Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sleep, How I Miss Thee...

Believe it or not, this sweet girl does not sleep through the night.   I know many moms that struggle with this and I'm trying to figure out a way to get Sloane to sleep through the night or close to it.  I feel like I've done everything wrong in this parenting thing.  I didn't swaddle because she squirmed too much, I didn't let her 'self-soothe' because rocking her to sleep was "our" special time at night - but they are the things that worked for us and got us through those first few months.....  
She normally goes to bed around 7pm and will wake at least once, sometimes twice.  She has done this most of her life, all almost 7 months of it, and I'm ready for it to stop.  Mama needs sleep, especially when I go back to work soon.  When she was a newborn we were to feed her at night because she needed it, but at this point she doesn't need to eat at night.  But, we have fallen into a bad habit of giving her a bottle when she does wake up so she'll go back to sleep easily.  I have skimmed a few books with help on this topic - from "tanking her up" before bed, trying to feed her more during the day, crying it out, the Ferber method, and the Baby Whisperer lady - but it is definitely proving to be the most difficult part of this whole baby thing.  We tried to let her cry it out last night, after an hour I couldn't take it anymore - she was a sweaty mess of tears and I just don't know if that is healthy!  So what did I do?  I gave her a bottle, rocked her, and put her down and she slept 3 more hours - 3 hours I REALLY wanted to sleep.  Are there any other moms who have dealt with this and or dealing with this now with advice.  Do I just accept that she isn't a sleeper and hope for the best in the future?   I've heard some moms who say their babies wake much more than Sloane, so it isn't that bad - but boy, do I miss my sleep!  She is such a sweet baby and smiles so big when you do go in to see her at night, I guess it makes it that much harder!

On a good note - her first tooth made an appearance yesterday!  She has been teething since 2 months and it is about time!  We are very excited about this.... it's the little things :)


  1. First of all, I'm not an expert by any means...but I'll try to help.

    Does she have a sound machine in her room? If not, get one that plugs into the wall and takes batteries. Make sure it's loud white noise and stays on all night. I think it's an essential item. Put it near her crib.

    Do you do a nighttime routine? Like the same exact thing every night before bed. Noah gets a bath every night, even though he doesn't really need it, no matter what we keep the routine the same. Bath, bottle, book. (He still takes a bottle...eating/feeding is my biggest parenting struggle for sure.)

    If Noah is teething, he doesn't sleep well. That could be part of the problem. Our pediatrician said if he's teething really bad and fussy, that he can have Tylenol before bed. So if you think she's teething, I might try that. But teething should probably only keep her up for a night or two.

    I don't let him cry it out either. I tried it once as well and it was horrible for everyone. If he wakes up, I wait ten minutes before I go in...just to see if he'll put himself back to sleep. If I have to go in and I don't pick him up. I give him his paci, hug him, and lay him back down. Then I stand there for a few minutes with my hand on his stomach till he seems calm and pretty much asleep. Then I leave the room. If he wakes up again, I pick him up and rock him back to sleep. Then, if he wakes up a third time, I feed him a bottle. (I know he's over a year, but like you always works!)

    The other thing about Noah is that he doesn't go to bed until 9. I don't know if keeping her up a little longer...say 8...and wearing her out a little more would help or not.

    That's really long but I hope some of that helps! Now if Sloane could teach Noah to be a better eater that would be wonderful. =)

    1. Just hearing another mom talk about it helps, Lea - thank you!
      We have used the white noise machine since birth, along with a fan in her room, so it sounds like a wind tunnel! About two months ago she just quit the pacifier, which is a curse and blessing all at the same time - we used to could give her the paci and she'd put herself back to sleep, but no more of that! I think if we could get her to stay up later we'd hit the jackpot - but easier said than done. She wakes so early that by 7pm she is in some kind of mood and we just put her down. We do the same nightly routine, for the most part. Baths are given every other night because her skin was so dried out - but if we don't do a bath we do a "spit bath," as my mom used to call it, with just a washcloth. But I give her a bottle and rock her, she falls asleep and I lay her in the crib - when I should give her a bottle and just lay her in her crib. When I went back to work when she was 9 weeks that was my special time with her to be with her and just love on her, so I'd rock her until she was asleep and even longer, which has spoiled her I think.
      I think I will try the "3x then a bottle" thing you do instead of automatically giving her a bottle. That we'll try tonight :) Thanks for your help and insight! Bring Noah on over and Sloane can definitely show him how to eat - she loves her some food!

  2. We have talked about this a little, but I thought it might help to tell you in detail what I did. We have never had an issue with night time sleeping (daytime makes up for that.) I don't know if it is because I was very set in not setting bad habits, if he is just so exhausted he can't help it, or if we just happen to have a good night sleeper. I saw so many of my friends struggle with this, I researched and started early.

