Originally Posted by modestmothering
Thank you all for your replies! I am really at a loss when it comes to sleep.
DD is not on a schedule at all. I tried many times it just didn't seem to work and I felt like I didn't want to force the issue. Do you use a schedule? When did you start it? How did you plan it out? Does it work? Did it makes things change?
I feed her every time she wakes up. I have tried giving her a paci or rocking her or bouncing her. None of these things work, no matter how persistent I am. And I am tired after the third or forth wake-up so I just nurse her. She actually usually eats quite a bit, each time. I feel like she is hungry. Should I keep nursing her when she wakes up? Why not? What should I do instead?
She has slept 5 hours at a time a few times in her life. But it's random. Usually, it is every 2 hours and has been that way since she was born. I am very tired!
Our naptime routine doesn't really exist. I sing her a song and nurse her to sleep and then lay her down, after pulling down the shades and putting on white noise. Do you have a nap time routine? Does it work? When did you start it?
Our bedtime routine usually gets her to sleep quickly. Crash and burn. She is up in half an hour and I have to put her down again. Then, it's up every two hours.
I am really looking for advice. I have read the "common" procedure: get her on a schedule and make her lay in her crib for her naptime even if she is awake. Put her back to sleep without the use of props or nursing and let her learn to sleep on her own. Do these things actually work? SHOULD I be doing this? Have you?
Do you use a schedule? When did you start it? How did you plan it out? Does it work? Did it makes things change?
Yes we use a schedule and started one around the time DS was 6/7 months old. This was a natural process for us, as I personally am no a schedule type person, but DS seemed to want this type of structure. I started a journal and kept brief notes in it, DS seemed woke at 6 am for the day, showed "sleepy signs" at 8 am and feel asleep for am nap at 8:15 and slept for 1 hour, etc., etc. This really helped me to organize our day and base it on HIM, and not the clock, clock watching is stupid and a waste of time IMHO, watch your baby.
DS is pretty much like clock work now give or take a half hours on either side. He is up for the day at 6:30/7, 7-9ish eat and play with mama, 9ish morning nap, usually 45min to 1 hour. Up by 10:30 eats solids, play, exercise with Mama outside ;) 12:30 milk and ready for nap about 1, nap from 1-2:30 ish. DS stays up from 2:30-6:30 most afternoons. We have dinner about 5, take a tubby, hang out with daddy who just gets home on the couch and cuddle, read a few books and then bed time, whenever DS make his "sleepy signs" most nights between 6 and 7 o'clock. DS SLEEPS THROUGH the night, and has sense he was 8 months old. I think the predictability of things really helps to settle him.
I should add that this probably seems really ridgid and set in stone, and it really does not feel like that to me. I follow DS, not any clock or any agenda and after a lot of observation can predict what he needs. I also find bc he is mostly on a good schedule that when we miss a day to do something special, stay up late, miss a nap, etc it is no big deal, and he rebounds very quickly!
Should I keep nursing her when she wakes up? Why not? What should I do instead?
YES. I would keep nursing her. She does need atleast some of those calories, she is under 6 months. I can relate to the "I just feed her at every wakening, bc that is all that works." DS was the same way, when he woke up he was hungry and wanted to eat. The only time this would be different is if Dad went to him first. Is this an option for you all. For example is DD went to bed at 7 pm and woke at 9ish and Dad went to her to calm her down and then she stayed sleeping until 11ish that would give you a decent chunk of time to get some rest. Just a thought. DD is still young and I would keep offering her the boob when it is you, she needs it for comfort, as challenging as that may be to you!
Do you have a nap time routine? Does it work? When did you start it?
Yes routine, routine, routine, that is the name of the game at this stage. Your LO is just at the age when it is appropriate to really implement a routine. We have a routine all day, but around naps, we go upstairs, change a diaper, turn off the lights, turn on the fan, read a few books, sing, cuddle, and then I lie him down in his bed AWAKE and walk out. It is important that babies have the opportunity to go to sleep drowsy, but awake. If they always fall asleep at the boob then they don't learn how to put themselves back to sleep on their own. DS is now a pro, because he has had a lot of practice. He will "wake" about every 2 hours in the night, stir, maybe even cry out and then settle himself wo either me of DH.
*Lastly my very good friend is a professional sleep coach and she is AWESOME, and helped me a ton. She will work with you remotely if you are interested. She just finshed a training specifically on babies ages 4-5 months (the most common time that parent's bonk from NO SLEEP) Let me know if you would like me to connect the two of you!