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Help with getting baby to sleep

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Help with getting baby to sleep

Postby Nance » Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:50 pm

Hi Everyone,

I have a four week old who will only sleep if I am holding her and even then for only two hours at the most. I know it is not safe to sleep with her like that and I do not want her to get into the habit of only sleeping when I hold her. Everytime I put her down in her crib/bassinet she will sleep for a few minutes then wake up until I hold her again. I can't seem to get anything done and I am exhausted. My DH works nights and a lot of double shifts so I am pretty much on my own. Does anyone have any hints?

Thank you
xoxo
Nance
Me: 35
TTC: 2 yrs
1 Failed IUI - 7/06
1st IVF/ICSI - Oct 2006 - BFP!!!!!
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Postby PebblesUK » Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:47 pm

Hi

Congratulations on the birth of Lily. Can't stop now but just wanted to say have you tried placing a teddy on her? You can also get a "hand" which you can place on the baby so they think you are still holding them. Can't remember the name but hopefully someone will post a link. Think they begin with a z.

Sorry can't be of much help but do sympathise

xx
Me 35 DH 37 1st IVF ET 27 June - BFP!!!!
Ellie was born on 11 December 2006, 14 weeks early!

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Postby Alette » Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:40 pm

Can you not hold her and put her in bed the moment she sleeps for 10 minutes?

I know these first months are such a "finding balance".
You are a new mum and so insecure (I was!!! and still am!!). Trust your instinct!

Personally, I loved to sleep with my baby. He was in me for 9 months, how can he bare not to be with his mummy? He could not! I could not!
Do not feel guilty anytime, do what you feel must be done.
And do not listen to advises!! (not even mine!)

love,
Alette

ps, it will get better in short time, honestly!
after lots of IUI, 4 FETs and 5 IVF's
a babyboy!
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Postby kholtan » Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:53 am

All I can tell you is what I tried when I was a nanny for 9.5 years specializing in infant care. So here are a few suggestions for you to try if you just simply need her to sleep longer and on her own.

1. Put her down to rest before she falls asleep but close to her regular sleeping schedule. This way, she can learn to soothe herself and fall alseep without any motion or human contant. She can also daze at the mobile or whatever and she may accidentally fall asleep w/o realizing she isn't in your arms.
2. Sometimes a little vibration helps. There are things you can buy that can be put in the crib and the movement soothes them.
3. Play, on repeat, a cd of white noise. This one works almost every time. My niece will fall asleep to it in minutes and she sleeps longer as well. It buys lots of time and almost every baby I ever worked with loved this.
4. The hard knocks way of simply letting her cry for a few minutes and only patting her for comfort instead of holding her. This one is easier said than done.
5. There is a bed out there called the "ambie" bed or something like that and I know people that swear by this thing. It imitates being held.
6. Move the baby bed out of your room at night. This way you don't hear every peep and you won't be as tempted to jump and get her everytime she awakes. Also, when she is simply stirring, she can fall back asleep and when she really needs to be fed or changes you'll know it.

I hope that something helps. I know you love to hold your new baby but I understand that it's hard to get sleep yourself or get anything done during the day if she is always in your arms. Congratulations on your new baby girl and I'm sure you will figure out what is right for you and her.

Maybe something will help and maybe it won't but I love that we can ask each other for advice. Even if we choose not to take any of it, it's nice to know we are all here for one another. I'm sure I'll be needing help myself in a few months! :D

Good luck and let us know what ended up working for you. Take care~
Kimberly
Me 35, DH 35
Ectopic Oct. 2005
IVF transfer 1-21-07. . .TWINS!!!!
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Postby Casy P » Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:25 pm

Hi Nance,

Was just reading your post and wanted to reply quickly.
My DD was exactly like Lily. Before I had her I just presumed that once a baby was fed and clean you could put it back in the crib and it would go back to sleep! HA HA I was wrong.
DD slept in our bed for 6 weeks which is something I said I would never do, but had to just to get some sleep. She would also never sleep for more than half hour on her own so I can sympathise with your exhaustion.
We eventually moved her crib into her own room at 6 weeks so that when I went to feed her I wasn't in bed so couldn't fall asleep with her on me and also had to put her down once she had been fed and try and leave her to cry for a bit. Easier said than done.
At 4 months we had to really perserve with controlled crying, which was so hard but so worth it as although it took a few months (and the books tell you it will only take a few nights!) she still now will 9 times out of 10 settle herself and is quite happy to stay in her bed and not get out every 5 minutes.
Also in the early days our vibriting bouncy chair was a lifesaver, as were car journeys!
There are no real easy answers but the tips people have suggested are worth a try. Although I will probably be more strict this time with baby no2 and not pick it up so often, I still firmly believe that some babies are settled and some aren't and thats just their character. But it does get easier.
Just one more tip is taking her to the chiripodist or cranial osteopath. Both are proven to help with babies that don't settle and although didn't make 100% improvement with DD there was definately some.
Keep at it and hope things improve x
Me 29 DH 34
TTC 3 1/2 years.
1st IVF 04 BFP. Daughter born Feb 05
2nd IVF sept/oct 06- Son born Aug 07
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Postby EYCI » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:10 pm

Here how we handled the sleeping... with this advice, take it or leave it :D

We always held the baby until he was in a deep sleep (would take 25-30 minutes) then would lay him down wherever to sleep. During the day, it was on the floor, in his bouncy chair, or in his basinette. At night, he was in his basinette next to us for the first 6 weeks. However, I moved him to his crib at 6 weeks because he was a very noisy sleeper. Any little noise and I would wake up. Once I moved him, I got some better sleep.

