Local Talk

Web Chat With Sleep Expert Weds 27th 8-9pm

(28 Posts)
mummymccar Wed 20-Nov-13 13:30:05

Are you having problems getting your little one to sleep? Once you get them there, do you then have to resettle them throughout the night?

We are going to be having a web chat here on Wednesday 27th November between 8 and 9pm with sleep expert Karen Bramall who runs BabySleepTheNight.com a sleep consultancy company.

Karen is a mum of 3 and has helped hundreds of families overcome their difficulties. She now writes regularly for Baby Hampshire and hosts seminars for groups.

You can visit her site here

Feel free to post your questions in advance below or join us live between 8&9pm on the 27th.

Maxymilian Thu 21-Nov-13 16:25:28

I am breastfeeding and up until more or less 8 weeks my LO had been getting better and better at night, sleeping on average 4.5 hours, once even 6 and on another occassion 5 hours. Then week 9 came and everything changed... He now sleeps 3 hours, 2 hours, 2 hours and 2 hours and each time he seems genuinely hungry as nothing apart from breast will settle him (my OH sometimes tries but to no avail). Sometimes he wakes up after 1 hour.He has his jabs that week - could that be the reason for this change? He is now 11 weeks, so we're now in the third week of this sleeping pattern. I've tried putting him to bed earlier, tried later... Is this normal? Is there anything I could do to encourage him to sleep better? He does not want to nap during the day either.

Morefuntobehad Fri 22-Nov-13 15:44:24

My DS is almost 5 months and in the last 2 months has lost the ability to self settle when I put him down for the night. I had been having to rock him to sleep - I have tried to stop this and am now just holding him but even so he is going down to bed asleep - breaking a cardinal rule I know.

I am now dealing with multiple wake ups during the night which seem to be more about the self settling than hunger - though I do feed him some of the wake ups.
If I tackle the self settling at bedtime do you think it will improve my nights significantly and do I just need to pick one pf the well known methods and stick to it or is there much more to it than that?
I can't face CIO at this stage but do feel the longer I leave it the more ingrained the current habits will be.
If someone who is an expert can reassure me it will work if we hold our nerve and remain consistent then I will be very determined.
We also desperately need to move him from Moses basket into cot. Can we tackle both at once or is it best to try to sort the settling out first?

Suspect this is a very long winded waffly question - I blame sleep deprivation and very much hope you can reply in the Webchat.
TIA

Fec103 Fri 22-Nov-13 22:57:42

Hi, I'm in need of some advice. My daughter is now 11 months old and has never been a good sleeper. As a bit of background she's had several feeding and reflux issues since being born and is still quite little (on the 9th for weight and approximately 17lbs now) and more often than not still wants milk at night. The gp kept saying she had colic even at 6 months.

I have tried to use routines but often to no avail and she will not drink more than 3oz at a time on most occasions and doesn't eat much food. Naps are only successful after a little milk and now at night wakes after an hour sometimes being sick because she cries so hard. We've tried getting her up, gradually leaving the room, controlled crying (not all at once but on different nights) but nothing has worked.

She's not ill, but screams so hard she's sick to the point we have to change her and ourselves/bedding,could the fact she's just started walking this be the most recent cause of our problems? What can I do to help her go back staying asleep for longer? What can I do about her sleep in general really?

Thanks

TurtlesMama Sat 23-Nov-13 19:46:03

Hi

My dd is 10mo. Great sleeper til 4mth regression and a nightmare ever since. Ff (now on 3 x 7oz during day) and eats very well during the day. Crawls, pulls to stand and is close to walking.

She had been getting worse recently in terms of self settling and frequency of nightwakings, then we had 2weeks of antibiotics which sent everything completely to pot. She can and has self settled on occasion - and she does sometimes go 5/6 hrs at night, so she definitely can get herself between sleep cycles.

She is incredibly alert/inquisitive during the day and this does seem to prevent her going to sleep easily despite a good wind down routine for both naps and bedtime.

Current situation is that she needs to be rocked/cuddled to sleep for naps, bedtime and nightwakings. I nearly always put her in the cot initially to self settle, and stay in the room on the floor (unless she is already overtired/crying at the start) & only cuddle/rock when she pulls herself up/keeps crying and laying her back down and patting doesn't work. Nightwakings at the moment occur mainly between 11-2 and are either several back to back, or a period of 2-3 hours where she will settle on me but pings awake the second I put her down. A bottle does tend to work, but she doesn't really need it as she is not staying awake crying til I feed her. She then often wakes for the day between 4-530.

