Sleep training wwyd(10 Posts)
DS1 is nearly 9 months and slowly slowly getting the hang of self soothing at night from v drowsy. But he won't do it for naps and they are generally crap - 40 mins tops and needs a moving buggy, car, sling, yoga ball or to feed which I try to avoid. If the movement stops he wakes straight away and can't go back off for ages. Naturally he is grumpy. I've never done any sleep training but am now at home for a week trying to crack it. Trying a shh pat with varying degrees of success.
One reason I've done nothing till now is that he seems to be teething at a low-moderate level of discomfort on and off for months, but no teeth yet. It comes out when he's tired more - one of the ways I know he's tired is the fingers going in the mouth.
I am so torn as to the best way forward. The last thing I want is to leave a hurting baby to cry even next to him but his crap napping and refusal to nap in cot in house is affecting us all particularly since he is up at 5.30 and needs a nap by 7.45, and is well over 10kg now. He needs to learn this skill and I think he really wants to too - he turns his head from side to side trying. WWYD? Will it get harder the longer I leave it? Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.
I would move to a by the clock routine. Nap at 9 & 1.30 and bed at 7.
Settling to sleep I would leave to cry a little. You don't have to go anywhere just sit there but only respond every 5 minutes for 30 seconds or so. The aim isn't to resettle so much as it is to just quickly reassure. They stay in their cot. If you leave the room the same applies when you go back in. Older babies often find shush pat a bit too stimulating.
Thanks, that's interesting re shush pat, I did wonder. I guess stretching out awake times a bit will come but right now he would never make it to 9am without being roaring crying tired (like he is now - have been trying to settle for over an hour). I would love love love a by the clock routine...
I know he's tired is the fingers going in the mouth.
Id suggest this is baby making attempts to self-comfort and nothing to do with teething. Same with side to side head movements.
I believe many parents use teething as a way to ease their silent guilt at a crying baby and as a way to give a logical "reason" (it's likely not to be the reason) for babysbaby's upset. In my experience with four children the teeth pain and significant upset that disturbs sleep comes when teeth are actuallt cutting through. That takes 2 or 3 days. Not weeks or months on end.
The hand sucking is because babies naturally find sucking soothing. It's the very reason dummies exist. It's also why children thumb suck.
The head movement are because babies naturally find rhythmic movement soothing. Without external movement and without other forms of comfort to sleep a baby might thrash head side to side, rock back and forth or side to side. Some patt themselves or move hands/feet rhythmically.
If you are working on stopping parent-comfort to get to sleep, which is fair enough, what plans do you have to allow baby to access his own self-comfort.
Babies brains are different to an adults and up until school age they will need some form of comfort in order to sleep. It's the reason dummies are so brilliant. Other sources of self-comfort can come from bonding to a special toy or blanket. Or autonomous rituals like hair twiddling, self-patting, thumb sucking etc.
Thanks for this, really useful. I've been trying to introduce a comforter and he likes a musical dog that we have in his cot and play the song a couple of times before attempted naps. Which he sometimes chews on and plays with. If you've any further suggestions on how to help him with this I'd be very grateful.
Children who have a comforter toy/blanket usually do something with it that is a comfort to them.
My son for example used to "cut Ted's ear" - this involved a scissor movement between thumb and forefinger across his teddys ear. He also liked to pat Ted's tummy.
My daughter insists on two blankies, one in each hand, and she rubs her cheeks with them.
I have know children who like to run their ears with soft toys. Or those who use them to cover their eyes. So you could encourage any of these.
I have also always used a dummy but limit it to only when in the cot. I find this is by far the most useful for independant settling. Because i keep the dummy only avaliable available in the cot, from about 18 months old I can use the line "shall we go and find your dummy?" as a no hassle way to get her upstairs, into the cot and going to sleep. She s 25 months now and it's not unusual that she tells me she wants to go and find dummy, so she asks to go to bed when tired.
Also remember that more sleep = better sleep. A baby who's getting lots of sleep is easier to settle to sleep, sleeps deeply and wakes less easily - so the quality of sleep increases.
In an over tiredness cycle a baby not getting enough sleep is harder to get to sleep, is a light sleeper so wakes more frequently - resulting in even worse sleep. You can get out of an over tiredness cycle though. Try over compensating with loads of daytime sleep.
40 min naps are ok as long as they are frequent. I would suggest awake time of around 60-90 minutes between one nap and the next. So:
● Wake - note the timeatime and limit awake time to 60-90m or when tired signs start if sooner.
● Happy/awake time, meal, feed etc
● Settling to sleep (include this time in awake-time)
● Sleep - for as long as possible and attempt to resettle back to sleep when stirring.
I wouldn't move to 2 or 3-nap days until naps are consistently longer than 90 minutes in length. While naps are short, keep them very frequent.
Why does he need to learn the skill of napping without help? He sleeps at night, putting him for a sleep in the buggy isn't a problem I don't think.
Thanks Fate, super helpful.
Pottering thank you. Assuming you mean why now ( please correct me if not), many reasons - upcoming return to work being the most pressing. Plus I genuinely believe he's ready and wants to learn. Pushing a buggy for 2-3 hours a day is technically do-able but very tiring and won't be possible forever, certainly not until he drops all naps. Likewise bouncing on ball or feeding to sleep.
Mine have only ever slept in the buggy / fed to sleep with me. At nursery they will just be put down and fall asleep anywhere! Returning to work and sleep was my big fear and it was completely fine. There are lots of threads about it (I searched them a bit obsessively at the time!).
Does the buggy need to move? It can be handy to have them sleeping in it as it means you can come and go as needed.
Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it.
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