    I used a book called The Sleepeasy Solution. It is basically a combination of other methods. I was not swaddling him at first, but moved back to swaddling when he started to move around more because his startle reflex was waking him up. I still just swaddle on the bottom, arms out, even though he usually wiggles out of it within the first couple hours. He is all over the crib now and most often is sleeping on his stomach or side.

    Let me start by saying...this is NOT easy! It is hard to listen to them cry (Derek wanted to give up after the first 20 min,) but if you stick with it and follow the routine it should work in a week or less. Bedtime routine: Bath (if it is bath night) and into PJ's in dimly lit room. Swaddle, night light only on, music and humidifier on, bottle. If he is still wide awake after his bottle, I sing and rock him a little. First sleepy sign (yawn, rubbing eyes, head rock) he goes into the crib. The key is awake, but tired. He still takes a paci so paci in mouth, seahorse (lights up and plays music) on, and tiny bear (this is fairly new he has started playing a little before he goes to sleep with the bear and seahorse -once in a while I have to go in and tell him it is sleepy time, reposition him, paci in) So this is where the fun starts (but later it will be the most rewarding phrase you say all day!)
    Night! Night Owen! Time to get your rest so we can play in the morning! Love you sweet baby! Whatever you want to say, but something short and to the point that it is time to sleep. I don't say it the same way every night. I close the door leaving it cracked and walk away. When the crying starts wait five minuets, quickly poke your head in. Its time to go to sleep. Mommy and daddy are right downstairs. Back out in less than 30 sec. (Owen was really little when we started this, so they recommended picking up and soothing since he was too little to self soothe, but even at that age it only made things worse) So, do not pick her up. Don't even touch her. Just let her know you are there. I also found it helped to turn the TV up and talk to Derek or the dogs once in a while so he would know I was nearby. Sorry this is so long! lol

  3. Once crying starts again wait 10 min go up for another 30 sec pop in. From here on out you will go up every 20 min until crying stops. If Owen cried for an hour after the 20 min check ins started I would pick him up and soothe him. I was the same as you. The sweaty mess of a baby made me feel guilty and like a bad mother. Then it was back to the 20 min. This only happened twice and I only had to do one 20 min check in both times before he fell asleep.
    When you are ready for bed do a dream feed. Take her out of the crib, give her a bottle, and put her back in the crib with as little disturbance as possible. If she wakes its back to the 5, 10, 20. After the first two nights, I only got up to 10 after the dream feed. Within a week I was only up to a 10 on the first sleep and now Owen goes down with no crying at all.
    If she wakes up during the night, get up as quickly as possible (I know this is hard) give her a bottle, right back in the crib, and right back to 5, 10, 20.
    You will feel like it is not working the first few days, you will most likely cry, you will want to give in. But stick to the times 5, 10, then every 20 not a minute sooner! And don't soothe her every time. I promise this will work. It will make for a few long nights and days, but it will be worth it in the end. Once Owen was going down with no problems I phased out the dream feed and just got up when he cried in the night. Over time he phased these feedings out on his own and sleeps from about 7:30-6:30. Don't get me wrong he still wakes up once sometimes in the night hungry (during growth spurts) or cold. I give him a bottle (when I eventually wake up enough to realize he is crying) and he goes right back to sleep. As I said lately I have been letting him play himself to sleep at night. This week I have been doing this in the morning and trying at naptime as well. Sometimes he sleeps and sometimes he doesn't, but he will usually play quietly for at least 30 min, giving me at least 30 min- 1 hr more sleep/time to get stuff done.
    You are a wonderful mommy! Be strong and in the end things will be better for both of you.
    Last note: A few weeks ago I was really missing Owen and feeling guilty. Started rocking him to sleep, etc. Saw him backsliding within a few days!!!!! Stopped immediately and went back to putting him in the crib awake and walking away. Took a couple nights and he was back on track, but I will be more careful from now on and get my snuggles in when I can during the day. Also, when he is asleep, I go up at least 3 times a night and put my hand on him because I miss him and want to crawl in the crib! lol

    1. Rachel, I mean.... you just wrote me a novel, it's a great novel though - worth the read! Thank you. Can you come to my house and sleep train Sloane for me, I'll pay you? Haha Your method sounds a lot like the Baby Whisperer lady and I think we'll definitely give it a try. It seems like once we get a routine, things change up. Me being in school, then summer, then vacation, then she'll stay at the grandparents one night here and there and they surely spoil her. Teething is another dynamic to the whole sleep thing. But I am going to give your method a shot! FYI, I gave her Motrin last night because her mouth was hurting SO bad she was gnawing on her finger and shaking (the doc said now that she is over 6 mos. it may work better than Tylenol). Motrin is like baby crack to Sloane and wired her for sound. She ended up going to bed around 8:30 and she is still asleep (6am). This is the first morning in a long time I've been able to get up on my own, drink some coffee, and enjoy the start to my day. I'm sure it is some sort of glitch, but it sure is nice :) Thank you mamas for your helpful responses!!!