Sleep

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MissHLH
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#1

My bubba is 14 weeks old and a bit challenging when it comes to sleep. She only sleeps in my arms although I’ve got her to sleep some of the time in her bassinet over the last 4 nights. I hate that the sleep in my arms isn’t safe, if it were I’d go with it (although it’s physically causing some pain). Talking to my GP she recommended as an occasional tool the use of Phenergan. But that also doesn’t seem recommended. Has anyone used in it such a young baby? I feel really conflicted. I’m not planning on using it the next few nights given we might be making progress anyway, but I am really struggling some days and just don’t know if it’s worth a try (I was thinking a half dose).
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onetrick
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#2

Oh, I wouldnt try phernegan. What an odd suggestion (it also makes my boys hyper so dont try for the first time at night!).
Maybe some of the other mums in here will have tips and tricks?
What worked for us was spacing out the feeds- so my boy was getting a bigger feed and then he would sleep with a full tummy. At first it was every 3 hours, then became every 4 after a bit. This was amazing with my second and he was a dream at the start (not so much now...).
My first got better after a combination of gripe water and probiotics as well.
Sorting out health issues also helped. Is she on a slight angle in your arms? Maybe having her head above her tummy helps (so could be reflux etc)?
Hopefully you find something that works that you feel comfortable with x
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Redchick
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#3

I’m astounded that a GP would recommend phenergan for a 14 week old! Have you tried talking to your MCHN? I’m guessing bub is too young for sleep school but maybe their websites have some suggestions?

It is so hard if they won’t sleep on their own. Hopefully some mums with more recent experience will give you some great tips

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Fruitmincepies
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#4

I hit my low point with my first at 16 weeks, when she would only sleep in my arms while I sat upright... I phoned sleep school, and they helped me make some gentle changes to our routine which got her sleeping in her cot (she did not like cosleeping or I would have just safely done that). I’m in WA and Ngala provide wonderful support over the phone, if you happen to be in WA too.

I’m happy to describe what we did in more detail if you like (it’s a bit hazy due to sleep deprivation).
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MissHLH
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#5

Thanks, sort of confirms what I am thinking. I will ring the sleep school that my psych recommended (Medela) and see how long their waiting list is. I don’t really want to try that until she’s a bit older, I’ve heard they’re a bit tough. We did do a day stay at O’Connell but it didn’t help much.
Sleeping on my chest does have her on an angle (and her tummy) and I do wonder if that’s a bit more comfortable for her.
Fruitmincepies - when you have time, I would love to hear your tips. I’m in Vic so Ngala isn’t for me.
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Princess Peach
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#6

Another who wouldn’t dream of trying phernergan on a baby that young for non-allergy related reasons.

Will she sleep in a pram?

Not as safe as a bassinet/cot, but a safer stop gap measure than sleeping in your arms when you are also exhausted.

Other thought, if you think it could be reflux, have a chat with your pharmacist about infant gaviscon. I know it can be given from quite a young age, but I’ve forgotten just how young.
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MissHLH
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#7

Thanks PrincessPeach. She sometimes naps in her pram, but never for long. Sometimes she wakes when we’re a couple of doors from home. She just knows!

The last few nights she’s spent some time in the bassinet, so I just think I need to ride it out and hope for the best. Of course I’m so not used to her sleeping there that I have to check her every couple of minutes to make sure she’s ok. So I still don’t sleep. But I’m sure I’ll get used to it if she does start sleeping stretches in there.
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MagdaRegis
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#8

Our child health nurse suggested transitioning to sleeping alone by setting up a 'bed' for baby on the kitchen table or on the couch where you could sit next to them and easily pat and shhh and comfort, but without holding them to sleep. We did it by putting the basinet mattress on the couch next to where I sat and slowly sliding bub onto it, until he was happy sleeping alone, then moving towards the cot.
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#9

Oh, if you are in Vic and have private health then I can highly recommend the early parenting center (aka sleep school) at mitcham private :) theres another one at Waverley run by the same people. They look at the whole baby, not just sleep training.
With my now 2.5yo, it was feeding schedules as well as sleep training (listening to cues etc).
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#10

Hi Miss HLH,
I hear you about sleep. It can be really difficult!
Although I wouldn’t recommend our method (ie lengthy hospital stay where DD didn’t have a choice but to sleep in her cot because of hospital policy)!

