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6 mo sleep - Can anyone untangle my sleep deprived brain

(4 Posts)
Minkyscamp Thu 03-Nov-16 10:15:20

Another sleep post I'm afraid... I really need some advice. I think I'm so sleep deprived I can't think straight and am at such a loss as to what to do.
My LG is 6 months on 8 May. She was a great sleeper to begin with, going from 7ish to 3ish then another feed at 5. She had a dummy from about 2 months and settled herself with it for bedtime and naps. As for many of us it all went wrong at about 3 months when she started waking more and more until it was every hour or two. In addition, at around the four month mark she started waving between feeds for the dummy, and this was several times an hour so no one was getting any sleep.
So we decided last week to go cold turkey on the dummy. We didn't want to leave her to cry, so did pick up put down and the first night wasn't too bad. However, this was last Friday and it's got progressively worse since then to the point where now she screams and screams for every nap and every night waking. Last night she was waking every 30-45m. I've tried feeding (sometimes she's interested sometimes not) rocking, shushing etc. DH has tried too, but nothing calms her. I've also tried cosleeping but she just won't settle.
Any advice? I feel awful it's like we've broken the baby! She has been a terrible sleeper for ages but had always been such a happy little thing in the day so it's been bearable. Now she's overtired and miserable and I hate it. She's obviously stressed about sleep but I don't know how to make it better.
Do I just give the dummy back? If so, I'm worried that she will wake just as often for the dummy and I'll regret going back to that. I know I could try controlled crying but I really don't want to.
By way of other background, she is a catnapper, will only sleep for longer than 30m in the sling. She is ebf and a snacker, feeding every 2.5hrs or so in the day and having longer feeds at night.
Im sorry this is so long, and well done if you've got this far, but I'd really really appreciate some advice. I feel like my brain is so addled I can't think clearly and I need others to tell me what to do!!
Thanks x

FATEdestiny Thu 03-Nov-16 21:03:15

Give her the dummy! It's her comfort. She will need comfort to sleep, I can't understand denying her that.

The dummy helps her go to sleep. The dummy has zero bearing on her waking frequently. That's a seperate issue. At least with the dummy when she does wake, going back to sleep is easier.

Dummy wint and isn't meant to stay in her mouth all night. As she drops to sleep her jaw muscles relax and it will fall out. By that point she will (should) be in a deep sleep so dummy serves no purpose. If she's light sleeping then tackle that, but it isn't anything to do with the dummy.

Baby being able to reinsert her own dumny is the game changer and us when dummy-settled babies really come into their own in terms of independant settling.

The manual dexterity she needs to reinsert her own dummy, like all skill developments in babies, is different for each child but it's usually around 7-9 months old. Things to practice to help her get there:

- hand her the dummy to put in her mouth herself
- give her the dummy the wrong way around (teat facing outwards) and see if she can figure out how to get it in her mouth.
- place dummy on floor and get her to fetch it and put it in all herself
- develop ways for her to find a list dummy in the cot. I used a ribbon sewn into the sleeping bag like a perminant dumny-saver but without the bulky clip. You could also go down the 'millions of dummies scattered around' route.

Timetogrowup2016 Fri 04-Nov-16 14:15:32

I disagree she goes to sleep with a dummy so if she wakes in the night and it's not their she won't re settle

FATEdestiny Fri 04-Nov-16 14:50:43

As with every 6 month old around the globe, if she wakes up she will need some form of comfort in order to get back to sleep.

Babies/children don't have the emotional capacity to sleep like an adult. So yes, of course "if she wakes in the night and it's not their she won't re settle". Because she's a baby.

The alternate to not using a dummy us to provide alternate comfort. Cuddle, rock, feed, cosleep. I hasten to state all these are more labour intensive than just reinserting a dummy. But they are alternates.

As I said. The dummy helps baby "go to sleep". Waking frequently is a seperate and different issue. Your babies who "sleep through" are those who slerp deeply and don't wake up. They still need comfort of some form to get to sleep.

The dummy is the simplest way to encourage distress-free I dependant settling.

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