I know that several of us have somewhat challenging sleepers on our hands so I thought we could put our heads together and tell what we've been doing that seems to help.
Reid was super challenging as a newborn. He has gotten a lot better over time though. First of all he started sucking his thumb which is a godsend. Yay for self soothing!!! I didn't teach him that so it's not really a tip, per say, but it's probably the biggest reason why he's gotten better. The second thing is his lovey. It is a small Angel Dear lovey that is like a little blanket with a robot head. He LOOOOOVES his lovey, and usually when I check on him when he's sleeping he has it clenched in his fist and his thumb in his mouth. He is also usually holding it and playing with it when I come in in the morning after he wakes up. He has been getting up several times a night lately but I think that is because we moved in with the in laws so he hasn't been sleeping in his crib (we have him in the pack & play) and in a strange room. Before we moved he was sleeping from 7-7 and usually only getting up once around midnight. Last night he only got up once so I hope he is adjusting now and will go back to normal. I heard him wake up around 3 but I didn't go to him right away and within 2-3 min he had settled back down. I bet he grabbed lovey and started sucking his thumb and just went back to sleep.
I never thought I would give a lovey to a baby as young as he is because they say not to put anything in their crib, but I have to say that I don't worry about it too much. He can easily roll both ways, lift up on his arms, and also pull things off of his face with his hands, so I'm not concerned about him smothering against a small lovey.
I also fill up his tummy really well just before bed (dinner of veggies and cereal mixed with fruit followed by a full nursing) which I think helps. He is always soooooo sleepy by the time I put him down, and he typically stays asleep from 7-12 or 1 with no problem.
Do any of you have any tips for helping baby go or stay asleep?
Its great that Reid has a lovey. We are not there yet. Still swaddling.
Obviously I have no advice, the things I DO MAY WORK ONE NIGHT AND NOT THE NEXT. Sorry for the all caps. On my phone and too lazy to rewrite.
But here are the things I have tried...2 sound machine. The sleep sheep and the graco machine that doesn't shut off. Swaadling, a paci, elevating his mattress for reflux reasons. Drinking chamomile tea with dinner before nursing him. California baby calming bath wash and several calming lotions with essential oils. Massage. Humming a song. Gentle pressure on his feet when I put him down. Hypnosis...when I give him his massage I either repeat in a calming whisper "tired, sleepy, baby, boy" or "I love you soooooo much.". Teething tablets. Changing his diaper one last to.e before putting him down.
You know...I think my supply has dropped and that's why he has been waking... that combined with a growth spurt. He slept last night. He only woke once at 2:45. I feel refreshed! My eyes are still bloodshot from the night before though. So I'm trying to nurse him 3x before bedtime. Once at daycare when I pick him up. When we get home about 30-45 later. Then right before bed. We shall see how the night goes.
Elizabeth, I'm not concerned with my overall supply, but I still have a problem having enough milk for her at bedtime. Sometimes we're ok, sometimes I have to use a bottle, and other times, she just wakes up after the first hour, then I can't get her back to sleep for another hour (then she's hubby's problem because I AM SLEEPING, lol). She does best if I offer her a 2-3 ounces of expressed milk before nursing. It's frustrating.
As for overall sleep tips, we were doing well with a paci for a while and it was helping, but she's not been really taking it much lately. She actually slept until 2 last night which is great for her. The only thing I'm really doing this time is just having zero expectations. It's not for everyone, but I just sleep with her and let her nurse whenever and it *usually* results in my getting enough sleep. Sometimes, though, she pushes off with her feet when she wakes up (especially if she has gas) and obviously, I'm not sleeping through that!!! I do get pretty frustrated when she does that.
As for a lovey, I've not really had much success with one. She also doesn't really seem that terribly invested in any of her toys either. Honestly, I think I'm her lovey at this point, lol. I think my DS was a bit older before he started clinging to his blankies though.
Elizabeth - sounds like you have tried everything! I have never even thought about some if those (like the chamomile tea) but they all sound like good ideas! I hope he slept well for you last night too.
Joan - It makes me frustrated when Reid has poor nursing etiquette too. Or is that not when she's nursing? Reid does this thing where he will clamp down and then yank his head back. It hurts! I keep telling him that if he does that when he's got teeth I'm going to wean him. LOL
The way I got Reid to learn to like his lovey is to hold it between us when I was nursing him, especially before bed. Then I would kind of put it in his hands as he was nursing. I did that for a couple of weeks, and then I started letting him keep it when I laid him down. Maybe (if you want her to start using a lovey) you could start by bringing it in the bed with you guys at night?
I cosleep too...half the time. I put him in his crib at the beginning of the night then if he keeps waking I just pull him in bed with me. Sometimes he falls asleep and sometimes he thinks its play time and just scratches my face when he breaks out of his swaddle. I've been swaddling with one arm out fairly successfully lately.
Haha, last night I was up with Reid at like 2 am, and he was being soo stinking cute, but he just was not at all sleepy as far as I could tell. Normally we get up and nurse, and he falls back asleep really quickly in the middle of the night, but last night he did a full nursing and then just pulled back and was smiling at me like "What now?" I was tired, but I had to laugh because he was so freaking cute, just the look on his face. Then he started making a clicking noise with his tongue, so I clicked back, and then he clicked back, and then I clicked back, and this must have gone on for a good 2-3 minutes with both of us just grinning at each other like loons. Finally I decided that I needed to go back to bed, so I just laid him down in his crib wide awake with the lovey. Normally I can lay him down awake for naps, but I wasn't sure that it would work in the middle of the night because I usually nurse him back to sleep at night. Wonder of wonders, I never heard another peep out of him until morning. I'm so grateful - I thought he was going to be a nightmare to sleep train but it turns out I haven't really needed to now that he is old enough to actually do it. I totally think my daycare lady whipped him in to shape for me.
We still swaddle and he's starting to wiggle himself out of them. I'm still using the small ones and I'm too cheap to buy bigger ones so we'll see.
He's been waking up at 3am and if I pick him up he goes right back to sleep; put him down and he's awake and crying! Last night was not good... I guess I'm just resigned to him being a really crappy sleeper.