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  1. #1
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    Default When 'textbook' routines/techniques don't work....

    Hi,

    I've read so many different books, forums and blogs, received advice from my midwife and government support services on sleep and settling techniques and with my baby being 15 weeks old, I roughly follow the eat, play sleep routine and a lot of the time it works but not always.

    What I find is that they are all based on ideals and textbook situations but none seem to factor in things like wind, reflux, over tiredness, growth spurts etc.

    Sometimes my DD doesn't follow these textbook rules on things. For example at 3 months she 'should' be awake for 1.5 to 2 hours between day sleeps but often after a feed and a short play (40-50 minutes) later she's showing tired signs - yawning, rubbing her face and jerky movements so I wrap her up, rock her in my arms till she does some big blinks then I put her down to sleep and rock her body side to side until she's asleep. Well that's how all the books say it should work as I've fed her, played with her and once I saw her tired signs wrapped her and put her down, but she won't take her dummy, she kicks up her legs, looks like she's got wind (goes red in the face) etc and I can't get her to sleep. As such she gets cranky, cries kicks her legs in the air etc till she's overtired and won't sleep!

    What am I supposed to do in that situation? Did I put her down too early given it was only 50 minutes but was showing tired signs? Or when I'm trying to get her to sleep and she's overtired and refuses do I keep rocking her in her basinette to get her to sleep or get her up?

    The last time this happened, I got her up and fed her and played with her again, but the tired signs didn't come back then she was seriously over tired and we were back to square one but then she's screaming as she's soooo tired and is even harder to settle.

    Does anyone have any advice or can recommend any good books or authors who teach you what to do when the technique/routine goes awol?

    Thanks so much!!

    EDIT: Thank you for your responses related to ditching the books and advice etc. I'm finding though that without any advice, I have no idea what to do with my baby still. Everyone says you know whats best for your baby and to follow your instincts, but I feel I don't have any as what ever I try 9 times out of 10 doesn't work. on the odd occassion it does but I think it's ore of a fluke.

    I need some advice on what to do when my baby either won't go down to sleep in the first place or what to do when she wakes after 20 or 40 minutes. Do I just keep trying in vain or should I just get her up and wait until she's tired again?

    She has silent reflux so I need to keep her upright after her feeds for at least 20 minutes, so if I try and top her up (I formula feed) she doesn't usually take it but also needs to be held upright for another 20 minutes before I try and put her down again, so that solution doesn't work.

    What does everyone else do when faced with a cat napper or a baby who won't nap to start with?

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by CuddlesAwait; 06-07-2012 at 15:37. Reason: I need further advice on what to do, I'm still facing the same predicament

  2. #2
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    What I did was simply ignore the books and took my baby's lead. As you said, they are based on ideals and textbook situations, and we all know that babies don't follow ideals and textbooks
    DD2 never was awake for as long as she should have been, but it worked for us. I just watched for her tired signs and put her to sleep then. I fed her when she was hungry, and I played with her if there was any time between feeding and sleeping.
    The only book I took into consideration was 'The Wonder Weeks' which is a book on the various fussy stages babies go through due to development. They have an iPhone app too if you have a iPhone.

  3. #3
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    I soooooo feel your pain! My 21w old DS hasn't read ANY of the textbooks! Not even as a newborn!! Turns out he had a really stiff neck from the birth, has acid reflux and several food intolerances (which the dietitian says are technically 'allergies'). None of the advice worked for us-just resulted in making it harder to deal with life day to day because I felt like a failing mother and was even more distressed at my son's unsettledness.
    My health nurse could only interpret the situation as a product of my incompetence as a mother. I've come to believe that if babies are unsettled (not sleeping/feeding/crying heaps) then there really is a reason behind it!! And no, merely swaddling, shh/patting, baby massaging won't be enough if there's really something wrong!

