Saturday, March 03, 2007

advice needed (again!)

i've spent the past 2 days trying to combat this issue on my own, with the help of the baby whisperer website, but nothing seems to work. so now, my dear blogger friends, i'm giving you the opportunity to bombard me with advice

so, he hasn't napped in 2 days. he slept for about 20 min on thursday and an hour and a half (which seemed like a miracle) yesterday. as you can imagine, sleepless days lead to fussy nights. (i was trying to calm him from 10.30pm-2am on thursday night)

here's what i've tried:
pat & shush (as per baby whisperer) which leads to me patting and shushing, kneeling next to his crib until his next feed...with him crying nearly constantly. =no sleep

meeting his needs and then letting him "cry it out". i had a hard time doing this one (as per babywise) so i set myself a time limit. 5 min. at first, then i let him cry for 10 min which nearly killed me. he just kept on crying. =no sleep

nursing him to sleep (which is an extra feed) and then quietly putting him in his crib asleep. he sleeps for about 20-30 min and then wakes up crying.

driving him around...tried this yesterday. he sleeps in the car, but wakes up as soon as i stop the car at home, no matter how long i've driven for.

the last thing i just tried out of sheer desparation was to just hold him in my arms and keep a blanket over his eyes to block out any light, patting him in a heartbeat rhythm. he fell asleep for 30 min. woke up because by that time it was time for his next feed already!

when i try to get him to fall asleep in his crib, i do the wind down with the routine..swaddle, sing a little song, pray a little prayer, then lay him down. when he starts to cry i put his pasi in, but he always ends up spitting it out in order to wail his loudest.

baby whisperer would tell me that i'm not getting his cues right and missing that window..that i should be putting him down sooner. i've tried putting him down as soon as i see his first yawn (which is often only 45 min after he's woken up, right after a feed with next to no awake time) and i get the same results.

babywise would tell me that i'm not letting him cry it out long enough; that 20 minutes or more of crying would be a reasonable amount of time. well, i simply don't think i have it in myself to allow that. his cries get more and more dispairing, sometimes he chokes and coughs, and he seems to be getting more wound up rather than winding down. i honestly can't bear to hear it and i would rather try anything else.

without his naps, he isn't the pleasant little baby that he normally is. i had hoped that this would be only temporary, due to his vaccinations on wednesday, but now i'm not so sure. and no, i really don't think it's gas, since once he is out of his crib, he is pretty much happy to just look around, even though he is tired. he doesn't fuss too badly unless he's in his crib.

please help!!!


Lovella said...

you are a sweet mommy. I have no advice but I will pray for you.

Meredith said...

So try the pick up and put down. Pick up = Stops crying, tell him it's sleepy time, this is you bed, this is where you sleep, mommy needs a rest too, I love you , I will come if you call, and put him in it.
Once in the bed he might fuss at which point you repeat reassuring things and try to go for a minute or 2 and then repeat as necessary (until he stops).
Don't make him wail for you. It's breaking my heart and I can't even hear him.
I have ore ideas but I will give other people a chance to comment too. :) Chin up.

Jennifer said...

possibly a combo of both.
try ear plugs (tease/joke) and a timer. Turn the monitor off, sit outside if you must.
sigh...poor thing. I know it sounds awful but 20 minutes is not going to kill him. He'll learn. Let him get the message.

heidi said...

with the p/u-p/d method, meredith, i was doing that, but read on the bw website that it's only intended for babies 3 months and older (not sure why) however, when i used it, it was not much more effective than the pat/shushing. *sigh* and yes, jennifer, i just may get to that point, but i'm not quite there yet. while writing this he's been sleeping for an hour and a half (yipee!) but in order to get him to sleep, i nursed and held him until he was past his active sleep phase into deep sleep so as not to disturb him. i don't mind doing this once in awhile, but i can see it getting to be a pain after awhile. thanks for your prayers, lovella, i know they work wonders :)

Corinne said...

Well I was a big believer in the Baby Wise method and it worked with my four kids. You really need to let him cry longer till he realizes that "hey, this crying thing just doesn't work for my mom" and he will fall asleep. I remember letting my kids cry for up to 45 minutes. If you vacuum at the same time you can't hear it as much. I know this sounds harsh but if you are consistent you won't be giving mixed messages and he will be better for it as will you.