Naps are mixed, sometimes she will stay down for 1-2hrs but other times its 25mins. Normally I can get two naps out of her but it can be a struggle. I try to keep her awake for approx 3hrs before settling.

I don't want to try CIO/cc. We have tried pupd a few weeks ago for 10days but it didn't work - she got distraught & could keep crying for at least 2hrs during a night waking despite constant reassurance/patting etc. We are currently trying 'no cry sleep solution' but struggling to move past stage 1 of putting her down as soon as she falls asleep (the aim being with stage 6 of being able to put her down awake and leave). If I leave the room before she is asleep she gets very upset.

So my questions are:

* what else can I try?!
* how can I get her to self settle without CIO/cc
* will self settling solve the night wakings?
* is it possible she will just sort herself out if its due to developmental/physical changes & at what age would this be likely to happen?
* does a 10mo always need 2 naps and 3 hours daytime sleep or could she need less?
* could she need less night sleep then 11-12 hrs? Everyone is telling me to put her down later so she will sleep longer but I am dubious (current bedtime 630-7 usually)

Sorry for the long post and thanks so much in advance for your help!!

Dangermouse1 Wed 27-Nov-13 19:48:22

My 14mo, who was previously a really good sleeper, suddenly started waking at 4am really upset and impossible to settle. This has gone on for around 3 weeks, now more likely to wake at 2 or 3 am and takes over an hour to settle.

I think there may be an element of teething but he is fine and happy during the day and settles easily enough at bedtime, although one of us generally needs to be in the room when he falls asleep. He has a regular 7pm bedrime and consistent night routine. Calpol and bonjela don't seem to help either.

When he wakes he will settle if picked up and seems tired but will wake and cry when put in his cot even with me sitting right next to him. In desperation I have tried a night feed and taking him into our bed but this didn't help so cut it out after a couple of nights.

He eats really well (3 meals plus 2 cows milk and bf first thing in the morning) and was night weaned at 9 mths. He's been walking for a few months but just started to really try to talk in the last few weeks.

Is this just a phase he will come out of or is there anything we can do to help. Really tired now!

KarenBramallSleepExpert Wed 27-Nov-13 20:04:09

Goodevening Mumsnetters, thankyou for joining me.
Firstly to introduce myself, my name is Karen Bramall and I am a Child Sleep Consultant, based in Romsey Hampshire but practising nationally thanks to the powers of Skype and Facetime. I work with families of children with sleep difficulties from newborn - 6 years and have a 100% success rate. My company is www.babysleepthenight.com

I shall do my best to answer your queries this evening smile

KarenBramallSleepExpert Wed 27-Nov-13 20:05:01

Hi Maxymilian
Thanks for your question; can I ask how you are getting your son to fall asleep initially?

KarenBramallSleepExpert Wed 27-Nov-13 20:08:33

Hi Morefuntobehad thanks for your question,

You have hit the nail on the head.

One of the most important factors in teaching a baby to have healthy independent sleep habits is concerning how they initially fall asleep. Sleep is a cyclical process, we all travel from one sleep cycle into the next as the night goes on and each time we move from one to the next we wake up. With a skilled independent sleeper, that waking will be so brief it will go almost unnoticed. With a child if they are reliant on something external to fall asleep at bedtime then when they come to the end of a sleep cycle they often have difficulties as they don’t know how to get back to sleep without that external help (a.k.a.prop). Picking one of the well know methods and sticking to it 100% consistently will work, provided you get everything right, sleep is such a complex subject and it’s very important that every little piece of the puzzle is correct.

I would suggest a gradual withdrawal method would work best for you as you are able to be with him whilst he is learning this new skill. I would definitely tackle the move from the moses basket at the same time, there’s no point in making one big change only to have to make another a few weeks later, its quicker and easier to do it at once. Good luck!

