or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Life With a Baby › Trying to avoid sleep associations - thoughts?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Trying to avoid sleep associations - thoughts? - Page 2

post #21 of 34

You know, nursing/bottling to sleep really isn't the devil "they" make it out to be.  We still do it with my 16 month old, and, seriously, it is the absolute easiest way in the world to put a baby/toddler to sleep (assuming it works for them).  As your child develops, his sleep abilities will continue to change.  You may be able to help him learn to fall asleep on his own in his infancy, but he will likely STILL go through sleep-fights and battles with you in toddlerhood.  My take on it is, why struggle now when you'll probably struggle later no matter what?  Easiest is best, especially with a high needs baby. 

post #22 of 34

Sounds like you wrote exactly about my newborn almost 3 years ago (except the 3 weeks early part). :) She would basically only fall asleep at the breast and woke up often. At 3 months in desperation I bought a woombie (stretchy swaddle pouch) to try and since then she's been sleeping great, I highly recommend it. I wish I had it from birth and I will with this second baby!

post #23 of 34

If you are worried about creating sleep associations and your care provider not being able to put him down, I wouldn't worry too much. They will find what works for them.

 

I still nurse DD to sleep, and have been to work for several months. She stays home with DH, and he had to find his own way to get her to sleep that doesn't involve boobs, and he has his own set of tools, either rocking or the swing or just cuddling her to sleep. It's funny, I have never successfully rocked her to sleep myself, but he does all the time, it just doesn't seem to work for me. We each have different skills with the baby and just need to do what works.

 

As I said, I have always nursed her to sleep, but now, she is 6 months, and she is starting to occasionally fall asleep on her own when she is tired. I think it is a maturity thing. (and luck, don't get me wrong, all babies are different and some just have different habits)

post #24 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone thanks for your thoughts. My little guy is now 12 weeks old and I pretty much gave up on avoiding sleep associations because nursing him to sleep worked and "drowsy but awake" was just not realistic for us at that time. Now that he is older I can sometimes use other techniques. What is concerning me now is that he is waking up more and more frequently at night to comfort nurse. We do not co sleep so I am very much awake each time this happens. Even if I didn't have to go back to work, getting an hour here and there of sleep does NOT make me a good mama during the day. I know my baby has night needs and I want to tend to those lovingly but I have night needs too and want to be in good, happy form when I interact with him during the day.
post #25 of 34

I just want to echo what many other pp have said- 8 weeks is young to do any sleep training.  The important thing to remember now is that just getting baby all the sleep they need is what is key.  At 8 weeks, I think my husband was wearing my DS down to sleep and that wasn't something we'd ever really be able to continue for the long run with work schedules, etc, but we did it then because that's what worked. 

I remember around 3 months though starting to worry that I was doing something "wrong" with setting 'bad' sleep associations and got sucked in to the fear mongering around people's assumptions that baby's who aren't "taught" how to put themselves to sleep will never learn. 

Not true. 

The most important thing you can continue to do is having the bedtime routine and paying attention to your baby's cues as to when they're ready for bed.  After I went back to work I'd keep my DS up way later than I should have just so I could spend more time with him.  Once I started putting him to bed earlier things changed.  Another thing that was huge for us, was paying attention to his cues as to when he wanted to belly sleep.  Yes, I was nervous about letting him sleep on his belly, but he so clearly wanted it and he slept SO MUCH better! 

I still nurse him to sleep, and sometimes if it doesn't take I'll put him in his crib and he'll chatter and make noise for about 10 minutes and then put himself to sleep, this is nothing I trained or taught him to do, he just started doing it- he's 7 months. 

I highly recommend Paley's book- it is great and really helps remind you of some good things you can do that help reaffirm positive sleep associations!

post #26 of 34

Mama, it's time to start co-sleeping!  You'll need a few nights to get used to it and then you will be getting all the sleep you need.

 

My best advice to you is to forget everything you've ever read or heard from a more "experienced" mother and just listen to your baby.  He will tell you exactly what he needs.  If he's getting up that frequently, it's likely because he's missing you.  Think of all the hours you will be away at work.  That's all time that he is being deprived of his basic need (and right) to be in his mama's arms.  Nighttime is the perfect time to make up for that.

post #27 of 34

It sounds like you are taking a pretty positive approach by trying and even thinking ahead! Honestly, I agree with some of the other comments that babies continually change and alter their routines, especially when you finally get used to it! I had the same worries, having to go backt to a rigid work schedule at 6 weeks. 

