Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Need Sleep Advice

Warning: this post will suck and only serves the purpose of me asking for advice for Back Sleep Bootcamp starting tomorrow. I could have posted it earlier, but I am a busy whore.

Olivia is on Prevacid and hasn't had any reflux pain episodes in two weeks (YAY!). She is not comfortable in her car seat anymore - this morning I went in her room to find that she scooted her head all the way down by the butt part of the seat. And I was all "I'm totally the Mother of the Goddamned Year." She twists and fusses in the car seat now.

But for special added fun? She isn't a fan of sleeping flat, either. She will sleep on her side for an hour and a half, which is just fine for naps. But my ass does not want to get up every hour at night. I've gotten used to her sleeping through the night.

Here's what I need, Internet friends:

If you were in a similar situation - a carseat/bouncy/swing sleeper transitioning to side or back sleep, how did you handle it? If you have any advice or tips, I'd love to hear them. The Internet is always way smarter than I.

I am kind of following the Baby Whisperer method. We are still using shush pat, but if it doesn't work, I bust out my Happiest Baby on the Block moves. If she cries after she's laying down, I try to calm her in the crib and only pick her up if she is really upset. She is a stellar night sleeper - 11-12 hours every night - but her naps are kind of rocky. Some days good, some days bad.

I am off Thursday and Friday this week and am hoping to focus on the back/side sleep all weekend. Cold Turkey Carseatless, if you will.

Halp!


**Edited to add stuff**

The elevation of the mattress has been a colossal fail thus far. She is a wiggly sleeper and ends up scooting all the way down. We even have one of those little Snuggle Nest things, and she scoots down that, too.

I'm not opposed to belly sleep, but Olivia is. She hates being on her belly and since she's learned to roll over, she's all "screw this" and just rolls to her back. Believe me, I've tried, because she has great neck control.

I do not strap her in the carseat, because she requires a swaddle for sleep and that doesn't work. And why do the SwaddleMe's even have that butt hole? USELESS!

41 comments:

Megan said...

The book I found most helpful for this stuff is "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Marc Weissbluth
Skip the beginning "sciency" chapters and go straight to the sections where it discusses their situations by age and by "problem." He would likely suggest focusing on the napping issues, thereby solving the night-time issues. He suggests MOTIONLESS naps in a darkened/quiet room and using a selection of methods to calm her and let her soothe herself to sleep (after a few torturous days of training of course!). He mentions "extinction" or letting them "cry it out" once settled in, or other methods for getting it to happen. The moral seemed to be that it would take a few days of being strict with the training, but it would happen. He also mentions moving bedtimes to early (many people in the book mention 6 in the evening or even 5:30!) and they supposedly will sleep better through the night, longer, and nap better all day. Anyways, that book has been most helpful in discussing WHY the sleep issues happen and what sorts of things will really work to help it (and WHY they work). It doesn't focus on the soothing methods, etc. like the other books you'd mentioned. But all together, this book combined with those seems to have been a magic pill for us so far.

smittenkitten05 said...

Well you could try a sleep position, but some people think they are a SIDS risk. Other than that, I think you have to just let her figure it out on her own. She will find a position that is comfortable for her eventually. Sorry I don't have any more advice!

Anonymous said...

They make a pad that you put under the mattress or sheet that almost looks like a wedge. It raises them up just enough so they are not laying flat. I think babies r us.

Kim said...

I know that you probably don't want to 'break the rules' - but will she sleep on her tummy? Sometimes you 'gotta do what you gotta do'.. and a lot of Reflux babies are tummy sleepers.

If not, you can try an Amby Hammock (maybe borrow one or check craigslist).

Candice said...

Okay, this may be a really stupid question, but are you strapping her in her carseat? My son sleeps in his carseat when he is sick, helps his sinus drainage. We recently had to stop because he is way too big. He is 16 months old, much older and bigger than Olivia I'm sure.

To answer your question, I have had friends recommend putting a blanket under one side of the mattress so it is elevated. That never worked for us because my son does not sleep in one position, he tosses and turns.

That's all I got...good luck.

Anonymous said...

Can you roll up a blanket and put it behind her back so she's not quite on her back but not quite on her side either? That worked for me.

If she's rolling over, you might try letting her nap on her belly. Not in the swaddle, of course, but if you can get her to nap without the swaddle, you might try it.

Jen said...

You can put a pillow underneath the crib mattress on one side. This tilts the mattress enough that she won't be sleeping totally flat. Or you can go the more permanent route and lower one end of the mattress but not the other.

Kelley said...

I second the recommendation for Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I know it's one more book, but this one seriously helped us a lot. My son has reflux too.

Bethany said...

Sometimes sleep sucks big time!