GieserGazette said...

Do you have a baby swing? Lauryn used to have some great naps in her swing even though it was one of those noisy wind up ones. I would suggest a battery operated one if you can swing it-ha! swing it, I am such a corndog. Anyways, that is my suggestion.

crystal said...

I've always hated the 'let him cry it out' method. It is honestly cruel - the baby has no idea why he's being forced to scream in misery while everyone ignores him. My niece is the same way - she's about 2 weeks older than Tristan. She loves going outside, and will fall asleep instantly if bundled up and walked around a bit. She fights sleep so much - she'll sleep about every 3rd day. The rest of the days she's wide awake. My sister has a swing that my niece loves - maybe you could try that?

Alvin & Denise said...

does he have any idea what's expected of him next during the day? before you had mentioned that you weren't really doing any sort of schedule. i think this is where the feed-wake-sleep-feed-wake-sleep cycle that baby whisperer and babywise recommend shows its genius. with this consistency, baby knows what happens next, and usually moves into the next schduled event smoothly. maybe after eating and before naptime, try a bath? try to do the same activities at the same time of the day for awhile?

you're so right about fussy sleepless days making for more of the same at night. babies are different than adults this way. that's what makes me think that getting him to nap regularly during the day is so very important.

hoping you find the right piece(es) of advice! God bless you with rest (in whatever form available), endurance, and patience.


TulipGrrl said...

Crying is communication. Crying it out is not "being heard"--even though you want to "hear" your little one.

While I know it differs from the eat/wake/sleep routine of Baby Wise/Whisperer, for my third, I found we really needed an eat/wake/eat/sleep routine. He really NEEDED a full tummy to be able to fall asleep and take a good nap.

It's worth trying.

Kathy said...

May I strongly suggest you throw the Baby Wise book in the trash? Please. Some health departments warn about this method - some babies fail to thrive. I leaned this in a course I took to become a parenting teacher (STEP).

Baby cries for a reason, even if it's just that your baby wants you. If they do not get a response in a reasonable amount of time they will eventually quit trying to tell others what they feel/need. Some families have had to do remedial work with psychologists at elementary age because their children shut the expression of their emotions down. This is NOT what parents want.

Baby Whisperer is a much kinder approach. Dr. Sears too. Look for attachment parenting books. A routine is good. Your presence is good. A crying limit is good - short - like 5 min. especially at this very young age. I go for the wake/eat/activity/eat/sleep rythm. An extra snack may be good for his tummy and will keep milk production up.

I pray rest and sleep will improve very very soon. Try to keep a calm heart and loving up your babe.

God bless you with peace, confidence, wisdom, and rest.


Sorlil said...

to be honest I think the 'letting him cry it out' is a terrible idea. I believe babies get into a pattern of crying. If I'm out and Sorley cries and no one knows how to soothe him he is harder to soothe the next time he cries when I'm in. I think the longer he cries the harder it is to stop him. I think routine is also important, for a couple of days there I put S on the boob to get him to sleep without effort but it totally messed up his feeding times and he started keeping me up in the night so I've stopped that and he's back to his usual 6/7 hours straight through sleep at night. I would do anything to keep him from crying, even if it means not putting him in his crib for napping during the day for a couple of days but permanently holding him (have you tried a sling?)I know every baby is different and I really feel for you, it won't last forever.

one woman's treasures said...

Heidi - Hi, I'm a lurker here coming out of hiding ;) I'm a friend of Korinne T's, and have been following your story a bit. I'm an avid babywhisperer chic with my two girls, although they aren't babies anymore.

First off, Way to Go for trying so hard for your little guy! I know it's hard, and so disheartening at times. But you're doing an awesome job, because you care so much about him and about his peace (and yours!).

A few questions/thoughts: have you actually posted any questions on the babywhisperer site? Those women there have saved the day for me many times. It's just another place to get tons and tons of advice. Eventually something works.

Also, some advice I gave Korinne when she was going through the same thing with her daughter was - just do whatever you have to do to get him/her to sleep. This really is just a phase. At such a young age it's okay to spoil them a bit. If he sleeps well in your arms, then let him. Don't clean, or do anything else - take some "time off" from house duties. Once he gets used to sleeping well, then you could start slowly moving him to the crib during his sleep cycle. Moving it a few minutes earlier every so often. It's an easy transition, rather than him getting scared of his crib, and used to crying it out there.