    I digress, sorry for my rant. The conclusion I've come to is that I should do what comes naturally and take things day by day. Have a plan or routine but be flexible and don't live in fear of establishing "bad habits". Probably the most significant conclusion I've come to is that EVERY baby is an individual (they're humans too!) and you can't use a one size fits all model on an individual as though they were a robot. I know these books do work for some parents and their babies but for many they don't, or do but at a very high price. If your baby hasn't 'read the textbook', find what they HAVE read and make the most of it. YOU are the expert on your baby, not some author who's never met them!
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    My DS hasn't read them either. IMO just throw away the parenting books. Some have a few really good suggestions but really they are just that- suggestions. Trust in your instincts and do what you feel is right. Especially don't listen to the people who tell you that you will spoil your baby.

    So if your DD only wants to nap with you on the lounge during the day- do it. Some of my best memories of my DS at that age was having him sleep on my chest. Nope- nothing gets done around the house but it doesn't really matter. If your DD sleeps better in the pram or car- go for a walk or a drive. It goes against the grain but I purposely had my DS fall asleep in the pram in full daylight. Why? So i never had an issue with going out when I needed to and I knew he would sleep in the pram. Consequently at 19 months DS LOVES his pram. His preference is to sleep in his toddler bed but he will happily sleep anywhere in full daylight for 2-3 hours.

    It does get better but it will take some time. DS didn't sleep through at night until 17/18 months- a much longer story that you don't need to hear right now. You are doing a wonderful job. All the best.

  5. #5
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    Ignore the text books and follow your baby's lead. When they are hungry, feed them, when they are tired, help them to sleep, when they are awake, play with them. Feed, play, sleep is fine but it doesn't have to be in that order. Both my babies were catnappers and DD permafed so for DD it was more like feed, feed, feed, feed, play, feed, feed, feed, feed, sleep (for 20 mins), feed, feed, feed, play etc. (You get the idea) DS was more FF than BF so he was a little more predictable but was a feed, play, sleep, play, sleep.

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    Pfffft textbooks! I have yet to meet a "textbook" baby

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    ditto PP. my motto is that if bub is awake offer boob. if bub crying and nappy is clean - offer boob... if bub wont sleep - boob again.

    do what works for your bub cos only you can write a book about for your bub.

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    You just have to go with the flow. I always fed my baby to sleep because I did with my son and people on forums and a number of gentle parenting books these days encourage it. However my daughter became reliant on the boob to go back to sleep every sleep cycle (45 mins) so we had to change some things.. there is no right way or perfect parenting method. Each baby is different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bumMum View Post
    You just have to go with the flow. I always fed my baby to sleep because I did with my son and people on forums and a number of gentle parenting books these days encourage it. However my daughter became reliant on the boob to go back to sleep every sleep cycle (45 mins) so we had to change some things.. there is no right way or perfect parenting method. Each baby is different.

    Sent from my HTC Desire S using BubHub
    Sorry to hijack but BumMum, how did you change some things?! I'm feeding what seems like all day round my 10month old, whilst I don't mind.. I wouldn't mind changing things a bit soon because every hour at night is hard work!

    Back to topic, ditch the books and definately follow your child's lead. I've had three children, all of whom have been so different in terms of how long their wakeful periods are, feeding, sleeping patterns etc. They are only young for such a short time so just do what works for you now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MZmama View Post
    Sorry to hijack but BumMum, how did you change some things?! I'm feeding what seems like all day round my 10month old, whilst I don't mind.. I wouldn't mind changing things a bit soon because every hour at night is hard work!

    Back to topic, ditch the books and definately follow your child's lead. I've had three children, all of whom have been so different in terms of how long their wakeful periods are, feeding, sleeping patterns etc. They are only young for such a short time so just do what works for you now!
    I reduced night feeds to two set times and my partner settles her back to sleep the rest of her wake up times. She is 12 months now and I will be night weaning her completely as I need to be on medication to sleep at night. It isn't the ideal and its certainly frowned on by many to do anything "parent led." but waking up 12 plus times a night takes its toll. Like I said, my first child was always fed to sleep and it felt natural and worked well. Each baby is different.

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