February 2013 Moms

What to do when there's no "drowsy but awake"?

I mentioned in one of the previous threads about sleep that DD hasn't been sleeping well te past few nights. This week is not the week I try sleep training, since I have longer than usual commutes due to some off site audits, plus two 12 hour days in a row because of an extra shift at my part time job, AND I'm going to a concert the day before that.

Anyway, every sleep training method I know of says to put your baby down drowsy but awake. Here's my problem though: DD essentially does not have a "drowsy bit awake" except when she is actively nursing. If I try to put her down then, she will freak put because she's still hungry, and I obviously cannot deprive her of food.

It doesn't really make sense for me tO purposely wake her up when she's sound asleep after nursing, but even if I did, her window of drowsy but awake is so short that it may as well not exist. When I put her down for naps during the day, if it doesn't coincide with her needing to eat, we will lie down together with her on top of me and listen to music. She goes from wide awake to out cold so quickly that I wouldn't be able to get her to her crib before she actually falls asleep.

I'm really hoping this is a phase that will work itself out before the week is over, or we will have to consider trying sleep training, but I'm just wondering if anyone else has had to resort to putting baby down wide awake or puttin baby down asleep and only using sleep training techniques for night wakings.

My other concern is this: we would essentially need it to be something that works over the course of a weekend, because the sleep deprivation has the potential to become dangerous since DH has a 2 hour commute each way two days a week and I have to drive DD to my parents' house on the way to work. We don't have an opportunity to make up for lost sleep during the day, so there is a very real danger that one of us could fall asleep behind the wheel, and I don't want to put us or DD in harm's way in the name of sleep training. And I burned up all my vacation time during maternity leave, so it's not like I can just take a week or two off and have DH sleep at his parents' house while we do it. [Only way he'd get sleep, since the handful of times I've decided to wait five or ten minutes to see if DD will calm down, it escalates to the point that you'd think she was being tortured, so not only would leaving her to cry feel cruel, but there is nowhere for either of us to hide from the screaming to get some sleep.]

Anyway, sorry this is so long, I'm just trying to figure out a game plan for this weekend in case it comes down to having to try some sort of sleep training, and since DD goes back and forth between wide awake and fast asleep so quickly, I can't really follow conventional advice in that regard and I'm hoping someone else here has been on my shoes and found success in a way that doesn't involve their child screaming until he or she passes out from sheer exhaustion.
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Re: What to do when there's no "drowsy but awake"?

  • We started sleep training midweek because we were both dangerously exhausted.

    It worked out once we got our routine down. Our LO does not go down drowsy but awake usually. She's awake. We put her in the crib the same way and around the same time every night.

    We follow Sleeping through the Night by Jodi Mindell.

    I don't know if you can do it in a weekend. It took longer for our DD, but it may depend on the kid.

    Eta good luck with everything
    Lilypie - (KNqh)
  • We put DD down totally awake. Sometimes we have to go back in once or twice before she falls asleep to replace her pacifier, but that works far better for her than trying to get her drowsy before we put her down.
    There's no guarantee that anything you try will work as quickly as over a weekend. You'd almost have to try to decide whether you're more sleep deprived the way things are now or with sleep training, which is hard to determine before you've tried it.
    PCOS with long, irregular cycles
    First round of Clomid in May 2012= BFP #1, DD born January 2013 :)
    BFP #2 on 1/3/14, EDD 9/13/14- Team Blue! 

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  • Thanks ladies. Do either of your babies fall asleep while still eating though? That's where I'm really not sure what to do. Like I said, it seems wrong to stop her from eating if she's clearly still hungry, but if I let her finish eating, she's pretty much out. Should I jostle her afterward to keep her awake and then wait a half hour or so to put her down so she doesnt puke everything up when she gets upset?
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  • We try to make sure we feed her half an hour to one hour before bed. If she falls asleep while eating we do wake her and start the routine.

    The method we follow says that feeding too close to bed can create a sleep association where they need to eat to fall asleep so we had to make sure that we broke the association. You gradually step down from it according to the book. It involves feeding less or nursing for less time around bed time each day and then moving the last feeding back before bed time.

    GL with everything!
    Lilypie - (KNqh)
  • I guess I'm not seeing the problem here... Sounds like its pretty easy to get your LO to sleep!
  • image musicalmama5:
    I guess I'm not seeing the problem here... Sounds like its pretty easy to get your LO to sleep!


    The problem isn't getting her to go to sleep per se, it's that she's started waking more frequently at night jus wanting to be held. She won't go back to sleep unless I snuggle with her, and lately she's been waking up every hour or two for snuggles. Before, I would nurse her to sleep and she'd stay asleep for 47 hours, eat, then sleep until morning, and sometimes sleep some more after breakfast.

    This could just be a phase, if she's back to normal by Friday I'm not going to bother with sleep training. But if it goes on til then I'm going to have to assume that it's becoming a habit, and I don't want her to NEED me to help her fall back to sleep after evey single sleep cycle.

    Who knows, maybe she will pleasantly surprise me, like after the four month sleep regression, when she suddenly STTN 3 nights in a row. But I just want to have a game plan in case it's not just a phase, because I don't want to be creating bad habits as far as sleep goes.
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  • image Puck1182:
    image musicalmama5:
    I guess I'm not seeing the problem here... Sounds like its pretty easy to get your LO to sleep!
    The problem isn't getting her to go to sleep per se, it's that she's started waking more frequently at night jus wanting to be held. She won't go back to sleep unless I snuggle with her, and lately she's been waking up every hour or two for snuggles. Before, I would nurse her to sleep and she'd stay asleep for 47 hours, eat, then sleep until morning, and sometimes sleep some more after breakfast. This could just be a phase, if she's back to normal by Friday I'm not going to bother with sleep training. But if it goes on til then I'm going to have to assume that it's becoming a habit, and I don't want her to NEED me to help her fall back to sleep after evey single sleep cycle. Who knows, maybe she will pleasantly surprise me, like after the four month sleep regression, when she suddenly STTN 3 nights in a row. But I just want to have a game plan in case it's not just a phase, because I don't want to be creating bad habits as far as sleep goes.

    I have no help to offer, I just want you to know that you're not alone. DD started doing this a few nights ago. She went from eating once or twice a night to waking every 1-2 hours and needing some comfort. Usually she passes back out within a couple minutes of being held, but it's still a huge PITA. It's bad enough that it prompted me to start reading Ferber's book yesterday. I'm assuming it's a phase - especially since she's working on crawling and likes to use nighttime to practice and then gets frustrated - but I want to make sure I'm prepared to sleep train if it lasts more than a week or two.

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  • YOU GUYS!! I just had an epiphany. This needing to be snuggled in th middle of the night nonsense started about a week and a half after I went back to work full time.

    If this turns out to be a longterm issue, I'm going to try to shake up our bedtime routine a bit, but I'm starting to think DD just misses me because she doesn't get to see me as much lately. The timing of it all just makes so much sense. I'm going to suck it up and give her a little time to adjust, because if that's what it is I'd feel terrible just leaving her to cry for more than a few minutes. In that case, I can't help but feel that "mommy snuggles" are more of a true need, where she's making up for lost time, versus just falling into a bad habit.

    Just need to remind myself that we survived the four month sleep regression, and after that she started sleeping better than ever, no sleep training needed. Fingers crossed that will be what happens this time too...
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