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I'm seeing a pattern with AP and sleep, and it's not good... - Page 4

post #61 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
Looking back, I can think of several things I should have done but at the time, I was just trying to get by. I was too tired to really think and too afraid of things getting worse.

First, I should have begun not to put my baby on a schedule, but to have some kind of predictable rhythm to our days - from the very beginning.

I should have always done the same things before naps and bedtimes as soon as my daughter started to show some signs of what HER good day looked like.

I should have waited to see if she was really AWAKE before I started shush, rocking, patting, feeding, etc to get her back to sleep. Often, she wasn't even awake, she was just complaining, getting to a lighter part of her sleep cycle, and trying to settle herself back down. I, in my sleep deprived panic, would think - I better grab her now before she's fully awake or I'll never get her back to sleep.

She was a cruddy sleeper and that was probably just GOING to happen, no matter what, but looking back there are things I could have done to make our lives easier.

It also took me forever to REALLY get that a good night follows a good day - FOR MY CHILD (I know some kids can go with the flow and everyone can do their own thing and the kid just goes along with it, but not mine), she really would have done well with a much more predictable day with bedtime and nap routines (not long ones, but clear signals that said...next up, sleep, so get ready) and that kind of thing.
I totally agree with all of this. I had a loose schedule with DD, built around when she typically wanted to nurse and it really helped me have good days and nights.

DD actually loved her crib and was so happy when we moved her in there, I don't think she liked her co-sleeper thing. She was an easy peaceful baby and I know we were lucky in that. She did wake up through the night, but it was always pretty bearable and since she was a tiny baby I always just got up and nursed her if she was hungry. But I also did feel like I could tell the difference between a hungry cry and a restless cry and a gassy cry...so I was never a boob-first soother. (I also only BF 6 months before I lost my milk--so a lot less long than most people on these boards) And she was always easy to soothe in a few minutes, either with a backrub or cuddle or nursing. But she did wake several times a night when she was an infant (again, just normal) and then once or twice a night as a toddler. I did/do usually go in her room to make sure everything is ok, give her a hug, adjust her covers, etc. That works.

I tried to just follow her cues for the most part. She's 4 now, she still wakes up sometimes--I think all kids do, but over all I would say everyone here is getting enough sleep and other than when she was teething, it's never been an issue.

Teething was rough because it was the only time she was truly difficult to soothe. But that passed.

I totally understand your wanting to do things slightly differently this time around. Chalk it up to your mama experience and now that you have more confidence try to figure out what works best for your family and your new baby. Congratulations!
post #62 of 99
I think some babies sleep better than others for unknown reasons. Others have issues that seem to be linked to parenting. In my observations, night terrors are linked to CIO. Babies who wake constantly or can't fall asleep with ANY other noise were sort of "taught" to be like that. My ds starting really sleeping through the night about his second birthday. I got pregnant when he was 18 months old and did not have milk by his second birthday. Now that ds is 2 years old, I still nurse him to sleep. If he nurses for say an hour and does not fall asleep, I do not let him nurse any more (because it starts to annoy me) and explain that he can have milk in the morning. He cries but understands and snuggles up with me to go to sleep.

As an infant, he nursed whenever he wanted to and did wake a lot at night. It never made me exhausted. I perhaps could have encouraged more day time nursing but that may not have worked. He has always slept a normal number of hours per day for his age, although I know kids who sleep more. I have read that formula fed babies sleep more hours in a day. He does not generally have temper tantrums.

I know mothers with two children who breastfed both and said one slept way longer at night than the other. They don't know why.
post #63 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleAnnette View Post
Babies who wake constantly or can't fall asleep with ANY other noise were sort of "taught" to be like that.
I've found that even this isn't so. With #1, I thought the reason she could sleep regardless of any kind of noise is because she always slept in the sling. Then #2 came along, and she will only sleep at home, in her bed, in complete silence. I started her out in the sling too, but she's really just more sensitive to noise and movement and doesn't like it, so I went with what worked.

They're all different. I did everything the same with the new one and she is still very different.
post #64 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I've found that even this isn't so. With #1, I thought the reason she could sleep regardless of any kind of noise is because she always slept in the sling. Then #2 came along, and she will only sleep at home, in her bed, in complete silence. I started her out in the sling too, but she's really just more sensitive to noise and movement and doesn't like it, so I went with what worked.

They're all different. I did everything the same with the new one and she is still very different.
Same with mine, Kate who is my horrible sleeper will sleep through anything... Calvin doesnt.

I think part of the zen of parenting is accepting that we cannot just label our kids (or anyone else's) like this or assign traits based on what we think is right. We just do what we can... and roll with the punches.
post #65 of 99
When I had Tobias I was all set to cosleep and child led wean and follow my baby's lead. He was a "horrible sleeper". He never ever slept longer than 3 hours in a stretch until he was 18 months old. Not during the day, not during the night. And three hours wasn't how long he usually slept either. It was usually an hour at a time, but I would sometimes get two or even three hours (usually when I was wearing him).