On a hopefully more useful side, I found bub had to be really firmly swaddled with arms pinned down and then transitioned to a sleep sack at about 20 weeks. It seems to make her feel secure and really helps.
In hospital we had cuddle hearts - so bits of fabric that I had originally had on me that I laid over her chest in her cot so she could still smell me (small pieces so that they’re not a choking or breathing risk).
I’ve also heard about making sure that the cot spot is warm before putting down - so that the temperature transition isn’t as obvious when you put them down, although haven’t done that myself.

With #1, I’d have to cuddle him (after ensuring he was well burped and kept upright for 30 mins - also reflux). I had to get him to the point of his eyes almost bouncing shut. He had to still be marginally awake when put down or he’d wake after a couple of minutes, but he had to be just about asleep or he’d stare at the ceiling or dust particles or whatever - chronic FOMO baby!

With #2 - DD. She has to go down fully awake and I grab her hands to get her in my hand and I roll her from side to side. She loves the movement. As she gets closer to sleep, the rocking slows to gentle swaying and then stopping, gradually letting go of one hand, then the other and she’ll then drop off. Sometimes she’ll go down independently now (6 months) and sometimes she’ll scream fighting it. It’s so hard!

I also found a darkened room helped and during day naps - white noise is brilliant. (White noise on my phone is also brilliant to snap DD out of full on meltdown mode too!)

I had a sleep consultation in-home for DS (I’m guessing that’s not happening at the moment?) wondering if any do zoom calls at the moment. Because in some ways even a zoom call in your own place makes better sense than sleep training somewhere else where you then need to transition back home anyway.

For me routine has been huge (also suits my personality). Eat, play, sleep every cycle and the play time gets longer as bub gets older. Daytime in a bright room or outside and interaction. Nighttime I feed and back to bed.

The Raising Children Network website might have some useful sleep tips too.

Don’t know if any of these things help. But I feel you with the sleep issues - it is so hard. I hope it is improving for you soon
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MissHLH
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#11

Thanks MagdaRegis, I could try that. She’s more than happy to lie on the ground and hang out, so maybe some of that can be on her own mattress.
Onetrick - I will contact Mitchum Private too, do you know if they’re on the more gentle or tougher side in their approach?
Gabbitz - she did start out in the bassinet, and not just with her hospital stay. I think because I was in so much pain afterwards and she was having some feeding issues we went from bassinet to feeding all night overnight (which was much harder to cope with), to sleeping in arms. I wish I’d had a co-sleeper bassinet, we may never have ended up here... I think she’ll do best with the same approach as you used for your DS. as close to sleep as possible but not actually asleep. Last night she did go down, but I think the poor day sleeps meant she was exhausted, so the screaming was less than other nights.
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Thankful
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#12

Gosh I'm a bit stunned actually that a GP would suggest Phenergan for a 14 week old for sleep. I think I'd be worried about some kind of a reaction or even that the Phenergan would knock her out completely.

I hear you on how hard it is without predictable sleep patterns. My second is now 10 months old and it's been a tough time more recently with sleep. We used a co-sleeper (the Troll bassinet, which fully opens on one side) which helped hugely in creating space for independent sleep but he was still very close to me in the early days. He was a dream sleeper until around six months and then he 'woke up,' and we have been working hard to establish a routine since then. The two things that are vital are his little cuddle blanket and a completely darkened room. I'm not the kind of person who truly enjoys 'going with the flow' and I prefer structure, so I'm also a stickler for ensuring he's in a place where he can sleep at the right time (so pretty strict awake times which technically prevent overtiredness).

