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Has anyone ever visited a sleep clinic

(33 Posts)
bria Tue 01-Oct-02 21:16:49

My DD has a terrible problem getting to sleep in the daytime. She is five months old and has had this problem since she was approximately 8 weeks old. I won't bore you all with too much detail - My HV reckoned that she will grow out of her sleep problem but it has come to a stage now where I am getting desperate! I need help - can anyone advice me on sleep clinics - whether they work and how I can attend one. My GP will not refer me because my DD sleeps at night (not through the night - but at least a four hour stretch) - it dosn't matter that I spend my whole day tearing my hair out trying to get her to take a nap! The more she dosn't nap the more tired she gets - the more tired - the more irritable - this includes lots and lots of screaming! Please can someone help, I really can't bear any more of this! Also can anyone offer any information of 'Cranial Oesteopathy' My DD was born as a result of a very short labour (45 mins) my M-I-L reckons that the short labour may have affected her? HELP ANYONE!

robinw Tue 01-Oct-02 22:19:26

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bria Tue 01-Oct-02 22:55:32

Wow! Quick reply robinw - Thanks! I shall check out that website. I have tried EVERYTHING! My DD dosn't sleep in her pram! - she whinges the whole time - she sleeps in the sling but is getting a bit heavy! She does sleep in the car - I don't drive but she sleeps if my DH takes her for a spin - I envy mothers that have babies that sleep anywhere - I really need to SOLVE this problem rather than mask it! DD is my first child and I hate to say it, but I havn't enjoyed the initial experience - I know it's not her fault - poor darling - but sometimes I feel so wound up I worry that I may flip and do something to harm her! My GP obviously didn't consider this when she turned me away!

Tinker Tue 01-Oct-02 23:14:27

bria - I went to a sleep clinic and it was just arrange via my health visitor. Maybe have a word with yours.

robinw Wed 02-Oct-02 07:16:11

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bria Wed 02-Oct-02 10:21:42

Tinker - tell me more about the clinic i.e what was your babies problem and was it solved - Are there clinics around London and can I just attend without referral? My HV believes that my DD will grow out of this problem and scoffed at the suggestion of a sleep clinic!

mears Wed 02-Oct-02 10:29:30

Bria - have you been shown baby massage? Your HV should be able to give you info. The babies in our special baby care unit are much better when they have been massaged. There is a midwife trained in massage who teaches parents and other midwives. Just a thought.

bria Wed 02-Oct-02 10:35:44

Sorry - Robinw my DD has spent very little time away from me in all of these five months - everyone thinks I spoil her that's why she is clingy and whingy, the fact is that they just don't understand her - all she wants to do is sleep! I do need a break you are quite right - but when I leave her with someone else she comes back ten times worse - overtired and overstimulated and they complain that she was screaming the whole time! I think I may try the crying in the surgery thing! Oh by the way I checked out the website and rang a number for cranial oesteo - £40 for the first session - further sessions £25 - quite alot of money - apparently you don't really notice much change after the first session - so I may be spending the money for nothing - I think i'll try the clinic first - I am determined to get her there! Thanks alot!

robinw Wed 02-Oct-02 22:23:01

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florenceuk Wed 02-Oct-02 22:42:30

Bria, we tried cranial osteopathy and sad to say I don't think it made any difference. I am a sceptic though. Try the sleep clinic, your DD is now old enough to learn to go to sleep. Have you read any sleep-training books eg Ferber, Weissbluth, Pantley? There are a few threads here on sleep-training as well to look at. Basically, you need to teach your DD to go to sleep without you driving her around - but a lot depends on your own personal parenting style. Some people hate to let their baby cry, so you could try reading Pantley, or else have a look at the other two authors - basically different versions of "cry it out" - letting your baby cry until they fall asleep. You go in and comfort them at regular intervals, but leave them in their cot - eventually they learn to go to sleep in the cot. That sounds mean, but have to admit, it was what worked for me. But if you can't stand the idea, there are some alternatives. Try this link: babycenter for a description of the different techniques.

