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Old 09-09-2009, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The thread about seeing a pattern with AP has got me thinking that maybe we could have a thread where people could share their AP-friendly strategies for getting their LO's - or themselves - to sleep 'better' (however we define that), either longer naps, calmer, more enjoyable bed times, or longer periods at night without waking. It is possible we have a wealth of untapped strategies here in the community that could be useful to many of us.

One thing I have done that has worked wonders is kept an early bed time (ranging between 6 - 8 PM depending upon age, season, and nap schedule). I find my kids fall asleep more easily, and wake up less at night, when I put them to sleep early. Late bed times = more night waking + earlier waking up + less overall sleep, at least in our house.

Anyone have any others to share?

Mom to DD 8 and DS 6.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:53 AM
 
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Hmm... Well when DS was an infant, he only napped while being worn or on a blanket near me. He only slept in the bed at night. I never did attempt to put him on a sleeping schedule or fight with him about going to bed, I just let him sleep when he was sleepy. He's 4yo now and still naps, and sleeps at least 12 hours in a 24 hour period.

Carly [29] + DH [27] + DS [9]

TTC my second and his first!

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Old 09-11-2009, 04:27 AM
 
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My dd who is almost 3 now coslept for her first two years and used to need to nap on me when she was a small infant. She never slept in the crib I had for her and she nursed to sleep and I didn't really think about sleep associations. She very easily night weaned a little after 1 and she adjusted very well to her own room right before 2. She doesn't nap anymore but when she is tired she will just lay in bed and take one. She sleeps 13+ hours at night and can put her self to sleep after our routine.

My 11 month ds was a very very wakefull sleeper and even as an older baby didn't sleep more than a 1-2 stretch at night and only right next to me. He was also a cat napper and didn't take very good naps. I very slowly taught him to fall asleep in the crib with me only singing and found a lot of ways to put him to sleep even though he is a sleep fighter. He isn't perfect yet but I finally seeing some better nights where he does sleep a good stretch of 6-8 hours and he is finally taking good naps. It took a long time but it was done very gently.

Dianna environmentally educated tree hugging mom of dd 9/06 and ds 10/08 newbie dd 9/10
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:32 AM
 
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DD co-slept and woke every 45 min. all night long from birth until 15 months. Naps were brutal, prolonged struggles where she NEEDED sleep but couldn't fall asleep or stay asleep.

At 15 months she asked to sleep in her crib, in her own room. She began waking every 2-3 hours, and starting napping easily for 2 hours/day.

At 20 months or so she woke twice a night, and started giving up her naps.

At 27 months she sleeps through the night about 4 nights/week in a twin bed, in her own room. She doesn't nap, but sleeps from 7-7. She has absolutely no bedtime phobias--she asks to go to bed when she is sleepy. When I needed to make changes for my own sanity, I did them gently, no matter what. I consider her sleep a great AP success.

Mommy to DD 5-07
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyMama View Post
DD co-slept and woke every 45 min. all night long from birth until 15 months. Naps were brutal, prolonged struggles where she NEEDED sleep but couldn't fall asleep or stay asleep.

At 15 months she asked to sleep in her crib, in her own room. She began waking every 2-3 hours, and starting napping easily for 2 hours/day.

At 20 months or so she woke twice a night, and started giving up her naps.

At 27 months she sleeps through the night about 4 nights/week in a twin bed, in her own room. She doesn't nap, but sleeps from 7-7. She has absolutely no bedtime phobias--she asks to go to bed when she is sleepy. When I needed to make changes for my own sanity, I did them gently, no matter what. I consider her sleep a great AP success.
I don't want to go off topic, but how in the world did you cope with that waking schedule for 15 months? Amazing. So what was the secret to your success? Just waiting it out until she was ready?

babyboy.gif: 01/10/2009 and 09/29/2011

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Old 09-11-2009, 03:28 PM
 
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From birth, DS needed constant touch at night in order to sleep. The first few months he seemed to be on a track of gradually sleeping longer spells at a time, waking from every 1 to 3 hours at night. Then around 3 or 4 months all of that changed and he began waking pretty much every hour during the night, nursing each time. The longest he went between wakings was about 2 hours and that was very, very rare. He napped on me or in a sling. That was pretty much the way it was until he was about 18 months old, at which point I was able to start placing him on the bed for naps after he fell asleep in my arms. He'd always wake once during the nap to nurse, then go back to sleep. I always laughed during those first couple of years when I'd hear people complain that their LO is "8 months old and still not STTN" or simliar stories. I was like "Sleeping throught the night? We still haven't made it to Sleeping Through A Nap." heh

Anyway, he was a little over 2 when he started sleeping longer stretches at night, waking only 3-4 times per night to nurse. Around 2 1/2 he started only waking maybe once or twice per night.

He'll be 3 next week. He weaned a couple of months ago when my milk dried up because of pregnancy. We read books and tell stories in our family bed, then he and I go to his room and I lie with him until he falls asleep, then I return to bed with my DH. He now sleeps in his own bed in his own room all night long. Occasionally he will wake once at night and call for me. (Usually around 4 in the morning for some reason. Weird.) I go lie with him until he falls back asleep and then he sleeps the rest of the night.

Looking back, there were definately times when I was at the end of my rope. Especially during times when he would go for days and weeks at a time waking a gajillion times per night. Otherwise, I was always able to handle the frequent wakings pretty well. I tried lots of stuff along the way to try to get him to sleep longer stretches, but the reality is that like any other developmental milestone, he started sleeping better when he was able. Just as I couldn't make him walk sooner than he was ready and able, neither was I able to make him sleep before he was ready and able. Doesn't mean I enjoyed not being able to sleep longer than an hour or two at a time for years, but it is what it is.
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:27 PM
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I hope you don't mind my sharing since I haven't done things in a "strictly" AP fashion, but I feel that I've been quite gentle and have finally found success with my 11 month old.

DS was sleeping at the most 2 hour stretches (more often 45 minute stretches) at night and needed to nurse to fall back to sleep. I started nightweaning at 10 months, using Dr. Jay Gordon's method, and there was almost no crying at all involved. I started to get 4 and 6 hour stretches of sleep w/him.

Then I ended up w/mastitis two weeks ago and was up sick most of one night. It was that night that I noticed that every time I moved, he woke up. It became clear that it was time to move his crib from the sidecar position to a stand alone position and start getting him to sleep in there. To do that, I used the Baby Whisperer's pick up put down method -- which at for an 11 month old is basically just a put down method. Every time he stood up in his crib, DH or I would lay him back down. It was rough for about a week. I'm not going to lie. He cried. Sometimes a lot. But DH or I was with him the entire time, soothing him, singing to him, letting him know it was okay. Now I pretty much nurse him to sleep in our bed, then move him to his crib. He wakes up, usually, and DH soothes him. There's almost never any crying now. He pops up a couple of times to standing, and DH lies him back down. He may fuss a bit, but then he settles into sleep.

For the past week or so, he's slept until 4a or later without needing my help to get back to sleep when he wakes. He goes to bed sometime between 8:30 and 9:30, and I get him out of his crib at about 5:30a and nurse him. And we sleep together until about 8a.

I thought DS was going to wake every two hours forever. But now he's basically STTN. He needed some help to figure out how to do it, and I feel that the way we did it was very gentle. Everyone's better off for having dealt w/changing his sleep patterns.
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