Friend's baby hasn't slept in 4 days, what would you do? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-28-2013, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a friend who's been complaining to me that her 10 month old daughter hasn't slept in 4 days... (I'm not trying to judge her with this post, I'm trying to help).

Their baby sleeps in a crib in her own room, they refuse to "give in" to her and won't put her in their bed. I know everyone should raise their kids how they see fit... but, really? The poor kid hasn't slept in 4 days. 

They're also not very touchy-feely with her, and I know she just wants to be held but they don't want her to "get used to that" (what?? feeling loved??... yea I know). 

I don't like talking this way about a friend sometimes I just feel like these people have no business with an infant! (They must feel the same about me, I'm sure)

So at this point, when the poor child is now beyond sleep-deprived, what would you do/say to convince them that mayyyybe doing things by the book (not sure which book) isn't working?

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#2 of 8 Old 01-28-2013, 11:02 AM
 
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YIKES! Like the baby hasn't slept AT ALL? Or just hasn't slept well?

If she isn't sleeping at all, I'd bring her to the doctor immediately. I'd assume there is something medically wrong or she is in unmanageable pain, and even if not, I'd be worried about the potential medical consequences of not sleeping for 4 days straight.

If she's just not sleeping as well as usual, I'd still consider bringing her to the doc, perhaps she has an ear infection or something. Maybe try tylenol or ibuprofen?

If the baby normally sleeps well in a crib then I doubt it has anything to do with their sleeping arrangements.

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#3 of 8 Old 01-28-2013, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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They take her to the doctor for every little thing, so nothing medically wrong with her that they can see. I've been to visit, she doesn't look in pain, just overstimulated and too exhausted/stressed out to sleep. She'll fall asleep for 30-45 minutes but wakes up crying again and doesn't stop until they find something to keep her attention for a little while, then when she stops, they stop interacting with her. 

Also, I can tell the poor kid is totally uncomfortable in her crib, they have no blankets in there for her, they just bundle her up in 5 layers of clothes because it's been cold outside lately... I'm 99% convinced that she's just totally uncomfortable and dying for human interaction. 

I could be wrong, but I need a way to convince them to maybe put down the book for a second and try something that feels natural. 

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#4 of 8 Old 01-28-2013, 01:22 PM
 
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I would ask them what are they afraid of, in giving in to their baby's needs this time?  (and it is obvious from your post that baby is needing something)!  What do they feel will happen if they 'give in'?  At this point- 4 nights of a fussy, no sleeping baby, I would be willing to try just about anything!  

 

They probably think it's just a phase (and it very well might be), and therefore doesn't warrant any intervention on their part.  They probably really do feel that any action different from the norm will 'spoil' her.  While most of us can't imagine allowing this to carry on so, they might have real, deep rooted parenting beliefs, likely passed down to them from their parents, grandparents, etc.  I remember being schooled on the dangers of spoiling the baby (by well-meaning family) when mine were little babies.  All of the babies in my family (me and my siblings, cousins, etc) were of the 'cry it out' generation, and I truly believed that was how it was done.  Wasn't until I had my own that I was able to shrug off that belief and do what came naturally.  And here is where personalities come in-  Not everyone will change their view or be open to new ways of doing things.  

 

Hopefully they will have a change of heart soon.  Makes me sad to think of this baby not getting her needs met.  I guess you can only advocate for her so much, and offer your experience and thoughts.  Try to see through to the root of their reasoning, and understand that so much is at work here-  The parents' own upbringing, what they've been told, what they have read, their unique home situation (both working out of the home? etc).  Maybe they will become more receptive down the road, due to your friendship and example!

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#5 of 8 Old 01-28-2013, 10:58 PM
 
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Poor kid. Do you think they would consider bringing the crib into the room with them? Even the AAP recommends that.