Karen
www.babysleepthenight.com

KarenBramallSleepExpert Wed 27-Nov-13 20:11:52

Hi Fec103, can I ask what your daughter’s birth weight was and what percentile she started out on?
As a very general rule I say that a baby is normally big enough to go the whole night without a feed once they have doubled their birth weight, and provided they haven’t dropped more than once percentile below their birth line. With your daughter, obviously I don’t know all the details of her feeding issues but I would check with your gp to make sure they are happy for her to go without a feed in the night. I suspect the answer will be yes.
It sounds like you are feeding her to sleep? If so then that is likely the route of your problems as one of the most important factors in teaching a baby to have healthy independent sleep habits is concerning how they initially fall asleep. Sleep is a cyclical process, we all travel from one sleep cycle into the next as the night goes on and each time we move from one to the next we wake up. With a skilled independent sleeper, that waking will be so brief it will go almost unnoticed.
With a child if they are reliant on something external to fall asleep at bedtime then when they come to the end of a sleep cycle they often have difficulties as they don’t know how to get back to sleep without that external help (a.k.a.prop).
If you use a gradual withdrawal method and do it exactly right then sickness is very unusual, its far more common if you leave the baby alone. Should she be sick I would suggest you keep everything as low key and quiet as possible, keep voices low, lights dim and clean up and then put her straight back down. Using double covers on the mattress with a towel in between, and towels on the floor are a lifesaver in situations like this as cleaning up is so much easier!
If you try lots of methods and don’t succeed you can often reinforce the behaviour you are trying to get rid of as you giving in just teaches the baby they have to cry for longer periods to get what they want, it is so important that you get every piece of the puzzle correct though. Good luck! If you need more help you know where I am

Karen
www.babysleepthenight.com

JuTobar Wed 27-Nov-13 20:13:44

Hello Karen,
I'm Junya from Brazil. Tks for answer me backy. Its 6 pm here.
Well, my baby girl is 11 weeks. She was a good sleeper until 6 weeks. She had 1h30 - 2h in each nap and sleep very well during the night. Now she doesnt sleep during the day but she still sleep during all night specially if she eats at 10pm. So, what could I do to help her with the naps? She wake smile for some minutes and start do cry.
thank you

KarenBramallSleepExpert Wed 27-Nov-13 20:18:21

Hi TurtlesMama
It sounds like you are definitely on the right track as you understand the importance of self settling so well done. smile
You need to be 100% consistent though, what is happening at one sleep situation needs to happen at all of them for your LO to be able to develop a self soothing strategy of her own. Her self settling at some sleeps, sleeping on you for others, feeding her at others etc is sending her a confusing message and is very likely why you’re not seeing her sleep the night through or take long naps.
Ahhhh the ‘No Cry Sleep Solution’ what a wonderful title for a book! Elizabeth Pantley must be a very rich lady and no wonder with a title like that. I can tell you most clients I work with have tried it, it was the first book I bought when my own daughter wouldn’t sleep (before I did this for a job!)
I really don’t like the book at all, as the way it is written makes parents feel so guilty. The author has co-slept all 5 of her children and as such is not really a great teacher of independent sleep habits if you ask me. I’m not saying I have a problem with co-sleeping, or attachment parenting at all, I believe it’s every parent’s choice how they raise their babies and if it works for them then that’s all that matters.

So self settling without any crying at all? Well I’m not an advocate of CIO, shut the door and leave them methods. I’m not saying they don’t work – they do, but only if done absolutely correctly, personality I just think they are too tough on all involved.

No cry solutions? If there was one that worked I would offer it to all my clients in a heartbeat - I'm a mum of three and hate the thought of hearing a baby cry for even a minute but honestly, I think no crying at all is a bit of an impossible dream and there is a very good reason for that. People tend to be very protective about their sleep environment, we like things to be the same every night and we don’t like any surprises so making big changes to anyone’s sleep environment would almost always be met with protest – if I took your pillow and swapped it you would notice it the second you lay down right? And you wouldn’t like it?
The same will probably be true for your child, and with a child their form of protest normally involves at least a few tears so I would never promise you there will be no crying when teaching your child to sleep independently, in fact with almost all the families I’ve helped solve their children’s sleep problems there has been at least some – what I do promise parents is that I will not ask them to leave their child alone to cry whilst they are learning this new skill if that is something that worries them. My methods are as gentle as they possibly can be.

Will she just sort herself out? Unlikely – 84% of children who are having sleep difficulties at the age of 1 will continue to have them until they are 3-5years old.

At 10 months I would almost always say 2 naps a day are necessary and ideally around 90 minutes each, though every babies stamina is a little different most do not transition to one nap until 12-14 months.

And DEFINITELY don’t put her down later, it will not make her sleep longer!! It will make her overtired and have the opposite effect. 6.30-7 is perfect.