Another thought, have you tried going off dairy? A lot of young babies have a hard time digesting mommy's dairy. If he's fussy particularily in the evening, that could be it (this is NOT a dairy allergy just a stomach that's still young). Try no dairy for a week. After a couple days, if it is an issue, he should calm down considerably for you. By about 3 months it typically goes away.

How's that for some advice?? You asked, and there's always so many women with something to say :)

Again, you're doing awesome!! It's not because of something you're not doing right. Hang in there, it will get better :)


Jennifer said...

You have an idea of what you need to do in your heart.
May you have the courage to do it.

(swings are evil...teach that boy to fall asleep in his bed while he is still awake put him down and insist he learn it asap)

Sorlil said...

Hi Heidi just another idea - fresh air makes babies sleep better - I take S out in the pram every day sometimes twice a day.

Here they tell us babies that young never cry without good reason even if it's just loneliness afterall just a couple of months ago his whole world was your womb.

I guess people differ on every stage of bringing up kids, I personally don't think you ought to be trying to get a 2 month old to learn the lesson that he can cry all he wants he's still going to be ignored, it's up to what feels right and what works for you, all the best.

Z-Mama said...

Letting him cry would not be to teach him that he will be ignored but quite the opposite, it would be to make sure that he is not training you. Of course a baby wants to be held all the time. If he learns that he can get you to pick him up if he cries, then of course he will cry.

Anyways, I learned that if you are tough for a couple days, it will totally pay off. I followed the BW guidelines very stringently with Raegann and everyone was jealous about how great a sleeper and how easy she was. With Kamryn, however, I totally slacked (and I blame it on the move and the living conditions in our transition), but I paid for it with months and months of sleepless nights. She only napped for maybe 30 min at a time. But I finally decided that I couldn't do it anymore and did hardcore BW with a little crying it out. The first day/night is hard, the second and sometimes the third are even harder. But don't give up, by the forth day/night you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

And I think all babies need to be held every now and then. It is a wonderful sense of closeness when Kammie nestles in and sleeps peacefully in my arms. Don't feel guilty for anything you're doing, either. It will all come together eventually no matter what path you choose.

Miss you! (oops, sorry for the long comment!)

Jennifer said...

I second Z-mama's comment.

Anonymous said...

I personally think 3 months is too young to let a child cry it out for very long. Humans are the only animals that stick our babies in a big dark room and expect them to sleep blissfully alone. :)

I hope you and tristan come up with something that works for both of you!! Regardless of how you do it, doing what is right for you and your baby is what matters. Obviously there is as much advice as there are parents and babies. So glean what sounds good to you.


heidi said...

wow, so much advice, and much of it differing! i know i could feel confused with all of the different opinions, but i'm going to just go with my gut and with what feels right for me right now. perhaps in a few more weeks i'll be up to trying something new.

thanks again, i must say i was very encouraged, especially by those who say i'm doing a good job..that's always nice to hear :)

btk said...

You ARE doing a great job, Heidi. You are a good Mommy and you know what's best for Tristan above and beyond any books that might tell you "they" know best. One thing I realized, even with something as helpful as baby whisperer, is that I know my baby best and I know what works for me. It might not be conventional but it kept me sane. Just relax, try to enjoy your time with Tristan as much as possible (despite crying!) and make sure you're staying well rested and taking good care of yourself. No baby is in danger by crying for five minutes while Mommy took a time out for herself, and no baby has ever been in danger of being held too much. And when in doubt about your own sanity, call a friend and get someone in to deal with the crying while you take a nap! I hope that's possible! But most importantly - trust yourself. God gave Tristan just the Mommy he needed.

Family Of Five said...

