(Closed) Yet another post about sleep help!

posted 7 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
Member
7082 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

Well, I have to say that at this point I’m probably an expert on this topic!  I can give you the sum-total of what I’ve learned and it still might not help because each little night dragon is a whole different ball of wax.

First a word on CIO.  When we posed our sleep issues (which I’ve shared with you all recently) to the pediatrician, she strongly advocated CIO.  I decided I would read the scientific literature to see if I could find evidence discussing the long term effects of CIO.  Needless to say, there is not a lot of information.  CIO works, there is no doubt about it.  The mechanism of it working is thought to be that the baby learns not to cry out to get it’s needs met because no one will respond.  Here is a reasonable summary of what I found in the literature.  Please keep in mind that I don’t endorse the theory that stress hormones at the level exhibited in CIO cause neuronal damage.  http://www.phdinparenting.com/2008/07/05/no-cry-it-out/ and http://www.phdinparenting.com/2009/01/15/another-academic-weighs-in-on-cio/

Ok, so now that I was adamantly CIO-phobic, what have we done?  And mind you, the night dragon is only now starting to get better!

1. First and foremost, I started by telling myself that this is only temporary and in a couple of years I’ll miss my nights of pacing the halls with our sweet little baby.  It doesn’t always make it more bearable but it helps.

2.  Routine, routine, routine.  We do the same things at the same times each and every night.  Bath, reading, snuggle, nursing, music… choose your pattern, but do it the same way each day.

3.  Look for patterns.  We found that our little one is terrified of the dark. So every night we’d turn out the light to make it sleepy time, and from then on she’d scream bloody murder.  It took us abot a month to figure this out.  A nightlight has now solved about 60% of our problems.

4.  Do something stimulating in the afternoon.  We find that on boring days she sleeps less well, but on days when we’re out and about in the afternoon or early evening, it’s better.

5. Swaddle.  It still works for us.

6. Have a game plan.  When we get tired over here, we get stupid, so long before the routine starts for the evening we know who will be rocking the baby, who will take care of the first awakening etc.

7. Find a way to give each other a break.  I’ve made my honey go sleep downstairs when he’s wiped out, and he sometimes takes the early am shift so I can sleep. 

I might have more things, but this is all I can think of right now.  I hope there is a little something in it that might help.

Post # 4
Member
46126 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Sometimes babies develop habits of not being able to settle themselves to sleep because they have never learned how. Thye’ve never had the opportunity because someone always intervenes.

Please do some objective reading about CIO.

It does not mean letting your baby cry himself to exhaustion without comfort or intervention by the parent.

Learning to settle themselves is just another skill that all babies have to learn at some point.

 

Post # 5
Member
5823 posts
Bee Keeper

We are just switching to crib sleeping and MB is fighting it.  The first night she woke up every 90 minutes.  Last night she was swaddled, she only woke up twice.  We also use a nightlight.  The lamp in her room actually has a nightlight bulb in it.  We have a dimmer switch on the overhead light, and we never turn the light totally on or off.

I also don’t like CIO.  We have a great baby monitor that monitors motion as well as sound so if she stops breathing, it beeps.  That makes ME sleep better away from her.  And we keep the sound up so that we can proactively go in before she’s really awake.  If we catch her just fussing, she goes right back to sleep.

My pede and mother both insist we let her “soothe herself” which to me sounds a heck of a lot like CIO.  We’re still not doing that.

Don’t know if any of that helps, as MB is still a work in progress too.  But we try to make sure she’s not too hot/cold, comfortable, the room is dark but not too dark, quiet but not too quiet, etc.  I’m pushing a noodle uphill.

Post # 6
Member
7082 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

Oooh, I forgot to say that mspi (milk soy protein intolerance) was a huge part of our problem.  She was so fussy because she was in so much pain.  I cut all milk, soy and egg out of my diet and noticed improvements quite rapidly.  We’re two weeks out and the fussing is better, no bloody stools and I’ve lost 5 more pounds.

Post # 7
Member
7082 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

@julies1949:  I’d love to see literature on the developmental impact of CIO that isn’t negative.  I couldn’t find any.  I’m not talking about books that have a method, such as Ferber-izing.  I’m talking obective scientific evidence… because all I can find in the developmental and psych literature are studies that show potential harms (problems with attachment and emotional availability).

 

Also, I think self-soothing is highly over-rated.  A baby is not developmentally ready to self-soothe.  Recent studies have shown that kids who don’t CIO are actually more emotionally mature and able to self-soothe better as they get older and it is a developmentally appropriate skill.

I should say that my views on this whole topic have made a 180 degree turn since having the baby.  My mom instincts told me that CIO was wrong, despite the fact that pediatricians are taught to give CIO as standard parenting advice.  Yeah, I’m tired, and we consider a night with 2 awakenings a good night… but I feel good about our decision.

If someone else makes another decision, I’m not going to think it’s a bad thing.  If it works for them, that’s great.  We did it once and she threw up and I cried.  No more CIO for us!