So I followed his needs. I wore him constantly. I slept beside him. I nursed him on demand. I didn't expect him to sleep through the night or even sleep by himself. I didn't expect that he could go without the food and yes, comfort (which is equally important IMO) of the breast.

I was a single Mom. It was all me all the time. And it was really hard sometimes because I was also a full time student and work at home Mom. I was told by more than one person that I was making him need those things. That I was (in one ever-so-helpful family members words) "Creating a monster".

He's 3 now. He sleeps through the night almost every night. He does not ever (barring illness) nurse at night. He will fall asleep and sleep by himself for naps (which he still needs and takes... some of them three or more hours long, longer than he slept at all as a little baby ). I didn't force him to night wean, I didn't ever CIO. He just did it.

Fast forward to Linus. He was born in January and came into the world willing to sleep a five hour stretch at night. He has gone to bed and slept for 10-12 hours with maybe 1-3 feeds in there almost right from the beginning, he still does. He naps during the day, and as a small baby preferred that nap to be on someone in the carrier. He now is starting to prefer sleeping in the big bed (we don't even own a crib or pack n play, so he's just in the bed we share) by himself for naps.

He sleeps right next to me and could nurse all night if he wanted to. He doesn't. It just is what it is. I'm a bigger believer than ever that good or bad sleepers are by and large not made, but rather just born. You take what you get and then you have to learn to live with it as best as you possibly can.
post #66 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post
I was a CIO baby. I'm still afraid of the dark, and really cannot sleep alone in a house with no one else there. I never stayed in bed as a child, I wandered around the house in the middle of the night, was always tired at school, and had terrible nightmares.
:



Also, I believe babies who co-sleep naturally wake more when they're closer to mom because they can 1) feel her breathing, moving, etc 2) smell her milk and wake to eat 3) wake for reassurance and comfort. I believe these babies have more restful sleep as adults because they have been satisfied during the dependence stage and not left in the dark, alone.

IMO, babies who crib-sleep and/or cry it out have given up on trying to communicate their needs during the night because they have either been let down too often or ignore their needs (be it hunger or comfort)...and sleep harder than infants who still wake to meet their natural needs during the night. But again, this is just my personal opinion.

It is normal for a baby to wake at night to breastfeed. I believe I read a few articles in Mothering about this very thing...maybe it was some other source, not sure. Every LO is different, though.

Primal Health or Continuum Concept are two books that helped me with this.

ALSO, dd sleeps thru the night when staying with other family members, but only wakes with me to nurse. I also think I may rise too quickly to stick a boob in her mouth when really she's only stirring or fussing in her sleep, but not really AWAKE.
post #67 of 99
I haven't read the responses, but here's my experience.

I co-slept with both my boys from birth and am still nursing both of them at 13 and 33 months. I night-weaned my oldest when he was about 14-15 months old during my pregnancy. Oldest had set naptimes for the first 18 months or so, after that we didn't have any set nap or bed times. DS2 never had any set nap/bedtime at all.

DS1 was a crappy sleeper and a very high-needs baby. We walked the halls with him, had to pin him down to get him to sleep, and I don't remember much of the first 6 months of his life because my sleep-deprived brain couldn't function enough to form coherent memories . He is now almost three, asks to takes naps when he is tired (!??!), and he will curl up on the couch with some covers and go to sleep if he's tired before I head to bed. Otherwise he goes with me and falls asleep while I tell him a story and nurse his younger brother. I think his good attitude about sleep now is due to the fact that we didn't make it an awful time of crying, seperation, and power struggles when he was younger. It's just sleep- it's what you do when your body is tired. As opposed to bedtime being the time when you have to go be by yourself in the dark no matter how sad or angry or bored or awake or scared you are.

DS2 slept through the night since day one (I'm sure he nursed while we were both sleeping, but neither of us woke up). He's 13 months old now and I have had to get out of bed with him at night exactly once. Luck plays a huuuuge role.
post #68 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitenicole View Post
this is the kind of thinking that can be so hurtful to someone who is really suffering with a bad sleeper (i came here many times and asked for suggestions and while i got plenty of suggestions and hugs and sympathy, i also got a large number of "just suck it up, that's what kids do" type replies that were not helpful). It's not about "bragging rights" of having your kid sttn, it's about your own need for sleep. It's a bad thing when kids don't sleep through the night if the parent(s) is on the edge of exhaustion and falling apart. It is ok to need sleep. It is ok to be dissatisfied with how your child is sleeping. Sleep deprevation is torture for a reason. Sleep is a need as basic as food, it's not a luxury.

