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HV called me foolish (sort of)

108 replies

Mrsknackered · 27/07/2017 17:56

HV came to visit a couple months ago after barely 6 month old caught chicken pox. She was a bit Hmm that he wasn't sleeping through the night and was still walking up often for BFing.
I cracked after 8 solid months of shitty sleep and text her excruciatingly early this morning asking her if she had any advise or if there were any sleep class/clinics/whatever available.
She has just called me now and said that I should send DS1 away to stay with relatives for a few days and put DS2 in the upstairs bedroom. I am then to leave him to cry aka controlled crying. I said I'm not prepared to do controlled crying as he works himself up in a state even if he sees me edge towards the door and as he is standing he smacks his head against the top of his cot. She then said 'I think it's foolish of you to refuse to try controlled crying as it's the only technique that I have seen work in my 25 years'
A neighbour also told me that HV said to her that she can't help her get onto council housing because all the slovakians are filling them up' (this was after I told her what she had said to me today)
So now I have absolutely no fucking idea what to do about his (lack of) sleep - and mine - and also think she should be reported for racism and just being pretty fecking unhelpful!!

OP posts:
Ropsleybunny · 28/07/2017 09:29

I agree completely that sleep deprivation is awful for the whole family. I'm sure it contributed to my poor mental health after DC1 was born. He was such a poor sleeper and we all suffered.

Thank god for such a wonderful HV who guided us gently through controlled crying. She came to see us during the process to give us support and evidence based information.

It's not cruel, when done properly. Everyone needs to sleep in order to function and this includes the baby. Learning restorative sleep habits is something that's very important for babies and children and we don't do our little ones any favours by continuing the nightmare of sleep dysfunction.

theballjuggler · 28/07/2017 09:52

Cake for you. I Bf and for both my DS's when they were well established on food I got my DP to do the shush-pat method. Both Sleeping through by the third night. I don't believe they ever felt abandoned and I became human again! I really can't cope if I don't get enough sleep

UsedtobeFeckless · 28/07/2017 10:04

Controlled crying didn't work at all for DS - after hours of wailing the whole house would be awake and he would be hysterical and l'd be so stressed and wound up l couldn't have gone to sleep even if he had dropped off ( which he never did ... ) l tried it for weeks then gave up and got a fold out foam chair thing and just lay beside the bed until he snoozed off, then sneaked out. Problem solved. The worst that happened was that l snoozed off too and woke up in the middle of the night on his floor. He grew out of the separation thing before too long but the controlled crying method was a bloody disaster. It really doesn't suit some kids.

louiepc · 28/07/2017 10:14

controlled crying didn't work for my dc1, it was heartbreaking listening to him crying so much. It ended with me sleeping on his floor and him asleep holding my hand. He was younger than your dc, he was also on bottles, and was teething at 4/5 months. Back in those days (13 years) we could start them solids earlier, best thing ever! Slept like a log once he was eating.

ZanyMobster · 28/07/2017 10:24

CC is not letting them cry it out, it's letting them cry for a few minutes then going back so they know you're still there. Letting them cry it out would be barbaric. They would never feel abandoned with CC.

Ropsleybunny · 28/07/2017 10:48

Yes CC is not leaving them to sob. It's about popping back in so they know you're still there but not rewarding them with food, milk, cuddles etc. My HV said to camp outside their room, leave them to cry just a bit and then go in. She said to be calm, boring and not look at him. She suggested saying 'its sleep time, mummy loves you, night night.'

She said to be prepared to do this all night, if necessary but that it gets better. She also said to not even attempt it if I wasn't prepared to go through with it and to get DH onboard.

The other thing that's important is to have a strict bedtime routine, so the baby knows exactly where they stand.

We started early on with tea, a breastfeed, a bath, pyjamas on a cuddle and an age appropriate story book.

It worked very quickly. By the third night DC gave up.

