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Thread: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

  1. #11
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    A lot of babies will instinctively nurse in their sleep. As an example, if I get home late from work and my "baby" (who is two!) is already asleep, I go ahead and nurse her rather than pumping. She'll nurse without even fully waking up. You could also try ditching the pacifier and the swaddling - that in and of itself will likely make her wake and want to nurse more often. Anyway, watching the monitor constantly and rushing to baby's bed every time the pacifier falls out sounds a lot more nerve-wracking to me than sleeping, waking up when baby does, and nursing baby back to sleep. Even if you don't want to bedshare, would you consider having baby in the same room with you? That way you can hear baby stirring and wake up before she is fully awake, nurse her, and put her back to sleep.

    It is way, way, way too early to worry about baby "developing good sleep habits" and "falling asleep on her own." One of the beauties of breastfeeding is that it is by far the easiest way to get a baby to fall asleep and there is absolutely no reason not to use this magic tool to your advantage! As in, get rid of the thought that by nursing baby to sleep, you are setting your child up for not being able to fall asleep on her own at some point. I can assure you that my seven-year-old does not nurse to sleep, although as a baby he always did! (He still likes a bedtime story and cuddles though.) It is perfectly normal for a baby to wake up several times per night and want to nurse back to sleep. If you were a helpless baby and you woke up in the dark alone, wouldn't you want reassurance? Baby gets that with nursing, re-establishes that the most important person in her life is closeby, and also takes care of any hunger or thirst that she may have at the same time.

  2. #12
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    Apr 2014
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    My husband has the same/similar fears; tho he hasn't read a book and he 'gave in' with co-sleeping when she did not settle for 3 nights and he was given little option if he wanted a wife and not a grumpy zombie. I also gave him online info to read about CIO and controlled crying to back my reasons as to why I don't want to fo it. Find him some better reading material!

    Co-workers are dumb... Most didn't start co-sleeping and they are talking about 3 ish year olds who hog the bed and only started in there after being sick one night...not 4-5 month olds! The one co-worker he discovered that truely co-slept wasn't dumb and reassured him over it; but this was months after the others put the wind up him so to say.

    You use nappies without fear that they won't use a toilet, you feed them without fear that they won't one day wean and you dress a baby without fear that they won't still need you to do it for them at 18! A child will sleep independently through the night when they are ready! This is what I tell my husband and it helped

    Let your lo nurse at night and enjoy it - there's something special about feeding that semi awake little person and then watching them contently nod back off when they are done

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bsua65 View Post
    You use nappies without fear that they won't use a toilet, you feed them without fear that they won't one day wean and you dress a baby without fear that they won't still need you to do it for them at 18! A child will sleep independently through the night when they are ready! This is what I tell my husband and it helped
    I've never heard anyone put it quite this way - that's great!

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    Do I try to feed her while she's sleeping? Or wait to see if she asks for it on her own?
    Depends on how your supply is doing and on what is convenient for you. If your baby spontaneously wakes on her own and you're having no trouble pumping enough to cover her needs, there's no pressing need to wake her to nurse unless it would be more convenient for you to nurse her right before you go to bed, in the hopes that it will keep her asleep while you're getting your sleep. But if your baby isn't waking enough on her own, or you're finding that your pump output is slipping, then it makes sense to wake her more often.


    Off topic: The book my husband read was The Sleepeasy Solution. He wants to sleep train because he doesn't want to co-sleep and end of having the kids stuck in bed for years (he's heard a lot of stories from coworkers).
    Not familiar with that book, but judging by what I've read about it, it sounds like it sells cry-it-out sleep training using fear-mongering ("Babies who don't get sleep-trained never, ever sleep and grow up to be axe murderers!") and misdirection ("No, of course this isn't harsh CIO! This is nice! Babies love it! Pay no attention to the little man behind the curtain!"). IMO, any book that tries to scare you into ignoring your instincts should be thrown out the window.

    Having your LO in bed with you for years has nothing to do with what you do now. Right now, you have an infant who needs you and needs to eat at night. Attending to her needs now does not equal having a nighttime visitor in the future. And if having her in bed does become a problem for you in the future, deal with it then. Don't borrow trouble over something that may or may not happen!

    We also don't cosleep bc I'm a very light sleeper and she's a noisy/grunty sleeper. Currently, we're swaddling and using the pacifier to help her sleep. The pacifier is becoming the enemy bc she wakes up every time it falls out. We're glued to the baby monitor to watch the pacifier and we rush in every time it falls out.
    This sounds very irritating and not relaxing at all. I know you feel like co-sleeping won't work for you, but have you tried it? It might be preferable to the rush to replace the paci and attentiveness to the baby monitor. It also might not- but perhaps it's worth a try?

    As a first time mom, I have no idea what the right thing to do is in terms of sleep. I do want her to develop good sleeping habits and be able to fall asleep on her own. Not sure which way to go on achieving that.
    Don't worry about it. She is way too young for this to be a concern. For a young baby, healthy sleep habits mean a bedtime routine, a consistent but flexible bedtime, and lots of night-waking and night-nursing. If you want to read a breastfeeding-friendly book about infant sleep, I recommend Elizabeth Pantley's "The No-Cry Sleep Solution".
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    http://evolutionaryparenting.com/myt...night-wakings/
    http://evolutionaryparenting.com/gen...eep-resources/

    Sleep training is not the only, nor the best, way to create good sleeping habits.