Post # 9
Member
7082 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

@Derbybride:  There is tons of hidden dairy!  Here are some links to help.  Keep in mind that it takes 2 weeks to see results.  If your baby doesn’t seem to have tummy distress, green mucusy poops or blood, I might not want to tackle it!  (It’s quite the commitment).  Don’t cut out eggs if you don’t have to.  I had to because it just so happened that I had a ton of them right before the bloody poop started.  Not eating egg along with dairy becomes really tricky!

We never put the baby down drowsy.  She has to be out or she just starts screaming again!  PS last night was lovely.  We had 3 awakenings, all at times where she needed a feed…

General Guidelines for MSPI:

http://www.lpch.org/DiseaseHealthInfo/HealthLibrary/allergy/milk.html

http://home.vicnet.net.au/~disa/Food%20intol-alergic%20baby.html

http://milkintolerance.org/

http://mspikids.info/

http://www.thechildrenshospital.org/conditions/digestive/professionals/stool.aspx

Recipes:

http://mspimama.blogspot.com/

http://mspikids.info/recipes/

http://www.mspicookbook.com/index.html

http://www.foodallergymama.com/

http://intolerantoffspring.com/

The Culinary Guide for MSPI

http://www.babycakesnyc.com

http://www.amazon.com/Whole-Foods-Allergy-Cookbook-Homestyle/dp/1890612456/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1286757511&sr=8-6

http://top8free.com/

Shopping

http://www.ceciliasmarketplace.com

godairyfree.org

Post # 10
Member
6010 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I’ll be honest, I don’t anyone who can put their baby down “awake but drowsy.”  I think it’s pretty standard pediatric advice, but everyone I know rocks/soothes their babies to sleep.

The most important thing, I think, is consistency and flexibility.  Usually, just when we think we’ve figured out Addie’s routine, she up and changes on us and we have to adjust to something new.  🙂  There’s just no trying to force her into something she doesn’t want to do because she ends up screaming and we end up crying and it turns into a terrible night all around.  So now, we’re just trying to go with the flow and be as consistent as we can without letting it turn into a huge battle. 

I also think that babies aren’t consistently good sleepers; at least not at this age.  I think a lot of things throw them off, and they go through periods of great and not-so-great sleeping.  It’s hard to accept when Addie’s sleeping a 9 hour stretch one night and then up every few hours the next night, but I just try to remember that the bad phases will pass, and she’ll go back to sleeping well when she’s ready.  🙂 

As far CIO goes, there’s just no way I could do it; I hate hearing Addie cry, even just for a minute.  And, even the CIO method books admit that it’s not a one-time cure-all.  You have to do CIO over and over again every time a baby’s sleep pattern gets thrown off by something commonplace (like teething, travel, illness, growth spurts, etc…).  So, I’m kinda like, what’s the point?  If CIO only solves your sleep problems for a brief time and then you have to “re-teach” it, it just doesn’t seem very effective to me.

Post # 11
Member
6010 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Oh, I also want to add that if you’re cutting our dairy/soy, lattes made with almond milk are incredible!  It’s almost all we use at home, and many coffee shops (including some Starbucks) are carrying almond milk now. 

Post # 13
Member
13101 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’ll be honest, I really don’t understand the opposition to CIO.  Me and both my siblings were awful sleepers apparently when we were babies and my parent’s did “self-soothing” which is essentially CIO for each of us.  And you know what, it worked every time (and relatively quickly at that).  And once we learned to soothe ourselves, we didn’t have issues sleeping anymore (ie. it never had to be re-taught).  All three of us have turned out great too.  No problems with attachment or emotional availability with any of us.

It truely is a viable option that works great for some babies and their parents.  I think people are often too quick to discount it.

Post # 14
Member
6010 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@Mrs.KMM:  Everyone has to make their own parenting decisions, and what works for some won’t necessarily work for others.  I don’t think people are terrible parents because they choose CIO, but it’s just not an option for me personally.  I literally have a physical reaction to hearing Addie cry; there’s no way I could do CIO, so we use other, non-crying solutions, instead.  I think a lot of the opposition comes from parents who just can’t stand to hear their baby cry.  If it goes against your parenting intution, or you feel uncomfortable with it, it’s probably not the best solution for you.

Also, I’m sure some kids react more postively than others to CIO.  Not all babies are going to form attachment issues; not all are going to have to be re-trained.  It seems like it was a positive thing for you and your family; it just might not be such a great experience for others, know what I mean?

Post # 15
Member
13101 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

@Mrs. Spring: Oh, I totally get that everyone has to make their own parenting decisions and I already know of some things that DH and I plan to do as parents that many are opposed to.  What works for some doesn’t work for others and that definitely doesn’t mean that anyone’s choice is right or wrong.

And you’re right, CIO isn’t the best option for everyone by any means.  I just feel like “self-soothing” / CIO gets a particularly bad rap from people, many of whom have never even tried it or have any experience with it but who just outright reject it on principle.  Not saying you (or anyone else on the thread) were doing so, I just wanted to be a voice on the other side of the coin for the OP to be able to consider.

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