As for "attending" to him, if he woke up either crying or even fussing a little, we picked him up. At that point we would feed or rock him back to sleep and wait the 25-30 minutes for deep sleep to over take him. Then we would lay him back down. Granted, he often took 2-3 hour naps in our arms too when we just wanted some snuggle time. When we did lay him down, he would wake up often... sometimes after just a few minutes and we'd go back to the holding/rocking to get him back to sleep. There were times when laying him down would wake him up no matter what, and during those time, we just held him/slept with him. There were many early mornings that both DH and I would lay in bed propped up with our baby asleep on our chest. Some would argue that this isn't safe, but we were comfortable with it.

Around 3.5 months when he started to be more predictable, we'd lay him down in his crib awake at nap time and most times he would drift off to sleep on his own. If he cried, then we'd rock/soothe him to sleep. Now at 9 months, he goes down for naps and bedtime wide awake, and falls asleep on his own. We also have a fisher price aquarium in his crib that can play music, has lights and bubbles, which has helped to distract him from the idea of mommy and daddy leaving him.

This type of "attachment" parenting is discussed in books by Dr. Sears. For me, I think it helped to build a trusting relationship with our baby. He was sleeping through the night by 5 months for 11 hours straight. Even now, he has the once in awhile wake up in the middle of the night... I just go in pick him up and give him a hug and snuggle for a minute and he relaxes and I can lay him back down again. He must like his crib a lot, because when he wakes in the morning, he'll lay there for a good 45 minutes talking to himself before he gets whiney and wants us to come get him. I don't know we just got lucky, or if it was our "method" that got us a really good sleeper after a few months.

At 4 weeks old, your little one is nowhere near capable of self-soothing. She loves her mommy and wants to be with you! Don't worry about sleeping with her, or always holding her... there will be plenty of time later to change the routine as she gets older and is more trusting of your bond and her environment. As for your comment about getting stuff done, I totally know how you feel! I just tried to remind myself that the baby doesn't care about laundry being done, the dishes washed, or if the house is picked up. But the baby will care if mommy is tired and cranky... so try to sleep when she does and forget everything else except keeping yourselves rested and fed.

Hope some of this helps!
--Julie
Me 36, DH 34 - Creating our family since 2002
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Postby crasmus » Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:16 pm

hi there nance-just a quick note...

i found that putting a blanket or Tshirt that i've worn, not yet washed helped Gavin a couple times... not always, but a little sleep is better then none... i even at one point had his sheet on me for a while..

colleen
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Postby Tracii » Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:37 pm

Oh what it is like to be a new mother...don't worry we have all been there and it does get easier. I read a book which saved me and made so much sense for the first 4 months of your baby's life..I just wish I would have read it sooner..anyway it is called Baby Bliss: Your One-Stop Guide for the First Three Months and Beyond. It discusses how to get your baby to sleep and the importance of swaddling, rocking your baby, the 'shhhhhh' noise..everything to replicate being in the womb. Make sure to get your sleep as well...otherwise you will be a total wreck and this is also not good for the baby. I was basically on my own as well...remember as long as you love and give love to your baby you are doing nothing wrong.
Traci
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Postby wanttodiscuss » Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:21 pm

We had the same situation with my daughter who is now nearly 3. I think her problem was reflux/colic though. She was always uncomfortable when laying flat. Our pediatrician told us just to prop up one end of the mattress, but she moved around so much she just ended up sideways at the bottom in a couple of minutes. (I have since heard of a wedge that you can strap them to, but I haven't seen one and haven't looked around yet, but if we have that problem with #2 I will be hunting one down.)

The only solution was a cradle swing. We loved the Ocean Wonders one. It is a reclined position and has lights and music. She liked swinging side to side. This is the only thing that worked other than holding her and she slept in this for nearly 3 months. I ended up tying something heavy on the bottom so it wouldn't swing so hard with a newborn. I don't think this is probably the perfect solution, but it was the only thing that worked for us. Here problems got better around 3 to 3 1/2 months old.

Good Luck.
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Postby Nance » Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:09 pm

Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for all your responses. I will try every suggestion :D . Sorry I have not posted sooner but we had a bad storm here last week and it knocked out my internet service. They just came and fixed it today so I am back up and running. I will let you all know how it is going. My mom bought be this book called The Baby Whisperer so I will also try to get a few suggestions from that. Just knowing that I am not the only one going through this is tremendous help.

All my best.
Nance
Me: 35
TTC: 2 yrs
1 Failed IUI - 7/06
1st IVF/ICSI - Oct 2006 - BFP!!!!!
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Postby Tracii » Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:05 am

Nance, just try not to do it all at once. Someone also wrote that they let the baby(ies) cry...well I have to admit - I did too. After speaking with my midwife she said it was ok to let them cry for 5 minutes..but if the crying got more intense to go pick them up. But it all really depends on the baby....but remember sometimes you need your sanity as well and it may be healthier to let her cry for just a bit. Isabella started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks old...it was a bit of a bear to get her to bed but once she was down we didn't hear a peep until the next morning.

I heard the Baby Whisperer is also a very good book. Take care of yourself and let us know how it goes.
Traci
me37,DH49
IUI 01/05:-
1. IVF - 04/05: -
2. IVF -cancelled -preg nat-m/c 5w3d
3. IVF -success
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Postby thook » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:03 pm

Hello Everyone....

I'm not having an issue getting my little one to sleep for me, but my sitter is having a hard time - granted it is her first day there, but please tell me it gets easier..... my little girl has fallen asleep for me for the past 2 months and now she's not falling asleep for the sitter - or if she does it's only for a few minutes. I didn't spoil her did I?????

Tasha
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