The resources we've used and can recommend aspects of each one are: the Little Possums programme, Save Our Sleep (although this is controversial and lots of people don't like it...I like it only for the timeframe suggestions), Happiest Baby, and on Instagram check out Tara under the handle of The Gentle Sleep Specialist. I find her recommendations really helpful. Being unable to travel home this year (we aren't Australian) has been an added difficulty because we have literally no family support and no-one to come and take the baby for a walk while we nap. If you have support, ask and accept the help - it will keep you sane. I hope things get better soon but remember too that 14 weeks is still very very young, and she will cling to you for security for a while still. Best of luck.
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#13

I had an in unsleeper. I moved the cot into our room even though it was a tight fit. I noticed he slept well in a bouncer so I elevated the cot mattress slightly by putting rolled up towels underneath the mattress. During the day I would try to sleep when he slept so I some how cobbled enough sleep together to be functional. I didn't realise it at the time but he had silent reflux and didn't really sleep well until he could roll around and move.

Has a child health nurse or paediatrician checked for silent reflux?

Wishing you the best with the sleep school.
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MissHLH
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#14

Thanks Thankful, I’ll check out those resources. COVID has made things tough to get help and support. I hope you get home soon (if that’s the plan). I wish I’d got a co-sleeper, we may never have ended up here. She’s too big for it now, we need to move into the cot.

Null - I don’t think she has reflux, but I do think once she can roll over she would be happier. Sleeping on me means she’s on her tummy, in her own space it’s on her back.

I’m super anxious about sleep school but trying to tell myself that it’s only for a little while and by all accounts should help massively. I’ll probably cry more than she does...
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MissHLH
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#15

I thought I'd post an update. Sorry, it's a bit all over the place, I'm just getting it out.

We went to sleep school and bubba is now sleeping in her own cot which is great. My body is starting to recover (slowly!). I didn't enjoy it, and I felt unsupported, but I don't think they did a bad job with the baby. We were doing pretty well, and she was requiring fewer resettles. There were some (many) bad days, but we were going in the right direction. Unfortunately Christmas really messed us around. I went down to my mums house and the first nap there (last nap of the day) required significant help, but she was okay that night, just needed a little help to go down. The next day was back to normal, and the next day was Christmas and she had no sleep. I was meant to go home that night but due to some family drama I ended up going back to my mums. Which meant coming home on Boxing day, so another day of disrupted sleep. And since then every nap and night sleep has been awful. So we are back to the start - but I know she can do it. I just feel so bad that I went out and messed her around so badly - I won't do that for a while, she obviously needs more time to get into a routine.
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Crazyone4532
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#16

Oh MissHLH, babies and sleep is so tough. There are so many expectations from society on how babies should sleep.

I’m back to rocking my 19month old to sleep as he just needs it. I highly recommend the Facebook group Beyond Sleep Training Project if you are looking for really gentle methods. I also recommend looking up the Possums method which basically advocates for mentally stimulating baby so that they are tired enough for sleep!

Also, my DS regularly didn’t sleep more than one sleep cycle till after 6 or 7 months but it did eventually consolidate. I would sometimes rock him back to sleep after one cycle if he seemed super tired still.

Basically, do what you feel is right. You don’t have to conform to anyone else’s ideals!
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#17

How are you going, OP? I'm a bit hesitant to come back in here... it's been a long time since I've had a terrible, non-sleeping baby, but I do remember how much it really, really sucks.

So, there are a couple of things that come to mind here... one, your baby can sleep - you know this now, in a way that you didn't at sleep school. So, if you do want to go back through those methods, you know that they will get you there. If you went to Mitcham, I know that they would take phone calls for advice in the weeks after going there, which was really helpful as my non-sleeper grew and changed what he did. I would give it a go for the other places, if that's where you went instead.

Also, there is a great post from Howard Chilton, a paed in Sydney, who talks about 'Christmas colic' - basically, he'd find a whole lot of inconsolable babies coming into Emergency at Christmas time because they are just sooooo wired and over tired. You can google for it, but be warned he's very much a 'fourth-trimester, no such thing as reflux' kind of doctor, so if that's not where your head is at, you might want to steer clear.

It seems like you've got a bit of a tricky sleeper - some babies are just more difficult to settle than others, and that often seems to go along with being more sensitive to changes of environment or to emotional changes. It just means that you need to give them a bit more help to go back to sleeping by themselves.

