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anyone using gina ford sleep routines?

(37 Posts)
janx Tue 15-Mar-05 22:10:20

I have been using gf suggestions for a while - my dd is 6 months - but everything is going haywire!! she has never been great at daytime naps especially the lunchtime - but now she is falling asleep on my breast at 11am feed. She wakes around 6.30am - has a 30 min nap at 9am, but gets tired around 11am. Lunchtime she sleeps for 30 mins mostly and then wakes up and somethimes has more, sometimes that is it. She then gets grumpy in the afternoon. On the good side - she does sleep very well at night....any ideas???

hermykne Wed 16-Mar-05 08:38:57

my ds was the same and i know on ginas routines the afternoon nap is gone at 4mths (need to check) but i kept it going if his lunchtime nap was short but always had him awake by 4.15/4,30 and it would only be for 30mins ofa nap. he would still go to bed at 7pm
i usually di the afternoon nap as a walk, so he nodded of in the buggy.
eventually the lunchtime nap will get longer, my dd was the same and then one day went for 2 hrs and that was it

TROUBLE1 Wed 16-Mar-05 09:08:45

Would definately recommend gina ford. Baby should always have a morning nap 2 hrs after waking - dont' wait any longer as baby will get overtired! Should sleep for 45 min, then hopefully will last until lunch nap. Sometimes my 10 month ds needs an arvo nap so just play it by ear. By the way, ds is the best sleeper, mums usually hate hearing how well behaved he is, and I put it down to GF routine. He never goes hungry and has just the right amount of sleep. Goodluck

janx Wed 16-Mar-05 12:45:28

Thanks trouble1 and hermkye
I just don't get why is is getting sleepy at 11 - as she has had her nap at 9 (unless she isn't actually sleeping at this nap!). I have just started weaning her and using gf - her solids should be offered at 11- but a bit difficult as she is dozing off!! Today I just let her sleep for a bit - no idea what she will do this lunchtime. She hates going to bed in cot and I usually take her out, but knackered today

Lucycat Wed 16-Mar-05 12:51:03

Keep going with it, you will get there! I found that once I had persuaded dd2 to drop the morning nap at about 6 months, then I gave her some solids at about 11 and she needed to be in bed at 11.30 at the latest, gradually I pushed this back to 12 and even now at 22 months she will sleep for 2 hours fron 12 -2 every day (if I let her!!) I'm going to have to start getting her up earlier now as she's not tired enough at 7, and we need our evenings!!

Best advice with Gina's sleep patterns is to adapt them to your baby, if she needs her solids at 10.45 now, then give them to her then and gradually push the time back over a few weeks.oh ad good luck!!

saxo Thu 07-Apr-05 21:18:24

Hi, Janx, this is exactly our problem at the moment with our 5 month year old. Getting sleepy at 11 yet when put down after feeding at 12 will perhaps sleep 45 mins then that will be it. The afternoons are then quite difficult due to lack of sleep. We have recently done sleep training (following Ferbers book) and initially did get to the stage where he had a two hour lunch sleep. Since we went away at Easter though this all seems to have gone out the window with the disruption to his routine. It has been a week since we got back now with only a slight improvement. I would love to know what is stopping him sleeping for longer, could it be teething? Also following GF

Nimme Fri 08-Apr-05 07:57:44

Hi all,

I seem to have same problem as Saxo. 45 min lunchtime nap (down form 2-2.5 hours!). I think it just means they are waking up when they come into light sleep instead of just "turning" over and carry on sleeping. I let DD2 cry yesterday and eventually she went back to sleep for another 30-40 min. I intend to do the same today and hope to have the nice long nap back soon. Will report on progress.

Janx - I too can have trouble to keep DD2 going until 11am. I try moving her around with me in the house (not the buggy/car or she'll nod off too early). Sometimes I give in and feed her earlier - but then the afternoon is too long and difficult. GF's basic feed/sleep times work so well for us that I try very hard to stick to them.

saxo Fri 08-Apr-05 12:30:43

Interesting that you have the same problem Nimme, we intend to keep trying at lunch time and not end the nap period till 2pm, hopefully things will improve. I would like to know how you get on. I guess if I have no improvement after about 2 weeks trying we may have to setle for 45 mins and then give a longer afternoon sleep. Hopefully things will straighten out over time.

