Saturday, June 13, 2009

Questions for all the moms reading

I am struggling. If you read my MHR post yesterday, you know that Jude has beenhaving some sleep issues as of late. I just can not figure out what the difference is between the last three weeks when the boy has been waking two to four times a night and the previous two when he slept all night until 5:30am.

Jude used to be a really heavy sleeper until the acid reflux became bad and we didn't figure that out. Then he became a light sleeper. We still cosleep, with him in the cosleeper beside the bed. He also takes naps in there. He's actually a pretty good napper. But I just don't know what is going on with this night time business.

So, I've decided to conduct a little informal poll of any moms who might happen to read this post. I find that there is a lot of wisdom out there from people who have "been there."

I do want to preface this by saying that I am not a fan of the cry-it-out method because of a recent study that shows the cortisol levels in a baby who has cried it out get as high as a person who has lost their spouse. So, here are my questions. Answer any or all. And thank you in advance! (I'll be using "his" and "him" in the gender neutral role.)

1. How old was your baby when you put him in his own room? Was he sleeping through the night at that time?

2. If your baby was not sleeping through the night when you put him in his own room, how long did it take for him to get there?

3. How did you transition your baby from your room to the crib in his own room?

4. If your baby starts crying in his room in the middle of the night, how long do you let it go before you go to him? What do you do when you go to him?

5. The boy wakes himself up sometimes when he looses his pacifier at night. If yours did this, how did you handle it?

6. Any other pearls of wisdom are appreciated.


Rebecca said...

1. How old was your baby when you put him in his own room? Was he sleeping through the night at that time?
So far usually between 7-12 months. Claire was older, Will was younger. Not usually sleeping through the night yet. (Will was, but he was an exception because I was having to supplement at the time due to the pregnancy.)

2. If your baby was not sleeping through the night when you put him in his own room, how long did it take for him to get there?
For Claire it still took a while, but there was less night waking during the transition.

3. How did you transition your baby from your room to the crib in his own room?
With Claire we would put her down in her room before we went to bed. She would stay down for several hours usually until long after we went to bed ourselves. Upon her first waking we'd bring her into our bed to nurse and she'd usually sleep beside me for the next stretch until morning. Then she would wake for a very early morning nurse before I put her back in her own bed in her room where she would sleep for a few more hours. Eventually that night waking got later and later until it turned into her early morning nurse session and then she didn't come into our room anymore! (Sad, but yay!) This started at around 9 or so months and she was completely transitioned by 13 or so months with only the occasional night waking. (Usually for teething or a growth spurt.)

4. If your baby starts crying in his room in the middle of the night, how long do you let it go before you go to him? What do you do when you go to him?
Typically we don't let it go long at all. (Unless we can tell it's more of a whine that will soon cease rather than a genuine cry.) When we go first try re-placing the pacifier and soothing by patting etc. Then if that doesn't work after 2 minutes (or 5... however patient you are), I nurse again.

5. The boy wakes himself up sometimes when he looses his pacifier at night. If yours did this, how did you handle it?
When you figure this out, let me know. I figure duct tape wouldn't be a good idea... hmmmmm

6. Any other pearls of wisdom are appreciated.
Can't think of much! Maybe avoid caffeine? (You probably already do!)

Tonja said...

It's SSOO hard isn't it!!! You want to do the right thing...the problem is not knowing exactly what is right!!! is what I think...

As mommas......we're going to do some things wrong. If we are constantly looking at 'studies' and trying to constantly 'go by the book' we will drive ourselves crazy (and everyone else). EVERY child is different and you just have to try and do what is best for that child.

You spend alot of time with Jude, so of course, he's going to be sad when you aren't RIGHT THERE at his beck and call... if he cries because he wants you to pick him up...he'll eventually get tired and fall asleep again. It's one of the hardest things to do!!!

Because you know the difference between his cries...ask he really hurting?? is he just wanting to be picked up?? If he is just wanting to be picked up..let him cry it out....It will not scar him for life!!! If he drops his pacifier..stick it back in and leave's easy for me to say...hhee hee

It is so weird to think about..but that 'fake' crying is really's a lie..he's not hurt...he just wants what he wants...and he wants it NOW!! HHEE HHEE Babies are just amazing and are an incredible look into ourselves and our in-born selfish nature.

Ya'll are doing such a great job, Lisa.....try not to get bogged down with tons of information...
just enjoy him now and make yourself remember that he won't stay little for long!!!

I hope this email has not come across "know it all'ish" or like I don't care....I'm just speaking from the little bit of experience that I have...

roadrunner201 said...