Do give me a call if you would like some further help 01794341172

Good luck smile
Karen

www.babysleepthenight.com

KarenBramallSleepExpert Wed 27-Nov-13 20:27:45

Hi Dangermouse1,

It's really really common for people to have had a great sleeper and things to change, in particular with the over 1s! Often it will have been a regression due to teething, illness, travel or similar or sometimes it can simply be the baby 'testing the waters' to see if all the normal sleep rules still apply.
If one day they get a reaction from you that is involving more attention that normal, then the next day they tend to push for more and the next day more and so on and so on...before you know it your great sleeper is up at all hours.
If he is going to sleep with any kind of 'prop', even you in the room then that is enough to make him have difficulty settling without that prop when he wakes in the night. Sleep is a cyclical process, we all travel from one sleep cycle into the next as the night goes on and each time we move from one to the next we wake up. With a skilled independent sleeper, that waking will be so brief it will go almost unnoticed. With a child if they are reliant on something external to fall asleep at bedtime then when they come to the end of a sleep cycle they often have difficulties as they don’t know how to get back to sleep without that external help (a.k.a.prop).
You must be super consistent at both bedtime and night wakings with your responses to him or otherwise you will send him a really confusing message.
Bad habits form really really quickly, but the flipside is so do good ones!

If you need any help then do give me a call to discuss things further

Good luck

Karen
www.babysleepthenight.com

TurtlesMama Wed 27-Nov-13 20:28:45

Hi Karen

Thanks so much for your response.

What would you suggest as the best way to teach her to self settle? As I said we didn't have any luck with baby whisperer pupd & as I don't want to try cc, am not sure what else there is!!

Will regular self settling solve the night wakings? I know it should, but on the occasions she has self settled it does not make any difference to her night wakings!

Is it possible she could need less night sleep then 11-12 hrs & could that explain her early mornings?

Thank you!

pinkr Wed 27-Nov-13 20:34:36

Hi...any advice on how to help my baby? She is 13 Weeks old. Breast fed. She will go down in cot and asleep at 630. I fed her and put her down awake and she will drift off. She won't sleep any more than two hours though.
My main problem is during the day...she will fight sleep, scream and get so overtired. I try to hold her and get her to sleep as soon as she shows tired signs but she basically screams herself to sleep each nap...in my arms I wouldn't leave her lying or anything. She will sleep in car but fights it in pram etc too. I hate seeing her so distressed...plus she screams so loudly and this happens now three times a day. Thanks

KarenBramallSleepExpert Wed 27-Nov-13 20:35:35

Hi JuTobar,

Thankyou for joining us from Brazil! Welcome smile

A mistake that many many people make with babies under 3 months is to have to much awake time before putting them down for naps. At 11 weeks the MOST awake time between naps that your LO can handle is 1.5 hours, quite probably less.
It is also very common for parents to fall into the trap of feeding their baby to sleep as they associate all cries with hunger, they're not!
I suggest that you follow a pattern of SLEEP->EAT->PLAY-> REPEAT with your daughter.
This means that you feed her as soon as she wakes from a nap. This ensures that she is the most awake she is going to be as she will have just woken, she takes a nice full feed as she wont be tempted to fall asleep on it, and then around 1.25- 1.5 hours later when she starts to fuss you will know that it is tiredness not hunger that she is fussing about.

I recommend that with a baby this you a pick up/put down method is used to settle her to sleep for naps and at bedtime.

Good luck

Karen
www.babysleepthenight.com

JuTobar Wed 27-Nov-13 20:37:51

Hi pinkr. I'm with you! smile my baby screams so loudly and just because she is tired smile

KarenBramallSleepExpert Wed 27-Nov-13 20:41:22

Hi pinkr,

It sounds like you are having the same problems as JuTobar, I'm not sure if you saw the post I just added for her.

A mistake that many many people make with babies under 3 months is to have to much awake time before putting them down for naps. At 13 weeks the MOST awake time between naps that your LO can handle is 1.5 hours. Getting her down for nap before she becomes overtired is paramount and some babies dont show tired signs until it's way past the point they should be going back down for nap at.
It is also very common for parents to fall into the trap of feeding their baby to sleep as they associate all cries with hunger, they're not!
I suggest that you follow a pattern of SLEEP->EAT->PLAY-> REPEAT with your daughter.
This means that you feed her as soon as she wakes from a nap. This ensures that she is the most awake she is going to be as she will have just woken, she takes a nice full feed as she wont be tempted to fall asleep on it, and then around 1.25- 1.5 hours later when she starts to fuss you will know that it is tiredness not hunger that she is fussing about.
She is getting a little bit old now for pick up/put down methods so I would suggest a gradual withdrawal method, offering her intermittent soothing would be the gentlest method that works.

Hope that helps

Karen
www.babysleepthenight.com

Maxymilian Wed 27-Nov-13 20:49:14

Not sure if Im not too late to reply...? We've got a bedtime routine of bath, feed and then to bed. I have now started putting him to bed drowsy not asleep completely.

