Thursday, May 27, 2010


Any tips on getting a baby to take proper naps without you holding them the entire time? Evelyn naps, but when put her down she wakes up screaming in about 10 minutes. We have started night time sleep training (letting her scream it out, going in to comfort her, but not picking her up on the doctor's recommendation). I have started trying that for her naps today, and it has been hard. I am currently holding a sleeping baby who fell asleep as soon as I picked her up... *sigh*
The last two nights have consisted of an hour of crying before she falls asleep, with the last 15 minutes or so being really MAD cries, and at that point she doesn't settle down when we come in anymore.

Any books or tips you can recommend would be welcomed!

We have already been recommended (I am using that word a lot this post!) "on becoming baby wise"

Also, any tips on getting her to sleep longer? She goes for about 6 hours at night (not bad) but wakes up at 4 or 5 like clockwork convinced she is going to starve! She is 12 pounds, so I know she isn't going to starve and she is plenty big enough to go without a nighttime feeding. Should I just try to conquer one thing at a time? I would love to be able to sleep through to 6 or 7 or even 8.... bliss!


Kristen Borland said...

yes, just tackle one thing at a time or you might go insane! about naps, zeb didn't nap for longer than 15 minutes when he was little, and that was while be bounced in his vibrating chair. ah! so when i got pregnant with nehemiah (when zeb was 4 months old), i knew he needed to start napping longer so I could nap! so i brought him to bed with me at nap time, and anytime he'd start to wake up i'd gently rock him (without picking him up!) so he'd continue to sleep. did this for awhile until he got that naps are supposed to be longer than 15 min. and then i could put him in his crib instead of with me.

the night time sleeping... i have a confession. all my kids slept 8 hrs starting at 8-10 weeks, and that was just the grace of God! i have no idea how that happened! but God knows with my health, i needed good sleep just to survive. i have to say, formula helped in our case because it takes longer to break down/digest, so they could go longer between feedings. Not that i'm telling you to use formula!! but i have heard it works the same with breast milk in a bottle for their last feeding before bed, because they tend to drink a little more than usual if it comes from a bottle.

but, to get them to go down on their own, we did have to let them cry it out. our own personal rule (and it's different for everyone) is to let them cry for 10 min, go in and comfort (trying not to pick up, but picking them up if we had to), then let them cry for 10 min, comfort, and so on. it would go on for a couple hours at first, but going in every 10 min kept them from getting too worked up. one of them (i don't remember who! how terrible!) would get so worked up he'd be way past the point of calming down on his own. honestly, it only took a few nights of this pattern to get them to go to sleep on their own within the first 10 min. i remember zeb would fall asleep at 9 min. that was his lucky number, i guess.

it's different for everyone. you are doing the right thing by asking people for different ideas. just don't try to tackle too much at once. conquer one thing (whatever is most important to you) and them move on to the next.

Natalie said...

You don't know me, but I saw this post and felt it my duty as a fellow mom who has been there to respond. I too started out reading the Babywise book and loved the premise behind it (who wouldn't want a baby who sleeps through the night that quickly?) and also was a fan of the eat, wake, sleep cycle, but when my baby didn't function by the book, I felt a bit stuck. However, I knew I didn't want to resort to tactics that I didn't intend to continue (rocking, swinging, sleeping with us, etc) to get her to sleep. Also, I was not a huge fan of letting her cry it out because she was so easy to comfort. Enter: The Baby Whisperer, especially the book The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems by Knowing how to Ask the Right Questions (how's that for a title?). The later deals with trouble shooting sleep issues -this book worked like a charm for us. She has very similar ideas to BW, but seems to take into consideration different temperaments of babies (spirited, touchy, textbook, etc . . .). I'm not with her on everything, but it was a great resource and felt her tactics fit my personality (routine rather than schedule-if that makes sense?). So, maybe give it a try.

I would describe our daughter as a great sleeper but we definitely had to put in the effort (a lot of shhh/pat -that's a Baby Whisperer trick, but it ended up working for us). EVERY baby and mom is different and above all else go with your gut -no matter what a book says.

Natalie said...

One more thing, do you swaddle? That really helped lengthen sleep for us.

Jodi said...

She goes for about 6 hours at night (not bad) but wakes up at 4 or 5 like clockwork convinced she is going to starve! She is 12 pounds, so I know she isn't going to starve and she is plenty big enough to go without a nighttime feeding.

You don't know me either, but I thought I would give my two cents (hey, what is the internet for, right?)

I think the sleep pattern you describe is pretty normal for young babies. At that age, regardless of weight, they still have pretty tiny stomachs that don't hold a huge amount. Add that in with the fact that breastmilk is so easily digested and I think they do get hungry by early morning.

For sleep "training" I really recommend The No Cry Sleep Solution, but even Dr. Ferber (of cry it out fame) doesn't recommend starting that sort of thing until six months. Before then, I really don't think a young newborn/infant can be taught the difference between needs and wants...if they want to be fed, it's because they feel hungry or need comfort and before about 6 months those wants are the same thing as needs. We do eventually start letting our babies cry it out at night without feeding them, but it is after we start solids and I know that their tummies are a bit bigger and hold more.

I know everyone has to do what is best for their own family, so these are just my opinions. I've never had a ped offer sleep training advice either so I don't know if you have a medical reason for what the doc is telling you, in which case any of my thoughts would be moot in light of that! I hope you all can get a little rest!

Priscilla said... the blink of an eye she will not only be sleeping through the night, but she will be gone to college, so enjoy her awakedness as long as you can - speaking from a grandmother's distance :)