Tips for getting baby to sleep through the night?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Perry, Oct 3, 2002.

  1. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    My wife and I are SO tired. We love our new baby to death, but he won't sleep for more than 3 hours at a crack. Some people have suggested giving him a little rice cereal with his formula, while others say nothing but milk or formula for the first six months or year. (He's about three months old.)

    Any advice from experienced parents? Thanks.
     
  2. Michael Marklund

    Michael Marklund Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,
    I know what you're going through. My daughter is 8 months now and our second is due in December. The first few months are kind of brutal. Sleeping through the night kicks in around the 3-4 month window. Before that, just isn't gonna happen. Old Hillbillie tale says you should roll your baby over because the baby has his days and nights reversed. A lady I work w/ (from Tennessee) swears by this. Crock of s--- if you ask me.
    Check w/ your physician on this first but we had great success w/ giving our daughter infant Tylenol drops. (This will come in handy during teething also.) At 3 months, ONE drop should do it. Also, try to start working on setting a schedule for the baby at this age. Feedings on a 3-4 hour schedule, if possible. And try to keep the baby up in the late afternoon/early evening. If he takes a nap at 5pm, he won't want to deep sleep at 8-9pm. Try to keep him up and active from 4-8pm and then do a feeding around 7-8 pm. The "big" meal when he's getting tired tends to knock 'em out. (Think about how how much you'd like a nap after a huge Thanksgiving dinner.)
    Hope this helps and remember, he's on the brink of sleeping through the night.
    p.s.-It's great once they do.[​IMG]
    MM
     
  3. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

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    I'll second what MM said above. Our little guy will be 1 year old at the end of October. He didn't sleep through the night until 3-4 months. Before that he would wake up between 2:00-4:00am for a bottle.

    Just wait until teething begins! Nothing better than a screaming baby to wake you up in the middle of the night!

    BTW, don't feel too bad. Our 11 month old has begun waking up between midnight and 1:00am and then again between 4:00-5:00am. My wife is now tired enough that I think she will agree to simply check on him (make sure he hasn't had a leak or has an arm/leg stuck in the bars of the crib) and let him cry himself to sleep. IMO he now realizes that if he wakes up and doesn't feel like being alone all he has to do is cry and he gets to join Mom & Dad in bed. One of the problems with that is that he is a noisy sleeper and he also thrashes around which means no sleep for me. That ends this weekend!!!
     
  4. ShawnF

    ShawnF Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,
    I know what you are going through. The first three months with our daughter was brutal. I would take my daughter for drives at 3am (from Deefield to O'Hare airport. I mention this 'cause I notice you are from Chicago) just to calm her down. I would say to myself, "This is what everybody raves about? This is not fun at all!"

    Here are a couple of things that helped us:

    1.There is a CD called "For Crying Out Loud". The CD is a number of recordings of sounds that seem to soothe babies. We use the same track (#2) which is rain/windshield wiper. We just put the CD player on repeat and it plays for 12 hours.

    2.Routine is very important. We try to keep our daughter on a rigid schedule when it comes sleep. That includes the preparation for sleep as well. If you read to your child before bed, try to do it every time.

    Like Michael said, there probably isn't much you can do in the early months, but since month 3, our daughter has slept about 11 hours a night. Now I know why people say, "This is what everybody raves about. This is fun!"

    Good luck!
     
  5. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
    Our son is now 3 months old and has been sleeping through the night since 6 weeks old. I think it is just the fact that we got him into a routine at the very start.
    When we started, his last feeding was ALWAYS at 8:00pm. When your baby gets up in the middle of the night to eat, don't start turning on all sorts of lights. Keep it dark. Don't talk to your baby when you feed him. Keep it professional. [​IMG] Get up, change diaper, feed, wait 10-15 mins., go back to bed and THAT'S IT. No talking, no playing, none of that stuff.
    When he first came home, he was getting up twice. Once at around 1:30, and again around 5:00am. We noticed that the 1:30 kept getting pushed back to 2:00, 2:30, and eventually he slept the whole time. Now he sleeps from about 9:00 to 5:30.
    About once a week, he will decide to wake up at around 2:00 or so. He'll cry for 5 minutes and go back to sleep. No problem. You gotta be willing to let your baby cry at night. He's not gonne starve to death if he doesn't get fed twice a night.
    We have 1 rule for getting up at night now. If he cries for more than 15 minutes, and I mean CRIES, not whimpers, then you get up. If not, just leave him and he will fall back to sleep.
     