No, Tonja. I don't think it comes across that way. I just really need to hear what other people have experienced so I can get an idea of what I might do better. Thanks for your post! I tried to go to your blog, but the link was somehow broken.

roadrunner201 said...

P.S. is that my S-I-L Tonja or someone else?

Andrea Pavkov said...

Hi Lisa. I want to try to answer your questions you posted. Hoping I encourage and remind you that you have EVERYTHING that you need to be Jude's mama because God designed you especially for this task. I'm afraid my answers may be from a different basis than what you want to hear but I will share anyway.
1. Our babies (we have 2 boys) were around 3-4 months when they went to their own rooms. They did however nap in their own rooms/cribs before they slept there full time. Yes they were sleeping through the night by the time we moved them in there. Your guy has already proven he is able to sleep through the night which is good.
2. Doesn't apply.
3. We first had them take naps in their room. Anytime they went to sleep except at night was in their rooms. I have a question for you though. Does he fall asleep first or dose off and then you put him in bed or does he lay down awake?
4. If our baby started crying at night we first waited to hear if it was just a wimper or a genuine awake cry. Then we would wait a few minutes 3-5 probably. I would then go in BUT not pick them up. I would put my hand on their back, pat them and say "I love you, it's night night time, go to sleep." Then I would walk back out. If they continued to cry I did not go back in for a longer time. Probably 5-7 minutes. Then if I went back in I wouldn't pat them I would just put them down and say good night. It didn't take too long for them to understand it was time to go to sleep. Don't get me wrong it wasn't always easy to hear them cry but I had to remind myself they were fine and that they needed to know and understand that night time was for sleeping for everyones sake. This works best if you start this same habit during nap times and put them to bed awake. Have him eat, play and then be put to bed awake to help him know and feel confident that he is ok to go to sleep and not waking up scared because he doesn't remember how he got there.
5. I too had one baby that was attached to the pacifer. He loved it and would wake up if it feel out of his mouth. He was not getting any good, solid sleep from waking up so often and I thought I was going to go crazy running in their popping it back in. So we eliminated it. He ended up finding his thumb to replace it. But he would not wake up when his thumb came out. He sucked his thumb for a few years but hey he always knew where that was.
6.One of my sons was very stubborn when it came to sleeping. I persevered and in the end he learned to sleep on his own and stay asleep. At the time I wondered was it worth it or necessary but then when he was about two I saw myself again needing to "win" the battle of the wills. Not because I wanted to win but the Lord showed me clearly that because of my son's strong personality that if I did not mold it at a young age he would be a very difficult child and get himself into trouble later on. On the other hand it was molded and he has amazing potential to use that strength for good. Again I want to encourage you that inside of you there is everything you need to be the mama he needs. Trust yourself. It is good to ask for advice but in the end you have to examine it and make peace with what you are comfortable with doing. This time will fly by and you will find yourself trying to remember that time in life. I would recommend the book BabyWise. It's good. So these are my two cents. I am confident you will do great. P.S. There are times that they are going through growth spurts etc or they get off schedule and their pattern changes. But it is also possible if you persevere for a few days to get their patterns back on track.:) Love you and think your little guy is a sweet heart.

roadrunner201 said...

Thanks Andrea. I have been contemplating getting rid of the paci. I actually had no plans of ever giving him one, but the first long car trip we took changed that. I don't care for that Babywise guy too much, but he did have a few things that I liked. I really want to find a way to modify it to work for us.

Our routine for naps and bed are the same except that he gets a bath at bed time, too. We get a diaper, nurse, then go down. Most of the time he falls asleep while nursing for naps, but only about half the time for bed time. The other half we put him down awake. I wouldn't even know where to begin to change that since he's been doing it for so long.

svr said...

i don't have much time to type an answer since we are just back and i am catching up on a bunch of stuff. i can talk to you about this in person. however, i think the best sleep book i have read was "the no-cry sleep solution" by elizabeth pantley. and dr. sears has a lot of good stuff too.

i would also like to add that every child is different. jeremiah was very easy. we did a modified form of crying it out and he was sleeping on his own in about 3 days. for nathaniel the process was longer....we can chat about that.

hope you get some sleep soon! :-)

joannabug said...

1 & 2. Ours went to their own room around 6 months. Ours were *mostly* sleeping through the night when we put them in there, but Elanor continued to have some sleep issues until about 14-15 months. Teething, stress or overtiredness still will occasionally cause a nighttime wake up, but that's pretty rare now.