I guess maybe when people say oh, kids aren't supposed to sleep through the night, it won't last forever...maybe they have in mind a more normal two or three times a night and back to sleep thing and not the desperate soul crushing (yes, it's that bad) results of years never having two consecutive hours of sleep. It's horrible!

I just want to repeat that i am not in favor of cio and i do not think that responsive, attentive, attached parenting makes for poor sleepers, i just don't think there's anything within the ap model that really addresses those kids who are rotten sleepers. I also think that parents can sometimes, through their well meaning efforts to be responsive, make things worse. I gave some examples further back of how i didn't help my own situation and how i'd do things differently next time (and there almost certainly will not be a next time).
yes yes yes..
post #69 of 99
Quote:
I think that part of having a child is understanding that there will be some sacrifices that go along with it.
I did understand that. I think it's a bit mean-spirited to imply that those of us who found parts of parenting to be more difficult than we had ever imagined went into it thinking there would be no sacrifices or there would be magic involved in taking care of the baby.


Quote:
Their needs right now do come before mine and that is ok...
I could not put his needs before mine and stay sane. Finally, I put my needs first so that I could take care of my son and that is okay.
post #70 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRangeMama View Post
But why is it not helpful? Once I accepted that sleep was not a right I was entitled to it really helped my perspective. I know what no sleep is like. My eldest only slept for about 5 hours in a 24 hour period (and only 3 of those while I was trying to sleep, plus he woke to nurse once or twice). That lasted for THREE YEARS! Realizing that some kids just don't sleep and that I HAD to suck it up really made me let go and accept that this is where we were at this point in life. What choice did I have? I couldn't MAKE him sleep, so it was MY perspective that had to change if I was going to keep my sanity!

Just a different way to look at it
Because sometimes when we have no good advice to offer a mama, some sympathy is always nice.

Also, while you may be able to function while not getting sleep, just by telling yourself to suck it up and accept it, another person may not.

Sympathy is always nice... sleep may not be a right, but it is necessary for health and for most, sanity...
post #71 of 99
Okay, I'll start by saying I haven't read all the responses, so I have no idea if this has been mentioned yet or not, but I remember reading a few years ago, while I was pregnant with my daughter I believe, that some parents who have used CIO, or who at least do not co-slept, report that there children STTN when, in fact, this is not true. It's not that these parents are lying either, but that they have become desensitized to their child's cry or night wakings (as not all night wakings involve crying). I can't remember where I read this, I'm thinking it was either the Baby book by Dr. Sears or Three in a Bed by Deborah Jackson.

Anyway, apparently there was a study done where researchers discovered that parents who do not co-sleep will often stop waking in response to a child's cry (by not co-sleep I believe they meant that the baby also slept in a different room), and in fact guests that stay overnight at a young babies house will often report that they heard the child crying in the night, when the parents heard nothing at all. So this is another possible explanation for why CIO parents seem to have more success. Although I by NO means think that ALL parents who use CIO or do not co-sleep become desensitized to a baby's cry, it's more likely to happen in this group, therefore this group is more likely to report babies STTN.
post #72 of 99
Well, another "success" story here.

We never CIO. We cosleep/slept.

My son is now 4. He goes to bed in his own bed/room, it takes about 5-10 minutes (we still lie with him because otherwise he just gets up, but it only is a few minutes and it doesn't bother us). Bedtime is non-traumatic. He sleeps from about 8:30 pm to 8:00 or 8:30 am. He sometimes still wakes once to pee or because of a dream or whatever and at that point will usually come climb in bed with us. Usually this happens around 4 am and is just fine with us. Most of the time I wake just enough to be aware he is there, then he is back to sleep instantly.

This has been our pattern for the last year, unless he is sick or something. He was always a good sleeper as a baby though. He once crawled around at a party, to the middle of the living room floor and fell asleep in the midst of all the hubbub. All the other moms acted like I had performed a magic trick, but that was just the way he was. He was also a child who would fall asleep in the car and I could take him out and carry him around in the store and he would nap, or I could carry him in and put him in bed and he'd continue to sleep. As a baby he would briefly wake, bf and sleep instantly. Night weaning when he was older took 3 nights.

I think most of it is personality/inborn and their natural personality could be worked with or made worse by our parenting choices. In our case he is sensitive and would never have done well with CIO/being left alone etc.
post #73 of 99
We are also a success story, with 4 kids and no CIO. My kids go to sleep when they are tired. My 3rd kid, he would wake up several times in the middle of the night, up until he was three years old - BUT, b/c he slept with us, and didn't cry or fuss, it was as simple as rolling over so he could latch on and fall back to sleep. I may have been tired sometimes, but nothing extreme b/c I didn't have to get up at all, or console an upset baby/child. A few seconds here and there didn't make me miss out on sleep. Often he would nurse w/o me even realizing it for a while.