  6. Ralph Summa

    Ralph Summa Supporting Actor

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    Brain,
    Our daughter began sleeping 6 pm to 6 am at around six weeks. We followed a book called Becoming Baby Wise. It was referred to us by a friend who had great success with it too. The theory behind it is a cycle of eat, wake, sleep, in that order. In other words don't let your baby fall asleep while eating or immediately after eating. That allows them to "learn" how to fall asleep on their own. Of course the book is a little more involved, but that's the brief Cliff's Notes version. We are not "by-the-book" parents by any stretch, but I have nothing but good things to say about this book.
    Good Luck,
    Ralph
     
  7. ChadM

    ChadM Stunt Coordinator

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    My 21 month old was sleeping through the night at 9 weeks - it can be done.

    Assuming the child is getting enough to eat during the day, my advice:

    1. Child has to be in its room, not yours. Never bring child in your room at night, Shawn has it right, keep it professional, keep it in the nursery.
    2. Turn your monitor way down or off. I know some new moms who drive themselves insane with every little noise, unless the child is CRYING you do not need to be bothered with it. And conversely if the child is CRYING it is OK.
    3. You need a nightly ritual that says to child "hey it is time for bed". Ours was bath, dress, bottle, cuddle for about five minutes (NOT long enough for child to go to sleep), turn on music, put in bed.
    4. This is already noted in 3 but deserves separate billing. You can not rock the child to bed, you must put them in bed awake.

    In addition to the above (which are really just setting the stage) we used the FERBER (I think that is the spelling) method:

    Put child down to sleep, leave the room, if the child cries for 5 minutes get up and comfort (do not pick up, also limit comfort time to 2 minutes), regardless of whether the child has stopped crying or not leave the room after comforting.

    Second time after 10 minutes comfort.

    Third and each time after 15 minutes comfort.

    This may take two nights.


    Sorry this was so long, but all of our friends are in baby making stage right now and I have been through it. Plus I have seen some horror stories and did not want to live like that so we took the sleeping thing seriously. We had a neighbor with two toddlers and the wife and daughter slept in the master and the dad and son slept in the guest bed, talk about weird!

    Be consistent and things will work out!
    Chad
     
  8. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  9. Jason Co

    Jason Co Second Unit

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    Brian,
    The rice cereal worked for my little dude. He is our second child and he started on rice cereal much earlier than our daughter. The books are great (we followed them by the letter for our daughter)but our little guy started on solids much earlier than she did. When you give your baby his/her feeding before bed mix a little formula with the rice cereal and then give him/her the bottle. It's amazing what a full stomach will do.

    Good luck!

    Jason
     
  10. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Thanks guys -- the suggestions sound great!
     
  11. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Take advice from a Dad that has been taking care of his little one since he was around 3 months old at night (my wife works grave yard)
    There is a book that I would recommend you read that is called I believe Baby Wise and is so great. I would second that until 3-4 months you cannot and probably shouldnt be trying to get them to sleep through the night since they still need the night feeding at that age. Basically it talks about getting your baby into a set schedule and consistency is the rule.

    The biggest part of getting our son to sleep through the night has been not teaching him bad habits. (Dont feed him to go to sleep in the middle of the night). If they get in a bad pattern of always getting food/attention when they wake up then I guarantee it will continue to happen. The earlier you get them in a routine/good habits the easier it will be on both of you.
    When they are older you can tell if its a habit or not if it happens around the same time each night. Does he wake up within a half hour or of the same time each night? If so then he is used to getting up and it only take less then a week to get them in a habit but luckily the same for getting them out. It gets easier but all babies are different.

    Again I would highly recommend that book, give it a read, heck it cant hurt any.

    PS Our boy did start sleeping through the night a lot more when he was getting his solids about 1-2 hours before bed time and then a bottle just before going to sleep.