And don't feel bad about it - it sounds like the first day is a pretty normal kind of reaction (and who could blame you for wanting to see family at Christmas after this year), and the family drama was obviously not something you could plan for. It will happen again, whether it's because of illness or just normal developmental changes, and now you have some tools to use to help her calm herself so she can sleep.

It does sound a bit from your earliest posts that... (I obviously forgot to finish my sentence, but it was going to be) ... you are feeling a significant toll from cuddling her to sleep, and weren't feeling it was safe. It is a good thing to make sure that supporting your baby's sleep works for both of you. Getting enough sleep for everyone really enables you to be a better parent.

Edited to add second part of the sentence :ninja:
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MissHLH
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#18

Crazyone4532 wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:55 pm Oh MissHLH, babies and sleep is so tough. There are so many expectations from society on how babies should sleep.

I’m back to rocking my 19month old to sleep as he just needs it. I highly recommend the Facebook group Beyond Sleep Training Project if you are looking for really gentle methods. I also recommend looking up the Possums method which basically advocates for mentally stimulating baby so that they are tired enough for sleep!

Also, my DS regularly didn’t sleep more than one sleep cycle till after 6 or 7 months but it did eventually consolidate. I would sometimes rock him back to sleep after one cycle if he seemed super tired still.

Basically, do what you feel is right. You don’t have to conform to anyone else’s ideals!
Thanks Crazyone. And thanks for the referral to the Possums method - I like the idea of good mental stimulation, I sometimes think I must be pretty boring to my bubba!
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MissHLH
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#19

mandelbrot wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:54 pm How are you going, OP? I'm a bit hesitant to come back in here... it's been a long time since I've had a terrible, non-sleeping baby, but I do remember how much it really, really sucks.

So, there are a couple of things that come to mind here... one, your baby can sleep - you know this now, in a way that you didn't at sleep school. So, if you do want to go back through those methods, you know that they will get you there. If you went to Mitcham, I know that they would take phone calls for advice in the weeks after going there, which was really helpful as my non-sleeper grew and changed what he did. I would give it a go for the other places, if that's where you went instead.

Also, there is a great post from Howard Chilton, a paed in Sydney, who talks about 'Christmas colic' - basically, he'd find a whole lot of inconsolable babies coming into Emergency at Christmas time because they are just sooooo wired and over tired. You can google for it, but be warned he's very much a 'fourth-trimester, no such thing as reflux' kind of doctor, so if that's not where your head is at, you might want to steer clear.

It seems like you've got a bit of a tricky sleeper - some babies are just more difficult to settle than others, and that often seems to go along with being more sensitive to changes of environment or to emotional changes. It just means that you need to give them a bit more help to go back to sleeping by themselves.

And don't feel bad about it - it sounds like the first day is a pretty normal kind of reaction (and who could blame you for wanting to see family at Christmas after this year), and the family drama was obviously not something you could plan for. It will happen again, whether it's because of illness or just normal developmental changes, and now you have some tools to use to help her calm herself so she can sleep.

It does sound a bit from your earliest posts that... (I obviously forgot to finish my sentence, but it was going to be) ... you are feeling a significant toll from cuddling her to sleep, and weren't feeling it was safe. It is a good thing to make sure that supporting your baby's sleep works for both of you. Getting enough sleep for everyone really enables you to be a better parent.

Edited to add second part of the sentence :ninja:
Thanks mandelbrot. Don't hesitate to come and post, what I loved about the old EB was that there was so much advice that often my questions were answered and I didn't have to post at all (which was great for my anxiety - and anxiety is why it's taken so long to come back and post, even though I did read earlier). Thanks for the support around Christmas - you're right, life will keep happening, so it's finding a way to make it work for everyone. Thankfully she did get back to sleeping pretty okay, although it was a lot of crying (hers, mine...) to get there. Now we are starting childcare and I'm pretty worried about messing it all up again. The good thing (I guess) is that I'm not back to work, so a few hard weeks of settling in will be difficult but doable. Hopefully by the time I go back she'll have learnt to sleep at childcare.
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