Anyway, AP doesn't have to = bad sleepers. I think there are 'bad' sleepers no matter your parenting approach.

Last night, I realized the 2.5 yr old wasn't around and went looking for him. Where was he? upstairs, in his own bed (he co-sleeps with us about half the time - his choice) he was even covered up with his blanky. He knew he was tired, and knew were to go to sleep. Now, it's not always that easy with every kid, but more often than not, my kid (ages 2, 4, 6, and 8) do just go up to bed when they are tired. the older one's tend to actually say goodnight, unlike my youngest last night but it's not a fight, or struggle -- and they aren't up multiple times throughout the night or anything.

My first slept thru through the night at a very young age (10 wks I believe) and with the other 3 it varied. But we have never had to be anti-AP or anything, and they are now what I would call "good" sleepers.
post #74 of 99
I have noticed the same thing, OP. A lot of kids aren't getting enough sleep. An extra large number of them seem to be AP. I think it's cultural as much as anything- people who don't like schedules, want to go with the flow are more likely to be AP, people with hard babies about sleep (who were never going to be easy sleepers) are more likely to co-sleep. But whatever it is, I know a lot of hippy preschool aged kids who need more sleep, way more than the CIO crowd. And I do think there is a middle ground. If you think your baby is waking up more because they are next to you- what about a toddler bed in your room? Or is he a very light sleeper? Maybe his own room? Is he nightweaned? Jay Gordon has a gentle method, right? What about working really hard to soothe him in his own bed? Maybe avoiding rocking, but laying in the bed with him? But before all of these I would probably try to work really hard on a routine for a couple weeks. Same bedtime, same naptime. See if you can move bedtime earlier by 15 minutes a night.
post #75 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by hempmama View Post
I have noticed the same thing, OP. A lot of kids aren't getting enough sleep.
How do you judge if someone elses' kid isn't getting enough sleep? My kids both sleep less than "they" say they should, but both are great and healthy.

-Angela
post #76 of 99
Haven't read every single post . . . I don't have any answers for you OP but I see the same trend.

What I do find ironic is how "AP parents" hate to be judged (how many threads are there about this every day) and yet as I skimmed all these posts, the same comment is said over and over assuming that parents who have babies who STTN are ignoring them or sleeping through their crying.

Um, my DD is STTN and it's not because we ignored her. It's because we gently and patiently, step by step over MANY months taught her how to go back to sleep without needing a midnight party with parents. Even though our rooms are right next to each other, I listen to a baby monitor. She stirs in her sleep and sometimes even talks in her sleep but doesn't spend time crying all night. And it's not because she's ignored. It's because sleep, like many other parenting things, is something that babies & children need help with and need to be gently taught.

So to answer the original issue, I don't think AP babies/kids HAVE to be bad sleepers, there are ways to gently and attach-ed-ly (yeah I know that's not a word) teach them to sleep without the boob in their mouth all night.
post #77 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by eloise24 View Post
It's because sleep, like many other parenting things, is something that babies & children need help with and need to be gently taught.

So to answer the original issue, I don't think AP babies/kids HAVE to be bad sleepers, there are ways to gently and attach-ed-ly (yeah I know that's not a word) teach them to sleep without the boob in their mouth all night.
I disagree. My kids did not have to be "taught" to sleep any more than they were "taught" to breathe or eat or walk.

And if mom can sleep with a boob in a babe's mouth- go with it!

-Angela
post #78 of 99
I judge whether other people's kids are getting enough sleep based on their behavior. I don't know you or your kids or how much sleep they need. I do know the kids in my community, and how frequently they have low coping skills/glazed eyes/short attention spans/low energy. Can't you tell if your kid is tired? I don't think it's that hard to tell if other people's kids are tired.
post #79 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by hempmama View Post
I judge whether other people's kids are getting enough sleep based on their behavior. I don't know you or your kids or how much sleep they need. I do know the kids in my community, and how frequently they have low coping skills/glazed eyes/short attention spans/low energy. Can't you tell if your kid is tired? I don't think it's that hard to tell if other people's kids are tired.
Any of the things you just described can have other causes - not just lack of sleep. Needs a snack, overstimulated, etc. It's convenient to blame it on sleep, but I don't think that's always the case.
post #80 of 99
Quote:
So to answer the original issue, I don't think AP babies/kids HAVE to be bad sleepers, there are ways to gently and attach-ed-ly (yeah I know that's not a word) teach them to sleep without the boob in their mouth all night.
Agreed. I also think there are some kids who will just be good sleepers, no matter what (my niece) and some who just never will.

Quote:
And if mom can sleep with a boob in a babe's mouth- go with it!
Which is fine. I believe if you're alright with your sleep (or lack of) situation, then no one else's opinions matters. But I also believe that it's just fine to say ya know what, I just can't do this anymore. We are looking for other alternatives.
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