UsedtobeFeckless · 28/07/2017 10:50

Yup - l bought the t-shirt, leave them for one minute, go back in, two minutes, go back in, three minutes ... We generally got up to an hour before l gave up. The bottom line is you both need your sleep. Do whatever makes that happen with the least amount of hassle. Ignore all the Oooh-you're-making-a-rod-for-your-own-back brigade, DS slept like a brick once he got the hang of it.

embod · 28/07/2017 10:55

Don't believe in controlled crying at all. But do think establishing a good routine at night time is important. For example bath, massage, quiet time and put baby down awake so they learn to self settle. Worked well with both my two.
Good luck. X

User843022 · 28/07/2017 11:22

'For example bath, massage, quiet time and put baby down awake so they learn to self settle. Worked well with both my two.'

Yes I bet the op hasn't thought of that.Grin

Most people do the bath quiet time etc etc. It worked with my eldest 2 and I too thought I had it all sussed with my routine. The 3rd wasn't an easy baby though and cried/ woke constantly. In a situation like that you need to up things a bit.

LaurieMarlow · 28/07/2017 11:32

But do think establishing a good routine at night time is important. For example bath, massage, quiet time and put baby down awake so they learn to self settle.

From everything the OP has said, I don't think it's quite this simple.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat · 28/07/2017 11:36

OP, how long has this bad sleep been going on? You know your due an awful sleep regression right about now? And that can last up to 8 weeks. Then the sleep pattern changes again.

I know you know what you're doing, but as a breastfeeding mother whose first baby was not good sleeper, I found Dr Sears's advice useful. He said it's normal and expected for breastfeeding mums to sleep badly. It's abnormal the way formula fed babies who do CC are sleeping. It's unnatural. Waking up for comfort and food is natural. PITA of course, but you know what you're doing is best for your baby.

LaurieMarlow · 28/07/2017 12:05

He said it's normal and expected for breastfeeding mums to sleep badly. It's abnormal the way formula fed babies who do CC are sleeping. it's unnatural

That's just ridiculously simplistic. We don't live in prehistoric times any more. What's 'normal' and 'natural' changes. Sleep training, if successful, changes how a baby sleeps, so does night weaning. Sleep patterns are not set in stone and predetermined, they adjust with time.

but you know what you're doing is best for your baby.

I disagree. I don't think that tired burnt out mum and exhausted baby is in any way 'best'/

User843022 · 28/07/2017 12:05

' It's abnormal the way formula fed babies who do CC are sleeping'

Stuff like that really doesn't help.

It is 'abnormal' for an 8 mth old the wake persistently every 45 mins/hr during the night. Mental torture for the dm and not great for the dc either.

Blerg · 28/07/2017 12:11

It's really hard OP. My DD and DS were BF. We co-slept and they would still wake constantly. At around that age DS woke every 40 minutes day or night. I don't mean at all to diminish how grim it is, but for me I felt a lot better when I accepted my decision to wait it out. I found constantly reading baby books or people telling me to do CC (which wasn't an option for me) more stressful. And he gradually got better. Is 18 months and still doesn't sleep through but it's ok.

If you are really wanting to be proactive No Cry Sleep Solution is pretty good.

Writerwannabe83 · 28/07/2017 12:11

It's abnormal the way formula fed babies who do CC are sleeping

What a really, really odd thing to say.

What is so specific about formula feeding and doing CC? Why have they been lumped together?

Writerwannabe83 · 28/07/2017 12:16

don't mean at all to diminish how grim it is, but for me I felt a lot better when I accepted my decision to wait it out

But for some people this just isn't an option?

What about if mom is now back at work?

I read about it all the time on MN that when babies are waking through the night the dad should get a free ticket to sleep in the spare room etc because he's got to work and god forbid he do that on limited sleep, but if it's a working mom she's just expected to suck up being awake every hour and go to work regardless.

I just don't understand why we are just expected to 'get on with it' just because we are the mothers. We need sleep just as much as the fathers do.

Susiethetortoiseshellcat · 28/07/2017 12:21

I think it depends how desperate you are.