Okay.... I didn't even read through all the advice. My advice?? With my son I lots of times ended up feeding to sleep...and just sitting with him on my lap for his whole nap. He slept so much better!!! OR laying on my bed with him feeding him to sleep then sneaking away leaving him on my bed to sleep... .surrounded by pillows. I don't think crying it out is right for naps... HOWEVER I think cry it out for night time. I was so afraid that if I gave comfort and attention during the night days and nights would get turned around... "hey this is great I cry at night an mommy gives me all this attention" I wanted to give the message that night time was for sleeping. Both our kids slept with us when they were babies. That is personal choice. But one we felt was right for our family. I always brought my kids into bed with us. My daughter was super cranky and there were many nights I slept on the couch and she swung in her swing crying her little heart out. I let her cry it out but I was right there beside her ... not comforting her or giving her extra attention during sleep time but there just the same (sleeping). Don't read internet stuff... do what you feel in your gut is right for your baby!!! I never let my babies cry it out unless it was the middle of the night! You could also try putting him to bed earlier at night.... my kids BOTH seem to sleep best and longest when they go to bed earlier. 7:30 / 8:00. Good luck!

Family Of Five said...

Sorry I have even more to say after reading the comments.... :)
They are little for such short time. Enjoy it. All this talk of training.... if the worst of my problems is my kids want to be with me then I figured I was doing pretty good! I NEVER let my kids cry to sleep..... we still (age 1.5 & 3) lay with them till they fall asleep... our days are busy and before bed is the time we just stop and cuddle, talk about our day.... enjoy eachother. When they were little we either lay with them or they slept with us. At 3 and 1.5 they are both wonderful sleepers 8pm - 7:30am. They have both slept through the night for some time. They will get plenty of 'training' just enjoy him... enjoy him wanting and needing you... he will be independant in no time and you will long for the days when he wanted you to rock him in your arms!! Sorry to be so long winded. It really just goes by way too fast! My girl was a cranky one but now at 1.5 I constantly hear "No mommy I will do!" I remember the days when she wanted me to just hold her and love her!!! When she would sleep peacefully in my arms. All the times I wished I could put her down and clean... what I would give to watch her sleeping peaceful little body in my arms again!!

Shannon said...

exactly. Put my baby down so I can clean? It makes sense at the time but I treasure every lazy moment I spent laying with my sleeping babies like a big mama bear.

One other thing though. if he is sleeping decent at night but not during the day, make sure his room is as dark as possible. I know Brianna sleeps better when I throw the parakeet covers on her window.

Baker said...

This to shall pass. Babies have good days and bad days too. Maybe he's not feeling well and just needs to be cuddled non stop for a few days. Kiarrah has had days like that too, but then they pass and life gets back to normal. Just know that you aren't doing anything wrong or not not doing anything. Pray and rest and enjoy holding that little miracle :o)

Z-Mama said...

I love reading all the differing opinions! Obviously everyone parents their children out of love, and everyone thinks their way is the best way. (But just note all the successful BW followers! Hee!) I'm sure it has been over-dramatized on here (cause you seem so happy whenever I see you). But just think, it may seem hard right now, but it will go by in the blink of an eye! Being a mommy is the most wonderful and the toughest job you will ever have.

Corinne said...

Hi again. I totally agree with z-mama. I have a friend with two children. Her first was born before BabyWise and her second was born after BabyWise. To this day she wishes she would have known the BabyWise ways with her first because even though her daughter is 15 now, she still has trouble with sleeping and her second one was on a schedule right away and had good naps till he went to kindergarten. I'm telling you, it really works. Yes it can seem hard but it works.

Sarafina said...

What you've described sounds EXACTLY like what I went through with Mekaia. Some of the most frustrating days of my life. Actually, we tried everything too, and what we ended up doing was a lot of rocking next to the oven fan, letting him sleep in his swing, and in desperation, walking him in the stroller just to give him a short nap. Crazy times. It lasted about 3 months, and then he went through a phase of having to cry for 10 minutes to go to sleep. It worked like clockwork, 10 minutes, everytime. Then he learned to go to sleep just by being put in his crib (finally). Sometimes even now (at 15 months), he cries and I have to do the pick up-put down thing.
All that to say, they go through cycles in the sleep area, and it WILL NOT last forever. Even if you are frustrated by what's happening (I was super frustrated to be rocking my child for hours by the stove, something I said I'd never do to create a bad habit), he can still be trained to come into a good routine for sleep, just give him some time. I know, easy for me to say, I'm not the one enduring the screaming of a little baby now.
I hope that wasn't too long. Bless you guys, and I'll pray for some sleep for you tonight!!