May 12, 2010,
R.R. asks from Coachella, CA on May 11, 2010
Sleep - Coachella,CA
My son just turned 3 months old, 2 days ago and I will return to work in two weeks. My husband and I decided to sleep tran our son with the Sleep Sense Program but we could only take te crying for one night plus our son slept less than without the program. He sleeps 6.5 hours straight at night, wakes for a feeding and then sleeps another 2-4 hours. Naps are dreadful, he will only sleep for 30 minutes!!! Does anyone have suggestions on helping my son nap without having cry it out.
D.W. answers from Gainesville on May 11, 2010
Uummm.....he's sleeping 6.5 hours, feeds and passes back out for 2-4? That's pretty darn good for a just barely 3 month old! And the 6.5 hours is considered sleeping thru the night. Might not be what you want to hear but he's still very tiny. Some babies take longer to be physically ready to sleep for longer periods of time. And babies need to eat at night. It's part of their basic survival. Babies waking to eat when they are very tiny is a good thing. Keeps their blood sugars level. I'm always kind of floored when people say babies don't need to eat at night! Try telling that to my growing and hungry babies in the middle of the night!
Parenting doesn't end at night or because you will have to return to work and need a good night's sleep. Just not necessarily how it works. Every baby has different needs at night.
As far as naps, it's just something they have to learn and be taught like any part of sleep. Good, consistent routines are what teaches baby what to expect and what is expected. Babies have to be taught how to sleep. They don't automatically know how. Some babies are cat nappers but you can go in when he wakes around the 30 minute mark and try to get him back down by keeping the lights low, your voice soft and trying to soothe him back to sleep. My son was an awful napper too but with a routine of literally doing and saying the same things every single nap and bedtime for 6 weeks, he got it and began to sleep beautifully but he was 6 months old when I started. Your baby is very young still but you can establish consistent routines and that will help everything fall into place.
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A.P. answers from Boston on May 11, 2010
His nighttime pattern seems just fine. Waking once to eat is pretty normal for a 3 month old, and a 6.5 hour stretch of straight sleep is pretty good. It would be a lot to expect him to sleep 8 hours or longer. As far as napping, some kids just take many short naps, that is how they operate. I would just make sure he is in a comfortable quiet place for naptime, I'm assuming he's in his crib or something? Is there a reason he needs to take longer naps? Is he not getting enough sleep altogether? Is he in daycare that only has naps at a certain time? Does he seem cranky during the day? If no to these questions then I don't see what the problem is.
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A.G. answers from Pocatello on May 11, 2010
First let me just say I am a firm believer in the cry it out method. It has worked for both my girls even though they reacted differently to it. My first it took two weeks of lots of crying during the night for my first to finally learn to fall asleep on her own. My second she never even really cried. She fussed for about 20 sec. the first night and that was it. With that said there are some guide lines to follow. First your baby is too young to start the method with. They have to be at least 4 months old and it works better at 6 months or even 12 months. When they are this young they don't have the ability to remember what happened the night before so there is no learning going on. He will just continue to cry every night like it is the first time you are trying to have him self sooth. So I would hold off for now. Also if he doesn't nap well try letting him nap in the swing. he is too little to develop any "bad habits" so you don't need to worry about that. My 2nd daughter slept in her swing until she was too big for it like around 6 months and then we just started putting her in her crib without any problems. Also do you think he is waking up do to noise? if so you could get a sound machine. They make white noise and block out other sounds so kids sleep great with them. Also if he is already sleeping 6.5 hours straight at this age that is great! most babies do not do this so you are lucky. And lots of babies at this age still wake up often at night to eat. They are still little and need that so if he is waking after 6 hours he is hungry. No sleep training will fix that. He needs to get bigger and older for him to go a whole 10 to 12 hours without eating.
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D.W. answers from Indianapolis on May 11, 2010
Your child is still running on instincts at this age - I'm kind of scared at the number of people recommending a cry it out method for this age.
I understand what it's like to be back to work. I went back at 8 weeks with one child and at 9 with another. I was in field sales at the time and drove between 100-200 miles/day on average. Sleep was really important to me because lack of it could endanger myself, my family and other drivers on the road.
But, your baby is running on instincts at this age still. You hear a lot of people say you can't spoil a baby at this age, and I completely agree. Crying is your baby's only way of letting you know they need something right now. Their stomachs are small, the world is big and scary, and it's impossible to believe they can know that mom and dad need to sleep to be at work.
Parenting requires a lot of sacrifice. There are some sacrifices I've been willing to make and others I haven't. I'd love to go to med school and become the doctor I've always wanted to be, but being a mom is more important to me. Other people do it, but their priorities are different.
When my second child was 10.5 weeks old, I was diagnosed with cancer. I couldn't let her cry it out because I was deep in chemo the next 6 months, and I could barely get out of bed some days. So, she slept next to me and my husband in bed. It was the best way for us to manage. She's now 2, and she's a great sleeper. She hardly ever wakes-up in the middle of the night.
