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NCSS vs "Healthy Sleep habits, Happy Child"

(12 Posts)
Mummyfor3 Tue 19-Aug-08 17:46:30

I am interested in RL experiences anybody has had with either of these books.

NCSS worked with some CC with DS1, he cried 17 min on first night, 5 min the next, then had the message, brilliant sleeper since, now aged 5 yrs.

DS2 never had any sleep problems (apart from teething/illness etc iykwim).

DS3 now 21 weeks, does not sleep day or night, no real naps (I feel 10-15 min on boob/lap do not count), wakes at night every 1 1/2 - 2 hrs, sometimes has proper feed, more often than not just has wee comfort suck.

I am on my knees and ment to return to work next week sad shock.

So: Elisabeth Pantly vs Dr Marc Weissbluth, what do the MNetters think??

JuneBugJen Tue 19-Aug-08 17:52:41

will like to know this too as having a mild sleep problem with DS as posted today!

Mummyfor3 Tue 19-Aug-08 19:05:16

What, no opinions?? shock

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 19-Aug-08 19:13:19

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StarlightMcKenzie Tue 19-Aug-08 19:15:41

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ChairmumMiaow Tue 19-Aug-08 19:25:22

I didn't want to do any form of sleep training, but about a month ago got exhausted and desperate, so went for NCSS. I read it, was enthused, picked some strategies and started trying. (I love her attitude, and would ideally have liked to keep co-sleeping)

I soon realised I was too tired for the "gentle" solutions to work. DS and I would wind each other up - I was so tired I would get stressed at the fifth attempt at de-latching him and putting him down awake. DH would come in and calm him, and would rock him to sleep - but no luck getting him to go off on his own - we were both too tired to have the patience. When you're so exhausted you want to scream at your baby instead of patting them, you know you can't do it.

So, as recommended by someone on here, I bought HSHHC (I was so desperate I paid 8 quid to get before 1pm the next day delivery from amazon). I read it, and hated it. Its very clinical, gives bad advice about breastfeeding, and (on first reading) seems to advocate Cry It Out as the best way to go (Later readings gave more of a "this will work best, but if you have the patience XYZ will take longer" impression).

However, the next day, I was at the end of my tether - even more tired than before. I hadn't eaten my dinner, DS would not go to sleep, or feed, or anything - he was doing his crazy wriggling monster impression. So I put him in his cot (at the side of the bed, in our room) and walked away to eat my dinner. 20 minutes later, with every mouthful having tasted like ash, DH and I went upstairs and checked on him. We decided we might as well keep going, and started doing CC - checking on him. Another 25 minutes later he was asleep, and I felt awful. I felt like I couldn't leave him to cry any more, so just fed him when he woke, and was, of course, even more tired the next day.

The next day we decided to give it another try - promising each other we'd do it properly and not feed every time he woke. With CC it took 35 minutes to go to sleep. He was still in his bedside cot, and when he woke first time in the night, DH and I got a bit of a wakeup call. DS screamed his head off. Big, loud angry screams - we knew he was angry because we were there and we weren't picking him up. I'd bet that's all he could think about!

So we both got up, out of bed and left him to it. 20 minutes later, he was asleep. Since then, he's getting better. He never cries for more than 20 minutes now - and only that much when its an intermittent cry/grumble rather than the full-on complaint. Moving him into his own room really helps.

We go back and forwards with the night sleeping / waking- backwards after I fed him several times in the night when he was teething, then was too worried to leave him cry the next night just in case he was still uncomfortable - even though he wasn't doing that sort of crying! Its taking us a while to get back from that but we're getting there.

In two weeks, we've gone from 3-10 wakings in a night, to 2-4 (he gets left for 2 of them and sends himself off to sleep pretty quickly)

Nap wise, HSHHC has helped me to think about his sleeping patterns, and I have paid much more attention to his sleep queues so DS normally feeds to sleep really quickly at nap time. We're still working on duration, but he does 2-3 naps per day even on a bad day (they just only last 35-45 minutes each and we really struggle to get him to nap until we get home)

Where is DS3 going when you're at work - surely that will have an impact on things?

Anyway, HSHHC stuff has worked better for me - I have been saying that if you've got the time and patience, I'd really try the gentler methods, but if, like me, you left it too late and can't cope with the stress of things like pu/pd or patting etc, it does seem to work.