I just wanted to let you know that many, many babies go through a sleep regression at 4 months(meaning they start sleeping poorly - or worse than previously). I thought you guys were right at that point and, while it might not solve your sleep woes, I always feel better off with knowledge under my belt.

Moxie has written about sleep regressions here. Definitely worth the read because there's also one at 8/9 months and others: http://www.askmoxie.org/2006/02/qa_what_are_sle.html

Keep us posted and Best Wishes! Olivia is adooooorable :)! You're a great Mom!

Annegirrl said...

After 2 months of putting my daughter down to nap in the bouncy seat wthout being strapped in I figured out how to properly strap them in with the SwaddleMe. This is also when she decided napping in the bouncy wasn't cool anymore anyway, but I digress.

Here's the trick:
- Lay the SwaddleMe in the seat with the wings spread outand pull the big bottom latch part (technical I know) through the butthole (hehehe).
- Put Olivia in the seat and buckle her in wit the SwaddleMe still spread out (put it through the carseat straps with Olivia's arms).
- Strap up the SwaddleMe around Olivia and the car seat straps.

Hope this helps but if not, I can come demonstrate so I can cuddle and sniff your beautiful baby.

Sandy said...

Try using rolled up blankets as bolsters on each side and top and bottom. Then swaddle her tightly (I can get a better swaddle than a swaddle me blanket by using a large blanket (not a receiving blanket) and wrapping it supper tight. What helped me with transitioning was doing it when he was already sleepy, like right after eating or in the middle of a nap. I would let him fuss a little, but always picked him up if he cried outright.

dreamsandfalsealarms said...

have you considered an amby baby sleeper?

Aunt Becky said...

Alex was a lot older when I switched him. He slept in his bouncy seat IN his crib for ages. Amelia still sleeps in her swing. I wish I had better ideas.

LutherLiz said...

We have a Danny Sling from the NICU which allows us to prop up the crib much higher than would be normal without (like 30-45 degrees) due to his reflux. It works great but it is hard to swaddle with it but luckily our little man wasn't a fan of the swaddle anyway. Good luck!

Kim said...

Have you tried a Reflux wedge (that she gets strapped to)?

M has horrendous reflux and slept in her carseat until the same thing happened. She cried for a few nights when we tried to transition her to flat sleeping - but then she got over it.

MagaliesGarden said...

I have worked in infant programs at a few very reputable day care centers and we have often tried to help parents with converting them to sleeping still instead of in a swing or car seat. Every child is different but in the end we tried to "transition" them from the old to the new gradually - meaning if she has been in a car seat sleeping till now, you'd start her there and as soon as she starts to nodd off, you gently pull her out of there, do some slow rocking as you walk to her bed, and slowly slowly lay her down. She'll wake up at first probably immediately, but over time you just keep doing this and laying her down drowsy so that she can get the hang of self-soothing to sleep. With our worst case little guy this took two weeks and parents doing the very same at home and all of a sudden it clicked and she could skip the car seat and lay him right in bed as soon as he got the slightest bit drowsy. Not sure if this helps but it's coming from experience with a dozen babies or more...good luck!

Heather Rodriguez said...

I'd let her CIO. But thats just me.

Anonymous said...

If she won't sleep in the carseat, will she sleep in a bouncy or a swing? Those are sometimes more comfortable than a carseat. I know this is a big no-no for SIDS, but we put a pillow in my son's crib which elevated him a bit...granted he was 8 months old and crawling.

Otherwise, I think you might have to suck in up for a couple weeks and let her learn to sleep on her back cold turkey. She'll figure out a comfortable way to sleep.

Sleep patterns will forever change as they get older. Not to scare you, but my son slept through the night until 5 months old and then suddenly wanted to get up 2-20 times a night. At 14 months old we are finally getting him back to sleeping through the night.

Try anything and everything is what I think.

K. said...

I went from car seat to snuggle nest...I bought the miracle blanket, and that made her big enough(you wrap it around like 3 times) to get stuck in those things on the side of the snuggle nest...you know the things that keep her on her back..You could also put a blanket down on the snuggle nest, then baby, making it "snugger"..After about 2 weeks in the snuggle nest, we went to crib...
You could also use blankets rolled up length wise to create a little bumper, put it under the sheet of the crib so that she can't slide down.

April said...

Okay - I really should not offer any helpful advice because I'm BITTERLY jealous at the thought of babies who sleep for eleven hours. GOD - it's been five months since I slept more than three hours at at time. That being said, judge for yourself whether my advice is even worth following, since I clearly haven't mastered the whole sleep thing. BUT, in case you're desperate, here are some tips that have helped us reach the teensy milestones that we have with sleep:

Sleep with her crib sheets for a week before using them in her crib. She'll like your smell and want to stay there. If you're desperate to get this done quickly (rather than waiting a week), wear the sheet inside your shirt for a day or two. You can pretend you're pregnant again.