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#6 of 8 Old 01-29-2013, 06:56 AM
 
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FWIW my DD slept in a crib in her own room too from day one. But I was a big fan of doing what worked and would nurse her down into deep sleep, then move her to the crib and on tough nights I'd sleep in the recliner with her on my chest.
I have a couple of ideas
1) blackout drapes and white noise. Around 10-11 months DD had found it very difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep without deep darkness and white noise. It was simply a tough time for sleep.
2) is baby too hot? Even in our drafty old house and -20C temperatures, the most DD tolerates is long pjs and a fleece blanket. 5 layers of clothing would probably cause baby to overheat, sweat and wake up. DD also enjoyed a sleepsack at that age.
3) how are naps? On days with short/missed naps, DD had/has a much harder time sleeping at night. I make naps a big priority, and in desperation have used the stroller or car to get DD to sleep. Maybe if you explain that more effort with naptime should pay off at night, they may be more receptive.
4) more cuddling/nursing/affection during the day can make baby more secure to sleep longer at night.
As to how to convince them, that's tough. They are probably thinking that they are investing in baby's future. By doing "tough love" now they think they won't have a clingy toddler later or something. You could explain how much kids at that age change quickly and how different kids need different things. An anecdote like "my baby was up every hour for months and then she just started sleeping for 4 hours at a time without me changing anything" might illustrate the point well. If it isnt strictly true for your LO, just substitute "a friend" - there are definitely SOME parents out there with experience like that. You can also compare two kids in the same family with different needs to make the point that some kids need more and some need less.
As for the cosleeping, it's simply not a good fit for everyone or it may not be physically practical in their circumstance. I think as long as baby gets more attention/cuddling/contact at night, sleep should improve even if bed sharing isnt in the cards. The crib beside the bed may work, where mom could reach in and pat/stroke/otherwise comfort baby if she is really opposed to picking baby up (I don't understand that either).
I think this boils down to the unrealistic expectation of baby "fitting in" with the adult world rather than just following baby's cues and meeting her needs. From someone who never formally coslept, baby's needs were always met at night, but I accepted that our decision not to bedshare meant getting out of bed for each feeding. My DD was very independent a sleeper as a baby though - always rolling/crawling/moving around. On nights when she had high needs for touch and comfort (illness, teething or major milestones) I did sleep with her though.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that while many of their decisions don't feel right, not all are incompatible with AP or meeting baby's needs for comfort and affection. Ultimately it's their baby and there's not a whole lot you can do other than maybe informing them of the sleep needs of their baby and the dangers of sleep deprivation and offering suggestions. Good luck. I totally feel the frustration in your post and your desire to help. I have that every time I see a friend's child under two forward facing in the car.
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#7 of 8 Old 01-30-2013, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been giving her anecdotal advice and I think a little bit of it is working! :)

It's not so much that I want to be right, I'm very much a 'do what works for you' person, and they're very much "do everything by the book", educated people. 

My baby also sleeps in a crib in our room, but when he starts fidgeting or doesn't go back to sleep I just put him in our bed and go back to sleep. We haven't lost a night of sleep from him since he was born. I have nothing against people who put their babies in their own room, as long as it works, but if it's not working, I can't really see it benefiting anyone to go on a week-long battle of wills with an infant.

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#8 of 8 Old 01-30-2013, 11:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escaping View Post

I've been giving her anecdotal advice and I think a little bit of it is working! smile.gif
It's not so much that I want to be right, I'm very much a 'do what works for you' person, and they're very much "do everything by the book", educated people. 
My baby also sleeps in a crib in our room, but when he starts fidgeting or doesn't go back to sleep I just put him in our bed and go back to sleep. We haven't lost a night of sleep from him since he was born. I have nothing against people who put their babies in their own room, as long as it works, but if it's not working, I can't really see it benefiting anyone to go on a week-long battle of wills with an infant.

This is exactly what needs to be said - in your friends' case and in general. Do what works for your family and try something different if it stops working. You're a great friend a good sounding board about parenting smile.gif
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