Nimme Fri 08-Apr-05 19:10:03

Saxo - today was better. She woke twice, 15 in crying first time, second time 5 min. I can't really be consistent the next few days unfortunately - but will report progress nonetheless. She WILL sleep for 2 hours minimum!!

saxo Sun 10-Apr-05 10:21:16

Thanks Nimme....Our baby does not seem to be able to get past 45mins at lunch now. We have been trying for 11 days now hoping that he will go back to sleep but this has usually ended up with crying and screaming each day for an hour until we end the nap time at 2/2.15pm. He sleeps perfectly at all other times and we always put him down awake so he has no other sleep associations. We noticed that in GF p123 she says that if your baby refuses to go back to sleep at lunch you could allow a 30min sleep time after the 2.30pm feed and then another 30min at 4.30pm. 'Ferbers' advice on nap times is that you should end the nap time after an hour of crying or if your child has been to sleep and is again crying vigorously. Yesterday after only a 45min lunch sleep we put him down again at 3.30pm (he slept for 40mins) and took him out for a short walk in the pram at 5.15pm. This seemed to work quite well but it would be much better to have a bigger block of sleep at lunch which would free up the afternoon more (also establish a good routine for the future). We are not sure if there is anything to be gained from continuing to try to make him sleep day after day and ending up with a very distressed baby and parents! Is this what we should be doing to get back the lunch time sleep? Does it work? How long should it take? I guess it's possible he could be hungry yet weight gain is good and feeding well at all the correct times. I would be grateful to hear any more advice.

Mel06 Sun 10-Apr-05 19:33:04

We have just started to use GF's routines after taking the advice of diluting 4am feed. (DD is 9 months old). She has always had a routine and always goes to sleep by herself, but as soon as she hit 9 mths she would stay awake for 2 hours at 4am feed. After one week last night was a good night as she took water and drifted in and out of sleep for an hour. I have adjusted her day time sleep so that she has the 9.30 am nap (35mins)but she is too tired to eat at 12 ish. Put her down for a nap and she sleeps for about an hour but is grumpy the rest of the day. Today she was tired and hungry but would not eat much. It's all becoming very stressful and I don't know what to do. Help !!

Catilla Mon 11-Apr-05 09:05:53

One of the things I picked up in the GF book (lots of useful notes spread throughout the book - easy to focus just on the routines) is that most small babies will be tired after 2 - 2.5 hours awake. My ds (9 months now) still seems to be like this quite often. So when we are approaching 2-3 hours awake I stay very alert for his tired signs. I do get dilemmas when food is due, but generally meal times are no good if he's overtired - better to get some sleep.
If he wakes when I think he should be sleeping, I listen to the crying. If it's not "vigorous" then I leave him and more often than not he goes back to sleep. GF notes that sleep goes in 45min cycles so they often come into a light sleep after 45min and may wake. I find that once the crying gets "vigorous" (loud, persistent, unhappy-sounding, rather than whinging) he won't go back to sleep so better to get him up, enjoy the awake time, and have another sleep later.

janx Mon 11-Apr-05 09:47:28

Sorry that I have not responded for a while - it went very quiet so I thought this was the end of the thread. Just to give you an update - dd still gets a bit sleepy at 11am - now I let her doze for about 10 mins and then rouse her - it seems to work as then she can last until 12. The lunchtime naps are much better - if she cries I go in an sing to her, but don't pick her up - she seems to settle with that. She is now going for 2 hours - however she has now dropped her later nap at 4.30pm which means she gets grumpy before her tea - I have tried taking her out in the buggy, going for a drive etc, but she is resistant!! Still I can't really complain - she sleeps from 7 - 6.30 and we have even moved her out of our room without too much protesting

shirleyvalentine Mon 11-Apr-05 16:53:56

I found Gina Ford's books the most stressful thing. I felt that if my kids didn't 'perform' like her star kids either I was crap mother or I had an unusually difficult child. Now that I have 2 kids I realise that she looked after children as a job, not a parent and you should bear that in mind when trying to force your kid to stick to a Gina routine.
My advice to anyone is to do whatever's easiest for them - nothing is permanent and everything is fixable later when you are up to dealing with it.

Nimme Mon 11-Apr-05 17:42:58

Janx - thanks for coming back to this thread. So there is hope for the rest of us .

I have same prob and let DD snooze for 5-10 mins after feed. Then down at 12 but she wakes up every 30-45 min during nap - screaming unfortunately. Tomorrow is the day I start dealing with it - still haven't decided how though - don't think singing will do it.

saxo - I will report on progress - or lack of!

mel06 - sorry I really can't help. I think the key is a longer lunch nap - the holy grail now we have sorted nights

janx Mon 11-Apr-05 18:43:15

You are right shirleyvalentine - I found the best thing to do is think to yourself that your child is an individual and all babies are not the same. Having said that I do find her rountines useful - especially as I managed to get rid of dd's colic by setting up a sleep routine

secretregular Mon 11-Apr-05 19:17:34

followed it to the letter with ds1 and he slept beautifully through the night from 16 weeks. I put it all down to Gina. Didn't do it with ds2 as its a lot harder with a toddler running around, was much more relaxed and just plonked baby down when he seemed tired and shut the door, he too sleeps beautifully and slept through the night as 12 weeks! Think being relaxed and confident is the key, happy mummy happy baby.