My ds is 15 ms, has always been a bad sleeper, but is now usually sleeping through the night (although waking early). The only things which stopped him waking every hour/45 mins were night weaning at 13 ms. which then led to total weaning as he was just wanting feeding for comfort at that point and controlled crying, which is different to crying it out and can involve you not leaving the room but doing gradual retreat.

Otherwise i think your only other option is cosleeping.

missyB1 · 28/07/2017 12:24

These sort of threads always mystify me. The OP will say they want their baby to sleep better/ more/ through the night BUT don't want to do any sleep training.

Did you think the HV had a magic spell to put on your baby?

Blerg · 28/07/2017 12:38

Writerwannabe83 of course it is not an option for everyone, but it is an option, and one that helped me and so I shared it. I didn't present it as the only one which is why I said for me. I think for some people the stress can come from feeling pressure (internal and external) to do something. It's just a perspective.

I was back at work myself, it wasn't relevant to the decision, for us.

InDubiousBattle · 28/07/2017 12:43

What kind of sleep training are you prepared to do op?

From what I have gathered there are more or less two types, gradual retreat/shh pat and cc. Cry it out is no longer recommended I don't think. With my ds I did gradual retreat for naps first (I found I had more energy during the day)then night weaned then did cc for night sleep. It worked very well.

In general among my group of friends (very scientific) those who sleep trained had dc who were sleeping through by 1. Those who didn't were around 2. Those who didn't night wean or sleep train or set a routine (all of 2 friends!)are still waking in the night at 3.5.

You will get a lot of posts on here saying it's absolutely fine to be waking every 45 minutes at 8 months. I disagree. If you're exhausted and you're baby is over tired then there are things you can try. If you don't want to sleep train then you can wait it out (and it could be a very long slog)or go for the magic spell pp alluded to.

User843022 · 28/07/2017 12:58

I always think sleep training makes it all sound a bit harsh. You don't say 'oh I'm just doing diet and fluids training', or I'm just doing some 'how to dress oneself training'.
As parents we do what we can to let our dc develop and be settled and happy. If that involves shushing and patting as you leaving the room for more prolonged periods, well then so what really. Dc certainly at 8 months old should have settled nights sleep .

Rhubarbtart9 · 28/07/2017 13:10

Do you have a partner? Someone who could cosleep just to get little one out of night feeds


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lozzylizzy · 28/07/2017 13:19

I used to check my son was breathing if he had stayed asleep all night when he was FOUR! He is now nine and has been going to bed fabulously for the past four years. I may have been a little 'soft' but I disn't see the point in causing a load of hysteria because he needed a cuddle.

My second loves to go to bed alone and always has done. Didn't do anything different but follow their cues. Third was somewhere in between. She is 3.5 now and very occasionally we will wake to her clambering over my head but its normally when she feels unwell or has heard a noise outside etc.

I couldn't even let the puppy cry downstairs on its own!

MrsClegane · 28/07/2017 13:21

I completely sympathise with you. My daughter was a nightmare sleeper, always needed rocking to sleep, it wasnt too bad if i only had to do it once, or maybe once again during the night.... but at around 9 months she regressed to wake up every 2 hours through the night, then it took half a hour to get her back to sleep (rocking/cuddling/etc)

After 3 months I tried cc.... it made her worse (ok i only did it 2 nights but it was enough).... I wouldn't try it, especially if you dont want to, dont be forced into it.

Instead, we tried "disappearing chair" method.... you start by putting baby to sleep in the cot and staying close.... I had to start by standing over her with my arm under her, like she was been cradled but laid in the cot as well... then i switched to putting my hand on her chest/back so she knew I was there.... then slowly you move closer and closer until you don't have to be in the room with them.
I won't lie... it takes weeks/months. It took a while for her to get used to not been held, but none of the screaming until she was sick we had with cc.

we 12 months moved her from cotbed to cot.... and made sure she could always find her dummy by attaching it to her comforter teddy.

lozzylizzy · 28/07/2017 13:23

Oh with the 'bedtime routine' spiel.........I bet op and parents of other kids that don't want to sleep alone bust out the disco lights, bubble mixture, roulette of jelly babies and belt out a bit of drum and bass!

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