3. The transition, I think, was easier because of a small apartment (it was only a few more feet), and because they were still sleeping in the same crib.

4. We always go in right away if our babies are crying in the middle of the night (maybe waiting a minute or two to see if they were falling back asleep). We'd hold them for a few minutes, see if they needed something else (if they were hungry or needed a diaper change, or just needed more loving, etc.), and then would try putting them down. I know if I were crying in the middle of the night, I would want comfort (and I don't think it's a sin for them to cry wanting comfort, even if they're not hungry). I think this has helped them to feel secure, and now at 18 months, they love going to bed.

5. We piled their crib with pacifiers. If they really lost one, it didn't take long at all to put it back in.

6. I think it is appropriate to be concerned with the crying-it-out method, especially with the more extreme forms of it. I think working towards giving our kids a secure sleep routine really has helped them in the long run, and it has helped our relationship. If there are new sleep problems developing, I'd look at the different variables and strategize from that (Is he over-tired? Do you need to tweak a nap? Are teeth coming in? Is he learning new skills [babies have trouble turning their minds off during those cognitive leaps, crawling, turning over, etc.]?). For Elanor, an earlier bedtime really helped eliminate most of the sleep problems. She *needed* comfort, and I think it would have been really damaging to our relationship to ignore that. Also, now I have sweet middle-of-the-night memories of our special rocking time that I'll always treasure. Ian, however, usually cries for 30 seconds or so if he wakes up, and though we still offer comfort, he often just wants to be left alone.

I don't want to be controversial here, I know there are a lot of different views about handling night-time issues, so if you want to e-mail me (joannabug at yahoo dot com), I would be glad to share more of our story.

And, you'll get through this stage--it will seem like such a short one in the long run! :-)

Michelle said...

1. I have an 18 month old in bed with us and a 3 1/2 year old in our room in her own bed. not going anywhere either.

2. It's a continuum. They get better over time. They have these sleep things where they just stop sleeping well for a while...but it gets better. Developmental milestones OFTEN cause a lot of night he crawling or trying to crawl?

3. We put our 3 yo in her bed when we came to bed, but I laid in bed with her at night and put her to sleep. If she crawled in bed with us we let her. Now that she is older and another baby is on the way, we tell her to stay in her bed. If she gets up my DH helps her back to her bed, covers her up, gives her a drink, whatever.

4. I would NEVER let my baby cry in the middle of the night unless I was right beside him and could touch him and sush him.

5. OHHHHHH how I hated that. Attach it with a clip and put some all over the crib. As he gets older he'll find them himself.

6. My best piece of advice for you is to remember they only need you for this short while. Sleep deprivation is hard...but they need us! They need us to teach them how to get back to sleep and how to stay asleep, with our gentle bodies next to them.

If it 18 month old can put himself back to sleep all alone...beside me of course. My 3 year old could do it by one year. It gets better.

Joy said...

The longer I parent, the more I learn that there are very few absolutes in parenting. Sleep is something that I think will be a changing issue as your baby gets older and goes through different stages. Just last week we were having trouble with Truett waking up several times a night for a couple of nights, and then 2 molars popped through.

1. We put T in his own room at 2.5 mos, I wanted to transistion him before I went back to work. He was going to bed around 8ish and sleeping until his 3 am feeding and then sleeping until 7, so I guess for his age he was sleeping through the night.

2. He kept that 4 am feeding until around 10 mos old

3. We started using the crib at nap time, but picked a weekend to start with the crib at night so that if he woke up a lot the first couple of nights it wouldn't make it hard for Chris to go to work.

4. We still don't really let him cry it out, and we never did when he was under 12 mos. He also loved being swaddled and we did that (arms only-it looked weird!) until he was 12 mos old, so sometimes we would go in and re-swaddle and stick the paci back in and that was all he needed. Now if he wakes up (18 mos) we might let him go for 5 or 10 min because he usually puts himself back to sleep before that.

5. T used to do this too, we didn't have a strategy, he just out grew it. Now he goes to sleep with one but rarely has it in the morning when he gets up.

I am a firm believer that comfort is a basic need for all humans, but especially babies. The only way babies have to communicate is through crying, so I have always treated crys for comfort the same way I would a cry for food. Now that he is old enough to be pitching fits out of temper, we have a different issue, but crying out of temper is different from crying out of a need for company or comfort. Our approach to sleep has been gradual, and more of an approach to "what will get us all back to sleep the fastest" Also, we found that Chris was able to get him back to sleep in the middle of the night much more easily than I could, I think if I was holding him he thought he should nurse and it kept him awake.