Try putting a heating pad or something like it in her crib for 20ish minutes before putting her down. Take it out before you put her in, but they like being put into a warm bed.

Use a lovey or snuggly - always keep it next to her in bed. Wear this in your shirt often as well. I wear my guys' lovies in my bra. Gives a little bust boost, too!

Make sure you use the same bedtime routine every night. And try to adopt a nap-time routine also. Our bedtime routine is: bath, nurse, bounce to sleep (with the same lullaby CD playing each night). Our nap routine is whatever the hell works on any given day.

Perhaps some of these will help you. If so, I'm hoping the karma fairies will repay me with something wild, like 5 consecutive hours of sleep.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

My hubby and I found that our generic boppy works wonders with our son! He sleeps through the night now but it elevates him enough that hes a happy camper. my mom bought it at walmart for like 20 bucks and is a st george i believe the reason i say this is because it has a strap that goes between his legs and keeps him from scooting out of it.

Anonymous said...

My hubby and I found that our generic boppy (my mom bought it at walmart I believe its from ST George for like $20 bucks) works for our lil boy. He likes to be leaned up too and the plus is it has a strap that keeps them from sliding down it it.

andrea said...

i have zero advice, but i just hope you find something that works.

Anonymous said...

I second Megan's advice to read Healthy Sleep Habits...it was great. And skip all the technical stuff and go right to either where you are having an issue and/or for her age group.

My opinion and what worked for us: extinction method/cry it out. I say extinction cause the book says it works WAY faster if you just stop going in after they are put to bed. Note: I do go in if he ends up going crazy in there. I also follow the 2 hour sleep rule (go for a nap 2 hours after waking, its in the book), I follow a strict bedtime routine and back when he was her age I wrapped him in a swaddle blanket (just a huge blanket someone made for me) and put him in a sleep sack, then he couldn't move.

You'll have her whipped into shape before you're back at work on Monday.

Anonymous said...

My daughter refused to sleep flat from the first night we brought her home. She slept in her By Your Side (papasan) seat until she was 9 weeks and outgrew it. She also pitched a fit when we put her in her crib but I rolled up 2 blankets and put one on either side of her. Squished them up under her armpits and down her sides and kinda wrapped them around the bottom of her feet. That's the only way she'd sleep. She, also a wiggler, is sometimes found at the other end of her crib, but she's still asleep, so it's fine. Also, swaddle me's aren't tight enought. Try the Aden + Anais muslin blankets! (adenandanais.com) They are miraculous!

Dreamer4agift said...

I really don't have any advice. I'm just glad u brought it up so I can get ideas. I've been home for a week and a half now and the only way my little guy will sleep is on me while I sleep in the recliner...seriously, we've tried the swing and car seat and that lasts all but 5 min or less. I love the cuddling, but my butt is starting to get sore:-)

I read that playing classical music can help with soothing b/c it somehow has a similar rhythm to our heart beat...dunno. But I'm gonna try that (been downloading music tonight in fact).

Good luck with it, though!

mrsyak said...

Our MD told us to put her down on hr back, but once she could roll over she could sleep however she wants. I take it that how she likes to sleep is an issue w/ the reflux, and I'm of zero help with that!

Rotten said...

I don't have much advice on this except that I think the swaddling in the swing or carseat may be the best answer. Which brings me to Annegirrl's comment. She deserves a serious standing ovation for figuring out a use for the butt hole in the SwaddleMe! Brilliant!!! I will be using that method myself!!!

SarcastiCarrie said...

If you had a 3-point harness car seat instead of a 5-pt harness car seat the SwaddleMe butt hole would actually work for you. You would lay the blanket in the car seat with the hole over the buckle, buckle the child, then velcro the snot out of her until her little straight jacket was just right.

Anonymous said...

You didn't ask specifically about swaddle blankets, but I just wanted to mention that one you might want to try is the Miracle Blanket. It's the only swaddle blanket that has worked with our baby (she is 12 weeks old).

Good luck with the sleep transitioning. Olivia is a cutie!

Care said...

What about something like this...http://www.ambybaby.com/

PJ said...

Bless her heart. Acid reflux is EVIL and BAD in every way. I've only had it for a couple of years and am thinking of just yanking my esophagus out to be done with it.

I hope you find some solutions quickly.

Sandy said...

Wow, lots of great comments! You should compile all these into a self-help book for moms. Let us know what works!

Anonymous said...