KarenBramallSleepExpert Wed 27-Nov-13 20:53:33

Hi TurtlesMama,

Your LO is definitely too old for pick up/put down now, I only recommend it up to about 3 months as babies get far too aware for it after that and will decide that they would rather spend all night in your arms!

I too am not a fan of CIO methods. If you use a gradual withdrawal method and get it absolutely right then it is much gentler. You are able to be right there with your baby, able to soothe them intermittently, to make sure that they dont have an arm or leg stuck through the bars of the cot etc, and to be sure that your baby is not feeling abandoned.
Yes there is normally some crying involved but you are right there with them and if you do it perfectly it works extremely quickly, generally within 3 nights when I work with a baby the age of your LO.

In answer to your question, obviously I dont know all the details but regular self settling is likely to be the major key to getting your LO to sleep through, it also has to be combined with her being allowed to resettle independently at night wakings, again, with youright there next to her and gradually withdrawing.

And no, it is highly unlikely she needs less sleep than 11-12 hours at 10mo. The early wakings are more likely to be a combination of her being unable to resettle independently and believe it or not needing more sleep not less - overtiredness is a big culprit in many early wakings!

Do drop me a line if you need further help and support, its what I do and with 100% success smile

Karen
www.babysleepthenight.com

Morefuntobehad Wed 27-Nov-13 20:54:11

Hi Karen - thank you for your reply. I have missed most of the live chat as was settling aforementioned non sleeping Baby.

If you have time left I wonder - what would you do with regards to naps. He sleeps well in the day - typically 2 x 40 min and one longer sleep - maybe 1.5 hours - though I never know which will be long or short! Sometimes he needs a 4th catnap to make it to bedtime.
He can't stay awake much longer than 1.5 hours still.
How much do you think this will be influencing the nights? I need to make sure he isn't over tired for sure - do I need to try to control the naps further as well?

pinkr Wed 27-Nov-13 20:57:42

Thanks...she used to stay up much longer but I've been trying to catch it early. I thought that the screaming maybe came from when we've been playing and then I stop and cradle her...she gets really upset then. I wondered whether I shouldn't try to make her sleep. I always fed on waking rather than before sleep during the day.

JuTobar Wed 27-Nov-13 20:58:18

Thank you!

Our rotine is wake about 6:30 am and eat. During the eat time she starts to show some signs that she wants to sleep, such as close her eyes and yawn (?). So, I start to help her to sleep and she does for 30-40 minutes. When she wake again, if she is not crying we have some fun time, but if she is, I start to help her to sleep again. Its happen during all day, until 7 pm. At 7 pm, after to take a shower, she sleep until 2 am.
And the eat time is only every three hours.

I dont know how to start a good routine because she looks tired in the first eat time.

I will try pick up / put down.

KarenBramallSleepExpert Wed 27-Nov-13 20:58:25

Hi Maxymilian, no not too late Im still here smile

So if you were putting your LO to bed completely asleep then that will have been at least part of your problem.

One of the most important factors in teaching a baby to have healthy independent sleep habits is concerning how they initially fall asleep. Sleep is a cyclical process, we all travel from one sleep cycle into the next as the night goes on and each time we move from one to the next we wake up. With a skilled independent sleeper, that waking will be so brief it will go almost unnoticed. With a child if they are reliant on something external to fall asleep at bedtime then when they come to the end of a sleep cycle they often have difficulties as they don’t know how to get back to sleep without that external help (a.k.a.prop).

I would advise you to follow a pattern of SLEEP-EAT-PLAY-REPEAT and not let your little one be awake for longer than 1.5 hours between naps. By doing that you will encourage him to take nice full feeds as he has just woken, and when he becomes fussy you will know that it is tiredness not hunger that is making him fuss.

It's important after about 3 months of age that your baby is going down to sleep completely awake as even starting that 'journey' to sleep and becoming drowsy with you is enough of a reason for your LO to wake in the night, needing your help to start that journey again at the end of a sleep cycle.

Hope that helps

Karen
www.babysleepthenight.com

KarenBramallSleepExpert Wed 27-Nov-13 21:01:29

JuTobar,

Make sure you are feeding her as soon as she wakes and do everything you can to keep her awake throughout that feed, tickle her toes, engage her - a cool wet cloth on the side of her face is a useful tool!

And if she is having short naps then a white noise app can really help, the fuzzy tv type.

Good luck , you know where I am if you need me

Karen
www.babysleepthenight.com

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