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And ANOTHER Post On Sleep

03/22/2014

Belle

Dear Magic Sleep Suit,

You have served us so well for so many months. You held my sweet baby tight so she could sleep through the night….

Wait. That is so not true. We still are not sleeping through the night. In fact, Sabine’s sleep is so disordered that she is often sleeping worse than a newborn. I am a member of a Facebook group for tired Mommas of poorly sleeping babies. Recently I posted a lament about her bad sleeping habits and a mom actually said it sounded like her little one who had colic… and then assured me they outgrow colic. That was the nail in the coffin. Sabine does not have colic, she is 8.5 months old.

The Professor and I had a phone conference call with a pediatric sleep specialist  yesterday. We sent her two weeks of sleep logs that painted a very real and very sad picture of our current sleeping habits. She took a long look and said, “Oh this is terrible. She is all over the place and is sleeping worse than many newborns I see.” I almost cried when she said this. I needed affirmation. I needed someone who knows baby sleep to confirm that yes, there is a problem here. The specialist also assured me that at 8.5 months, this kind of disordered sleep is bad for the baby. Sabine needs her rest. The bags under her eyes and her sadness around 4 p.m. attest to how tired she is.

Sabine Hineman Week 1 Ped Sleep Log

 

Sanine Hineman Ped Sleep Log 2

The good news is that I am not doomed to be awoken three, four, five and sometimes six times a night. Sabine’s sleep can and will improve. After taking a detailed history of Sabine’s sleep habits she diagnosed my little one with a severe nursing addiction. For Sabine, nursing is the BEST THING EVER. It is soothing, it is comfy, it is tasty, it is sleep inducing and she NEEDS it to fall asleep. This needs to change.

The sleep specialist helped us outline a sleep training plan that will work for us. If at any point we feel it is not working, or we are uncomfortable with how fast it is moving, we can stop, call her back and we will modify it to be more gentle. Initially, though, we are going with the “rip the band-aide off” approach over a two-week period.

Step 1 is losing the Magic Sleep Suit. Tonight Sabine will have her final sleep in it and tomorrow we will set her free. I am terrified to do this, but the specialist had a very good point – we do not sleep the entire night in the same position, how can I expect Sabine to sleep the entire night and not change positions? So this is the end. My heart pounds when I type this. The end of the sleep suit… shit. WHAT ARE WE DOING? 🙂

Step 2 is ending our nurse-to-sleep habit. We have already been working on putting Sabine down for naps and bed awake, but I am not consistent and will often fudge and let her nurse to sleep before transferring her to the crib. Tonight I began a new nighttime routine where we have warm milk (our way of saying nursing) before dinner, then we have a nice bath and warm milk in the tub (I bathe with her still – it’s such a sweet routine!). After she is in her PJs I rock her a bit and allow her to nurse a little more while talking softly and keeping her awake. When she is done with her warm milk we say night night, I sing “All the Pretty Little Horses” and then its lights out. Tonight the routine went SHOCKINGLY well, although she was put in her sleep suit right before we sang our song. We shall see what tomorrow holds!

Step 1 and Step 2 will happen simultaneously during “Week 1,” then on Thursday we will start Step 3, teaching Sabine how to sleep through the night. Sleeping through the night is a HEATED issue so I’m going to be a vague with our plans to try to keep the potential shit storm at bay. (If you would like to know more details about our plan feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll email you with more information.) I will simply say that the method we have chosen is designed to be swift, but will be done with lots of checks and compassion. Sabine’s weight gain is good again, she is eating solid foods with zest (finally) and can go long periods during the day without nursing and without any trouble. She is ready to sleep through the night.

I’ve ordered supplies to help our transition: two soft kitty lovies and one video monitor so we can check on her without going in (and so stressed out Mama can check without her knowing I’m home!). Monitor arrives tomorrow and the lovies on Monday.  I REALLY hope that this is the second to last post I ever write about baby sleep, with the last post being a victorious one!

Anyone quit the Magic Sleep Suit yet? Any tips for tomorrow night other than having a huge pot of coffee at the ready in the morning? 🙂

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15 Comments

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  1. March 22, 2014

    Oh my! You must be so very tired 😦 Looking at that schedule – oh my-oh my. Good for you for pursuing specialists and formulating a plan. Good luck to you – this can’t be easy.

  2. March 22, 2014

    I can’t believe you’ve all been so sleep deprived for this long. But this is going to work, dammit! You have brighter days ahead!

    • March 23, 2014

      I really can’t believe it either. I don’t even remember what it was like to be rested!

  3. March 22, 2014

    I would love to hear the details! Bryson wakes once a night still, and I’m being a softie and going to him. I sort of like it, actually. He was doing so well, then we traveled 3 out of 6 weekends, he got sick, and tons of teeth came. DERAILED. Time to get back at it.

    I am hoping this is it for you! It’s so hard. You’re doing better than we did with Matthew… We waited until 9.5 months. For some reason, I’m just more laid back this time and don’t care. But I need to!

    Best of luck to you!!!

    • March 23, 2014

      I will happily share the details. It’s quite a lot like Ferber, but with Daddy doing all the checks and Mama leaving the house. I’ll send you details when we get started with the actual sleep training step!

      • March 23, 2014

        Thanks! My friend did something similar and it worked! Good luck!

        I feel for you. I really, really do. This is hard stuff. I’m writing this as Bryson is stirring and crying as he goes through an early sleep transition. Good times.