I really don't mean to be critical - this message and some of the responses just struck a cord with me. Each child is different. Some are naturally good sleepers, others are not. Your baby is telling you what he needs. Sometimes, it's just the reassurance that you're there to hold him.
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K.C. answers from Portland on May 11, 2010
It sounds like your son sleeps more than our did for the first 9 months of his life! Sometimes putting them to sleep earlier helps out because they are over tired. That's my only advice. At 9 months our son was still getting up every hour and half to every two hours so I'm impressed at the 6.5 hour thing. Once we learned from our pediatrician that he was over tired we started putting him to bed at 6 and he still goes to be at 6 and sleeps 12-13 hours. 3 months is still a pretty young age for super long stretches of time.
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B. answers from Augusta on May 11, 2010
Check out the " no cry sleep solution" by Elizabeth Pantley . And PLEASE don't take advice from the lady that says her ped told her babies don't have to eat at night after 10 days. That's scariest pieces of advice I've ever heard. That Dr needs to be have his practice shut down and never be allowed to give that kind of BAD advice to mothers again . Here is a "normal" night feeding list by age. These numbers can fluctuate depending on baby and growth spurts that come around every 3 months.
Newborns to 3 months old: Feedings every 2-3 hours, on demand
• 3-4 Months: 2-3 feedings per night or every 3-6 hours, on demand
• 5-6 Months: 1-2 feedings
• 7-9 Months: 1, maybe 2, feedings
• 10-12 Months: Sometimes 1 feeding
• 12+ Months: Generally no feedings
CIO can be dangerous, it basically teaches mothers to ignore their crying babies and teaches babies mommy won't come when they cry. It also causes the release of stress chemicals and elevated blood pressure in the baby. I'll attach some links to articles and studies.
Good for you for not continuing it.
After sleeping that long at night he may not need as much sleep during the day. He may not need as much sleep as other babies, my daughter was the same way as an infant , except she didn't sleep at night either lol.
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S.K. answers from Kansas City on May 11, 2010
I am convinced that children will do what they want and what THEY are designed to do. We can try as we might to manipulate them, but we can't.
My 9 month old grandson wakes up to be fed at night and has since day one. He only wakes up once now most nights. But he still wants to eat 3 times per night maybe once per week or every 8-10 days. We give him what HE needs because it's not about us.
This same boy refuses to take naps during the day. He'll cry it out whether or not we are holding him. He'll be so tired and pass out for 15 minutes ONLY. Then eventually he'll get tired enough to take a 2 hour nap maybe 1-2 nights per week around 6pm. Those are usually the days that he'll go to bed early too and sleep most the way through for about 12 hours.
I have another little girl during the day that's one month behind him. She's almost exactly the SAME. She sleeps okay at night, wakes early to feed for her mom some times, almost never takes a good nap during the day and it doesn't matter what we do. I have 4 and 5 year olds that sleep way better than these 2 babies. We've tried music, white noise, blocking out the light, various foods at various times of the day to try and make sure they are well-fed and not at all hungry or uncomfortable.
I've been doing this 24 years and I don't believe those brain scans are related to crying it out. My daughters pediatrician ripped my daughter a new one for getting up and feeding her son at 5 months! That whacky woman said she made all her kids cry it out and she's a PED. I doubt she'd do that if she thought she was damaging her child. Doctors are always trying on new theories for size. I don't believe in letting them scream for hours. But when my grandson or my daycare babies won't stop screaming, I'm not going to sit there and allow them to scream in my ears. I'll do anything I can if I can figure it out. If not, there WILL be times they cry no matter how hard we try and prevent it.
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R.C. answers from Portland on May 11, 2010
My first answer would be to look for a sleep coach in your area.
I believe that crying it out damages a child's emotional development, and the people that I know who've done it, their children have a little different relationships with their parents. There is enough scientific evidence now with brain scans to show that this isn't a healthy way to help your child learn to sleep. Good for you for seeking a peaceful supportive way for your baby!
The Sears books recommend you figure out why your baby is not sleeping longer (might even be medical, like reflux). Unfortunately for us working folks, 6.5 hours is considered "through the night" for an infant. My first didn't sleep through the night til he was 14 months, whew! My second slept 6 hrs at 2 months, 8 hrs at 3 months, and now is about 9 hours unless she has a growth spurt. For her, I believe what I did that helped was that I did frequent feedings during the day, so she just wasn't as hungry at night, and we used the Cocoon Sleeper by Arm's Reach, which was great. While home with her (12 weeks), I fed her at least every 2 hours during the day. I just looked at the clock every time we started, and made sure that I didn't go longer than 2 - 2.5 hrs before the next time, and fed her more frequently if she signaled. If I thought she was waking slightly at night sooner than she probably needed to eat (say an hour or so after feeding), I'd rock her back to sleep without feeding her.
I wasn't sure this would last when we went to daycare, but she's been fine. She drinks 4, 4 oz. bottles during the day. I wake at 5:30, feed her, feed her again at 7:30, before leaving for work, and see her again at about 5:30.
Best wishes for a good transition to work.
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