Friday, February 19, 2010

Sleep training

This week has been long and rough. From Friday through to Tuesday night Kien was very difficult to settle for his evening sleep, and then he would wake up at 3am and had difficulty getting back to sleep. I knew he wasn't napping very much during the day (and it was usually in my sling before I transitioned him to the hammock), and after doing some reading it dawned on me that he was over tired and over stimulated.

I had been putting off getting him into a routine as it was looking like he could manage what we had been doing for the last 7 weeks. But now it was time for some sleep training.

All the methods I had heard and read about was a variation on paediatrician Richard Ferber's theory, which essentially involves leaving babies alone to cry for as long as it takes for them to fall sleep. So on Tuesday night I put him to bed and left him to cry. I ended up in tears after 5 minutes! His little face was asking me why I had let him down by not giving him comfort when he needed it. I gave him his pacifier in the end and was up and down for a couple of hours plugging it back in :-(

On Wednesday morning I once again tried leaving him to cry for his morning nap, and once again I was in tears. Out of desperation I called my good friend Justine in Brisbane (who has an 11 week old). She does not believe in the CIO (crying it out) method, and suggested there are other gentler ways, including one where you pick your child up and put them down as often as required until they fall asleep.

So upon doing further research I found the Tracy Hogg's method. I have learnt so much from the forum regarding the E.A.S.Y. routine and the pat/shush and pick up/put down method. So now I am trying to implement this. Today is day two and a half, and I am still persevering. The last 2 nights his bedtime routine has been a bath, massage, feed, music, and pat/shush until he is asleep at 20:30ish. He is still waking up every 2-3 hours for a feed but at least he goes back to sleep. His morning nap has been the easiest to get him to sleep. For his second nap I have again resorted to putting him in my sling as I don't want him to be exhausted and over stimulated/tired. For his third nap it was relatively painless (although he could not self soothe himself into another sleep cycle, so he woke up and cried). He is now on his forth nap and it was quite a mission, and he has now got his pacifier. I am hoping this is going to get better and easier as the days go on.

The Plunket nurse came to see us today for the first time. He was weighed (he did not put on any weight this week, and he is under the 15th percentile according to WHO child growth standards), measured (he is now 58.5cm so he is around the 75th percentile), and a general check of hearing and sight. So essentially he is a long skinny baby, exactly the same as what the prenatal scans determined when he was still a foetus in my womb).

I have had a tickle in my throat for two days which has made things harder. I decided to use the Vicks First Defence, however the instructions say to consult a doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding prior to use. Since I have not been able to manage this Kien has been consuming the frozen breast milk, and I have been pumping and biffing (which seems like such a waste but better that than risk any issues for the baby).

*Groan* I thought after the 6 week mark it was supposed to be easier, not harder!


Michelle MacWhirter said...

Good on you, must be so hard, you are doing a great job. I was pregnant a couple of years back and also did a lot of reading on letting babies cry themselves to sleep and Kien is probably too young for that anyway. Sadly i had a miscarriage but did a lot of baby reading! Such confusing creatures huh.

Michelle MacWhirter said...

A home remedy for sore throat, which I haven't tried but should be breast-feeding safe, is apparently to cut an onion in half on a plate and coat with brown sugar and leave for a few hours. It's meant to make a liquid that is soothing. Hope your tickle goes away.


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