At about 1 month, my LO went through a period where she WOULD NOT sleep before 3 am! no matter what we did, she would just cry if we tried to stop interacting or holding her. then she would fall asleep for 6-7 hours. it only lasted maybe a week and a half but it made me extremely discouraged because I felt the same way s you and I did not want to get into to horrible sleep habits. My LO also had bad gas and slight reflux and honestly she hated sleeping on her back for probably the first 3 months. she was only sleep for any length of time on me, tummy to tummy. and I can be honest, I liked the closesness! but I did sometiems worry we would never get out of that phase. Now she won't sleep like that even if I wanted her to. So anyways, in my opinion, you're doing a great job. Your LO just may want more closeness for a while, 8 weeks is still young to be in any kind of schedule for any length of time really. It will likely change soon!

post #28 of 34

I would pay attention to the reflux component more.  From the symptoms you share, it sound like possibly baby has more reflux than is obvious.  Both my daughters had reflux, DD2 had it significantly more so than with DD1.  We eventually had to medicate after trying numerous non-medicating remedies.  But babies with reflux will want to nurse because nursing keeps the acids down (while nursing), but they start coming back up shortly after laying down.  So they cry.  Nursing more can even cause the problem to be worse because it's adding more to their full tummy.  So this is one of those counter-intuitive steps.  Nursing feels like a relief, and it does provide some immediate relief for baby, but can trigger more reflux with extra fluid. 

 

And of course, if there's a reflux issue, soothing by the side of the bassinet won't help with the pain.  Also, reflux babies often like to sleep on their tummies (argh!) so that is a hard call to make.  We were never comfortable doing that until she was 6 mos old, so we had to deal with the reflux in other methods.  Try laying baby on his left side so that gravity will help keep tummy contents in tummy.

 

Not sure how often your nursing baby, but maybe trying to nurse earlier before laying down so baby has some time to process the milk before laying down.  And carrying him vertically during the day so that his esophogus doesn't get burned during the day so that it's in better shape by bedtime.  Also, burping well and often before laying down definitely does help, so read up on various ways to burp so as to get as much as you can (like over the shoulder, over the leg, etc.).

 

Lastly, I also went through an elimination diet with DD2 which seemed to help with the gas.  Elimination diets are hard though - you have to be militant, not just "I try to avoid.."  You can start with some obvious culprits that often cause babies gas issues, like onions and cruciferous veggies.  I ended up ultimately removing gluten (ALL sources, not just wheat) and dairly along with onions and cruciferous veggies.  It did seem to help my baby who could get into some very hard crying jags when she was trying to pass gas.

 

Just my thoughts and experience.  Good luck!!

post #29 of 34

In response to your post about the frequent night waking, I just wanted to add that exactly at 12 weeks, my DD started waking much more frequently and getting harder to settle. It went on (with a handful of good nights thrown in) for about 2.5 weeks, and now she's back to 6-8 hour stretches the first part of the night. It may be a temporary growth/developmental thing.

post #30 of 34

The only associations I'd be worried about avoiding are sleep=loneliness or sleep=anxiety.

post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by dejagerw View Post




I wouldn't worry too much about how your DS is different and more independent than DD. IMO, it doesn't really have as much to do with you shushing him to sleep as it does with their inborn temperments. If he needed more than shushing, he would have let you know it (by crying and crying until he got what he wanted) For me, DS1 was so high needs, he needed constant contact, constant night nursing. I could never separate myself from him day or night. He woke up constantly. DS2, he has always been more independent, easy going, and much better sleeper. He never ever nursed to sleep. I'd try, but he wouldn't comfort nurse. He'd nurse, and then he'd be done and preferred rocking. He sleeps so much better than DS1 ever did. But it's nothing I've done different, it's all him. It really makes me see that we don't create these sleep crutches, some babies just need more help to sleep than others, and it's nothing we did "wrong" to cause this. Whatever your baby needs, give that to them. If they need more, give more. If they need less help going to sleep, don't sweat it, and count your blessings. 

 


Love this... It is helping me so much right now get through some rough times, with my DS who is 1 yrs old and high needs... I'm so tired because of all the night waking, but this helps put things in perspective-- that I haven't done everything wrong like so many of the books will have me believe, that it is related to his temperament.  Still, it's hard sometimes when I hear how other parents have it so 'easy' when it comes to their baby sleeping-- when they are easy to put down and stay sleeping the entire night.  I've often been told that I need to CIO with my DS... ouch.
 

 

post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenzinsMama View Post




Love this... It is helping me so much right now get through some rough times, with my DS who is 1 yrs old and high needs... I'm so tired because of all the night waking, but this helps put things in perspective-- that I haven't done everything wrong like so many of the books will have me believe, that it is related to his temperament.  Still, it's hard sometimes when I hear how other parents have it so 'easy' when it comes to their baby sleeping-- when they are easy to put down and stay sleeping the entire night.  I've often been told that I need to CIO with my DS... ouch.
 