Nattie Wed 02-Oct-02 23:38:50

Bria - are you in London? The Osteopathic Centre for Chilren is at 109 Harley Street, London W1. It is a charity and you pay what you can afford. I have taken both my children (ds & dd) and I swear by it. As with all complimentary medicine, it takes time but has worked for me. Also had to take my dd to a sleep clinic at 7 months - run by the health authority but with self referral. Maybe you could get in touch directly with your health authority to find out about clinics in your area.

ellasmum Thu 03-Oct-02 09:44:17

Bria - I tried Osteopathy with my DD and it helped with her digestive problems but I am not sure about her sleep. Where in London are you??

I had exactly the same problem as you and was literally tearing my hair out. I found that sorting out the nightime sleep i.e. no feeding etc.. helped with the daytime sleep.

I read loads of books and a good one was Elizabeth Pantley - No-Cry Sleep Solution.

I totally sympathise with you as having an irritable baby all day is HARD WORK - I never left her with anyone either for the same reasons as you. Looking back I definitely should have as I lost all perspective on what was going on and became totally obsessed with her sleep which was not healthy for me or her. Things are better now but it has been hard work.

Sorry not to be of more help but things did just seem to work themselves out when she got to 5 months - she is now 6 months.

bria Thu 03-Oct-02 21:06:22

Thanks to all for your advice. Thanks for that address Nattie - i'll give them a call first thing tomorrow - on the subject of 'crying it out' - I am willing to try anything if I'm sure that in the long run it is benificial to my DD, however there have been many occasions when she has become chronically over tired and nothing I do would sooth her, I have left her to cry, and the crying is unbearable, she never falls asleep, she is just further agitated! I don't know what I'm doing wrong I put her down in her cot as soon as she shows signs of tiredness, I stay with her stroke her cheek, shoosh her yet still she tosses and turns and eventually goes into meltdown! I've tried holding her in my arms, and putting her down ......same thing! I've even bought black out success! The day that she falls asleep without all this commotion, is the day I shall pop the biggest bottle of champagne! Oh by the way Ellasmum I have read many books including 'the no cry sleep solution' I started keeping a diary of her naps as EP suggested, but I got so depressed by the entries that I gave up!

manna Thu 03-Oct-02 21:38:26

Bria - I second nattie - the harley street centre is fab, and you pay what you can afford. Personally, I think she sounds too young for a sleep clinic - it sounds so severe. I hate to say it, and no doubt someone will bite my head off: have you tried gina ford & the contented little baby routines?

At around 8 weeks babies stop being able to drop off anywhere - they start to develop rem & non rem sleep (light & heavy) and they sleep in 45 min - 1hr cycles. Thus a baby who would sleep through a party at 4 weeks needs dark, quiet, routine to get to sleep when just tired, not overtired. They basically need help learning to get themsleves to sleep. If you don't mind authoritarian stuff, and if the cranial osteopathy shows no serious medical stuff, save your money and spend £7.99 on the gina ford book - I swaer by it

calcium Thu 03-Oct-02 22:01:47

Bria - my dd sleeps badly at night and always has, she has fitted into a routine during the day but never sleeps more than and hour, occasionally an hour and a half. I was given the London Baby Directory which is great. I rang a sleep clinic and was told most don't take babies until they are at least 6 months but the lady I spoke to gave me advice over the phone and we chatted for around half and hour. I have also been to a cranial osteopath 3 times and must say it didn't make much difference. Also go to baby massage which does help during the day, although when i have massaged dd after her bath I think it wakes her up and is worse during the following night! Routine is great during the day and if you persevere it really makes a difference. My dd automatically gets tired around the same time everyday and even if she only sleeps for an hour its time for me to do stuff around the house.
Good Luck.

robinw Fri 04-Oct-02 04:59:50

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bria Fri 04-Oct-02 10:01:31

Thanks for all the good advice! Where would we mums be without sites like these? Anyway Nattie, I have made an appointment for my DD at the Harley St. clinic - I can't wait - even if that dosn't help I can at least start ticking things off my list. Manna, thanks for the advice, but another book in my collection is Gina Ford's - DD and I tried the routines for two days but as she wasn't getting to sleep at the designated times the whole thing was a complete shambles, also DD drinks five ounces every three hours, GF's babies should be drinking more than that every four hours in order for them to be fed at the exact times every day! MY DD is a law unto herself no way was she going to conform to routines!