My son had HORRIBLE reflux, on adult doses of prevacid, slept in the car seat when he slept. But at 4 months he started to not like the car seat anymore (oddly, they did a study that showed that car seat positioning actually increased reflux by 65%. All I know is that was the only way my son got any sleep). But, he stopped liking it. So, what to do? First, we tried to slowly transition him by buying a bouncy that had 5 different positions. Never worked. So, we consulted with the dr. about whether having him CIO would be harmful given the reflux. She said no. We thought it would be brutal, because he had never once slept flat (he was diagnosed with reflux at 2 weeks). But, we dove in, and the first night was rough, the second night not so rough, and the next five years, easy as pie! We can plop him down anywhere, and he goes to sleep. For us, biting the bullet on the sleep training worked out so well, we still talk about it.

Meghan said...

Yeah I'm no help with methods if she won't sleep on her tummy. I have a child with awful GERD/reflux on Prevacid so I feel your pain and what you are going through. I am just sending you a hug <3 and hoping that you get through the weekend and have a better week next week.

Things have gotten better for Leigha when they Increased her Prevacid to 11mg twice a day, but she is 11.6 kilos now. She has been at 11mg for over 8 months now, it's helped a bit more than before. not sure if that will make a difference but you may want to ask your pediatrician about adding another med as well to the Prevacid too.

Alyssa said...

We have the same reflux issues and had to transition from carseat to crib. We have a sleep positioner wedge with these velcro arm things on either side. He would wiggle down off of it and we'd find him at the edgs of the crib. So now, we still swaddle him (Thanks, Dr. Karp) and we moved the detachable arms to the bottom of the sleep wedge. They lie horizontally along the bottom of the wedge (the thin side). His head is on the fat side so it's still upright, and then his bottom rests right above the low end of the wedge, now with the positioners between his bottom and his knees. (I realize that this sounds confusing, and I can send a picture if that would help). Now he sleeps about 9 hours at a time, and he doesn't wiggle out of place.
Good luck, with whatever method you choose.

Anonymous said...

5 month old son had same issues, he slept in his car seat for the first two months of his life. Has acid reflux also. We just bit the bullet (approved by ped) and started putting him on his back in his crib to CIO and swaddled -- it was a rough 3 nights but he finally got the hang of it, it was probably much worse on us than him. Now he falls asleep on his own and has no problems and no longer needs to be swaddled. We also have a crib wedge, but most of the time he wiggles down flat. Good luck, it just takes time but she will figure it out.

Anonymous said...

To keep her from sliding down to the bottom of the mattress, roll a receiving blanket and curl it into a U shape. Put it underneath the crib sheet so it won't move around. Put the U underneath her butt or feet to keep her up on the incline. Good luck!

Shauna said...

ok....i haven't read your blog in FOREVER....so first, congrats on your baby girl!

second, we adopted a baby in march and he had/has reflux too. I tried the wedge, different formula, holding him upright after feeding for 30 min, herbal remidies, everything i could think of.....

he was NEVER comfortable....sometimes puking hours after a feeding! ALWAYS scooting around his bed (i think now because of gas), always wiggling and writhing during naps....he'd get arched back and stiff legs during feedings.....

he was stuck using only one type of nipple because he was born with a cleft palate/lip (an awful huge sort of contraption).....anyway, since surgery and his once a week therapy, he has been able to transition to a "regular baby" bottle. (believe me, i have bought EVERY Bottle/nipple combination under the sun for him but he could never physically get any formula out as his sucking ability is not great). we have a plastic storage bin FULL of bottles and nipples.....

anyway, i do have a point here, i promise.......

i did find that the Dr Brown's bottle and nipple (he has to use the Y-cut for regluar formula) is the only one he can eat out of. BUT....that contraption inside the bottle designed to eliminate the negative pressure and vacuum in a bottle.....has done WONDERS for his reflux and gas!!!! OMG, it's like a whole different baby! No more puking, no more fussing, he actually ENJOYS feeding and will smile and laugh! No more moving all around the bed with sore belly....it's AMAZING.....seriously.

And I apologize because I didn't read back thru all your posts to know what kind of bottle you are using, you may have already tried it or may be using it now......

but it's an awesome bottle.....different than any other out there. It's totally orthopaedic looking....no cutness at all, but worth the pay-off of no gas and a happy baby (at least for me).

good luck....
shauna

Anonymous said...

Hello usually just a lurker...sorry, I'm a slack arse...
Anyhoo, I came across this and thought of you :)
Kim

http://www.napnanny.com/

Laura said...

I love your blog! You are so real life about everything and I greatly appreciate that! Our first little one - a girl - Ruby - is due next Friday, July 3rd! I had my husband read your Happiest Baby on the Block post and he loved it, we both agreed that now we don't need to read the book. Thank you SO much for your real life accounts of motherhood, you take the place of any great parenting book!!