 


I was the last person I'd ever thought would do a CIO with a child, and I never did that with my first born, but with DD2 she had sleep/nap issues from very early on (would only sleep for 45 mins at a time).  We did something along the lines of "Baby Whisperer" with her before I finally realized that I had become her crutch and it was actually me that was preventing her from learning how to sleep on her own.  So, as much as it killed me we started to CIO with her.  I never did go a long time of her crying before going in to her (maybe about 10 mins at the longest), but you know what?  After a fairly short period of time, like a few days (definitely shorter than a week) she was putting herself to sleep and staying asleep through the night.  I would never say this is the solution for all children though, they're all different and you really have to know your child to know if this might work with them.  And I probably wouldn't do it for an infant, but more like 6 mos or older.

 

So, all I'm saying is, as much as CIO sounds like it might be a horrible thing to do, sometimes it might be what the child needs to learn their independance.
 

 

post #33 of 34

Oh, I just love all you mamas.  I needed to read your words of encouragement as I am going through the sleep struggle with an eight-month old.  I have struggled with the nurse-to-sleep association (although it words for us beautifully) because DD gained weight like a champ and really didn't need more calories and because my DH can not ever put her to bed.  We can't get past the wake-up-after-40-minutes nap.  I've tried some CIO for naps and basically it never works, she just gets all worked up, and is developing negative sleep associations.  So I'm done with that.  Not worth it.

 

My high-needs DD would not sleep without me for the first 5 months of her life.  At all.  I held her for every nap (up to 4 hours!) and we still co-sleep.  But somewhere around 5-6 months, I started being able to put her down and tip-toe away and she would keep sleeping, for at least 40 minutes, and every now and then up to 2 hours.  I was lucky in that I was able to take a 6-month maternity leave.  But I have found that DD does sleep for other people differently than she does for me.  And that is a relief.  I too have been using some of the suggestions from the No Cry Sleep Solutions, and an earlier bedtime does make a big difference for all of us.  Some nights she wakes up every 40 minutes, sometimes not for 2 hours, sometimes not until I go up to bed.  I am also trying to remind myself that this time is short, this is the only summer of my life that she will be a baby, and before I know it she will be preparing to go to college.  That usually helps me feel less frustrated and enjoy my time with her.

 

I know how hard it is when all you want is a good night's sleep!  And for baby to get good sleep so they aren't cranky all the time.  (That's what drives me craziest - she is tired and cranky but she won't sleep!  argghh!)  Remembering there are other mamas going through the same things who are also trying to gently raise their babies is so comforting.  The barrage of advice and plethora of sleep-training books is dizzying.  I'm finding I have to stop reading.  This forum and others like it is so much nicer. 

 

Looking back, I wish I had started making some gentle sleep association for DD around 4-5 months.  And learning some other ways to fall asleep aside from nursing.  Younger than that would have been too early for us.  So at 8 weeks, depending on your babe and their temperament, you might be able to start some of the gentle associations from the No Cry Sleep Solutions, but honestly, I agree with everyone else that babies at that age just need their mamas.  Already I am somewhat nostalgic for my 8 week old DD sleeping peacefully on my chest.  Enjoy it, knowing this too shall pass.

post #34 of 34

Quote:

Originally Posted by rupunzlkim View Post

I was the last person I'd ever thought would do a CIO with a child, and I never did that with my first born, but with DD2 she had sleep/nap issues from very early on (would only sleep for 45 mins at a time).  We did something along the lines of "Baby Whisperer" with her before I finally realized that I had become her crutch and it was actually me that was preventing her fromearning how to sleep on her own.  So, as much as it killed me we started to CIO with her.  I never did go a long time of her crying before going in to her (maybe about 10 mins at the longest), but you know what?  After a fairly short period of time, like a few days (definitely shorter than a week) she was putting herself to sleep and staying asleep through the night.  I would never say this is the solution for all children though, they're all different and you really have to know your child to know if this might work with them.  And I probably wouldn't do it for an infant, but more like 6 mos or older.

 

So, all I'm saying is, as much as CIO sounds like it might be a horrible thing to do, sometimes it might be what the child needs to learn their independance.
 

 

 

Mothering does not advocate CIO. 

 

 

From our Terms of Service: 

 

 

Quote:
Mothering.com is the website of natural family living and advocates natural solutions to parenting challenges. We host discussion of nighttime parenting, loving discipline, gentle weaning, natural birth, homebirth, successful breastfeeding, alternative and complementary home remedies, informed consent and many other topics from a natural point of view. We are not interested, however, in hosting discussions that advocate crying it out, harsh sleep training, physical punishment, formula feeding, elective cesarean section, routine infant medical circumcision, or mandatory vaccinations as a parenting philosophy. 

 

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Life With a Baby
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Life With a Baby › Trying to avoid sleep associations - thoughts?