Ideas for Sleep

DS is a very intense and sensitive baby and could wake up every 30 minutes at night at worst. He has been a very challenging baby since birth. If on one particular night he can sleep 2 ~2.5 hour stretches we consider that night a victory. STTN to us is a myth.

If your lo wakes frequently at night recently, may I ask you the following questions?

1. Did your lo sleep "better" before? I ask this because frequent night-wakings of a previous "better" sleeper is often due to medical/physical causes (e.g. sickness like infections, food allergies, indigestion, etc. - assuming the physical and social environment is unchanged). Tense babies can't sleep.

In another forum, a mother who initially had attributed frequent night-wakings of her daugther to sole psychological causes (which may lead to the bad conclusion that the baby is "manipulating") later found that she actually was suffering from serious double ear-infections.

2. I always reassure DW that night-time parenting should be a teamwork, and fathering down is an important skill/resource to develop, and to prevent her from burning-out.

Your DH may not be able to make your lo asleep, but perhaps he can make him sleepy before bringing him to you? and you may take a short rest (say 1 hour - an adult's sleep cycle; I know it's short, but it's like a sip of water in desert) when your DH is comforting him. This has been one of our survival techniques when the situation was seemingly unbearable.

He first may better practise this the night before the weekend as he will have a holiday the following day?

If your DH succeeds to comfort him, you have developed a variety of sleep associations for your DS besides nursing him to sleep (though nursing to sleep is one of the world's beautiful great thing to do unless you are exhausted) - in our case, they are DW's patting DS's back instead of nursing, and my wearing DS down to bed using a sling.

3. Can you nap with your lo? Your lo still needs 2 or 3 naps everyday right? Since I am a poor sleeper at night, I always look forward to napping together with DS (while lowering our standards of household tidiness and outsourcing as many tasks as we can). (If you must rock/swing him to nap and cannot put him down I can share a little bit how to deal with this)

4. What is your current sleeping arrangment? For us the core problem is the proximity (i.e. sleeping distance) between the parents and the baby - too far away DS will have nighttime separation anxiety, too close he will be easily triggered. We have experimented alternative sleeping arrangments (given our small living space), our current solution being me sleeping outside the bedroom (i.e. on the sofa - like what my own father had done), and let only DW and DS sleep together but stay wider apart. Balancing the stimulation with proximity maybe the way out for high need babies like DS (and possibly yours).

5. Does you lo nap well? One of the important things I have been striving to do is to protect better naps for DS. If he naps too few (e.g. only 1 when needing 2), too short (e.g. only 30 minutes) or wrong timings (e.g. too early) he suffers from nap deprivation and can't sleep well at night either.

I hope these help.

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