berries Fri 04-Oct-02 10:27:01

Bria - I have your child! Seriously, you could have been describing my 2nd dd when she was a baby. I also got told I woulsn't be referred to a sleep clinic as she was 'only' 6 months. I'd like that HV to look after a 2 yr old and a baby on 3 hours sleep per night. Unfortunately, I haven't any instant fixes. She is now 5, and sleeps fairly well, but is still very hard work (compared to big sis who sails through everything). Please read the article 'In Deep' on It talks about different childrens temperaments, and how the 'intense' child generally shows it when a baby as well. Might help you to feel more positive about it all (still b*****y tired though)

musica Fri 04-Oct-02 13:02:04

There was something on the radio this morning about sleep clinics in Australia - did anyone else hear it? The parents and child go in to a residential place for 2 or 3 days, and are observed through the night, and given support and advice.

Inkpen Fri 04-Oct-02 17:25:40

Bria, hope the OCC (Harley St) works for you - I would swear by them too. They helped both my children enormously. It's a lovely place, calming and reassuring. You walk in to a large room and wonder how it can be that way, with children everywhere, but it is, and that says something for the work they do. My ds was helped even by his first session; dd took a little longer. Do have faith in it - it is so gentle a treatment that it doesn't appear that they are doing anything, but they really are! I can vouch for this as I've had cranial work done on me too and you lie there for a while, feeling relaxed but possibly a wee bit silly and then you realise that ooh, you feel much better! It also helps you to talk over the problem, in a very holistic way.
I also visited a sleep clinic with ds later on in his sleepless career and to be honest, I felt that the info they gave me was no more than I had got from a good book. But try anything - a HV at a sleep clinic will be familiar with the problems and can support you too. A baby who doesn't sleep is very very hard on you and you're quite right to say that it's hard to enjoy them when you're exhausted. I speak from experience! Good luck.

Tinker Fri 04-Oct-02 18:53:25

Bria - sorry for not getting back earlier.

Having skimmed through the other posts here, I'm not sure I was in quite the same position as you. My daughter was 2 and just would not adapt to sleeping in a bed. It was whilst visiting my clinic, that I was referred to sleep clinic (after getting obviously upset when telling my HV about situation).

Only had one visit but presume could have had more if I wanted to.

My point, I suppose, is that help was available that didn't need to be organised through a gp.

bria Fri 04-Oct-02 20:16:51

Musica, does the 'Support' given by the sleep clinic in Australia include night feeds?!! It sounds like a good idea I bet its not cheap! Inkpen, i'm sure my DD will shatter the calmness of Harley Street just as soon as we step inside.

musica Fri 04-Oct-02 21:08:38

I think the idea is, they watch and help over a couple of days, including night time feeds. The example they showed was where parents were staying with the baby, then leaving, but the clinic were able to point out that they left just before she dropped off, (they noticed the change in cry), thereby causing the child to again start screaming and once this was pointed out, they were able to time it better.

They didn't mention the expensive - I don't know what their health system is like, but they did say there were 200 families on the waiting list!

jasper Sat 05-Oct-02 03:49:48

Do they accept adults ? - look at the time

manna Sat 05-Oct-02 10:53:11

bria - sorry to bang on about it - but 2 days isn't really enough for a baby to get into a gf. If you wanted to try again (which you may not), call her. You pay £90 for 2hrs phone consultation and she works you throu the routine from where you are to (hopefully) where you want to be. I swaer I never spent a better £90, and my ds problem was quite small, so the money lasted months - time to iron out all those little problems. Now, at 10mths, I just called her again because of a sudden and major blip in his daytime sleep that was effecting his nightime sleep - it took 7 mins to sort out (not that I'm anal, but my phone has a timer!), and that same day he was back on track - the woman is a saviour I think I have only now exhausted my original £90. The plus side is - you can do it all on the phone, you don't have to go anywhere. Of course - it only works if you do, or want to do her routines. Whatever you try, good luck.

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