Phew, that was long!

ChairmumMiaow Tue 19-Aug-08 19:29:25

Oh, but at 21 weeks I wouldn't leave your DS to cry it out, or even do controlled crying. - I'd try the gentler things first until he is a bit older (at least 6 months)

I'd definitely get your DS's carer to work on the naps, as that's the one thing that all the sleep books seem to agree on basically. Even if you use different techniques to get them to sleep (I never leave DS to cry for naps) the idea about how long they spend awake and settling them with a nap routine should help (From HSHHC)

DS was 6.5 months when we started BTW

Mummyfor3 Tue 19-Aug-08 20:37:57

Thanks for replies! All v interesting. Like Chairmum [waves hello] I like the NCSS strategy a lot more than HSHHC (absolutely rubbish BF advice shock), but I am beginning to get a bit psychotic with sleep deprivation grin and DSs 1 and 2 bear the brunt of that.

I am also worried about how unhappy, unsettled and fractious DS 3 is during the day and I really feel it is due to chronic sleep deficit. He is a good natured wee thing, really, not like DS 1 who was a screamer and even now aged 5 will erupt at the least provocation.

After 1 1/2 hr trying to get DS3 to have a nap this afternoon which he clearly needed, I let him cry for 13(!) minutes sad, then caved in, offered him further BF and he conked out within 2 minutes shock. I do not like doing it, but am at wits end.

I know, this too shall pass (been here before and bought the t-shirt), but, my, it's hard sad.

Mummyfor3 Wed 20-Aug-08 10:16:50

Any other words of wisdom?? We had another BAAAD night (awake every 45-60 min from 10pm onwards after a bedtime of 7pm)..

Well, I am off to try and get desperately tired baby off to sleep; so far he is fighting it all the way.

Am hoping for some more RL experiences when I am back, pleasesmile.

ChairmumMiaow Wed 20-Aug-08 12:36:06

Mummyfor3 - how is your DS taking his milk in the day? Around that time I had awful trouble getting him to feed properly (everything was more interesting) whether we were out or home. Can you try to get him to feed more often during the day?

Incidentally, the naps fixed that too, as he now has a good feed in a quiet room before his nap - as a part of our nap routine so he's already a bit calmer...

ARAG Wed 20-Aug-08 21:06:44

Thanks for starting this thread Mummyfor3... I had the same NCSS v HSHHC question. I also wonder about the Baby Whisperer book that I have just borrowed from a friend. Been on the NCSS programme for about 2 months... DD is now 6 1/2 months.

Napping (or lack thereof) is our issue. I had great success with NCSS for about a month. But then, as she says, if ever we had a rough time and the plan didn't work, I would resort to my sure-fire tactic of co-sleep nursing DD to sleep. Well she soon got wise to my game, and now she absolutely refures to nap unless it is on me. Ugh.

So yes, I love the nicey-nicey style of NCSS, and it has helped with the nighttime sleep, but we have definitely taken some steps backwards with regard to napping. I am frrrrrustrated.

Mummyfor3 Thu 21-Aug-08 09:45:28

I have now read a bit more of HSHHC and come to the conclusion that BFing and Co-sleeping apart, a large part of the problem is that we really do not have a proper bedtime routine for DS3 apart from zipping him into his Grobag!
His bedtime is always a bit of add-on to DSs 1+2's bedtime - and they have a very good, consistent routine and are v good sleepers. They are 4+5 years old so there is a bath, story, cuddle etc involved. A baby just does not fit into that, particularly when I am doing bed time on my own - DS, who is usually v hands-on works irregular hours and is not always available.
So, last night DS3 was left to cry after an unsuccessful attempt to get him to go to sleep with BFing whilst the other 2 were put to bed (in a hurry; I HATE hearing him so upset and hysterical sad). I went back to him when they were settled and with a tiny sip of boobie he went to sleep. Night was not brilliant but no worse than usual, and he was up for the day at 5.30am, yawn!!

So, much as I agree with the principle of "regular nap times" etc it is not always possible between the schoolrun, and the nursery run and the shopping run... and that is BEFORE I am going back to work next week, yikes!

DH is off for the next 4 days, so we will try and tackle things a bit more proactively, rather than always going the path of least resistance in the name of survival...

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