8 mo put up put down - mistakes?(9 Posts)
Hi there. After 7 months of co-sleeping with ds (first 4 months on me, after with me in bed) and frequent night waking I decided to try put up put down method. As there has been many bad habits we want to change, it ain't easy. Day 11 and ds still takes short naps (between 30-60 min) and wakes up about 3-4 times at night, 4th being as early as 5ish and won't go back to sleep.
The situation is all new as:
- he had never slept in his cot before
- he had been fed to sleep, also rocked, put in a pram etc
- we had no routine
Now he sleeps in his cot, can self soothe when put to bed at 9am and many times at 7pm, is not fed to sleep and has a routine.
However, after 11 days of seeing him crying or -worse - screaming every time he wakes early from a nap/sleep I am loosing my faith.
I have been consistent with the method, but I might be making a few mistakes as I am confused about some things.
When I put my hand on his back to calm him, he brings it to the front and either falls asleep holding my hand or starts playing with it. Sometimes I let him play for a bit to see if he falls asleep, but sometimes I feel that it makes him more awake. When I try to take my hand, he won't let go. I need to use my strength to take it away and then he starts crying. We are both confused. Sometimes he wans to suck my finger (used to be breastfed on demand and often for comfort). Again - should I let him? I try to offer a dummy but it does not always work.
Also, when he wakes up at 1,3,4,5 and 6am I am at loss - is he hungry? I started to do dream feed couple days ago and also give him 3 solid meals a day but it hasn't help with waking (yet?). Maybe that is just a lot of changes at once for a little one, but these thins are intertwined and would be hard to tackle each seperately. I am very tired and at doubt, please help.
Honestly, it sounds like he needs more comfort which is probably why it’s not working and he’s distressed. It sounds like it went from having a lot of attention at bedtime to being expected to sleep first time in the cot and self settling etc, he is still very young so is probably struggling I’d imagine.
Also there’s a sleep regression at 8 months, similar to the 4 month regression they can wake frequently due to developmental changes and being very busy learning. Honestly I’d let him have the comfort x
I see no bad habits - just a normal baby who needs his primary caregiver to sleep securely. He’s not developmentally ready to sleep separately from you yet.
You’re also describing pat-shush, rather than PUPD, but it’s semantic.
Are you able to co-sleep on the floor of his bedroom so he at least gets used to that as his sleeping place? I put DS2’s cot mattress on the space where his cot would go when he was 6/7mo and slept next to him on an air mattress for months. I could nudge over and sleep against him as he needed it, or just with a hand on him. As he needed my presence less, I brought the cot in and could reach through the bars at night without havjng to get up. He was sleeping independently by around 14/15mo and is definitely the better sleeper of my two. My first I subjected all sorts of sleep training horrors on that he wasn’t developmentally ready for (I didn’t know this at the time) and I think I just delayed his ability to sleep independently as a result.
crying or -worse - screaming every time he wakes early from a nap/sleep
Are you there with him when he initially wakes? That may help. I'd keep the cot next to my bed and stay in the room while baby sleeps. Just until more settled in independant sleeping.
When I put my hand on his back to calm him, he brings it to the front and either falls asleep holding my hand or starts playing with it
Hold his hand within yours. This keeps his hands still and stops him playing. But keeps your reassuring touch. Stay holding his hand or hand on his chest/back until fully asleep. Don't remove it, it'll disrupt him going to sleep securely.
Sometimes he wants to suck my finger... I try to offer a dummy
I would never deny a baby the chance to comfort suck. It is, imo, the single factor that means babies don't cry at sleep time.
I'm a huge dummy fan. I would encourage consistant use of the dumny each and every sleep time.
when he wakes up at 1,3,4,5 and 6am I am at loss - is he hungry?
He's not going to be needing calories that often at night. May well need comfort reassurance though. If you've only recently night weaned, he could well be hungry at some point over night, but you could go cold turkey and move all calories to the daytime. It depends how harsh you want to be about night weaning. But night weaning won't stop wake ups for comfort though.
Thank you for your opinion. I hate to think I don't offer enough reassurance. I follow all the instructions for put up put down method as described in the book and since it has been working to some extend, I don't want to ruin it with inconsistency. I never leave him to cry alone, rather give him time and space to feel secure on his own. I give him lots of cuddles after sleep time and speak to him gently when he screams. Hard to judge with the first baby - I would still sleep with him, but he started to wake up frequently so I thought it was time to move on (and have my partner back in bed eventually).
@Fatedestiny Thank you for all the tips. I have a mattress on the floor close to him but try so I can recognise when he needs me and also makes me feel better about the whole situation. The method is called put up put down, but I don't always put him up and down, only when he cries and reaches out - as per Tracy Hogg's instructions. He is quite reactive baby and putting him up and down often triggers frustration so I use my own judgement when to do this or just pat instead.
Helpful tips about holding his hands and also about being there when he wakes. I will try to give him more comfort and hopefully it will continue to improve. Thank you for your support.
Night waking is normal. Even frequent night waking. It’s all part of normal baby development.
Sorry, I meant "pick up put down" - definitely need some sleep. Have a good night and again, thank you for your support.
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