycles and making sure that she is in deep sleep before putting her down, but it seems to take forever for her to transistion into deep sleep. DD1 was the same. In terms of naps, she was doing good chunks of sleep in the sling (up to 1.5 hours 2-3 times daily), though tends to mostly cat nap now. Regardless of the amount of daytime sleep, it still takes a few hours to put her down at night.

With each DD I am/did -- EBF on demand and allow baby to feed to sleep and use breast to pacify; co-sleep; use sling. I am finding myself getting frustrated with the amount of time it takes to get DD2 to sleep at night. I have tried to discuss this with my husband, but he is of the view that I am too influenced by the advice given by others, that I read too much cr*p on the internet and that, when people say their babies STTN or are easier to put down to sleep, they are exaggerating. In his view, 2 hours is perfectly normal and very common. I can't help thinking that I am, in part, creating strong sleep associations with the BF to sleep... DH refutes this.

Whilst I know that it is unhelpful to compare your children to others, I am interested to know what other mum's experiences are -- how long it takes to get your baby to sleep; how; where they sleep, etc. Sorry for the long post and TIA for any replies...

FATEdestiny Tue 03-Nov-15 23:05:51

How do you feel about a dummy?

In early days babies routinely like 2 things to get to sleep - sucking and movement.

So you can do that the attachment way - feeding to sleep, sling (for daytime sleep), co-sleeping (for night time sleep).

Or you can do it the independent sleeping method - dummy, bouncy chair (for daytime sleep) and side-car cot (for night time sleep)

Things like using a dummy and putting baby down to sleep are the very beginnings of gentle gradual withdrawal to teach sleep independently of you (I am careful of not saying self-settling because babies don't self settle, they always need help to sleep).

Going along side this would be a side-car cot (one side removed from a standard cot and butting it up to your bed with matching mattress heights). This means you can feed baby (lying down in bed maybe?) and then scoot baby in sleeping bag over into the cot without lifting. Full sized cot (as opposed to crib) gives you the space to cuddle in, hold dummy for baby in early days, pat, stroke, reassure - whatever is needed to cuddle up to your baby and get them to sleep in their own cot, but with you right there, face to face next to them. Then extract yourself into your own bed once baby is asleep.

Gradually over time, baby will slowly and gradually need less and less reassurance until the time comes that you just need to give dummy, put into cot and lie next to baby. Then sit on bed. Then stand by door and so on.

It is a slow, gradual process to teach a baby to sleep independently and some will do it faster than others. Of my 3 children that I have used this kind of GW from newborn method with, DC2 was STTN and could be put down with dummy and left by 6mo. DC3 by 7 weeks old (!) and DC4 was about 11 months old.

Also ensure regular daytime feeds (2 hourly) so that most calories are taken through the daytime, plus plenty of daytime sleep with not too much awake time between naps.

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