  4. March 22, 2014

    Girlfriend…I don’t need to tell you how much I FULLY support this decision! Looking at that sleep log, I see lots of good things going on. You’re not dealing with hours upon hours of crying, naps are happening…that’s some good stuff right there! All those wake-ups, though…ugh. It’s exhausting for everyone.

    Everyone has an opinion on sleep training, but at the end of the day, it’s YOU who knows what is best for YOUR child and YOUR family. Mama’s needs absolutely should make a play in there, too. If mama’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy, a wise person once said. I don’t know about you, but I felt such tremendous guilt admitting that I needed to sleep. I got a lot of flack from other mothers, too (comments like, “If you wanted to sleep, you shouldn’t have had kids”, etc.). It’s ridiculous. Especially when you’re breastfeeding, which is wonderful, but draining.

    *end of rant*

    All of this to say, GOOD LUCK! If you need any support, please let me know! Our training is still ongoing, so I get it completely. The best advice I received was “don’t take the setbacks personally–because there will be setbacks”. You’re on the path now, though, so every step is going to get you closer to being more well-rested and healthier. You can totally do this!

  5. March 22, 2014

    I’d be interested to hear the details as well! I’d hope if you posted it here that your readers (friends?!) would all be supportive and kind. That’s what blogging should be about.

    Also, your sleep log is about what Stella was doing at 7.5 months when I lost my shit because of lack asleep. When she started sleeping better, it was amazing for both of us. Good luck!

  6. March 22, 2014

    You are definitely doing the right thing – I also had a hideous sleeper (slightly worse than yours 🙂 and we finally had to rip the bandaid off at 10 months. Within 3 days we went from co-sleeping/nursing 4-5 times a night to baby putting herself to sleep and sleeping for 12 hours without a peep. She’s now 2 and still sleeps and naps like a champ, always putting herself down. Once she was sleeping better she became such a happier baby! She was no longer fussy in the evenings. You can’t imagine what a change it was for our family. I was at my breaking point…
    FYI we did modified CIO. No sleep suit, no blankets, did give her a comfy pillow she could cuddle into. We’d do let her fuss for 5mins, go in and comfort but don’t talk or pick her up, just softly tap her belly or back and say Shhhhhh. Then give her 10 mins, then 15 mins. Never took more than the third time. And by the third night she went down with no crying and that was that.

  7. March 23, 2014

    Yes! We had to quit the sleep suit the same week we transitioned our daughter to her own room because she started rolling over in it! I thought it would be horrible. It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t too bad either. She had a hard time falling asleep when we put her down for the night for about a week and by a hard time I mean she cried /fussed off and on for about 15 to twenty minutes with checks from us. I found that stroking her legs firmly and gently helped to calm her instantly without having to pick her up. It seemed the hardest part was she kept wanting to roll over but couldn’t figure out how to fall asleep on her tummy. Poor thing. Anyway, one day about a week in she just didn’t cry when we put her down. Also, she didn’t have a problem going back to sleep after night feedings. She was 5.5 months old.

    Good luck! You can do it and so can Sabine!

  8. March 23, 2014

    i SO hope this works for you. our sleep is not quite as disordered, but little (actually, chubby chubby) JackMack is a “nurse-to-sleep” kinda baby too. He’s up twice per night FOR SURE and we nurse both times. But he slept for 7 hours straight for the second half of the night, so I know he’s fully capable of sleeping through the night… ugh. that just means i have to sack up and take away the boobs. i don’t know if I’M tough enough for that. good luck!

  9. March 23, 2014

    We quit the magic sleep suit last week as Muppet learned how to roll in it, which stressed me out beyond belief. The transition has been a little difficult with us having to resort to CIO for at least part of the night. However last night she didn’t cry at all so I’m starting to feel encouraged. She is a tummy sleeper now, which I don’t love, but it isn’t worth the fight because that is how she is comfortable.

    I would like to know your plan for sleeping through the night though. Muppet still wakes up twice a night to eat even through I KNOW she can go longer. She just doesn’t want to. I would love to get her down to even once per night or even better…not at all. Her doctor was a little surprised when I told him she doesn’t sleep more than 4 hours without waking, so I think its time for some tough love. If you have time maybe e-mail me! I’d really love to hear how it is going with Sabine, maybe get some pointers. trishg21@gmail.com

  10. jesicabrennan #
    March 23, 2014

    Listen, this shit is hard. But it fucking works. Jett took 3 months of “sleep training” when normally it takes 3 days before he slept through the night but even I can tell you that it works. You’re going to cry, she’s going to cry and you’re gonna feel like shit for a few days BUT IT’S WORTH IT. And SLEEP, you will finally ALL SLEEP! It will be AMAZING and you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner! GOOD LUCK, GOOD LUCK, GOOD LUCK! I was there…it sucks, but it gets better! Here’s my post when it was at it’s worst:

    http://barnesbrennan.blogspot.com/2013/01/from-bad-to-worsewhere-did-we-go-wrong.html

    Look familiar?!

    IT WAS AWFUL, but we survived and you will too!

  11. March 23, 2014

    Belle, Samson’s sleep looks a lot like Sabine’s. I would love to hear more details via email. Please!

  12. March 24, 2014

    This looks quite a lot like truett’s schedule. Almost exactly actually except that I refuse to get up at 6:30 whether it means letting him cry himself back to sleep for a few minutes or laying in bed with him for however long it takes him to fall back to sleep. He was just getting up once to nurse but lastnight he was up 3 times. Quite often he will be up 1-2 hours at one of those wake ups. Please let me know what you are doing to end this madness! My email is mr.notesproductions at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

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