  6. #16
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    OK, I'm going to be unpopular - the uniform solution offered for sleep issues around here is cosleeping and sidelying nursing. While I'm sure this works great for some people, it is not going to work for everyone. I think every baby/family is different and some situations do warrant some form of what they refer to as "sleep training" earlier than 6 months. For all the touting of the "not recommended to sleep train before 6 months" thing, the main scientific reason I've found to justify that is just because it sometimes doesn't WORK that early. But for some babies it does. I think the real line is somewhere closer to 3/4 months when some babies are ready for some forms of sleep training, based also on weight. People agonize over this decision, and I don't think it's right to shame about it. I also feel sad that there's extremely limited support within the breastfeeding community for sleep solutions - it's like if I want to get enough sleep to be a sane person I have to give up breastfeeding, because the only solutions offered by the breastfeeding community do not work for me and my family.

    That said, based on what you've described of your sleep schedule and that you don't mind and in fact enjoy the night nursing, I would definitely not sleep train in your shoes, because there is no need! Your sleep schedule sounds AWESOME! I ended up doing some interventions to get my baby to stop waking up 10-12 times a night (and during these wakings she would not be calmed by nursing), and I could not get back to sleep in between, and I was becoming depressed, anxious, and a useless employee. I waited until this pattern had gone on for a good month without changing on its own before we took action. And the intention was never to STTN this early - it was just to get her to only wake when hungry, feed and go back to sleep. And that is more or less where we are now - so basically, I had to train to get to where you are without training!

    If sleep is not causing a real problem for you, which it sounds like it is not, then I agree with the choruses here saying that there is no need to push STTN because that will happen eventually. But if there comes a time where sleep IS a real problem, then you should not feel like a bad parent for looking for ways to fix it. That is doing what is best for your baby, in my view. And it is NOT incompatible with breastfeeding, though it can be tricky (all the more reason why there is a need for support in this case). PS, in my particular case, the "No-Cry Sleep Solution" led to hours and hours of crying. Not all babies respond well to this method, and I honestly think it is in some ways crueler than the so-called "CIO" methods.
    Last edited by @llli*xiaoshira; April 25th, 2014 at 08:56 AM.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    You can dreamfeed. Before you yourself go to bed, pick up your baby and just bring her to your breast. Often, the baby will just start eating. You don't have to actually wake your baby up for that. Personally, though, I'd drop the pacifier - gradually. Otherwise you'll just be a slave to it. It's great for using throughout the day when needed, but for sleeping at night it's kind of a pain to have to keep replacing it, don't you think? We used to also give our baby a pacifier to sleep but then I dropped it and instead nursed my baby to sleep.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*xiaoshira View Post
    I also feel sad that there's extremely limited support within the breastfeeding community for sleep solutions - it's like if I want to get enough sleep to be a sane person I have to give up breastfeeding, because the only solutions offered by the breastfeeding community do not work for me and my family.
    I don't think this is what this community is trying to do. I think that realistically, for most working moms, the hard truth just IS that without night nursing, maintaining a breastfeeding relationship without eventually running into supply difficulties is going to be very, very, very hard. And as this is first and foremost a community designed to help moms meet their breastfeeding goals, solutions that are most compatible with breastfeeding are usually going to be suggested first here. Will some moms be able to keep up with a baby who sleeps all night, and only nurses at the breast once or twice a day? Sure. But the vast majority of moms will not be able to keep up with that. Which is necessary information to have when deciding what course of action works for your family, in my opinion!

    For the OP, I will chime in as a working mom who struggled and worked very, very, very hard to maintain my supply with the pump over my baby's first year, and also recommend that you consider keeping that night feed. One night feed is actually pretty low for a baby of this age! I would at minimum suggest to my husband that he at least wait to see how you are responding to the pump at work before you do anything to eliminate that feeding. I know that I never would have made it without my daughter's frequent night feeds!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  9. #19
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sonogirl View Post
    I don't think this is what this community is trying to do. I think that realistically, for most working moms, the hard truth just IS that without night nursing, maintaining a breastfeeding relationship without eventually running into supply difficulties is going to be very, very, very hard. And as this is first and foremost a community designed to help moms meet their breastfeeding goals, solutions that are most compatible with breastfeeding are usually going to be suggested first here. Will some moms be able to keep up with a baby who sleeps all night, and only nurses at the breast once or twice a day? Sure. But the vast majority of moms will not be able to keep up with that. Which is necessary information to have when deciding what course of action works for your family, in my opinion!
    Oh, I definitely don't think anyone is purposefully trying to be unhelpful - I just think that some of the real solutions out there for these problems, like forms of sleep training, are taboo and that this has the unfortunate effect of discouraging breastfeeding for people who NEED those solutions. When I posted about sleep here people were totally supportive, though when the initial post says that cosleeping doesn't work for us, it is sort of discouraging to get that as the response - it makes you feel like if that doesn't work, then you're out of luck.

    I ended up working with a lactation consultant on staff at "baby sleep site" and that is going well and making me feel like I don't have to give up night feeds or exclusive breastfeeding. But that is the only real thing I've found that supports both sleep solutions and breastfeeding (and as mentioned before, it does involve some night feeding).

  10. #20
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    I agree with sonogirl. First, we are not a monolithic community, we are a bunch of moms sharing what worked for us, and the reason you see things like cosleeping and sidelying suggested is because those are the techniques that worked for whoever suggested them. I don't think anyone is trying to shame you into doing things one way or another. Exhausted from nighttime awakenings, being a zombie at work, feeling depressed from lack of sleep - yes, been there, done that! I totally hear you on how hard it is! And you absolutely need to make your life work for you. If a particular suggestion doesn't work for you, just leave it! And if you have suggestions based on what worked for you, by all means share them!

    ETA: Just saw your most recent post - I think that's great that you've found a solution that has made things better.
    Last edited by @llli*bfwmomof3; April 25th, 2014 at 09:44 AM.

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