Kidstrack2 Mon 11-Apr-05 21:18:37

Sorry to hijack this thread! But a book come on! We don't need a book to dictate a routine to our babies! My two children followed thier own sleep pattern. Obviously GF routine will work for some babies. My DS slept for half hour in morning and an hour in the afternoon if he was lucky, by 18 months he had cut out all daytime naps. My dd however would sleep eratically during the day somtimes 15mins in morning and two hours in afternoon I was guided by her and she was a happy baby, and slept from 7pm to 7am. My dd is now 22 months and sleeps for two hours in afternoon. I would say be guided by your baby, if baby likes to nod off at 11am let baby nod off at 11am, if baby wants to nod off at 12noon let baby nod off at 12noon. We had babies to love and care for them not to dictate when they should sleep and when they should be awake. Babies love routine, but they love thier own routine!

Aliye Mon 11-Apr-05 21:22:49

I used Gina Ford's routines for 2 of my daughters, one is 22 months old- very happy toddler, and the other is just 9 weeks old and has been on a routine since she was one week old. In my opinion the secret is to understand basic baby patterns- how long they can stay awake happily- how much they need to eat and sleep. I am a strong believer of Gina's system. Now as for janx's situation. If the baby falls asleep on the breast at 11:00 am I would not let her sleep- perhaps change her happy or give her a top and tail and let her get through with the feeding and then put her to sleep at 11:30-12:00ish. If you let her sleep at 11:00, even if for 10-15 mins, that will effect her lunch time sleep cause in my opinion it gives her extra fuel to cause her to stay awake at lunch time... If she is waking up after half an hour and not going back to sleep it may be that she is hungry. (Falling asleep at the breat is she getting enough milk?) I would leave her for 15-20 mins to settle herself and if she doesn't I would feed her a little to see if she will settle. I think the secret is to get her to sleep for around 2 hours so that the rest o f the day goes well and that will make sure she will wake up a wee bit later in the morning. You could also cut short her morning sleep to see if it improves the lunch time sleep. She could also be going through a growth spurt (if all fails blame it on a growth spurt!) Hang it there- I have confidence in Gina's methods- they do work!

secretregular Mon 11-Apr-05 21:30:57

there will always be really strong opinions either way about gina ford. i have seen it amongst my own friends. i have concluded that it depends on what sort of a person you are yourself. if you need routine in your life and are really thrown by chaos then you are more likely to feel confident using routines set down in a book. if you are the sort of person who hates routine, likes to go out whenever you want and not be tied down by bed times etc then you are going to hate gina! I had a friend who would happily eat out in restaurants at 9pm with her baby. My mindset is "get a babysitter"! I would never disturb my baby's bed time routine in that way, sleep was too important to me. But I really think second time around you have a kind of inner confidence and are happier to trust your own instinct and your babies. I think she is invaluable in lots of ways but we need to trust ourselves more. All these so called experts just confuse us.

Aliye Mon 11-Apr-05 21:46:57

I have seen mothers at Sainsbury at 8-9 at night with their babies/toddlers, other babies or toddlers at restaurants in the evening/night time. I think that is being disrespectful to a baby- a baby needs to be in bed by 7. A baby cannot tell you she doesn't want to be in the middle of a restaurant, catnapping in a pram or being strolled around in a supermarket. A routine means feeding the baby and letting the baby sleep in regular patterns so the baby is never wondering when she will be fed the next time or when she will be allowed to sleep in a comfortable quiet place the next time. Gina Ford's system has been crafted after long years of watching baby behaviour- so she is not dictating anything to babies- she is just letting parents know what the babies body/system expects.

morningpaper Mon 11-Apr-05 21:52:08

Hmm I must be tired - I thought this thread was about using GIN for sleep. I must go to bed...

secretregular Mon 11-Apr-05 21:56:16

I know I feel the same. The only time I ever veer off the sleep routine is on holiday. With this particular friend she used to invite me over for dinner when Mr secret was working away and she'd say "bring mini with you he can sleep in the pram". I never did and would always get a babysitter or not go if I couldn't find one. She thought I was a raving nutter!

miranda2 Mon 11-Apr-05 22:01:04

I did GF with ds, and it took ages to get the lunchtime nap established - it did eventually click suddenly though, and then it is such bliss having 2 hours to yourself! I was gutted when he dropped it at about 2. Its worth checking the light levels in the bedroom they go to sleep in - GF says it should be so dark you can't see your partner standing the other side of the room! We've recently had probs with ds waking early in the morning, and a couple of weeks ago dh actually nailed the black out curtain linings to the sides of the windows, and put hardboard up over the top of the rail, so it is really dark with no chinks of light, and it has made an amazing difference.

weeboagie Mon 11-Apr-05 22:17:27

I did my best with GF when dd was a few weeks old but gave in as I could not get her to nap at regular times through the day. When she was about 3 months she established her own routine and when I picked up the GF book last night for the first time in months - I found that she is now following the appropriate routine for her age and has been for some time - c'est la vie!

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