    KyleS
     
  12. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I guess I will be the contrary opinion. I say take all those books and use them as kindling. The only thing I agree with the "Baby Wise" book is to get them into a routine. But that's really common sense. Otherwise, I don't agree with most points the book makes.

    Make a daily routine and stick to it. My second child was sleeping through the night at 8 weeks and has been consistent. She is 4 months old now. We usually give her a bath at 7:30 pm and bring her to the family room to play or look at the tv or whatever is hanging over her little play mat. Now she's grabbing at things so that's pretty cool. She usually takes a little nap around 8:30 pm until about 9:00pm. Then my wife nurses her, wraps her up in a blanket that we got from the hospital, and then put her in her crib. She usually sleeps until 7:30-8:00 am.

    Now here's my "advice". Take if for what it's worth. Cereal in the formula is an old wives tale. We've yet to give formula to my daughter. So the formula is thicker than breast milk argument doesn't hold. Same with the cereal. I think the biggest enemy is the arms. Once they start moving, they scratch their face and can't settle back down. Make sure you bundle that kid up so that there is little arm movement. I forget what they call that wrap, but its what nurses do to babies in the hospital. Finally, you infant should be able to get through the night without a feeding. I would stop the feeding and just try and sooth the child back to sleep. Of course this may vary to begin with if you are not in a reasonable routine and feeding schedule. So you may need to feed for a while until you get the schedule down and your child adapts.

    Anyway, that's my thoughts, we tried the book approach with my son and it was horrible. Now he has a terrible habit of sucking his thumb because we let him "cry it out", thanks to baby wise and a pediatrician that we no longer go to.

    I guess the main thing is to try and read your son and do what's best for him. Every child is different and I don't think you can generalize, which is why I don't like books. Just use some common sense. If your son sleeps good in the car seat, then let him sleep there all night, etc..

    Anyways, I hope this helps.
     
  13. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    Brian, please, before investing any time/money in a book, research it. Especially the Baby Wise book, you'll find many many people very much against it. I'm not saying the book (or any book) is completely worthless, I'm simply saying that you know your child better than anybody and if something doesn't seem "right" don't be afraid to ditch the book and try something else.
     
  14. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    I guess that I should have clarified about the baby wise book. [​IMG]
    I also dont believe in everything that the book talks about but a couple of points that worked wonders were not feeding the baby to go to sleep (except for his night feeding for some darn reason). But feeding him, letting him play, and then when he starts rubbing his eyes, etc put him down so he learns to put himself to sleep. [​IMG]
    Getting in a routine is a must. If they learn to put themselves to sleep and not get up every 2 hours to feed then they learn to sleep all night long and are happier to boot. We can always tell when our son gets good rest/sleep when he wakes up happy and not crying.
    All the Mom needs to do this and Dad that is a bunch of BS but take it for what its worth.
    KyleS
     
  15. Kyle

    Kyle Stunt Coordinator

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    The rice cereal does work! You might need to poke a little bit bigger hole in the nipple (ouch)[​IMG]
    We started that at 2months old and he went from sleeping in 2 hours intervals to 4hour intervals, he started sleeping through the night at 6 months. Our little guy had reflux and the rice was thicker keeping the reflux down. And remember dont just run in at every noise they make. He started eating solid foods early too.
     
  16. Kyle

    Kyle Stunt Coordinator

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    Thread killer again [​IMG]
     
  17. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    likely your child is hungry and i found that the rice cereal was just the trick. it'll result in a change in your child's bowel movements, but the sleeping periods will lengthen. btw, it tastes pretty good at 3 am too!
     
  18. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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  19. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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  20. Jason Bovberg

    Jason Bovberg Stunt Coordinator

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    One thing that we did for our daughter Harper was buy her a "heartbeat" bear. It's a teddy bear with a recording that mimics the sound of the mother's heartbeat from inside the womb. Supposedly, it's immensely soothing to an infant. Of course, I'm not sure of the absolute effect of this bear on Harper's sleeping habits, but I do know that she's slept through the night since she was about 6 weeks (she's 2 now).
     

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