Thoughts on this please?(9 Posts)
I have a 2 year old who still can't sleep through the night in his own bed. As I'm pregnant again we co sleep and that's all good for now BUT I'm thinking about what I may do differently with baby 2.
My son was fed to sleep, held, rocked and put down once asleep. I believed the mantra of no such thing as a rod for your own back, they're only little for a short time etc etc. In time we broke the feed to sleep association, and he will fall asleep in his bed, but can't fall asleep alone and does not sleep through the night ever.
My friend has just had baby 2. With both of hers they were in their own rooms from 6 weeks, never fed to sleep, held very little, at nap time it is swaddle on, into bed, cry until they fall asleep. Baby 2 is sleeping through reliably at less than 3 months and her elder child at 2 years old is and always has been the best sleeper I know. So whilst I know all kids are different surely it's not luck that she has two very "good" sleepers?
I don't really have a question but interested to hear from any of you who have 2 children and have parented them differently from the off, and the effect,if any, on how they sleep.
DD is 3yo and with her I did everything "right". Never fed to sleep, coslept, followed EASY routine. She was an absolute nightmare for first 3 months but then slept through (until DS was born but that's another story).
Think with DS I just expected him to be the same so changed the rules. He was always a "good" baby but was fed to sleep fairly regularly. He still loves his naps but now at 7 months still won't sleep through the night. Whenever he's awake he needs a bottle to settle him and it's a bit of a nightmare. It definitely makes a difference but I guess you just have to do what works for you at the time. With 2 young children it was too hard/ time consuming to do what we did with DD all over again.
With DC1 I really didn't have a clue what I was doing or dealt with sleep with any forethought. I ended up in a situation not that different to your DC1, but we did VIP on the basis that I was about to give birth to DC2. She has always been insecure in the night (now 13y and still is)
With DC2 I went very much the other way. EBF but down to a single feed between 7-7 from about 2 months, baby-led night weaned by 6 months consistantly sleeping 11h+ uninterputed by 9m. Also went to sleep swaddled with dummy. Just put down and left, returning only to reinsert dummy if crying. I was very militant and determined with his sleep. Never once slept in me. Easy to get to sleep, very deep sleeper all the way through childhood (he's 11y now)
DC3 was always going to be different because he was FF and the other two BF. But I took a middle ground with sleep. Never fed to sleep, put in cot with dummy but some hanging around. Sleeping 12h uninterputed and 2h+ naps consistantly from 7 weeks. Never any regressions.
DC4 is unashamably indulged (PLB). Very focused on independant sleep in cot, she never bed shared but has sidecar cot. I had to work hard to get her to take the dummy but focused determination got me there. Dummy central to her independant sleep. Followed EASY from bith so never fed anywhere near sleep time. Busy household, I loved having 20m just the two of us at sleep time so was happy to stay with her and watch her fall asleep on her own (with dummy and some in-cot cuddles). I stayed with her until into a deep sleep for every sleep until 12 months, when she no longer needed my presence. Follow gradual withdrawal as a parenting ethos (rather than sleep training) from birth. Very secure in her sleep and will happily go to sleep anytime I put her in her sleeping bag in the cot with a dummy, regardless of the time. Then sleep until her body has had plenty of rest
If I look back, i would say DC2 and DC3 were both "sleepers" by nature, although each different in the way that presented itself. DC1 and DC4 both "needy" in terms of sleep, but had very different outcomes due to different ways they were parented (in terms of sleep).
Reading 'held very little, cried until they fell asleep' depresses me deeply if I'm honest. Babies are meant to be held and nurtured, it's the biological norm. By all means meet somewhere in the middle if you want but to be frank your friend sounds cruel, sorry! Totally appreciate you're pregnant so you want to get something sorted, but it sounds like you've been perfect with number one and yes he doesn't yet sleep through but I don't believe it's because of anything you have done. I don't like to be labelled an 'attachment parent' but I believe firmly in attachment theory, the closer they are to you and more dependent you allow them to be at the start creates a very independent healthy mind x
Crazy, I'm inclined to agree with you (as are the majority of our mutual friends) that she is a little "cruel", and dare I say it there are traits her DC1 displays that I wonder if they are the result of how he has been raised so far. BUT, it's not sustainable for my family long term to have two kids that need a parent sat with them for up to an hour a night to go to sleep and can't sleep in their own bed.
I think there must be a middle ground but I'm not sure what that is so need to give it some real thought before DC2 arrives. Thanks for your thoughts so far, really interesting.
I'm a huge fan of @FATEdestiny when it comes to very gentle independent sleep methods. She'll give you some great advice for number two - she has sort of laid some of it out above but I'm sure can go into a little more detail totally understand it's not sustainable for you currently xx
I have a 6 month old - sometimes feeds to sleep and sometimes self settles! Depends if he is overtired - if not he will self settle so I would work on getting the naps in the day which I think helps with a calm baby who is happy to drop off to sleep. I didn't know this with my first and I thought if I kept her awake as much as poss in the day she would sleep more at night - she was an awful sleeper, rocked to sleep for hours on end several times a night
I think there absolutely is a middle way.
My 8 month DD can go to sleep from awake in her cot and then sleep through (most of the time!). She is bf and self night weaned at about 6 months. Now, I think some / all of this is luck but I have tried to help her get here by:
- doing whatever it took to survive at first (feeding and rocking to sleep)
- following the EASY routine. Never bought the book!
- from about 4 months I think I gave her the chance to fall asleep on her own (always with me there). After night feeds I put her in her sleepyhead awake. But if it didn't work I'd go back to rocking.
- I have never left her to cry.
- I wore her in a sling a lot. So many benefits to baby wearing. She was a very very fussy baby at first but now people are always saying how content she is. I'm sure the sling helped with this.
- we don't have set nap or bedtimes, but they depend on the length of time she can stay awake since she last woke up
So, slowly she has learnt to self settle. Like a PP she can not do this when over tired. If I get the timing right she is asleep within 20 mins.
So I do still have bedtimes when I'm rocking her to sleep but I'm hoping they become fewer!!
Hope this helps! You never know you may get lucky and get a naturally good sleeper!
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